We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Visitors to Shenandoah Valley’s Harrisonburg, VA, should absolutely book a stay at the Hotel Madison. Whether you’re planning on visiting the James Madison University (JMU) campus or strolling the streets of downtown Harrisonburg, the Hotel Madison is ideally located.

If, like me, you love visiting small towns with an easily walkable and discoverable Main Street area, then Harrisonburg, VA, hits all the right notes. A stay at the Hotel Madison means rarely being more than a few steps from your favorite destinations. Read on to find out more.

Explore Harrisonburg VA From Hotel Madison | The Common Traveler | image: bed in Hotel Madison suite

Hotel Madison Review

Next door to the JMU campus is a large hotel offering everything you could possibly need for an enjoyable stay in Harrisonburg. 

What is Hotel Madison & Shenandoah Conference Center?

The official hotel for JMU, Hotel Madison is ideally situated for all things JMU and Harrisonburg related. The hotel is also perfect for persons visiting Eastern Mennonite University, Bridgewater College, and the Shenandoah National Park.

Because of its proximity to the JMU campus, the hotel offers two programs geared toward JMU visitors: JMU Parent Loyalty and JMU Alumni Club. JMU Parents earn loyalty points by staying throughout their child’s time at JMU, giving them priority access to May Commencement reservations and discounts. JMU alumni enjoy discounts at the hotel and restaurant as well. Both programs are free to join!

But you don’t have to have a connection to JMU to enjoy Hotel Madison. I enjoyed parking my car in the attached garage (there is a nominal fee) and being able to walk to enjoy all that downtown Harrisonburg has to offer. The hotel offers multiple accommodations, from regular rooms to suites particularly suited to extended stays and some pet-friendly rooms. The rooms feature in-room safes (big enough for laptops!) and USB and electric ports on the nightstands. So many thoughtful touches!

PRO TIP: I stayed in a one-bedroom suite. Book this type of room if you’d like a lot of room and a kitchen.

What can you do at Hotel Madison?

You can spend an entire weekend at Hotel Madison without leaving the premises, but typically, you’ll want to explore the area! Check out the hotel’s amenities.

Explore Harrisonburg VA From Hotel Madison | The Common Traveler | image: gallery of local art

Admire Art.

The hotel’s mezzanine serves as an art gallery, where local artists’ work is displayed. Art is rotated so you can expect to see different pieces on many visits. Guests can check them out any time, but the hotel also participates in the town’s First Friday celebrations.

The mezzanine features lovely seating areas, making it the perfect place to enjoy the lobby’s atmosphere without being in the middle of the action.

Listen to Live Music.

Sit for a spell in Hotel Madison’s lobby and enjoy the sweet notes of a piano or guitar player. Grab a cocktail from the hotel bar while you reminisce while listening to musical memories.

Explore Harrisonburg VA From Hotel Madison | The Common Traveler | image: indoor pool

Relax at the Pool.

Cool down in the resort’s indoor saltwater pool (that’s right – no chlorine odor here!). Open year-round, the indoor pool features garage-style doors that open onto a patio. The indoor pool’s extended hours mean there is a pool option early and late in the day before or after exploring the area.

Explore Harrisonburg VA From Hotel Madison | The Common Traveler | image: exercise equipment

Work out at the Fitness Center.

Hotel guests don’t have to sacrifice their usual fitness routine if they don’t want to. Open 24/7, the Fitness Center features everything a guest could expect from a fully-stocked workout room. Sweat it out on treadmills, stationary bikes, or ellipticals. Work your muscles on weight machines or free weights. Even a middle-of-the-night workout is okay!

PRO TIP: Hotel Madison is a 100% smoke and vape-free facility.

Keep your clothes clean with the laundry room.

With an eye toward more extended stays, the hotel offers a laundry room for guests. Free to use, a washer and dryer at guests’ disposal means you don’t have to pack many clothes or extra bags for your visit.

Explore Harrisonburg VA From Hotel Madison | The Common Traveler | image: lobby of Hotel Madison
Hotel Madison lobby

Bars and Restaurants

Harrisonburg is a foodie destination, but if you don’t want to leave the comfort of the hotel, know that you have multiple food and beverage options inside Hotel Madison.

grace + main coffee shop

Start your morning with a great cup of coffee and a breakfast treat. The coffee shop is also the hotel’s option for those looking for lunch fare.

Quill’s Casual Dining

This lobby bar is open Thursday – Sunday, 4 pm-11 pm (subject to change), and during other busy times. It is the perfect spot to grab a drink and some lighter fare to enjoy while listening to live music or watching the game on the big screen. 

Explore Harrisonburg VA From Hotel Madison | The Common Traveler | image: pantry with snacks on shelves
A pantry is available at all hours for guests who need a snack or drink.

Monty’s Restaurant

Specializing in comfort food with a modern touch, Monty’s serves casual fare such as pork nachos and wings as well as upscale entrees like roasted salmon, filet mignon, and shrimp and grits. The varied menu has something for every kind of taste.

A breakfast buffet offers an affordable option for breakfast at the hotel if you don’t want to venture out.

Explore Harrisonburg VA From Hotel Madison | The Common Traveler | image: pond and plants at Edith J. Carrier Arboretum
Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

What to Do in Harrisonburg from Hotel Madison

Harrisonburg doesn’t lack things to do! The city is a recent winner of the Great American Main Street Award, and you’ll soon discover why.

  • Watch the JMU Dukes football team take over the Bridgeforth Stadium, which can seat 25,000. Of course, individual tickets may be hard to find, so plan ahead.
  • Across the street from Hotel Madison, the John C. Wells Planetarium delights visitors every Saturday during the JMU school year. Attend one of the twice-daily feature shows for free and learn about the stars visible on starry nights in the Shenandoah Valley. 

But most importantly, stroll the streets of downtown Harrisonburg. Shop the boutiques that dot Main and side streets. And discover why Harrisonburg was named both Virginia’s first culinary district and first art and cultural district. This also means discovering Harrisonburg’s breweries, cidery, and vineyards.

Explore Harrisonburg VA From Hotel Madison | The Common Traveler | image: main building at JMU Quad
JMU Quad

Final Thoughts on Staying at Hotel Madison

Whether you’re looking for a fun place to get away for the weekend, a home base for exploring Harrisonburg, or even Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Hotel Madison is an excellent choice you won’t regret!

Check out these other related posts:

Happy travels,
Annick, The Common Traveler

Save this “Exploring Harrisonburg VA from Hotel Madison” post for later – pin and share it!

Explore Harrisonburg VA From Hotel Madison | The Common Traveler shares why any visit to Harrisonburg VA should include a stay at Hotel Madison. Learn all about the amenities at this ideal location.

#hotelmadison #harrisonburgva