I have ridden along many national parkways including the Natchez Trace (TN/MS), Great Lake Seaway Byway (NY), Blue Ridge Parkway (VA, NC) and, of course, the Skyline Drive Parkway (VA). I have also attended multiple motorcycle rallies along the east coast including Daytona.

Outside of rallies, I have never seen as many motorcycles in one location as I do in Front Royal, Virginia. During motorcycle riding season, it is not uncommon to see hundreds of motorcycles in Front Royal, either singular or riding in large groups daily. You can see these large numbers of motorcycles passing through almost every day but especially on weekends. In my opinion Front Royal could be the motorcycle destination of Virgina much like Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee.

Why are so many motorcycles passing through Front Royal? It is because the town is located at the northern terminus of Skyline Drive and about an hour from the nation’s capital.  All these motorcycle riders are passing through the town on the way to Skyline Drive or to parts unknown as they leave the Parkway.

By just passing through Front Royal motorcyclists are missing out on opportunities for some great local rides and the great local flavor.  For example, a rider can take a loop from Front Royal to Luray via Fort Valley Road. That ride would last about two+ hours, depending on stops, and would have you back in town by lunch time.

After lunch, mount the motorcycle and head south out of town to cross under Skyline Drive at it two gaps.  But be careful, they are quite technical, and the northern gap is designated as a high crash area. Two+ hours later you will be back in town with enough time to get to dinner and a stroll along main street.

After dinner, riders could visit the Virginia Beer Museum for brew and live music or Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing for a unique activity or any of the many other venues in town.  Front Royal has lots of hotels and restaurants and a main street that could be considered a throw-back to another era. Check out the movie theater that has a 1950’s vibe with a state-of-the-art projector and sound system.

Front Royal may be the gateway to Skyline Drive, but it should also be a destination at the start or end of your motorcycle ride.  Stay a day or two, there are plenty of hotels and campgrounds, to explore both our local roads and our small-town atmosphere.

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