Located in the historic and picturesque Shenandoah Valley, Luray is a humble town in the county seat of Page County in northern Virginia.
Though it may not appear to offer much at first look, a closer look will unveil lots of interesting and fun things to do in Luray, VA.
The town is bordered by the Blue Ridge Mountains and is emphasized by the Shenandoah River’s flowing banks. This town offers an astounding range of recreational possibilities, natural preserves, cultural history, and gorgeous attractions.
The streets of Luray are the reflection of the town’s history traceable back to the 1800s. There are brick structures with big display windows housing the cafes and storefronts with retro-warehouse and folk-inspired Victorian designs.
Things to Do in Luray
1. Cooter’s Luray
Cooter’s Luray is a fun roadside attraction geared at fans of The Dukes of Hazzard. Ben Jones, who portrayed Cooter, the mechanic on the popular ’80s TV sitcom, owns and operates it.
A Daisy’s Dixie Diner, a gift shop, and a museum packed with DOH memorabilia, including costumes, props, and backstage photos, are all featured on the franchise’s third site.
Vehicles such as Cooter’s tow truck, Boss Hogg’s Cadillac, and the Dukes’ famed General Lee can be seen on the outside (a Dodge Charger).
Cooter’s in the Valley also has live music every weekend, with Jones leading Cooter’s Garage Band every Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. He also greets fans after each performance.
2. Hawksbill Greenway Foundation
The Hawksbill Greenway Foundation in Luray is the greatest place to interact with nature and watch the diverse creatures of the Shenandoah Valley.
You’ll find a 2-mile walking and bicycle path here, among other things. The path can be walked in sections or its entirety. Because the trail is marked with yellow dots every tenth of a mile you travel.
You can easily figure how far you’ve walked by counting and adding the dots you’ve passed!
When the greenway is completed, there will be four miles of the greenway to explore. It features modern restrooms, picnic tables, drinking fountains, and parking spaces for guests who want to explore the region.
3. Luray Valley Museum & Shenandoah Heritage Village
The Luray Valley Museum is one of the most popular attractions at the Luray Caverns complex. This historical museum and living history site provides a lovely introduction to Virginia’s mid-nineteenth-century Shenandoah Valley.
The Shenandoah Heritage Village is an outdoor attraction with a half-dozen local structures ranging in age from 135 to 200 years. They all have an abundance of antiques from their different periods.
The Shenk Farm House would also be visible. It was constructed in 1876 and is on land that the family has farmed for several generations.
However, the Elk Run Dunkard Meeting House, Bell House, and Burner Barn (about 1860) were all brought to the region from a few miles distant, a couple of them piecemeal.
4. Get interactive with animals in Luray Zoo
Luray Zoo is the finest location to go to if you’re searching for a spot to take a bunch of youngsters. If you enjoy animals, though, you should pay a visit and see the ones you haven’t seen before.
Despite its tiny size, this zoo is home to a variety of animals, including lemurs, porcupines, monkeys, reptiles, and birds.
You might like a personal tour of the zoo, but you might prefer to join Mark, the owner, and the zookeeper for the Discovery Tour. You will even have the opportunity to feed and pet some of the animals.
If you want to help with the rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals, the zoo accepts donations.
5. Enjoy Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is located in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, rising from the Shenandoah Valley at the northern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It spans 199,173 acres.
Skyline Drive, the park’s primary road, runs for 105 miles along the summit of the Blue Ridge Mountains. To the east are the Virginia Piedmont’s undulating hills, while to the west is the Shenandoah River and valley.
It takes only 15 minutes to get to Downtown Luray from the Thornton Gap Entrance Station, one of four Skyline Drive exits at Mile 31.5.
It is accessible by US Route 211 and is open 24 hours a day, enabling access to some of Shenandoah National Park’s most difficult portions.
6. Soak yourself in Art at Warehouse Art Gallery
If you’re looking for a place to get together, share ideas, and appreciate the art around you, go to Warehouse Art Gallery.
The Warehouse Art Gallery, which began as a “Center for the Arts” in 2002 and now boasts a 10,000-square-foot gallery, was founded by artist Jim Mayes.
Over 1,000 masterpieces created by 90 regional and local artists are on display in the gallery. Thanks to the Warehouse, you’ll be astounded by what you see, which might help you find a unique gift for a loved one or re-ignite your creative spirit.
The gallery caters to a wide range of tastes and budgets. Everything you can imagine is offered here, from sculptures to jewellery, pottery, photographs, and paintings.
7. Eat great at South Court Inn
This place will appeal to anyone who enjoys quaint Bed and Breakfast accommodations. It has a five-star rating across the board, which can only mean good things. Each room is decorated differently, although all are in the shabby chic style that is typical of Bed and Breakfasts.
Despite its location outside of the downtown area, the hotel enters our list of the finest things to do in Luray, VA. One of the best things about its small distance from the city is that it provides guests with incredible greenery and nature.
