Mt Vernon - 6/2013 The home of George Washington! Beautiful gardens and a great view of the Potomac River. We spent a few hours there with the kids (2 kids elementary school age) one summers day. Bring lots of water and prepare for some lines going into the house tour. This is mainly an outdoor place with lots of outdoor exhibits that the kids can touch and explore. We spent most the morning there because we took a break to play on the lawns. No outside food or drinks (other than water) is permitted inside. Which was what caused our visit to be shortened. Review the What To See section on the site to determine how long you will want to visit. Prices are $9 for kids and $17 for adults.
Luray Caverns - 7/2013 What fun! This is located in the western part of VA just outside of Shenandoah National Park. We drove out early one day and spent the morning and early afternoon exploring. We did the tour which was very informative and the kids enjoyed. The caverns are pretty incredible and it is one of the larger caves on the east coast.This was a pricier activity at $26 for adults and $14 for kids but it was unique and interactive. Wear good shoes as the path underground can be a little slippery. There are stairs on the tour and some cramped walk ways. Would we go a second time? Maybe in a few years. There isn't much to do outside of the cavern tour and all the other activities that are offered on location are additional fees. After we finished our tour we drove part of the Skyline Drive at Shenandoah National Park.
05/2015 - Our 2nd visit to the caves! We enjoyed the views and the details just as much! The only complaint was that we went during a holiday weekend so there was no official tours - just at your own pace. We (including the kids, now age 10 and 8) felt that we missed out on a lot of information that was provided last time.
Outlanders River Campground - 05/2015 - This campground was great! It was along the river and you can go tubing or fishing right near your camp site! Each site has a fire ring and a picnic table.
There are several sections of campsites. The top section is for RVs, the top near the woods where has tent sites and you can park your car there, the middle which is for tents and has a very short walk from your car, and water front (primitive) which is for tents and you have to walk down many steps/long ramp. The top is also where the bathrooms and utility sink are located. There is 1 port-a-potty located in the waterfront area.
We stayed at Primitive sites P4 and P5. These were awesome because no one walks thru your site, you can hear the river, and it was very peaceful. If you were at P6 or P7 you walk along a small walkway which would be difficult to maneuver your gear and supplies. It would also be a pain any time you needed to leave. Others didn't think these sites were that great because of the walking so when you store food in your car you do have to take a few trips.
You have to purchase wood at the campground. There are several areas that you can drive to for a longer tubing experience that you can go for free. The showers were ok and the water was warm. It was a pretty standard muggy water logged communal bathroom. Would we stay here again? Maybe, if we were doing things outside of the park but we do like the campgrounds at Shenandoah National Park better. This is a couple minutes away from stores (Walmart, McDonalds, etc) and from Luray Caverns.