Please can someone advise the time that should be allowed for visiting the caves? Thanks.
Sorry, I don't know about those caves, but it sounds intriguing, and the name Sweetwater has got to be one of the most pleasant sounding of any town out there. I'm going to read up on this.
The Lost Sea has guided tours that are about an hour and 15 minutes. Also allow time to see the shops in their Old Sweetwater Village.
You probably need at least 2-3 hours to really enjoy The Lost Sea, because in addition to the cave (which includes a really great glass bottom boat ride), there is Old Sweetwater Village with several shops and activities. There is even a picnic area and small self guided nature trail. Check their website for more info. If you have time, I would also suggest stopping in the city of Sweetwater's historic district. Located on Rte.11 (Main St.) between the Lost Sea and I-75, it has lovely boutiques, antique shops, and a couple of great restaurants. It's the quintessential charming and friendly Southern town. Just look for the gazebo and the train car - they are in the municipal parking lot with free parking. You can walk to the shops and restaurants from there, but the Lost Sea is about 3 miles further up New Highway 68. Another popular local attraction is Tsali Notch Vineyard. Not far from the Lost Sea, it's the largest muscadine (native grapes) vineyard in Tennessee. Featuring wines, jellies, and juice, it has spectacular panoramic mountain views. Enjoy your visit!