Fun Exciting Things To Do In Luray Virginia 2023
There are many things to do in Luray, Virginia. Luray, Virginia is located in the northern part of Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. It is about a 2 hour drive from Washington DC.
Best Things To Do In Luray Virginia
Some of the best things to do in Luray Virginia include exploring the Luray Caverns, visiting Shenandoah National Park, horseback riding at Skyland Stables, and visiting the Car & Carriage Caravan Museum. Other activities include outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing, as well as cultural and theme tours, private and custom tours, and private and luxury ways to tour Luray
In the heart of Luray, Virginia, lies the most popular attraction, the world-famous Luray Caverns. Discovered in 1878, the caverns have been of significant interest to both historians and geologists. The constant temperature and humidity inside have helped preserve the formations, allowing scientists to study them and learn more about the Earth’s history.
Luray Caverns is renowned for its exceptional variety and abundance of calcite formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, and mirrored pools. These formations are not only extensive but also exceptionally beautiful, with intricate patterns and rich colors.
The Great Stalacpipe Organ is an internationally recognized musical instrument that uses the cavern’s natural stalactites as its “keys.” When struck, these stalactites produce musical notes. It’s the world’s largest musical instrument of its kind and offers a unique and ethereal musical experience for visitors.
Luray Caverns is strategically located in the picturesque Shenandoah Valley, making it a convenient destination for those touring the Blue Ridge Mountains or Shenandoah National Park. Ticket prices for the caverns typically range from $28 to $32 for adults, with different rates available for children and seniors. It is a great place for everybody and a very cool experience.
Luray Valley Museum
The Luray Valley Museum is a part of the Luray Caverns complex, one of the most visited cave systems in the Eastern United States. While the caverns are the primary attraction for many visitors, the Luray Valley Museum offers an insight into the rich history of the Shenandoah Valley and its inhabitants over the past 500 years.
The museum’s collections focus on the history of the Shenandoah Valley from the pre-contact Native American tribes to the early European settlers and up until 1920, when the Luray Caverns were opened to the public.
The museum grounds feature a collection of historic structures, including a 19th-century schoolhouse, a log cabin, and other buildings representative of early settler life in the valley. These structures have been moved to the site from their original locations to be preserved and shared with visitors.
The proximity of the museum to the Luray Caverns makes it a convenient stop for visitors exploring the area. After exploring the subterranean wonders of the caverns, many visitors choose to spend some time at the museum to deepen their understanding of the region’s human history.
Luray Garden Maze
Just outside the entrance and gift shop to the caverns area, the Luray Garden Maze awaits. Here, guests will be challenged in this large greenery area with numerous winding paths for those to rush as they try to find their way out of this ginormous puzzle. The maze provides a fun challenge for visitors of all ages and is the perfect place for families or those looking to enjoy a leisurely afternoon outdoors.
Rope Adventure Park
There is a rope adventure park in Luray called the “Luray Caverns Rope Adventure Park.” The Rope Adventure Park is conveniently located at the Luray Caverns complex, making it a fun addition to a day spent exploring the caverns.
The Luray Caverns Rope Adventure Park offers a series of challenging rope elements for visitors to navigate. The park consists of various rope obstacles set up on poles. It’s designed to challenge participants physically and mentally as they navigate from one platform to the next. The course generally has multiple levels of difficulty, allowing participants of varying ages and abilities to participate and enjoy. Safety is a priority. Participants are usually secured with harnesses, and trained staff are on hand to guide and assist as needed.
Besides the Rope Adventure Park and the caverns themselves, the Luray Caverns complex offers other attractions, like the aforementioned Luray Valley Museum, a car and carriage museum, and a garden maze. If you’re planning a trip to Luray Caverns and are interested in a little adventure above ground, the Rope Adventure Park might be a great fit.
Middle River Outfitters Fly Fishing
Middle River Outfitters Fly Fishing is a place to immerse yourself in the art of fly fishing. They offer all equipment through their shop, so all you have to do is cast your line into the pristine waters of the Shenandoah Valley. Whether you’re a novice seeking guidance or a seasoned angler looking for new fishing spots, Middle River Outfitters offers a variety of experiences to suit your preferences. It is the best place to go for fly fishing for everybody.
The Valley Cork
The Valley Cork is the perfect spot for food and wine enthusiasts. Discover a curated selection of wines and craft beers, perfectly complemented by amazing dishes that showcase the area’s flavors. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening or a regular gathering with friends, The Valley Cork provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for food and wine lovers alike.
The Car and Carriage Caravan Museum
The Car and Carriage Caravan Museum offers a captivating glimpse into the history of transportation. Here guests get to look at the beginning of transportation with the vintage automobiles and horse-drawn carriages, followed by current items. This museum is a great place for all since it allows you to step back in time and visually see the evolution of travel.
