25 Exciting and Delicious Things to do in Luray VA

The little town of Luray, VA, with nearly 5,000 residents, makes the perfect weekend getaway location. Since it is only about 90 miles / 1½ hours from Washington D.C., it makes for a quick trip for a laid-back, relaxing weekend or mid-week vacation. You could even day trip to enjoy a few of the things to do in Luray when you have some spare time.

Luray Virginia- Things to do in Luray- Luray Valley Museum
credit Virginia Tourism

The Luray Caverns may be their most famous tourist attraction, but there is plenty more to keep you busy and entertained during your time in the Shenandoah region. 

Luray Virginia- Things to do in Luray- Luray Caverns
credit Virginia Tourism

Below you will find an array of things to do and see in this quaint area. So be prepared to choose between visiting local wineries, taking a tubing or canoe trip down the Shenandoah River, visiting an art gallery, taking a stroll through the Hawksbill Greenway, or journey up to the Skyline Drive and explore the Shenandoah National Park.

Shenandoah National Park- Upper Doyle's River Falls

Things to do in Luray VA

Shenandoah National Park – Skyline Drive

Enter Shenandoah National Park at the Thornton Gap Entrance Station and spend the day exploring the overlooks, stunning views, beautiful waterfalls, and the visitor centers along the 110-mile Skyline Drive.  

You can even make the park your home base by camping at one of the campgrounds, staying in one of the cabins, or enjoying the luxury accommodations at the Skyland Lodge.

Things to do in Luray VA

Luray Caverns

A visit to the east coast’s largest caverns and U.S. National Landmark means an hour-long visit underground to explore about one mile of stalactites and stalagmites.

If you have never seen the formations in person, you will be amazed at their complexity and size.  

credit Visit Virginia

The Luray Caverns are accessible without going up or down any stairs, and paved walkways offer greater accessibility.

Be sure to take a jacket with you as you venture into the caverns as the temperature is a constant 60°F.

Things to do in Luray VA

The Car and Carriage Caravan Museum

After visiting the cavern, you can also explore the Car and Carriage Caravan, Shenandoah Heritage Village, and the Toy Town Junction. They are all included in the cavern ticket.

As you explore this museum, you will be transported back in history as you see an 1897 Mercedes-Benz, 1908 Baker Electric, 1925 Rolls Royce, and over 70 other historic vehicles.

The museum is self-guided, allowing car lovers to take as much time as they like exploring and to do a bit of drooling.

Luray Valley Museum
credit Visit Virginia

Luray Valley Museum

Luray Valley Museum is home to historic items from pre-contact Native peoples through the 1920s where you can poke through local families things that were left behind.

Shenandoah Heritage Village in Luray Virginia
credit Visit Virginia

Shenandoah Heritage Village

After the museum, you can stroll through the seven-acre Shenandoah Heritage Village, a recreation of a 19th-century farm community. Here you can view a Bible from the 1500s, a dog-powered butter churn, watch cooking demos, and see the blacksmith in action.

Luray Virginia Toy Town Junction
credit Visit Virginia

Toy Town Junction

As the name says, Toy Town Junction is a massive collection of Dr. Richard Worden’s toys and trains from yesteryear. Worden, who is a retired Methodist minister, was once a little boy who was given a toy train just as the country was coming out of the Great Depression.

It was a big deal for his parents to purchase him this toy, which would spark a lifelong interest in the fun that can be had when you give a child (or grownup) a chance to imagine)

A walk through these toys will surely bring back memories from your own childhood as you make a few new ones with your own kids.

Luray Caverns Garden Maze
credit Visit Virginia

Luray Cavern’s Garden Maze

  • Hours: 
    • Weekdays 12:00 – 5:00 PM
    • Weekends 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Located on the Luray Cavern’s campus, the Garden Maze is the Mid-Atlantic’s largest hedge maze.

Here you can weave your way through the one-acre, 1,500 hedge pathway, twisting and turning to find the hidden goals.

The maze is handicap and stroller accessible. On hot days you can stop, rest and cool down under the refreshing misters.

Note: There is an additional fee for the Garden Maze.

Luray Zoo in Luray Virginia
credit Visit Virginia

Luray Zoo

  • Address: 1087 Us Highway 211 West, Luray, Virginia 22835
  • Official website for more information
  • Hours:
    • Eastern Standard Time: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    • Daylight Savings Time: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

If you are traveling with children, they will enjoy this privately owned 3-acre rescue zoo. Mark and Christine Kilby have accumulated all their animals, many of whom have been abused, from animal control or families who no longer wanted their pet.

Their 80+ exhibits feature 200 primates, mammals, birds, felines, and venomous snakes. They have a petting zoo where you can feed and pet sheep, wallaby, emus and goats.

