35 Best Things to Do in Luray Virginia: Not Just Caverns (2023)

Luray is a small town in the picturesque Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with lots of local attractions.

There are so many things to do in Luray Virginia, a historic town with a population of just under 5,000 people.

mountains and fields of Luray, Virginia

The town is home to many historic sites, including the Luray Caverns, Civil War Battlefields, and the Shenandoah National Park. There are also many outdoor activities to enjoy in Luray, such as hiking, canoeing, and horseback riding.

In addition, the town is home to several wineries and breweries.

There are plenty of things to do in Luray Virginia, no matter what time of year it is. From hiking and biking to exploring caves and visiting wineries, there is something for everyone in this beautiful Shenandoah Valley town. You’ll even find horseback riding with hot cocoa rides in the winter!

Here are 35 of the best things to do in Luray, Virginia.

Page Theatre in Luray, Virginia
Source: Page Theatre website

#1 See a Movie at Page Theatre

33 E Main St, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

Such a cute old school, retro movie theatre. The decorations here are interesting, the movies are current and the prices are great. They have 7 themed theatres and this is definitely an experience.

You’ll know the theatre when you pass it as it’s pink on the outside! The theatre is not only owned but also operated by a large local family who you’ll find working in the theatre.

#2 Explore the Warehouse Art Gallery

15 Campbell St, Luray, VA 22835 | Website
Cost: free to visit; Art from $10+

In Luray, Virginia, one 10,000 square foot warehouse has been turned into an art gallery featuring over 1,000 pieces of creative, ever-changing art.

Featuring the work of local and regional artists, the gallery is open 7-days a week.

The gallery features a variety of art, including:

  • Paintings
  • Sculptures
  • Jewelry
  • Stain and blown glass
  • Photography
  • Baskets
  • Painted children’s furniture

They also have live music and poetry readings on occasion.

#3 Explore Nature in the George Washington National Forest

The George Washington National Forest spans across parts of 10 Virginia counties and 2 West Virginia counties.

There are many places to visit in the forest, including Luray Caverns.

The Forest is a great place to hike or take a scenic drive.

things to do in Luray Virginia - besides Luray Caverns

#4 Explore Formations at Luray Caverns

101 Cave Hill Rd, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

The Luray Caverns is the largest caverns in the eastern United States and is one of the top things to do in Luray.

One of the state’s natural wonders, is these natural limestone caves that were discovered in 1878. Today, the caverns are open to the public for tours and feature formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, and columns.

This popular cavern is also home to a number of unique geological features, including the Great Stalacpipe Organ.

This musical instrument is played by tapping stalactites with specially-designed rubber mallets. The resulting tones create a hauntingly beautiful soundscape that echoes through the caves.

If you love caverns, you can also visit Shenandoah Caverns and Skyline Caverns.

More to Do at Luray Caverns

Most people come for the caverns but don’t realize there is actually several more attractions that you want to plan extra time for. 

Included with your caverns admission are:

  1. The Car & Carriage Caravan Museum
  2. Shenandoah Heritage Village
  3. Toy Town Junction

The Car and Carriage Caravan Museum is a great place to learn about the history of transportation. The museum has displays of carriages, wagons, sleighs, and automobiles from all around the world.

There are also some additional attractions that require separate tickets. 

There is also a cute gift shop with lots of fun items worth seeing.

Kids taking a stroll at The Garden Maze in Luray, VA
Source: The Garden Maze

#5 Find Your Way Out of The Garden Maze

The Garden Maze is a new attraction at Luray Caverns. It’s an 8-acre labyrinth of over 1500 hedges. It can take up to an hour to find your way out. Inside you’ll search for hidden goals to discover the secret of the maze.

The garden maze is fully handicap accessible and great for strollers if you’re bringing little ones.

#6 Challenge Yourself at Rope Adventure Park

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, Luray Caverns has the perfect activity for you – an adventure park with rope courses and zip lines.

There are 2 different levels of difficulty to accommodate different adventurers – a low or a high ropes course.

You can explore the caverns before or after your ropes experience – both are a unique and memorable way to spend a day in Virginia.

This is the best place to have some adventure in Luray!

#7 Stay at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort

2250 US-211 E, Luray, VA 22835 | Full Details

If you’re looking for a place to take the family for some summer fun, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Luray, VA is the perfect destination.

The park offers plenty of activities for both kids and adults, including:

  • Water slides (including a 376-foot long Luray Loop-de-Loop water slide)
  • Splash pad (ADA accessible)
  • Swimming pools
  • Laser tag
  • Zipline
  • Jumping pillow
  • Gem mining
  • Mini golf
  • Playgrounds
  • Fishing pond
  • NAture trail
  • Outdoor movie theater
  • Arcade
  • Petal boats
  • Arts & crafts
  • Wagon rides
  • And dare we say…even more!

