Eating outside is a great way to enjoy the warmer weather, and with Memorial Day around the corner, the summer picnic season is fast approaching. Whether you’re a local looking for a change of pace, or a day-tripper wanting a scenic getaway, the Front Royal area is fantastic for picnicking! You’ll find a huge range of great picnic spots ranging from town square to Shenandoah River, to scenic mountaintop, all within easy distance of our small town.
Looking for the perfect picnic spot this summer? Here’s our list of five ways to enjoy a picnic around Front Royal. Choose one to suit your preference, or for a fun summer challenge, make it a goal to try out each one this year!
1. Picnic in the Town
If you’d like to watch the world go by while you enjoy a picnic, Front Royal’s downtown Gazebo area is a fun option. You’ll find benches, low walls to sit on, and convenient trash cans. Kids can enjoy exploring the historic caboose, and checking out the sundial by the Visitors Center.
Give your picnic a sweet ending with an ice cream from C & C’s Frozen Treats. You’ll find this cheerful ice cream parlor right across the street.
2. Picnic in the Park
For an evening of fun with the whole family, a picnic in the park can be a great fit. You can combine yummy picnic food with games like sand volleyball, tennis, disc golf, and more! Or let kids entertain themselves at the playground while adults relax around the table. Many of the parks have picnic shelters available for rent.
Front Royal’s parks include a wide range of amenities. There’s something for everyone to enjoy. Head to the Warren County Parks and Recreation page to learn about the unique features you can expect to find at each of the parks around town.
3. Picnic by the Shenandoah River
There’s something particularly relaxing about a picnic by the river, and Front Royal’s Shenandoah River is renowned for its beauty. Enjoy swimming or fishing, or simply relax and watch the water flow by. For a great riverside picnic in the Front Royal Area, the Shenandoah River State Park is hard to beat. You’ll find a large riverside picnic area with picnic tables and grills available. If you’re planning a gathering, picnic shelters are also available for reservation here. Eastham Park is a more centrally located riverside option that’s popular with the locals
4. Picnic in the Mountains
Front Royal’s famous for its river, but it’s also famous for its nearby mountain ranges. The stunning views you’ll enjoy from a mountain overlook make the mountains yet another great place to plan a picnic. The Shenandoah National Park is a favorite destination for a mountain picnic. If you want to get off the beaten path, bring your picnic with you on one of the park’s scenic hiking trails (Compton Peak is a good one near the Front Royal end of the park). If you’re not in the mood for this kind of adventure, no problem! Relax and enjoy the great views from the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, or one of the many scenic pull-offs along the park’s main road.
5. Picnic at a Winery
There’s something particularly relaxing about sipping on a glass of wine in a beautiful place. For a sophisticated picnic, pack a hamper and bring it with you to one of the Front Royal area’s wineries. Most welcome you to bring your own food to pair with a glass of Virginia wine. Enjoy stunning vineyard scenery, mountain vistas, and some of the best wine you’ll ever taste!
So pack your picnic basket and head to the Front Royal area for some unforgettable picnicking this summer! And don’t forget to check out some of our local businesses to help you fill your hamper with goodies. Dusty’s Country Store is a great place to pick up local foods. Check out Down Home Comfort Bakery for delicious baked goods. Or take all the stress out of packing by stopping by Blue Wing Frog. They’ll make all your food and get it “picnic-ready” for you!
The idea of “adventure” awakens something deep within the human spirit. After all, adventure is the topic of many of our favorite stories, books, and movies. We literally spend hours thinking and talking about adventures.
So if you’re feeling bogged down with the business of everyday living, consider embarking on your own new adventure: an outdoor adventure! There’s nothing that can freshen your perspective and breathe new life into your everyday quite like spending a day (or a few!) adventuring in the great outdoors.
If you’re seeking to satisfy the adventure-lover within you, put the Front Royal area at the top of your list of destinations. With a fantastic location at the Gateway to Shenandoah National Park, you’ll find plenty of scope for adventure here. Oh, and did we mention that this vibrant small town is also known as the Canoe Capital of Virginia? Call it nature’s playground if you like. With river, forests, and mountains all nearby, every adventure-lover will find something to enjoy in the Front Royal area. Don’t put your next adventure on hold. Make plans today to discover the adventure of Front Royal.
The Adventure of Front Royal
The first ingredient in planning your adventure is, of course, the adventure itself! You’ll find plenty to keep you busy in the Front Royal area. Let us give you some ideas.
