Enjoying the sights and smells of a real Christmas tree in the house room is an essential part of celebrating the holidays for many. But going to pick out your tree can be an experience all its own. If you’ve gone out into the fields and cut your own Christmas tree at a tree farm, you may be missing out on a new family favorite holiday tradition. Let this year be the year you give it a try! Wrap up warmly, and bring the whole family!
With its rural location, Front Royal is a great starting point from which to access a number of rustic Christmas Tree farms where you can pick out your tree from right where it grew! If you’re interested in enjoying the outdoors, supporting local farms, and knowing exactly where your Christmas tree came from, heading to a cut-your-own farm should be on your Christmas list this year.
Read on to discover the Christmas tree farms of the Front Royal area!
1. Hartland Farm and Orchard is Front Royal’s closest tree farm option. A summer-time favorite for fruit picking, Hartland transforms into a winter wonderland in the month of December. Saws are provided as well as assistance with tree wrapping and loading. Enjoy some free hot chocolate, and don’t forget to check out the wreaths and other decorations on sale. Hartland is conveniently located right off I-66 so it’s easy to get to, but has a less “tucked away” feel than some other local options.
2. For a more rustic option, head south to Valley Star Farm and enjoy scenic views of the Shenandoah Valley on all sides from this “down-in-the-valley” tree farm. It’s the same deal: explore the fields, cut your tree, and they’ll help you with wrapping and loading. Precut trees area also available here, for those who would enjoy a visit to a farm, but aren’t up for tramping out into the fields.
3. Concerned about bringing pesticides into your home on your Christmas Tree? Oak Shade Tree Farm is a great option! This family owned and operated tree farm raises all their trees without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. Enjoy cutting your tree, and don’t forget to check out the fantastic farm store after they help you load. Here you’ll find a wide selection of farm foods and hand crafted items, many of them provided by extended family members. There’s even a fire pit to warm up at on a cold day!
4. Glengary Tree Farm is another option for a simple cut-your-own operation in a stunning location. Explore the hillsides of this farm in search of your perfect tree, and enjoy gorgeous mountain views.
5. If you have a cathedral ceiling or a large space for your Christmas tree, consider stopping by Tranco Farms to find the grand tree that matches your space. All of their trees are over ten foot, so this isn’t a good option if you don’t have a big enough space. Tree cutting is by appointment only, so call ahead to make your plans!
6. Snickers Gap Farm is the celebrity of the Front Royal area’s Christmas tree farms. It was selected as MSN’s best tree farm in Virginia, and has been featured in several prestigious magazines (including Martha Stewart Living). It’s easy to see why. Beautifully kept rows of trees, a wagon ride out to the field, and a snack shack serving hot cider, warm soft pretzels, and more combine for a magical experience. The fame of Snickers Gap farm can draw larger crowds, so if you’re looking for a more secluded option, it may not be your best bet.
Remember most cut-your-own farms expect you to haul your own tree in from the field. So make sure you’re ready for the challenge, and bring extra hands to help if you think you’ll need them. Having a rope or a tarp to help drag the tree can also be helpful. Some farms may be willing to offer assistance, but if you’re counting on it, it’s best to call ahead and make sure you’ll have the help you need.
It’s also a good idea to call the farm you plan on visiting or check their social media before driving. You’ll want to ensure they still have trees available before making the trip.
The Front Royal area is a great place to visit a tree farm and take your Christmas tree shopping experience to a whole new level. Here’s to a memorable family adventure and a beautiful tree to enjoy all season long!
Getting off the beaten path means excitement, adventure, solitude. It means taking the road less traveled . . . and perhaps discovering a hidden treasure. That’s what’ll happen if you get away from it all and explore the small mountain town of Front Royal, the gateway to Shenandoah National Park. Get away from it all in Front Royal, and you’ll find a group of incredibly talented locals waiting to provide you with unique and memorable shopping, dining, and crafting experiences. Read on for a run-down of some of hidden treasures you’ll want to find as you explore Front Royal!
Pick Out the Perfect Gift at Inklings
If you’re in search of a gift that’s lovingly crafted, high-quality, and unique, you’ll hit the jackpot when you stop by Inklings on Main Street. From organic baby swaddles to herbal teas, handmade candles and soaps, and loads of other goodies, you’ll find a wide array of unique gifts to please the pickiest person on your list (or yourself!). Inklings sources their products from small businesses and artisans across the country, and there are always new items coming in. Imagine browsing Etsy, but in person!
Enjoy Genuine Country Food at the Apple House
The Apple House is about a ten minute drive from downtown Front Royal, and here you can find genuine country food and products in a genuine country setting! Stop in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and explore the gift shop for a wide range of tempting items, including locally produced jellies, jams, and condiments. Don’t forget to grab some of the famous Apple Butter Cinnamon Donuts for the road!
Explore Fine Art at Turnmeyer Galleries
If you’re exploring Main Street, you’ll want to be sure to stop at Turnmeyer Galleries. It’s a unique blend of boutique gift shop and art gallery. Browse the fine art photography and metal work on display, or check out the incredibly wide range of gifts and luxury items. Plan ahead and you can even participate in a photography workshop or schedule an indoor or outdoor portrait session.
Complete Your Own Work of Art at The Studio
If you want to make your Front Royal souvenir even more unique, why not paint it yourself? Sign up for a class or workshop at The Studio on Main Street, and complete a painting or craft project under the expert direction of local artist Kelly Walker. You’ll walk away with a piece you can be proud of!
Take on a Pottery Project at Explore Art and Clay
Pining after pottery? Stop by Explore Art and Clay and check out all this full service pottery studio has to offer. You can participate in a pottery workshop, paint your pre-made pottery piece (they’ll fire it for you!), or even schedule time to use their equipment if you have your own supplies. Whether you’re an experienced potter or you’ve never tried it before, stop in for a fun date, family outing, or solo creative outlet! You’ll bring home a souvenir that you made yourself!
Sometimes you just need to get away from it all: the crowds, the hustle and bustle, the pace of the city. If you’re looking to take a break from the busy-ness of modern life, come and explore the unique shops and special treasures of the town of Front Royal. You’ll come away with fond memories, and a souvenir that’s just as unique as our town.
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.
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