Luray named 'most charming small town' in Virginia

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LURAY, Va. (WHSV) -- Back in July, Staunton's Main Street was named one of the best small town main streets to visit in America. Now, another Shenandoah Valley town is receiving a similar honor.

Onlyinyourstate.com named Luray "the most charming small town in the state of Virginia."

Luray is the most populous town of Page County. It sits between two mountain ranges and is also the gateway to the Shenandoah National Park.

Most people have heard of Luray Caverns, but there is plenty to do above-ground as well!

Luray's proximity to Skyline Drive and the Shenandoah River makes outdoor activities like canoeing, rafting, and fishing popular.

The town also has art galleries, a zoo, and Hawksbill Greenway.

Regina Hilliard is the president of the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce. She said she's not surprised by the honor, but appreciates Luray getting the recognition it deserves.

"We are only ninety minutes away from the Washington, D.C. area, so if somebody wants to take a day trip, or stay the entire weekend, or stay the entire week; we have plenty to offer to keep them busy the entire time," said Regina Hilliard.

The owner of Gathering Grounds grew up in Luray and moved away, but came back to start her business.

"It's very personal, a lot of people know each other. It's good to go out and see people that you know each and every day," said Leigh Overend.

Gathering Gounds Patisserie and Cafe is open from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Saturday, 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Luray is also engaging in Virginia's thriving vineyard and brewery industry, opening Castle Vineyards this past weekend at 2150 Mims Rd.

The town also has the River Hill Distillery.

Another relatively new attraction to visit in Luray is 'Cooter's in the Valley,' a museum of 'Dukes of Hazzard' memorabilia with a restaurant, performance space, and more, run by Ben Jones.