I saw billboards for this place several years ago when I had to go to Springfield for work. I’ve always wanted to go back and we finally took the chance. It actually worked out well as my son happened to be in Missouri for some training. This was a perfect place to meet and fulfill our desire to visit the Fantastic Caverns.

This place is not the easiest place to find but there are many well placed signs that all lead to this big sign marking that you found it.

 

 

Fantastic Caverns - Jeep out Front

Fantastic Caverns – Jeep out Front

This is billed as “America’s only ride thru cave”. This display is representative of the cars that pull trailers of people through the cavern. It is also a great photo op as we took a few family photos here before venturing down to the building entrance.

 

Fantastic Caverns - Electric Car from Tours Past

Fantastic Caverns – Electric Car from Tours Past

This cavern was discovered in 1862 and there have been tours given for a very long time as evidence of the electric car on display above.

 

Fantastic Caverns - Building Entrance and Cavern Road Below

Fantastic Caverns – Building Entrance and Cavern Road Below

The building to the left is the visitors center / gift store. You get your tickets inside and wait for the next tour to begin. They are a little pricey at $23.50 for adults and $16.50 for children but you get to ride through the cave in comfort for this price. They are open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, & Christmas.

Unbeknownst to most is that the parking lot actually sits atop of the caverns.

 

Fantastic Caverns - Entrance to the Fantastic Cavern

Fantastic Caverns – Entrance to the Fantastic Cavern

Once you board your jeep-drawn tram you head towards the cave entrance.

 

Fantastic Caverns - Inside the Cave 2

Fantastic Caverns – Inside the Cave 2

Once inside you get to see many of the cave features that have been in the making for hundreds of years.

 

Fantastic Caverns - A List of the Original Women Explorers of the Cave from 1867

Fantastic Caverns – A List of the Original Women Explorers of the Cave from 1867

Here you find the names of the 12 women that explored the cave in 1867 – 5 years after the cave was discovered. They answered an ad at the time. They are preserved so well in the constant climate of the cavern.

 

Fantastic Caverns - Inside the Cave

Fantastic Caverns – Inside the Cave

Unfortunately the pictures cannot do the cavern justice. It is so large that they host many events inside during the year. It is a relatively comfortable 60 degrees inside year-round. So when the weather is really cold or really hot outside (as it gets in Missouri) this is a great time to take a tour.

The tour runs for about 25 minutes give or take. They take you through the large opening, over sinkholes, and all the way to the back before returning to the front again. At one point they will turn out the lights to show you just how dark it gets (hint: VERY dark) and also to take you back to the time when it was discovered and we did not have modern lighting.

 

Fantastic Caverns - Exit from Cave

Fantastic Caverns – Exit from Cave

Here is where you exit the cave.

 

Fantastic Caverns - And This is the Spot Where the Dog Ran Into

Fantastic Caverns – And This is the Spot Where the Dog Ran Into

At the exit the tour guide will point out the spot where an Ozark farmers’ dog ran into back in 1862. The dog was chasing a small animal and just disappeared into the small opening.

 

Fantastic Caverns - Group Photo Offered for Sale

Fantastic Caverns – Group Photo Offered for Sale

At the end of the tour your are offered a group photo. It’s a little pricey but a nice reminder of a family outing. It also shows you the tram.

 

Fantastic Caverns - Gift Store

Fantastic Caverns – Gift Store

Back in the visitors center they have all kinds of gifts available.

 

Fantastic Caverns - Missouri The Cave State

Fantastic Caverns – Missouri The Cave State

If you like this tour there are many more throughout Missouri as this display shows. My son had gone through another one and loved it.

 

This is a great place to visit as it can be seen by the whole family. This has appeal for every age and because you ride thru the cavern you don’t have to be hike for miles to see this place.

For more information visit their website at:

http://www.fantasticcaverns.com/

Fantastic Caverns

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