The Shenandoah National Park is a great place to start. It’s Front Royal’s most famous landmark, and it’s a sought-after destination for adventure-lovers from all over the U.S. Mountain bikers and rock climbers will find plenty to enjoy in Shenandoah National Park, and in the greater Front Royal area too. If you’re looking for a memorable hike, see here for some local recommendations. Spoiler alert: two of the hikes on this list feature swimming holes!
Prefer to plan your next adventure on the water? There’s no better place than the Canoe Capital of Virginia! From kayaking to tubing to fishing (with lots more in between), the Shenandoah River is an endless source of adventure and fun. Check out one of our local outfitters, such as Front Royal Outdoors for everything you need to make your dream river adventure a reality.
The Supplies (Find What You Need in Front Royal)
Don’t forget to plan a stop in the town of Front Royal to stock up on food and any gear that you’ll need. Blue Wing Frog is a classic favorite food stop for our outdoors loving visitors. They offer wholesome, homemade food to eat in, and they’ll even pack it as a picnic for you to bring with you.
Meanwhile, if you’re missing an essential piece of gear, Mountain Trails should be able to help you. You’ll find a range of high quality outdoor equipment here, from water bottles to tents and everything in between!
Sweet Refreshment (Front Royal’s Happy Ending)
Outdoor adventures help you work up an appetite, and there’s no better way to reward yourself than with a drink and a bite to eat at one of Front Royal’s favorite breweries. Check out Front Royal Brewing Company or PaveMint Taphouse to give your adventure a perfect ending. Nothing pairs with a beer and a burger quite like the feeling of slightly aching muscles! Cheers to the adventure!
And if you think you won’t be able to tear yourself away after dinner, check out our lodging options. There’s camping, hotels, quaint bed and breakfasts, something for everyone to love. Make your visit to Front Royal all the more relaxing by settling in for the night.
Maybe your idea of adventure is canoeing the river, scaling a rock face, challenging yourself with a new hike, or taking on some mountain trails with a bike. Whatever the case, you’ll find that your perfect adventure awaits you in Front Royal, Virginia. Don’t wait any longer to discover all our small town has to offer!
For animal enthusiasts, spring can herald the welcome return of wild animal sightings after the long, still winter. With its mountains, forests, and rivers, the Front Royal area has plenty of natural habitat for a diverse array of wild animals. Patient nature observers have a great chance for some exciting wildlife encounters.
Read on for an introduction to some of the easiest wild animals to spot around Front Royal. We’ve also included some viewing tips and some special guidance for spring viewing.
Black Bears Emerge From Hibernation
Black bears occupy a broader range of habitats than any other species of bear, and they’re long-time residents of Virginia. Black bear cubs are born in mid-winter, during the hibernation period, and first emerge with their mothers in the spring. As bears begin to forage for food sources in the spring, it’s not uncommon to spot a mother with several cubs in tow. It’s a charming sight, but be careful! The term mama bear comes from a mother bear’s fierce protective instincts. Interfering with cubs could lead to an unpleasant and dangerous encounter with the mother. This is one spring sight that’s best enjoyed from a distance!
White-tailed Deer – It’s Time to Enjoy Them!
To gardeners and farmers they can be a nuisance, but if you’re not fighting to keep them out of your crops, these easy-to-spot animals are a beautiful sight. Whether you’re observing a majestic buck or a group of does (sometimes with fawns in tow!), a deer sighting can be a great chance to enjoy the beauty of the natural world. White-tailed deer are prolific in the Front Royal area, and you should have a good chance of spotting one (or a several!) in the parks around Front Royal. In spring, keep a special lookout for the delightful sight of new young fawns.
Wildlife in the Shenandoah River – Sun-bathing Turtles
Turtle sightings are yet another sign of the return of warmer weather. Turtles particularly like to sunbathe during spring time. And with the Shenandoah River running right through town, Front Royal is a great place to watch them. Take a riverside walk at Eastham Park or the Shenandoah River State Park, and look out for groups of turtles sunbathing on riverside logs. Or take a river trip with one of Front Royal’s own outfitters, and enjoy observing the turtles from the relaxing viewpoint of the river.
Top Tips for Wildlife Viewing in the Front Royal Area
If you’re serious about seeking out wildlife sightings around Front Royal this spring, head out to one of the Front Royal area’s fantastic parks, and get wildlife watching! The Shenandoah National Park has been rated one of the best national parks for wildlife viewing. The George Washington National Forest and the Shenandoah River State Park are two more great local options.
Follow our four top tips to ensure a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
1. Keep your distance! All wild animals can be dangerous, and it’s important for both your sake and the animal’s that you keep a safe distance apart. You should never touch or pick up a wild animal. In the spring, it’s not uncommon to come across a baby fawn bedded down alone. Don’t assume that the baby has been abandoned. Mother deer often leave their babies for extended periods while they forage for food. Touching or moving a fawn could lead to its abandonment and even death.
