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Luray Caverns
  • Bella Luna October 11, 2012 - 9:15 am #56627 Reply

    Hi all!

    I'm taking up a suggestion from a previous post- taking the trip to Luray Caverns. 

    It will be my first time there, any suggestions as to what else there is to do there? Are there any good places to rent for the night? Any suggestions? Thanks!

    CrystalMikey October 11, 2012 - 9:34 am #56628 Reply

    A drive down Skyline Drive would be a nice bonus this time of year.

    bobco85 October 11, 2012 - 9:48 am #56629 Reply

    Nestled between Massanutten Mountain and Shenandoah National Park, I'd say that Luray is a really nice and quaint small town. Since you're going there, obviously check out Luray Caverns. I also recommend going to Shenandoah National Park as it has Skyline Drive and many, many nice hiking trails with gorgeous views (especially this time of year). Massanutten is not too far away, and also features outdoor activities. Being a small town, I'd definitely check out some of Luray's shops. Also, if you're going there this weekend, head west over the mountain to get to Mount Jackson, as they are having their Apple Harvest/Bluegrass Festival (link goes to the Mount Jackson homepage).

     

    Have fun when you go there (and bring a jacket/sweater)!

    novasteve October 11, 2012 - 9:51 am #56630 Reply

    I haven't been since the late 1980s so I cant' help you with your question, but does anyone know if they've touristified the actual cavern? I went to a similar place in Ha Long Bay and they destroyed it by making the INSIDE of the place touristy.

    nom de guerre October 11, 2012 - 9:57 am #56631 Reply

    Trail horseback riding in nearby Stanley, VA at Jordan Hollow Stables.

     

    Horseback Riding

    contractor October 11, 2012 - 10:16 am #56632 Reply

    Route 11 Potato Chips factory tour and samples:

     

    http://www.rt11.com/

    Bella Luna October 11, 2012 - 12:43 pm #56633 Reply

    Thanks everyone!

     

    How do I take Skyline drive? What route?

    contractor October 11, 2012 - 12:57 pm #56634 Reply

    Easy - I-66 to Front Royal (Rt. 340) which takes you to Skyline Drive. Exit on Rt. 211 and head west straight for Luray.

    Bluemontsince1961 October 11, 2012 - 1:16 pm #56635 Reply

    Bella Luna said:

    Hi all!

    I'm taking up a suggestion from a previous post- taking the trip to Luray Caverns. 

    It will be my first time there, any suggestions as to what else there is to do there? Are there any good places to rent for the night? Any suggestions? Thanks!

    Bella Luna,

    I can second the suggestions to check out Skyline Drive, but be aware that on fall weekends, it gets pretty crowded with lots of drivers and bicyclists – so drive carefully.   A lot of the hotels, B&Bs, etc. out in Front Royal and Luray get pretty crowded on fall weekends, so you may have to try some place a little further away from the Skyline Drive area.  I suggest checking out Winchester, which is about a half hour drive north of Skyline Drive.  There is a pretty large selection of hotels and some B&Bs there, so a better chance for vacancies.  Catina d'Italia or Violino in Winchester have wicked good Italian food!!!!

    Bella Luna October 11, 2012 - 1:30 pm #56636 Reply

    dynaroo said:

    Easy - I-66 to Front Royal (Rt. 340) which takes you to Skyline Drive. Exit on Rt. 211 and head west straight for Luray.

    Thanks!

    Bella Luna October 11, 2012 - 1:31 pm #56637 Reply

    Bluemontsince1961 said:

    Bella Luna said:

    Hi all!

    I'm taking up a suggestion from a previous post- taking the trip to Luray Caverns. 

    It will be my first time there, any suggestions as to what else there is to do there? Are there any good places to rent for the night? Any suggestions? Thanks!

    Bella Luna,

    I can second the suggestions to check out Skyline Drive, but be aware that on fall weekends, it gets pretty crowded with lots of drivers and bicyclists – so drive carefully.   A lot of the hotels, B&Bs, etc. out in Front Royal and Luray get pretty crowded on fall weekends, so you may have to try some place a little further away from the Skyline Drive area.  I suggest checking out Winchester, which is about a half hour drive north of Skyline Drive.  There is a pretty large selection of hotels and some B&Bs there, so a better chance for vacancies.  Catina d'Italia or Violino in Winchester have wicked good Italian food!!!!

    WOW! Great! Thanks a lot! 

    newty25 October 11, 2012 - 2:47 pm #56638 Reply

    Bella Luna said:

    WOW! Great! Thanks a lot! 

    Methinks you need a little more planning. Skyline Dr is long. 100+ miles long, if memory serves correct. I have never made it to the South end of Skyline Dr, and I believe it has 4 entrances to the park along it.  These are based on memory… so you should check maps and information.  And, I believe, the speed limit is 25mph through the park. I've been pulled over too, so take it easy. The Park Rangers stakeout around turns and bends and at the entrances to overlooks.  It's easy to exceed the speed limit, so you really have to watch yourself.

     

    Also, Skyline Dr runs through the heart of Shenandoah National Park.  That means you have to pay for park entrance (get a yearly pass and plan to be back).  There are tons and tons of hikes through Shenandoah with trailheads very close to the road… or just off it.  I love heading to Shenandoah for a day hike. There's a ton of waterfall hikes and easy hikes for unskilled hikers that are absolutely beautiful.  The overlooks are breathtaking as well.  Simply drive up and take pictures.

     

    You can also back country camp in Shenandoah… but no open fires are allowed. This is the one drawback, in my opinion.

     

    Regardless… if you go to Shenandoah… it could take an entire day just going up and down Skyline Dr. and you need some planning. I would buy a guide to visiting Shenandoah and possibly even a hiking guide (if you're so adventurous).  This is a really great time to be out that way and I highly recommend soaking up some of the wilderness if you're going to be in that area.

    redstang423 October 11, 2012 - 4:02 pm #56639 Reply

    If you fly fish, there's some great fishing in the mountain streams of the park for native brook trout. There's also smallmouth and muskie fishing in the Shenandoah River. Some of the rivers outside of the park at lower elevations are stocked trout fisheries as well.

    James B. October 12, 2012 - 1:01 am #56640 Reply

    I might recommend stopping by Skyline Caverns, as it's on the way. Definitely see it first though otherwise it'll seem kind of lame after seeing the glory of Luray Caverns. I actually visited both a couple weeks ago.

     

    Also, I stopped by Gennaro's Pizzeria in the town of Luray afterwards. The pizza was pretty good. Very soft and chewy dough, ok sauce, and very stringy cheese. The people running the place were extremely friendly though, in that wonderful small town kind of way, so they get bonus points for that!

     

    NovaSteve, they installed lighting, as well as created proper walkways with handrails all over. Kind of a must considering most tourists would likely have been helpless crawling around in the cavern in its true natural state. But they did that decades ago.

    Still, I would like to go spelunking someday in an unspoiled cavern. If I'm really lucky maybe it'd turn into a nice wacky adventure like in that movie Descent! Laugh

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