Whether it’s relaxing by the pool with a cool drink, enjoying a cookout with friends, or spending time with kids on summer break, we all have our favorite summer activities. But there are certain adventures that scream “summer” like no other! We call them essential summer experiences!
We’ve rounded up a list of nine essential summer experiences that you can enjoy in Front Royal, Virginia. So whether you’re looking for a way to entertain your kids or just yourself, read on! You’ll discover the best of the summer experiences that await you. Give them a try, and you’ll find some new traditions that’ll have you coming back year after year (or maybe multiple times in the same year!).
1. Float, Float, Float your Tube!
If you’re in the Front Royal area, you won’t want to let the summer go by without at least one adventure on the Shenandoah River! In our book, a river float trip is the number one most relaxing way to beat the heat and enjoy the river in summer. For tube rental, check out one of Front Royal’s own river outfitters, such as Front Royal Outdoors or Skyline Canoe Company. They have everything you’ll need for a river adventure, including shuttle service! And if you’re in search of a slightly more strenuous outing, you’ll find great canoeing options here too. Front Royal isn’t called the Canoe Capital of Virginia for nothing!
2. Wine, Cheese, and a Sumer Breeze
For an elegant summer outing, a picnic at a winery is hard to beat, and Front Royal is fast becoming a wine lover’s dream destination. With scenic wineries all around, the only problem is deciding which one to visit. Fortunately, there are enough weekends in the summer that you’ll have a chance to try them all out! Bring your own picnic and enjoy the finest in Virginia wines, against the stunning backdrop of the Shenandoah Valley.
3. Summer in a Cup or a Cone
An ice cream outing is one of those summer experiences that delights young and old (and everybody in between!). Whether you’re taking a break in the middle of another adventure, or making a weeknight more fun with a quick outing, you can’t really go wrong with ice cream in the summer! Front Royal is home to several winning ice cream stands and parlors. Two top picks: The Apple House in Linden for a rustic country feel, or C & C’s Frozen Treats on Main Street for a small town ice cream vibe!
4. Cool Down in Town!
Make a hot, sweaty day into a memorable moment by cooling off in Front Royal! Kids will love Front Royal’s own Splash Pad at Dr. Paul Seide Memorial Gardens. And if the splash pad doesn’t satisfy the water-lover within, no worries! Front Royal’s community pool is right next door!
5. Take Me Out to the Ballgame!
Hotdogs, sunflower seeds, and a great ballgame. It’s all you need to enjoy a summer evening in an all-American way. Front Royal’s Bing Crosby Stadium is the home of the Front Royal Cardinals, and a great place to enjoy a summer evening of baseball. Check the league schedule here to find a Cardinals home game that works for you.
6. Grill and Chill
Merge two essential summer experiences into one by planning a cookout on the banks of the Shenandoah River. Shenandoah River State Park is the home of an extensive riverside picnic area, with plenty of charcoal grills available! Swim or fish, and then relax with some food hot off the grill. Don’t forget the watermelon!
7. Splash Around on a Swimming Hole Hike
If outdoor adventures and hiking are your passion, give your hobby a fun summer twist by incorporating a swimming hole on your next hike. Overall Run Falls is a favorite waterfall destination in Shenandoah National Park. If you enter the park at Thompson Hollow Trailhead, you can hike towards Overall Run Falls and enjoy the swimming holes and waterfalls along the way. This area of the park is also accessible from the Mathews Arm Area off Skyline Drive, but expect a longer hike before you can cool off in a natural pool!
8. Pick Your Own Farm Fresh Fruit
It wouldn’t be summer without the juices of freshly picked in-season fruit running down your chin! From strawberries to blueberries to peaches, there’s always something to pick in a Front Royal summer! Stribling Orchard and Hartland Orchard are two of our favorite pick-your-own locations in the Front Royal area. Most pick-your-own farms restrict picking to ensure a continuous supply, so be sure call or check social media before you arrive to avoid disappointment! You can also check ahead to find out which fruit is in season.
