Just 75 miles from Washington, D.C., Shenandoah National Park stretches more than 100 miles along the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers an expanse of spectacular vistas, cascading waterfalls, mountain streams, fields of wildflowers, quiet wooded hollows, breezy summits, and an abundance of wildlife that call the designated wilderness home.
The park offers plenty of outdoor activities, from birdwatching and leaf-peeping to horseback riding, stargazing, special events, more than 500 miles of hiking trails, and the 105-mile Skyline Drive. But an array of activities, attractions, and adventures are available right outside the park's Thornton Gap entrance in Page Valley that expand and enrich the seasonal splendor and rich experiences of the Shenandoah Valley.
DISCOVER EXCITING ATTRACTIONS
pictured: Luray Caverns
Locals will attest that the charming Town of Luray has become synonymous with Luray Caverns. We know this because when asked Where are you from? an enthusiastic followup question from east-coasters and travelers from throughout the Mid-Atlantic most frequently is, Luray like the Caverns?
The answer is always a pleased and proud Yes, like the Caverns!
Heralded as the largest caverns in the eastern United States, Luray Caverns remains a bucket-list attraction for the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come from around the globe each year to explore the underground wonder. And above the ground, there’s even more to explore, from a seven-acre re-creation of a small, 19th-century farming community to a car and carriage museum and an extensive collection of unique and vintage toys.
The adventures don’t stop there. Luray Caverns is home to a gem sluice, the largest Evergreen hedge maze in the Mid-Atlantic, gift shops, and two bistro-style restaurants. The property features lots of grassy picnic spaces, a scenic pond, and Page Valley's official LOVEwork (a perfect spot for keepsake photos and selfies). All are within view of and located a short distance from the Luray Singing Tower. Listen out on summer Saturdays and Sundays to hear the distinct sounds of the forty-seven bell Taylor carillon during evening and afternoon recitals.
Other must-see attractions near Shenandoah National Park and in Luray include a small, three-acre rescue zoo — home to 80 reptile exhibits and dozens of other animal exhibits — and a museum and replica garage in celebration of the hit 1980s’ CBS series The Dukes of Hazzard.
Attractions near Shenandoah National Park:
EMBARK ON AN OUTDOOR ADVENTURE
pictured: Jordan Hollow Stables
Panoramic beauty doesn’t stop outside Shenandoah National Park. Did you know that more than 38,000 of the park’s acres are in Page County — more than any other locality? And with more than 600 vacation rentals, 55 miles of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, 72,041 acres of farmland, and 71 mountain peaks, Page Valley offers fresh-air adventures in four seasons against a backdrop of scenic splendor.
Choose from adventures like riding horseback along mountain and valley trails and through winding streams and rolling pastures. See the wonders of the Hawksbill Creek and Blue Ridge Mountains on a country trail with Jordan Hollow Stables. Or opt for a trail ride that winds through a working ranch along the Shenandoah River at River’s Bend Ranch.
Looking for a day on the storied Shenandoah River? Take to the South Fork by tube, kayak, canoe, raft, or boat with Shenandoah Outfitters in Luray or Shenandoah River Adventures in Shenandoah. Or explore public boat landings in Page County to plan your own river trip. See our recommended float routes here.
Outdoor excitement continues with zipline and climbing fun for all experience levels at Bear Mountain Ziplines, or on an ATV expedition along mountain terrain and private trails with Appalachian Adventures.
RAISE YOUR GLASSES & PASS THE PLATE
pictured: Broad Porch Coffee Co.
From freshly-roasted coffee at the Broad Porch Coffee Co. to breakfast sandwiches and soups and salads at Gathering Grounds Patisserie and Cafe to fresh and locally-sourced cuisine at Watch & Warrant Restaurant, the historic downtown district of Luray offers an array of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to grab on the go, savor inside, or dine al fresco.
A downtown brewery, two nearby distilleries, local wine and vineyard options, and the carefully curated Blue Ridge Whisky Wine Loop — centered around Shenandoah National Park and Page Valley — give locals and visitors alike a reason to cheers in every season.
Food and Drink Options Near Shenandoah National Park:
EXPLORE ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
pictured: Page Theater
With a short walk down Luray’s Main Street, it’s easy to spot signs of a unique and growing arts community, from dozens of one-of-a-kind murals and sculptures in scenic settings to community theaters and outdoor concert spaces.
Catch a concert, comedian, magician, “party on the plaza” event, and so much more at the Center for the Performing Arts Luray. Jam out as sunset fades to starlight along the Luray-Hawksbill Greenway during the Town of Luray’s Evenings on Main outdoor concert series, or in the vines at Wisteria Farm and Vineyard during its Music Under the Arbor series.
Or discover your newest favorite flick on the silver screen at the Page Theater — an iconic bubble-gum pink movie theater in Downtown Luray with an interior aesthetic as unique and memorable as its cheerful exterior.
INDULGE, RELAX, & UNWIND
pictured: Caverns Country Club Resort
Indulge yourself with a massage therapy session with The Wright Touch or at the Mimslyn Inn. Both offer sessions at their respective locations in historic downtown Luray.
Pamper yourself further during a spa day at the Mimslyn Inn with services that include reflexology, head neck and face massages, aromatherapy invigorating foot scrubs, energy healing, eco-fin paraffin alternatives, CBD oil, and cupping.
Unwind in wide open spaces while you practice your swing. Breathe in the fresh valley air while you take in the sweeping scenes around you at the Caverns Country Club Resort. Overlooking the winding Shenandoah River, the 18-hole course stretches along 6,499 yards to reveal Blue Ridge Mountain beauty so stunning, you’ll have a hard time keeping your eye on the ball.
SHOP FOR UNIQUE GIFTS & SOUVENIRS
pictured: Henhouse Shoppe
Peruse the shops in Page Valley and along Main Street in Luray for unique items and one-of-a-kind treasures to keep as a souvenir or gift to someone special. From boutique clothing and handmade jewelry to art, antiques, plants, vintage keepsakes, and equipment for outdoor recreation in four seasons — shop small in Luray for big finds.
Our downtown picks:
FILL YOUR DAY WITH FUN — FOR FREE!
With natural beauty in every direction, having fun doesn’t have to break the bank — or cost a thing — near Shenandoah National Park in Page Valley.
Begin your free but priceless adventure at the Luray-Page County Visitor Center and Train Depot, located in the former Norfolk & Western depot in Downtown Luray. Home to the Page County Railway Museum, the building features exhibits, memorabilia, and a scale layout showcasing the area’s railroading roots. Take time to talk to the Visitor Center’s friendly staff for tips and suggestions — and hidden-gem locations like Page Valley's pristine parks.
While you’re in downtown district, hit the award-winning Luray-Hawksbill Greenway for a seasonal stroll, bicycle ride, waterfront picnic, mural spotting, or wildlife watching. The two-mile trail through the heart of the downtown runs along the Hawksbill Creek and combines a lush habitat of birds, butterflies, trout, and other wildlife with urban amenities and dazzling landscapes.
Explore other hidden-gem parks and take in the beauty of the Valley like a local at the community-renowned Lake Arrowhead or Ralph H. Dean Recreation Park. Page Valley is additionally home to historic sites and year-round events — many offered for free.