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.
With local farms in full swing, grapes starting to weigh down the vines, and pick your own farms all over the map, summer in Virginia is a time of plenty. It’s a great time to enjoy some fresh, local produce, and heading to a rural area like Front Royal definitely brings you closer to where your food is coming from. Discover Front Royal is will be featuring our local foods throughout the season, with tips on where to find them and how to enjoy them.
Today we’re giving you the run down on two fantastic local products, as well as a recipe to combine them for a delicious summer drink to enjoy on a balmy summer evening. Read on to discover Front Royal’s strawberries, wine, and Strawberry Sangria!
Finding Local Strawberries around Front Royal
In the category of popular, early summer produce, strawberries are high on the list. Fun to pick, delicious to eat, and at the center of countless summer dishes and desserts, strawberries are a summer staple. They also boast numerous health benefits including vitamin C and antioxidants. Strawberries are available in grocery stores all year round, but did you know that food grown in your local area and freshly picked in season has been shown to boast greater nutritional value than food shipped from far away? It tastes better too! Taking advantage of some locally grown strawberries this summer is fun and healthy at the same time!
Wondering where to find farm fresh strawberries? Head to Front Royal! Picking your own is lots of fun for all the family and you can do it here. In the Front Royal area, strawberry picking season can start as early as mid-May, and typically continues through June. Hartland Orchard/Green Truck Farms and Hollin Farms are popular locations for pick your own strawberries. Farming and weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to check ahead and make sure picking is available before heading to the farm. Don’t have time to pick? At Hartland, you can purchase strawberries pre-picked for your convenience.
Sip on Virginia Wines
Strawberries taste great with another outstanding product of the Front Royal area: wine! Many wines pair well with strawberries. If you head to one of Front Royal’s wineries for a strawberry picnic, the staff can help you pick out the perfect bottle.
Why not make a day of it, with strawberry picking in the morning followed by a relaxing afternoon at a local winery? If you’re planning on picking at Hartland Orchard or Hollin Farms, Arterra Wines is an amazing winery option close by. Here you’ll find unique wines created with no additives. Even the yeasts used to ferment the wine are those naturally occurring on the grape skins. If you’re sensitive to some of the additives typically found in wines, or if you’re simply looking to clean up your diet (while still enjoying wine!), this winery is a must-visit!
Valley View Farm (though not a winery) is another convenient option for berry pickers where you can enjoy locally produced wines in a beautiful setting. Or check out Aspen Dale Winery for another amazing winery close by. With beautiful, extensive grounds to explore, it’s a great place for the whole family to relax and enjoy a picnic.
See a more extensive list of the Front Royal area’s wineries here.
Bring it Home and Enjoy Strawberry Sangria
Enjoying Front Royal’s fantastic local fare doesn’t have to stop when you get home. Bring a bottle of wine (or a few!) and some strawberries home and combine them to make a classic summer drink: Strawberry Sangria! Recipes for this summer favorite can be as simple or as complicated as you like, but this one’s a good place to start. Featuring just wine, strawberries, and a few other simple ingredients, it’s a sangria recipe that’s easy to make with primarily Front Royal-sourced ingredients! Plan ahead and chill overnight for best results. Enjoying this refreshing summer beverage is a great way to experience a taste of the Shenandoah Valley!
A wine and strawberries day in Front Royal Virginia is a perfect way to experience local produce and summer in the Shenandoah Valley all at once. Enjoy the fruits of the season and the stunning countryside, and leave with a tasty treat to enjoy at home.
The hot days of summer have many of us looking for opportunities to swim. There’s nothing more refreshing in the middle of the summer’s heat than having the chance to splash around and cool off in the water. Swimming also has great health and fitness benefits. It’s a low impact way to exercise that’s still toning for the whole body. If you’re looking for a place to swim around Front Royal this summer, read on! With multiple local pools open to the public, great access options for the Shenandoah River, and several beautiful natural swimming holes in the area, Front Royal is a great place to swim. Check out our guide to Front Royal swimming and pack your swimsuits and towels for a memorable and refreshing swimming adventure.
