Looking for the best things to do in Luray, Virginia?
Luray, Virginia is one of the top places to visit in Virginia. It is located in the Shenandoah Mountains region in the western part of the state, and it is conveniently located not far from Interstate 81.
It is also only about an hour and a half drive from Fairfax County, which makes it a great destination for a weekend getaway.
The most popular attraction in the town is the famous Luray Caverns, and that is definitely worth the visit!
However, there are many other things to do in Luray, Virginia, including a heritage museum, a major national park, greenway walking trails, and a car museum.
|Where to Stay in Luray, Virginia|
|Best Budget Hotel Pick: |
Luray Cavern Motels
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Best Mid-Range Hotel Pick:
The Mimslyn Inn
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Best Luxury Hotel Pick:
12 Best Things to Do in Luray, Virginia
Whether you’re interested in exploring the famous Lavern Caverns, finding your way through a fun Garden Maze, or discovering antique cars and toys – Luray has plenty of activities for the whole family!
Luray Caverns are definitely the most famous attraction in Luray, Virginia. In fact, they’re one of the top attractions in the state.
The caverns hold the distinction of being the largest caverns in the Eastern United States, and they are one of the great natural wonders of the country.
The caverns are well worth the visit. They are an incredible sight to behold. Some of the spaces are 10 stories high, plus there’s an underground body of water that creates an awesome mirror effect within the caverns.
One of the most famous features is The Great Stalacpipe Organ, which is the largest musical instrument in the world and produces sound through 3 acres of caves.
Another highlight is the Dream Lake, which is a perfectly still and clear underground lake that creates a perfect reflection of the stalactites on the ceiling. It is a stunning sight to behold!
Admission to Luray Caverns also includes admission to the Car & Carriage Caravan Museum, Shenandoah Heritage Village, and Toy Town Junction, which makes it a perfect place to visit for the whole family.
You can find more information on all of these attractions below.
Discover even more of the best caves in Virginia, including nearby Skyline Caverns, Shenandoah Caverns, and Endless Caverns!
The Car & Carriage Caravan Museum is a must-see for any car enthusiast. Though even if you’re not into cars, the museum is fascinating and really cool!
The showroom contains over a hundred antique cars in excellent condition. The main attraction is an 1897 Mercedes-Benz, which is one of the oldest functioning cars in the United States.
Another major automobile on display is a 1925 Rolls-Royce associated with the movie star Rudolph Valentino.
The Shenandoah Heritage Village is a 10-acre site that features reconstructed 19th-century Shenandoah buildings for you to explore. It includes historic buildings, gardens, and even a vineyard.
You can walk into several of the buildings, including a house, church, and school, and see how they would have been furnished back in the 19th century.
It also includes the Luray Valley Museum, which has an excellent collection of pieces ranging from Native American artifacts to items from the 1920s.
Another attraction at the Shenandoah Heritage Village is the Gem Mining Sluice, where you can learn about prospecting for gold and other valuable minerals and gems with hands-on experience.
There is also a Museum Gift Shop on-site, as well as the Heartpine Cafe, where you can try regional wines, beers, and hard ciders.
Toy Town Junction was created by Dr. Richard Worden, a retired Methodist Minister with a love of toys and trains. He accumulated a substantial collection of toys and trains over the years and reached out to Luray Caverns to exhibit and share the collection with visitors to the famous natural attractions.
Toy Town Junction is great for all ages. Younger kids will enjoy the dolls, huge and intricate train sets, and many of the more modern toys that are on display. Adults will enjoy a great trip down memory lane when they see toys they remember from decades ago.
I saw some toys that I actually recognized from my childhood, and was instantly mesmerized! You’ll find numerous large toy train collections, dolls, doll houses, figurines, and more.
The Garden Maze at Luray Caverns is another not-to-be-missed attraction at the famous caverns. It requires an additional cost to enter, but it is well worth the price of admission.
The Garden Maze is the largest maze in the mid-Atlantic states! It features eight-foot tall hedges on one acre of land.
The pathway is half a mile long and has 40 different paths to take. The maze can take about 45 minutes or up to an hour to exit. It’s a great activity for families and kids.
The gift shop includes puzzle and maze-related products!
The Rope Adventure Park is one of the best kid-friendly things to do in Luray, VA. The park is right next to Luray Caverns, though it requires a separate ticket.
The ropes courses involve putting on a harness and navigating a course with swinging rope bridges, ladders, balance beams, and more.
There is a low ropes course and a high ropes course so that you can choose what level you feel most comfortable with.
The Rope Adventure Park is great for kids, families, and team-building events.
The Luray-Hawksbill Greenway is a lovely footpath that runs through downtown Luray alongside Hawksbill Creek. It is managed by the Hawksbill Greenway Foundation.
The greenway is a multi-use path used by walkers, joggers, and cyclists. The path is two miles long and includes two restrooms, eight picnic tables, more than 24 benches, and six parking areas along the way.
The greenway is conveniently located right in downtown Luray, which makes it one of the top things to do near Luray Caverns.
The greenway is a great place to enjoy the wildlife and beautiful scenery of the Shenandoah Valley region. There are more than 200 species of bird in the area, including Green Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Bluebird, and American Goldfinch.
The Luray Singing Tower (officially known as the Belle Brown Northcott Memorial) is another one of the best things to do near Luray Caverns.
It was constructed in 1937 and is located in Carillon Park across from the entrance to Luray Caverns, which makes it a very convenient stop on your trip to Luray.
The tower is 117 feet tall and features a carillon of 47 bells. The largest bell is an astounding 7,640 pounds in weight!
