Did you know that “The Cave State” is one of Missouri’s nicknames? If not, you’re missing out! Missouri has over 6,000 – that’s right… six… thousand – caves throughout the state. And those are just the ones we know about! One of the spectacular things about cave exploring – or spelunking, as it’s formally known – is that it can be done any time of year. Most caves stay around 50-60 degrees year-round, so it’s the perfect adventure activity no matter what time of year. Check out some of the best caves highlighted here. And don’t forget to book comfortable, welcoming lodging with Bed & Breakfast Inns of Missouri to make your trip complete!

(Photo Credit: VisitMO.com)

ONONDAGA CAVE – Southeast Missouri

7556 Highway H

Leasburg, MO 65535


Located in Onondaga State Park, the Onondaga Cave is absolutely gorgeous. In fact, it’s a registered as a National Natural Landmark. With a mile of cave to explore on your guided tour, you’ll spend just over an hour marveling over pristine cave formations, colorful dripstones and flowstones, and the incredible “lily pad room”. (Pictured above) The Onondaga Cave stays about 57-degrees Fahrenheit year-round, so you’re never too hot or too cold!


MERAMEC CAVERNS – Southeast Missouri

1135 Route W

Stanton, MO 63079


If you love history, Meramec Caverns is the cave for you. This cave is believed to have been a hideout of Jesse James! It was also a saltpeter mine in the 1720s. (Saltpeter was an ingredient in black powder.) This cave is also located along the historic Route 66, so you can make it part of a bigger history-rich road trip.

One of the main attractions inside the cave is a 70-foot “Stage Curtain” formation. The complete cave tour takes just under an hour and a half and covers 1.25 miles. The cave site also features a gift shop; sluice; picnic areas; the Meramec Caverns Restaurant, Motel, & Campground; raft and canoe rentals; a zipline; and even the Jesse James Wax Museum.


MARK TWAIN CAVE COMPLEX – Northeast Missouri

300 Cave Hollow Road

Hannibal, MO 63401


Love literature? Then you have to explore the Mark Twain Cave Complex. It’s the home of the cave that Mark Twain wrote about in five of his books – Cameron Cave. (In fact, Samuel Clemens’s signature was discovered in this cave!)

You may have noticed that this cave complex is in the Northern part of Missouri. The reason that is special is because caves in the Hannibal area are actually maze caves. Essentially, they are passage loops connected together in a complex (get it!) crisscross pattern.

This cave complex is Missouri’s first show cave and started offering tours all the way back in 1886. It has also been registered as a national Natural Landmark.

The cave complex features a gift shop and an outdoor sluice. It is also located right next to Cave Hollow West Winery so you can enjoy a delicious glass of wine after your spelunking adventure.


(Photo Credit: FunLake.com)

BRIDAL CAVE – Central Missouri

526 Bridal Cave Rd.

Camdenton, MO 65020


Bridal Cave is the Lake of the Ozarks’ #1 year-round attraction! No matter the weather, the cave stays a comfortable 60-degrees Fahrenheit. Come scorching heat or freezing cold, you can have a fantastic, refreshing time inside Bridal Cave.

Explore on a guided tour over concrete pathways, learn where the cave got its name, and try to solve the puzzle of the mystery lake. Want an extra adventure? Book a Lantern Tour and experience the cave the way the early explorers did. You don’t want to miss out on this!



399 Silver Dollar City Pkwy.

Branson, MO 65616


Marvel Cave is unbelievable! But it’s also not for the faint of heart. Registered as a National Natural Landmark, Marvel Cave is one of the deepest caves in Missouri. You will conquer 600 stairs during this challenging tour and get to enjoy the unique experience of riding a cable train back to the surface!

While cave tours are included with standard admission to Silver Dollar City, you can pay an additional fee for a night tour with lanterns for an extra special experience.


FANTASTIC CAVERNS – Southwest Missouri

4872 N. Farm Road 125

Springfield, MO 65803


For those looking for a less strenuous way to explore a great cave in Missouri, there’s Fantastic Caverns! It is known as America’s Ride-Through Cave. Yes, that’s right! Jeep-drawn trams are the method of transportation through the passageways of Fantastic Caverns. Instead of watching your step and worrying about slipping or accidentally touching (and killing) the rock formations… You get to sit back and drink it all in. You’ll get to see beautiful formations like soda straws, cave pearls, massive columns, stalactites, and stalagmites. Fun Trivia: Fantastic Caverns was discovered by a farmer’s runaway dog and first explored by 12 women from Springfield. Look out for their names on the cave wall!

Explore Missouri!

Missouri has so much to offer. Whether you want to experience culture and art, adventure outside or underground, or enjoy delicious wine and food… You can find it all when you vacation in Missouri! Check out the Bed and Breakfast Inns of Missouri website to find the very best accommodations in Missouri for your next trip. Our bed & breakfasts are welcoming, professional, clean, and cozy. Get ready to be wowed by a BBIM innkeeper. See you soon!


Find your perfect stay at a Missouri Bed & Breakfast.


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