We live in a world where it’s easy to swing by the grocery store and take your pick from a wide selection of foods shipped from all corners of the world. But some are choosing to limit or completely eliminate their consumption of foods from far off lands, and focus on foods produced closer at hand. The local food movement is growing, and with terms like “locavore” and “farm-to-table” popping up more and more often, you’ve probably heard of it at least once. But maybe you’re wondering what all the buzz is about? We’ve rounded up four reasons you might consider eating more local foods, as well as some great sources for local foods and farm fun in the Front Royal area. With spring well underway, a new season of fresh local produce is beginning, and it’s a great time to explore Front Royal’s local farms.
1. Eating Local Is Better For You
It might be hard to believe there’s any difference between eating spinach shipped from Peru versus eating spinach raised on a local farm (or in your own backyard!). But evidence suggests that locally grown food is better for you. It’s fresher, of course, and it’s been shown to contain more nutrients than food shipped over long distances. It only makes sense when you think about it. After all, eating local is part of nature’s design for humans! Most people through history have eaten primarily what could be produced or gathered from nearby, with goods from far off being more of an occasional treat or luxury (if available at all!).
2. Eating Local Improves Food Security
When you eat foods shipped from far away, you’re dependent on a long chain of people and machines all being able to do their jobs. When you eat local, it’s just between you and the farmer. There are many fewer possibilities for disrupting such a short supply chain.
3. Eating Local Supports Your Neighboring Farmers
Farmers do really important work! After all, food production has to come high on the list of human necessities. But as consumers turn more and more to grocery stores, it’s hard for the small famers to make a go of it. If a small farm can’t support itself by selling locally, the farmer will either quit or get swallowed up by big food corporations and become another link on a supply chain that’s too long! So support your local farmers today so they’ll still be there tomorrow when our world needs them!
4. Eating Local can be Fun and Convenient!
Eating local can be lots of fun. There’s something about taking a drive into the country and picking up your food right where it grew that a grocery store just can’t replace. Take it a step further by enjoying a “pick your own” outing, or planning a tour of the farm while you’re there.
Don’t have time for a trip to the farm? Many small scale farmers will meet at a designated pick up point or even deliver to your door, so eating local can be even more convenient than a trip to the grocery store!
Finding Local Food on Front Royal’s Farms
If you’re sold on incorporating more local foods into your diet, you’re probably wondering where to find them around Front Royal. If you want to buy directly from the farm, Front Royal has some great options. Check out Valley View Farm for a scenic and historic local farm where you can shop a “locavore farm market,” take a farm tour, and even enjoy a glass of locally produced cider, mead, or wine. Explore their CSA program for an affordable option that will bring a delicious stream of local produce your way all season long. If you’re looking for local grass fed beef, Cottonwood Ranch is a great place to start. Buy individual cuts, or choose the budget friendly options and fill your freezer with a whole, half, or quarter cow!
If you’re looking for more farm fun and pick-your-own options, Green Truck Farm and Hollins Farm are two more amazing local farms. Both are great destinations for fruit picking, starting as early as May. At Hollins Farm, you can come and harvest your own veggies as well as fruit.
To buy herb plants right from the farm, go to Sunflower Cottage farm. You’ll bring a little garden home with you. If you’re a lover of all things herbal, plan to attend the Virginia Herb Festival here (May 21-22 2022). Stop by the on-site Backroom Brewery to enjoy a beer from hops grown right there on the farm.
Most flowers aren’t edible, but bringing nature’s beauty into your home can feed the soul! For another fun, pick your own adventure, explore Clover Hill Farm, where you can pick your own flowers, as well as sign up for a gardening class. If you’re looking for a weekend of farm life, book a stay at Clover Hill’s Airbnb, and enjoy views of the farm’s Angus beef herd, as well as taking advantage of the flower operation.
Finding Local Food in Front Royal’s Stores
Sometimes, you just don’t have time to make it out to the farm for your food. The good news is that you can find farm fresh, local foods in Front Royal without having to head out to the countryside. Main Street’s Manor Line Market is a farm-to-table restaurant, alongside a local food market, all run by farmers from nearby Browntown. It’s a combination you’ll definitely want to check out. The Apple House, on the way out of town, is one of Front Royal’s favorite stops for ice cream, barbecue food, and apple cider donuts. Stop by the gift shop to find a range of Virginia products, raised and made by local farmers and artisans.
