CHILDERSBURG, Ala. (WIAT) — Just off Highway 280 in Childersburg is a family friendly place, rich with history: DeSoto Caverns.

General Manager Ryan Burk said Childersburg is the oldest continually inhabited city in the US at 1540, which he believes is pretty incredible.

“DeSoto really discovered the beauty of it,” Burk said. “Two of his men actually stayed behind and they were the ones who really built up Childersburg with the natives in the area and everything.”

But the main attraction is underground– the “Healing All Cathedral” as they call it. At four stories high and almost a football field long, it remains 60 degrees year-round. You have to see it for yourself, one of the few places you can experience total darkness. Electricity was added inside in 1965, when it became a tourist attraction.

In the 1920s, the cave was somewhat of a speakeasy, complete with parties and even gunfights. That’s why some of the features inside appear broken off.

“It’s said when you go down there, it’s like a breath of fresh air,” Burk said. “And you’re, physically, spiritually, mentally meant to feel better.”

There’s more to see and do outside of the cave.

“We’re gonna be adding more experiences as I mentioned, but we have the attractions, we have the blacksmiths,” Burk said. “It’s just to enjoy the family and tribe. Beautiful grounds, beautiful time to just spend and enjoy your day.”

Get ready for your visit, above and below ground, at DeSoto Caverns.