One Of The Most Breathtaking, Hidden Gem Dining Destinations In America Is In Arizona

If you're a fan of unique dining experiences, it's time to plan a trip to Peach Springs, Arizona. Peach Springs is on the Havasupai Reservation, close to the Grand Canyon. It's home to one of the nation's most thrilling restaurants, Caverns Grotto, which allows diners to enjoy a hearty meal more than 200 feet below the Earth's surface within the epic Grand Canyon Caverns.

You'll find the Grand Canyon Caverns and Inn at mile marker 115 along the historic Route 66, one of America's most scenic road trip routes. The Caverns Grotto is located in the largest cave chamber of the massive Grand Canyon Caverns, which extend 60 miles underground, all the way to the Grand Canyon itself. You can access the caves and restaurant by an elevator that descends 21 stories underground. The best value is to opt for the combo tour that includes lunch at the Cavern Grotto and a cave tour for $49.95 per person. Your meal will consist of an entrée, a side dish, and unlimited dessert. Two drinks, including beer and wine, are included in the cost. 

The restaurant only has four tables available and serves up American-style comfort food. The meals are prepared in the kitchens above ground and brought down to the cave's depths on an elevator. You can enjoy eating on a platform with 360-degree views of the cave for a meal you'll never forget.

The making of a natural masterpiece

The cave system in which Caverns Grotto is located formed around 345 million years ago in what was known as the Mississippian Period. During that time, much of North America was covered by a massive ocean that was abundant in plant and animal life. The decaying organic matter created rich limestone. Later, seismic activity and volcanic eruptions formed the mountains in the area, and rainwater slowly eroded the limestone to create the Grand Canyon Cavern about 65 million years ago. They're the largest dry caverns in the United States.

The caverns were discovered in 1927 by a man named Walter Peck, who bought the land in the hopes that he would be able to mine the caves for gold and precious gems. There is complete silence in the depths of the cave where the restaurant is located. Since there is no water or sunlight deep within the cave, nothing can survive, not even bacteria.

Planning your trip

Visiting the Caverns Grotto is an excellent addition to an epic Grand Canyon adventure. The drive will take a little under two hours from Grand Canyon National Park and Grand Canyon Village. Caverns Grotto is in a remote area, close to the breathtaking Havasupai Waterfalls. For the best experience, plan to stay in the area for at least two nights. Spend your first day enjoying a cave tour of the Grand Canyon Caverns before dining at the Cavern Grotto Restaurant. The following day, depart on the incredible 8-mile hike through awe-inspiring canyons to the Havasupai Waterfalls. If you plan to embark on the Havasupai Waterfall adventure, you will need to have overnight Supai reservations before you book your tour. Visit the Havasupai Reservations website for more information and to request reservations.

Grand Canyon Caverns, where the Caverns Grotto is located, has plenty of accommodations. You can choose between comfortable motel-style rooms and cozy cabin rentals. For a once-in-a-lifetime stay, consider booking the Cavern Suite, which allows you to stay overnight within the cave system. The suite within the cave accommodates up to six people. The cost is $1,000 per night for two and $100 per additional guest. Basic rooms at the inn start at $110 per night, and campsites cost $20.

The Grand Canyon Caverns tours and the Caverns Grotto restaurant are temporarily closed while the elevator is improved. They are expected to reopen to the public later in the summer of 2024.