Student groups visiting the beautiful Meramec Valley, just an hour away from the famed St. Louis Arch, may be surprised to know Missouri – The Show Me State - is also known as The Cave State, home to almost 6400 surveyed caves hidden throughout its rolling green hills, winding rivers and lush, fertile valleys. Four are open for public exploration, and Meramec Caverns, discovered in 1720 by French Explorer Phillip Renault, is the largest of the commercial cave attractions in the state. Open to guests year round, the Caverns offer a fun, affordable vacation activity for visitors of all ages, and capable rangers can accommodate groups of any size. Standard tours of the cave complex depart every thirty minutes or so and take approximately an hour and twenty minutes to complete.
Learn how the ancient Wine Table (the World's rarest cave structure) was formed completely under water and view rare and stunning mineral formations in an array of unbelievable colors and surreal shapes and sizes as you explore this incredible natural wonder! Exclusive 80-minute tours – available by reservation only - invite you to trip the light fantastic ( hand-held lantern light, that is) through the ahhhh-mazing caverns; be prepared to meet and greet a host of costumed characters along the way - a Civil War soldier, an Osage Indian, and the infamous Jesse James himself regale guests with rounds of fascinating folklore, true tales of courage and high adventure, and even throw down a little intriguing cavern history – but no secrets spilled here! When all your spelunking has you and your travel pards hankerin’ for some yummy vittles, the Caverns’ own restaurant serves up Classic American fare certain to satisfy along with 28 delightful flavors of ice cream guaranteed to tickle your sweet tooth. Full and sleepy as you are after lunch, don’t forget to stop by the gift shop, where you’re sure to discover that perfect souvenir of your Meramec Caverns adventure!