Are you looking to be awed and amazed? Then you have got to see the mind-blowing Luray Caverns in Virginia. It’s one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders and it’s an awesome sight to see.
You’ll find Luray Caverns beneath Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley where you’ll travel down into a cave with 10 story high ceilings filled with cool stalagmites and stalactites. Keep venturing through to find the Luray Cavern Organ and an underground lake.
After visiting the cave, spend the day exploring the Luray Valley Museum, Car & Carriage Caravan, and Toy Town Junction all on property. Plus more fun things to do near Luray Caverns.
Use this guide to find out everything you need to know for your visit to Luray Caverns Virginia.
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Luray Caverns Virginia – What to Know Before You Go
Luray Caverns Hours and Location
Luray Caverns is located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley close to the Shenandoah National Park. It is nestled in a perfect location to explore all the Shenandoah Valley has to offer. Take exit 264 west off of Skyline Drive in the National Park and you will run straight into the Caverns.
Address: 101 Cave Hill Rd, Luray VA
The Caverns are open every day of the year starting at 9 am. The closing time changes seasonally so make sure to check that before you go. The earliest closing time is 4 pm. Luray Cavern Hours
Luray Caverns Tickets and Parking
General admission tickets to the cave include the Luray Caverns, the Car & Carriage Caravan, Toy Town Junction, and the Luray Valley Museum. I will tell you more about each of these attractions below.
Tours at Luray Caverns run every 20 minutes. With so many tours going each day, you should not have to buy tickets in advance. Luray Caverns claims they never sell out. We went on a July morning in high season and didn’t have any problems getting tickets.
There is no charge for parking and a big lot is available.
For an additional fee, there is a really cool Luray Caverns Rope Adventure Park with a 3 level ropes course and a Garden Maze. These too can be purchased on the day of your visit by these attractions. Read below to learn more.
What to See in Luray Cavern
To get to the cave, you walk down a narrow stairway located near the ticket booth. At the bottom, you will be met by a guide who will give you some history of the cave. Then begin to follow a sloping paved walkway around the cavern. Expect to spend about an hour to see the whole cavern.
Depending on how busy they are, you may have a guide who walks with you or guides strategically placed throughout the cavern to tell you about the highlights in each area. The guides are spread throughout the cavern which is actually nice because you could go at your own pace rather than following someone.
Luray Caverns has 10 story high ceilings and wide passageways so you will never feel claustrophobic walking around. It really is enormous!
Everywhere you look are huge stalagmites and stalactites to admire. Guides will point out the different colors of the stalagmites and give you an idea of when they were formed. You will also learn the interesting story of how the cavern was discovered in 1878 by five local men.
Some highlights are the sparkling lake that reflects the ceiling to make it look like the formations are also coming up from the ground. This illusion was really cool to see!
Luray Caverns Organ
One of the most famous areas of the cave is the Luray Caverns Organ. This great Stalactite Organ is made out of ancient stone formations and plays amazing music. As part of the tour, you will get to hear it play.
At the end of the tour, you will find the wishing well with beautiful turquoise waters. Make sure to have a few coins to throw in to make a wish.
The end of the tour will let you out at the Luray Caverns Store. Just a warning for those who have kids that beg for toys in the store.
The Luray Valley Museum
The Luray Valley Museum has two different areas to explore. The first is the small museum which displays the history of Shenandoah Valley and the people who lived here. Inside you will find a collection of artifacts from the 1750s to the 1920s. This area has a lot of history for both kids and adults to peruse.
The second area is a collection of restored historic buildings making a recreation of a small 19th-century farming community. There are eight historic structures to explore ranging from an 1800’s farmhouse, one of the oldest African American schools, 1860’s barn filled with agriculture artifacts, blacksmith shop and Elk Run Meetinghouse from the early 1800s.
While we were there, a blacksmith was working in the shop and showed the kids how to make a spoon and fork. He was great at answering all the kid’s questions.
The kids favorite part was mining for gems. You buy a bag of “gems” in a bag of sand in the museum store. Then take it outside to Stoneyman Mining Company Gem Sluice. It’s a mining station where the kids can shift their sand through the water stations to discover their gems just like the pioneers did. Kids will leave with some cool gems and fun memories.
A treat for adults is the Heart Cafe, a historic cafe that serves small snacks and wine tasting. A perfect stop while touring the Luray Valley Museum. Get the kids a treat and yourself a glass of wine.
