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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.


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Best Lodging Options Near Fantastic Caverns

See all 134 Properties near Fantastic Caverns
Motel 6 Springfield - North ¥4,990
Motel 6 Springfield - North

Motel 6 Springfield - 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 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.

    Courtyard by Marriott Springfield Airport ¥7,702
    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, Fantastic Caverns, and Dickerson Park Zoo. Drury University and Springfield Expo Center are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Baymont by Wyndham Springfield I-44 ¥6,944
      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 in Springfield, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Evangel University, Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Events Center, and Dickerson Park Zoo. Drury University and Springfield Expo Center are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        Bass Pro Shops Angler's Lodge ¥8,315
        Bass Pro Shops Angler's Lodge

        Bass Pro Shops Angler's Lodge

        621 W Sunshine St, Springfield, MO
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Springfield, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Mercy Hospital Springfield and Missouri State University are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Springfield Airport Plaza ¥10,197
          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).

            Best Western Plus Springfield Airport Inn ¥8,299
            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 Drury University. Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Mosque and Landers Theater are also within 6 mi (10 km).

              University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center Springfield ¥10,053
              University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center Springfield

              University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center Springfield

              333 S John Q Hammons Pkwy, Springfield, MO
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Walnut Street, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hammons Tower and Missouri State University. Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and Mercy Hospital Springfield are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Lamplighter Inn & Suites - North ¥5,849
                Lamplighter Inn & Suites - North

                Lamplighter Inn & Suites - North

                2820 N. Glenstone Avenue, Springfield, MO
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in the heart of Springfield, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Evangel University, Pythian Castle, and Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Events Center. Dickerson Park Zoo is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) away.