Inn History Featured Image

About the Inn

We invite you to visit our historic bed and breakfast in Harrisonburg, Virginia. This charming restored mansion sits on a beautiful property and is easily accessible by interstate 81. Each room is uniquely decorated in antique style but equipped with modern comforts. We serve a gourmet breakfast each morning with fresh fruit and local ingredients. We strive to make all of our guests feel comfortable and right at home as they stay with us. 

History

The Friendly City Inn is a restored mansion (circa 1885) that is unique to the Shenandoah Valley. While lodging at the Inn provides the feeling of a historic Civil War-era home, the design and materials are unlike any other Harrisonburg, Virginia bed and breakfast. Two architects from Boston (Richardson and Emerson) creatively adapted the traditional Queen Anne architecture to a stone-and-shingled New England cottage style. Thus, our Inn looks and feels like an old summer coastal home at Newport or Bar Harbor. The Mansion stands on two acres, landscaped with gardens, flowerbeds, and the old horse and carriage barn to complete the picturesque sight.

Just who the Inn’s builder was is obscure, but it is believed to have been a New England sea captain who moved to the area after marrying a valley debutante. Built into the mansion were techniques of construction familiar to the shipyards of the time: voice tubes for communication, distinctive beam structure, and separate family and servant living quarters and staircases. Also of note, the stairways and doors were made wide to accommodate the hoop skirts of guests entering from their carriage. Indeed, the building was constructed to entertain on a grand scale.

There are three finished floors. The first floor (now the basement and innkeeper’s quarters) was used for food and fuel storage, while the main or second floor was devoted to dining, dancing, and entertainment, with hotel-type kitchen facilities for the butler, maid, cook, and stable/handyman, all of whom lived in the back of the mansion. 

Leading off the Queen Anne “living hallway” entrance is the grand parlor with impressive beamed ceilings – an ideal spot to meet with friends, read a book, or savor the afternoon light. The third floor, where seven of our rooms are now, provided bed quarters for the family, complete with a nursery and family parlor. Dining areas include the large, outdoor raised deck and, indoors, the skylight breakfast room (our “Paradise Cafe”).

Virginia folklore has it that the attic is still “occupied” by an artist chatelaine (Audrey Long) who used it as a studio in the early 1900s – but that is part of the lure of this charming place. Speaking of artists, we have an extraordinary collection of the limited-edition prints of P. Buckley Moss as well as stunning watercolors by Rachel Goodman.

Location

547 East Market Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

The inn is easily accessible from from interstate 81 and sits about half a mile from historic downtown Harrisonburg. The campus of James Madison University is only 1 mile away.

The Friendly City Inn is also a great place to rest when touring Shenandoah National Park, Massanutten Resort, and the many local vineyards. 

Contact us

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the inn, Harrisonburg, or the Shenandoah Valley area. 

Phone: (540) 433-8233

Email: info@friendlycityinn.com

F.A.Q.

No. To ensure everyone’s enjoyment and preserve the comfortable, quiet, and romantic ambiance of the Inn, we do not allow pets.

For children under the age of 8, please contact us for approval prior to making a reservation.

Depending on your preference we can recommend many places. We love this town and we love the food.

Check out our favorite places to eat!

Breakfast

Each morning we serve a gourmet breakfast with fresh fruit, baked goods, coffee and tea. Breakfast is served at a time of your choosing between 8 and 10am. You may choose to eat in our cafe area or on the outdoor deck and patio. 

Please inform us in advance if anyone in your party has any dietary restrictions or allergies and we will design a menu to accommodate you. 

Reservation Policies

General

  • Check-in is between 3:00 and 7:00pm*
  • Check-out is 11:00am*
  • Breakfast is served between 8:00 and 10:00am

*Exceptions can often be arranged by special request in advance.

Cancellations

All cancellations must be done through e-mail, charges may apply.  E-mail info@friendlycityinn.com with your name and the date of the reservation and let us know you are cancelling. Click “View All Policies” below for more information

Pets

To ensure everyone’s enjoyment and preserve the comfortable, quiet, and romantic ambiance of the Inn, we do not allow pets.

Children

For children under the age of 8, please contact us for approval prior to making a reservation.

Smoking

This is a no-smoking property and the use of vaping is strictly forbidden indoors. 

Reviews

Karla Sweet
Karla Sweet
September 15, 2020
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What a blessing and pleasant surprise to be able to stay at this wonderful Inn. To describe it: Beautiful! Historic! Classy! Charming! Comfortable! I even enjoyed just wandering around and looking at the decor! And meeting Joel and Becca, the owners, was delightful...
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RobinTom
RobinTom
September 25, 2020
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We visited the inn during the week for a 3 night get away. On two of the nights, there were other guests. And, on the third, it was only us. One would think we might not get the same excellent breakfast or service, but one would be wrong. Becca treated us to a relaxing visit...
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Donna E.
Donna E.
September 24, 2020
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My daughter and I stayed the weekend in the Grant room, which was spacious with its own private entrance. All was welcoming and comfy from individual air conditioning/heating in the room to a warm tray of cookies each time we came in. Most praiseworthy were the sumptuous breakfasts prepared by...
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Rebecca C.
Rebecca C.
September 8, 2020
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I cannot rate this place highly enough. Although we weren’t fortunate enough to meet Joel (“the ideas guy”), Becca was the perfect hostess. She is a very warm, welcoming person and passionate about providing their guests with a wonderful experience...
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Jorge Webb
Jorge Webb
September 22, 2020
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Greeted by Becca (owner) she gave a wonderful tour of the house and showed us our room, Very personable. The room was very nice and clean. Breakfast was beyond expectations and deserves 5 Stars of it's own. 10 out of 10, would recommend. Location is walking distance to downtown...
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