Historic Route 66 starts in front of the Art Institute of Chicago and weaves through much of the country’s heartland en route to Southern California’s Santa Monica Pier. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime journey, often labeled as an integral “bucket list” item, especially for RVers. The 2,448-mile expedition crosses through eight states, most notably in northcentral Arizona along the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s “Seven Natural Wonders.” Peach Springs’ Grand Canyon Caverns remains an essential stop along historic Route 66, particularly for those with a penchant for underground exploration, distinctive lodging, and subterranean dining.
Imagine steadily dropping 21 stories below the earth’s surface—the blood rushing through your veins, the humidity entirely dissipating, the sounds of giddiness echoing off the Redwall Limestone. The anticipation of such an adventure is only eclipsed by the sheer jaw-dropping beauty of the Chapel of the Ages Cavern. As the largest dry cavern in the U.S., it allures travelers from all across the globe. Besides “standard” tours, the massive, enthralling cave is utilized for weddings, ghost hunting, guided caving, and, as you’ll soon find out, dining. Oft-seen crystals include selenite, limestone, and helectite.
Perhaps you’ve already caught wind of the largest dry cavern in the U.S., but that’s just the tip of the selenite, as it were. The Cavern Grotto celebrated its third anniversary this summer, and it remains one of the only underground restaurants in the world. Approximately 200 feet underground, travelers can simultaneously marvel at the sprawling cavern and dine on Southwestern fare. The Cavern Grotto holds 16 total guests. Admission includes a cave tour and an all-you-can-eat meal. It’s a dining experience unlike any other. Menu items change with the “seasons,” as the culinary team likes to keep things fresh. However, common delights include burgers, steak, and salads. Remember to leave room for dessert—the housemade pie is to-die-for!
Before departure, don’t forget to nab a keepsake from the gift shop and pose for photos next to the brontosaurus or tyrannosaurus. Grand Canyon Caverns is often the first (or last) stop before a trip to nearby Havasu Falls, one of the most spellbinding natural beauties on the planet. Thankfully, above the cavern, travelers will discover an RV park, campground, motel, and ranch house. However, The Cavern Suite, “the largest, oldest, deepest, darkest, quietest motel room in the world,” is the accommodation of choice for many, chiefly if you’re traveling with a large group. The Cavern Suite sleeps up 10 people, and, as you can probably imagine, is quite a thrill. Guests will discover a record player (bring your vinyl!), a fully-stocked bookshelf, a 100-year-old collection of National Geographic magazines, comfortable beds, and, yes, a working bathroom. A staff member is readily available at the top of the elevator if you need any assistance whatsoever.