15 Best Things to Do in Luray, VA

Luray, VA
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The humble town of Luray is the county seat of Page County and is located at the historic and picturesque Shenandoah Valley in northern Virginia.

Luray, Virginia, may not appear to have much to offer at first look, but at a closer look, you will discover lots of fun and interesting things to do in Luray.

Bordered by the Blue Ridge Mountains and accentuated by the Shenandoah River’s flowing banks, this town provides an outstanding range of recreational possibilities, gorgeous attractions, cultural history, and natural preserves.

The streets of Luray reflect an extensive history that can be traced back to the 1800s.

Brick structures with big display windows house the storefronts and cafes with folk-inspired Victorian and retro-warehouse designs.

Check out the planter boxes and flowers hanging from streetlamps that adorn the walkways in this area of the city.

There is an old, covered bridge with pebbles that allows you to cross Hawksbill Creek—which runs through the middle of town—on foot.

Luray is also renowned for its caverns and highways that link visitors to Shenandoah National Park.

But the most priceless asset of this small town, with only about 5,000 residents, is the locals’ warm ‘hellos’ at visitors.

Whether you are searching for intense adventure or deep relaxation, Luray offers a wealth of experiences to enjoy.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Luray, VA:

Explore Luray Caverns

The lake inside Luray Caverns
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Discovered in 1878, Luray Caverns are the biggest caverns on the East Coast of the United States and Virginia’s top tourist attraction.

Located at 100 Cave Hill Road, the destination gathers hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

To get the most out of your visit, it is recommended that you go on guided tours through its well-lit, well-paved corridors.

Getting about in the Caverns is a breeze.

There are plenty of photo ops, too.

The tunnels have towering halls with 10-story ceilings where you will see massive stone structures and natural wonders at every turn.

The cavern’s Giants Hall is 164 feet deep, which is equal to 16 stories!

Here, an area named "The Cathedral," features an organ from the 1950s, which is used for weddings and other ceremonies.

Wishing well inside Luray Caverns
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Aside from its majestic stone columns and shimmering drapery, you will get the opportunity to admire its crystal-clear ponds and several different crystalline types of limestone called 'calcite.'

Once you break any elements of nature in the caves, you will be penalized.

There are several mineral formations in the caverns, so resist your urge to break off any piece.

The tour concludes with a wishing well, where tourists may toss money into a tiny pond.

Metals in the coins cause the water's hue to be a deep aqua blue.

A team of employees collects pennies and chooses where to donate them at the end of each year.

Dine at the Valley Cork

The Dine at The Valley Cork at 55 E Main Street is a must-stop if you wish to try some of Luray’s most delectable dishes and local wine.

If you wish to unwind with your loved ones, you can pair its wines with a cheese platter.

Aside from its specialty wines, you may also try a few craft beers and ciders.

Their menu includes everything from flatbreads to steaks to pasta to charcuterie boards, and more!

It also has live music performances from time to time and is open from Thursday to Sunday.

You may also join special events in Valley Cork, such as pop-up dinners if you are lucky enough to be in town at the time.

Just make sure to reserve space and book tickets in advance.

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Travel Back in Time at Car and Carriage Caravan Museum

TCar and Carriage Caravan Museum in Luray, Virginia
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If you are a car enthusiast, this museum is a must-see.

But even if you are not a car aficionado, the magnificence of these automobiles' designs will take your breath away.

Located at 100 Cave Hill Road, admission to this specialty museum is included as you visit Luray Caverns.

This small antique vehicle collection features automobiles and carriages dating back to the early 1700s.

The proprietors of the Caverns have assembled several historically significant and one-of-a-kind automobiles.

Fifty of the automobiles exhibited in the museum have been repaired and maintained, and all but two have working engines.

All the vehicles and carriages on the exhibit have signage explaining what makes them unique.

Check out the buggies, stagecoaches, trail wagons, and classic cars like Stanley Steamer, and 1897 Mercedes-Benz, to name a few.

Visit Chinquapin Oak

If you wish to admire the magnificence of Luray’s Chinquapin Oak, drop by 121 S. Court Street.

This is a must-see natural wonder for those who enjoy the outdoors and love arbors.

The Chinquapin Oak was first planted in 1755, 21 years before George Washington and Thomas Jefferson signed the Declaration of Independence.

It stands at 96 feet tall, with an area of 122 feet and a circumference of 21 feet.

If you want to know more about the tree, check out the information engraved on the stone bench in front of it.

While walking along the Hawksbill Greenway route is also possible to see the top of the Chinquapin Oak.

Enjoy the Stony Man Mountain's Scenic Views

Milky Way over Stony Man Mountain in Virginia
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Stony Man, at 4011 feet, is Shenandoah's second-highest peak, following Hawksbill at 4,051 feet.

With only 400 feet ascent, the top is an easy climb that offers some of the greatest views in Shenandoah National Park.

Hikers can try three different routes to the summit of Stony Man Mountain.

You may take the easy 1.6-mile round trip hike.

Sunset in sunset at Stony Man Summit, Virginia
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If you are up for the challenge, you can also try its more challenging 9-mile route through a popular rock wall called Little Stony Man.

Lastly, you can take a 3.6-mile moderate round trip to the peak that combines Little Stony man and two more scenic paths.

To get the most out of your experience, it is best to go on a clear day.

Get Closer to Nature at Hawksbill Greenway Foundation

Luray's Hawksbill Greenway Foundation is the best spot to observe the Shenandoah Valley's rich animals and interact with nature.

