With schools out and warm temperatures, summer is the time of year when many Americans plan to travel and enjoy vacation. But in 2022 with gas prices hitting record highs, taking a trip to a distant destination will be more expensive than ever before. If gas prices are giving you pause, don’t give up on the idea of a vacation just yet! It’s time to start seeing travel limitations as an opportunity! A local vacation can be just as fun as one that involves long-distance travel, and if you’re near the Front Royal area, you have the perfect destination right on your doorstep. Whether you’re a resident of the D.C. Metro area, or hail from even closer to Front Royal, give our amazing small town a look. You’ll discover that Front Royal is packed with all the ingredients it takes to make for a great vacation. Bonus: with travel time cut down you’ll have even more time to spend relaxing and enjoying yourself.
Read on for six reasons we love the idea of a local vacation in the Front Royal area! Soon you’ll be wondering why you ever took the trouble of travelling far away for a vacation!
1. Front Royal has Fantastic Lodging and Dining
It wouldn’t feel like a vacation without the chance to relax and enjoy comfortable accommodations and delicious food. If a local vacation has you saving money on travel expenses, you may have a little left in the budget to enjoy some extra luxuries in the lodging and dining departments.
In the Front Royal area, you can find truly unique lodging options for a memorable and comfortable stay. Check out the John Pope Cabin at Walnut Hill Farm and Estate, or Mountain Home Bed and Breakfast for fantastic lodging you won’t forget. Explore the rolling farmland that surrounds Rolling River Holidays’ stunning vacation homes. Or plan on some hot tub relaxation by booking a cabin with Hot Tub Heaven. See here for a fuller list of Front Royal’s lodging options including hotels, cozy cabins, and more.
Gourmet meals area also easy to find in Front Royal. The Element is Front Royal’s classic option for fine dining. Check out Vibrissa Beer or Pavemint Taphouse for local craft beer and delicious food. Or head to neighboring Flint Hill to enjoy other upscale options.
2. Outdoor Adventures Aplenty Await in Front Royal
With its location conveniently close to Shenandoah National Park and the Shenandoah River, Front Royal is perhaps best known as a destination for lovers of outdoor adventure. Adventure awaits whichever way you turn in Front Royal. Plan a hike or backpacking trip in the National Park, explore rock climbing, or plan out a whole week of outdoor fun with canoeing in the Shenandoah River, hiking, biking, and more all easily accessible from Front Royal.
3. Front Royal has Lots for History Buffs
It’s a lesser known claim to fame, but the Shenandoah Valley (Front Royal included) was the scene of some key battles of the Civil War. The Front Royal area retains a strong sense of history to this day. Explore at your own pace with the Battle of Front Royal Civil Driving Tour, or check Front Royal’s events page for Civil War talks, tours, and more. If you’re staying in Front Royal, you’ll also be within reach of Civil War Battlefields at New Market, Cedar Creek, and Antietam.
4. Find the Fun at Front Royal’s Events
Keep your local Front Royal vacation exciting by attending some special events. Front Royal has a busy events calendar, and you’ll find there’s a lot going on. Relax at Fox Meadow Winery with their Sunset in the Vineyard events, or head to Shenandoah Valley Golf Club on a Friday Night for Fire Pit Fridays. Take in a Front Royal Cardinals home baseball game for more fun. If you’re here mid-July, don’t miss the Valley Baseball League All-Star Game on July 17. Plan your visit for the first week of August and enjoy some honest country fun at the Warren County Fair.
5. Front Royal is Camping Out Heaven
Some like a little luxury in vacation accommodations, for others it’s more refreshing (and affordable) to take it back to the basics with a camping trip. Some long-lasting family memories can be made around the campfire, and it’s a great way to unplug a little more and help the whole family enjoy being together. With fantastic scenery and lots of parks nearby, Front Royal has great camping options, from riverside to mountain top and more. Check them out here.
6. Front Royal is Fun for all the Family
If you’re bringing kids you’ll want to make sure you plan some fun for them, too. From a fun splash pad for little ones to kayaking, horseback riding, and hiking fun for older ages, there’s plenty kids will love about Front Royal. Skyline Caverns is a great family attraction, and Front Royal’s delicious ice cream shops can provide the perfect sweet ending to any family adventure. See here for more ideas on keeping kids happy and entertained around Front Royal.
