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You Don’t Need A Magic School Bus To Field Trip It To Florida Caverns State Park

Ms. Frizzle would approve of a day spent marveling at these ancient underground rock formations.

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All winter long, Camp and VISIT FLORIDA are teaming up to send an intrepid Camp Counselor to some of Florida’s best spots for virtual sightseeing expeditions. We call it Travel Tuesdays, and it's taken us everywhere from the Kennedy Space Center to the Everglades.

This week, we’ll be doing some stalactite peeping at Florida Caverns State Park. Ready to rock and roll? Florida Caverns is the only park in the state where you can go underground and explore the caverns’ geological beauty, filled with cool air, the sound of dripping water, and dazzling formations of stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, draperies, and soda straws. Once we’re done rocking out, we’ll go spelunking (our new favorite word) and learn all about the history of the men and women who discovered these caverns.

Take a Deep Dive Into the Caves

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Hidden in the caves’ darkness, rock formations called stalactites droop from the ceilings like icicles and cover the sides like a waterfall. It sounds like something out of a movie, right? Experience the wonder of Florida’s limestone cave system as you venture through time to see formations that have grown slowly over thousands of years. You’ll pass through narrow passages and descend into the depths of the cave. You might even see a bat, cricket, blind salamander, or frog!

Note: Cave tours are available Friday through Monday only. Tour groups are limited to 10 visitors, and cave visitors are required to wear facial coverings. Cave tours are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and tickets may be purchased in person on the day of the event.

Keep Exploring Above Ground

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While the caves at Florida Caverns State Park are the main attraction, the park also features an extensive trail system. Follow the nature trails to pass limestone bluffs with views of the Chipola River floodplain, and you’ll even hike through Tunnel Cave on Florida's only trail that passes through a cave. 

Note: The day-use portion of Florida Caverns State Park is open 8 a.m. Central time to sunset daily. The park’s day-use area includes two covered open-air pavilions, a small playground, a half-mile loop trail, and the visitor center with exhibits and a video.

Have a Panhandle Picnic at Blue Springs Recreational Park

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Just a few miles east of the Florida Caverns State Park, you’ll discover Merritt’s Mill Pond reservoir — a popular destination for fishing and swimming. The park is known for its shimmering clear waters. Pack a picnic, rent a paddleboard, and spend the afternoon at this serene spot. 

Plan Your Trip

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Ready to venture to the caverns? The Florida Caverns State Park is located in the Florida Panhandle near Marianna. Nearby airports include Panama City (ECP) (45 miles), Tallahassee (TLH) (59 miles), and Valparaiso (VPS) (81.4 miles). If you fly into Tallahassee, it’s about an hour’s drive to the caverns.

While you’re in the area, you can fill your itinerary with some wonderful places to stay, eat, and have fun with your family.

Join Us for the Next Travel Tuesdays, Presented by VISIT FLORIDA!

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The Florida Caverns State Park is one of many natural wonders we encountered on our trip around Florida. Come back for Travel Tuesdays next week and join live to see other great Florida destinations.