Story By Natalie Salvatore
Photos Contributed By Majestic Caverns
One wanting to visit a cave should look no further than Alabama’s very own Majestic Caverns (formerly known as Desoto Caverns), the very first cave on record in the United States. Located in the Childersburg’s Appalachian Mountains, the Caverns is a special travel destination that hosts guests not only from Alabama, but also from all over the world.
“One school in Florida drove through the remnants of a hurricane to spend the day with us,” said Tammy Gibbs, the sales and marketing assistant for the Caverns. Her duties include guest relations, booking groups and helping make sure that everything is running smoothly. She even gives cave tours of her own sometimes. As for so many, Gibbs’s favorite part of the Caverns is the cave itself. Known as Alabama’s “Big Cave,” she explained how this cave is also big on beauty, history and size.
“It is what brought me here and what kept me here,” she said. “I walk down just to ‘feel’ it almost every day that I am here, as there is something incredibly special about being underground.”
This national landmark has been owned by the Mathis family for more than a century. Predating the family’s ownership came the cave’s initial discovery from the Coosa Valley Natives several centuries ago. Its rich history explains how the cave has come to be studied, valued and treasured over time. The president of Majestic Caverns today, Joy Sorenson, describes it as an enchanting wonderland where people can enjoy nature together.
“Our mission as a business is to reach hearts through the unique array of offerings that our park has,” Sorenson said. “The cave unveils the mysteries of God’s artistry and is a breathtaking realm of awe-inspiring formations, hidden passages and time-sculpted beauty.”
Gibbs explained how the main room of the cave measures over a football field in length, and its stalagmites, stalactites and flowstone captivate guests as they explore and uncover the Caverns’s “secrets.” As the Caverns is beyond just a cave itself, the park also features many activities, attractions and guided tours, including the Destiny Express Train, the giant Lost Trail Maze, cannon wars and a traverse wall climb.
Sorenson said their most popular attraction is the caverns tour which allows for extensive looks into the main underground features, including a laser light show and a natural waterfall. This attraction is suitable for all ages and can provide an educational experience for school groups, as well as provide entertainment for families, church groups and more.
Beyond partaking in one of the Caverns’s many offerings, folks can also just meander through to experience the scenery, as well as relax at picnic tables or pavilions, browse in the gift shop or eat at the Cave Cafe, which features fudge that earned a spot on the Top 100 Desserts to Try Before You Die.
Another key element to the Caverns is its family-focused atmosphere as a business. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic caused some challenges, but the business persevered and worked together through the hard times to continue serving its guests. The president expressed her gratitude to this business’s foundation and its ability to now serve guests in the post-pandemic world that we live in today.
“My favorite part about Majestic Caverns is witnessing the sense of wonder that lights up visitors’ faces as they explore the subterranean marvels,” Sorenson said. “The transformation of someone’s perspective after experiencing the splendor of the underground world is truly magical.”
The Alabama local community has been positively impacted from the Caverns, as it is a destination that is respected, valued and loved.
“Many see it as a source of pride and as a reflection of the area’s natural wonders and profound history,” she said. “This spot ultimately adds to Alabama’s sense of identity and to its overall tourism spectrum.”
The park is located at 5181 DeSoto Caverns Parkway in Childersburg. The park is open from Thursday to Monday, but group bookings are available outside of regular business hours. Specifically, its operating hours are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday and from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information, call 256-378-7252, email email@example.com or visit the main website at www.majesticcaverns.com/.
Online you can buy tickets, access the social media pages or find other forms including daytime or overnight experience request forms, educational resources and job applications. Examples of ticket prices include the current adult rate of $49.98 for the most popular ticket, the all-inclusive gate, and $30.98 for the caverns tour and entertainment ticket no matter of age. Children ages 3 and under enter free. A season pass for 2023 is $120.
Also to note, the cave is wheelchair accessible and has an equipped pavilion and campground features such as a vehicle hook-up capability for those wishing to camp or travel with an RV. There are also nearby hotels and other things to do in the area, which all add to the appeal of this destination. Consider the Majestic Caverns for your next travel adventure.