Hitting the Pool in Front Royal
Memorial Day Weekend often signals the beginning of outdoor pool season. In the Front Royal area it’s time to get ready for some serious swimming with two beautiful outdoor pools open to the public that the whole family is sure to enjoy.
Front Royal’s most centrally located pool is the Claude A. Stokes Community Pool in town. See here for details of opening hours, as well as information on lap swimming, open swim, and swimming lessons. With a 25 meter lanes, a diving board, water slide, and wading pools for kids, Claude A. Stokes Community Pool is a great feature of every Front Royal summer. Its convenient location in the Gertrude E. Miller Park complex makes it easy to combine swimming with playground time or your choice of an extensive range of park activities.
It’s about a fifteen minute drive from central Front Royal to the Northern Virginia 4-H Center. Here you’ll find another stunning outdoor pool in a scenic location. Open to the public Thursdays-Sundays, you can enjoy a relaxing swim while taking in views of the Shenandoah Valley’s hills and trees. Check the website for updates on swimming lessons offered here too.
Swim the Shenandoah River
A pool day is always fun, but there’s something especially thrilling about swimming or wading in a natural body of water. With the Shenandoah River flowing right through town, Front Royal has great access options for those who want to cool off with some river swimming/wading. Bonus: no pool fees!
Eastham Park is one of Front Royal’s most popular river access points. With a riverside walking trail, picnic area, athletic fields, and playground, it’s a great place to make a day of your trip to the park. Access the river from the public boat launch for wading and river swimming fun.
Another local favorite is Morgan’s Ford Boat Landing. It’s a great spot to launch or end a river trip, as well as to wade, swim, or relax in the calming waters of the Shenandoah River.
River access is also available at Shenandoah River State Park. Enjoy a picnic or grill-out at the extensive riverside picnic area. Kids and adults will enjoy cooling off in the river before or after!
Front Royal’s Swimming Holes
For a more adventurous take on swimming, escape even deeper into the countryside by exploring the Front Royal area’s more removed natural swimming holes. There are treasures here you’ll want to check out! Several are so spectacular they made this list of best swimming holes in the D.C. metro area. Combine a hike with some swimming hole fun for the ultimate summertime outdoor adventure!
For a family favorite that can be accessed without a lot of hiking, try the Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area in the George Washington National Forest. With several great hikes in the area, this is a swimming hole that can be combined with hiking or simply enjoyed without venturing too far from your car. Buzzard Rock swimming hole is another great option nearby that can be accessed after a fun hike. Find it below Buzzard Rock cliffs.
Shenandoah National Park is a top attraction for outdoors enthusiasts headed to Front Royal, and it has its share of swimming holes too. Overall Falls is among the most popular trails for water lovers. Access the park from the Thompson Hollow Trailhead to arrive at swimming holes after just a short hike, or for a longer and more challenging hike, drive along Skyline Drive to Mathew’s Arm Area and head down the mountain from there.
Five miles south of Front Royal, find another fantastic swimming hole at Gooney Creek Campground. Book a tent or RV campsite to enjoy a stay right on the banks of Gooney Creek, or pay the $5 day visitor fee and enjoy a relaxing day on the banks of the creek with picnicking and swimming for the whole family.
There’s nothing that can ruin a fun summer adventure like getting injured. While swimming is a great way to relax and have fun, it does carry risks. Swimming in a swimming hole or river requires extra care. If you head out into Front Royal’s outdoors to swim this summer keep in mind especially the following precautions:
Front Royal in the summer is a great place to swim. Whether you’re looking for a day at the pool or a refreshing outdoor adventure, or a riverside picnic, you can find it in the Front Royal area. You won’t need to worry about summer’s heat when a fun way to cool off is always right around the corner.
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!
Discover Front Royal