9. Appaloosa Music Festival
Mark your calendars for August 13-15! You won’t want to miss Front Royal’s own family friendly folk music festival. Popular D.C.-based Scythian Band has been hosting the annual Appaloosa Music Festival in Front Royal since 2014. Find camping, music workshops, local foods, local vendors, and a free kids zone, plus a great lineup of “roots music” bands from all over the U.S. And find it all right here at Front Royal’s own Skyline Ranch Resort! Buy your Appaloosa tickets today to make sure you don’t miss out on this unforgettable music festival!
There’s something to love about every season, but summer might be the one with the most potential for pure outdoor fun! Our essential summer experiences have an edge on making the most of this warm and sunny time of year. So get out there and have fun in the sun in Front Royal, Virginia.
With the COVID-19 crisis throwing travel plans into chaos, it may be tempting to give up on the idea of a vacation this year. But the benefits of some time off are well-documented. Taking advantage of paid vacation time improves your health, your happiness, your family relationships, and even your productivity at work. If you want to take a break, but aren’t able to make travel plans we have a solution: a Front Royal staycation! Block out some time to rest, rejuvenate, and explore your hometown!
If you’re lucky enough to live in the Front Royal area, there are plenty of opportunities for fun and relaxation right on your doorstep. Not sure where to start? Read on! We’ve rounded up some of our best ideas to make your Front Royal staycation feel like a vacation. You should find something below to suit everyone in the family. And don’t forget: your Front Royal staycation will help the small local businesses that have taken a hard hit during the COVID-19 crisis.
(COVID-19 policies change frequently. Avoid disappointment! Be sure to double check directly with the company for any policy updates before you finalize plans.)
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Front Royal Staycation Dining
One major perk of vacation is taking a break from the never ending tasks of meal-planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. On your Front Royal staycation, you should make sure you still give yourself a break. In fact, since you’ll be saving money on travel and lodging, consider enjoying an extra fancy dinner or two. You might be dying to get out of your house and enjoy a meal in a restaurant. The good news is that many restaurants are now reopening with limited and outdoor seating.
COVID-19 has a lot to answer for, but it may also give you a chance to enjoy an old favorite restaurant in a whole new way. In an effort to follow COVID-19 guidelines, several local restaurants have added outdoor dining, and even carry out or delivery services. Outdoor dining definitely has a vacation feel to it. If you don’t feel like going out, you have the chance to enjoy your favorite restaurant in the comfort of your home.
Some Front Royal favorites that have added a COVID-19 carry out service include The Element, the Front Royal Brewing Company (also offering delivery), and Pavemint Taphouse,. Or bring home an old favorite such as Spelunkers Burgers or Melting Pot Pizza.
See here for a more extensive list of Front Royal dining options.
Front Royal Outdoor Adventure Staycation
Enjoying the great outdoors is a great way to have some summer fun while observing COVID-19 guidelines. Front Royal is the perfect place for a range of outdoor staycation activities (to suit varying levels of adventurousness!).
Nothing says “summer” like relaxing on the river. Many people happily travel for hours to spend some time on a scenic river in the summer. If you live in Front Royal, you don’t have to. A Shenandoah River staycation is at your fingertips! Front Royal’s river outfitters have reduced services due to COVID-19, but if you’re interested in boating or tubing, Front Royal Outdoors has limited river trip offerings. And if you have your own boat, Skyline Canoe is offering a shuttle service so you can enjoy a trip down the river without having to worry about getting back to where you left your car. Fishing and swimming at public river access points are great options for enjoying the river while complying with social distancing guidelines. Water enthusiasts can easily plan a whole week of different river activities in and around Front Royal.
For another day of outdoor summer fun, consider hiking or biking one of Front Royal’s popular trails. Pack your own picnic, or stop at Blue Wing Frog and have them pack one for you.
Other options for outdoor fun in and around Front Royal include rock climbing, golfing, and horseback riding stables. You can even enjoy a horseback ride through the Shenandoah National Park.
It wouldn’t be a summer vacation without some ice cream. Don’t forget to cool down at the end of the day at one of Front Royal’s favorite ice cream spots. Try The Apple House Ice Cream Stand, the ever popular Spelunker’s, or C&C’s Frozen Treats on Main Street.
