11. Lost Sea Cave at Craighead Caverns
Located between Sweetwater and Madisonville, Tennessee, Craighead Caverns is named after a Cherokee chief, Chief Craighead, and contains the largest non-subglacial lake in the U.S., The Lost Sea. Take a trip out to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains to visit these caves and their pretty crystal clusters dotting the caves and gorgeous waterfall.
You’re walking through a lot of history here – the caverns were mined by Confederate soldiers during the war for saltpeter, needed for manufacturing gunpowder. Explore the caverns and take a boat tour of the Lost Sea, which extends farther than you can see and fills many rooms to the brim with water. The boat tour is considered the highlight of the trip by most, and provides ample opportunities for seeing the crystal cluster stalactites and arches of the cavers, which create enchanting shadows in this underground mystery world.