- Distance from our house (had to be within a 2 hour driving distance)
- Family friendliness
Along the way towards the visitor center and hotel, there are plenty of beautiful trails to see. If you like biking or hiking, this looks like a great place to check out! As the kids get older and have more endurance, I would definitely like to come back here for both!
|Our view on a trail after the cave when I spotted a deer but missed it in the photo.|
After eating it was time to head to the visitor center. I did not know what to expect since I did not really even look at the website and did not book any tours in advance. And when I walked in it looked a little overwhelming, not at all what I was expecting. There were tons of people, a museum area, and a waiting line to book a tour. There are huge screens letting you know when tours were leaving and if any tickets were left for that tour. The next tour that had not sold out was about 4 hours away, way to long for us since we were driving back home that evening. Luckily, we noticed they were selling self guided tours. It was not a long walking tour, just one that was in one of the largest areas in the cave, which worked well for us since our 6 year old was not ready for a tour that was miles long. We bought our tickets (relatively cheap) and then checked out the museum before heading out.
The museum was bigger than I expected. It was great at showing geological features of the cave as well as the history. I love history and I am always excited to learn more about places we visit. The kids were surprisingly into the history and science of the cave. They had a sitting area to view a video about the cave and history, which was a little longer than I liked since I was ready to get out to the cave already, but the rest of my family was intent on sitting and watching the entire video.
Finally, it was time to head to the cave. We walked back out the back (the side the hotel is on) and found a small sign pointing us on the right trail to the self guided tour. When we got to the cave entrance, there were guides there to give us some details. As we neared the entrance, the cold air of the cave was felt quickly. Take a jacket if you are bothered by constant chilly air (something I had wished I remembered for Cara)!
The trail in the self guided tour are very wide and easy to walk. There were two guides we met on our walk through the cave to give us interesting facts and to answer any questions. Both guides we met that day were very personable, and one was a great storyteller.
|Damien and the kids in the cave|
|The kids and I outside the visitor center|
I cannot wait to be able to visit Mammoth Cave again! Next time I will be better prepared by reserving a tour that fits our family at that time. Perhaps we will be able to stay at one of the cabins also!
Mammoth Cave Pros:
- Other area attractions close by.
- Great food before heading to the caves at the Mammoth Cave Hotel.
- Beautiful biking and walking trails.
Mammoth Cave Cons:
- Unless you want to wait around a few hours for a guided tour, you need to reserve your tour online or in advance.
Mammoth Cave Tips:
- If you want a guided tour, book in advance! For more information on tours, visit http://www.nps.gov/maca/planyourvisit/gocavetours.htm
- Take a jacket if you tend to get cold easily, the cave is quite chilly feeling in the summer!