Missouri King of the Caves
Although most of the caves are not open to the public, luckily you can visit several ‘show’ caves, as recommended by the Missouri Division of Tourism.
Worth a visit is Marvel Cave. This is a Registered Natural Landmark and located deep beneath the Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson. It is the deepest show cave in Missouri and has the largest tour-cave entrance room in the USA; a huge 204 feet high, 225 feet wide and 411 feet long!
Another cave is Lost Canyon in Ridgedale. It is a highlight of the Lost Canyon Nature Trail Tour at Top of the Rock and is a wondrous sight. The four-story cave has beautiful waterfalls and natural rock formations.
If geology is your passion, then visit Onondaga Cave, located in Onondaga Cave State Park, five miles south of Leasburg. Trained guides lead you over electrically lighted, paved walkways and provide loads of information about geologic wonders.
For the more adventurous, Cathedral Cave, also located in Onondaga Cave State Park, offers slightly strenuous, lantern-light tours. After a one-third mile walk to the cave's entrance, the tour inside the cave lasts an hour and a half.
Fisher Cave is one of more than 40 caves found in Meramec State Park. You can join a lantern-light tour and discover well-preserved bear claw marks, cave wildlife and view massive columns over 30 feet tall.
If you prefer to explore a cave while scuba diving, do take the opportunity to explore Roubidoux Spring Cave in Waynesville. The spring's average daily flow is 37 million gallons, with water temperatures ranging from the upper 40s to the low 60s. Please note that Roubidoux Spring is open to certified cave divers only.
Bluff Dwellers Cavern and Browning Museum, two miles south of Noel, was discovered in 1925, and the cave has been open for tours every day since 1927. Substantial artefacts were discovered, including arrowheads, grinding stones, tools made of bone and skeletal remains of the early inhabitants, including American Indians.
There is no doubt that visitors will find Missouri a fascinating holiday destination.