Photography means opening a window to let others in on your perspective. It means artfully capturing a small part through a tiny lens, and revealing something about the whole. It can mean planning meticulously and waiting patiently for the perfect shot. Or it can mean seizing the moment at a second’s notice so you don’t let the perfect image slip away.
This year, Discover Front Royal is in search of photographers who can work their magic in the Front Royal and Warren County area. Front Royal is surrounded by stunning natural beauty. But we want to see the Shenandoah Valley through the eyes of those who love it. Whether you’re a visitor to the Front Royal area, or a long time resident, we’ve love to see what YOU think makes this area so special.
Read on for more details about submitting entries to our photo contest. You can share what most captivates you about Front Royal, Warren County, and the Shenandoah Valley, and have a chance to win one of several great prizes!
1. Capture what you think are the best images in the Front Royal area.
With a wide range of categories including seasonal photography, Front Royal’s Downtown, and even drone/aerial footage, you’ll find a chance to share your own unique angle on our area.
In the Front Royal area, photography can be coupled with loads of other fun activities. Think hiking, camping, canoeing (with a waterproof camera!), wine-tasting, and loads more. Don’t forget to have fun while you’re in search of those winning entries!
2. Submit your photo to the photo contest here.
Be sure to fill out all the required information. Any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Submit any more fantastic images you capture through the year.
With the contest running for a full year (all the way to September 1, 2022), you have time to make sure that none of the “Best Views from the Valley” pass you by.
Contest winners will hear directly from us at the end of the contest, as well as seeing their work featured on Discover Front Royal’s website and social media. They’ll also be receiving some great prizes!
Enter for Best Drone/Aerial Footage
If you love photography and the Front Royal/Shenandoah Valley area, this one’s for you! Have fun capturing a spectacular image of the valley, share what you love with countless others, and have a chance to win one of several fantastic prizes. It’s an exciting and fun-filled opportunity you won’t want to miss.
Let others DISCOVER Front Royal through your lens!
Have you been wondering where you can:
Find it all at Appaloosa Music Festival, Front Royal Virginia, August 13-15!
COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, and musicians everywhere are ready to get back together with their fans! If you’re ready to enjoy music and fellowship again, it’s time to book your tickets for Appaloosa Music Festival 2021. A weekend at this extraordinary music festival will leave you with memories for a lifetime!
The Appaloosa Story: Bringing the Folk Music Crowd Home to Front Royal
Appaloosa all started in 2014 with the D.C. area folk rock band, Scythian. They’d played for crowds around the world, but they were ready to spend less time touring, and more time close to home. Founding band members and brothers, Dan and Alex Fedoryka, realized that the solution lay in their own hometown: Front Royal, Virginia. With its proximity to Skyline Drive and the idyllic Shenandoah Valley, its supportive team of local artisans, and its genuine small-town atmosphere, Front Royal had incredible potential. It was the perfect setting for a folk, Americana, and Irish music festival that would bring in musicians and fans from all over the country. And so, Appaloosa Music Festival was born.
Now in its seventh year, Appaloosa’s explosive growth has proved the Fedorykas right about the Front Royal community and the irresistible draw of their music-making. With annual line-ups featuring little known but soon-to-be famous musicians. Appaloosa has claimed its reputation as the festival where fans can enjoy intimate performances from excellent musicians. There’s so much fun to be had that the crowds have kept growing year after year!
We also want to give a huge shout out to this year's line-up @YoungDubliners, @dustbowlrevival, @brooklynyarn, @AZTECSUNBAND, @BillandBelles Arbo @bendavidwarner, @AbigailDowd, His & Hers, The Moores, The Wilson Springs Hotel, Honeyday, Jesse Eastman, Low Water Bridge Band, Cake for Dinner.
So Many Stars in the Valley
Appaloosa has hosted everyone from GRAMMY winners to future grammy winners and has developed a reputation for being a festival where you can find the next big artist. From major acts to the next big name, you'll find them here!
Appaloosa and the Front Royal Community
Appaloosa Music Festival is a genuine a grassroots effort, with local talent lending a hand from all around the Front Royal area. Whether it’s the music you’re hearing or the drink in your hand, it probably hails from not too far away! In addition to the local musicians in the lineup, Front Royal’s food vendors and beverage brewers pitch in to provide authentic local refreshment for fans. With local arts and crafts on sale too, it’s a full immersion experience into Front Royal talent. Even the main stage is locally sourced, lovingly crafted by Front Royal based Strong Oaks Woodshop with reclaimed wood from old Virginia barns.
