Billing itself as “the most popular natural attraction in Pennsylvania,” this small, family-owned cave has been a local icon for decades, owing to its child-friendly setup and folksy guides.
The cave itself can only be accessed through tours, which last less than an hour and contain a mixture of history, folklore, and geology (with special emphasis on rock formations that look like animals). The cave has the prerequisite handrails, steps, and artificial lighting that make it ideal for budding geologists, and contains scientifically impressive stalactites and stalagmites, a bat population, and plenty of the eponymous crystals.
The cave was first discovered in 1871, and after several explorations was developed as a tourist attraction. In 1876 a hotel was built to house overnight would-be explorers. The hotel no longer operates, but today it houses the gift store and ticket office. The largest room, known as the ballroom, became the venue for parties, weddings, and baptisms, and the makeshift rock altar still exists from that time.
Surrounding the cave are a bevy of other activities including a nature trail, miniature golf, and a hands-on pan-for-minerals exhibit.
Know Before You Go
From Route 222, turn on Crystal Cave Road. Follow the signs. The cave entrance is on the left.