Fall is the perfect season to hit the road for some spelunking! Pennsylvania is home to seven underground wonderlands brimming with sparkling crystal and cool rock formations. After you resurface, kick back and relax at a nearby tavern — get it? Caverns and taverns, that rhymes!
1. Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park
Looking for a unique caving experience? Penn's Cave may be just the ticket! The only way to explore the Penn’s Cave is by boat. You’ll glide by several artfully named limestone formations including the “Statue of Liberty,” and “Garden of the Gods” as your guide points out the amazing sights of this underground paradise.
Elk Creek Café & Aleworks
Just a 15-minute drive southeast, Elk Creek Café & Aleworks is waiting to serve you a fresh and flavorful taste of local ales and grub including their take on a classic burger and Beer Battered Fish. Enjoy toe-tapping music as you unwind from your underground adventure with its eclectic lineup of local and touring musicians.
2. Lost River Caverns
The history of Lost River Caverns is almost as colorful as the caves themselves, but not quite! The guided tour takes you through five gorgeous caverns and along the Lost River. You can almost picture the college fraternity inductees, ballroom dancers, bootleggers, and brides and grooms who frequented the caves in decades past!
Fegley’s Bethlehem Brew Works
Drive 15 minutes north to downtown Bethlehem to quench your thirst and have a bite at Fegley's Bethlehem Brew Works. Fegley’s offers a wide selection of their award-winning craft beers, as well as a food menu stocked with dishes crafted with local, all-natural, and sustainable organic meats and produce.
3. Lincoln Caverns
Your tour of Lincoln Caverns will take you through both Lincoln Cavern and the equally magnificent Whisper Rocks. Both house a spectacular array of delicate crystals, sparkling stalactites, and massive flowstones. Book a Wednesday evening Blacklight tour to see the caves in an entirely new light. The breathtaking phosphorescent beauty of calcite crystals will be on full display and other formations literally glow!
The Village Tavern
What could be better than bar nibbles, pub food, and a well-stocked bar in a cozy cabin atmosphere after a day of spelunking? The Village Tavern is only a 10 minute-drive south and is the perfect place to unwind after a day of spying awesome speleothems (the official name of all those fascinating cave formations).
4. Crystal Cave
Get ready to descend 125 feet underground to a place where cave formations are half a million years old at Crystal Cave. There are stalactites, stalagmites, a 14-foot long “totem pole” and delicate “soda straw” dripstones, a bacon-shaped flowstone, sparkling calcite and aragonite crystalline forms, and a relatively rare and unique “lion’s tale” ball of helictites — in other words, a spelunker’s dream location!
Saucony Creek Craft Brewery & Gastropub
After your trip through millions of years of geological history, travel about four miles south to live in the now at Saucony Creek Craft Brewery & Gastropub. Using locally grown and sourced ingredients, the food and beer at this brewery are about as fresh as they come and just six minutes away!
5. Indian Echo Caverns
Take some Beekmantown limestone, a bit of dripping then flowing water, and about 440 million years or so, and voila! You have the geological wonder known as Indian Echo Caverns. As you tour the caves and spy its beautiful crystal and rock formations, it’s easy to see why they have been a popular spot for visitors for thousands of years.
Join the locals at “The Wick” just six minutes from the cavern. The Warwick has been serving guests since 1790 and there you’ll find items on the menu like a bacon mac burger, crab cake dinner, and drunked tots with pulled pork appetizer, while sipping on one of their seasonal drafts.
6. Woodward Cave
Known as “The Big One,” Woodward Cave has five spacious rooms, one of which is 300 feet long! Among its many distinct features are the 14-foot “Tower of Babel” (one the largest stalagmites in PA), several delicate, rare helictites that grow in curved paths, a spectacular cathedral ceiling rising 60 feet from the floor below, and formations resembling a lion and a camel sitting down.
Rusty Rail Brewing Company
Less than 24 minutes east, treat yourself to a delicious craft beer at the Rusty Rail Brewing Company. The brewpub offers craft beer straight from its brewery and an eclectic mix of made-from-scratch American bistro pub fare. Best yet: book a night and relax in the comfort of one of their luxury suites!
7. Coral Caverns
Home to the world’s only known fossilized coral reef cavern, Coral Caverns is a truly one-of-a-kind experience! Here, you’ll find a towering wall filled with the fossil remains of coral and a variety of sea creatures that roamed the Great Inland Sea more than 400 million years ago. This underground wonderland also boasts an abundance of fossils, stalactites, and stalagmites.
Bedford Tavern & Seafood House
You just might be in the mood for some seafood after exploring Coral Caverns. Travel about 11 minutes east to the Bedford Tavern & Seafood House and feast your eyes upon the best seafood in Bedford! Enjoy seafood delights like grilled bay scallops and steamed littleneck clams with a tasty brew to make your trip complete, with plenty of beer on tap and more than 150 bottles as options.