The coolest vacations in the Cave State

Plan a weather proof day in your Missouri summer vacation. The Cave State has a back up plan for a rainy day – or for that record-breaking hot day. Tour one of the state’s innumerable caves on a rainy day or for a midweek cool down day during a hot summer vacation.

You may find Tom and Becky in Hannibal Missouri’s Mark Twain Cave. photo: Mark Twain Cave

No matter where you go on a summer vacation, there is a cool 56º cave near by. With more than 6,000 in the state, it’s easy to include a caving adventure in any vacation.

Make it a weekend of caving activities. Or save cave exploration as your family day chill out. Missouri’s most famous bandit, Jesse James is reported to have used some of these caves as hide outs.

Near Springfield, visit *Smallin Civil War Cave – a staging ground for Wilson’s Creek historic battle? Fantastic Caverns offers a cool ride through tour.

Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer come together again through the magic and mysteries found deep in a Hannibal Cave. photo: Mark Twain Cave.

Near St Louis, *Meramec Caverns, in Stanton Missouri has been a must-see favorite since the glory days of Route 66. In Hannibal, visit the same cave that inspired Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Silver Dollar City has it’s own *Marvel Cave tour included with the price of admission to the park. Or, see thousands of beautiful natural living crystal cave formations at Talking Rocks Cave.

Take a hike along Deer Run Trail to the Cathedral Cave‘s entrance near Leasburg Missouri. Join the 1/3rd mile walking tour of Bonne Terre Mine, or scuba dive through a mine that is home to the largest fresh water scuba diving venue in the world.

Younger spelunker’s will want to join the MO Caves Association’s Explorers Pass Port to underground adventure in Missouri and Arkansas. Get the pass port stamped five times to receive a embroidered patch from MCA. Print out your own passport online.

Earn a Cave Explorers Pass Port patch or, apply for a special license


Missouri Specialty License PlateBuy “The Cave State” license plate, to support the Missouri Caves & Karst Conservancy (MCKC) and the Missouri Caves Association (MCA).  Funds collected from the plates are used to promote Missouri as “The Cave State,” enhance educational programs and support cave conservation programs.

Missouri Caves & Karst Conservancy (MCKC)

See Missouri Caves Association (MCA)for links to find which caves can be included in your Missouri or Arkansas vacation plans.

Read more about Cave Tours on Striped Pot:

Missouri Department of Natural Resources: Missouri Caves, Karst and Springs 
MDNR internet site includes caving vocabulary, maps and a large assembly of caving resources.

For more Information about Missouri Vacations