The first time I ever visited Luray Caverns was when I was a kid on the way to Shenandoah National Park. I remember thinking the cavern was beautiful and so large. Going back as an adult, I wasn’t sure if it would live up to the hype that I remembered as a kid, but wow, it surely did.
The caverns are located in Luray, Virginia off of Interstate 81. They are about 2 hours west of Washington DC, 2.5 hours northwest of Richmond, and 1.5 hours north of Charlottesville.
They’re open every day of the year and have self guided tours. As of July 2022, the price for an adult is $32, seniors (62+) are $29 and children 6-12 are $16. No reservations are needed.
With the purchase of a ticket into the caverns you also get The Car & Carriage Caravan Museum, Shenandoah Heritage Village, and Toy Town Junction. There’s also a garden maze, a gem sluice, an adventure course, and some other activities that are an additional cost.
Depending what you plan to do here, it could take anywhere from 1.5 to 4 or so hours to explore (maybe more if you have kiddos). We were here about 2 hours and that included the walking tour of the cave and exploring the Heritage Village as well as grabbing lunch at their snack bar. It’s a great stop to rest your legs off while traveling to the historic battle fields in the area of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Exploring the Cave
The cave is about 54 degrees in temperature with a walking path about 1.25 miles in length. I recommend dressing with a light jacket or sweatshirt as well as some form of comfortable walking shoes. I’ve been to a few caves including Carlsbad Caverns, Indian Echo Caverns, and Mammoth Cave and this one is the most magical to me. I really don’t like caves, and literally hurried my walk through Carlsbad to get out of there, but this is one where I didn’t feel nervous that it would just cave in. There is so much to look at and the rock features are truly beautiful, whereas Mammoth Cave has different type of rock features and is not as pretty.
- Drive along Skyline Drive
- Visit Shenandoah National Park and do some hiking
- Enjoy the wineries and historic charm of Charlottesville
- See Historic Battlefields and Sites – Appomattox Courthouse, Manasses, Fredericksburg & Spottsylvania
- Explore the towns of Staunton, Lexington, Luray, and Harrisonburg