There are three show caves in the Lakes region located within 30 miles of one another. They are always cool, about 53 degrees, so bring jackets for the children. Although the caves are lit, there are dark corners and occasionally the guides turn off the lights for effect.
Considered one of the three most scenic caves in the United States, Bridal Cave combines a lesson in earth science with a lesson in Native American culture. It is the site of a legendary Indian wedding ceremony held in the early 1800s. More than 2,000 couples have been married in the cave’s breathtaking Bridal Chapel. The cave is also accessible by boat at Mile Marker 10 on the Niangua Arm of the Lake and is located two miles north of Camdenton on Highway 5.
Located on Highway 5 between Versailles and Gravois Mills at State Road TT, this is the largest cave in the area and the only walk-through cave in Missouri that is wheelchair or stroller accessible. Jacob’s Cave features the world’s largest geode, reflective pools, musical stalactites, prehistoric mastodon bones and unusual straw-like formations. The rock shop features a black-light rock display, along with native minerals, crystals and geodes.
Kids will have fun carrying their own handheld battery-operated lanterns on a tour that shows off, among other things, Angel’s Shower, a continual flow of water that falls from the rock ceiling into two massive stone basins below. In the summer months, the state offers tours specially designed for children five and above.