A 2-mile walking and bicycling route and more await you here.

The path can be enjoyed in its whole or segments.

Every tenth of a mile, you will find yellow dots marking the trail.

This is an easy way to know how far you have walked if you are calculating distance – just count the dots you have passed and add them up!

As soon as the greenway is finished, there will be a total of four miles of the greenway to explore.

Its parking spots, contemporary restrooms, drinking fountains, and picnic tables will provide convenience as you explore the area.

Fishing is allowed year-round, so if you are a trout fanatic, you are in luck.

Get Up Close and Personal With Animals in Luray Zoo

Outside view of Luray Zoo
Bill McChesney from USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Luray Zoo is the best place to visit for a group with kids, but if you love animals, you can stop by and discover ones you have never seen before.

Located at 1087 US Highway 211 West Luray, this small zoo is home to different species, such as porcupines, monkeys, lemurs, and a variety of birds and reptiles.

You may enjoy walking through on your own, but you may choose to take the Discovery Tour with Mark, the zookeeper and owner at the same time.

You will even get to experience petting and feed some of the animals.

If you are willing to visit more than once at all the advantages that come with our in a year, you can sign up for a zoo membership that comes with many perks!

On your way out, you can stop by its gift shop to buy souvenir items.

Donations are also welcome here if you wish to support the rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals.

If you search for a great place to come together, discuss ideas, and enjoy the art around you, visit Warehouse Art Gallery.

In 2002, artist Jim Mayes founded the Warehouse Art Gallery at 15 Campbell Street as a "Center for the Arts."

This 10,000-sq-ft gallery features more than 1,000 masterpieces made by 90 regional and local artists.

A visit to the Warehouse can help you re-energize your creative spirit or pick up a unique gift for a loved one.

The gallery caters to a wide range of preferences and prices.

Everything, from paintings to sculptures to ceramics to jewelry to pictures, is available here.

If you wish to purchase some pieces, take note that they range from ten dollars up to ten thousand dollars.

Uncover the Garden Maze's Secrets

Garden Maze sign in Luray
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In the Mid-Atlantic states, the Garden Maze at Luray Caverns is the largest and most popular hedge maze.

Be prepared to be challenged as you embark on a journey through over 1,500 evergreen hedges.

Accessible to all, you can easily navigate the Garden Maze even if you carry a wheelchair or a baby stroller.

It takes a lot of skill to find your way through the maze and reveal its mystery.

To solve the maze's biggest puzzle, search for hidden targets along the route.

As you make your way through the labyrinth, you will pass fountains, secret passageways, and an observation tower.

There is a maze-themed gift shop nearby where you may try your puzzle-solving abilities, as well as a restaurant nearby.

Grab a Pint at Hawksbill Brewing Co

Inside Hawksbill Brewing Co
Fuzheado, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are in the mood for a pint, a flight, or a growler, check out hawksbill Brewing Co.

Located at 22 Zerkel Street, Hawksbill Brewing Company is open from Thursday through Sunday.

Using locally sourced ingredients to make the greatest craft brews, they strive to live true to their slogan, "Grown here, brewed here."

Brown Cow Chocolate Milk Stout, Shenandoah Sunrise Porter, and Farmer's Brown Ale are just a few beers on tap at the brewery.

Pilot recipes and seasonal beers are regularly served as well.

In addition, they offer Boo Beer, a root beer made from local honey, as a non-alcoholic treat for visitors.

Hawksbill Brewing Co is also active on social media, and it utilizes visitor comments to select which ones to include in full 5-barrel production.

Stroll Along Massanutten Storybook Trail

Aerial view of Luray, Virginia
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Explore the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley on this 0.5-mile interpretive path.

This route is more ideal for a stroll rather than a trek.

It is definitely an excellent stop if you want a magnificent view of it, without putting in too much work, or if you have family members who are not up for a hard trek.

It is about a mile long out and back and has a mix of pavement and boardwalk.

While it is not a genuine trek, there are informational signages along the way explaining the rock and how the region originated, and the vista at the finish is spectacular.

Use its story-telling rock rings to read a book, write in a notebook, share stories with friends, or take a minute to listen to nature's noises.

It is also accessible to disabled visitors.

Stay the Night at Mimslyn Inn

Outside view of Mimslyn Inn
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A getaway will never be complete without excellent accommodation, so if you want to relax while enjoying the view of Blue Ridge and Massanutten Mountains, consider yourself a guest at Mimslyn Inn.

Located at 401 W Main Street, Mimslyn Inn is strategically located on a hilltop.

In addition to the hotel's main structure, there are cottages behind it that may be rented out for events.

The cottages are all named after trails in Shenandoah National Park, where they are located.

In addition, Hawksbill Cottage is a historic building on the property that is accessible to disabled guests.

There is also a hot tub, and the outdoor pool is accessible even if you have not booked a room at the Hawksbill Cottage.

Outside Mimslyn Inn
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As you enter, you will be greeted with the warm staff, a fireplace, and a grand staircase that leads to the lobby's piano.

Its two restaurants on-site, The Speakeasy and Circa '31, serve a variety of specialty cuisine.

The hotel's top-level is the best place to enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains, but you can also admire the landscape from the balcony of your room.

Final Thoughts

We hope you were able to locate some wonderful locations from our list to visit for your vacation.

If you are searching for a weekend getaway destination full of fun activities, you will appreciate its small-town atmosphere with a variety of options to keep you busy!