Destinations Magazine - November/December 2015 - 45


Hang tight: Eons-old
stalactites dangle in
Saracen's Tent.

HOT

ALLuring
LurAy

TIP

easy exploring awaits at virginia's
underground cathedral of wonders

Spring is an
ideal season
to visit. Why?
Blooming
rhododendrons,
dogwoods,
and redbuds;
off-peak
lodging rates;
and lower
humidity.

By MAryeLLen Kennedy ducKett

S

himmering waterfalls, seemingly endless mountain vistas, and dazzling fall foliage draw more
than 1.2 million visitors each year to virginia's
Shenandoah National Park. While the park's
wonders are obvious, the treasures of nearby
Luray caverns are concealed underground.
The attraction, discovered in 1878 and designated by the
National Park Service in 1973 as a National Natural Landmark,
is a subterranean cathedral of sorts. Paved walkways lead into
magnificent rooms with soaring 10-story-high ceilings and
gigantic crystalline limestone columns. Adorning the ceilings,
sides, and base of the chambers are dazzling stalactites and
stalagmites, plus pristine natural pools and cascades.
"For motorcoach tour groups visiting the Shenandoah valley, Luray caverns nicely complements the
scenery and wonders of Shenandoah National Park
and Skyline Drive," says John Shaffer, Luray caverns'
director of marketing and sales. "We are the largest
caverns in the eastern United States, and the size of
the columns and profusion of formations, natural
Tickets
colors, and textures found here are remarkable."
Discounted Luray Caverns rates and
assigned entry times are available
Luray caverns is an easy add-on for any Washfor groups of 20 or more. Packages
ington, D.c., or historic virginia itinerary. From the
can include food and any or all of
nation's capital, drive two hours west via US 66 to
the outdoor activities.
Luray. combine a morning or full-day visit to the
Stay
Book rustic cabins or traditional
caverns with a leisurely ride (speed limit is 35
rooms for your group inside
mph) along famed Skyline Drive. The 105-mile
Shenandoah National Park at the
National Scenic byway is the only public road
historic Skyland Resort. Open late
March through late November.
through Shenandoah National Park. (Purchase a
commercial tour pass-$200 for 26 or more pasEat
Save room for the Mile-High Blacksengers-at the Thornton Gap entrance located 10
berry Ice Cream Pie at the Skyland
miles west of Luray caverns via route 211.) SpecResort's Pollock Dining Room. Restacular mountain, forest, and valley vistas are visible
ervations are available for groups of
15 or more.
along the entire route, which runs north and south
along the crest of the blue ridge mountains.

Luray Caverns
Insider

Comfortable Caving Year-Round

The guided walking tour of the caverns covers 1.25 miles and
takes about an hour. Tours are available every day in any weather

November-December 2015

\ destinations 45



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Destinations Magazine - November/December 2015

Contents
Destinations Magazine - November/December 2015 - BB1
Destinations Magazine - November/December 2015 - BB2
Destinations Magazine - November/December 2015 - Cover1
Destinations Magazine - November/December 2015 - Cover2
Destinations Magazine - November/December 2015 - 1
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Destinations Magazine - November/December 2015 - Contents
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