Hi everyone! I am back again with another tale of discovery, adventure and....style, of course. Recently, my little family and I took a day trip to Luray Caverns. I've gotten a lot of questions from friends about the trip and wanting tips for visiting, so naturally, I thought I'd just write a post about it. And, yes, I will discuss what I wore and what maybe not to wear.
First, let me say that it is 100 percent worth the trip. I was skeptical at first, and I admit, I was a little scared. I am not a fan of dark, tight spaces (unless it's my closet where I go to hide from my kids and eat chocolate), so the thought of actually being underground in caves terrifies me. Have you seen that movie about the explorers that get stuck in the cave?? I can't remember the name of it, but it kept running through my head. Luckily though, it was all for naught. Luray is well lit, rather open and spacious, and the ground is paved with bricks. I didn't feel the least bit terrifed, and that's always a good thing.
I struggled with what I should wear on this trip. Essentially, you are dressing for two different climates. Outside it might be 85 degrees, but down in the caves, it's probably 25 degrees cooler. I had no idea what to expect the terrain to be, but luckily for me it was well paved and smooth. We brought jackets, but only the kids really needed them. I wore this long sleeved romper (from ThredUp) and my favorite and most comfortable booties (from Target). I was totally fine walking and temperature wise. There are a lot of steps, and it is a lot of walking. So go with what's comfortable for you. We did see a lady wearing very short shorts; they might as well have been underwear. I'm not opposed to short, but I'm not sure how she managed to climb the stairs without having a wardrobe malfunction. So maybe don't wear anything short enough that could double as underwear.
We arrived at Luray right when they opened, 9am, and we did the Garden Maze first, partly because we wanted to do a self guided tour of the caverns which didn't start until 10:30. You could choose to do the guided tours, but I really didn't want to force my kids to be patient and quiet enough to listen to speeches about rocks. Or maybe I just wasn't sure I could be calm enough (given my fear of dark spaces) to stand and listen. I felt better about going at my own pace. The tour takes probably 45 minutes to an hour depending on how fast you go. We did it in about 40 minutes, mostly because my kids went way too fast and didn't really take time to look and appreciate the beauty around them. But they loved it anyway, and had a grand ole time. We even made a little friend. Well, I did...she wanted to be my helper and help me reign in my kids...she was maybe seven and so very sweet. My kids shared their pennies with her for the wishing pool.
If you plan on doing the Garden Maze, and if you get there early, do that first. It is fun, and the kids loved it. I could see it getting hot in there, so maybe don't wait until later in the day to do it. Plan on going to their little frontier town too. That's where you can go gem slushing, which is very fun. Also over that way is the winery. Yes, my fellow winos, they have a winery! Can I get an Amen?! And, I'll be honest, there's a reason that they put in a winery...after all the craziness of the day, you will want and need a drink. Trust me. Eat lunch there at the winery, it's better then the little cafe next to the caves.
We spent all day at Luray. I would have loved to stay at the winery all day; the views and atmosphere were beautiful. I think we left around 2:30 becasue we were all exhausted and my husband remembered seeing a brewery on our way in...need I say more?? We found it in Sperryville, It's called Hopkins Ordinary and it's in the basement of a beautfiul bed and breakfast. Stop there and hang out. They have a little rock area outside that you can sit and chill. The kids were able to entertain themselves in the "coolest chairs ever", while we sampled beer and had a glass. I also fed them a lot of cookies, and I'm not sorry. We are even thinking about coming back at some point to stay at the Bed and Breakfast, without our kids.
I think it's safe to say that the entire family had an awesome time, and it's so close close to home too! Next time, we will visit the Luray Zoo and a few of the other attractions up that way. I know there are more wineries and breweries that must be visited as well. Fun for EVERYONE. And I will bring extra cookies, because when the troops get cranky and bored...cookies are almost always the answer.
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