The geological history of Missouri lives on within these enormous caverns, which contain more than 6,000 known caves spread ... More
The geological history of Missouri lives on within these enormous caverns, which contain more than 6,000 known caves spread throughout 26 miles of underground territory. During the Civil War, Union forces used the caves for gunpowder production. Jesse James was among the Confederate raiders who blew up the operation. After the war, he and his gang used the caves as a hideout. Today, the cave is a family attraction with a gift shop, restaurant and museum. Guided tours leave at 20-30 minute intervals.
We had been here in the 80s when our children were young. This time we took our girls and our grandchildren. It was a great outing. I read the bad reviews. All I can say is that they must have had a terrible cave guide. Our cave guide was excellent. We all thoroughly enjoyed the cave and the scenery. I wish we would have scheduled enough time to spend some time on the river.
I had gone here as a child (mid 80's) and i have to say my memory apparently is still pretty good because it hadnt changed much in that time. i feel that my children will benifit from the experience. we went in "off season" and our group was tiny. my family of 4 and another 4 person family and our tour guide. it was funny listening to the guide tell us not to touch the formations while we walked on cement pathways, held onto metal hand rails and looked at the attractions lit by multi colored lighting fixtures mounted to various "formations" but i'm ok with it, lol. it was fun and i dont feel i was ripped off in any way.
While visiting Missouri, Meramec Caverns was reccommended as a day trip by a Welcome Center. My companion and I were shocked by the size of our group, and never heard any information about the cavern, other than to keep up. Parents and children constantly leaned out and touched rock formations, and even though the "guide" had mentioned the importance of not touching, he did not say anything to them. Crude lighting, and tacky pictures of Lassie and other characters, are pointed out instead of giving any insight to what we were seeing. At times, dirty plastic you could barely see through was hung along the trail to prevent people from touching. When I thought it could not get any worse, we were herded onto bleachers where we sat through a sad, sad light show, ending in "God Bless America" , and a flag projected on the poor rocks. The best part of the experince was getting out of the record breaking heat. I felt totally ripped off from the outing, and would reccommend finding ANYTHING else to do while visiting MO. We were only visiting for a few days, and I am afraid this was the only tourist trap we had time to encounter. The gift shop was cheesy, and there was a zip line you could ride over the parking lot....
Next time, I will stick to driving the beautiful Ozarks, and hiking state parks. We did both of these, and had so much more fun, for less the cost. Shame on you, Meramec!
This cave is privately owned and overly commercialized. They do not care about the glorious treasures in the cave. Although they say "please don't touch the formations" they really don't care. Almost every one in the 35 person group touched a gigantic active stalagmite, when we told the guide, he didn't care and just scoffed and told us to move along. They just want large groups to go in and out. There was very little information on formations and the cave itself. The guides are very uninformed, irresponsible, and not as friendly as they appear; this is just a job to them, no one is passionate about the caves as the state park-run caves. The tour focuses more on really old TV and movies that were filmed and not on the formations themselves. They put light fixtures into the sides of the active formations, ran gaudy and tacky colored lighting INTO a gorgeous curtain formation. The light/music show at the end was horrendously tacky, making a blessing of a cave into an abomination and somehow made "God Bless America" feel embarrassing and appalling. They also do not give you much time to take pictures either, once again, because all they care about is getting as many people as they can in and out of the cave as fast as they can. The tour and the lack of respect for these gorgeous formations made me physically angered and sad. Overall, this cave is very poorly run by very disrespectful and greedy people. I hope and pray that this cave will one day be run by the Missouri state park and not a privately owned group of conservative hillbillies. Meramec Caverns are a perfect example of how people have raped a natural wonder. I have rated this as a high value because it has potential and is priceless, but not in the hands of these private owners.
It's a beautiful cave but too commercialized with different color lights. The tour guides memorize a script and although not challenged much by the tour, I don't think they are very knowledgeable about cave formations. They focus more on tv shows that have been filmed there rather than the history of the cave and what early settlers and animals were there. They definitely skipped over the importance of preserving it. Way too commerical and way too many awful props. Too bad to, it is a nice cave.
I live about 3 hours south east of Stanton in Southern Illinois and my boyfriend and I went on a Saturday for his birthday. It was an amazing day full of activity and there was even a concert in the cave that night. We were able to leave at a reasonable time in the morning and get home before midnight. Great short getaway!
Good ol' Meramec Caverns. If you love Missouri's other well-known attraction, Branson, you'll enjoy this one, too. 'Homespun' is a good description. You can still find lots of souvenirs in their lobby that hark back to the days of Stuckey's and other Route 66 mainstays. Every October, they feature live gospel music in their 'ballroom', complete with a mirrored disco ball. The whole place is paved, formations are colorfully lit, and the finale of the tour still includes a patriotic tribute that includes Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" and a light show done the old-fashioned way, snapping light switches on and off, ending with a slide of Old Glory. If this sounds like your cup of tea, by all means, pay the $16.50 (per adult) admission fee and drink it in. On the other hand, if you prefer a more 'unimproved' caving experience, where the natural formations are shown without all the touristy hoopla, this is probably not your best bet.
We thought it would be a dud but it turned out to be very interesting and amazing. We also took the river boat cruise and it was quite relaxing and fun. They could update things a bit. The light show was really old fashion.
Great place for the whole family. Beatiful! Lots of activities. Reasonable cost. Located on historic route 66, there is a lot of history and beauty here. The legendary Jesse James hid out in the caves and even stayed nearby in his final days. Truly a must see! The kids really loved the lighting effects and the story telling along the tour. The statues that are strategically placed throughout the caverns really helped tell the tale. Bring a swaeter though because no matter how hot it is outside, it's always cool inside. The restaurant and gift shop is built right into the side of the mountain! They have canoe rentals, riverboat rides, a motel, campground, picnicing, panning for gold, the list goes on. The setting is absolutely breathtaking! I really can not praise it enough. If you ever get a chance to go...you really should!!! We plan on going back next year and camping for the week. We enjoyed the caverns this time around as we were pressed for time, even that was 3 hours (including the gift shop scene). The tour is very informative and enlightening. The light show and music at the end were phenomenal!
Amenities:Private bathroom. Iron. Television. Hot Water. Radio/Alarm Clock. Coffee Maker. Microwave Oven. Air Conditioning (In Room). Non Smoking Rooms. Hotel
Details:Restaurant(s) on Site. Sprinkler in Rooms. Coffee (Complementary). Smoke Alarm in Rooms.
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at this Cuba hotel. Being within minutes of Historic Route 66, travelers can explore as much of the area ...
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