What to do when visiting Front Royal

12/07/2009  | 

Take time to enjoy the winter this year and unite with family and friends in Front Royal, Virginia. Winter is a special time of year in Front Royal, because its attractions know no “off-season.” Even in the cooler months, a short, scenic drive from our Nation’s Capital will bring you back to a place where you can relax and unwind with family and friends.

In this article we have compiled a short list of “To Do’s” around the area. Read on for details about the town’s history, attractions and amenities but be sure to visit www.discoverfrontroyal.com  for complete listings and calendar of events.


During the Civil War, Front Royal was known as a “crossroads town” and hosted one of the only urban battles. The Battle of Front Royal is said to be a turning point in the Valley Campaign and enhanced the lore of many Confederate heroes such as Stonewall Jackson and Belle Boyd.

Experience the Battle of Front Royal, “Brother Against Brother” driving tour, one leg of The Virginia Civil War Trails driving tour that follows the action as Confederate troops under Stonewall Jackson swept through town May 23, 1862, pushing aside light Federal resistance. The stunning Southern victory outflanked the main Union force under General Nathaniel Banks located to the west of the Massanutten Mountain in Strasburg. From Front Royal, Jackson marched northwest toward Winchester defeating Banks at Winchester May 25, 1862. Learn more at www.frontroyalbattle.us.



Exploring nature in the winter months offers many rewards. The clear skies and bare trees of winter enhance the area’s magnificent vistas and make wildlife tracking and viewing particularly rewarding.

Enjoy the peacefulness of the woods and the Shenandoah River at “Andy R. Guest” State Park. The park spans 1,604 acres with 5.6 miles of river frontage along the south fork of the Shenandoah River. The rolling, mountainous land features steep slopes and thick woods. In addition to meandering river frontage, the park offers scenic vistas overlooking Massanutten Mountain to the west and Shenandoah National Park to the east.

Front Royal and Warren County boast miles of world class hiking including the Appalichain Trail, the Tuscarora Trail that links Shenandoah National Park with the Massanutten Loop Trial in the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest. Sections of the Massanutten Trail can be done as day hikes, including the popular but rugged loop up to historic Signal Knob, a Civil War lookout at the north end of the Massanutten Range.

Thanks to our relatively mild winter weather and an amazing 108 holes to choose from, golf is always in season. Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club, nestled in the tranquility of Virginia’s historic Shenandoah Valley and surrounded by breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, offers a spectacular championship-caliber course that will challenge not only the most discriminating golfer but, with five sets of tee boxes ranging from 4,994 to 7301 yards, promises a pleasurable experience for all levels of play. Blue Ridge Shadows is offering a special “Rest and Relaxation” rate for golf with a cart and 18 holes for $29 on weekdays and after Noon (12:00 pm) on weekends and holidays, Nov. 1, 2009 – March 1, 2010 for all military personnel.

A warm welcome to Skyline Caverns is extended to you all year. The temperature in the Caverns is always a comfortable 54 degrees, no matter what the weather is like outside. A knowledgeable guide will escort you though the Caverns, explaining the geological history while challenging your imagination; making your tour educational, exciting, and entertaining.

Tres’ Bella Day Spa and Boutique is located in beautiful downtown historic Front Royal, Virginia. Just minutes from the entrance to the Skyline Drive Tres’ Bella is a one-of-a-kind establishment for those seeking to slow down the pace of life and indulge themselves in what lies behind the mahogany doors of this beautifully restored old home. From the moment you enter Tres’ Bella, you will immediately be tempted to linger in the boutique area where you will find gift selections for every age as well as unique jewelry pieces by some of the country’s leading designers.



Front Royal is also surrounded by world class vineyards. Rappahannock Cellars, open year-round and surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia’s famous hunt country, creates award-winning wines crafted primarily of Viognier, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon which are rich, supple and elegant. The winery hosts many seasonal events and barrel tastings. Find the complete calendar listings at www.rappahannockcellars.com

Fox Meadow Vineyards offers a unique, memorable and personal wine tasting experience. A typical tasting will include several different wines and foods as part of the visit to allow you to experience how wines and foods interact. Fox Meadow also hosts many events that highlight seasonal foods such as chili and fudge.

Hometown Holidays Celebration

Hometown Holidays in historic downtown Front Royal will bring back fond memories of what the holidays are really about – good spirit and the good will of those around you.

The Blue Ridge Arts Council kicks off the holiday season with Deck the Halls Nov. 20 and Holly Jolly Saturday on the 21st. The Mayor lights the Town Christmas tree and streets during the Royal Illumination on Nov. 28 highlighted with carriage rides through town and hot chocolate. The 6th Annual Christkindlmarkt serves up a hometown friendly atmosphere on Dec. 4 and 5 with singing around the campfire, horse shoes competition, and merchants selling food and wares in the Town Commons. The Community Christmas Parade on Dec. 5 along with children’s workshops and holiday spirit abound in Downtown Front Royal.



Front Royal offers a variety of locally owned eateries that offer everthing from authentic down-home cooking to five course prix fixe gourmet dinners.

In 1963, The Apple House began in the small community of Linden, Virginia. Today, just as then, we remain a family business serving friends and travelers from around the globe. We are located in beautiful Warren County at the Northern Entrance to the spectacular Skyline Drive. Good food, friendly staff and beautiful surroundings make The Apple House a landmark to visit in Virginia. Come visit us for your gift needs as well as to pick up some famous BBQ or Apple Butter Donuts!  Stop by and say hi - you are always welcome! www.theapplehouse.net.  Dining at Apartment 2g is an invitation to the executive chefs and owners David and Stacy Gedney’s apartment. The Gedneys prepare everything onsite daily in anticipation of your visit.

There is no hiding that this space used to be apartments; instead we’ve embraced its former life, retaining the cozy apartment feel in each dining room. With no more than three tables in each room, our guests enjoy their dinner in quaint comfort.

Guests are welcome to join the chefs in the kitchen for a quick meet and greet, and each dining room includes a television, with a closed-circuit camera to the kitchen, so you can watch as your hosts prepare your meal.


Spend a weekend or a week in a cozy cabin, loaded with all the comforts of home but tucked away on a rural mountainside. With the holiday season here and time off to spend with friends and family, WeekendOasis is pleased to announce 15 percent off any booking for all active duty military. Enjoy any one of their properties and have an additional 15 percent off. It’s their way of saying thanks. Please visit http://weekendoasis.net/content/thanks-our-military to book your stay.

Front Royal’s hospitality shines bright at our delightful bed and breakfasts. Enjoy comfort and generosity by innkeepers that have taken every detail into account to ensure your stay is special. Irish themed, Killhevlin, where “Southern hospitality meets Irish Charm” is on the National Historic Register, and is situated so that from the rooms, veranda, porches, gazebos and grounds there are wonderful outlooks to the property’s magnificent tree line with the Blue Ridge Mountains and the George Washington National Forest as a distant backdrop.

The Woodward House on Manor Grade, overlooks the village and its cozy elegance lets you feel that down home warmth, just like you imaging going home would be, in a gentler, quieter time.

The Blue Ridge Shadows Holiday Inn and Suites Front Royal is a full service conference hotel with 124 guest rooms, including 24 suites. The facility features a Houlihan’s Restaurant plus Bar and the award winning Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club. Houlihan’s offers relaxed, casual dining and bar seating and features a 98 percent made from scratch kitchen. Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club is currently ranked Third on Golfweek’s “Best Courses You Can Play” list for Virginia.

For more information on the complete Front Royal experience and to plan your trip visit www.discoverfrontroyal.com or call 800-338-2576.
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