7 Best Caves to Visit in the South

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You don’t have to be a serious spelunker to enjoy the South’s most beautiful caves. These seven amazing caves are accessible to just about anyone. Check out this list and plan your next caving adventure!


7 Best Caves to Visit in the South:

1. Blanchard Springs Caverns // Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
Blanchard Springs Caverns is often called a “living cave” because it’s constantly changing and growing. Three different tours offer views of water-carved passages, an underground river, sparkling calcite formations, stalactites, stalagmites, and columns. The “Giant Flowstone” in Blanchard Springs is one of the largest in the U.S., at 164-feet long.

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. This past week I went on what was my 3rd tour of the Blanchard Springs Cavern, they were not giving photo tours even though i called ahead to check, so I had to shoot everything down there without a tripod, just using whatever I could to brace against in the low lighting, as well as using the cameras built in stabilization, and it's high ISO performance, this particular shot had nothing close to brace against, so I free handed it, and jacked the ISO… I feel like it turned out quite nice… . Pentax K-1, lens 24-70 @37mm f2.8, 1/30s ISO 3200. . #blanchardspringscavern #cavern #cave #our_world_untouched #pixnpieces #adventure #wildernessculture #arkansas #milkywaychasers #mavic #horizon #skyporn #instaday #nightphotography #dasrandomness #focusing_on_nature #underground #astrophotography #nightphotography #instasky #sunset #night_exposures #discoverearth #tourist #photooftheday #earth_showcase #everything_imaginable #wonderfularkansas #longexposure_world #lightroom

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2. Cathedral Caverns // Marshall County, Alabama
The enormous entrance of Cathedral Caverns spans 126 feet across and 25 feet high, but the entrance isn’t the only thing that sets this cavern apart from others. Inside visitors can see “Goliath,” one of the largest stalagmites in the world, which measures 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference. The Cathedral Caverns also served as part of the setting for the 1995 Disney film, “Tom and Huck.”

3. Caverns of Sonora // Sonora, Texas
The Caverns of Sonora are both beautiful and strange, set apart from most other caves in the South due to the abundance of helictite formations. These calcite crystal formations look like curly ribbons and are extremely fragile. Bill Stephenson, the co-founder of the National Speleological Society once said of the Caverns of Sonora that “…its beauty cannot be exaggerated, even by Texans.”

4. Luray Caverns // Luray, Virginia
Visitors love the natural beauty of Luray Caverns with its crystal-clear pools, cathedral-sized rooms with towering columns, and its mirror-like view of Dream Lake. But what really sets this cave apart is its Great Stalacpipe Organ, the largest musical instrument in the world, which looks like a normal church organ, but is actually made using the caves’ stalactites. Check out the video below to hear its deep, melodious sound.

5. Mammoth Cave // Edmonson County, Kentucky
Mammoth Cave lives up to its name. It’s the world’s longest cave with over 400 miles of explored passageways. Visitors can explore this limestone labyrinth by taking one of several cave tours offered by the National Park Service. If you’re visiting Central Kentucky, Mammoth Cave is a must-see!

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6. Natural Bridge Caverns // San Antonio, Texas
Natural Bridge Caverns gets its name from the natural 60-foot limestone bridge at the cave’s entrance. The most popular tour, the Discovery Trek, is a half-mile tour that offers views of beautiful stalactites, stalagmites, chandeliers, and flowstones. It’s a great day-trip if you’re heading to the San Antonio area, especially if you’re looking to escape the South Texas heat. It stays about 70 degrees inside the cave all year around.

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7. Ruby Falls // Chattanooga, Tennessee
The 145-foot underground waterfall, Ruby Falls, is the highlight of the Ruby Falls cavern tour. This awe-inspiring waterfall was discovered in 1928 by an excavator named Leo Lambert who named the falls after his wife. It is the deepest commercial cave and the largest underground waterfall in America. It’s illuminated by a full color LED light show.