The camp-resort is located in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, which means there are plenty of things to do in the surrounding area from this list.

#8 Take a Scenic Drive in Shenadoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is a US National Park located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

The only public road through the park is Skyline Drive which is a beautiful and scenic drive where you can stop and make stops along the way.

As you drive Skyline Drive, there are 75 different overlooks that allow you to stop and take in the beauty of the mountains. We drove about 20 miles along the drive to the highest point in the park, stopping at many of the overlooks along the way. 

There are many hiking, camping and scenic drive opportunities here.

Kids at the Shenadoah National Park
Source: Shenadoah National Park

#9 Take a Sip at Valley Cork

55 E Main St, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

Looking for a unique dining experience at one of the Luray’s local restaurants?

Valley Cork focuses on local produce and artisanal products, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. The cozy atmosphere and friendly service will make you feel right at home.

Be sure to check out their wine list – it’s one of the best in town!

#10 Visit a Museum, Shop & Eatery Based on The Dukes of Hazzard TV Series

4768 US-211, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

If you’re looking for a fun, unique place to eat in Luray, VA, check out Cooter’s Luray!

This restaurant is themed after the popular TV show “Dukes of Hazzard.”

NEXT: 3 Hot Air Balloon Festivals in Virginia: Music, Kid’s Activities & Food

The walls are adorned with memorabilia from the show, and the menu features all your favorite Southern comfort foods.

From fried chicken to Brunswick stew, there’s something for everyone at Cooter’s. And don’t forget to order a slice of their famous peach cobbler!

Plus there is a free museum, as well as a shop to check-out. You may even meet some of the actors!

#11 Visit the Enormous Chinquapin Oak

On the grounds of 121st Court Street in Luray, is an enormous Chinkapin Oak tree that measures nearly 80-feet tall and about 4 1/2 feet wide.

The Chinquapin Oak has dark green leaves that turn yellow in the fall.

#12 See a Live Performance

1 E Main St, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

The Center for Performing Arts of Luray is a local gem. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization has excellent shows inside an old bank building.

They even have a crush bar that is housed in the bank vault. This is run by volunteers but very professionally done.

The center is also home to the choir Main Street Singers. When you’re visiting Luray, definitely check to see if they have any events or shows taking place.

#13 Visit the Restored Historic Train Depot

18 Campbell St, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

Did you know the Luray Visitor Center is actually hosted in the old train depot?

Yep, that’s exactly where you can go to ask any questions and find out more information about the town.

The station served as the terminus of the Luray Valley Railroad, which ran from here to Stanley, Virginia. Passenger service ended in 1952, and the station was closed. In 1990, it was restored by the Page County Historical Society and reopened as a museum.

The train museum is small but awesome so if you are interested in trains, definitely stop by!

#14 Listen to the Bells at Luray Singing Tower

Northcott Dr Luray, VA 22835 | Website

The Luray Singing Tower (officially called the Belle Brown Northcott Memorial) is an 82-foot stone tower, standing 205-feet tall located in Luray, Virginia.

It was built in 1935 as a memorial to the men and women of Page County who served in World War I.

The tower is open to the public and free to visit although donations are appreciated. Visitors can climb the stairs to the top of the tower for a panoramic view of the surrounding area. It features an observation deck and carillon that can be heard for miles around.

There is a recital season that typically takes place between May and September of year that is free to attend so make sure to check the schedule before going.

#17 Zip Line & Play at Ralph H. Dean Recreation Park

625 6th St, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

The Ralph H. Dean Recreation Park is a great place to take your children for a day of fun. The new playground, built in 2022, has zip lines, lots of slides, musical instruments, skateparkis a great attraction for the kids.

There is also a walking trail, disc golf, basketball court and open green spaces.

The park is spacious and well-maintained, making it perfect for an afternoon stroll or a picnic lunch.

#18 Enjoy the Beach at Lake Arrowhead Recreation Park

265 Lake Arrowhead Rd, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

Lake Arrowhead Recreation Park is a 134-acre beautiful park that offers plenty of activities for visitors.

NEXT: 9 Virginia Amusement Parks: Family Fun Amusement Parks in VA

There is a playground for children, as well as a fishing dock and a hiking trail. The park is also home to a small beach, which makes it the perfect place to spend a sunny day.

Lake Arrowhead Recreation Park is a playground and recreation area located in the heart of the city. It features a playground, basketball courts, and a large pond that is popular for fishing. The park is open from dawn until dusk, and is free to the public.