Super excited to share that on the first and third Saturdays of April through November, take your search for local foods to DL Community Market! This farmers market in Front Royal is a great place to find and support local farmers, cheesemakers, artisans, and more!
Take the time to explore Front Royal’s farms this growing season and you’ll find plenty of treasure are waiting for you. With a variety of local, healthy, and delicious food available from beautiful farms of the Shenandoah Valley, you may even find that shopping is as enjoyable as eating!
As the calendar turns to February, thoughts of romance begin to warm the winter air. If you’re planning an evening with a special someone look no further than the Front Royal area! You’ll find that a small town Valentine’s Day is the perfect setting for your romance to blossom. Read on for five tips (plus a bonus!) on celebrating Valentine’s Day (or any romantic occasion) in the Front Royal area. With fine dining, fun activities for couples, special events with local businesses, and wineries aplenty, there’s a way for everyone to keep the romance going (and maybe fall in love with Front Royal, too!)
1. Sample Front Royal’s Fine Dining
Nothing says “I love you” quite like dinner at an elegant table for two. If you’re in search of a traditional dinner date Front Royal’s fine dining eateries are at your disposal. Don’t forget to make a reservation! With Valentine’s weekend being one of the busiest of the year in restaurants, you’ll want to make sure you secure your table well in advance.
Mark your calendar for Saturday February 12 to take advantage of the four course Valentine’s dinner at ViNoVA Mediterranean Bistro. Go here to make your reservation and enjoy four delicious courses, a bottle of wine, and a special dessert cocktail. Eat, drink, and fall in love!
For a local craft brewery in a modern setting with delicious pub food, plan your Valentine’s Dinner at Front Royal’s own Vibrissa Beer. You may even catch a glimpse of Cupid while you eat.
The Element on Main Street is Front Royal’s classic fine dining option. You’ll find gourmet food and the atmosphere to go with it. Or for another fine dining options, lovers of Asian cuisine, should visit Try Thai on Main Street.
2. Explore a Casual Dining Spot that Locals Love
If you’re not in the mood for formal dining, a fun, casual eatery can also be a setting for great date. Today, we’re featuring two old Front Royal favorites where locals have been making great memories for years!
If there’s one restaurant in Front Royal that pizza lovers shouldn’t miss, it’s The Melting Pot! This local favorite has been feeding pizza to Front Royal for over 50 years. Some locals have been making memories here for a lifetime!
For a fun twist on the traditional dinner date, why not try a breakfast date instead? The Apple House is an old Front Royal area favorite that gets you out of town, but doesn’t involve a long drive. Don’t forget to end your meal with one of their famous apple butter donuts! Or come back in the evening for a drink, appetizers, and a sandwich at the Apple House’s newly opened Bushel Pub. With a drink menu full of Virginia wines and Virginia Craft Beers, it’s a great date-spot for lovers of local products.
3. Take a Dance Class
What could be more romantic than enjoying a dance together? If you or your partner have two left feet, don’t worry! Jig ’N’ Jive Dance Studio offers private ballroom and swing dance classes for couples. Have fun together, learn a new skill, and listen to romantic music, all at the same time!
4. Enjoy Special Valentine’s Events with Local Businesses
It’s impossible to enjoy all the Valentine’s fun on one day! That’s why Front Royal’s favorite local businesses have banded together to plan some fun events leading up to the big fourteenth.
The week of February 7-14, take part in the second annual Warren County Chocolate Crawl. Explore Front Royal and receive a special treat or discount at participating businesses.
Bring five receipts from participating businesses to the Visitors Center to enter their I LOVE Main Street $250 Giveaway! The winner will receive $250 in gift cards to all your favorite main street businesses. Stop by the Visitors Center for details.
On February 12, enjoy extra fun on Main Street from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the I LOVE Main Street event.
February 12th and 13th are also a great days to try out axe throwing with your date! Shenandoah Valley Axe Co. is offering a Valentine’s special that features 1.5 hours of axe throwing as well as coaching and refreshments. Make your reservation today!
