Rock City

A crown jewel of roadside attractions and nostalgic Americana. Rock City is a tourist attraction built on natural rock formations that sits on the Georgia side of Lookout Mountain.

Front Entrance

It’s only 6 miles from Chattanooga, TN. Lookout Mountain is about 1.45 hour from Knoxville, TN (where I drove in from) , 2 hours from Nashville, TN, 1.45 hour from Huntsville, AL and 2 hours from Atlanta by car. Ruby Falls and Point Park are also attractions on Lookout Mountain about 10 mins away by car.

From the outside of Rock City, I thought it might be similar to the Petersen Rock Garden in Redmond, OR or The Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, AL. I’m always game for anything kitschy, vintage and touristy. It was bigger than I had expected, 14 acres of land, 4100 ft walking trails and a waterfall over 100ft tall!

In 1935 Garnet and Frieda Carter hired American sign maker Clark Byers to paint barns across the U.S. “See Rock City”. He painted 900 barns in 18 States. Only 79 painted barns remain today.
The tunnel before Lover’s Leap
Lover’s Leap

Lookout Mountain was originally home to Native American tribes. Lovers Leap falls stand at 140ft and legend says that a Chickasaw warrior named Sautee was in love with a Cherokee maiden named Nachoochee. They were in feuding tribes and when their hidden love was discovered, the Cherokee tribe captured Sautee and threw him off that point of Lookout Mountain. Nachoochee leaped to her death after him. The rock formation is natural but the falls are man made.

The view from on top of Lover’s Leap

The view from the top of Lover’s Leap is beautiful. Civil War soldiers had believed you could see seven states from that vantage point, but that has yet to be proven scientifically. You might need a clear day and some binoculars, but it seems possible!

Under the 1000 lb balanced rock.
The Swing-A-Long Bridge spans 180ft

Frieda took her love of German folklore and hired sculptor Jessie Sanders to build Fairyland Caverns and it was completed in 1947.

Jesse Sanders completed Mother Goose Village in 1967.

I arrived about 90 minutes before close and it wasn’t very crowded. It was ample time for me to stroll through and take photos. Adult admission is $20. They are open year round and offer seasonal events. It’s a family friendly venue and leashed dogs are permitted. I’m a kid at heart and I thought it was absolutely magical and fun. It’s a must for roadside attraction seekers!

I loved the blacklight effect in the Fairyland Caverns, so I added a 60s Pop / Psychedelic playlist on Spotify.

Cheers to another long day!

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