Caves, Caverns and Bats, Oh My! (Section One)

Genre Travel Across the US, Part One
We took Interstate 40 most of the way across the U.S. and I made my husband stop at every State Welcome Center along the way so I could look for fliers about attractions that genre travelers would like. I found quite a few – including some I didn’t expect. Over the next several days, I’ll share with you what I found.

Caves and Caverns, Section One: Tennessee
Apparently, the U.S. is riddled with caves and caverns. Some have been left in their natural state, others have been dressed up as ballrooms, theatres and more. Most provide guided tours. Here is a listing compiled from the fliers I picked up.

(NOTE: There are so many, I breaking this up into several posts, each one focusing on a single state.)

Cumberland Caverns – "Tennessee’s Largest Cavern"
Located outside McMinnville, Tenn., off U.S. Highway 8, Cumberland Caverns is a U.S. National Landmark. Here you can see large cave formations, underground waterfalls and an 1812 saltpeter mine. Each guided tour includes a viewing of God of the Mountain, an "underground pageant of light and sound." This cavern sports a 500-seat ballroom with a three-quarter ton crystal chandelier.

Tours are conducted daily between 9am and 5pm CST, May through October, however special tours can be booked year-round. The ballroom can be booked for banquets, weddings and catered meals for groups of 40 or more. All bookings need to be made at least 14 days in advance.

Tuckaleechee Caverns – "Greatest Sight Under the Smokies"
Located outside Townsend, Tenn., off scenic U.S. Highway 321, Tuckaleechee Caverns used to be a hiding place for the local native Americans. Rated a Star Attraction by AAA, the caverns are open to the public from 10am to 5pm from March 15 to March 31 and Nov. 1 through Nov. 15, and from 9am to 6pm April 1 through Oct. 31.

Tomorrow: Arkansas

Share your travels!

About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.