“Music among friends”
Scythian’s motto is “Music among friends,” and that’s the kind of feel that audience members can enjoy at Appaloosa. It’s a friendly, wholesome, country atmosphere. The young adult crowd can have a few drinks and some fun, but the festival was also specifically designed with families in mind. There’s truly something for everyone here!
The festival grounds include a FREE kids zone, with face painting, bouncy houses, games, and everything you need to get your whole family into the festival feel. There’s even a dedicated stage with special performances and workshops just for kids. And parents can enjoy fantastic family packages with free admission for all kids 12 and under and a dedicated family camping area.
Appaloosa is such a good fit for families, that it’s becoming nationally recognized. The festival has been one of five festivals nominated for best family-friendly festival at the Festx awards in Las Vegas. Fellow nominees included the nationally known Austin City Limits and Jazz Fest New Orleans.
Appaloosa Music Festival is three days long, and spending time outdoors in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley is part of its draw. If you want to get the complete experience, consider the camping options available right on site at Skyline Ranch Resort. You’ll be able to relax at your tent while listening to the music, spend more time with friends old and new, and fully immerse yourself in the great outdoors of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.
With a variety of tent sites and RV hookups available, you can choose an option that suits your comfort level and your budget. And if you’re not up for camping, but don’t want to miss a second of the festival, don’t worry! A limited number of VIP packages include Skyline Ranch Resort’s comfortable chalet accommodations.
We are also offering a special discount at the beautiful Blue Ridge Shadows Holiday Inn and Suites. Click here to check out the discount and availability. We're super grateful for their support!
If you don’t have a whole weekend to spare, no problem. You can purchase tickets by the day as well.
So buy your tickets now, and come on out for Appaloosa Music Festival this August 13-15. The COVID-19 lockdowns were particularly tough for musicians, and attending Appaloosa is one way to support folk music and local businesses while having a great time. Please share this post and let’s all work together to “Keep the Music Alive” because #VirigniaisforMusicLovers!!
The idea of “adventure” awakens something deep within the human spirit. After all, adventure is the topic of many of our favorite stories, books, and movies. We literally spend hours thinking and talking about adventures.
So if you’re feeling bogged down with the business of everyday living, consider embarking on your own new adventure: an outdoor adventure! There’s nothing that can freshen your perspective and breathe new life into your everyday quite like spending a day (or a few!) adventuring in the great outdoors.
If you’re seeking to satisfy the adventure-lover within you, put the Front Royal area at the top of your list of destinations. With a fantastic location at the Gateway to Shenandoah National Park, you’ll find plenty of scope for adventure here. Oh, and did we mention that this vibrant small town is also known as the Canoe Capital of Virginia? Call it nature’s playground if you like. With river, forests, and mountains all nearby, every adventure-lover will find something to enjoy in the Front Royal area. Don’t put your next adventure on hold. Make plans today to discover the adventure of Front Royal.
The Adventure of Front Royal
The first ingredient in planning your adventure is, of course, the adventure itself! You’ll find plenty to keep you busy in the Front Royal area. Let us give you some ideas.
The Shenandoah National Park is a great place to start. It’s Front Royal’s most famous landmark, and it’s a sought-after destination for adventure-lovers from all over the U.S. Mountain bikers and rock climbers will find plenty to enjoy in Shenandoah National Park, and in the greater Front Royal area too. If you’re looking for a memorable hike, see here for some local recommendations. Spoiler alert: two of the hikes on this list feature swimming holes!
Prefer to plan your next adventure on the water? There’s no better place than the Canoe Capital of Virginia! From kayaking to tubing to fishing (with lots more in between), the Shenandoah River is an endless source of adventure and fun. Check out one of our local outfitters, such as Front Royal Outdoors for everything you need to make your dream river adventure a reality.
The Supplies (Find What You Need in Front Royal)
Don’t forget to plan a stop in the town of Front Royal to stock up on food and any gear that you’ll need. Blue Wing Frog is a classic favorite food stop for our outdoors loving visitors. They offer wholesome, homemade food to eat in, and they’ll even pack it as a picnic for you to bring with you.
Meanwhile, if you’re missing an essential piece of gear, Mountain Trails should be able to help you. You’ll find a range of high quality outdoor equipment here, from water bottles to tents and everything in between!
