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Fantastic Caverns

Look for bats hanging from stalactites as you pass through the cool caverns of this underground cave on a jeep-drawn tram.

The aptly named Fantastic Caverns is a subterranean cave complex that follows the path of what was once an underground river. Ride in a jeep-drawn tram through the cool caverns. From your seat, admire the natural features of the cave, including dangling stalactites and gangly stalagmites. 

Listen as your guide tells you about the story of the cave’s discovery. A local farmer first came upon the cave in 1862, when his dog crawled in through a narrow opening. Five years later, a team of 12 women adventurers from Springfield, armed with ropes and ladders, ventured inside the cave to explore further. Look for graffiti of the women’s’ names, which they carved into the wall back in the 1860s. 

Board the tram and begin your journey along the cave’s well-lit passageway. Inside, the cave is still and quiet, the silence interrupted only by the occasional sound of a water droplet hitting the floor. As you move along, examine the strange formations inside the chambers, which include stalactites and stalagmites, soda straws (narrow and hollow cylindrical tubes), cave pearls (small spherical formations), massive columns and flowstones (flat, sheet-like mineral deposits). As you inspect the features, listen as the guide explains how each was slowly formed over many thousands of years. 

The temperature inside Fantastic Caverns remains at a steady 60 F (15 C) year-round. During summer, bring an extra layer of clothing to ensure you are warm enough in the subterranean environment. In winter, the cave is usually significantly warmer than the conditions outside. 

Find Fantastic Caves in Springfield, Missouri. The cave is open daily with the exception of major public holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, from early morning until dusk. It can be visited only as part of a guided drive-through tour. A fee is charged, though children age 5 and under go free with an adult. Because of the drive-through nature of the tour, this is a particularly good option for young children, the elderly and anyone with limited mobility.


Best Lodging Options Near Fantastic Caverns

See all 124 Properties near Fantastic Caverns
Courtyard by Marriott Springfield Airport ¥9,372
Courtyard by Marriott Springfield Airport

Courtyard by Marriott Springfield Airport

3527 W Kearney St, Springfield, MO
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Events Center, Dickerson Park Zoo, and Fantastic Caverns. Pythian Castle and Drury University are also within 6 mi (10 km).

    La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Springfield Airport Plaza ¥9,012
    La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Springfield Airport Plaza

    La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Springfield Airport Plaza

    2445 N Airport Plaza Ave, Springfield, MO
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Events Center, Dickerson Park Zoo, and Fantastic Caverns. Discovery Center of Springfield and Pythian Castle are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Fairvue Studios
      Fairvue Studios

      Fairvue Studios

      1116 W Norton Rd, Springfield, MO
         
        2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Springfield, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Events Center and Dickerson Park Zoo. Missouri State University and JQH Arena are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        Holiday Inn Express & Suites Springfield North ¥8,774
        Holiday Inn Express & Suites Springfield North

        Holiday Inn Express & Suites Springfield North

        3050 North Kentwood Avenue, Springfield, MO
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Events Center, Dickerson Park Zoo, and Evangel University. Pythian Castle is 3.1 mi (4.9 km) away.

          Best Western Plus Springfield Airport Inn ¥8,109
          Best Western Plus Springfield Airport Inn

          Best Western Plus Springfield Airport Inn

          4445 W Chestnut Expressway, 1/2 Mile East Of I-44, Exit 72, Springfield, MO
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Discovery Center of Springfield, Missouri State University, and JQH Arena. Drury University and Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Mosque are also within 6 mi (10 km).

            Baymont by Wyndham Springfield I-44 ¥7,315
            Baymont by Wyndham Springfield I-44

            Baymont by Wyndham Springfield I-44

            1610 East Evergreen, Springfield, MO
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Events Center, Dickerson Park Zoo, and Evangel University. Drury University and Springfield Expo Center are also within 6 mi (10 km).

              DoubleTree by Hilton Springfield ¥9,823
              DoubleTree by Hilton Springfield

              DoubleTree by Hilton Springfield

              2431 N Glenstone Ave, Springfield, MO
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Evangel University, Pythian Castle, and Drury University. Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Events Center and Dickerson Park Zoo are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Motel 6 Springfield, MO - North ¥5,639
                Motel 6 Springfield, MO - North

                Motel 6 Springfield, MO - North

                2655 N Glenstone Ave, Springfield, MO
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Springfield, this motel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Evangel University, Pythian Castle, and Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Events Center. Dickerson Park Zoo is 2.9 mi (4.7 km) away.