A Wine Lovers Itinerary!
Here's a sample itinerary just for Wine Lovers looking for a mid-week or weekend getaway along the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail - perfect for your visit!
Summary: Savor Virginia wines and soak up mountain vistas in the unmatched setting of Front Royal’s rustic vineyards.
Location: Front Royal, VA.
Settle into lodging late afternoon/evening
Relax at the hotel in the morning or enjoy Saturday morning Zumba at Jig 'n' Jive or Explore Art and Clay
Pick up a picnic at Blue Wing Frog
Enjoy a relaxing afternoon picnic at Glen Manor Vineyards
Dinner at Osteria 510 if you’re still hungry
Get a coffee and see Murals downtown. Walk down Chester Street and pop into the Virginia Beer Museum (opens at noon)
Visit the beautiful Chester Gap Cellars winery
Dinner at The Element, a local favorite
Ideas to extend the stay ...
Visit one of the area's great Meaderies
Hike, camp or rent a cabin at Shenandoah National Park
Whatever your plans, there's so much to DISCOVER in Front Royal!
Have you been wondering where you can:
Find it all at Appaloosa Music Festival, Front Royal Virginia, August 13-15!
COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, and musicians everywhere are ready to get back together with their fans! If you’re ready to enjoy music and fellowship again, it’s time to book your tickets for Appaloosa Music Festival 2021. A weekend at this extraordinary music festival will leave you with memories for a lifetime!
The Appaloosa Story: Bringing the Folk Music Crowd Home to Front Royal
Appaloosa all started in 2014 with the D.C. area folk rock band, Scythian. They’d played for crowds around the world, but they were ready to spend less time touring, and more time close to home. Founding band members and brothers, Dan and Alex Fedoryka, realized that the solution lay in their own hometown: Front Royal, Virginia. With its proximity to Skyline Drive and the idyllic Shenandoah Valley, its supportive team of local artisans, and its genuine small-town atmosphere, Front Royal had incredible potential. It was the perfect setting for a folk, Americana, and Irish music festival that would bring in musicians and fans from all over the country. And so, Appaloosa Music Festival was born.
Now in its seventh year, Appaloosa’s explosive growth has proved the Fedorykas right about the Front Royal community and the irresistible draw of their music-making. With annual line-ups featuring little known but soon-to-be famous musicians. Appaloosa has claimed its reputation as the festival where fans can enjoy intimate performances from excellent musicians. There’s so much fun to be had that the crowds have kept growing year after year!
We also want to give a huge shout out to this year's line-up @YoungDubliners, @dustbowlrevival, @brooklynyarn, @AZTECSUNBAND, @BillandBelles Arbo @bendavidwarner, @AbigailDowd, His & Hers, The Moores, The Wilson Springs Hotel, Honeyday, Jesse Eastman, Low Water Bridge Band, Cake for Dinner.
So Many Stars in the Valley
Appaloosa has hosted everyone from GRAMMY winners to future grammy winners and has developed a reputation for being a festival where you can find the next big artist. From major acts to the next big name, you'll find them here!
Appaloosa and the Front Royal Community
Appaloosa Music Festival is a genuine a grassroots effort, with local talent lending a hand from all around the Front Royal area. Whether it’s the music you’re hearing or the drink in your hand, it probably hails from not too far away! In addition to the local musicians in the lineup, Front Royal’s food vendors and beverage brewers pitch in to provide authentic local refreshment for fans. With local arts and crafts on sale too, it’s a full immersion experience into Front Royal talent. Even the main stage is locally sourced, lovingly crafted by Front Royal based Strong Oaks Woodshop with reclaimed wood from old Virginia barns.
“Music among friends”
Scythian’s motto is “Music among friends,” and that’s the kind of feel that audience members can enjoy at Appaloosa. It’s a friendly, wholesome, country atmosphere. The young adult crowd can have a few drinks and some fun, but the festival was also specifically designed with families in mind. There’s truly something for everyone here!
The festival grounds include a FREE kids zone, with face painting, bouncy houses, games, and everything you need to get your whole family into the festival feel. There’s even a dedicated stage with special performances and workshops just for kids. And parents can enjoy fantastic family packages with free admission for all kids 12 and under and a dedicated family camping area.
Appaloosa is such a good fit for families, that it’s becoming nationally recognized. The festival has been one of five festivals nominated for best family-friendly festival at the Festx awards in Las Vegas. Fellow nominees included the nationally known Austin City Limits and Jazz Fest New Orleans.
Appaloosa Music Festival is three days long, and spending time outdoors in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley is part of its draw. If you want to get the complete experience, consider the camping options available right on site at Skyline Ranch Resort. You’ll be able to relax at your tent while listening to the music, spend more time with friends old and new, and fully immerse yourself in the great outdoors of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.
With a variety of tent sites and RV hookups available, you can choose an option that suits your comfort level and your budget. And if you’re not up for camping, but don’t want to miss a second of the festival, don’t worry! A limited number of VIP packages include Skyline Ranch Resort’s comfortable chalet accommodations.
We are also offering a special discount at the beautiful Blue Ridge Shadows Holiday Inn and Suites. Click here to check out the discount and availability. We're super grateful for their support!
If you don’t have a whole weekend to spare, no problem. You can purchase tickets by the day as well.
So buy your tickets now, and come on out for Appaloosa Music Festival this August 13-15. The COVID-19 lockdowns were particularly tough for musicians, and attending Appaloosa is one way to support folk music and local businesses while having a great time. Please share this post and let’s all work together to “Keep the Music Alive” because #VirigniaisforMusicLovers!!
Whether you prefer an organized event or an excursion that you can take at your own pace, Front Royal, Virginia has you covered all year long. If you’re looking to get out and enjoy nature, Warren County offers hiking and biking trails, and about a hundred different ways to experience the stunning beauty of the Shenandoah Valley. And a calendar filled with quintessential small town festivals means you won’t get bored. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter, there’s always something happening in Front Royal. Here’s our guide to a year of fun and festivity.
**Due to Covid-19 and the restrictions put in place, many of our scheduled events have been cancelled. However, not forever and have been rescheduled for 2021.**
Spring in Front Royal: The Shenandoah Valley Awakens
Eight miles south of Front Royal, the village of Browntown kicks off the season’s festivals with its annual Redbud Festival. Every April, the redbuds bloom, and the Browntown community comes out to celebrate. You can enjoy delicious home cooked food, live music, and craft sales. A highlight of the day is the Gooney Creek Duck Race, a fun event for all the family.
Front Royal’s own historic Main Street hosts the first of many annual events in April as well. At Taste of the Town, Front Royal’s independent restaurants come out on Main Street with the best of their tempting cuisine. Buy a tasting ticket and stroll Warren County’s quaintest street as you sample delicious food in a festive atmosphere. Or sit down to enjoy and meet some new friends.
Main Street becomes the scene of two more festivals every May. Family Fun Day happens towards the beginning of May. Come out for a parade, an antique car show, games and face-painting for kids, and the trademark Louisiana Crawfish.
Later in May, Main Street transforms into for the annual Wine and Craft Festival. You won’t want to miss this day of fun for the whole family. Adults can taste wine from a selection of Virginia wineries. Meanwhile, festival has plenty to offer for the rest of the family. Delicious food, live music, and games for kids keep everyone happy. In between games and wine tastings, peruse the offerings from an array of talented artists. Craft sales include fine jewelry, clothing, pottery, and original paintings.
For a more relaxed way to enjoy the Shenandoah Valley in the spring, try a drive on one of the scenic roads around Warren County. The famous Skyline Drive starts right in Front Royal. It’s an obvious choice. The long drive down the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains features many overlooks where you can pull off and enjoy the view. But you don’t need to be on top of the mountain to enjoy it. For nature-lovers, other less well-known byways also offer stunning vistas in the spring. If you leave Front Royal going south on 340, you’ll be treated to a drive down the valley with the Blue Ridge Mountains on your left, and the Massanutten Mountain on the right. Alternatively, you can head north on 624 for views of farm fields and tree-lined roads. If you get as far as Boyce, finish your drive at the State Arboretum of Virginia, a fantastic spot for a spring picnic or a relaxing walk.