The Indoor Front Royal Staycation
If being outdoors and active in the heat of summer doesn’t sound relaxing, don’t worry. There’s still plenty to do in Front Royal. And many indoor-based businesses have established COVID-19 policies that allow them to remain open. Here are some slower-paced ideas for your Front Royal staycation fun in Front Royal.
If you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon in town, Front Royal’s quaint Downtown area is an excellent choice. Happy Creek Coffee, and Main Street’s Daily Grind are two of the town’s most popular coffee shops. If you’re not a coffee lover, The Vine and Leaf offers teas and fine wines. Peruse the shop or enjoy a beverage in the “sipping room.”
It’s also fun to take your time exploring Front Royal’s selection of unique shops. Royal Bookshop is a charming used bookstore that’s a walkable distance from Main Street. Arts and crafts lovers will have fun painting their own pottery at The Kiln Doctor. Or for an activity that has you in nature, but out of the sun, take a tour of Skyline Caverns.
For beer and wine lovers, Front Royal has plenty of opportunities for a relaxing afternoon or evening. On Main Street, try ViNoVa Tapas and Wine Bar or the Front Royal Brewing Company. Or take a drive into the country for an afternoon at one of several scenic wineries and breweries in the Front Royal area.
COVID-19 has led to many disappointments. It’s not easy to deal with the cancellation of a summer vacation. But a week of Front Royal staycation fun may be just what you need to lift your spirits.
Spring with its restrictions sprang into oblivion quickly and the outlook for summer is not looking much less restrictive. Gym space and time is limited; running in the heat is not fun; and public swimming pools are closed. So, what is the best physical activity in the summer of 2020 in our beautiful Shenandoah Valley?
Riding a mountain bike on one of our scenic trails could be the answer!
Mountain biking is the ideal experience for anyone who wants to exercise and connect with nature. There are some skills that mountain bikers need to possess while acknowledging the difference in mountain bikes, biking styles, techniques, and terrains.
Everyone knows any physical activity is good for you. We have all heard about the “runner’s high.” But when you do any activity that gets your blood flowing and triggers the release of endorphins.
You never get bored with mountain biking as the trail is always changing. No route is ever the same. The texture of the dirt on the trail is different and there can be more rocks, fallen branches, or other unexpected obstacles.
Mountain biking gets you places much faster than hiking. In warm weather everything around is more beautiful. The stillness and majesty alone are worth it.
Here are a few of them to get you started on your mountain biking journey:
Special considerations on bicycling on the Skyline Drive
Bicycling is permitted along Skyline Drive and on paved areas in the park. Bicycling (road and mountain bikes) is not permitted on trails, unpaved roads or in grassy areas.* Because Skyline Drive is a two-lane road with steep hills and numerous blind curves, cyclists are urged to use extreme caution.
Visitors should be prepared to operate their bicycles during periods of low visibility, or while traveling through a tunnel, or between sunset and sunrise, by exhibiting on the operator or bicycle a white light or reflector that is visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red light or reflector visible from at least 200 feet to the rear. During periods of fog, reflectors will not provide necessary safety for bicyclists. Lights on both the front and rear of the bicycle are required. Mountain areas can experience dramatically different weather than what is being experienced in the lowlands, so be prepared!
Donations were received by the Shenandoah National Bicycle Coalition and Planet Bike of 150 lights to be given to visitors at the entrances for safety of the bicyclists arriving without a rear light. Lights are supposed to be dropped off as the visitors exit.
*Bicycling from Skyline Drive is permitted on Rapidan Fire Road for approximately one mile. At the end of this mile, there is a sign indicating no bicycles are permitted beyond that point.
BIKE TRAILS AND BIKE PATHS
Local Trails & Greenways
414 E Main St Front Royal
Sherando Park Mountain Bike Trails
Address: 200 Landgrant Ln.
Stephens City, VA 22655
Phone: (540) 665-5600
Address: Luray Ave.
Front Royal, VA 22630
Phone: (540) 636-4600
Elizabeth Furnace Recreational area
Address: Fort Valley, VA 22652
Phone: (540) 984-4101
Buzzard Rock Trailhead
Address: 3087 Mountain Rd.
Front Royal, VA 22630
Shenandoah River State Park
Address: 350 Daughter of Stars Dr.
