What Virginia caves should we visit?
June 27, 2005 8:52 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I want to go to Virginia next month to see caves. Where should we go?

The last time I went to Virginia for cave-exploration purposes was about ten years ago, and I wasn't the one driving. So where should we head to? Important points are as follows:

- We're tourists, not spelunkers. Developed caves only, please.
- But not too developed-- Luray is pretty atrocious. I'd prefer to enjoy the cave, rather than a tourist trap.
- Bats and other wildlife are awesome.
- We're coming from Maryland, and would prefer not to drive too far. Proximity to the border is a big plus.
- Bonus points if you can suggest a place to stay nearby.

So far, Skyline is looking good, but I'd like some more informed opinions. Thanks.
posted by Faint of Butt to Travel & Transportation around Virginia (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You may want to try Dixie Caverns, near Salem/Roanoke. Shenadoah Caverns is another option. I've only been to Luray and Skyline (and both trips were many, many years ago when I was growing up near Staunton. The great thing about the latter option is its proximity to Shenandoah National Park. Finally, near the Endless Caverns is another option. Located in New Market, you could also see New Market Battlefield (which has some fantastic views from the bluffs overlooking the Shenandoah River.

None of these will be too far away since most of them are located in the lower part of the Shenadoah Valley (Dixie Caverns being the exception). Of all the websites, Endless Caverns looks the most classy.
posted by trox at 10:46 AM on June 27, 2005

I used to work at Endless Caverns - it is fantastic. Developed, but still as natural as it can be. It is the antithesis to Luray Caverns. Plus, the tour guides are well trained, nice and knowledgeable (at least they were eight years ago). It is not as crowded as Luray Caverns can be; nor is it as campy as Shenandoah. Skyline Caverns in Front Royal are also highly recommended. One could stay in Luray and hit both.
posted by ten-fifteen at 11:51 AM on June 27, 2005

Here's an index of Virginia show caves.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:34 AM on June 28, 2005

Actually that link is to the whole country. Click 'index' and you can pick individual states.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:35 AM on June 28, 2005

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