Did you know that various studies like the “bridge study” seem to indicate that experiencing a rush of adrenaline with someone special can help you fall more in love? This phenomenon may be related to the fact that adrenaline is one of the primary hormones that surges through your body in the early stages of falling in love. Adrenaline also peaks during moments of excitement or risk. Enjoy a different kind of Valentine’s Day this year, by planning adventure and excitement with your significant other. Going on an adventure together can help you fall in love, stay in love, and rekindle the spark. And there’s no better place to do it than Front Royal!
Pair a fun outdoor adventure with the beautiful scenery surrounding the Front Royal area (and a gourmet dinner to finish the day off!), and you have the perfect recipe for romance. Read on for eight ideas on introducing adventure into your relationship in the Front Royal area.
1. Take a Romantic Hike
A hike is a classic way to adventure in the great outdoors and share great conversations. If you’re looking for a romantic hiking adventure, the Front Royal area is a great place to be. Check out one of the many fun hikes surrounding the Front Royal area. To make your hike extra adventurous, try one that’s not familiar. Or head to a scenic outlook such as Buzzard Rock or Old Rag (starting March 1st you’ll need to reserve tickets in advance) and experience the thrill of the mountain top together.
2. Scale a Rock Face
If you’ve ever tried rock climbing, you’ll know it’s a great way to bond with friends and experience an adrenaline rush. For a special date, book a rock climbing class in the Front Royal area, or if you’re an experienced climber, plan an expedition of your own. For indoor climbing, check out the bouldering wall at Front Royal’s BattleGrounds Fitness.
3. Watch the Sunset
Watching the sunset together is a classic way to enjoy being with someone you love. Front Royal’s Skyline Drive has some great overlooks for watching the sunset from the gorgeous crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s best to pick a roadside overlook (on the west side!) so you don’t have the unplanned adventure of trying to hike back to your car in the dark. But lingering in the outdoors as darkness settles over the landscape can be a great opportunity to enjoy some beautiful moments together. Head back to town after the sunset for a delicious dinner date. Or for a more extended adventure, pack a picnic and stay at the overlook for some stargazing.
4. Stare up at the stars
The Front Royal area is a great place to stargaze, and enjoying a starry sky together is another classic way for lovers to bond over natural beauty and a sense of adventure. See here for some great tips on stargazing around Front Royal. For extra romance bring a camp stove to make hot chocolate and some blankets to keep cozy.
5. Throw Axes Together
For an adventurous activity that’s less “out there” and more conveniently close to Front Royal’s fantastic restaurants, check out Shenandoah Valley Axe Co. Offers super friendly atmosphere where you can bond over the thrill of trying out a new and unique activity that will make you feel like a Viking warrior. P.S. - They have some fabulous food and drinks too! Hint, hint!
6. Start Training for an Adventure Race
Taking on a challenging adventure race together as a couple can be a great way for lovers of each other and the outdoors to bond, get fit, and experience tons of adrenaline. The Front Royal area is the host of two epic adventure races in the spring, the Shenandoah Epic and the Shenanduro. Both are stiff physical challenges and have a category for two person teams. You won’t be participating in either race on Valentine’s Day, but surprising your significant other with a race registration and joint training program could be a truly special gift.
7. Give the Gift of an Adventure to Look Forward to
With Valentine’s Day falling in winter time, it’s not the best time of year to experience all aspects of the outdoors. But surprising a loved one with tickets for an adventure in warmer weather can be a great way to make them feel loved. Skydiving might be the ultimate adrenaline rush experience for adventure seekers. For a more relaxing adventure, plan a river trip with a Front Royal outfitter.
