Missouri isn’t known as “The Cave State” for nothing. With over 6,500 underground caves, only 18 (less than 1%) are open to the public, but don’t let that deter you from exploring one of Missouri’s most famous natural gems.

Especially when one cave system stands far above (figuratively, not literally) the rest.

Because walking through a cave is so last year, Springfield, Missouri is putting a unique spin on the way you and your family tour nature by taking you on a fun and informative underground automobile tour.

While a farmer’s dog accidentally discovered Fantastic Caverns in 1862, it wasn’t until 1867 that 12 women decided to hike up their skirts and explore what was beneath the Ozarks Hill region.

Today, Fantastic Caverns offers the unique opportunity to tour the cave by either tram or jeep. The tour options serve as a duel purpose: To protect the natural environment and provide a one of a kind day trip both young and old adventurers can enjoy.

It’s open all year

While most caves in Missouri are closed during the wintertime, the gorgeous passageways at Fantastic Caverns are open year-round for travelers in the Branson and Springfield area. Since the cave stays at or near a constant 60 degrees, you’ll be comfortable wearing just a sweatshirt or light jacket for your visit. And the best part (besides no walking)? The area is well lit, so you can capture great photos with your camera or cell phone.

Relax and tour in style

Whether you choose to explore via jeep or tram, enjoying the beauty of a cave has never been so peaceful or easy. The one-hour tour is offered any time of the day and if you can’t decide which vehicle to take, know that the tram ride is smoother, whereas the jeep is recommended for adventurers who don’t mind a few bumps.

Perfect for kids

Each year, the staff at Fantastic Caverns ups the ante with new and exciting programs for children. From outdoor discovery trips panning for minerals to indoor activities uncovering fossils during the winter, putting together a group of kids or reserving a spot for some special scouts is definitely worth the extra expense.