Sweet Refreshment (Front Royal’s Happy Ending)
Outdoor adventures help you work up an appetite, and there’s no better way to reward yourself than with a drink and a bite to eat at one of Front Royal’s favorite breweries. Check out Front Royal Brewing Company or PaveMint Taphouse to give your adventure a perfect ending. Nothing pairs with a beer and a burger quite like the feeling of slightly aching muscles! Cheers to the adventure!
And if you think you won’t be able to tear yourself away after dinner, check out our lodging options. There’s camping, hotels, quaint bed and breakfasts, something for everyone to love. Make your visit to Front Royal all the more relaxing by settling in for the night.
Maybe your idea of adventure is canoeing the river, scaling a rock face, challenging yourself with a new hike, or taking on some mountain trails with a bike. Whatever the case, you’ll find that your perfect adventure awaits you in Front Royal, Virginia. Don’t wait any longer to discover all our small town has to offer!
For animal enthusiasts, spring can herald the welcome return of wild animal sightings after the long, still winter. With its mountains, forests, and rivers, the Front Royal area has plenty of natural habitat for a diverse array of wild animals. Patient nature observers have a great chance for some exciting wildlife encounters.
Read on for an introduction to some of the easiest wild animals to spot around Front Royal. We’ve also included some viewing tips and some special guidance for spring viewing.
Black Bears Emerge From Hibernation
Black bears occupy a broader range of habitats than any other species of bear, and they’re long-time residents of Virginia. Black bear cubs are born in mid-winter, during the hibernation period, and first emerge with their mothers in the spring. As bears begin to forage for food sources in the spring, it’s not uncommon to spot a mother with several cubs in tow. It’s a charming sight, but be careful! The term mama bear comes from a mother bear’s fierce protective instincts. Interfering with cubs could lead to an unpleasant and dangerous encounter with the mother. This is one spring sight that’s best enjoyed from a distance!
White-tailed Deer – It’s Time to Enjoy Them!
To gardeners and farmers they can be a nuisance, but if you’re not fighting to keep them out of your crops, these easy-to-spot animals are a beautiful sight. Whether you’re observing a majestic buck or a group of does (sometimes with fawns in tow!), a deer sighting can be a great chance to enjoy the beauty of the natural world. White-tailed deer are prolific in the Front Royal area, and you should have a good chance of spotting one (or a several!) in the parks around Front Royal. In spring, keep a special lookout for the delightful sight of new young fawns.
Wildlife in the Shenandoah River – Sun-bathing Turtles
Turtle sightings are yet another sign of the return of warmer weather. Turtles particularly like to sunbathe during spring time. And with the Shenandoah River running right through town, Front Royal is a great place to watch them. Take a riverside walk at Eastham Park or the Shenandoah River State Park, and look out for groups of turtles sunbathing on riverside logs. Or take a river trip with one of Front Royal’s own outfitters, and enjoy observing the turtles from the relaxing viewpoint of the river.
Top Tips for Wildlife Viewing in the Front Royal Area
If you’re serious about seeking out wildlife sightings around Front Royal this spring, head out to one of the Front Royal area’s fantastic parks, and get wildlife watching! The Shenandoah National Park has been rated one of the best national parks for wildlife viewing. The George Washington National Forest and the Shenandoah River State Park are two more great local options.
Follow our four top tips to ensure a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
1. Keep your distance! All wild animals can be dangerous, and it’s important for both your sake and the animal’s that you keep a safe distance apart. You should never touch or pick up a wild animal. In the spring, it’s not uncommon to come across a baby fawn bedded down alone. Don’t assume that the baby has been abandoned. Mother deer often leave their babies for extended periods while they forage for food. Touching or moving a fawn could lead to its abandonment and even death.
2. Sit still! Even if you think you’re walking quietly, it’s a guarantee that wildlife can see and hear you. You best chance for some animal viewing is to find a spot where you can sit quietly and blend in with nature.
3. Pick your time! Dawn and dusk are the best times for wildlife watching, as these times coincide with a peak in animal movement and activity. Of course, you’ll want to settle into your viewing spot a little in advance of this time, so if you’re planning a dawn expedition, you’ll need an early wake up call. Plan a camping trip if you want to ensure you’re out in nature first thing in the morning!
4. Bring your camera! You may be about to experience some unique and memorable sights. Don’t forget to bring a camera along so you can capture the beauty of the natural world and enjoy it for years to come.
The animal kingdom is full of wonders for us to enjoy, and many of them are right here in the Shenandoah Valley. As animals become more active in the spring, it’s a great time to get out and observe them in their natural habitats. Here’s to your next animal adventure!
Discover Front Royal