#19 Enjoy a Hidden Park at Inn Lawn Park

103 Zerkel St, Luray, VA 22835

Inn Lawn Park is a hidden, little park in Luray, Virginia that offers visitors a playground, pavilion, and picnic tables. The park is also home to the Luray Valley Museum.

Across the street there is a one-room schoolhouse and an auction block.

The merry-go-round is always a hit!

In the winter, there is also a hill that is perfect for sledding.

#20 Visit Rescued Animals Up Close at Luray Zoo

1087 US-211, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

The Luray Zoo is a great place to visit if you’re looking to see animals up close. While this is a zoo, they only have animals who are rescued here.

There is a wide variety of animals, including lions, tigers, elephants, and giraffes. You can also see bears, monkeys, and many other animals at the zoo.

One of the best things about the Luray Zoo is that it’s small enough that you can easily walk around and see all of the animals up closer than you can at other places. The zoo also has a playground and a petting zoo where you can pet and feed some of the animals.

The Zoo does offer a private tour experience that is worth it. Just make sure to plan ahead and schedule it if you’re interested.

#21 Learn About the Civil War Battlefields

The Luray Valley played a significant role in the Civil War as it was located along the Shenandoah River and served as a major transportation route.

In 1861, Confederate forces led by General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson occupied Luray and used the valley to launch raids on Union troops. The Battle of Front Royal in May 1862 was one of the most significant clashes in the valley, and resulted in a Confederate victory. In 1864, Union General Philip Sheridan led an offensive through the Luray Valley, resulting in the capture of Confederate strongholds at Strasburg and Fisher’s Hill.

NEARBY: Big Meadows Campground in Shenandoah National Park

The Luray Valley in Virginia is home to a number of interesting sites relating to the American Civil War. A number of battles were fought in and around Luray, and there are several museums and battle sites that offer visitors a chance to learn more about this important part of American history. 

The most popular attraction in the Luray Valley for Civil War history buffs is the Luray Caverns. These caves were used as a hospital during the war, and there are exhibits in the caverns that tell the story of how they were used. 

#22 Enjoy the Water With Shenandoah River Outfitters

6502 S Page Valley Rd, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

Shenandoah River outfitters offer kayaking trips down one of the most beautiful and unspoiled rivers in the country.

The Shenandoah winds its way for over 200 miles, from the Allegheny Mountains to the James River. The river is relatively wide and slow-moving, making it perfect for a leisurely kayaking, canoeing or tubing trip.

The scenery along the river is spectacular, with towering mountains and dense forests on either side. Wildlife is abundant, with deer, black bears, and eagles all common sights.

Shenandoah River Outfitters offer a variety of trips, ranging from half-day excursions to week-long paddling adventures.

No experience is necessary, and all equipment is provided. So if you’re looking for an adventure that’s both peaceful and scenic, consider a kayaking trip on the Shenandoah River.

Gathering Grounds Patisserie & Cafe
Source: Gathering Grounds Patisserie & Cafe

#23 Gathering Grounds Patisserie & Cafe

24 E Main St, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

Gathering Grounds Patisserie & Cafe is a must-stop in Luray, Virginia. The coffee is delicious and the pastries are out of this world!

The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, making it the perfect place to relax with a friend or get some work done.

The food is absolutely delicious. You can also enjoy the outdoor patio when the weather is right. They also have plenty of vegetarian options and some gluten free options too.

Gathering Grounds comes highly recommended to anyone visiting Luray!

#24 Visit a Botanical Garden

190 Long Fort Road, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

Luray is home to a unique attraction known as the Birdsong Pleasure Garden. The garden is a 3-acre park that is filled with songbirds, and it provides visitors with an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of nature’s most beautiful creatures.

It’s important to note, this garden is by appointment only.

The garden was created in 2006 by bird enthusiast Tom Peterson, and it has since become a popular tourist destination. The park is home to more than 150 different species of birds, and each one can be viewed up close and personal in their natural habitat.

#25 Relax at Carillon Park

Carillon Dr, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

The Carillon Park is home to the Bell Tower we shared above.

This is a beautiful park that has gardens and walking paths. In fact, it’s a popular spot for weddings and other special events, and it’s also a great place to relax and take in the natural beauty of the Shenandoah Valley.

#26 Massanutten Storybook Trail Overlook

Massanutten Storybook Trail, Luray, VA 22835

The Massanutten Storybook Trail in Luray, Virginia is a perfect place for a short family stroll.

This is a short, sweet and paved trail that is well worth the view.