8. End your Adventure with that Romantic Dinner in Front Royal
Whether you’re looking for a way to unwind after a day of adventure, or have simply decided that you’d prefer to keep it traditional this Valentine’s Day, Front Royal has loads of options for a less adventurous celebration, including gourmet dining, dance classes, art studios and more. See here for some great ways to get cozy and relax on Valentine’s Day (note that special events listed in this article may not be up to date – check directly with the individual businesses). Don’t miss Front Royal’s Chocolate Crawl leading up to Valentine’s Day to support and get to know our local businesses better and maybe even win some chocolate.
We don’t have anything against candle-lit dinners and bouquets of flowers, but if you’re looking to spark some extra excitement in your romance this Valentine’s Day, planning an adventure date may be just what you’re looking for. Feeling that adrenaline rush together can help stir up feelings of romance, love, and excitement. With scenic beauty, adventure awaiting, and cozy restaurants to unwind in, Front Royal might just have it all. Head to Front Royal for a truly memorable Valentine’s weekend.
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, or Down River 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.
Be sure to attend C & C Frozen Treats 7th Annual Family Fun Day on Saturday, May 7th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on East Main Street! It's the perfect event for a family outing!
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 whole family can enjoy playgrounds, sand volleyball, tennis, basketball, and more.
For the art appreciation moms, ARTFEST maybe the perfect end to a perfect day! Come and enjoy beautiful live music 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 for some refreshment. Here you’ll find craft beers made with hops grown right on the farm. The brewery is open from 12-8 on Sundays, so on Mother’s Day you can enjoy brunch, lunch, or dinner!
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.
May is finally here, the end of the school year is well in sight, and (if you haven’t already) it’s a great time to start making travel and tourism plans for the summer. In Front Royal, we love the many guests who pass through our small town. May 1-7 is Travel and Tourism Week, and we’re joining the celebration by recognizing the fantastic folks who find something to draw them to Front Royal. There are so many things to love about Front Royal, that tourists come into town for many different reasons. Read on for our handy guide to six kinds of tourists/travelers you’ll find passing through town!
1. Hiking Legends
The most legendary hike in the U.S.A. is unquestionably the Appalachian Trail. Large numbers of dedicated hikers taking on the daunting challenge of hiking the over-two-thousand mile trail every year. As the Appalachian Trail passes close by Front Royal, it’s not surprising that many of them drop by our town. In fact, with an affordable shuttle service from the trail to the town, a free locker, laundry, and shower service, a premium gear shop, and fantastic restaurants to fill hungry hikers, it’s not surprising that Front Royal is a favorite stop for Appalachian Trail hikers. There’s even lodging specifically provided by and for Appalachian Trail enthusiasts. An officially designated Appalachian Trail Community, Front Royal has become a model for many of the towns that host Appalachian Trail hikers every year.
If you enjoy hiking, you don’t have to be undertaking the Appalachian Trail to find some hiking to love around Front Royal. Shenandoah National Park is another favorite hiking location, with stunning scenery and hikes ranging from easy to challenging, including the beloved Old Rag.
2. River Relaxers
For those who enjoy fishing, boating, swimming, tubing, or anything that requires a river, Front Royal is a dream destination. With the North and South Forks of the scenic and lovely Shenandoah River meeting right in town, there are so many opportunities for river recreation that Front Royal is known as the Canoe Capital of Virginia. Bring your own gear, or work with one of our friendly outfitters. You’ll find an enthusiastic welcome, a beautiful river, and a boatload of memories waiting to be made! Check out Front Royal’s riverside campgrounds for even more time to enjoy the river.
“Leaf-Peepers” are the tourists known for pursuing the stunning sights of the changing leaves of fall throughout. Fall is a great time of year to visit Front Royal. With Shenandoah National Park one of the top leaf-peeping destinations in the country, October is a popular month for visitors. Head to Front Royal to access the park and enjoy the stunning vistas of vibrant fall colors spread across the Blue Ridge Mountains.
From to farm-to-table operations, pick-your-own farms, craft breweries and internationally acclaimed restaurants, the Front Royal area has plenty to keep a foodie happy for a long, long time. Plan a weekend or longer to explore the gourmet food options of the Front Royal area, and enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner Front Royal style!
