Fantastic Caverns
Fantastic Caverns
4.5
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Discover the timeless beauty of Fantastic Caverns, one of the earth's rarest treasures. There are only four of its' kind in the entire world, and only one in North America. Here, you'll discover one of the world's most beautiful natural wonders; giant columns stretching from floor to ceiling, delicate soda straws glistening with minerals, tiny cave pearls hidden in crystal-clear water. And best of all, you'll see it close-up from the comfort of a Jeep-drawn tram!
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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  • CarolC
    40 contributions
    Highly Recommend
    We absolutely loved our tour guide, Mark! He was very friendly, informative and he kept us entertained as well. If you’re able to request a tour with him, I highly recommend that you do. We’ve been to Fantastic Caverns more than once and Mark is by far the best guide that we’ve had. The tour itself is approximately one hour long. The tram is pulled by a Jeep through the cave. If you have back issues, I would recommend sitting on the passenger side, as there are lesser times you would have to “duck” while in the cave, however, there are only maybe 2-3 times that this occurs and it’s for only a few seconds each time. You’re not bending all of the way over either. (Just for reference!) The cave is beautiful. It’s wonderful for a summer day or a rainy day. It’s 60° inside so if you get chilled easily, I would recommend bringing a light jacket along with you! Don’t get excited over seeing any bats or salamanders. But it is still neat to hear the tour guide tell stories and talk about the wild life that we don’t get to see throughout the day time, that do live in the cave! Also, very lovely hearing about the history of the cave. The property is beautiful for photos and there are trails to walk as well.
    Traveled with family
    Written June 18, 2022
  • Taylor H
    Overland Park, Kansas28 contributions
    Great experience with a wonderful tour guide
    My girlfriend and I (27 years old) got there at 10am to avoid any large crowds and that definitely helped create an even better experience. While waiting 10 minutes for our tour to start, our tour guide introduced himself in the lobby and engaged us in pleasant small talk before the tour. Mark was incredibly friendly and did an amazing job on the tour as well. Aside from his knowledge of the cave, he had a great sense of humor and went out of his way to make sure the small children on the tour had a great time too. While the cave itself is great to explore, Mark really did make the tour worth the time and money. I highly recommend this tour for people of any age, and if you’re lucky, you will get Mark to be your guide
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 18, 2022
  • JanetWoo
    Hobart, Indiana95 contributions
    Perfect way for older travelers/those with trouble walking (even young kids!) to visit a cave
    We arrived without a reservation, but were there midweek close to 11:30 a.m., and things were pretty crowded. Tickets cost us roughly $60 for 2 adults, and we wore masks inside the building, and were expected to inside the cave. However, if you don't have one, the lady at the ticket booth will give you one. We saw adults and children there, as well as older folks like ourselves who want to tour caves, but just can't do the stairs. That's why it was great the shop to buy the tickets is accessible by stairs or LONG ramp. There are several places to take pictures that kids would love, like by colorful jeeps and travel trailers. Our tour guide Richard was very well informed, both about the cave and its history, as well as the history of the Ozarks. The jeep and trailer being pulled behind it (where we sat) was comfortable enough, although I wish they'd told taller people to sit on the right side, as that's the side that is less imperiled by low ceilings. The left side seemed to have better views in the cave, though, as I had to stand several times to look over the side where my husband sat. It's a good place for young and old alike, as even the little kids on the ride seemed pleased there were no cave bears... As my first cave experience, I was pretty delighted, although I didn't visit the gift store and can't speak to what they have there. The whole event took just a bit over an hour, and didn't tax my bad knees at all.
    Written June 28, 2020
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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Gregory Gathright
1 contribution
Sep 2019 • Couples
Lots of billboards all over the state hyped this cave into visions of a Carlsbad-type experience. Reality set in with an uncomfortable tram (billboards showed a four person Jeep) that stopped every few minutes to give the illusion of a lengthy tour. Without the stops, the entire ride would be about 8-10 minutes. The guide tried to spin tales to increase the allure but the reality is it’s a high-priced ripoff IMHO. The owners have worked this into quite a nice moneymaker.
Written August 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mark P
Mount Carmel, IL6 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
The name says it all, Fantastic! Not only was the cave a cool experience but the hospitality we received from the crew was first rate. We travel with our pet and found Branson to be overwhelmingly NOT pet friendly. They should all take a que from Fantastic Caverns. Our pet was welcomed. We boarded separate from the other guests incase someone had allergies or fears. Very cool.
Written August 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

