Dixie Caverns have been attracting visitors to Salem, VA since 1923. According to the legend, the caverns were discovered by two farm boys in 1920. They were out hunting when their dog fell into a hole. The boys rescued the dog, simultaneously discovering the entrance to a previously unknown cave.
Is it any wonder that, in the end, the caverns were named after the dog, Dixie?
Of course, other tales say the cave was known to locals as far back as the 1860’s. The boys and dog story sounds better, though, don’t you think?
Exploring the Caverns
Visitors may participate in 45-minute long guided tours of the caverns. The caverns feature well lit, manicured pathways. They stay a cool, damp 57 degrees Fahrenheit (13.8 degrees Celsius) all year ’round, however. Layers and sensible shoes are suggested.
Dixie Caverns are unique in lots of ways but, perhaps the most startling is that, when entering, you climb 48 steps UP, not down. That’s because the cave entrance is at the base of the hill – and the cave is up inside the hill!
Dixie is a living, limestone solution cave. A “living cave” is one that is still growing and changing with the flow of water. Living caves are also some of the most fascinating and beautiful caves around. The stone formations withing can be truly weird and stunning. That’s certainly the case with Dixie Caverns!
After climbing the 48 step “Jacob’s Ladder” staircase, you’ll be treated to myriad fantastic sights. The “Pipe Organ,” the “Two-Ton Turkey Leg,” the “Carrot Patch,” and more. The magnificent “Wedding Bell” formation has witnessed many nuptials. The “Fairyland” room features a reflecting pool whose surface splits the view into a magical landscape of movement and reflection.
You’ll feel like you’re on another planet.
Not Just Caverns – Antiques, Too!
Having toured the caverns, you might be tempted to load up and move out. Well hang on there, pardner. Don’t move too fast or you might miss something. Something like the Antique Mall at Dixie Caverns!
If you like browsing through antiques, you’ll love the Dixie Caverns Antique Mall. It hosts 44-dealers offering collectibles and crafts, furniture, books, clothing, comics, decorative accents, vintage toys, records, and more. The prices are affordable and the selection is amazing. Come on in and see what you can find!
The Caverns are also home to a Rock Shop carrying beautiful and unusual rocks, gems, crystals, minerals, and fossils from all over the world. Stop in and see what treasures you can find.
5753 West Main Street, Salem, VA 24153
Open 7 days a week, 9am to 5pm. Antique Mall and Rock Shop: 9am to 6pm. Visit the Caverns website for more information.
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