The trail out and back is less than a mile and is perfect when you’re not up for a full hike.

There is an amazing wood bridge that weaves through the trees and with a 65-foot elevation gain, the mountain overlook is a sight to see!

Just 0.4 miles from the parking lot is a large observation deck.

#27 Zipline Through the Tress at Bear Mountain Ziplines 

2354 US-211, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, Bear Mountain Ziplines in Luray, VA is the perfect place to go. You can zip through the trees for a thrilling experience!

The course is designed for all levels of experience, so whether you’re a beginner or an experienced zipliner, you’ll have a blast. Even kids as young as 5 will have a great time as they can go on the Baby Bear High Ropes Course!

They have 3 main attractions:

  1. Mama Bear Zipline Course
  2. Baby Bear Ropes Course
  3. Bear Scramble Climbing Wall

#28 Go Hiking & Enjoy the Views

Hiking is a great way to explore the natural beauty of Virginia. The Luray area is home to some great hikes, including the Luray-Hawksbill Greenway (handicap accessible), Kennedy Peak Trailhead and Thornton Gap Trail.

These trails offer stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley. You can look at the suggested hikes online and plan the best one for your family. 

If you need any hiking gear, stop by Appalachian Trail Outfitters.

Fort Valley Ranch
Source: Fort Valley Ranch

#29 Take a Guided Horseback Ride

299 S Fort Valley Rd, Fort Valley, VA 22652 | Website

If you’re looking for a unique experience, consider taking a horseback ride at Fort Valley Stable.

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this stable offers visitors a chance to explore the area on horseback.

Visitors as young as 6 can ride and kids under 6 can take a hand led horse ride around the ranch.

You can choose from a variety of trails that wind through the forests and meadows, or take a guided tour to see some of the area’s most beautiful scenery. And if you’re new to riding, don’t worry – the staff at Fort Valley Stable are happy to teach you the basics. So why not saddle up and enjoy a true Southern adventure?

#30 Enjoy Unlimited Golf at Caverns Country Club Resort

910 T.C. Northcott Boulevard, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

This golf club resort has a beautiful golf course that is located in Luray.

Beautifully nestled in the Shenandoah Mountains, this course is well-maintained, has good prices and even better views. There are even several holes that overlook the Shenandoah River.

#31 Learn About Luray History at Luray Valley Museum

970 US Hwy 211 W Luray, VA 22835

The Luray Valley Museum is included in the Luray Caverns admission and is a great place to learn about the history of the Luray Valley.

The museum has exhibits on the Native Americans who lived in the area, the early settlers, and the Civil War.

#32 Visit a Haunted House

104 N Hawksbill St, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

Darkwood Manor is a place you want to visit every year in the fall. They put together an amazing haunted house and the 3D maze is amazing!

The house is very detailed and lots of special effects. It’s part scary and part funny so it’s definitely a place you’ll want to come back to.

#33 Go Fly Fishing on the Shenandoah River

Luray, VA | Website

If you’re looking for a great day of fishing and relaxation, a float trip on the Shenandoah River is definitely worth considering.

Page Valley Fly Fishing will take you down the Shenandoah river for 6 – 8 miles in an inflatable raft customized for fly fishing.

These trips take about 8 hours and everything you need is provided.

The river is wide and has a gentle current, making it perfect for beginner anglers. There are also plenty of fish to be caught, including trout, bass, and panfish.

#34 Swim at Hawksbill Recreation Park

205 Pool Dr, Stanley, VA 22851 | Website

Hawksbill Recreation Park is a great place to go swimming in the summer and sits just minutes outside of Luray. If you want to skip an expensive water park and enjoy a day in the water, this is a fabulous, cheap option!

There is a large pool that is perfect for swimming and playing games.

The park itself also has a playground, picnic areas, and a basketball court.

#35 Go Antique Shopping at Mama’s Treasures

22 E Main St, Luray, VA 22835 | Website

There’s a little antique shop in town that’s been in Mama’s family for generations. It’s full of treasures from all over the world, and Mama has a knack for finding the most unique pieces.

You’ll find all types of ever-changing items including: vintage jewelry, dresses, antique glasses, vintage aircraft models, furniture and so much more.

Finding Fun Things to Do in Luray Virginia

There are many fun things to do in Luray Virginia. From exploring the natural beauty of the area, going on outdoor adventures, or visiting some of the historical sites.

If you’re looking for a place to relax and take a break from your busy life, Luray is the perfect spot.

Even More Fun

Looking for even more? Here are some more fun things to do in Virginia:

Photo of author

OK Editorial Team

Our Kids has been bringing you more family fun, experiences & adventure since 1999.