Hawksbill Greenway In Luray Virginia
credit Visit Virginia

Hawksbill Greenway

The Luray-Hawksbill Greenway Trail is a fantastic multi-use path along Hawksbill Creek.  

Along the two-mile paved path are murals, wildlife, calming creek, and plenty of benches (24), restrooms (2), water fountains (4) and picnic tables (8).

Hawksbill Greenway In Luray Virginia
credit Visit Virginia

The greenway is the perfect scenic spot to have a picnic, take a bike ride or walk, spend the day fishing in Hawksbill Creek, bring your birding scope and keep your eyes out for the nearly 200 birds which call this area home.

Check the Ruffner Plaza calendar to see what entertainment, festivals, or activities may be going on during your visit.

Things to do in Luray VA

Luray Singing Tower

  • Address: Carillon Dr, Luray, VA 22835
  • Official website for more information
  • Recitals:
    • April – May: Saturday and Sundays 3:00 PM
    • June – August: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday 8:00 PM
    • September – October: Saturday and Sunday 3:00 PM

Across the street from the Luray Caverns, you will see a 117-foot stone tower. The Luray Singing Tower, which is actually named Belle Brown Northcott Memorial, a carillon of 47 bells and is one of the country’s significant carillons.

What is a carillon? It’s a musical instrument that originated in Belguim in the early 1600s. To be a carillon, it must consist of at least 23 cast bronze bells arranged in chromatic series and played from a keyboard, similar the way an organ works. Each key activates a “clapper” inside of the bell to make a sound.

In the past, special events like summer Sunset Vespers (on specific dates) and free recitals for all to enjoy April through October are offered.

Luray Singing Tower in Luray Virginia
credit Visit Virginia

If you are lucky enough to be in the area for one of the recitals, you will hear a variety of folk, hymns, patriotic, classical, and popular songs.  

At the base of the tower, watch the closed-circuit TV and see the carillonneur play. Following the recital, climb the 108 steps to see the keyboard, which costs a nominal fee to tour.

Dukes of Hazard Cooters in Luray Virginia
credit Visit Virginia

Cooters

For anyone who grew up watching The Dukes of Hazzard, this Dukes museum is full of show memorabilia, including props, vehicles, like General Lee and Boss Hogg’s Caddy, and costumes. 

Ben Jones, who played Cooter, is there every Saturday, while other cast members visit occasionally.

Luray Depot and Railway Museum in Virginia
credit Visit Virginia

Luray Depot & Railway Museum

  • Address: 18 Campbell St, Luray, VA 22835

You will find the Luray Visitor Center at the edge of town, located in the old Luray Train Depot. Here you can pick up all your brochures and inquire about all things Luray.

While here, take time to explore the Railway Museum, which has exhibits of the rail line stops, tools, the old office, a telegraph machine and model trains. Then head out back to the tracks. They have a telescope there so you can look down the track.

Shenandoah Wineries - Cave Ridge Winery

Wineries near Luray VA

For those who enjoy sampling local wine, the Luray area has three tasting rooms you should put on your itinerary.

Castle Vineyard

Castle Vineyard showcases the Barren Ridge Vineyards’ wine. Here you can sample some in their tasting room.  

For those who want to spend a little more time, bring a picnic lunch or dinner, and enjoy a glass of wine as you rock the afternoon away on the patio with live music, swing on the porch swing, or find a table outside with a lovely view. Afterward, enjoy a game of cornhole or pallet Tic Tac Toe.

credit Virginia Tourism

River Hill Distillery

A visit to Fred Foley’s small River Hill Distillery is a must for those interested in some local country wine, aged bourbon, or corn whiskey.

Wisteria Farm and Vineyard

At the gorgeous Wisteria Farm and Vineyard, you can enjoy tasting some of their delicious wines on the porch of the Old Victorian house or take your glass to one of the tables around the farm and enjoy the view.

Spend some time walking through the vineyard, especially in the spring during wisteria season to see all the intertwined wisteria in bloom.

Bring a picnic lunch and picnic creekside, around the fire pit, or during the winter months, under the heaters.

Not only do they feature their grapes in their Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, and others, but they also have semi-sweet blends and the Sweet Daisy dessert wine.

If you happen to be in the area on summer Saturdays, they provide free local music from 3:00 – 5:00 PM.

Shopping in Luray, Virginia

Luray has a marvelous old-fashion Main Street full of boutiques for you to spend hours browsing.

Hawksbill Trading Co.

The Hawksbill Trading Company is a vendor-owned cooperative, so you will find various cool nooks and crannies that hold crafter, antique dealers, artisans and resellers all under one roof.

You never know what produce, home décor, antique item, or delicious baked goods you might find.

Warehouse Art Gallery

Across the street from the Train Depot Visitors Center and just north of the Greenway is a historic warehouse converted into a beautiful art gallery.

