This place had a lot of formations and the guided tour pointed everything out.
Wear shoes that you don't mind getting wet. There is water on the floor that you walk right through.
Also the inside is much cooler, if you get cold easily, wear a light jacket.
Now what the website does not mention, if you are CLAUSTROPHOBIC, DO NOT go in. I am slightly claustrophobic and I almost wanted to bolt. If you are over 5'9" you will have to duck most of the time, at one point if you were over 4'11", you had to duck as well. Your shoulders touch the side and with very cramped spaces, it was kind of hard to enjoy.
Other than that, I had a great time and would love to go again.
We went down to the cave because it opened one hour earlier than the museum. The sad part is--it's $10 (5 cents more than the museum). I didn't find anything too breathtaking, a few spaces were tight and hard to get through. I would save the $10 especially if you have a hard time with steps, or have little kids.
This attraction, located just a short 5 miles south of downtown Dubuque, is well marked by weather-worn signs. After a fun jaunt down a gravel side road, the cave entrance is located in a little white structure that's mostly giftshop. The staff, and locals who happened to be there when we arrived unannounced, were all very friendly. After waiting a brief few minutes ("...to see if anyone else comes along for the tour"), another couple showed up and the tour began with our pleasant young guide. She was friendly and informative, providing many interesting details about the cave's history. There were a number of marked formations, about which she provided explanation for most. The cave stays in the 55 degree Farenheit temperature range all year round, insulated by the ground above, so it's best to wear long pants and maybe a sweatshirt or sweater. The cave is damp but well lit, and fairly easy to make one's way through - but be prepared to duck now and again! There are a few tight spots, and twenty or so stairs to climb at beginning and end, but overall it was a fun, worthwhile experience for novice spelunkers.
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