A Most ‘Royal’ Summer vacation

06/08/2010  | 
TRAVEL USA
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Discover miles of back roads where the scenery fades from ridge to ridge, wildflowers dance along the side of the road and the farmland rolls by under the watchful eye of the Blue Ridge. Located a stone’s throw from our nation’s capital but miles from the hustle and bustle come to a town where you can settle in and be a local. 

 

Flanked by the Blue Ridge to the east and Massanutten Mountain to the west, Front Royal’s founders strategically situated their community at the forks of the Shenandoah River. Recognized as the Gateway to Shenandoah National Park and the Canoe Capital of Virginia, Front Royal provides an ideal base for exploring the region’s unique outdoor adventures, cultural heritage, and historic past.

 

First, find your base camp

Summer is a great time to connect with family and air out that tent (or pop-up camper) you’ve been meaning to use again. You will create memories (and a new tradition) that will last a lifetime. The Front Royal area can accommodate all styles of camping from primitive to car camping to the luxury RV. 

If “roughing” is not your thing then choose from mountainside or riverside cabin rentals for the perfect family reunion or weekend getaway with friends. If you are looking to re-connect with that special someone then relax in comfort at one of our in town bed and breakfasts where your gracious hosts have taken every detail into account to ensure your stay is special. 

Hotel scene more your thing?

Then the Holiday Inn at Blue Ridge Shadows has what you need with an indoor pool and onsite Houlihan’s Restaurant + Bar.  Another option is the newly remodeled Quality Inn conveniently located across from historic downtown and offers many outstanding amenities, including a free continental breakfast, free local calls, free parking and an outdoor pool.

All lodging honors our military with special discounts and rates.  For a complete listing of all lodging www.discoverfrontroyal.com

Add in the fun and enjoy!

There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails that lace their way across the county, of which Front Royal is the county seat.  Amble through shaded forest floors and hillsides and reward yourself with a picnic lunch either at your summit or in a quite, shaded woodland rest area. 

Shenandoah National Park, the Tuscarora Trail, and the world-renowned Appalachian National Scenic Trail offer myriad loops (and primitive overnight shelters) for hikers, and backpackers of all levels.  In addition, Backpacker Magazine named Massanutten Washington, DC’s top-secret hiking getaway in February 2009.

The Shenandoah River State Park has something for everyone with over five miles of river frontage along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River and hiking and mountain biking trails the family will have plenty to do and will appreciate the hotdogs and smore’s when you gather for dinner to compare day’s adventures. Want more?

Enjoy a guided hike with llamas!  Hiking with llamas will add a whole new dimension to your wilderness adventure. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the local wildlife and wildflowers as well as some interesting tidbits about the history of the area.

Horse trails are nearly as plentiful as hiking trails, and a variety of stables in the region offer trail riding, lessons, and carriage tours. 

Spend the day floating down the lazy waters of the Shenandoah River imaging the centuries old adventurers that came before you as the ancient mountains watch over you. Be sure to keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife — turtles, heron, Bald Eagles and glimpses of white-tailed deer along the banks and maybe a black bear swimming across the river. Two professional river outfitters will make sure you have safe and memorable experience.

Take a break from the summer sun and cool off with a stroll underground. Skyline Caverns offers a one-mile tour of one of the area’s unique “karst” or cave systems. The caverns house the world’s largest encrustation of anthodites. These “Orchids of the Mineral Kingdom” cling to the cave ceiling, their delicate white spikes resembling crystalline sea urchins. Growing at a rate of one inch per 7,000 years, the mystery of their formation enhances their beauty.  After their tour, the kids will not want to miss a ride on Skyline’s miniature train or a visit to the mind-boggling Enchanted Dragon Mirror Maze.

Five golf courses offer 108 holes to challenge all skill levels.  Jackson’s Chase at Pine Hills is actually built on a Civil War battlefield, offering panoramic views of the mountains.  Rated four stars (and “a great value”) by Golf Digest, Shenandoah Valley Golf Course offers a 27-hole championship course ranked among the top 10 in Virginia. Nestled in the northern neck of the Shenandoah Valley against the backdrop of the striking Blue Ridge Mountains and landscape dotted by historic 19th century farmhouses lies picturesque Bowling Green Country Club. Offering two,18 hole courses. Blue Ridge Shadows and the Front Royal Golf Clubs round out the golf menu. Local accommodations, including hotels, motels, and historic bed and breakfasts often provide golf packages, so be sure to enquire. 

After a full day you still want more?  Take the family bowling or catch the latest summer blockbuster at the movie theater in downtown.  Watch America’s favorite past time at Bing Crosby Stadium.  Count up the home runs cheering on the Front Royal Cardinals. The Cardinals are part of the wooden bat Valley Baseball League and are one of eight summer collegiate baseball leagues that are members of the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball and are funded in part by a grant from Major League Baseball.

For more information call 800-338-2576 or visit www.discoverfrontroyal.com.
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