Activities in Luray, VA?
May 22, 2007 7:01 AM   Subscribe

Activities in Luray, VA?

I'll be staying in a cabin near Luray, VA (right on the edge of Shenandoah National Park) this coming weekend with a few friends. What activities are nearby that 4 males could partake in?
posted by skwm to Travel & Transportation around Luray, VA (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Grab a cooler with some beers and snacks, and spend an afternoon on the river! There's great tubing, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing near there. My favorite place just closed last year, but these guys do a nice job:

Shenandoah River Outfitters
posted by nkknkk at 7:06 AM on May 22, 2007

Best answer: Take a tour of any of the caverns. The big one is Luray Caverns, you'll drive right by it on the way in to town probably. Maybe not hours of fun, but certainly worth seeing if you've never been. Downtown Luray has a few restaurants, including a diner type place that I really liked, whose name escapes me.
posted by Phoenix42 at 7:19 AM on May 22, 2007

There's a car (and carriage) museum right next to Luray Caverns, which you can get into for free if you buy admission to the caverns. It's a bit small as museums go, but fun. There's also a hedge maze, which looked fun but was fairly expensive IIRC.
posted by cerebus19 at 7:24 AM on May 22, 2007

Seconding the caverns, especially if any of the four have never been in a real cave before. The park itself is worth a hike, and if you can get to a calm part of the river, you could get an inflatable raft and goof around. Please note I emphasize a CALM part of the river.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:30 AM on May 22, 2007

Best answer: You are right by Skyline Drive. Take that drive. It rained and was overcast the day I planned on driving it.

In the area:
Cathedral of Stone outside Lexington at Natural Bridge, to the seven castle-like rock towers of the Natural Chimneys, west of Harrisonburg.
posted by brent at 7:44 AM on May 22, 2007

Check out the Luray Zoo, which is about a 1/2 mile down the road from Luray Caverns. It's a rescue zoo populated almost entirely by unwanted exotic animals. The collection of snakes is quite impressive.

Also, the Appalachian Trail runs right by there, so hiking opportunities are plentiful.
posted by COD at 7:59 AM on May 22, 2007

Best answer: Well...Natural Bridge is sort of in the area. An hour-and-a-half away, but it certainly is a pretty neat sight, and the town has some bizarre tourist attractions--a wax museum among them. Combine it with Lexington and you'd have a full day trip.

You'll be right near New Market, which is worth exploring if any of you are history buffs. Harrisonburg is a college (and poultry) town, with some decent coffee shops, restaurants, and even a little nightlife.

Your best bet, though, is a good trail guide and a full tank of gas.
posted by hippugeek at 8:37 AM on May 22, 2007

Luray Caverns, hello. Don't miss the "fried eggs".
posted by mjklin at 8:52 AM on May 22, 2007

Best answer: New Market is interesting for the battle fields over there. It's where VMI students fought during the Civil War after marching up from Lexington (each year students reenact the march). Not sure if you guys are into wine, but there are a bunch of vineyards over there as well with tours and tastings and whatnot.

And I'm seconding the Shenandoah River Outfitters. I went on tubing trips many times while I lived out there and had a blast.

Harrisonburg (where I went to school) on I-81 is probably the closest place you'll find much of a bar scene -- it's not a great scene, but it's got a decent sized college so you're guaranteed to have some folks out and about at the bars. Calhouns is a pretty good brewery over there.
posted by awegz at 9:31 AM on May 22, 2007

Oh, and Dave's Taverna (restaurant/bar) and Kline's Dairy Bar (great local ice cream) are also some great stops in Harrisonburg. There's probably a ton more I'm missing, but feel free to email if you have any questions.

Overall, it's a gorgeous part of the state and even just driving around is entertaining.
posted by awegz at 9:35 AM on May 22, 2007

My friends and I have done an annual tubing trip near there for several years running. However, I'd want to check the water temperature before getting in a tube--it's a bit early in the season yet. Canoe or kayak should be fine, though.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:44 AM on May 22, 2007

Best answer: Might or might not be your bag, but the Green Valley Book Fair will be open through this weekend. The Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton is also near-ish and kind of neat.

There are a number of wineries in the Shenandoah and bordering central (hint: Afton is just off the south end of Skyline Drive) regions of the state, most of which offer free or nominal-fee tastings on site; there are worse ways to kill an afternoon than driving over the countryside from wine tasting to wine tasting. (But call ahead and check that they'll be open, to avoid disappointments. These are small businesses, and information that they or others post on the web is not always kept up to date.)

If the weather is decent, though, Skyline Drive and the hiking paths off it (get a map from the parks service) should top your list.
posted by Orinda at 10:03 AM on May 22, 2007

Best answer: Just spotted this story on DCist today and it has some suggestions that should be within easy driving distance of Luray. You may want to keep an eye on the comments for suggestions as well.
posted by awegz at 1:35 PM on May 22, 2007

I second trying out the wineries. Here's a google-map interface to help you plan a route. It's pretty easy to hit half a dozen in an afternoon. The wines are similar in quality (in my opinion) but cheaper than the Long Island wineries if you've ever been out there.

If you're driving by Linden, stop to see The Apple House. It's kitschy, but it's an interesting place especially if you like to gawk at muscle cars or motorcycles.
posted by peeedro at 8:35 PM on May 22, 2007

I blogged about a bunch of VA wineries a while back. My mini-reviews are three years old now, so they could very well be out dated, but you might be interested.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:33 AM on May 23, 2007

You could always go for a hike. I did the Jeremy's Run Loop a few years ago starting from just outside Luray and enjoyed it quite a bit.
posted by Joe Schlabotnik at 6:18 AM on May 23, 2007

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