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“Well worth it!”

Tuckaleechee Caverns
Ranked #1 of 32 things to do in Townsend
Attraction details
Level Contributor
35 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Well worth it!”
Reviewed October 23, 2013 via mobile

We thought $16 per person was expensive, but after the tour we agreed..worth every penny! Lucas was a great guide, his enthusiasm for the history and for the cavern features was contagious. Lots of steps but there are plenty of resting opportunities while learning about the formations.

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Thank ricsand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Estero, Florida
Level Contributor
60 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“The "Big Room" is Spectacular!”
Reviewed October 21, 2013

This was our second year visiting the Smokies and our second year touring the caverns. The prices are reasonable and it's a great family/educational activity. The caverns have an interesting history and excavation story. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and encourage questions. and are willing to take pictures of your group. There are snacks and drinks available before/after the tour as well as a small gift shop. A very interesting feature in the lobby is the working seismograph.

Things to consider before going: The steps leading down into the cave, as well as some others in the cave, (400+ total) can be a bit strenuous if you are not in relatively good shape, have health problems or have small children with you. We had two young children (ages 3 & 4) we had to carry at times which made it a little more strenuous for us. (Although there is a handrail the steps are a little wet causing them to be slippery at times.)
There are ramps throughout the rest of the cave with only a few more stairs which can be pretty easily climbed.
The above comments are are NOT negatives - just things to be aware of.

With that said, this cave is beautiful! It's not overly-excavated or "touristy," which adds to the natural beauty of the cavern. It has some amazing formations, such as "chandelier, palette, totem pole and pencil." Some fun formations for the kids are the pig and elephant. The main feature of this cave is the "Big Room," which is absolutely SPECTACULAR!!
It leaves quite an impression when the lights are turned out, and the overwhelming presence of the cave can especially be felt in the darkness. (We held our young children on our laps during this time and they did fine- no crying and they weren't scared)

A small moving stream also flows through the cave and at one point you are invited to sample the fresh flowing water. The kids enjoyed tasting the water and throwing a coin into the "wishing well" formation. At the end of the tour you follow the stream and are rewarded with a beautiful underground waterfall! My favorite formation in the cave is a small heart that is to the right of the waterfall. It makes for a nice photo <3

The waterfall concludes the tour and you are escorted back above ground. The guide thanked everyone as they exited and did NOT ask or even hint for tips from the visitors as a few other reviewers stated. We will definitely return here and recommend it to others.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Kim A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Loved these big caverns!”
Reviewed October 21, 2013

So glad to have visited these caverns, we so enjoyed it! Lauren was a wonderful guide. Loved the history behind it and well worth the money. Lots and lots of steps, especially on the way back out. Wear comfy shoes, not recommended for older folks bc it is a lot of walking, climbing steps, etc. We visited here during a weeklong vacation in these beautiful Smokies and are so glad we found it.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank wolfpack4ever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Champaign, Illinois
Level Contributor
113 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Dissappointing”
Reviewed October 17, 2013

Visited this during the government shutdown. This was advertised as a AAA Gem and but the caverns did not honor the AAA discount and the entry fee of $16 seemed rather expensive and more of a tourist trap. The guide was a young man that had obviously given this tour many times. While knowledgeable, not really engaging the group. At the end of the tour, he asked for tips from the visitors and then reported the amount he received and gave half to the cashier that charged the entry fees. I have visited a number of caves throughout the USA and this is not among the better caves to visit. I would not visit the caverns again nor recommend them for the price.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Adagio_Travelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
39 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Terrific!”
Reviewed October 16, 2013 via mobile

Took our teenage boys here after landing in Knoxville. Great place. Excellent cave. Outstanding tour guide (Lucas). A must see stop and a fair price.

Helpful?
Thank Rebecca B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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