Broadway is a quaint, picturesque town situated in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in Rockingham County, Virginia. Broadway has the distinction of being named one of the safest towns in Virginia.
In 1808, the town was called Custer’s Mill, after a mill on the tip of the peninsula, but during the Civil War, many buildings, including the mill, were burned down and the town needed a new name. According to local legend, the new name came out of the rowdy characteristics Broadway shared with most other frontier boomtowns.
Broadway is fortunate to have much of its history still evident in its buildings. A wealth of buildings, including Bethlehem Church, Lincoln Homestead and Cemetery, Linville Creek Bridge, Sites House, and Tunker House, illustrate what life was like back in the frontier days.
Broadway is also home to two beautiful parks: Heritage Park and Broadway Community Park, that offer a host of amenities including sports fields, swimming, and leisurely walks.
The Broadway Farmers Market features a host of local farms, food artisans, and specialty goods producers offering the best in local organic fruits, vegetables, eggs, coffee, bread, and more. The market takes place every Saturday at the Veteran’s Memorial Wall on Main Street in Broadway from spring until fall. Broadway also has no less than four local pet groomers!
Probably the biggest draw for nature and walk lovers in the area is the legendary Shenandoah National Park. This majestic park – with its waterfalls and spectacular vistas – includes an astonishing 500 miles of trails, all but 20 of which are dog-friendly. Take a drive along the Skyline Drive National Scenic Byway, and marvel at the breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Then, stop along the way at one of the 75 overlooks, go for a wander with the pooch, have a picnic with the family, or grab a tasty snack at one of the many food stops along the Skyline Drive.
Natural Chimneys Park near Mt. Solon in Augusta County is the site of an amazing natural rock structure known as the Natural Chimneys. These seven rock "chimneys" that range in height from 65 to 120 feet were formed from limestone that began to accumulate and harden into stone over 500 million years ago! The park itself is located along the North River and has a 145-site campground and lots of hiking trails for you and the pooch to explore. The park also hosts one of the largest jousting tournaments in the eastern United States, which is held on the third Saturday of August every year.
Gypsy Hill Park is a huge 214-acre park in the heart of nearby Staunton, Virginia. The park has a 1.3-mile circular roadway for walking, jogging, cycling and rollerblading, as well as covered pavilions and picnic tables which are available on a non-reservation basis. Gypsy Hill Park is also home to a dog park, with separate enclosures for large dogs (over 30 lbs.) and small dogs (under 30 lbs.). Each area has plenty of activities to keep your dog busy, as well as benches for owners to relax on. The park is well-maintained and there are plastic bag dispensers and trash cans. There are no water facilities, though, so remember to bring water with you.
If you’re looking for somewhere to let your pooch run and play to their heart’s content, then head on over to Smithland Road Dog Park in Harrisonburg, Virginia. This is the pawfect place for your pup to run off-leash, exercise, and play with other dogs from the area. The dog park also has a large dog area (30 lbs and above), and a small dog area (up to 30 lbs.). The park is open from 8:00 am until sunset. And while you’re there, why not take a wander around Harrisonburg itself? Also known as “The Friendly City”, Harrisonburg is situated in the middle of some of the most spectacular mountain ranges and outdoor recreation spots in Virginia.
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat where you can bring your pet, nearby Harrisonburg has plenty of options. O'Neill's Grill is a casual eatery that offers everything from salads, soups, and sandwiches to burgers, steak, tacos, pasta, and more, all crafted with fresh, local ingredients. O’Neill’s Grill has several pet-friendly outdoor tables where you can sit with your pooch while you sample some of their special dishes, including waffle fries smothered in Monterey Jack, cheddar, and bacon, and topped with a spicy garlic sauce, and the Big Q BBQ Sandwich, made with 14-hour, slow-smoked applewood pork, and covered in homemade slaw, cheddar cheese, and homemade BBQ sauces. Yum!