Bentonville, VA 22610
Phone: (540) 622-6840
Address: 250 Rockland Park Way
Front Royal, VA 22630
Phone: (540) 635-7750
255 Lakeview Circle
Stephens City, VA 22655
Phone: (540) 665-5678
Low Water Bridge Campgrounds
Address: 192 Panhandle Rd.
Bentonville, VA 22610
Phone: (540) 635-7277
Sky Meadows State Park
11012 Edmonds Ln.
Delaplane, VA 20144
Shenandoah River State Park
350 Daughter of Stars Dr.
Bentonville, VA 22610
Whitney State Forest
Address: Lee, Morton Ridge
Warrenton, VA 20186
Phone: (804) 492-4121
Cedar Creek & Belle Grove
Address: Middletown, VA 22645
Phone: (540) 869-3051
Shenandoah National Park
17157 Skyline Dr.
Front Royal, VA 22630
Shopping for Bicycle or Bicycle Repair
Do you need a new bike or maintenance/repairs done on your bike? Here are some bike sales and repair shops to check out.
Mountain Trails Front Royal
120 E Main St.
Front Royal, VA 22630
Blue Ridge Bicycles
2228 Papermill Rd # G
Winchester, VA 22601
Shenandoah Bicycle Company is open and operating, ready to assist you!
135 South Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
4414 Costello Way
Haymarket, VA 20169
Some final, yet important considerations:
Remain on open forest roads
Watch over the environment
Ride carefully, remain in control
ALWAYS be prepared
Remember: You are responsible for your own safety
and for the safety of those around you.
Eat Local - Shop Local - Support Local
We have had three successful weekends of closing the Main Street shopping corridor to allow restaurants and other places of commerce to conduct business outdoors. The Town of Front Royal is delighted to announce the continuation of ‘Downtown Rebound’ each weekend until further notice, as part of the Governor’s “Virginia Forward” reopening plan.
Giving rave reviews and breathing a collective sigh of relief, our town’s residents and visitors have embraced this event as a hint of better days and times ahead. These past few months have not been fun for any of us. We have been coping with interruptions in our daily life and the life-altering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We deserve this break from the lockdowns that have become routine . . . and what better way to do so than supporting our local businesses!
Here’s what Downtown Rebound offers each weekend:
Though the atmosphere is festive, and everyone enjoys freely strolling around Main Street, it is also a great time to look over the town’s other business establishments. You are certain to find a special item or service that you did not know was right here in town!
Want more info?:
Outdoor Movies - Royal Cinema’s “Main Street Movie” with its outdoor movie screen is a special treat for everyone. Reminiscent of a drive-in theater, without the car, lounging in a lawn chair or sprawled out on a blanket with the kids, creates a cherished memory. Don’t miss this opportunity to spend additional time enjoying the evening’s entertainment after the sun goes down. Check Royal Cinema’s Facebook page for upcoming movie selections, weather permitting.
Road closures - The temporary road closures of Main Street, Kidd Lane, and part of Chester Street to vehicles and bicycles will continue beginning Friday at 4:30 P.M. and ending on Monday at 7:00 A.M. each weekend until further notice. Parking remains available at the Gazebo entering from Laura Virginia Hale Place only.
Restaurants - Restaurants will be prepared to start seating customers around 5:30 P.M. on Friday, as it takes about an hour to set up tables and seating after the road closure.
Looking to get your business to participate? Businesses that operate outside of the perimeter of Main Street, Kidd Land, and a portion of Chester Street and who wish to participate in Downtown Rebound events may contact William Huck at 540-450-7939 to coordinate a location to set up to sell merchandise or promote your services.
As Virginia entered Phase Two on June 5, 2020 (excluding the City of Richmond and the Northern Virginia Region), all citizens are expected to maintain social distancing of 6 feet and follow other guidelines as noted in EXECUTIVE ORDER 65 (2020) AND ORDER OF PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY SIX PHASE TWO EASING OF CERTAIN TEMPORARY RESTRICTIONS DUE TO NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19). At their discretion, restaurants may have additional restrictions.
Should you have questions, please contact the Town of Front Royal’s Public Information Office at 540-631-3600.
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