Just over 30 minutes from JMU’s campus is an absolute must-see destination perfect for a day trip outside the ‘burg.

In August of 1878, Andrew Campbell observed cool air coming out of a limestone sinkhole, started digging, and Luray Caverns was born.

Since then, the destination provides a unique look into the underground world of “geology’s hall of fame.”

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The cool cave temperatures and incredible views are the perfect escape for a hotter-than-average fall day.

Touring the caverns takes about an hour, and tour guides are very knowledgeable, which makes the somewhat steep ticket price of $27 more than worth it.

Inside, you will be taken aback by the breathtaking views of the centuries-old natural wonder.

IMG_9553.JPGAround each bend, there’s a new story to tell and a new tidbit of history to share.

IMG_9558.JPGEvery few years, the Caverns donates to an organization of their choosing from the “Wishing Well,” a small in-ground pool at the end of the tour that visitors are encouraged to donate to. Every penny and coin thrown into the “Wishing Well,” is collected by the local high school football teams and Caverns staff.

Since 1954, the Caverns has donated over one million dollars to various charitable organizations of their choosing. The public can request an organization in particular, and if enough people request the same organization, Lurary Caverns will likely honor this request.

After your tour in the Caverns, be sure to stop by the Garden Maze and Ropes Challenge Course before ending your trip.

Photographs taken by Caroline Brandt.

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