If you’re coming into town a week early, no worries! Main Street’s local businesses also have some Valentines-themed fun planned for the “First Friday” weekend of February 4-6.
5. Sip on a Glass of Virginia Wine
There’s something about the experience of sharing a glass of wine that is both memorable and romantic. If you’re in search of a wine date, the Front Royal area has a wealth of amazing local wineries. Rappahannock Cellars, and Fox Meadow Winery are two nearby favorites that combine delectable wines with all the classy winery atmosphere you love.
6. Don’t Forget to Plan Something for the Kids
Not strictly a date idea, but all parents know that the babysitting is an essential aspect of date planning. If you’re planning your night out for Saturday February 12, you’re in luck! Entertain them and let them burn off some energy at Battlegrounds Fitness. They’ll enjoy a night of fun, games, and healthy exercise. Bonus: they should be tired enough to collapse into bed right when you get home, giving you even more quiet time together! All ages from “potty-trained” on up are welcome.
You deserve a night on the town and it helps knowing your kids will be playing and having fun too! That's why Code Ninjas offers Parent's Night Out - definitely a win-win evening for entire families! Drop the kiddos off where they will play games, assemble puzzles, build robotics, and more! Code Ninjas is offering this service on Saturday, February 12th from 6 PM to 9 PM and on Valentine's Day, February 14th from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM.
Once you've had a chance to unwind, swing by to pick them up (please) and hear about all the fun they've had!
Bonus: Take your picture by the LOVE Sign
While you’re out and about town on your date, don’t forget that Front Royal has a great spot for a fun photo shoot. Stop by Front Royal’s LOVE sign (located by the downtown gazebo and Commerce Street by Pavement). It’s the perfect background for taking a memorable picture together. While you’re there, stop by the Visitor Center to claim a special treat just for visitors to the area.
There really are almost unlimited options for romantic outings in the Front Royal area. After all, anything can be romantic when you’re with the love of your life on Valentine’s Day! To get more ideas for a fun activity that you’ll both enjoy, see our posts here and here. It’s easy to fall in love in Front Royal!
Shopping is one of the major tasks of the holiday season for many of us, but it doesn’t have to be and exhausting trek through miles of products at your local big brand-name store. What if we rediscovered a way to shop where we can:
We’ve rounded up a list of three great reasons to shop local. Read on to learn more about why shopping local is a great way to cover your needs this holiday season . . . and the rest of the year too!
1. Shopping Local Helps the Local Community
It might seem that it doesn’t make much of a difference to the local area whether you shop at your nearest Walmart, or at a locally-owned small business. After all, both are providing jobs for people in the local community, right? While it’s true that the arrival of a big brand-name store can boost local economy, it’s been shown that small businesses generally reinvest more in the local community than large corporations.
It makes sense when you think about it. Spend money at a big brand store, and you’ll help fill the paycheck of local employees, but the top executives will also take their cut: and they most likely live hundreds of miles away. On the other hand, the money that your small business owner makes is what they use to cover their daily expenses. So instead of ending up in the hands of strangers across the world, your money will be going to your local doctor, your local soccer coach, and other local shops and restaurants. The message is simple: shop local if you want your money to stay around!
Small businesses have been shown to bring up the value of nearby real estate too, as a vibrant and exciting shopping area attracts new residents to a community. So shopping local could even help you sell your house one day!
2. Shopping Local Helps the World
Shopping local doesn’t just help the local community, it helps the whole world. The fuel and packaging used to transport food and goods for hundreds (often thousands) of miles, all have their impact on the global ecosystem. Think about all the amazon boxes piling up in your garage or your trash can! Buy from a local business and you can significantly cut down on the packaging in your life . . . and in the world!
Supporting local businesses is also an important step towards adding security to the supply chain. And that’s good for everyone. As we were all reminded in 2020, being completely dependent on goods shipped from thousands of miles away by a handful of big companies isn’t a good thing. The system is vulnerable to disruption, and disruption can mean being forced to do without what we need.
By contrast, local businesses are more secure. Because their products aren’t coming from far, far away, they can continue to provide them through a variety of crises. Support your local businesses today, so they’ll be here tomorrow when we all need them!