2. Sit still! Even if you think you’re walking quietly, it’s a guarantee that wildlife can see and hear you. You best chance for some animal viewing is to find a spot where you can sit quietly and blend in with nature.
3. Pick your time! Dawn and dusk are the best times for wildlife watching, as these times coincide with a peak in animal movement and activity. Of course, you’ll want to settle into your viewing spot a little in advance of this time, so if you’re planning a dawn expedition, you’ll need an early wake up call. Plan a camping trip if you want to ensure you’re out in nature first thing in the morning!
4. Bring your camera! You may be about to experience some unique and memorable sights. Don’t forget to bring a camera along so you can capture the beauty of the natural world and enjoy it for years to come.
The animal kingdom is full of wonders for us to enjoy, and many of them are right here in the Shenandoah Valley. As animals become more active in the spring, it’s a great time to get out and observe them in their natural habitats. Here’s to your next animal adventure!
There’s nothing that says “I love you” to a mom quite like the chance to spend some special time with family. And on Mother’s Day, the beautiful spring weather makes spending time outdoors together a perfect fit. This Mother’s Day, head to Front Royal and give the gift of a fun outing in the Shenandoah Valley. You and Mom can connect over something you both love to do.
Read on for ideas on a range of delightful outings in the Front Royal area for you and Mom. You can enjoy the beautiful spring of the Shenandoah Valley together. We’ve given suggestions for moms of all kinds, so you’re sure to find something your mom will love!
For the Mom who Loves Outdoor Adventures
We think of mothers as a safe-haven, and rightly so. But moms are also some of the most adventurous people there are! Taking on responsibility for one or several tiny humans is not for the fainthearted!
Does your mom love to adventure in the great outdoors as much as she loves the great adventure of motherhood? If so, you’ll have no problem finding a Mother’s Day outing she’ll enjoy in the Front Royal area!
With the Shenandoah River winding through Front Royal, a day on the river is a great way to adventure and relax at the same time. Front Royal has a range of friendly outfitters who’ll take care of your needs. Check out Front Royal Outdoors, Down River Canoe Company, or Skyline Canoe Company to find a river trip that works for you.
If you’re more interested in getting out on some hiking trails, you have some great options in the Front Royal area too. With the George Washington National Forest, the Shenandoah National Park, and the Appalachian Trail all within easy distance, you can find an iconic hike without too much trouble. If your mom is a serious hiker or biker, combine this outing with the gift of an All Trails Pro subscription. All Trails Pro is like a GPS app, but for hiking trails! Mom can enjoy the trails with a whole new sense of security.
For the Mom who Loves a Small-Town Vibe
Depending on your tastes, spring weather can be just as enjoyable on the streets of a quaint small town as in a mountain landscape. If your mom is a lover of small town life, she’ll definitely enjoy an afternoon in Front Royal.
To give your outing a bit more structure, consider following the Front Royal Walking Tour. This self-guided tour takes you through Front Royal’s most historic and picturesque streets. You’ll learn some local history along the way. Feel free to take a break along the way and enjoy hunting for treasures in an antique store, sipping on a coffee, or savoring an ice cream cone.
Another great idea for enjoying Front Royal’s small town atmosphere is an afternoon at the Dr. Seide Memorial Botanical Gardens. Within the 3.5 acres of beautifully planned gardens, you’ll find benches, walking paths, and even a stretch of Happy Creek. The same complex is also home to one of Front Royal’s most extensive parks, so the family can enjoy playgrounds, sand volleyball, tennis, basketball, and more.
For the Mom who just Wants to Relax
For some Moms, a slower-paced day in the countryside is the best way to relax and rejuvenate. If you’re looking for an outing along these lines, you might consider heading to Sunflower Cottage in Middletown. Mom can enjoy this picturesque herb farm, and visit the retail garden center to pick out herbs, flowers, or planters for the coming season. Don’t forget to include a stop at the farm’s Backroom Brewery on the farm for some refreshment. Hops for the unique range of craft beers are grown right on the farm. Backroom Brewery is also offering a special Mother’s Day lunch on Sunday March 9, complete with specialty herbal cocktails such as Lavender Martinis and Basil Whiskey Sours.
For another relaxing option, consider planning a picnic at one of the many fantastic wineries surrounding Front Royal. Sipping on a glass of Virginia wine in a gorgeous setting will be a restorative experience for anyone!
Celebrate Mom in the Front Royal area this Mother’s Day weekend. With a range of options to suit all tastes, you can get out in the fresh spring air of the Valley and enjoy a memorable day together.
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