By Guest Blogger Dennette Bailey

I was eager to find a place to visit with my family that we could zip by for the day before school started back. We have visited Tweetsie RailRoad Theme Park many a day and always passed signs that advertised Linville Caverns. With this in mind I planned that day trip. My youngest daughter loves everything science and exploration so I thought this would be a perfect day zip. I researched the caverns and discovered some very helpful information. Namely the importance of wearing comfortable old shoes and bringing a jacket as the caverns are wet and cold.

DSC00512I must admit that besides the reality of actually being in the depth of this mountain and learning that it was used during the Civil War, it was not as intriguing as I thought it would be. There were supposed to be bats in the caverns but we were informed that a disease called White-Nose Syndrome had taken over and all the bats were gone!

I tried to imagine I was a child and that being in the caverns was exciting. Only, there were no theatrics during the tour and so as the tour progressed I found myself thinking about what else we could have spent the money on that we used for this trip. The brochures and website were much better than the actual guided tour of the caverns. As a matter of fact the guide my family and I had repeated the exact information that was in the brochure and no more. I fantasized about how Mike Abernathy and Brittany Swain from the Visitors’ Channel in Tennessee would have done the tour. I imagined the mountain would have roared with laughter from people learning and being entertained simultaneously. (I really enjoyed that Tennessee Trip earlier this year. If you haven’t read about that trip you should.)

DSC00522Anyway, the grounds of the caverns have areas for a picnic and are quite beautiful. Even though they are referred to as caverns please know that it is just one mountain and the walk inside is often tight with just enough space to walk in a single line. The cost of the guided tour is $8 for adults and $6 for children 12 and over.

Certainly, it could make a great place for a date if you’re a romantic. I think it can be a place enjoyed by many as long as you don’t set your expectations too high. Unfortunately, my family and I were expecting to be awed while we learned. I definitely had to experience what those “you don’t have to be entertained to learn” words feel like.

My youngest daughter seemed to like it well enough. My oldest daughter only tagged along in hopes we would visit a good restaurant. No luck there either folks. My husband didn’t have much to say but I have been married to him long enough to read his face. It said, “I could be golfing right now”.

If you do go. Do it before you visit Disney or any science museum. It should be a day zip to week trip year- not the other way around!