A historic city in Northern Virginia, Front Royal is popular for its location in the Shenandoah Valley. Retirees have access to the Shenandoah National Park for fishing, hiking, and boating, as well as an active downtown with local shops and restaurants. In addition, its golf courses and affordable housing make Front Royal a popular destination for active adults.
Climate & Geography
Located in the Shenandoah Valley, Front Royal has a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot, humid summers and cool to cold winters. Though average temperatures in winter hover around freezing, cold air masses over the surrounding mountains can cause significant snowfall. Residents can expect average rainfall and snowfall, as well as 200 days of sun.
Front Royal lies in a valley with gently rolling hills. The Blue Ridge Mountains lie to the east while the eastern front of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians are to the west. Front Royal is also where the north and south forks of the Shenandoah River meet.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
With quick access to Shenandoah National Park on the southeastern border of the city, there is no shortage of outdoor recreation for active adults. Retirees can hike the popular Buzzard Rock and Dickey Ridge Trails, fish and canoe along the Shenandoah River, or tour the cave system of Skyline Caverns. In addition, those looking for scenic spots and campsites can drive the 105 miles of the Skyline Drive, which offers expansive views of the mountains and valleys.
For shopping and dining, residents head to the Main Street Historic District, complete with local boutiques, eateries, and interesting sites like historic homes and the Virginia Beer Museum. The city also has a wide variety of breweries, distilleries, and wineries available. Additionally, Front Royal has four local golf courses.
For more historic sites and outdoor recreation, popular Winchester is just over a half-hour to the north.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Front Royal’s cost of living matches the national average. While housing costs are well below average, transportation is above average.
Virginia does not tax Social Security benefits, and while all other forms of retirement income are taxable, they are also largely deductible. Property taxes in the state are low, and there is a relief program available for retirees. Sales taxes are also low, but Virginia does tax groceries, albeit at a lower rate of 2.5 percent.
According to Gallup’s Well-Being Index, Virginia ranks in the top 27 states.
Front Royal has one medical center, Warren Memorial Hospital. The closest hospital that U.S. News rates high performing is Winchester Medical Center in Winchester. Other high performing hospitals within 40 miles include Inova Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg, Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg, and Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center in Manassas.