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Luray Caverns, Virginia

August 5, 2013

Recently, I took a trip to the Luray Caverns in Virginia, discovered in 1878, the caverns boast to be the biggest and most spectacular on the eastern coast of the US. It is situated close to Shenandoah National Park, which is a natural beauty in itself. These caverns are popular, so much so that we were queuing for an hour to get in having paid $24 per person. It seems expensive at first, but when you realise that you get an hour’s tour of the caverns, entry to the car and carriage museum and the Luray Valley Museum, all of which is onsite, it looks a bit better.

After getting into the caverns, there is a climb down the steps to get deep enough to see the formations. A tour guide explains the history of the caverns and other interesting facts about its lifetime as you walk round. The walk takes about an hour, and it is in no way taxing, there are some incredible stops on the way. There is a large section of water, around half way through, and it is so still, that you can see the reflections of the stalactites up above, and it makes it look as though the water is incredibly deep, and pointy. Continuing through, you see some amazing formations, and it almost looks as if you are on the set of a Lord of the Rings movie. One of the final points on the tour is also one of the best. It contains the world’s largest musical instrument; this is an organ, placed in the caverns, and many sensors placed around the caverns. When a drop of water hits the sensors, it corresponds to a note on the organ, and so music is made. We listened to a beautiful recording made simply by water falling.

After returning to the surface via the stairs, there is a gift shop, selling all kinds of things connected to Virginia and the caverns. Once all this is over, there is still more to do! The Car and Carriage Museum is next on the list, this museum has, as you would imagine, cars and carriages in it, they are all very old, and very impressive, this museum is small and doesn’t take more than 10-15 minutes to walk through, but it is worth having a look at, especially if you are a car enthusiast. By the time we had completed these two attractions, we didn’t have time for the Luray Valley Museum, which looks again small but worth the trip and contains a copy of a Swiss Bible from 1536.

Finally, if you still have the time and energy, there are a few more things to check off the list, the first is a maze, which does cost extra, but I assume children would appreciate running around in an attempt to find their way out. Then there is the homemade fudge, made on site; it must be worth a try. Finally, there is a café for those who simply need a sit down, which I assure you, you will after all that excitement!

So, the caverns look like a fun day out, and it will take the whole day. If by chance you do have time to spare, why not drive along the skyline drive at Shenandoah National Park to see some amazing views across some of Virginia.

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From → Museums

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