Shenandoah Park and Virginia Caverns

We bought a great car,Volvo, on the last day of May 2000. So, we decided to try it on the long trip. We chose to visit Virginia. It actually came out a very nice weekend trip as we stayed overnight there. Volvo rides great, so we really enjoyed the driving part this time :-)

Our first destination was Skyline Caverns. They are located near the entrance to Shenandoah park so it's very convenient to visit them first. These are small caverns but very unique because visitors can see rare crystal formations (anthodites) on the ceiling. Most of the caverns don't have it. You can see them on our photos here. We always love caverns, so we really enjoyed the tour. After that and quick lunch we drove in Shenandoah National park. Let me tell you - that park is huge and the scenic road going thru it is quite long. At first we were stopping at the every overlook on the Skyline drive to take a picture but got tired after a couple of hours. Admittedly the valley views are breathtaking plus you can park and hike if you want to explore more. We managed to hike and get to White Water Falls, it was very pleasant to cool off there during a hot day.

We also had plans to get to Natural Bridge that is basically a lookout at the huge bridge. We got there in time, right before the dusk, and enjoyed sound and light show called 'Drama of Creation'. It is not out of this world experience but it's cool to see the bridge in the ever-changing illumination.

Next day we paid a visit to Luray Caverns. These are really big caverns that also feature a corn maze and gardens as well as car and carriage museum. We had a fun time trying to go thru a maze and find all required marks. It is not just for children! The caverns themselves are big but unfortunately very crowded and we saw many human marks on the stalactites and stalagmites everywhere. So it isn't well preserved - we even saw people throwing coins in the treasure pool there. In my opinion, it's sad because caverns basically die and structures stop growing because of human oils and stuff :-( All in all it was a enjoyable trip and I'd definitely recommend it as a weekend getaway. We should definitely come back there with kids.

Created on Wednesday, June 03, 2009