Here’s your ultimate guide to Lookout Mountain, which contains 3 famous tourist attractions in the United States. Interestingly, the attractions are spread out between Lookout Mountain, Georgia and Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.
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3 Main Attractions in Lookout Mountain
I recently moved to the Atlanta Georgia area and have been exploring all around Georgia. Lookout Mountain is located in Georgia AND in Tennessee.
It is approximately 2 1/2 hours North of Atlanta. Although I really love Tennessee, it is a common misconception that Rock City in Lookout Mountain is located in Chattanooga. It’s in Georgia, approximately 20 min South of downtown Chattanooga. The other 2 main attractions ARE located in Tennessee.
The 3 main attractions in the Lookout Mountain area are:
Here’s where it gets REALLY confusing…. people use “Lookout Mountain” synonymously with “Rock City”. Lookout Mountain is the name of the AREA. Rock City is the same place as “See Rock City” and also “Rock City Gardens”, which is all just “Rock City”.
Hang in there, because I created the ultimate guide to Lookout Mountain to help you understand exactly what each attraction is so you don’t get confused.
Rock City in Lookout Mountain
Where is Rock City located?
Rock City is located at the “top” of the Lookout Mountain area. The address is 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750.
A fun and interesting fact is that back in 1932 it was hard to get the word out about Rock City. That’s why Garnet Carter made a deal with people that he would paint their barns for FREE if he could put “See Rock City” on them. Over time, he had over 900 barns with the advertisement in 19 states.
Rock City Hours:
Currently, you have to select a specific timeslot for your visit to Rock City. They open at 8:30 am and close between 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. It depends on the time of year you are visiting so it’s best to check the website before you go.
From the end of November through January 1st they are only open in the evenings from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm for the special seasonal event.
Rock City Pricing:
Tickets to Rock City can be purchased online in advance. The price range is from $14.95 – $24.95. I purchased tickets in person because I didn’t want to commit to a timeslot when I was driving a couple of hours for the day trip.
When I visited I met an awesome girl named Jordan who told me about the benefits of upgrading to a season pass. If you purchase the season pass on the day of your visit, and you return for one more visit, it will pay for itself. The annual pass ranges from $26.00 – $49.00.
There are other benefits with the season pass like discounts at the gift shop and on food. Jordan also told me about special events like how they have Rock City all lit up for evening tours during the Christmas season. I can’t wait to go back for that event!
Why is Rock City a unique place to visit?
Rock City is ranked #2 out of #5 things to do in Lookout Mountain and it won the 2022 Traveler’s Choice Award. It is open year-round for you to take in the breathtaking views, incredible natural rock formations, fairyland caverns, and enjoy the rock city gardens. The fairyland caverns section is a fun black-light lit cave with child-themed stories.
When you get to the top of Lookout Mountain you will be at the awesome lookout point. That’s where you experience the most amazing views of 7 states all in one place!
You will be able to see: Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama from that vantage point.
Along the trails to get to the scenic overlook, there are various types of paths you encounter. Some of the spaces are very narrow, or dark so make sure you know what to expect if you have any concerns or restrictions.
There are a few different options for visitors to adjust their experience to their skill levels. For example, if you aren’t comfortable taking the suspension bridge, there is another long bridge you can take instead.
You should plan to spend around 1 – 1 1/2 hours vising Rock City. Below is my video with an overview of the fun things you can expect to see. Watch the video so you have an idea of what to expect on your visit.
Ruby Falls in Lookout Mountain
Where is Ruby Falls located?
Ruby Falls is located in Chattanooga Tennessee, and it is one of the Lookout Mountain attractions. The address is 1720 South Scenic Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37409.
Ruby Falls Hours and Pricing:
Ruby Falls is open daily from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm. You can enjoy the natural beauty of the cave any time of year.
Ruby Falls has a few different ticketed cave adventures that they offer. ALL tickets MUST be purchased online. Tickets tend to sell out quickly so make sure to purchase them in advance!
If you are only doing the Ruby Falls cave walk with the tour guide, then it is $13.95 for children and $24.95 for ages 13+. They also have a “Gentle Walking Tour” for individuals who would like a slower paced tour option.
Why is Rock City a unique place to visit?
Ruby Falls is ranked #19 out of #116 things to do in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Your guided tour of Ruby Falls starts by descending 260 down into the cave in a glass-front elevator ride. You will be preparing for your visit to the deepest underground waterfall tour in the United States.
Inside the cave experience, you will be in awe of the 145-foot waterfall. It’s crazy to think that a man named Leo Lambert accidentally discovered the deepest cave waterfall in the United States, but it’s awesome that today visitors still have the opportunity to experience these natural wonders.
Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
Where is boarding for the Incline Railway located?
You will meet at the bottom station for boarding. The address is 3917 St. Elmo Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37409. Boarding times are every 30 minutes so don’t worry about limitations on departure times.
Incline Railway Pricing and Hours:
Railway tickets range from $7.00 – $15.00 per person.
They open between 9:00 am – 10:00 am and close between 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. It depends on the time of year you are visiting so check the website before you visit.
Why is the Incline Railway a cool tourist attraction?
The Incline Railway is known as America’s most amazing mile. It’s one of the best places to see the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I went in the fall so you can see more of the railway in my pictures. The ceiling inside The Incline is glass so it’s really a cool experience.
The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is ranked #23 out of #116 things to do in Chattanooga, Tennessee. If you want to experience one of the steepest passenger railways in the world then you need to take this ride. This national historic site is a really great way to see the fall foliage in the mountains!
Once you get to the top you can get out to take in the views, explore the area, explore the gift shop, and have some fudge at the fudge shop.
When you’re ready to head back you will line up for the next Incline to come and bring you back down to the bottom. Make sure you grab some Clumpy’s Ice Cream while you are there!
Full-Day Lookout Mountain Tour Package
If you happen to be doing a day trip from Nashville then you’re in luck! Viator has an option for a Full-Day Tour of Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain with Lunch. You will get transportation and admission to ALL 3 of the main tourist attractions mentioned in this article. Lookout Mountain is a great place to take a day trip!
Where to STAY When Visiting Lookout Mountain
As I mentioned previously, Lookout Mountain is actually in Georgia and Tennessee. Many people like to stay in Chattanooga Tennessee because it is SUCH a cute town!
I came upon a really awesome hotel in Chattanooga called The Dwell Hotel, which you can briefly see in my TikTok video below. This boutique hotel won the 2022 Travelers Choice Award and currently ranks #18 out of #104 hotels in Chattanooga on TripAdvisor.
Of course, staying in Chattanooga will be more expensive than staying in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. It just depends on how long you plan on visiting and if you want the added luxury of being able to walk the cute streets of Chattanooga to see things other than the main tourist attractions in Lookout Mountain.
Day Trip From Lookout Mountain
The 3 main tourist attractions I mentioned will keep you busy for 2 days. If you have more time and want to explore the nearby area of Chattanooga, check out All the Fun Things to Do in Chattanooga, Tennessee!
LET’S CONNECT: Which one of the 3 main tourist attractions in the “Ultimate Guide to Lookout Mountain” do you think you’d definitely want to see? Share your thoughts in the comments below!