If you've traveled up America's East Coast, there's a good chance you've seen signs for Luray Caverns.
With family in Pennsylvania, we've probably passed them more than 30 times. Finally, this summer, we stopped.
I admit I was in a little sticker shock... could an audio tour of underground caverns really be worth $23 a ticket?
My kids... ages 15 and 13... had mixed emotions about the excursion, from "this is going to be cool!" to "do we really have to?"
But once we got inside, we weren't thinking about anything except the amazing sights in front of us.
The reflecting pool was remarkable, and an area where stalactites (or stalagmites, I can't honestly remember!) had broken off really looked like fried eggs.
As you are standing there looking at massive creations from ceiling to floor, it's remarkable to think they formed at a rate of one cubic inch per 120 years.
Apparently, years ago, the tour at Luray Caverns used to have an actual guide. But now, you get a headset, which you control. It wasn't hard to use, and it was informative. I admit... I did have a moment where I thought 'how sanitary could this headset be?' After all, half a million people visit the caverns each year!
But I didn't ask (didn't really want to know), so we just sucked it up and put them on, with no ill effects.
For the price of admission into the Caverns, you also get a self-guided tour of a car and carriage "caravan" and into the Luray Valley Museum.
It took it about 5.5 hours to get to Luray, Virginia from Washington, North Carolina. Luray is about 90 miles west of Washington D.C. and very close to the Shenandoah National Park.
We stayed in the Shenandoah National Park and drove Skyline Drive on the way home, and I plan to blog about that part of our trip in the coming week.