Feeling the sand between your toes, enjoying summer breezes, and making memories with friends and family may sound like a vacation in paradise. But there’s a favorite summer sport that allows you to enjoy all of the above for free at community parks across America. We’re talking about sand volleyball. Read on for five reasons we’re recommending sand volleyball as a perfect pick for a summer sport, as well as tips on where you can play around Front Royal.
1. You Can Play Sand Volleyball in Bare Feet!
Sand, bare feet, and the outdoors in summer just seem to go together as a combination that spells fun and relaxation. And going barefoot even has health benefits! No need to sweat in a hot pair of tennis shoes on the sand volleyball court! It’s a game that’s made for playing barefoot! Feeling the sand under your feet just adds to the fun!
2. Sand Volleyball is Perfect for Large and Small Groups
If you haven’t much volleyball experience, you may be envisioning a game that requires at least twelve players. But volleyball lovers will tell you that volleyball is actually much more versatile. Put just two or three players on each side of the net and you can enjoy a version of the game that might be even more fast-paced and exciting. Plan on fitting in some extra steps if you play this way!
Large group, no problem! Sand volleyball is a great game for a party. Put as many as six on each side to play the game in its full form. Or you can easily rotate in a player or two to incorporate bigger numbers. For an even larger group, try planning a tournament!
3. Sand Volleyball Is Enjoyable at Many Different Skill Levels
Volleyball is one of those great games that can be played at many different skill levels and it’s still fun! If you’re a seasoned volleyball player, you already know how much fun it can be to play at a highly skilled level. But beginners can have a great time while learning the sport. Playing in the sand helps create a fun, relaxed atmosphere where new players can feel comfortable getting started.
New to the game? Learning and practicing the simple volleyball passing sequence of bump, set, spike will help you enjoy the game more, play more strategically, and work well with your team members. See here for a simple explanation of this volleyball fundamental, or ask a more experienced player to teach it to you.
4. Sand Volleyball is Affordable
With prices rising everywhere in 2022, finding ways to have fun without spending a lot of money are even more exciting than before! Sand volleyball has to be one of the most affordable sports out there! With courts fairly easy to find in public parks, there’s often no fee to play, or only a small one. That means that so long as someone in your group already owns a volleyball, you can probably play for free! And even if you need to go out and buy a volleyball, you should be able to do it for under $30.
5. Sand Volleyball is a Great Way to Bring People Together
The perfect activity for a summer evening, sand volleyball is a great way to connect with others and make new friends. The atmosphere is casual and fun, and you’ll get to enjoy the camaraderie of being on a team. Take the socialization a step further by planning a picnic or cook out for after the game, or heading to get ice cream together.
Sand Volleyball in Front Royal
If you’re interested in trying sand volleyball this summer, it’s time to find a great place to play! Front Royal’s park system has you covered with two fantastic options. Head to Gertrude E. Miller Community Park to find conveniently located sand volleyball right in the middle of town. The large complex has plenty of picnic shelters for a post-game cook out, as well as playgrounds for kids to enjoy.
For a less crowded option, try Burrell Brooks Jr. Community Park. The park is less extensive, but you’ll still find sand volleyball courts, a picnic shelter, and a playground for future volleyball stars to enjoy.
Explore sand volleyball in Front Royal this summer, and discover all the fun that comes with this relaxing, budget friendly, barefoot and sandy summer sport.
Whether you prefer an organized event or an excursion that you can take at your own pace, Front Royal, Virginia has you covered all year long. If you’re looking to get out and enjoy nature, Warren County offers hiking and biking trails, and about a hundred different ways to experience the stunning beauty of the Shenandoah Valley. And a calendar filled with quintessential small town festivals means you won’t get bored. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter, there’s always something happening in Front Royal. Here’s our guide to a year of fun and festivity.
**Due to Covid-19 and the restrictions put in place, many of our scheduled events have been cancelled. However, not forever and have been rescheduled for 2021.**
Spring in Front Royal: The Shenandoah Valley Awakens
Eight miles south of Front Royal, the village of Browntown kicks off the season’s festivals with its annual Redbud Festival. Every April, the redbuds bloom, and the Browntown community comes out to celebrate. You can enjoy delicious home cooked food, live music, and craft sales. A highlight of the day is the Gooney Creek Duck Race, a fun event for all the family.
Front Royal’s own historic Main Street hosts the first of many annual events in April as well. At Taste of the Town, Front Royal’s independent restaurants come out on Main Street with the best of their tempting cuisine. Buy a tasting ticket and stroll Warren County’s quaintest street as you sample delicious food in a festive atmosphere. Or sit down to enjoy and meet some new friends.
Main Street becomes the scene of two more festivals every May. Family Fun Day happens towards the beginning of May. Come out for a parade, an antique car show, games and face-painting for kids, and the trademark Louisiana Crawfish.
