Mountains, sunsets, animals and more! No wonder we live in the happiest place on Earth.
James Madison University is located in the perfect spot in Virginia when it comes to things to do on the weekends. We're two hours from Washington, D.C. and Richmond, and surrounded by endless mountains and adventure. If you're looking for something to do in this beautiful weather, here are some ideas:
1. Go for a scenic hike.
Looking to spend a few hours outside soaking up the sun? Go for a hike! The best hiking trails around Harrisonburg can be found at High Knob (35-minute drive to West Virginia), Humpback Rock (45-minute drive), Bearfence Mountain and South River Falls (both an hour away in Shenandoah National Park).
2. Take a swim in Blue Hole.
Just off Route 33, you can find Blue Hole. The 10-foot rock to jump off and the crystal-clear water make for a fun day hanging out with friends. It’s one of the top places to go before JMU students graduate, so if you haven’t been, now is your time!
3. Experience wildlife at Virginia Safari Park.
Head down to Natural Bridge, Virginia for the day and drive through the 180-acre zoo. You’ll see wildlife like never before, with zebras, tigers, giraffes and more within touching distance.
4. Check out Natural Bridge.
After you visit the Virginia Safari Park, stop by Natural Bridge – known as One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the Modern World. There you’ll find beautiful forests, open meadows and views of the surrounding mountains.
5. Watch the sunrise or sunset from Reddish Knob.
If you like to watch the sunrise or sunset, drive up to Reddish Knob (an hour from Harrisonburg) to catch the day start or end. The views are amazing and the physical activity required to see them is minimal. Perfect.
6. Get your much-needed dose of puppy love at the “Puppy Farm.”
If you’re a JMU student, you’re probably well familiar with the infamous “puppy farm,” or more officially known as the Gap View Ranch and Kennel. At any point of the year you can find dozens of golden retrievers here. Be sure to look out for the crazy peacock roaming the property!
7. Jump off Union Tower.
Interested in 33 feet of fun? Look no further: Union Tower is the place to go.
8. Drive over to Massanutten for the waterpark and adventure park.
Drive 20 minutes to the resort for a day filled with Massanutten’s indoor/outdoor waterpark, mountain biking, golf and adventure park. While you’re there, check out one of the live events or hit the spa.
9. Take an awesome Virginia day trip.
Virginia is for lovers – and adventure! Check out one of these awesome Virginia day trips.
10. Hang out on the Quad.
Or, you can just take advantage of one of the most beautiful campuses in the world and hang out at JMU for the day. Grab your best friends, and pack a blanket, Frisbee and some snacks, and you’ll have yourself the perfect day!
This article was originally published here.