The Hawksbill Greenway Foundation is an organization that has played a pivotal role in the development, enhancement, and maintenance of the Hawksbill Greenway in Luray, Virginia. The Greenway itself is a scenic multi-use path that winds along the Hawksbill Creek. It gives both residents and visitors with a peaceful place to walk, bike, or simply enjoy nature.
The foundation was instrumental in envisioning, promoting, and fundraising for the development of the Greenway. Their efforts helped to transform the area alongside Hawksbill Creek into the trail that many enjoy today. The foundation’s mission goes beyond just maintaining the Greenway. They work to enhance its beauty, promote its use, and ensure its sustainability for future generations.
The Hawksbill Greenway Foundation often collaborates with the local community, businesses, and other organizations. They organize events, volunteer workdays, and fundraising efforts to support and promote the Greenway. One of the foundation’s aims is to ensure the Greenway remains an environmentally friendly space. They’ve been involved in stream bank restoration projects, tree plantings, and other initiatives that help protect and restore the local ecosystem.
Along the Greenway, there are signs and stations that offer insights into the local ecology, history, and importance of the creek. The foundation has had a role in providing these educational resources to enhance the experience of visitors.
The Greenway has been designed to be accessible to people of all abilities. The path is paved for most of its length, and there are multiple entry and exit points, benches, bridges, and observation areas along the path.
Darkwood Manor is a haunted house experience that invites thrill seekers from everywhere. Here, guests will have to navigate eerie corridors while encountering chilling surprises at every turn. If you’re up for an adrenaline pumping adventure, Darkwood Manor promises a very scary, yet unforgettable encounter.
Warehouse Art Gallery
Art lovers will be amazed at the Warehouse Art Gallery. It displays numerous artworks from regional and local artists. From paintings, scultpures, and crafts, the gallery has many original pieces for guests to see. The gallery serves as a vibrant hub for artistic expression and a testament to the area’s vibrant cultural scene. It is a great place for everybody to come in and enjoy the art!
Toy Town Junction Museum
Toy Town Junction is a museum located in Luray, Virginia, dedicated to showcasing a vast collection of toys from various eras. There is an extensive collection of toys, including model trains, dolls, miniatures, and other vintage and antique toys. The displays capture the nostalgia of childhood for many visitors and offer a historical perspective on how toys and playthings have evolved over the years.
One of the major highlights of the museum is its collection of model trains. The trains are displayed in detailed dioramas that depict various scenes, making it a delight for both train enthusiasts and those with a fondness for miniature worlds.
While the museum mainly features static displays, there are interactive elements and exhibits that engage younger visitors, making it a family-friendly destination.
If you’re planning a trip to Luray or the surrounding area and have an interest in toys, history, or model train displays, Toy Town Junction is worth a visit. It’s a great spot for families, offering something for visitors of all ages.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is a great place to take a day trip for nature lovers. Guests can embark on a challenging hike across the picturesque Shenandoah valley, or drive along the scenic Skyline Drive. It is also the perfect place to have a picnic lunch amongst the calmness of the wilderness. This park is an encapsulating escape into the beauty of the natural world and offers numerous fun things to do. Shenandoah National Park is the perfect spot near the town of Luray for those looking for an amazing outdoor experience with plenty of activities.
Visit The Lookout Tower At Kennedy Peak
Kennedy Peak is a prominent mountain located in the George Washington National Forest near Luray, Virginia. It’s a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, especially hikers, due to its accessible trail and the panoramic views it offers from its summit.
Kennedy Peak stands at an elevation of roughly 2,140 feet, providing expansive views of the surrounding Shenandoah Valley and other mountain ranges. The most common route to the summit is via the Kennedy Peak Trail. This moderately challenging trail is approximately 5.5 miles round trip and offers hikers a combination of wooded areas and stunning vistas.
One of the main attractions at the summit is the Kennedy Peak Fire Tower. While the tower was originally constructed for spotting forest fires, it’s now a historic structure that provides hikers with 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape. From the peak and especially the fire tower, visitors can see the Massanutten Mountain range, parts of the Shenandoah National Park, and the meandering Shenandoah River.
Kennedy Peak is situated in the northern section of the Massanutten Mountain range. Its proximity to Luray makes it a popular day trip for both locals and visitors to the area.
Cooters Luray is a place dedicated to the TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard”. Whether you are a fan or not, there is plenty to do here with numerous shopping and dining spots. They also have a museum with a shop and eatery dedicated to the TV show. Cooters Luray is a great place for those looking to explore iconic memorabilia while reliving moments from the show.
A visit to Luray Zoo is a must for those looking to see many incredible animals. Guests can view the diverse collection of animals, including exotic and domestic species. They can also gain insights into the importance of safeguarding the Earth’s biodiversity and how we can protect the endangered animals. It is a rescue zoo, and the exhibits include outdoor animal areas, a reptile house, and a petting zoo. The Luray Zoo has many great things to see for all ages!
