Despite a wide array of indoor and outdoor pastimes in and around Luray, typical first-time visitors still view Luray Caverns as the single most compelling reason for them to visit.
On a guided, 1.25-mile path through the cave they will see a true natural wonder–pools of water so clear they mirror the rocks above them, musical notes played on the Great Stalacpipe Organ, and staggering chambers filled with towering rock spires. Combinations of color—red, orange, brown, yellow and white—decorate the cave in a milieu of earth tones.
While the cave tour itself is the reason half a million people from all over the world visit, there is actually much more to see on the Caverns’ grounds. The Luray Valley Museum houses Shenandoah Valley artifacts from the 1750s to the 1920s. Furniture, tools, Native American objects, firearms and artwork are all on display. Across the parking lot, the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum, one of the oldest of its kind in the country, houses some of the rarest automobiles and carriages in the world.
You can also take the kids through the half-mile Garden Maze and try to navigate a path through the eight–foot arborvitae. Or test your coordination, and your nerve, on one of three skill levels at the Rope Adventure Park. (Trained staff help every participant, and safety gear is provided.) And Toy Town Junction displays thousands of toy trains, cars, trucks, tractors, etc. that show kids what entertainment was like before video games.
Something new is coming to the Caverns, too. After extensive restoration of a 19th Century manor home, once a working farm, Luray Caverns will open a wedding venue late this spring. While weddings at the Caverns have been held for years, both in the 1825-Burner Barn and the Cathedral Chamber inside the cave, the new site, tentatively called Shawnee Farm Estate, builds on a strong and growing business in Page County.
The venue will be ideal for housing small wedding parties, with the actual ceremony and reception either performed right there or nearby. Set in rolling farmland with dramatic views of George Washington National Forest and the Blue Ridge Mountains, the estate offers the perfect setting for a wedding.
For some time, Page County has been quietly emerging as a sought-after wedding venue. Facebook is full of photos where a bride and groom stand surrounded by redbuds, with Shenandoah National Park in the background. The Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce even holds an annual forum for wedding businesses in the area. With a number of scenic outdoor sites, vineyards, renovated historic homes, and an expanding base of wedding services such as catering, flowers, etc., there are compelling reasons to hold a wedding there. And prices often compare favorably to those in a large urban area.
The opening of Shawnee Farm Estate will no doubt add to the county’s growing reputation as a splendid location for weddings. There is no specific date set yet for the opening, but rest assured we’ll announce it as soon as we know.
Learn more about all Luray Caverns has to offer.
Where to Stay When Visiting the Caverns:
All Star Lodging
The Country Place — Lodging and Camping on the Shenandoah River
Fort Valley Ranch
Luray Mountain Cabins
The Manor House and Cottage Collection
The Mimslyn Inn
Shadow Mountain Escape
Shenandoah National Park Lodging
Shenandoah River Outfitters
Banner Photo: Stalacpipe Organ courtesy Luray Caverns