We have now arrived in Chattanooga, my favourite town and forever the home in my heart. I will spare you my poetic waxings on the wondrousness that is Chatt-town and tell you today about my visit to the Rock City Gardens.
I was overly excited about going to see Rock City, because I have heard so many things about it but had never actually gotten to see it for myself. I visited on a gorgeous late Sunday morning near the end of July, so it was a little more crowded than I would have liked, but it was still pretty fantastic.
Rock City Gardens is a stunning garden atop Lookout Mountain full of natural rock formations, beautiful overlooks and views, and even a few caves. The 4,100 foot walking trail takes visitors through the entire garden and even allows you to see 7 states - on a clear day - from atop the famous "Lover's Leap".
The trail is super easy to follow, but there are lots of maps all over the place to help guide you along through the gardens. And near Lover's Leap there is a small cafe with tables where you can sit and enjoy the views for as long as you like.
Toward the end of the trail is a cave that features brightly glowing scenes from a number of fairy tales, perfect for capturing the kids' attention. It can hurt your eyes a little to look at for too long, but they're pretty intricate and impressive.
To sum up, Rock City is pretty awesome. It's beautiful and scenic and relaxing and all of those things, and it is also great to see how well such an oasis has been preserved over the years. It's a wonderful homage to nature atop a beautiful mountain, and it is more than worth a visit.
plan your visit today:
|[one of rock city's many funny quirks are the gnomes scattered throughout the gardens]|
|[pretty flowers in full bloom]|
|[loved the stairs over to the hanging bridge]|
|[loved walking across the hanging bridge. very cool experience]|
|[love me some waterfalls]|
|[the view from lover's leap. stunning]|
|[another from lover's leap]|
|[heading down to fat man's squeeze]|
|[fat man's squeeze. it's pretty tight through there]|
|[another pretty view from up on the mountain]|
|[on the way to the cave]|
|[the light inside the caves was funky]|
|[i told you it was crazy]|
|[lookout's thing with fairy tales is a little over-the-top]|
|[mother goose village. takes it to a whole other level]|
plan your visit today:
- address is 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain, GA [as you start to head up Lookout, you'll see plenty of signs directing you to get there]
- the hours change depending on the season, so be sure to check their website before you head up there for the current hours [and for special events!]
- admission to Rock City is $19.95 for adults and $11.95 for children. however, you can do what I did and purchase a Discount Triple Play that gets you into Rock City, Ruby Falls, and the Incline Railway for $48.90 for adults and $25.90 for children. I used my Rock City and Incline Railway tickets on the same day and have a year from the purchase date to use the Ruby Falls ticket. that's a solid deal if you ask me [Incline Railway post coming up this week, too!]
- give yourself at least 1.5-2 hours to walk through. it can take longer if there is a crowd, and especially if there are groups stopping regularly to take pictures, so err on the side of caution. trust me, you won't want to rush yourselves through those views
Now go forth and See Rock City.