8. Unravel the Garden Maze’s Secrets
Luray Caverns’ Garden Labyrinth is the largest and most popular hedge maze in the Mid-Atlantic region. Prepare to be challenged as you travel through over 1,500 evergreen bushes if you are the adventurous sort.
Even if you have a baby stroller or a wheelchair, you may simply navigate the Garden Maze thanks to its accessibility.
To navigate the maze and unravel its mystery would take a great deal of talent. To solve the maze’s main problem, you’ll need to look for concealed targets along the way.
You’ll pass an observation tower, secret passageways, and fountains as you make your way through the labyrinth.
There’s also a maze-themed gift shop nearby where you can put your puzzle-solving skills to the test.
9. See Shenandoah River
The Potomac River’s main tributary, the Shenandoah River, is approximately 55.6 miles long. It originates near Front Royal, Virginia, at the junction of the North and South Forks.
The South Fork flows for 98.5 miles through the lush Page Valley, passing through Shenandoah and Luray, Virginia.
The Shenandoah River is fed by a plethora of streams, some of which flow through George Washington National Forest to the west and others through the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east.
So much natural beauty surrounds the South Fork of the Shenandoah. Tubing, canoeing, standup paddleboarding, fishing, and kayaking are just a few of the popular activities there.
10. Have a pint at Hawksbill Brewing Co
Hawksbill Brewing Company, located at 22 Zerkel Street, offers flights, pints, and growlers to those in the mood.
This brewery makes the best artisan brews with locally sourced ingredients, allowing them to live up to their slogan, “Grown here, brewed here.”
A sampling of the brewery’s beers on tap includes Farmer’s Brown Ale, Brown Cow Chocolate Milk Stout, and Shenandoah Sunrise Porter.
They also often offer pilot recipes and seasonal brews. In addition, as a non-alcoholic treat, they provide Boo Beer, a root beer created from local honey.
Hawksbill Brewing Co is active on social media, and it uses visitor feedback to select from its whole 5-barrel production.
11. Grab a glass at River Hill Wine and Spirits
River Hill Wine and Spirits, located along the Shenandoah River in Luray, is a family-owned, farm-based winery and distillery that joins our list of best things to do in Luray, VA.
They take pride in making high-quality wines and whiskies in small batches. If you enjoy wine, you will undoubtedly be interested in this location.
They also have a comprehensive range of farm-raised beef and pork products, as well as eggs sold at the distillery.
12. Take a stroll along Massanutten Storybook Trail
The Massanutten Storybook Trail is a 0.5-mile interpretative walk that offers views of the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This is a great route for a stroll rather than a hike. It’s a great place to visit if you want to get a great view without putting in a lot of effort. Another benefit is for family members who are not in the mood for a long hike.
It’s roughly a mile long and out, with a mix of boardwalk and pavement. There are directional/informational signages along the road, though it is not an actual journey. They describe the rock and how the region came to be, culminating in a breathtaking view.
13. Stay the Night at Mimslyn Inn
Without fantastic lodging, no vacation will ever be complete. Make Mimslyn Inn your home base for a calm and pleasurable view of the Blue Ridge and Massanutten Mountains.
The Mimslyn Inn is situated on a hilltop at 401 W Main Street, providing a stunning view. The hotel features a gorgeous main structure that is flanked by cottages that may be rented for parties.
These cabins are named after Shenandoah National Park trails. Hawksbill Cottage is also a historic building that is accessible to guests with disabilities.
Hawksbill Cottage greets guests with a warm welcome, and as you enter, you’ll notice a fireplace and a grand staircase leading to the lobby’s piano.
14. Enjoy the scenic views of Stony Man Mountain
Stony Man, at 4011 feet, is the second-highest peak in Shenandoah behind Hawksbill, which stands at 4,051 feet. With only 400 feet of elevation gain, this mountain is a quick trek to the top that rewards you with some of the best views in Shenandoah National Park.
Hikers can choose from three distinct ways to reach the peak of Stony Man Mountain. A modest 1.6-mile round trip hike is available.
If you’re up for a challenge, the more difficult 9-mile path through Little Stony Man, a famed rock wall, is available.
Finally, a 3.6-mile modest round journey to the top is possible. Little Stony Man and two more picturesque routes are combined in this one.
15. Explore Luray Caverns
The Luray Caves are the largest caverns on the East Coast of the United States and Virginia’s most popular tourist destination.
The caverns, which are located at 100 Cave Hill Road, were discovered in 1878 and draw hundreds of thousands of people each year.
If you want to get the most out of your visit, taking guided tours through the well-paved, well-lit halls is the best option. There are numerous photo opportunities as well.
You will be able to enjoy its crystal-clear ponds and numerous different crystalline forms of limestone known as ‘calcite’ in addition to the glistening draperies and towering stone columns. In the caves, there are many mineral and natural formations, and you must be careful not to shatter any of them.