Free recitals are held regularly each year from spring through fall. The recitals feature patriotic music, folk music, hymns, classical music, and much more. Saturday recitals are held at 7 pm and Sunday recitals are held at 3 pm.
There is a lovely little park right beside the tower, with a pond, benches, and ducks.
The Hawksbill Diner is a local favorite for breakfast and lunch. It’s located about 10 minutes from downtown Luray in nearby Stanley, VA.
The diner is especially popular for weekend breakfasts. In fact, you should try to get there early to avoid the crowds and wait times.
The Hawksbill Diner is the kind of place where “everybody knows your name.” It has a great, friendly atmosphere, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular.
Their breakfast menu features home-cooked staples like pancakes, eggs, biscuit and gravy, and French Toast.
The diner is open daily from 6 am to 2 pm.
One important thing to note: the Hawksbill Diner only accepts cash. Credit cards are not accepted.
Shenandoah National Park is one of the most popular attractions in Virginia, and it’s definitely one that you don’t want to miss!
The park has over 500 miles of hiking trails to explore, plus picnic tables, waterfalls, wildlife, stunning mountain views, and much more. You will likely see deer and you could even see bears when traveling through the park!
Some of the top hiking trails in Shenandoah include the Mill Prong Trail, Rose River Loop Trail, and Dark Hollow Falls Trail, which leads you to the incredible 70-foot-tall Dark Hollow Falls.
There are also many overlooks off of the famous Skyline Drive, which runs through the park. You can stop and take in the beautiful views of the mountains and valley.
You can learn much more about Shenandoah National Park and the other major National Parks in Virginia.
11. Luray Wineries
Luray, VA has a number of excellent wineries located within an easy drive of the town.
Some notable wineries to visit are:
- Wisteria Farm and Vineyard – This adorable winery is also a working farm. You’ll see goats, chickens, and roasters roaming around. They have many indoor and outdoor seating areas that are very cute and cozy. They also have play areas for kids.
- Castle Vineyards – This winery is located right in Luray, VA, which makes it very convenient to visit. It features a large industrial-style tasting room with games and a pool table. They feature an excellent red wine called Red Barren that I highly recommend.
- Wolf Gap Vineyard – This winery is also located close to Luray, VA. It features a lovely setting that is also perfect for weddings and other special events.
- Ducard Vineyard – This winery is a little further afield, but it is worth the visit, and one of my personal favorites. Their wines are excellent, they have live music events, and the location is very beautiful and relaxing.
A little further outside of Luray, I recommend making a stop at the Massanutten Storybook Trail.
The trail is located high in the mountains at an elevation of about 2,000 feet. The trail itself is just about 0.7 miles, so it can be completed in about 20 to 30 minutes.
It features a flat, paved path that wanders through a peaceful section of forest. There are also some lovely rock formations near the path.
The best part of the trail, though, is that it leads to an overlook that will treat you to gorgeous views of Masanutten Mountain and the valley below.
One thing to note when driving to the trail: the road leading to it is narrow and windy. Luckily, there generally isn’t much traffic on the road
The road also tends to have a lot of potholes. Be careful to avoid them when you’re driving near the trail.
Best Places to Stay in Luray, VA
Best Budget Pick: Luray Cavern Motels
Luray Cavern Motels is an excellent pick because of its great price, great reviews, plus great location within close proximity of many major attractions. It is just 1,800 feet from Luray Caverns! You can also enjoy local activities such as golfing, cycling, and horseback riding.
Best Mid-Range Pick: The Mimslyn Inn
The Mimslyn Inn is a great mid-range pick in Luray. It has lovely grounds, a pool and hot tub, a garden, a fitness center, and a continental breakfast. Luray Caverns is just 0.9 miles away. The inn also features two of the best restaurants in Luray, Virginia: Circa ’31 and The Speakeasy Bar & Restaurant.
Best Luxury Pick: Hotel Laurance
If you’re looking to splurge on a special vacation treat, the Hotel Laurance is the perfect choice. It is a gorgeous, sophisticated property. The large rooms feature private kitchens and seating areas. It is located 1 mile from Luray Caverns.
Learn even more about my favorite hotels and cabins near Luray Caverns!
FAQs About Luray Caverns
Before planning your trip to Luray Caverns, check out the following common questions and answers.
How long does it take to go through Luray Caverns on average?
It takes about an hour to go through Luray Caverns. The caverns are self-guided, which means you can go at your own pace.
Is Luray Caverns better than Skyline Caverns?
Both Luray Caverns and Skyline Caverns are worth visiting. Luray Caverns is much bigger and has more activities nearby, including the Car & Carriage Caravan Museum, Shenandoah Heritage Museum, and The Garden Maze. Skyline Caverns features fascinating and rare crystal-like formations called anthodites that are also worth seeing.
How should I dress for Luray Caverns?
You should dress warmly for Luray Caverns. The temperature is about 54 degrees all year round. Wearing a sweater or light jacket is generally appropriate.
What is the best day of the week to visit Luray Caverns?
Monday through Thursday are often the best days of the week to visit Luray Caverns. The caverns are much busier on Friday through Sunday.
Conclusion: 12 Best Things to Do in Luray, Virginia
As you can see, Luray has much more to offer than just the famous caverns! I highly recommend taking advantage of the other attractions near the caverns, including The Garden Maze, Shenandoah Heritage Museum, and Car & Carriage Caravan Museum!
Plus, take time to see the nearby Luray Singing Tower and Luray-Hawksbill Greenway!
All of these attractions and more will make sure you have a memorable trip to Luray, VA!
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