3. Shopping Local is More Fun for You!
Finally, shopping local can be a lot more fun. You’ll have the chance to meet and chat with business owners, peruse high quality merchandise, and even experience the thrill of uncovering a great find. Walk the streets, relax, and enjoy the satisfaction of shopping small and local!
Front Royal is a great place to begin your adventure in shopping local. With a wide variety of fantastic locally owned businesses, you’ll be able to meet many of your needs without leaving town! See here for our helpful list of Front Royal’s shops.
So while it may be easier to hop onto Amazon and find anything you want at the click of a button, why not do something different this year? Enjoy high-quality, locally produced goods, and help make the world a better place while you do it! This holiday season, give yourself and the world the gift of a brighter future; choose to shop local.
There’s something about the traditions of a small-town Christmas that are especially magical. If you’re looking to fill the season of joy with some small-town festivity, plan a visit to Front Royal. You’ll find every weekend packed with holiday fun! Join our small community, support local business, and experience the magic of Front Royal’s holiday traditions. Read on to discover the best of Front Royal’s holiday celebrations this year.
1. Start out Right with Pancakes
The first Saturday of December starts the season off with a bang! Head to Warren County High School on December 4, and enjoy a drive-thru pancake breakfast sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Front Royal. You can support a great cause, and fuel up for your day at the same time! But don’t head home yet! There’s plenty more on Front Royal’s Calendar today!
2. Celebrate with the Town at the Front Royal Christmas Festival and Parade
A beloved annual tradition, the Front Royal Christmas Festival and Parade is scheduled for December 4. It’s a great time to be on Front Royal’s Main Street! Enjoy an afternoon of live performances, a free Christmas movie showing, and more. The parade starts at 4 p.m., so you can watch the best of Front Royal roll by, including many of our favorite local businesses and organizations. Do some Christmas shopping beforehand, or grab some gourmet coffee or baked goods to enjoy while you watch.
3. Main Street Holiday Lights
Front Royal’s picturesque holiday lights traditionally come on at the end of the Christmas Festival. Stick around to watch the ceremony, or come back any evening during the holidays and enjoy the display in the Main Street area.
4. Christmas Classic Showings at Royal Cinemas
If you miss the movie showing at the Christmas festival, no worries! Come back to Royal Cinemas any weekend in December to enjoy the screening of a Christmas Classic! It’s a great way to relax and get in a festive mood after a day of shopping, exploring the town, or outdoor adventure.
5. Bring Refinement to your Holiday at the Blue Ridge Singers Holiday Concert
If you’re looking for the place where fine arts and Christmas festivity meet, check out the Blue Ridge Singers Holiday Concert. Coming to Front Royal on Friday, December 10, this local group performs challenging choral music in a way that will leave you enchanted and looking for more!
6. Explore our Christmas Market
If you’re a lover of Christmas Markets, you won’t want to miss Front Royal’s! The Front Royal Indoor Market on December 12, will be the place to finish up your holiday shopping! Check out local vendors, enjoy blacksmithing, stained glass making, and other crafts, and maybe even run into Santa Claus!
7. Watch the Band Play in the Holidays!
Another Front Royal Favorite, the American Legion Community Band Concert is a free show to put you in the holiday spirit. If the sound of the band is what tells you it’s the holidays, you won’t want to miss this one!
8. Enjoy some Holiday-Flavored Ice Cream
It’s never too cold for ice cream! If you need your taste buds to remind you that it’s the holidays, don’t forget to stop by Spelunker’s! This local legend has some of the best burgers and fries around, but their frozen custard is truly out of this world. Their holiday custard flavors are highly anticipated, and for good reason! Upcoming delights include Candy Cane Blast, Caramel Sweet Potato, Peach Pecan, and Eggnog. Check their facebook page for a full schedule of flavor-of-the-day offerings. Don’t leave a stop at Spelunker’s out of your day in Front Royal!
With a calendar full of quintessential holiday events, great Christmas shopping options, and delicious ice cream to top it all off, Front Royal is a great place to celebrate the holidays! Plan your holiday outings in Front Royal now! Maybe you’ll find a new tradition that’ll keep you coming back year after year.
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