The famous caverns get all the attention, but Luray is a gorgeous destination even without them. There’s something for everyone, from ziplining and kayaking to hiking and history trails. We’ve put together a list of our favorite activities in Luray so you can make the most of your time here. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or just want some downtime, we’ve got you covered.
The best things to near Luray Caverns
There is a historic downtown Luray surrounded by natural beauty, and both of them are worth exploring. It’s one of the most charming Virginia mountain towns.
Our favorites? The Shenandoah Heritage Village (included with your cavern tickets) and Triple Crown BBQ. Both are must-see local attractions.
1. Explore Shenandoah National Park
If you’re looking for things to do near Luray Caverns, look no further than Shenandoah National Park. Just a short drive away, the park offers plenty of outdoor recreation and sightseeing opportunities. The most popular attraction in the park is Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road that runs along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Enter through the Thorton Gap Entrance Station.
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the park is home to Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road that winds through the park and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. There are also numerous campgrounds and cabins available within the park, making it the perfect spot to stay while exploring all that Shenandoah offers.
The Shenandoah National Park is a beautiful park that offers plenty of activities for visitors. One of the most popular attractions in the park is Skyline Drive, which provides an unobstructed view of the park’s mountains and valleys. The drive is incredibly scenic at sunset or during dawn or dusk.
2. Visit the Luray Caverns maze
Right next door to the caverns themselves, you’ll find a fun living maze made of hedges and trees. The labyrinth is a great place to spend an hour or two getting lost (literally) with your friends or family. I
It’s easy to get lost in the twists and turns. In hot weather, you’ll find cooling misters and other surprises.
You can add maze admission to your cavern tickets or pay separately.
3. Take little ones to Luray Zoo
The Luray Zoo is a small, family-owned zoo located near the Luray Caverns. It features animals such as primates, mammals, birds, felines, and reptiles. The zoo also has a petting zoo with domestic animals and a playground.
The Luray Zoo is a small, family-owned zoo open to the public. It is located just minutes away from the Luray Caverns and offers visitors a chance to see and learn about local wildlife. You can enjoy walking through on your own or taking the Discovery Tour with Mark, the zookeeper and owner, at the same time.
4. Walk the Hawksbill Greenway
The Hawksbill Greenway Trail is a two-mile paved path that follows Hawksbill Creek. The trail is an excellent place for a walk, run, or bike ride and offers beautiful views of the creek and surrounding wildlife. There are also plenty of benches along the way where you can take a break and relax.
The Hawksbill Greenway is a beautiful, scenic spot near Luray Caverns. It’s the perfect place for a picnic, bike ride, walk, or fishing trip. The creek is stocked with trout, so it’s a great place to spend the day fishing. And if you’re into birding, you’ll love spotting the nearly 200 birds that call this area home.
5. Take Dukes of Hazzard Fans to the Cooters Museum
The Cooters museum is a small, privately-owned museum located in Luray, VA. The museum is dedicated to the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard and features a variety of memorabilia from the show, including costumes, props, and vehicles.
The Luray Caverns Museum is a great place to visit if you’re a fan of the show “Dukes of Hazzard.” Ben Jones (who played Cooter) is often on-site to sign autographs. Other cast members have also visited the museum in the past.
(Kids and others who don’t enjoy the show might not love this one!)
6. Have fun at the Luray Depot & Railway Museum
The Luray Depot & Railway Museum is a visitor center and museum located in the old Luray Train Depot. The depot was built in 1902 and served as a stop on the Virginia Creeper Railway. The museum has exhibits of the rail line stops, tools, the old office, a telegraph machine, and model trains.
The Luray Depot & Railway Museum is a great place to visit if you’re in the area. You can look down the track at the telescope by the tracks, and there’s also a model train display.
7. Sip wine at Castle Vineyard
Castle Vineyard is a winery located near Luray Caverns. It offers wine tastings and wine-related activities such as swinging on the porch, playing cornhole, and listening to live music.
Castle Vineyard is a popular tourist destination in Luray, Virginia. Visitors can enjoy the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains while sipping on some of the vineyard’s finest wines. In addition to wines made from grapes grown on-site, Castle Vineyard also produces semi-sweet blends and Sweet Daisy dessert wine.
(There are plenty of great Virginia vineyards to explore if the idea appeals to you.)
8. Enjoy the porch and playground at Wisteria Farm and Vineyard
Wisteria Farm and Vineyard is a vineyard and winery located in Luray, Virginia. They produce various wines, including reds, whites, and blush wines. In addition to wine production, they also offer tours of the vineyard and tastings.