The tour concludes with a wishing well, where visitors can cast money into a small pond. The metals in the coins change the colour of the water to a rich aqua blue.
16. See a Movie at Page Theatre
Going to Page Theater is one of the exciting things to do in Luray, Virginia. The interior decor is beautiful, pink on the outside and intricately created on the inside!
It is always a delight to attend to see a movie here as Page theatre includes various eclectic movie theatres. One theatre is Egyptian-themed, while another has a Medieval feel to it, complete with swords on the walls, metal axes, and knights’ armour.
Jerry Spencer’s initial vision for Page Theatre was realized. However, after he died, the Hoke family bought the theatre and breathed new life into it. The theatre reopened after undergoing some modifications!
17. Dine at the Valley Cork
Located at 55 E Main Street, Valley Cork is a must-stop if you seek to experience some of the most wonderful cuisine and local wine in Luray.
Pair its wines with a cheese platter to unwind with your loved ones. Apart from speciality wines, they also have craft beers and ciders to sample.
Valley Cork offers a diverse cuisine that includes charcuterie boards, steaks, flatbreads, spaghetti, and much more!
It also hosts live music regularly, and you may attend unique Valley Cork events such as pop-up dinners if you happen to be in town at the time.
18. Stop in at the Luray Train Station
Because the structure serves as both a visitor centre and a miniature railway museum, a stop at the Luray Train Station provides a three-in-one experience.
The Visitor Center is an excellent place to ask questions about things to do in Luray, VA, and the surrounding Shenandoah Valley region.
As you go through the front entrance, you find a lot of flyers and brochures right on the wall advertising varied activities in the region.
The train museum is then reached through a small passageway from the Visitor Center. The importance of the train station and train travel in the development of Luray at the turn of the twentieth century is discussed here.
19. Travel Back in Time at Car and Carriage Caravan Museum
This museum is a must-see for any car enthusiast. Even if you aren’t a car enthusiast, the ingenuity of these vehicles’ designs will keep you gaping in awe.
A speciality museum located at 100 Cave Hill Road is the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum. When you visit Luray Caverns, you get free admission to this museum.
This antique vehicle collection, despite its small size, contains carriages and automobiles from the early 1800s. The Caverns’ forefathers amassed a collection of historically remarkable and one-of-a-kind autos.
The museum has fifty automobiles on display, all of which have been repaired and maintained, and all but two have working engines.
20. Enjoy a Concert by Singing Bells
A tower with ringing bells stands just across from Luray Caverns. The Belle Brown Northcott Memorial is the official name of the Luray Singing Tower, which is more commonly known as the Luray Singing Tower.
The tower, which features singing bells, has been around since 1937 and has a total of 47 bells. It is one of the local attractions that are open to the public for free.
During the spring, summer, and fall, don’t miss the regularly planned concerts.
21. Visit Chinquapin Oak
Seeing Chinquapin Oak, a natural wonder in Luray is next on our list of best things to do in Luray, VA.
Visit 121 S. Court Street to marvel at nature’s splendour, especially if you enjoy arbours and the outdoors.
The Chinquapin Oak was initially planted in 1755, 21 years before George Washington and Thomas Jefferson signed the Declaration of Independence.
It has a height of 96 feet, a circumference of 21 feet, and a surface area of 122 feet. You can check out the information inscribed on the stone bench in front of the tree to learn more.
22. Shop for Antiques and Virginia Items
Virginia Gift Shop, located in historic downtown Luray, offers one-of-a-kind presents for all occasions, as well as home decor, collectables, cards, varied gifts, and cute seasonal goods.
Virginia Gift Shop, which opened in 1945, also offers individualized service to its customers. Vera Bradley, Caswell Massey, Pandora Jewelry, WoodWick Candles, and Yankee are among their most popular lines.
They offer a developing boutique area with items like Lindsay Phillip’s Switchflops, Winding River’s reversible jackets, and MagicScarf’s single-size separates, which are ideal for travel. The shop also sells a variety of Virginia goods, including speciality and gourmet cuisine.
23. Visit the Center for Performing Arts Luray
Performing Arts Luray, located in the centre of downtown Luray, provides a wide range of high-quality, professional entertainment to both locals and visitors.
Since 2006, the Regional Center for Performing Arts of Luray (PAL) has been presenting year-round programming in the heart of downtown Luray.
Music and performances of all types are performed by local, regional, national, and worldwide artists, actors, and performers, among others.
You can check in to listen to a concert on their outdoor plaza during the warmer months. Also, keep an eye on their schedule for inside concerts and events, especially if it’s cold outside in the winter or spring!
Luray Waits For You!
These wonderful locations from our list of things to do in Luray, VA, will undoubtedly provide you with a memorable vacation experience.
If you’re looking for a fun weekend getaway place with plenty of activities, you’ll love this town; despite its tiny size, it has a lively environment with plenty of things to do!
If you find other interesting places to visit In Luray, do let us know!