Don’t let gas prices ruin your summer plans this year! Plan a local vacation, and discover all the fun you can have without having to log lots of miles. With convenient proximity to the D.C. Metro area, a rustic feel that makes it seem like you’re worlds away, and loads of fun and adventure waiting for you to enjoy, Front Royal is the ideal destination for a local vacation. Bonus: you may even discover a nearby attraction that you’ll be able to return to again and again over the coming year.
Fishing can be relaxing, rewarding, thrilling, or extremely frustrating! But the addictive lure of this sport keeps anglers coming back time and time again. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and immerse yourself in nature, while even (perhaps!) putting some food on the table. With spring temperatures slowly rising and fish becoming more active, now’s a great time to start dreaming about that trophy catch . . . and planning out some fishing spots to hit this season. With the Shenandoah River running right through town, Front Royal boasts loads of exciting fishing opportunities. Read on for our handy guide to fishing around Front Royal. You’ll find some local favorite fishing spots, as well as ideas for making the most out of fishing in Front Royal.
Front Royal’s Favorite Fishing Spots
It’s not too hard to catch sight of the Shenandoah River in Front Royal, but finding an access point where fishing is allowed can be more of a challenge. A great place to start is Eastham Park, where the Boat Launch area provides public access to the river. Morgans Ford Boat Landing is another popular public access point. As the river flows by here, it’s shallow enough for wading, and the boat landing is a popular spot for local fishermen of all ages.
It won’t put you on the banks of the Shenandoah River, but the Gertrude E. Miller Community Park in town is a fun pick for a family fishing trip. With a stocked stretch of Happy Creek running through the park, it’s often possible to get some bites, especially if you arrive not too long after the stocking truck! With playgrounds, the town swimming pool, picnic shelters, and more all close by, you can plan a fishing day at the park that everyone will love.
If you drive a little bit out of town, you’ll find two more easy-to-access fishing spots on the Shenandoah River. Shenandoah River State Park is a wonderful place to fish. With 5.2 miles of river frontage at the park, you’ll find access from secluded trails, as well as from a large riverside picnic area. Or head to Front Royal’s neighboring town of Strasburg and access the river from the Town Park there. You’ll find yet another boat landing and public riverside area where you can throw in your line.
For lake fishing, explore nearby Lake Frederick, where you’ll find a stocked lake that’ll give you a good chance of reeling in some bass.
If you’re looking for more of a fishing challenge, head to Shenandoah National Park or George Washington National Forest. Both of these famed outdoor destination have opportunities to enjoy the adventure of fishing for trout small mountain streams. They are especially sought after destinations for lovers of fly fishing.
Shenandoah River Fishing Trips
The Shenandoah River is a beloved smallmouth bass fishing destination, and you may want to do more than fish from the bank. If so, why not book a fishing trip with Front Royal Outdoors? You can spend a relaxing day enjoying the river, and have access to many more fish than you would from a shore fishing spot.
Already own a boat? Use this map of Front Royal’s boat landings to plan your own fishing trip. Or if you have a boat but need a buddy to pick you up downriver, why not take advantage of Downriver Canoe Company’s shuttle service?
Spending a Fishing Weekend in Front Royal
For enthusiastic fishermen looking to spend a full weekend on their favorite hobby, finding a place to stay near the river can be a dream come true. We have you covered there too. Check out Low Water Bridge Campgrounds for a fun campsite that’s right on the Shenandoah River. If you’re looking for a river trip, you can rent kayaks, canoes, and tubes here too. For RV campers, Twin Rivers RV Campground is another great option. Or head to Elizabeth Furnace Campground in George Washington National Forest, and enjoy family friendly fishing and camping on the banks of scenic Passage Creek.
Looking for something a little more comfortable than a campsite? Rolling River Holidays may have the lodging you’ve been dreaming about. This family-owned-and-operated vacation home company has several gorgeous homes in Virginia’s farmland available to choose from, and many of them include access to the riverfront. Book with Rolling River Holidays and enjoy a vacation on the Shenandoah River with your family or friends (and lots of time to fish included!).
Front Royal’s Licensing and Harvest Regulations
There’s nothing that can spoil a fishing trip like getting a ticket (except maybe not getting any bites!). Don’t forget that if you plan on exploring one of Front Royal’s public fishing spots, you’ll need to make sure you’re carrying the appropriate fishing license for the State of Virginia. If you plan on bringing your catch home, also make sure you’re aware of the specific harvest regulations for the location where you’re fishing.