Inside you will find over 1,000 works of art by nearly 100 regional artists. The art includes photography, jewelry, paintings, sculptures, pottery, and wooden baskets and bowls.

Be sure to check their calendar for concerts, pop-up restaurants and other local events.

For more art, head down the road to view the Sculpture Garden’s outdoor sculptures at 3054 US HWY 211 West, Luray, VA.

Restaurants in Luray VA

Luray Restaurants

Like many little towns, there are various delicious mom-and-pop restaurants around town that you should check out. You can skip the chains’ these Luray restaurants are worth the trip whether you are staying in Shenandoah or in the valley.

Hawksbill Diner

This little diner along Business route 340 serves home-cooked southern food.  As you sit down to eat, don’t be surprised if most customers are greeted by name as they walk in the door.

Restaurants in Luray VA

The Valley Cork

  • Address: 55 E Main St, Luray, VA 22835
  • Official website for more information
  • Hours:
    • Lunch Salad Bar: Wednesday – Friday 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
    • Dinner: Thursday – Saturday 4:00 – 10:00 PM

Stop in The Valley Cork for a before-dinner drink or a light supper of a charcuterie board, gourmet flatbread, or chicken tenders. If you are lucky, you will arrive on one of their bottomless breakfast nights that includes mimosas.

You can choose between a glass, bottle or flight of wine. Their wines include both international and local Virginia wines, Devil’s Backbone and Dogfish beer, and 1911, Austin, and Original sin ciders. Check the board behind the bar for cocktail specials too.

If you are in the mood for dessert, enjoy the cookie skillet, including a warm chocolate chip cookie under ice cream, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream.

They offer a discount for those affiliated with the police, fire, rescue or military.

Triple Crown BBQ

You will see Trip Crown’s little red trailer and smell the delicious BBQ cooking across the street from Walmart.

Triple Crown BBQ has been named the best BBQ in Shenandoah Valley and Southwest Virginia.

John & Joanne Coleman will pile your plate up with pulled pork, smoked chicken and sausage, and ribs that have been seasoned with their family’s secret recipe and slow-cooked.

Gathering Ground Patisserie and Café

In an espresso bar atmosphere, you will find a terrific place to enjoy a delicious breakfast of quiche, breakfast wraps, and avocado toast with your Frappuccino, mocha or Chai latte.

For lunch, grab a gourmet sandwich or a fresh salad, perfect for a picnic on the go.

Save room for some of the luscious homemade desserts that are in the showcase. You will have to decide between cookies, pies, cakes and other surprises.

Moonshadows Restaurant in Luray VA
credit Moonshadows Restaurant

Moon Shadows Restaurant 

  • Address: 132 E Main St, Luray, VA 22835
  • Official website for more information
  • Hours:
    • Dinner: Thursday – Sunday 4:00 – 8:00 PM
    • Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 10:30 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Reservations required

Moon Shadows Restaurant is an upscale restaurant located in downtown Luray in a historical house that offers indoor and outdoor seating.

As Chef/Owner John Moss whips up some eclectic comfort food like bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, herb-crusted salmon, or red bell pepper relleno, his wife Maureen will seat you inside the renovated house or outside. It’s a sumptuous, date-night type of experience, so save room in your belly accordingly.

For brunch, you can enjoy a crab, goat cheese, and asparagus omelet, eggs benedict, or cheddar grits.

Make sure you save room for dessert if you are a fan of bread pudding.

Things to do in Luray VA

Fun on the River

During the summer, the Shenandoah River is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a day on the water canoeing, tubing, fishing or swimming.

Several businesses in town can assist you with all the rentals you will need for a fun water day.

Shenandoah River Outfitters

Shenandoah River Outfitters opens April 1st for canoeing, tubing and kayaking trips.

 River Run Outfitters

This river outfitter offers tube, kayak, canoe trips, and shuttle service along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.

Hotels in Luray VA- Mimslyn Inn
credit Mimslyn Inn

Hotels in Luray VA

Mimslyn Inn

Overlooking the Shenandoah Valley, the 45-room antebellum era hotel features vintage furnishings. The inn offers historic rooms with queen-sized beds, and elegant suites with king-sized beds, electric fireplaces and jetted tubs.

For larger parties, think about staying at the Manor House that has six bedrooms and sleeps 16.

Within the inn, you can dine at the Speakeasy Tavern or the elegant Circa ’31.

Days Inn by Wyndham Luray Shenandoah 

The Days Inn is a perfect option for families. The hotel is pet-friendly, has a free breakfast, and has an outdoor pool.

Camping in Luray

Read our full guide to camping in Shenandoah National Park, both inside the park and just outside the gates.

Luray Virginia Hotels- Hotel Laurance
credit Virginia Tourism

More Hotels and Luray Rentals

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