Grand Caverns, located just of I-81’s Exit 225 in Grottoes, VA , is the “Oldest Show-Cave in North America.” Discovered in 1804, it was already up and open for business by 1806. It is a designated National Natural Landmark.
For many years, Grand Caverns was known as “Weyer’s Cave” after its first known discoverer. It passed through several private owners throughout the years until the town of Grottoes took over ownership and administration in 2009. The name “Weyers Cave” now graces a nearby community.
In addition to the outstanding cave and cavern formations, Grand Caverns is unique in its many Civil War associations. According to both the tourist pamphlet and the website, the Caverns are dotted with hundred of Civil War soldier signatures – both Union and Rebel and discovered during the infamous Valley Campaign.
Cavern sights and known areas include
the Civil War soldier signatures, the “Persian Palace,” a Chapel-like room, a “Grand Ball Room” where dances were actually held in the early 1800’s, a somewhat overwrought and tackily lit “Dante’s Inferno,” the Caverns largest single room “Cathedral Hall” complete with torch marks along its sides, Jefferson’s Hall, Jackson’s Hall, the famous “Bridal Chamber,” and a rare “Lily Room.”
Several other areas of interest surround the Grand Caverns. The community of Grottoes is an charming and welcoming diversion and there are hiking, fishing, putt-putt and picnic areas close by.
Grand Caverns has a modern and informative webpage where discounted tickets may be purchased in advance.
5 Grand Caverns Drive
Grottoes, VA 24441
Hours of Operation:
Caverns & Gift Shop, open 9 AM to 5 PM daily
Daily Guided Tours, 9:30 AM AM to last tour leaving at 5 PM, April 1st to October 31st
Weekend Guided Tours, 9:30 AM AM to last tour at 5 PM, November 1st to March 31st
Cost of Admission to Grand Caverns:
The cost of admission to Grand Caverns is just slightly less complex than calculating depreciation on heavy equipment owned by another company but leased by your uncle. I have, however, listed it below in as clear a form as is possible:
Children, 6-12: $11
Children, 5 & under: No charge
Senior Citizens, No Stated Age, But Proper ID Required: $16
AAA Adult, Card Required, $15.50
AAA Child, $9
Military/Public Servant Adult, Proper ID Required, $15.50
Military/Public Servant, Child, $9
AARP Member, Card Required, $15.50
Grottoes Resident, Adult, Proof of Residency Required, $11
Grottoes Resident, Child, $8
Group Rates for 12+ individuals
Grand Caverns, Tourist Information Pamphlet, undated.