Courtesy of KARTCHNER CAVERNS STATE PARK

Southwestern cave adventure.

February 22, 2012

Kartchner Cavern was discovered in 1974 near the base of the Whetstone Mountains in Southeast Arizona. The main attraction at this national park is a cave so pristine it’s entered via airlock-sealed tunnel. It’s beautifully riddled with stalagmites, quartz formations, and one of the world’s longest soda-straw stalactites.

Kartchner Caverns State Park

Take the 1.5-hour guided tour of the tripped-out subterranean fantasia of soda-straw stalactites, stalagmites, and the tallest cave column in Arizona—a 58-foot, spotlit tower called Kubla Khan.

Bat Cave Café

The in-park option serves up freshly baked pizzas, including a “Southern Arizona” version with roasted green chiles, fresh tomatoes, and onion.

TownePlace Suites Sierra Vista

The 71-suite TownePlace Suites Sierra Vista is probably your best bet, with clean, updated facilities and an outdoor pool.

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