Ultimate Guide to Wonderland Cave, Arkansas (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
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Wonderland Cave is the largest cave in the northwestern part of Arkansas. The cave was first developed in the 1920s which later got transformed into a nightclub in the 1930s. The cavernous space within the cave was transformed into a concrete floor, setting the stage for musicians and decorations that would remind you of a scene from Alice in Wonderland.
Wonderland Cave, Arkansas
The Wonderland Cave is a natural underground cavern in the Benton County of Arkansas. It was developed as an amusement place, and it was so successful that there is a sign outside the cave that reads – the largest Natural Place of Amusement in America. A part of the facility has been used for the aging of a locally produced wine. The cave has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
History of Wonderland Cave
Clarence Andrew Linebarger was the first to develop the Wonderland Cave as a tourist attraction and a place for entertainment. He opened the cave for the people on March 01, 1930. Noted people like Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway performed at the cave for thirty years. It became known as the Big Cave, and political and social events were regularly held here. Inside the cave, at about 300 ft from the entrance, is a large chamber with a concrete dance floor.
There is a 30 ft long bar at the opposite end, and there is an alcove for a twelve-piece band. The sign kept outside the cave described it as the largest natural place of amusement in the US. On March 01, 1930, a large crowd of four hundred people gathered to witness the grand opening.
The Wonderland Cave came to be known as the largest underground nightclub in the US. After the end of Prohibition, Linebarger started the Linebarger Winery in 1935. In the first year of operation, the facility produced 1513 gallons of wine. The wines were stored in the Wonderland Cave, and they were sold under the brands – Belle of Bella Vista and Wonderland.
In the early 1960s, the cave ceased operational as a nightclub, but public tours were allowed in exchange for a small fee. During the height of the Cold War, the Civil Defense officials scrambled to create nuclear fallout shelters across the US. Wonderland Cave was one of the three reputed caves that became a fallout shelter. In 1965, the cave was leased to Cooper Industries, and in 1996 the Linebarger heirs sold off the cave.
The cave is off-limits for the public since 1995, but efforts are in full swing to renovate and convert this cave into an amusement center for families. It is now owned by Marysia Miller, who is working on reopening the cave as soon as possible. She has ensured the restoration of the cave with the removal of all kinds of graphics and graffiti. She has grand plans for the Wonderland Cave. The 30 acres above ground will feature a museum, petting zoo, miniature golf course, a hot dog stand, and a sit-down restaurant.
Geological Cave Formations in Wonderland Cave
There are no geological formations inside the Wonderland Cave. What there had been must have been removed for the opening of the entertainment space.
From Vision to Reality: A History of Bella Vista Village, 1915-1993
A more complete history than the earlier ‘Bella Vista Story’, this volume was able to incorporate the more recently made available personal and business records of the Linebarger Brothers (who operated the Bella Vista Resort from 1917-1952). Other new sources and information are also included and, in addition, this history updates through the significant Bella Vista changes of the 1980s and beginning of the 90s.
Get the book on Amazon HERE
Wildlife in Wonderland Cave
Small animals, squirrels, and insects are common in the region around Wonderland Cave, making it no different from the other caves present in the state.
Is Wonderland Cave Haunted?
The cave is undergoing renovations after it was closed to the public in 1995. However, nobody has ever complained of any supernatural phenomena.
How big is Wonderland Cave?
The Wonderland Cave, built in 1925, is not expansive but still occupies little less than one acre.
Download our FREE Wonderland Cave Guide (Unofficial)
Wonderland Cave Tours
Since the cave is now closed for the renovation work undertaken by the new owners, there are no tours available at the Wonderland Cave. However, you can sign up for one of the most popular tours of Bella Vista, the Bella Vista Museum Driving Tour. It is a great way to learn more about the fascinating resort community and have a glimpse of some of the region’s finest attractions.
The tour is a tradition in Bella Vista and takes place only twice a year. Wonderland Cave is one of the most interesting stops on this tour. It is a huge cave, and it shows how the Linebargers created the ‘resort’ by taking full advantage of the natural beauty and surroundings of the Ozarks.
Wonderland Cave Tour Prices and Discounts
The tickets for the tour are priced at USD 15 for one person and USD 25 for two persons. If you plan to sign up for the tour, you must come to the museum by 12:30 so that you do not miss the carpool. You can call up 812 – 899 – 2049 for detailed information about this tour.
Is Wonderland Cave Cold?
Since entry to the cave is temporarily closed, it isn’t easy to ascertain the conditions inside the cave. But it is assumed that just like any other cave, the temperature inside the cave would be cooler than what you will experience outside.
What to Wear?
There is no dress code as you will be visiting the cave and experiencing it only from outside. You can wear anything that you feel comfortable in.
Wonderland Cave Hours
One can visit Wonderland Cave any time of the year as admission to the cave is now closed. However, the most popular time to visit Wonderland Cave is between 1 and 2 pm, and you will come across several tourists if you come here during the weekend.
What to Do at Wonderland Cave (Beside Tours)
The Wonderland Cave and its surroundings are undergoing massive renovations. There is nothing much to do here right now. There are reports that once the renovation is complete, it will be converted into a cave cum amusement park. So, there will be innumerable things to do here once the facility is thrown open to the public.
For now, after you tour the Wonderland Caves, you can enjoy seeing and petting the barnyard animals and playing on the mini-golf course, thereby making the place a perfect family outing destination.
Best Time to Visit Wonderland Cave
Since the cave is not yet open to the public, you can come here any time of the day or year. Lots of people try to avoid the rainy periods as the ground conditions become a bit bad.
How to Get to Wonderland Cave
The Wonderland Cave is an underground cavern in Bella Vista of Benton County. It is positioned about a mile east of US 71 up Dartmoor Road, near the Elementary School. One can easily access the cave through Interstate 540/71.
Hotels near Wonderland Cave
A few hotels near Wonderland Cave offer decent accommodation, such as Comfort Inn Bentonville & Days Inn and Suites by Wyndham Bentonville.
Places To Stay Nearby
Visiting Wonderland Cave
Do you need more information before visiting Wonderland Caves? You can call +1-310-497-6000 or email the authorities for an information packet.
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