We drove the short 1 hour beautiful drive from Chattanooga to Cumberland Caverns this past weekend for our first visit to Bluegrass Underground. Until we saw the PBS special a few weeks ago we hadn't ever heard of it! This is a must see! if you are within a 2 hour drive it's worth the detour. Put this on your Bucket List! Really, how often do you get to enjoy an incredible Bluegrass show 333 feet below ground in a gorgeous cave?
But, Don't let that scare you. I am very claustrophobic and can't visit the nearby Ruby Falls because I am told there is a tiny elevator you must take to get down to the falls. This is nothing like that. You get to casually walk through the very wide opening of the cave and before you know it, you are there. The area where the concert is held is very large. I would guess that there were around 500 people at the concert this weekend. It was sold out and people were begging for tickets on BGU facebook page.
This venue allows you to bring your own food and drinks. Many people had picnic baskets. They also have a concession area with BBQ sandwiches, Chili, Nachos, Hotdogs, Drinks, etc.. to enjoy. You can also bring your camera and take all the photos you want. You can get up and down and dance in the aisles if you feel like it. It's very laid back and I dont think there's a bad seat in the house. There's a beautiful Chandelier hanging above that gives just the right light and the temperature stays 58 degrees year round so bring a light jacket if you're cold natured. You also might want to bring a cushion for the seat if hard seats bother you. And I would suggest jeans and tennis shoes or boots. The cave floor of course is packed dirt and at the last portion of the walk down it is quite steep and sandals may not give you the traction you need. I do not believe the concert room is handicap accessible. There is an upper area where you can see and hear the concert but it is still quite a walk to that area.
The cost was very reasonable and the concert was right at 3 hours long. You do need to arrive about 45 minutes early just to have time to park, get your armband, walk through the cave, etc.. before the music begins. They open the doors one hour before the show begins. Also, remember that they are on Central Time. (something we forgot). And, don't plan to go early and eat anywhere nearby because there was absolutely nothing nearby that we could find, even in McMinnville. The Saturday we were there, everything was closed in town. We had planned to eat at a local BBQ place but they had decided to not open that day. It's a tiny little town, but has been well preserved.
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