Summer in Front Royal: The Perfect Place to Enjoy Nature
America’s ultimate summer party happens on the Fourth of July. With events taking place up and down the Shenandoah Valley, Front Royal won’t be left out. The Northern Virginia 4-H Center hosts Front Royal’s Fourth of July celebration, with live music, games, food trucks and, of course, fireworks.
For a low-key summer evening in the Shenandoah Valley, try out Gazebo Gatherings, a free weekly concert series at Front Royal’s downtown Gazebo. Bring your own lawn chair and enjoy music and the community of Warren County.
Nature is easy to enjoy on an idyllic summer day in the Shenandoah Valley. Ideally situated on the iconic Shenandoah River, Front Royal offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation. Eastham Park is conveniently located only a mile from Front Royal’s historic downtown. The park features a generous stretch of riverfront, with a scenic walking trail, and access for swimming, boating, and fishing. Other popular public access points to the river include the Riverton Boat Ramp, and the Morgan Ford Boat Landing. Spend a day swimming and fishing at one of these points, or bring your own kayak or tube and float from one to the next.
Getting out on the river is a great recipe for summer fun, but it does carry some risks. Make sure to follow appropriate safety precautions, including wearing a life-preserver. If you need more guidance, or if you need to rent boating equipment, check out one of Front Royal’s own outfitters. If you’re fishing, be sure to purchase the appropriate license.
Autumn in Front Royal: Spectacular Hiking and Fall Fun
If you thought spring and summer in Front Royal good, just wait for autumn! Warren County becomes a sought-after tourist destination in the fall. As the tree-lined Shenandoah Valley lights up in vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, Skyline Drive become a destination for many seeking nature’s beauty. The park sees more visitors in October than in any other month of the year.
Front Royal’s festivals continue through the autumn too. On Labor Day Weekend, the Skyline Ranch Resort becomes the home of the three day Appaloosa Music Festival. Sponsored by Washington D.C. band Scythian, this family friendly festival features folk music, camping, a free kids area, and food and drink from local providers.
Also in September is the River Valley Festival at VFW Post 1860 in Front Royal. This festival features a menu of pit roasted meats, along with juggling, live music, and craft beer and wine.
In October, Front Royal celebrates nature’s work of art with the Festival of Leaves on Main Street. Along with the usual crafts and live music, this festival has a historic flair, with historical re-enactors and tours of Warren County’s historic buildings: the Belle Boyd Cottage and the Balthis House. The festival also coincides with the annual Leaf Peepers races. Choose your distance: half-marathon, 10k, or 5k, and run in the all the fall glory of the Shenandoah Valley.
Driving or hiking at Skyline Drive will give you stunning views of the fall. Check here for updates on fall foliage in the park. If you want to avoid the crowds, there are other places to enjoy that are less crowded but still offer glorious nature in the fall. Try a picnic at an overlook in the Shenandoah River State Park. Buzzard Rock is another local favorite for hiking.
If you’re looking for a fun and seasonal family outing, there are plenty of opportunities for apple picking. Later in the fall, visit a local pumpkin patch.
Winter in Front Royal: Cozy Pancakes, Christmas Lights, and Winter Sports
Winter isn’t the busiest season of the year in Front Royal, but there’s still seasonal fun to be had. In early December, the Kiwanis Club of Front Royal holds an annual pancake day. Proceeds from this fun (and delicious) fundraiser go to support the work of the club.
The annual Christmas Festival and Parade is a special event that you won’t want to miss. This last festival of the year takes place at the beginning of December. The festival includes a parade down Main Street and ends with a lighting ceremony of Main Street’s Christmas lights. Even if you can’t make it to the parade, make sure you check out the lights at some point during the Christmas season.
Warren County is conveniently located for outdoor winter fun. For day ski trips, or snow tubing, check out Bryce Resort in the Allegheny Mountains, and Massanutten Resort. Both resorts are only about an hour’s drive from Front Royal. It’s a comfortable (and memorable!) day trip.
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