Front Royal

Front royal, Virginia
Front royal, Virginia

Front Royal caters to a wide variety of interests and can thus make for an excellent Virginia travel base. It is certainly a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Unfolding to the immediate south of town is Shenandoah National Park, and the area in general forms part of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Other points of interest for visitors who are looking to enjoy the Great Outdoors include the portion of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail that passes through the area, the geologic caves at Skyline Caverns, and the 400 miles of trails in the nearby George Washington National Forest. Front Royal VA is known as the "Canoe Capital of Virginia," so canoeing enthusiasts will feel right at home during a visit, and wine lovers can indulge in trips to the area wineries.

Battle of Front Royal
Battle of Front Royal

Exploring the historic downtown district is another option for things to do in Front Royal VA, and visitors can view a variety of interesting artifacts at the Confederate Museum on Chester Street. History buffs are also likely to enjoy a Battle of Front Royal driving tour. For those who are still looking for reasons to visit Front Royal, the city offers a variety of shopping and dining opportunities, and its location approximately 75 miles west of Washington D.C. means that side trips to the Nation’s Capital are rather easy to arrange.

Historic Downtown

Historic Downtown
Historic Downtown  Image: Jason Riedy (flickr)

Front Royal VA has a historic downtown district that is quite charming. Main Street forms the heart of this district and is delightfully lined with trees, historic buildings, unique shops, and a variety of eateries. Benches are also in good supply along Main Street for those who want to sit down and take it all in. The Visitors Center at 414 E. Main Street provides information on Front Royal’s historic downtown district and can be a great place to begin a downtown tour. History buffs should be interested to know that the building that the Visitors Center occupies dates back to the 1890s and was originally a train station. Also worth highlighting is the fact that right next door to the Visitors Center is Village Commons. This popular gathering place plays host to festivals and live music shows in the summer and can be a great spot to take a time out while exploring the downtown area.

Battle of Front Royal Driving Tour

Battle of Front Royal Driving Tour
Battle of Front Royal Driving Tour  Image: Jason Riedy (flickr)

Much of the Front Royal area’s historical allure relates to the Civil War. The area certainly played host to its fair share of Civil War skirmishes. Among the most renowned of these fights was the Battle of Front Royal, which took place on May 23, 1862. General Stonewall Jackson and his 16,000 troops successfully defeated the Union forces during this battle, liberating Front Royal in the process. The battle so rattled President Lincoln and the Union contingency that a decision was made to abandon a planned attack on Richmond and send the Union troops in question to defend the Shenandoah Valley instead. A free brochure that centers around Battle of Front Royal driving tours can be obtained at the Front Royal Visitors Center on Main Street.

Canoeing

Canoeing
Canoeing  Image: Killfile (flickr)

Being that Front Royal is known as the "Canoe Capital of Virginia," visitors are encouraged to consider a canoeing adventure during their time in town. The waterway of choice for such adventures is the Shenandoah River, which winds its way through Front Royal. The scenery along the river is breathtaking, and therein lies much of the allure. Several canoeing operations are found in the Front Royal area, and they can help visitors arrange a day out on the North and South forks of the Shenandoah River. It should be noted that canoeing isn’t the only kind of activity that can be enjoyed on the Shenandoah River. The area river guides can also help people arrange kayaking, tubing, and rafting excursions.

Front Royal Lodging

Front Royal Lodging
Front Royal Lodging  Image: Killfile (flickr)

The lodging choices in Front Royal VA include several chain brand establishments that offer good rooms at a fair price. Examples of chain brand hotels that are at the top of the list include the Holiday Inn & Suites Front Royal Blue Ridge Shadows (pictured) and the Hampton Inn Front Royal. Complementing hotels such as these are a number of cheaper motels, with examples including the Scottish Inn Front Royal and the Super 8 Front Royal. Many Front Royal visitors choose to pass on the chain brand hotels, opting to go with one of the charming bed and breakfasts instead. There are several wonderful B&Bs in the area, with examples including Killahevlin and Lackawanna, both of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Complementing the chain brand hotels and the bed and breakfasts that can be found in and around Front Royal are a number of inviting cabins and cottages. Camping is just one more Front Royal lodging option, thanks to the number of area campgrounds and the campsites that are found in the George Washington National Forest and Shenandoah National Park.

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