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!
Guest Post by Taylor Jones.
Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, it is all upon us this holiday season. Despite all things 2020 - Front Royal has leveled up this year! In years prior it may not have been as easy to holiday shop locally but this year things are different. Local business is thriving! I’ve gathered a list of local spots that can make all your holiday present dreams come true.
First up is Inklings on Main Street. If you haven’t been through to visit this brand new spot you are missing out! They have great gifts from local vendors, vintage clothing, and all things Shenandoah related. This is a great place to shop for the person in your life who loves and takes pride in the Shenandoah Valley - as they have tons of mugs, posters, and puzzles that are Shenandoah themed. You can also find artisanal soaps, candles, and lotions! This place is chock full of things you probably didn’t know existed but are the perfect gifts for your family and friends.
It wouldn’t be a local gift guide without a shoutout for The Apple House - whether you’re looking for a fun hot sauce, cool socks, a funny tea towel, or some beautiful jewelry you’re looking for The Apple House. You may know them for their donuts and great barbecue but they are so much more. This place is quintessential to our town and they will not disappoint you or your gift receiving loved ones. P.S. - They offer holiday catering too!
Stokes…. I truly believe Stokes General Store is the most slept on spot in Front Royal. Stokes has so many great gift options and not just the ones you would think. They sell guns, and knives, and all things adventure related for that person in your life. But they also sell Carhart jackets, Minnetonka footwear, cast iron skillets, all kinds of boots and shoes; they’ve got it all. My favorite Denim jackets will never go out of style and Stokes offers them at a fair price and the chance to support a local shop!
Another great option for your adventure loving friends is Mountain Trails on Main Street! Mountain Trails is a real gem. They sell Patagonia outerwear and Blundstone boots and all the beanies you could ever wish for. They also sell sleeping bags, the fancy and coveted HydroFlasks and all sorts of warm flannels. Mountain Trails isn’t just an obvious choice for your adventuring loved ones, they have gifts for the whole family! They also have a store in Winchester!
A new spot with lots of great new options is Turnmeyer Galleries on South Street! They sell fun Front Royal Christmas puzzles, beautiful ornaments, and Shenandoah-themed mugs! Turnmeyer Galleries also sells beautiful images of the local scenery, in a number of different mediums. It is also a great spot to buy Yankee Candles locally!
Mystic Mountain Trading Company has lots of great options for your hippy friends! They have all the colored tapered candles, crystals, wind-chimes, and warm blankets you could desire. Mystic Mountain has gifts you may not have thought of but are sure to be crowd pleasers!
And last but not least, Royal Oak Bookshop! Royal Oak Bookshop is a representation of all the best things in our town. Packed to the brim with all sorts of books (local or otherwise) this shop is undervalued. This Holiday season you can call to place an order for any book, they’ll wrap it, and send it anywhere in the world! They also have a bunch of great books about our local history that would interest anyone who has lived in our town for long. The staff are friendly and helpful, including the shop cat.
There are so many other great shops in Front Royal but these are just a select few. Remember to shop local if you can this year. It is more important than ever for our local businesses to be able to stay afloat and support their families throughout 2020 and beyond!
Have a Happy Holiday!
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