Front Royal awaits as the destination for your Shenandoah River fishing trip. With a wide choice of river access points, riverside lodging, and fun river trips awaiting, it’s a great starting point to plan an adventure in the famed smallmouth bass waters of the Shenandoah River.
Every fisherman knows that as the weather (and the water) warms up, fish become more active . . . and easier to catch! As spring arrives, the sight of anglers becomes much more common on the many waterways of the Front Royal area.
Today we’re gearing up for the fishing season by shining the spotlight on fly fishing in the Front Royal area. Fly fishing is a specific fishing technique. Instead of using live bait or weighted lures, the fly fisherman uses light weight lures, known as “flies” to attract fish. Some flies are designed to sink below the surface of the water, mimicking small fish or insect larvae, but many float on the surface. The goal? To fool a hungry fish into mistaking them for one of the many flies that enjoy the river’s surface in the warmer months. Because the fly fishing “flies” are so light, the casting technique in fly fishing differs significantly from that used in spin cast fishing.
If this special form of fishing has piqued your interest, Front Royal is a great place to give it a try. Whether you’re a beginning fly-fisher, or an old hand, the Front Royal area has fishing opportunities for all skill levels. Read on for some suggestions of where to go fly fishing in the Front Royal area.
Why Fly Fish?
In certain situations, fly fishing can be more effective than using a spin cast technique. It’s also exciting; if you’re using a surface fly, you’ll often get the thrill of watching the fish come up to tand take it. Many practitioners of fly fishing would also argue that their techniques are more refined and sophisticated than those used in spin casting. But we’ll leave that question for the fishing enthusiasts to debate . . . (preferably in the bar after a day on the river).
Fly Fishing the Shenandoah River in the Front Royal Area
The Shenandoah River is an obvious place to start if you’re looking for a place to fish in the Front Royal area. This scenic river is rightly sought after as a destination for all kinds of water sports, and fishing is no exception. If small mouth bass are your prey of choice, you can’t go wrong planning a day of fly fishing on the Shenandoah.
The Front Royal area has multiple access points to the river. Fishermen can fish from the banks, or plan a river trip from one landing to the next. See here for a map of river access points in Warren County. Looking for a watercraft rental? Peruse our list of local river outfitters here.
Stocked Trout Streams around Front Royal
Smallmouth bass are fun to catch, but the classic target of the fly fisherman is the trout. Finding a stocked trout stream is a great way to “get your feet wet” trout fishing. If you’re lucky enough to time your outing soon after a visit from the stocking truck, you’ll have a high chance of success.
For a family-friendly, easily accessible option, try the Gertrude E. Miller Community Park in Front Royal. A stocked section of Happy Creek runs through the park. There’s also a playground and picnic shelter close by. So the non-fishers, or “short-attention-span-fishers” can have a great time too. This park is a popular location for Front Royal fishing, so expect to see other anglers here.
A more secluded option for stocked trout fishing is Passage Creek in the George Washington National Forest. Here, you’ll find beautiful scenery, peace and quiet, and a classic fly fishing stream experience. To access Passage Creek, head out of Front Royal on VA-55 towards Strasburg, and after 5 miles, take a left onto State Route 678/Fort Valley Road. Passage Creek runs beside this road for a significant distance, and you’ll find several parking spots where you can pull off and access the creek.
(Note that due to construction at the Front Royal fish hatchery, Passage Creek will not be stocked in spring 202.1)
Native Trout Fishing in the Front Royal Area
But while stocked trout fishing is a great way to get started, many experts agree that catching native (not stocked) brook trout in a mountain stream is one of the best ways to experience fly fishing. If you’re in search of a fly fishing adventure along these lines, Front Royal can be your destination too.
The Shenandoah National Park, with its northern entrance located in Front Royal is a great place to fly fish. It’s one of the few coveted spots in the D.C. area where you can find native brook trout. The Rapidan River is one of the most famous native trout habitats in the park. It’s off the beaten track, though, so if you’re planning a fishing trip there, a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. For the adventurous, there are also several native trout streams in the park that are accessible from hiking trails.
Enjoy your fly fishing adventure in the Front Royal area! Before you head out, don’t forget to purchase all appropriate fishing licenses. And if you’re hoping to bring your catch home, be sure to read up on all the harvesting regulations wherever you plan to fish.
There's Peace and Quiet in Those Hills ...
