Wabasha Street Caves, Saint Paul

4.0
#2 of 13 in Parks in Saint Paul
The Wabasha Street Caves is an event hall built into the sandstone caves located on the south shore of the Mississippi River in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. The caves have been home to mobsters, speakeasies, and in more recent years have begun hosting a "Swing Night" on Thursday nights with live big-band music. The Wabasha Street Caves also provide historical tours of the sandstone caves in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
The caves, which technically are mines because they are manmade, are carved out of sandstone and date back to the 1840s. Throughout history the caves have been used for a number of different activities, including growing mushrooms, storage of food and belongings, music, and dancing.
In the 1920s, the caves were used as a restaurant and nightclub venue known as the Wabasha Street Speakeasy. The speakeasy was said to have been frequented by gangsters such as John Dillinger and Ma Barker, however there is no evidence that these visits occurred; thus, these stories are considered legend.
On October 26, 1933, Josie & William Lehmann opened the Castle Royal, which was built into the side of the caves. Castle Royal was closed in the late 1930s due to the start of World War II and went back to primarily being a place to grow mushrooms. Some time in the 1970s, Castle Royal 2 was opened as a venue for Disco music. The caves have also been used as a place of storage for debris and belongings that were washed up from flooding. Some of these things can still be found in the caves today.
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Wabasha Street Caves Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
164 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • The D W and I both agree that to make this experience worthwhile that you need to take the 2 hour $30 gangster tour . The crowd was close to 100 on the cave tour but only 12 on the bus.Tons of cool tr...  more »
  • The history in St. Paul is really quite unique and unmatched elsewhere! If you take a tour here, they will typically fill you in on some of it!!  more »
Google
  • We really enjoyed this! The tour was wonderful and very interesting! We plan to go back and try another one of their tours! You do need cash since they can't get wifi for credit cards. The location is close to other fun things and places to eat also.
  • Good tour, great staff. Lots of history there. Well worth the time an money.

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