What Better Way to Cool Off? 9 Caves for Amateur Spelunkers
Exploring Virginia’s Luray Caverns in 1969 — as cool then as they are now. (Photo: Alan Band/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
As summer is heating up, hordes of tourists-to-be are planning their vacations around sun, sand, and sweat. But have you ever considered a subterranean vacation? Caves are some of the most awesome geological treasures and natural landmarks in the States — and perfect in summer, with their naturally cool climates. What lies below are some of the country’s most interesting underground destinations to discover.
Luray Cavern. (Photo: m01229/Flickr)
Discovered in 1878 by the town’s tinsmith, Luray Caverns is the largest underground cavern system in the Eastern United States. Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, it houses the world’s largest instrument — the Great Stalacpipe Organ. The instrument taps rubber tipped mallets on stalactites across three surrounding acres to produce a hauntingly beautiful sound.
Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave. (Photo: Getty Images)
Under Southern Kentucky’s curvaceous hills and “hollers” is buried the world’s longest cave system. Visitors can craft their tour to accommodate their level of claustrophobia — from navigating well-lighted walkways to crawling through tight, rugged, crevices lit only by the light on a helmet.