Over the Christmas break, after several days at home enjoying movies and hot chocolate, I piled the family in the car and headed out on a small road trip to Luray Caverns. It was one of the highlights of our Christmas vacation and a perfect stop in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Luray Caverns are the largest caverns in the eastern United States and a U.S. National Landmark. The hour-long cave tour is fascinating and just long enough, and there are plenty of extra activities nearby to make a day spent at Luray Caverns exciting for the whole family.
The tour of the caverns is a 1.25-mile walking tour. The highlights include amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations, and a column nicknamed “Redwood” dating back 7 million year. Toward the end of the tour, you can hear the only stalactite organ in the world. This organ gently taps stalactites to play notes, which are amplified through a sound system so you can hear them. It’s an amazing musical instrument unique to Luray Caverns.
Tips for Touring Luray Caverns
- Go any time of year. This was a great winter outing for our family because caves maintain the same temperature year-round. They are open 365 days per year.
- Take a jacket. The temperature in the cave is always a consistent 54 degrees, but it feels a little warmer because of the high humidity. I was glad to have a light jacket.
- Plan on crowds on holidays or weekends. Luray Caverns is a popular destination. They handle groups quickly, but on a busy December day, by noon the lines to enter the caverns were lengthy.
- Stay long enough to enjoy some of the other activities in Luray. You could spend several hours in the area, and many of the activities are included in the cost of admission. Details below about other things to do at Luray Caverns.
Tickets to Luray Caverns cost $26 per adult and $14 per child (ages 6-12), which can add up quickly for a family. You can present a Giant grocery card at the ticket booth to receive a buy one get one 50% off deal on adult tickets, which can add up to significant savings. That discount was better than any online coupons I could find, which were sparse. You cannot use this deal if you prepay your tickets online, so I would recommend buying tickets at Luray Caverns.
Other things to do
Luray Caverns has several activities in addition to the cave tour. For details, click here. Our favorite was the garden maze. Some of my kids liked the garden maze even more than the caverns themselves. Wander through hedges to find the exit while collecting stamps along the way.
For the more active, there is a fun adventure park on site as well. The admission ticket includes the entrance fee to several small museums nearby, such as the Car and Carriage Museum, the Luray Valley Museum and Toy Town Junction.
Good to Know
Where: GPS address: 101 Cave Hill Road, Luray, Virginia
When: 365 days a year, tours begin at 9:00 a.m. Tours end between 4:00-7:00 p.m. depending on the season. Check schedule for details.
How Much: $27 per adult, $14 per child (ages 6-12), $23 for seniors (ages 62+)
How Long: 2+ hours
Amenities: Gift shop, other museums included in admission cost, small food stand.