Virginia's Shenandoah Valley is known for its beauty, nestled as it is between the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and a stretch of the Appalachian Mountains to the west. The fertile land is home to farms, woods, and many charming, historic towns. Guests of Shenandoah Valley Bed and Breakfasts have much to explore.Yet some of the most amazing attractions of the Shenandoah Valley are under the ground, not above it: limestone caves and caverns. There are several limestone caverns in the Shenandoah Valley: Skyline Caverns, Shenandoah Caverns, Grand Caverns, and more. Of them all, Luray Caverns are considered the most interesting and most worth visiting. Luray Caverns were accidentally discovered in modern times in August of 1878, when a candle held by Andrew Campbell was extinguished by a rush of cold air blowing out of a limestone sinkhole. In a matter of hours, Campbell and handful of others had cleared an opening big enough for a man, and Campbell and his nephew slid down a rope into the caverns. There is archeological evidence that peoples in the past occupied or at least visited the caves, but not much is known about them. Popular interest in the caverns was immediate and has grown more or less steadily ever since. A correspondent for the New York Herald called it the most magnificent cave he had ever seen. Scientists from the Smithsonian felt compelled to write that "there is probably no other cave in the world more completely and profusely decorated with stalactite and stalagmite ornamentation" than Luray Caverns. [caption id="attachment_8241" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Dream Lake in Luray Caverns.[/caption]
Visitors today are as amazed by what they see in Luray Caverns as they were more than 100 years ago. Read on to learn what guests of Luray VA Bed and Breakfasts may find once they enter the caves.
Luray Caverns features:
- Stalacpipe Organ: an organ connected to stalactites; produces deep, haunting, sounds.
- Saracen's Tent: an incredible stone drapery
- Pluto's Chasm: more than 500 feet long, and 70 to 90 feet deep.
- Frozen Fountain: a giant stalagmite, pure white.
- Dream Lake: a large, shallow lake that reflects the beautiful stalactites above and around it.