5. Wine Lovers
With sensational sipping spaces, rolling vineyards, and stunning mountain views, Front Royals wineries are a special destination for all lovers of wine . . . from the casual to the connoisseur. Pack a picnic, enjoy a tasting, or buy a bottle. There are so many ways to enjoy the amazing Virginia wines and wineries of the Front Royal area. Don’t forget to stop by Front Royal Wines before you leave town and pick up some souvenirs to bring home.
6. Big City Escapees
Living and working in the big city takes its toll, and sometimes you just need a little WanderLOVE. For residents and commuters in the D.C. Metro area, Front Royal is the ideal destination to find that love and enjoy a country weekend. Less than a 90 minute drive from central Washington D.C., it’s convenient enough for a day or weekend trip, but still rural enough that you’ll feel like you’ve truly entered a different world. Break free of the city and head to Front Royal for fun, adventure, relaxation, and restoration.
Front Royal draws visitors for many reasons, and it’s a dream destination for a variety of tourists and travelers. Do you find yourself drawn to join one (or more!) of our groups of happy visitors? If so, make plans for your trip to Front Royal today! You’ll find yourself wanting to come back again and again!
Our National Parks are some of America’s greatest treasures, and they’ve been getting steadily more popular in recent years. In fact, crowds are actually becoming a problem in many of America’s favorite places to enjoy peace, quiet, and nature’s beauty.
It’s up to the National Park Service to make sure these treasures stay enjoyable for us today, and are preserved for many generations to come. That’s why several national parks are introducing new ticketing policies to limit impact on the ecosystem, and to improve every visitor’s experience.
The Front Royal area’s own Shenandoah National Park is seeing some significant changes in 2022. But there’s no need to be intimidated. Discover Front Royal has you covered with this guide to all the upcoming changes at Shenandoah National Park. Read on to find the information you need to make sure your visit to the Park goes according to plan.
Tickets to be Required for Old Rag Hike
The biggest change Shenandoah National Park visitors will experience is a ticketing system designed to reduce crowds at Old Rag. One of the park’s most popular hikes, Old Rag has begun to suffer from overcrowding during peak seasons of the year. Starting March 1, 2022 Old Rag hikers will need to pre-purchase a $1 ticket to secure their spot on the mountain’s famous trails.
Don’t worry, the system is designed to give everyone a fair chance. Tickets can only be purchased up to thirty days in advance, so a little advance planning should give you the Old Rag access you want. And you’ll have the added bonus of enjoying a more secluded hiking experience.
Head here to purchase Old Rag tickets and here for more information. Note: Old Rag tickets will not be available at the trailhead and must be purchased in advance.
Camping Fee Changes at Shenandoah National Park
Going forward, campers at Shenandoah National Park can expect to pay a little more for their stay. Campground users will now pay $30 per night, with the fee for group campsites going up to $75. It’s a raise in fees that’s been long in coming; camping fees at Shenandoah National Park haven’t changed since 2007. The Park Service will use the increased revenues to make improvements and updates to the campgrounds, such as adding new fire grates and picnic tables.
And coming in 2023, the park will also introduce new fees for back country campers, so they can fund their efforts to ensure that camping at Shenandoah National Park remains safe and fun for everyone.
Free Lifetime Passes for Veterans and Gold Star Families
But it’s not all about fees going up! In 2022, free lifetime passes to National Parks and more (including Shenandoah National Park) will become available for America’s veterans and Gold Star Families. So those who have sacrificed so much can enjoy some of America’s greatest treasures at no cost. Check here to see who’s eligible and learn how to claim your lifetime pass!
With the warmer weather coming, it’s a great time to start dreaming of outdoor adventure in and around Front Royal. If Shenandoah National Park is in your plans for 2022, look forward to less crowds and improved camping facilities to come.
Discover Front Royal