Complete Guide to Luray Caverns
Luray Caverns is located in Luray, Virginia, and should certainly be on your list of places to visit on the east coast of the United States of America. The cave known for its beautiful limestone formations was discovered in 1878. All the formations in the cavern are of calcite, which is the crystalline form of limestone.
The enormous limestone structures in the form of stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstone, transport you into a world like you’ve never seen before!
The caverns are located in Shenandoah Valley, near the Blue Ridge Mountains, which means you can make this a pitstop on your trip to Shenandoah National Park!
Inside the cavern
The cavern is beautifully maintained with well lit, paved walkways and railings on either side to make the trip down below safe and comfortable for all visitors. Limestone formations of every shape and size line the cavern, and since it was my first time visiting a cave of stalactites and stalagmites, I was truly mesmerised. It felt almost like being transported to a different world! Some of the formations deserve special mention, and they are listed below, so when you make a visit, keep an eye out for the following!
As you walk down the winding downward path you see a small lake to your right, called Dream Lake, which beautifully reflects the stalactites above. It creates such an optical illusion, that you will be left wondering which the stalagmite is, and which the reflection of the stalactite is!
It is one of the most popular stops in the cavern. It has a custom console which when played produces the sounds similar to that of an organ, by gently tapping the stalactites in the cavern.
At a height of 47 feet, it is the tallest formation inside the cavern- a beautiful example of a stalagmite and stalactite coming together as one!
Calcite in its purest form is white in colour, and it is seen in this rather beautiful formation, that reminded me of a school of jellyfish!
-The formations in the caverns are 4 million centuries old!!
-You are encouraged to drop your change in to the wishing well at the caverns, which is emptied once a year, to send all proceeds to charity. To date, the caverns have donated over $1million!!
Are the caverns Pet Friendly?
Small sized dogs are allowed inside the caverns, but, they have to be carried, or pushed around in a stroller!
Larger pets are not allowed inside, so keep that in mind before you make the trip.
Tours at the Cavern
Tours depart every 20 minutes into the cavern. The tour guide is knowledgeable about the history of the caverns, and will point out some of the more interesting formations within. It is helpful to keep up with the group and be within earshot of your guide, else you will be unaware of everything that you are seeing. In case you lose your group, you can always sneak in to the next group that you see!
Tips for your visit
-It is a lot colder inside the cavern than it is outside, so it is best to have a cardigan with you, even on a fairly warm day.
-The walk through the cavern is 2.4km long, so wear comfortable shoes!
How to spend a day at Luray
They want you to spend all day at Luray! After being mesmerised by the caverns, visit the Car & Carriage Caravan Museum to check out beautiful, vintage cars.
Toy Town Junction is a vintage toy museum that houses the extensive toy and train collection of an avid collector, Dr. Richard Worden.
Luray Valley Museum lets you relive the lives of the people of Shenandoah Valley from the 1800s as you explore the historical buildings and learn their stories.
The Garden Maze is a fun way to while away your time as you try to navigate your way through it. On hot days they spray you with a cool mist every now and then, to make losing your way a lot cooler!
The ticket costs $28 for adults, which is inclusive of entry into the Car & Carriage Caravan Museum, Luray Valley Museum, & Toy Town Junction.
$15 for children aged 6-12 & FREE admission for children below 6 years.
Tickets can be purchased on site, or if you want to avoid the rather long queues if you are visiting on a weekend, you can purchase tickets online.
The cavern opens at 9AM every day of the year, but closes at 6PM during the summers, and at 4 PM during the winters. For exact timings of closure around your visit- check the official website of the Luray Caverns.