The Wisteria Farm and Vineyard is a beautiful property near the Luray Caverns. The farm features a porch that You can use for wine tastings and tables around the farm for picnics. There is also a playground on-site for children.
In addition to Luray Caverns, Wisteria Farm and Vineyard is a great place to visit. It grows grapes and manufactures wine, vodka, gin, liqueurs, sparkling, white, red, port, and sherry.
9. Admire regional creations at Warehouse Art Gallery
The Warehouse Art Gallery is a 10,000 sq ft art gallery located in Luray, Virginia. The gallery displays works of art created by 90 regional and local artists.
It features paintings, sculptures, pottery, jewelry, photographs, and other creative pieces from $10 to $10,000. Whether you want to shop or just browse, this is a fun stop. (Kids are welcome too.)
Hours for the gallery are Tuesday through Thursday 12:00 pm-5:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays 11 am-5:00 pm.
10. Eat ribs at Triple Crown BBQ
Triple Crown BBQ is a restaurant located in Luray, Virginia, named the best BBQ in Shenandoah Valley and Southwest Virginia. The restaurant offers a variety of delicious barbecue dishes, including pulled pork, smoked chicken and sausage, and ribs. Triple Crown BBQ also has many sides, including macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and coleslaw.
We recommend ribs, sweet tea, and baked beans.
Browse their menu here, and be sure to check the hours first. They close early on weekdays and in the winter.
11. Get coffee and a croissant at Gathering Grounds Patisserie and Café
Gathering Ground Patisserie and Café is a great place to stop for lunch visiting Luray Caverns. The café has an espresso bar atmosphere with delicious gourmet sandwiches and salads. They also have a wide variety of pastries, cakes, and cookies for those with a sweet tooth.
They serve meals, but we love them best for their coffee and baked goods.
12. Book a kayaking adventure through River Run Outfitters
River Run Outfitters provides river tubing, kayaking, and canoeing trips on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. They are located near Luray Caverns and offer a variety of trips for all experience levels.
They run tours from April 1st through late fall (to be honest, early April is still quite cold in Luray!)
You’ll need reservations, and if you’re traveling with kids, be sure to ask them which tour they’d recommend. Some are intense, and some are perfect for beginners.
River Run Outfitters offers Class IV and V rapids trips down the Shenandoah River. They are one of the only outfitters in the area that offer this level of thrill and excitement. In addition, they pride themselves on their customer service, offering 24-hour emergency response services should anything go wrong during your trip.
13. Zipline over the forest
There are also several options for ziplining and climbing in the area. Visitors can explore over 50 acres of forest with Bear Mountain Ziplines or scale the cliffs at Nelson Rocks Outdoor Adventures.
14. Walk along Massanutten Storybook Trail
The Massanutten Storybook Trail is a beautiful, family-friendly nature trail near Luray Caverns. The path is dedicated to telling the story of Virginia and her people, from prehistory to today. Visitors can explore over 30 different interpretive stations along the way, including tales of Native Americans, early settler life, and more recent history. The trail is an excellent way for visitors of all ages to learn about the history and culture of Virginia.
The Massanutten Storybook Trail is a great place to take a walk and enjoy the area’s natural beauty. It offers superb views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley.
The trail is a short, easy trail that winds through the woods near Luray Caverns. The course is suitable for a stroll or short hike and is accessible to disabled visitors.
It’s open year-round, and admission is free.
15. Go back in time with the Shenandoah Heritage Village Museum
The Shenandoah Heritage Village is a small outdoor reproduction settlement right next to the caverns that tell the story of the local area and its people. It is quaint and beautiful, like a mini Colonial Williamsburg from the 19th century.
Kids will love “mining for gems,” while adults will enjoy exploring cottages of the 19th century. There’s a charming gift shop with handmade bowls, pitchers, and furniture. Any history buff will love it here.
16. Luray Valley Museum
The museum offers exhibits on the history of the Shenandoah Valley, including Native Americans, early settlers, the Civil War, and more.
Enjoy Luray VA! There’s so much to see
There are plenty of activities near Luray Caverns, including kayaking, ziplining, and hiking. Whether you want to eat, explore, or relax, there’s plenty beyond the caverns. River Run Outfitters offers a variety of trips for all experience levels, and Bear Mountain Ziplines lets visitors explore over 50 acres of forest. The Massanutten Storybook Trail is a great place for a nature walk and tells the story of Virginia’s people from prehistory to today.