Later in May, Main Street transforms into for the annual Wine and Craft Festival. You won’t want to miss this day of fun for the whole family. Adults can taste wine from a selection of Virginia wineries. Meanwhile, festival has plenty to offer for the rest of the family. Delicious food, live music, and games for kids keep everyone happy. In between games and wine tastings, peruse the offerings from an array of talented artists. Craft sales include fine jewelry, clothing, pottery, and original paintings.
For a more relaxed way to enjoy the Shenandoah Valley in the spring, try a drive on one of the scenic roads around Warren County. The famous Skyline Drive starts right in Front Royal. It’s an obvious choice. The long drive down the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains features many overlooks where you can pull off and enjoy the view. But you don’t need to be on top of the mountain to enjoy it. For nature-lovers, other less well-known byways also offer stunning vistas in the spring. If you leave Front Royal going south on 340, you’ll be treated to a drive down the valley with the Blue Ridge Mountains on your left, and the Massanutten Mountain on the right. Alternatively, you can head north on 624 for views of farm fields and tree-lined roads. If you get as far as Boyce, finish your drive at the State Arboretum of Virginia, a fantastic spot for a spring picnic or a relaxing walk.
Summer in Front Royal: The Perfect Place to Enjoy Nature
America’s ultimate summer party happens on the Fourth of July. With events taking place up and down the Shenandoah Valley, Front Royal won’t be left out. The Northern Virginia 4-H Center hosts Front Royal’s Fourth of July celebration, with live music, games, food trucks and, of course, fireworks.
For a low-key summer evening in the Shenandoah Valley, try out Gazebo Gatherings, a free weekly concert series at Front Royal’s downtown Gazebo. Bring your own lawn chair and enjoy music and the community of Warren County.
Nature is easy to enjoy on an idyllic summer day in the Shenandoah Valley. Ideally situated on the iconic Shenandoah River, Front Royal offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation. Eastham Park is conveniently located only a mile from Front Royal’s historic downtown. The park features a generous stretch of riverfront, with a scenic walking trail, and access for swimming, boating, and fishing. Other popular public access points to the river include the Riverton Boat Ramp, and the Morgan Ford Boat Landing. Spend a day swimming and fishing at one of these points, or bring your own kayak or tube and float from one to the next.
Getting out on the river is a great recipe for summer fun, but it does carry some risks. Make sure to follow appropriate safety precautions, including wearing a life-preserver. If you need more guidance, or if you need to rent boating equipment, check out one of Front Royal’s own outfitters. If you’re fishing, be sure to purchase the appropriate license.
Autumn in Front Royal: Spectacular Hiking and Fall Fun
If you thought spring and summer in Front Royal good, just wait for autumn! Warren County becomes a sought-after tourist destination in the fall. As the tree-lined Shenandoah Valley lights up in vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, Skyline Drive become a destination for many seeking nature’s beauty. The park sees more visitors in October than in any other month of the year.
Front Royal’s festivals continue through the autumn too. On Labor Day Weekend, the Skyline Ranch Resort becomes the home of the three day Appaloosa Music Festival. Sponsored by Washington D.C. band Scythian, this family friendly festival features folk music, camping, a free kids area, and food and drink from local providers.
Also in September is the River Valley Festival at VFW Post 1860 in Front Royal. This festival features a menu of pit roasted meats, along with juggling, live music, and craft beer and wine.
In October, Front Royal celebrates nature’s work of art with the Festival of Leaves on Main Street. Along with the usual crafts and live music, this festival has a historic flair, with historical re-enactors and tours of Warren County’s historic buildings: the Belle Boyd Cottage and the Balthis House. The festival also coincides with the annual Leaf Peepers races. Choose your distance: half-marathon, 10k, or 5k, and run in the all the fall glory of the Shenandoah Valley.
Driving or hiking at Skyline Drive will give you stunning views of the fall. Check here for updates on fall foliage in the park. If you want to avoid the crowds, there are other places to enjoy that are less crowded but still offer glorious nature in the fall. Try a picnic at an overlook in the Shenandoah River State Park. Buzzard Rock is another local favorite for hiking.
If you’re looking for a fun and seasonal family outing, there are plenty of opportunities for apple picking. Later in the fall, visit a local pumpkin patch.
Winter in Front Royal: Cozy Pancakes, Christmas Lights, and Winter Sports
Winter isn’t the busiest season of the year in Front Royal, but there’s still seasonal fun to be had. In early December, the Kiwanis Club of Front Royal holds an annual pancake day. Proceeds from this fun (and delicious) fundraiser go to support the work of the club.
The annual Christmas Festival and Parade is a special event that you won’t want to miss. This last festival of the year takes place at the beginning of December. The festival includes a parade down Main Street and ends with a lighting ceremony of Main Street’s Christmas lights. Even if you can’t make it to the parade, make sure you check out the lights at some point during the Christmas season.
Warren County is conveniently located for outdoor winter fun. For day ski trips, or snow tubing, check out Bryce Resort in the Allegheny Mountains, and Massanutten Resort. Both resorts are only about an hour’s drive from Front Royal. It’s a comfortable (and memorable!) day trip.
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