If you follow my Instagram, you probably saw that I went on a weekend trip last month to a local town in Virginia not far from where I live. This quaint town is a short 1 1/2 hours or so outside of Washington, DC and has so much to offer. I spent a jam-packed weekend exploring this town through Discover Front Royal and wanted to share my excursion with you all!
I was so honored to be invited along by my friend Lisa from Occasionally Luxe (you can read her post about Front Royal here) for the town’s #DiscoverFrontRoyal and #BackToBusiness initiative centered around increasing tourism and supporting small, local businesses. I’m someone who always tries to shop small and shop local, and my determination to do so has only increased during the pandemic. This opportunity to highlight a wonderful small town and all the local businesses and shops was truly a dream come true!
Let’s be real – traveling is hard right now and I know many people (myself included) were seeking safe ways to escape our homes that we’ve been in for most of this year. A trip within driving distance is the perfect solution to safely get out of your home for a short while without dealing with the stress of crowded airports or bus terminals.
The beauty of Front Royal is that it’s not only nearby, it also has an abundance of outdoor activities for you to do! Whether you want to go hiking solo, take a canoe out for for some romantic alone time, or walk around the town taking pictures of their beautiful murals with your friends or family, Front Royal has something for everyone. And I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that the food in this town is delicious – everywhere from the brewery to local cafes to bakeries to tapas restaurants, my mouth was watering with each meal!
What to Do in Front Royal:
- Front Royal Outdoors – You can’t miss taking a trip down the Shenandoah River in when you’re in Front Royal. It is, after all, the Canoe Capital of Virginia! Canoeing, kayaking, and fishing are all great ways to take in the natural beauty of this town. #BacktoNature
- Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co. – Looking for a fun way to spend your afternoon or evening? Try axe throwing! I had never done it before and let’s just say my hand-eye coordination is less that ideal, but I still had an absolute blast! Everyone was so nice and did a wonderful job explaining how best to angle and release your throws. If you love friendly competition, this is the spot for you!
- Turnmeyer Galleries – view beautiful local art, take a photography class, and purchase fun local memorabilia and gifts! There’s so much featured in this gallery, it’s a must-visit when you’re in Front Royal.
- Virginia Beer Museum – the first beer museum in the country to focus on a single state’s history of beer. This museum strives to give you the experience of Virginia beer while appreciating the history of its growth in Virginia. Visit the Virginia Beer Museum for a free tour and a glass of a local brew!
- Murals – there are so many beautiful and unique murals to be found across Front Royal, with more on the way! It’s such a fun adventure to wonder what beautiful artwork will be featured just around the corner.
Where to Eat and Drink in Front Royal:
- Front Royal Brewing Co. – a great selection of seasonal brews and local staples, this brewery and restaurant also features delicious hearty burgers and appetizers. It’s also one of the newest additions to revitalizing downtown Front Royal.
- Saga Meadery and Winery – I had never tried mead before, so when I tested out the flights and saw the variety of mead flavors available, I was impressed! The honey base is absolutely delicious and unlike anything I’ve ever had before! I highly recommend the crisp apple, wildflower, and winter cheer meads as my personal faves.
- Vinova Tapas & Wine Bar – I was blown away by the international cuisine featured at this restaurant. Truly a multicultural palette experience where every dish was delicious – I simply couldn’t decide so basically I ordered half the menu!
- Element – delicious cuisine, fancy drinks, and incredible desserts at this centrally-located restaurant on Main Street.
- Pave Mint Tap House – a smokehouse located in a revamped abandoned gas station with outdoor fire pits – while I didn’t go myself I only heard incredible things!
- Main Street Daily Grind – a delightful breakfast and lunch spot with delicious seasonal coffees – I had to snag the maple latte for fall!
- Manor Line Market – a delightful lunch spot with great views, quaint decor, and the best views of the town’s iconic gazebo.
- Down Home Comfort Bakery – if you’re craving some delicious, decadent and homey treats, this is a must-visit bakery. The cinnamon rolls and cookies were simply heavenly!
- Royal Spice – authentic Indian and Nepalese cuisine in the heart of Virginia!
Where to Shop:
- Mountain Trails – the perfect place to pick up gear for spending a day, weekend, or more outdoors! Whether you’re camping or hiking, they have something for every kind of activity!
- Old Timers Antiques – Looking for great vintage decor for your home or fashion for your wardrobe? Definitely swing by this shop.
- Inklings – a wonderful shop to find clothing, art, jewelry, and gifts!
- The Studio – take a painting class and shop for art!
- Mountain Mystic Trading Company – they offer books, cards, tarot decks, crystal and mineral specimens, wind chimes, tapestries, artwork, incense, candles, and more!
- White Picket Fence – this centrally located home goods store has a little bit of everything – including gifts, candles, witty signs, and seasonal decor!
- Royal Oak Bookshop – I love visiting local bookshops to support their business. This one also has bookshop cats!
- Page Master Book Store – you know I had to include the local comic book shop on this list. 😉
Where to Stay:
- TownePlace Suites by Marriott Front Royal – this was the comfortable hotel we stayed at, and I felt so safe with all of their COVID-19 precautions. It’s also a short 10 minute drive from the heart of town, so it’s convenient location can’t be beat!
- Hampton Inn Front Royal – another convenient location our fellow influencers stayed at during our trip and really enjoyed the accommodations.
I hope this guide inspires you to take a trip to visit this beautiful town and experience all it has to offer! A huge thank you to the following sponsors @discoverfrontroyal, the town of @frontroyalva, @coastalvamag, and @virginiareginaltransit for hosting us for the long weekend. Thank you also to all of the local businesses that welcomed us into town and and made our visit so special.