Great Stalacpipe Organ Making Music in a Cave!

It’s your favorite child travel adviser, Tyler the Boy on the Move, once again bringing you the best in last-minute vacations. Your road trip planner for the weekend getaway to the coolest and strangest places in America. How do I know about them all? My parents are contract workers in the software industry and keep moving the family every 6 months…So on this move, I got to hear the Great Stalacpipe Organ!

My parents just got a job down in Luray, Virginia, a sort of sleepy little town with some interesting history. While my parents were at work, I liked to walk around downtown to its cool shops and restaurants. The Page Theater is also pretty fun…

Cool Stuff in the Shenandoah valley

On the weekends we did some sightseeing together, checking out the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum, hiking up Stony Man Mountain, and exploring the Shenandoah Heritage Village. However, by far my favorite was the stop we made to the Luray Caverns — Luray is known as “the town where caverns meet the sky” after all!


The Great Stalacpipe Organ


Inside of the caverns (and covering just about 3.5 acres) is the world’s largest musical instrument. The Great Stalacpipe Organ! Whenever its played, little mallets strike different stalactites all over causing a beautiful and haunting tune. The whole cavern seems to pulse with the echoing sound!

The Great Stalacpipe Organ is technically not an organ at all (rather a lithophone)! Electric engineer and mathematician Leland Sprinkle, who worked at the Pentagon, designed it. When Sprinkle visited the caverns in 1954, the guides inspired him when they tapped the stalactites to show him their tonal range.

If you’re sold on hearing the “organ” but not on the tight spaces, you can always listen to recordings of the instrument (though it isn’t as cool as hearing it in person). However, if a giant musical cave isn’t for you (which I don’t know why it wouldn’t be because IT IS AWESOME), Luray does have plenty of other fun stuff too.  I mean, even the drive through the Shenandoah Valley is pretty amazing! You could also visit the Hawksbill Greenway, the Luray Rescue Zoo, the Warehouse Art Gallery, or the Luray Singing Tower.

Thanks for stopping by!

See you next time!

~ Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida”. It is now available in paperback at most bookstores. Ask for it by name, and keep checking back for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up being the best vacation you ever had!