Car and Carriage Caravan
In the Car and Carriage Caravan, you will find rows of more than 140 items to teach you the history of transportation. Start out viewing transportation from all the way back to 1725 and end up in the 1950s.
Kids and adults will love looking at these old cars and wagons to see how things have changed over the years. It is included in the cost of your ticket so it’s worth the 20-30 minute stop. The building is located right next to the entrance to the Luray Caverns.
Toy Town Junction
We know kids love toys so why not take a walk through this cute toy museum. Train lovers will be so excited to see a massive collection of over 30 trains plus miniature theme areas and thousands of historic toys.
Our kids really enjoyed looking at all the old toys and comparing them to the toys they play with today.
This attraction is also included in your ticket price and can be a quick stop depending on how long you want to look. It is located next to the Car and Carriage Caravan.
Additional Attractions Not Included in Your Ticket Price
This is a one-acre ornamental garden maze that the kids can run through as they search for the way out. It’s one of the largest garden mazes in the Mid-Atlantic.
The Rope Adventure Park
The Rope Adventure Park is located right behind the Car and Carriage Caravan. The park is a huge three-level ropes course. There are lower and higher levels depending on your child’s skill and comfort level.
Kids are attached to a harness and pulley system to walk through the ropes course. So it’s pretty safe and fun to explore. We ran out of time to try this course but it looked really cool.
Tips for Your Visit
Luray Caverns can easily be a whole day adventure for your family. There are so many activities to keep everyone busy and excited. Check out these final tips for your visit
- Luray Caverns is a constant 54 degrees inside. I would suggest bringing a sweatshirt, even if it’s warm outside, the caverns will be cool inside.
- There are no bathrooms down in the cavern so make sure to have everyone go before you enter the cavern. There are bathrooms located right before you go in.
- Strollers – If you decide to bring a stroller I would suggest taking a smaller lightweight stroller. You will have to fold up your stroller and carry it through 3 sections of staircases. The paths are paved and somewhat smooth to push the stroller.
- Wheelchairs – The Cavern is not wheelchair accessible.
- Food – There are picnic table areas available if you want to bring your own snack/lunch. You will also find two places to buy food on the property. One is by the Luray Caverns entrance and the other is in the Luray Museum area.
- Parking – There is a large parking lot and it’s free
- If you want to come and just do the Ropes Course and Garden Maze, you can just buy those tickets at the entrance to the activities.
Things to Do Near Luray Caverns
Luray Caverns is located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. You will be amazed at how much there is to see and do while visiting this area. Here are some of our favorite areas to add to your vacation.
Shenandoah National Park
You can’t miss seeing the beautiful Shenandoah National Park after exploring the Luray Caverns. Take amazing family hikes, drive Skyline Drive for outstanding views, and look for local wildlife. Find all the best hikes and tips with kids in my Shenandoah National Park Guide.
Things to Do in Shenandoah Valley
While your there, make sure to explore all the surrounding activities Shenandoah Valley has to offer. Visit the cute towns of Winchester and Staunton. Explore the many historical museums and a great children’s museum. You’ll love all the character each town’s downtown has while strolling along its cobblestone streets.
Learn more in Shenandoah Valley Best Things to Do with Kids
Only an hour and a half away is the historic town of Charlottesville which makes a great day trip from the Shenandoah Area.
Here you’ll find a pedestrian-friendly historic downtown with fun museums, great restaurants, and shops. Plus the beautiful campus of the University of Virginia. Learn more in Top Things to do in Charlottesville with Kids.
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Home
If you enjoy visiting historic homes you love Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Plantation. Here you can take guided tours specifically for families so everyone can enjoy the experience. Roam the beautiful gardens and learn about the slaves who lived on the plantation.
It’s only 15 minutes from Downtown Charlottesville and makes a great day trip together. Find out more in my Guide to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Plantation.
Hotels Near Luray Caverns
On our week-long visit to Shenandoah Valley, we stayed at the All Season Massanutten Resort. It was centrally located between all Shenandoah Valley has to offer and Charlottesville. Allowing for lots of fun day trips.
The resort offers both winter and summer fun activities. From Skiing & Snow Tubbing in the Winter to Water Parks, ropes courses, horseback riding and more in the summer months. You’ll be amazed at home much there is to do! Learn more in my review of Massanutten Resort.
Are you ready now for an unforgettable visit to Luray Caverns Virginia? I hope you will be able to use all these tips for a great family adventure. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments. I love to hear from my readers.
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