If (As if!) your glampground resort doesn’t have enough to keep you busy during your vacation to Luray, Virginia, there are certainly other things you can do in the area, like…
- Cruise through Skyline Drive.
- Shop, stroll, and hang out in historic old town Luray.
- Enjoy a nature walk along the Greenway.
- Explore Shenandoah National Park.
- Tour Luray Caverns.
- Get lost in the Garden Maze.
- Learn about Luray Valley’s history, including seeing a Bible from the 1530s and watching a blacksmith demonstration.
- Cruise through the old car museum.
- Play — and wax nostalgic — at the toy museum.
- Visit the train museum at the Luray visitor center.
- Amble around the Luray Zoo.
- Visit the Shenandoah River State Park.
- Gaze up at those beautiful mountains.
The photo above was taken at the Luray Valley Museum. Gorgeous! (But enough about me, ha!) This museum is located right across the street from the caverns, garden maze, toy museum, and car museum. You’ll find two cafes in this area, ample parking, misters in the garden maze (of the cool water variety, not the creepy old men kind), and plenty of bathrooms.
Plan to spend an hour touring the caverns — and expect to hear a lot of rock puns while you’re trapped in a cave with a goofy guide and lack a direct escape route to joke-free safety. You must wear shoes with grip because the floor can be wet with somewhat steep slopes, both upward and downward. Kids 5 and under are free! Tours depart on the hour.
The caverns essentially are the anchor site of a strip mall of tourist attractions, all within a very short walking distance. A cafe is right next door to the caverns, and it’s where we had your typical concession-style lunch. That cafe is attached to a small toy museum with a train display and plenty of trips down the memory lanes of childhood joy. For instance, you’ll discover that, yes, Barbie is old. And apparently now my Cabbage Patch Kid dolls are, too, because they were also in the toy museum.
Wait. If my childhood toys are now in a museum, then that means…
I, too, am…
Next to those sites is the car museum, which features some truly notable and a couple rare vehicles — including a real “surrey with the fringe on top” and one owned by none other than Rudolph Valentino! 😍😍😍
(I don’t care that Rudy died a century ago; I’m still swooning over The Sheik.)
Next to the car museum are more bathrooms and a cool down spot with shaded tables and drinks/ice cream. Of course, you’re also literally right next to the parking lot, so to save yourself $20 on overpriced drinks and treats, just tote an iced cooler in your trunk and enjoy cold drinks straight from your RV.
Next is a rope course, which has levels for most ages and skills, but we skipped…ropes. (Har har har!)
After that is the whimsical garden maze (pictured above). Entry was $9 for adults and kids were free! Our whole family enjoyed this site. Try to find all four “goals” before you exit to reveal a secret message. It’s challenging enough to be fun and engaging without being scary or frustrating. The Kampy Kids liked this so much they wanted to go back the next day. When the temps get hot, staff turn on the water misters. There’s also a water (drinking) fountain in the center of the maze.
And more bad jokes. When you visit the maze, you’ll know exactly what I mean, so I won’t spoil it for you here, but it became obvious to us at this point that the folks of Luray find it amusing to torture it’s guests with puns. Anyway, we had a pun trip. (Zing!)
Finally, we crossed the street to the Luray Valley museum. You can receive a ticket to get a free stone at their gift shop when you buy your museum ticket at the caverns. I really enjoy history, so this was my favorite part of the “strip mall.” They have many cool artifacts on display, and I’d encourage you to take the to appreciate them instead of just breezing through the museum as there are a few rare and very valuable objects to appreciate.
Outside, there is a working blacksmith shop with occasional live demonstrations, a preserved historic African American schoolhouse, a preserved meeting house, a cafe featuring some Virginia wines, and some other historic outbuildings, as well. Two buildings were closed for construction during our visit, but it was quite interesting to watch the contractors at work to rehab them — in preparation for my future visit!