middle_aged_mom_12
KC229 contributions
Jun 2022 • Couples
I have visited several caves and caverns, and this tour was definitely the shortest. It was still enjoyable though, and it was nice to ride in a wagon instead of walking the whole time.
The wagons aren’t like the jeeps you see on their advertisements. They use a jeep-like vehicle to pull a long wagon with bench seats built in. The ceilings are very low in spots and you will have to duck to avoid head scrapes in some places. They give you plenty of warning and go slow.
The tour guides are great! Let them know if someone in your group is having a birthday and they will have everyone sing to you. They also take a nice photo of your wagon “group” and give you a free copy at the end of the tour.
The history of the caverns is fascinating also, how they were used as places to hide during the civil war, or as “Speakeasy’s during prohibition. This cavern is privately owned. I think the tour guides could learn a lot by touring other caverns (like Natural Bridge Caverns near New Braunfels, TX) to learn more about what certain features are called (like the soda straws.)
They never cautioned us not to touch the features, and they really should have since the wagon comes very close to beautiful formations. We didn’t get to see any see-through creatures, but that was fine with me. They show a brief movie in one portion of the tour. Keeping everyone contained in the wagon is a good way to keep everyone under control, but some may find it not very handicapped-friendly.
Written June 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kelly
Butler, MO1 contribution
Jan 2023 • Family
Our grandchildren are ages 13, two 10 year olds and a 6 year old. For Christmas 2022, we decided to give them and their parents the gift of family time. They don’t need anything so we decided as part of their Christmas we would go to Springfield and tour Fantastic Caverns.
We made it into a day trip. We were so pleased with our tour guide, Fred. He went out of his way to make our trip enjoyable. He was very knowledgeable about the beautiful cave but he added laughter to it too.
The kids loved the gift shop and we all had an extremely great time. Made great memories. I would highly recommend it to someone who hasn’t visited it before. Being able to ride through it was a major plus since my husband is scheduled for a knee replacement next month.
Written January 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kaci P.
Kansas128 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
Fantastic Caverns had been on my husband and I’s list of things to do in Springfield for quite awhile. I’m sad it was so disappointing and to leave this less than good review.

THE GOOD: The cave is beautiful. Our guide, Mark was enthusiastic and knowledgeable! We were glad to be on his tour. THANKFULLY our tram did not have any screaming and crying babies or kids. Beware that that’s possible as other reviewers have mentioned!
We also enjoyed the walking trail on the premises. You can walk down below the visitor’s center to Little Sac River. There’s a nice boardwalk along the water and it’s peaceful.

THE BAD: Overall, the experience was lame. It did not hold up to my expectations.
We came on a Thursday afternoon and surprisingly they were busy. I was under the impression that you rode in the back of the “Jeeps”. Turns out they cram you onto a tram trailer that’s pulled by a Go-kart made to look like a Jeep. When I say cram, you are literally shoulder to shoulder, knee to knee with the other passengers. I could smell the stench of the people next to me, gross.
Due to this and also due to the seats facing inward you are straining your neck to turn and see everything. It’s hard to take photos without peoples heads in them, too. It’s also difficult to see most of the points of interest because you are sitting down, other passengers are in the way, and you’re constantly on the move. Because of all this I don’t feel it was worth the price.
Honestly, I don’t see the point of the trams other than it makes for a shorter tour and I feel they do the trams just to be different from other tourist caves in the area. A walking tour would have been a much nicer experience.
Written August 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Shane W
Brooklyn, IA38 contributions
Aug 2021 • Couples
The cave by itself is truly amazing and beautiful! It has great formations and the lighting is perfect to highlight the beautiful stalactites and soda straws on the ceiling. I would love to walk through and see all of this on a walking tour. Instead- you are in a crowded tram and what I felt was rushed through. These tours are truly made by the tour guides and I felt ours was just going through the motions. One time it was hard to hear because we were right behind another group whose guide was also talking. Again, the cave is amazing- but we also went to other lesser known caves for less money and a more pleasant experience than this one. They have great signage (although I could not get the QR codes to work) and a nice and reasonable gift shop.
Written August 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Maya
Edinburgh, UK299 contributions
Jun 2022
As part of a road trip we decided to stop and take a tour of the caves. We had seen countless signs along the way and the drive-through experience looked intriguing.

When we arrived we had just missed a tour and the next was already full so we had to wait 30 minutes for the next one. It’s a shame you can’t book in advance to avoid extra waiting. The visitors centre / gift shop did have seating so we waited in the air conditioning until our tour.

The tour itself is quick quick but very enjoyable. Our tour guide was excellent and very knowledgeable. It was funny hearing him trying not to say how old the caves were.

Going through the caves in a Jeep was a unique experience. It is lovely and cool inside, especially on a hot day. You are quite crammed in and will have to duck at times so it’s best to sit next to people you know. The only downside is the smell of petrol which gets strong at certain points of the cave.

Overall I’d highly recommend this cave tour. The free photo at the end makes for a great souvenir.
Written June 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KCBirdLady
Kansas City, MO107 contributions
Jun 2021
I guess we are getting spoiled, because we didn't find this cave tour very impressive. The guide gave some interesting information about limestone caves in general and the history of this one in particular. But after you have seen Mammoth Cave and Carlsbad Caverns, this tour seems very short and expensive.
Written June 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ColoradoTravelsWorld
268 contributions
Sep 2021
This was an ideal attraction for my elderly inlaws. It was a well-paced jeep tour. The wagon was not overly comfortable, however I didn't feel like we were squished. For those who are sensitive to sitting on hard surfaces for ~45 minutes I would encourage you to bring a pad to sit on. The tour guide, Melody, was a hoot and I would absolutely take her as my tour guide again - she was fantastic and funny. The best part is, prior to leaving, for $5 you can turn your ticket into a season pass, so if you're a local and entertaining out of town guests, it's a great place to take people of all ages.
Written October 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Leslie G
4 contributions
May 2021 • Couples
I think the tour was decent. It’s not the best cave I’ve been to for the cost. Not worth $60 for 2 people and the ride was very crowded and just uncomfortable. I wouldn’t recommend this cave but definitely would recommend Meramec Caverns which is a walk through cave, a lot bigger, cheaper and just better!
Written May 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Fantastic Caverns (Springfield) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Fantastic Caverns

Fantastic Caverns is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM