Harrisonburg locals are no doubt an eclectic sort nd Harrisonburg is by no stretch a popular "city school." Students sometimes complain that nothing seems to be within walking distance of JMU. However, if you are charmed with a four-wheel vehicle, you can use it for a large assortment of activties. Even though JMU lacks a definitive city with huge strip malls and museums, you find can something up your alley, whether it's hiking Reddish Knob or skiing at the Massanutten resort. There may not be the typical college activities of the nightclub sort, but Harrisonburg does carry some appeal. In fact, the tiny city almost makes it more quaint and personalized within such a large school. JMU students seem to flood most of the local establishments around Harrisonburg but still have room to interact with the neighboring colleges, such as Blue Ridge Community College and Eastern Mennonite University.
With Harrisonburg's proximity to Washington, D.C., and Roanoke, students can easily take a two-hour road trip for the weekend. Harrisonburg also carries the staple WalMart, Kohl's, Michael's, and Ross, which undeniably serve any JMU student well. Harrisonburg is also characterized as a poorer city, and coed fraternities and religious-affiliated JMU clubs occassionally interact with the townies at the Christian Campus Ministry house that also doubles as a soup kitchen and homeless shelter.