Courtesy of KARTCHNER CAVERNS STATE PARK

Southwestern cave adventure.

Travel + Leisure
February 21, 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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