Inn Lawn Park
The Inn Lawn is a well-known open green space in Luray, Virginia. It’s situated right in the heart of Luray and serves as a focal point for various community activities and events. It’s located on Main Street in Luray, making it easily accessible for both locals and visitors.
Inn Lawn Park is often the venue for local events, festivals, and gatherings. The park sees seasonal events, arts and craft fairs, music events, and other community-based activities. Apart from hosting events, the park provides an open area for relaxation. Residents and tourists alike can enjoy a leisurely stroll, picnics, or just some quiet time in the park.
Given its central location in Luray, the park is close to various local businesses, eateries, and other points of interest.
Massanutten Storybook Trail
The Massanutten Storybook Trail is family-friendly trail located near Luray, Virginia. It’s part of the George Washington National Forest and offers visitors an accessible way to enjoy the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley. It’s especially popular during the fall when the foliage is in full color.
The trail is relatively short, about 0.3 miles in length, making it an easy and quick visit for families, even those with small children. The trail is paved and designed to be wheelchair and stroller accessible. It provides a great way for people of all abilities to experience the natural beauty of the region.
As the name “Storybook” suggests, along the trail, visitors will find interpretive signs and panels that provide educational insights into the natural and cultural history of the area. This makes it both an entertaining and enlightening experience for children and adults alike.
The trail’s starting point is conveniently located just off of Skyline Drive, which is a famous scenic byway that runs through Shenandoah National Park. There’s a small parking area at the trailhead, making it easy for visitors to access.
Belle Brown Northcott Memorial / Luray Singing Tower / Belle Brown Northcott Carillon
Belle Brown Northcott Memorial, commonly known as the Luray Singing Tower or the Belle Brown Northcott Carillon, is a notable landmark located in Luray, Virginia. It is a carillon tower that was dedicated in 1937. The tower contains a carillon, a musical instrument consisting of at least 23 bells. The Luray Singing Tower specifically houses 47 bells, and the instrument can be played by a musician to produce a wide variety of melodies and harmonies.
The Luray Singing Tower stands at 117 feet tall, making it a prominent structure in the Luray landscape. The carillon was dedicated in memory of Belle Brown Northcott by her husband, Colonel T.C. Northcott, who was the founder of the Luray Caverns Corporation. The tower boasts Gothic and Art Deco architectural styles, making it not just a musical attraction but also an architectural point of interest.
The tower frequently hosts carillon concerts, especially during warmer months. These concerts are often free to the public and provide an opportunity for visitors and locals to enjoy the beautiful sounds of the carillon in an outdoor setting.
The tower is situated in a park-like setting, providing a serene environment for relaxation and enjoyment of the music. It’s located near the famous Luray Caverns, making it a convenient stop for those visiting the caverns.
If you’re in the Luray area, the Belle Brown Northcott Memorial is worth a visit, especially during one of its carillon concerts. The combination of the tower’s architecture, the surrounding green space, and the music from the carillon creates a unique and enchanting experience.
Bear Mountain Ziplines
Bear Mountain Ziplines is an adventure attraction that offers ziplining experiences in Virginia. The cost is about $75 a person for the 7 part zipline course. The experience lasts 1-1.5 hours depending on the size of your group.
Arrive 30 minutes early so that you have time to sign the injury waiver. All the necessary equipment is provided for you and your group. It is located just 5 mile from downtown Luray.
Hike Part Of The Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail is a long-distance hiking trail that stretches from Georgia to Maine in the United States. You can hike part of it from Luray.
The Appalachian Trail comes close to Luray, Virginia, but does not pass directly through it. While the trail doesn’t go directly through the town of Luray, it passes very close by. In fact, many hikers will break in Luray for resupply, rest, or to visit the famous caverns. The trail does go through the Shenandoah National Park, which is very close to Luray.
Not many people realize that the state of Virginia is famous for producing some pretty amazing wines. There some vineyards near Luray as well that you can visit if you want to experience some of the local wines and wine culture.
Things To Do In Luray Virginia: Summary
Luray, Virginia is a very popular tourist destination and one of the most popular places to visit on the East Coast of the United States. At its heart lies the Luray Caverns, renowned for their stunning calcite formations and the unique Great Stalacpipe Organ.
Beyond this subterranean wonder, Luray boasts the informative Luray Valley Museum, the entertaining Luray Garden Maze, and the challenging Rope Adventure Park. History enthusiasts can dive into the past at the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum, while art lovers will be captivated by the Warehouse Art Gallery. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Shenandoah National Park, Hawksbill Greenway, and Kennedy Peak offer unparalleled scenic beauty.
Other attractions like Toy Town Junction Museum, Luray Zoo, and Cooters Luray provide fun for all ages. Whether it’s immersing oneself in history, seeking adrenaline-fueled adventures, or simply enjoying nature’s splendors, Luray promises a memorable experience for every person who visits.