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See Rock City in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Rock City gives off a magical vibe with its ancient rock formations and gorgeous views of the surrounding landscape. Plus, Rock City is full of fun attractions and activities that the whole family can enjoy.

See Rock City tourist attraction.

Visitors to Chattanooga often will stop to take in the sights from atop Lookout Mountain in Georgia.

History of Rock City

Before there was Rock City, Native Americans inhabited the “citadel of rocks” atop Lookout Mountain. The location was a Civil War battleground in what is now known as the Battle of Lookout Mountain and the Battle Above the Clouds. (Long story short, the Union army took control.)

Fast forward to the late 19th century and the Carter family took up residence on the mountain. Having grown up on the mountain, Garnet Carter thought it would be a good place to develop a residential neighborhood along with a golf course.

Because Garnet’s wife, Frieda Carter, was intrigued by European folklore, the neighborhood was to be named Fairland.

Things took longer than planned and in the end, Garnet created the nation’s first mini-golf course. While Garnet was working on Tom Thumb Golf, Frieda developed a rock garden on the property.

Frieda marked a trail around the garden and ended them at Lover’s Leap. Along with wildflowers and other plants she transplanted along the trail, she placed imported German statues of gnomes and fairytale characters.

Rock pathway down a hill.
Starting down the path.

The walking trail at Rock City is 4,100 feet long and takes visitors through narrow clefts between the rock formations and along gorgeous gardens. It’s fun to go through the Needle’s Eye and Fat Man’s Squeeze.

Woman passing through a narrow rock gorge.
Squeezing through the Needle’s Eye.

There are over 400 different species of wildflowers, plants, shrubs and trees at Rock City.

View of water through forested area.

Fact: Rock City is pet-friendly. You can bring your dog on the trails provided that your pooch is on a leash.

Rock bridge in the forest.

Rock City is a fairy wonderland for kids. There are scenes at Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village from popular fairytales.

Goblins Underpass at Rock City.

You are never far from a picture-worthy stop at Rock City.

Wooden bridge at Rock City in Georgia.
Swing-A-Long Bridge
Eagle sculpture atop a mound of rocks.

The massive rock formations are 1,700 feet above sea level and provide incredible panoramic views of Chattanooga.

Rock City overlook.

But it’s not just Chattanooga! You can see seven states from Rock City: Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Seven States sign at Rock City.

Paying to use a viewfinder will help you see the surrounding states.

Viewfinder overlooking the valley.

There were notes made during the Civil War era about the ability to see the seven states from the summit. The location was a prime spot to view the Chattanooga Valley and Missionary Ridge Civil War battlefields. The large boulders atop the mountain were described as “a citadel of rocks” in Reverend Daniel S. Butrick’s diary.

Seven flags flying at the top of the mountain.

Fun Fact: Rock City is listed as one the places to see in 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

Woman in front of Chattanooga overlook.
Nice place for a photo opportunity.
Couple in front of Chattanooga valley.

Along the Enchanted Trail, you will spot the 140-foot tall waterfall.

Waterfall in the mountainside.

Other points of interest include the 1,000-ton balanced rock.

Rock City 1000-ton balanced rock sign.
Large rock boulder.

Rock City hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, including Shamrock City, EarthDayz, Southern Blooms, Summer Music Weekends, Rocktoberfest, and the Enchanted Garden of Lights.

Stone sculpture decorated like a snowman.
Getting ready for the Winter holiday season.

Shopping at Rock City

Leather goods for sale.

There are several gift shops at Rock City and you will see a lot of leather goods for sale.

Leather purses for sale.
A lot of unique, cute items for sale.
Leather Bama purse.
Lucky rabbits' feet for sale.
Doesn’t every child want a lucky rabbit’s foot?
Leather wares for sale.
Leather belts for sale.
Gifts for the men on your shopping lists.
Rows of leather bracelets.
Leather purses.
Leather keychains.

Not to be missed, you can purchase a souvenir See Rock City birdhouse or collectible.

See Rock City birdhouse for sale.

Dining at Rock City

One thing you will notice around the shops is the sweet aroma of fresh fudge being made. You can stop by the Fudge Kitchen and watch the fudge being made and then purchase some – it’s a nice gift to bring to those who couldn’t make the trip with you.

If you work up an appetite while exploring, you can stop by Big Rock Grill, Cliff Cafe, or Cafe 7. If you need another cup of coffee to help you keep going, there is a Starbucks location on site.

If you will be in Chattanooga and are looking for somewhere to eat, here is a post about some of my favorite places to eat in the Scenic City.

Wooden swing.

Admission and Location

Admission starts at $26.95 for adults and $16.95 for children ages 3-12. (During premiere events, thickets may cost more.) Timed-entry reservations are required.

Annual passes are available and range from $33.00 for a basic pass for children ages 3 – 12 to $53.00 for an adult pass.  (Ulitmate VIP passes are also available and discounts are given for purchases of 4 or more passes.)

Rock City is open daily from 8:30 AM until 6:00 PM Eastern time.

While many people think of Rock City as a Tennessee attraction (it’s only 6 miles from downtown Chattanooga), it is actually located at 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain, Georgia. It’s only 4 miles from Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Parking is free.


Need additional information?  Visit See Rock City on the Web | Facebook | Twitter.

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5 Comments

  1. Oooh I love the part where you walk along the cleft between the rock faces and the views from the top look fabulous! It sounds like Rock City is perfect for bringing kids and getting them to stretch their legs!

  2. I have never even heard of the Rock City. This walking trail looks so much fun and exactly the type of experience I love! Great article

  3. I have yet to visit TN, but I really would love to. Based on your posts, there is a ton of different stuff to see there. I am not sure that Rock City is quite my style, but your post definitely shows how it has a little something for most folks! Seems like a really unique spot.

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