While options may be different than those found in larger cities, there are plenty of unique activities and entertainment to be found in smaller communities such as Front Royal, VA. This small town comes with a rich history and direct access to the Shenandoah Valley and Skyline Drive.
There is so much to do and enjoy that we wanted to provide a day guide for your next visit here!
Stroll Around Town
Small towns in the more rural regions of America are known for their downtown areas with “heritage” buildings, quaint streets, and charming local shops. Front Royal is no exception. Don’t be afraid to venture beyond Main St.! Our town offers many shops, antique stores, outdoors parks and award winning restaurants.
Check out other businesses our town has available to you!
Explore a Museum
Front Royal and Warren County have a unique history. Though the museums may not have a well-known reputation, they are nonetheless a treasure trove of our culture, background, and insights.
Check out our other historic places of interest around town!
Go Out for Coffee
It is common to find groups of friends sitting at local coffee shops for hours on weekday and Saturday mornings. Coffee shops are also popular hangouts for the older, retired crowd. You can experience several hours of relaxation for the cost of one cup of coffee.
Skyline Drive Sightseeing
Skyline Drive is a National Scenic Byway. Though autumn is the most popular time to travel along Skyline Drive, with its breathtaking foliage, spring offers the pale green of trees waking up from a long winter, colorful wildflowers, as well as blooming azaleas and mountain laurel.
How long does it take to get through the park? With over 75 scenic overlooks along the way, most people allow three to four hours to drive the 105-mile length of Skyline Drive.
You’ll find some of the most scenic golf courses within the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains. The views here are amazing!
For Disc Golf lovers we have Rockland Park Disc Golf Course
Here you’ll find a complete list of area golf courses.
Go Fishing or Hunting
The Shenandoah River has been regarded as one of the best smallmouth rivers in the world. Pair that with the Blue Ridge Mountains to explore the best fishing and hunting in Virginia!
To learn more about the best places to dock, check out our recent blog!
One of the benefits of a small town is that there can be a lot of open space not too far away. Sometimes, it can be a ton of fun to pack a bag and head outside of town. If you have kids, hiking can be a chance to spend some time together, while you teach them how much fun it can be to explore!
Check out some of our best trails!
Everyone has a different reason to go camping. Many want to disconnect from high tech and reconnect with the outdoors. Families go camping to get away from distractions at home and to rejuvenate relationships. Camping means different things to different people.
Not sure where to stay? Here are some great choices!
Go Canoeing or Kayaking
The Shenandoah Valley offers numerous rivers ideal for canoeing and kayaking for all experience levels. The most famous is the Shenandoah River, which runs parallel to Front Royal.
Don’t feel like toting your own vessel, or maybe you don’t own one? Don’t worry, we have you covered!
Check out the following business to rent your own:
Support the Community by staying at a local B&B
Staying at a bed and breakfast is the perfect choice of lodging when you need a relaxing escape. You can find B&Bs almost anywhere you go, and they provide much better value than hotels. From personalized attention to delicious food, there are many reasons to choose a bed and breakfast over a hotel - especially in Front Royal.
When you are on the road, away from home, travelers seek to experience a deeper connection with the places they visit. The bed and breakfast industry, is known for its hospitality, which is why you see many B&B’s and Inns receive great ratings for this very quality.
Each bed and breakfast has its own history and its own style of accommodation. A B&B gives you the sense of being home because the rooms are both comfortable and elegant.
B&B’s are small businesses. Innkeepers take tremendous pride in their work. Not only that, they feel a responsibility to make sure their guests are comfortable and cared for.
And then there is the food! Home-cooked meals, with locally sourced ingredients, make the start of the day an enjoyable one. A freshly-prepared, delicious breakfast means the world to travelers who are far from home.
Front Royal and Warren County have a bevy of choices:
When was the last time you truly saw the stars in a night’s sky? A distinct advantage of a small-town visit is having the chance to see the stars! Stick around for an evening so you can see for yourself.
Public Parks & Gardens
From botanical gardens and arboretums to fun playgrounds and community parks, there’s something to please everyone!
Here are additional parks and places of interest to visit!
A Final Thought!
There are many ways to enjoy small towns and their surrounding areas. These economical and creative solutions can be a great way for visitors to enjoy just as much as you would in the big city. They may not seem as grand, but they can be just as educational, entertaining, and fun!
Fun, relaxation, and the outdoors await in Front Royal. It’s in our nature!
Discover Front Royal