Luray Virginia
“Four Seasons of Adventure”

Town of Luray VA

The town of Luray is located in Page county in the Shenandoah Valley and the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. Luray has many attractions to offer visitors and is known for its famous Luray Caverns featured in National Geographic magazine. Luray Caverns is a vast underground cave system with walkways, unusual rock formations and the ” Great Stalapipe Organ” In addition to the caverns is a kids playground, and Car and Carriage Museum.  The town of Luray is at a major crossroads of travel. Luray is 90 miles West of Washington DC and 45 miles south of Winchester Virginia.. The town of Luray features something for everyone; such as 5 underground attractions nearby, restaurants, wineries and distilleries. There is an abundance of things to do especially outdoor recreation such as the Shenandoah National Park, George Washington National Forest, Luray Hawksbill Greenway, Luray Triathlon, horseback riding, fly fishing, Massanutten and Bryce Ski Resort, Hawksbill Recreational Park, golfing, Lake Arrowhead, The New Market Battlefield, museums, theaters and performing arts, Page county fair, Pager county Heritage Festival and art galleries. While deciding on the many things to do while in Luray your head after a long day of adventures in one of bed and breakfasts, cabin rentals, or area hotels or resorts.

History of Luray VA

The town of Luray was established in 1812 on ten acres of land near Hawksbill Creek. The town’s first business was a forge making nails, farm tools, kettles, stoves, and iron products built by Derek Pennypacker. There were originally 6 1/2 acre lots. Then in 1818, 26 new lots were added. By 1985 the total acreage for the town had reached almost 3,000 acres.

In the 18th and 19th centuries the county seat was in the eastern portion of Shenandoah county (now Page County). The county seat was a place of business recording deeds, paying property taxes and settling disputes in civil court. Citizens would have to drive 35-40 miles, so they decided to form Page county and make the town of Luray the county seat in 1831.

Like most small towns in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with expansion of the railroad small towns prospered with an economic increase in business and population.
Transportation in Page county was by flat bottom or gondola boats on the Shenandoah River before 1881. Farm produce was hauled to Culpeper over the mountains.
In 1883 the Luray Caverns had been purchased by the owners of the Luray Inn and the caverns were visited by over 15,000 people. The railroad made Luray Caverns more accessible and it became a major tourist attraction. Today, Luray Caverns, are visited by over half a million people per year.

Back to Virginia Mountains Cities & Towns Travel Guide