See Rock City: One Tank Vacations from Atlanta

See Rock City
80 years and still going strong!

What: See Rock City 
Where: 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mtn., GA 706-820-2531
When: Hours vary by season, so check the website
Cost: $18.95 adults, $10.95 children (3 – 12) Free Parking
Photos: For more photos of Rock City visit Field Trips with Sue on Facebook

What drew me initially to See Rock City, was the famous ad campaign on rural barns and the See Rock City bird houses. I once bid unsuccessfully at a silent auction for a coffee table book of the famous barns and a birdhouse. I don’t remember what it went for, but there was fierce bidding. You gotta love an ad campaign that started in 1936 and is still working more than 70 years later!

See Rock City
See Seven States!

Rock City Gardens has a 1950 ‘eque feel, which is what I like about it. Sure, they’ve added gem panning and rock climbing for the kids, but the rest of it is a walk through time that brings you back to a simpler day when families drove to their destinations playing car bingo and kids fought for real estate in the back seat. Like the ad campaign, kids still clamor 80 years later to get a good look atop the mountain and “See 7 States”. Of course now they’ve added binoculars for a closer view. If you have small children, look for the short look-out stands that are just the right height for kids. The views and photo opportunities are truly spectacular.

The self-guided walking tour along The Enchanted Trail takes you through huge rock formations, some estimated to be 200 million years old. They have great names like “Needle’s Eye” and “Fat Man’s Squeeze.” My kids loved the 180-foot long Swing-a-long bridge, but if that’s not for you don’t worry, you can go around. For those with smaller children, note that strollers won’t be able to get around the entire path, so plan to carry your little ones or pack them in a carrier of some kind.  Of course, even then you may have to make some adjustments. We had my youngest in a backpack years ago and had to get him out to fit through Fat Man’s Squeeze.

See Rock City
Threading the Needle’s Eye
See Rock City
Enter Fairyland Caverns and test your knowledge of Mother Goose Rhymes

Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village add some whimsical to the visit. I was actually surprised that my boys didn’t know more of the Mother Goose rhymes. They can dazzle you with knowledge of intergalactic planets and beings, but were a bit stumped on why Jack and Jill went up the hill. Both of these attractions are underground and lit by black light. If your child is afraid of the dark, distract them by focusing attention on white shoelaces or glowing t-shirts until they adjust and they’ll be more likely to enjoy the exhibits.

When I think of Rock City, I think of the rock formations. The formations and natural pathways were the inspiration for a 14-acre garden with more than 400 different species of native wildflowers, plants, shrubs and trees.  Visitors can use their cell phone to hear a guided tour of the Gardens. We visited in the spring when everything was beginning to bloom and it was beautiful.

See Rock City
Garden gnomes are everywhere.
See Rock City
Stop and smell the beautiful flowers along the path.

Rock City is a destination for anytime of year. Perhaps time your visit for the many events and festivals hosted by the Gardens. Rock City is located in Georgia, but only six miles from Chattanooga, TN. We stopped at Rock City on our way to a vacation in Chattanooga. There are packages to See Rock City, Ruby Falls and the Incline Railway all in one day. All great attractions, but this is a lot for kids (and adults) to do in one day. I would suggest splitting it into two. If you must do it all in one, plan a lighter schedule the next day.

Chattanooga Family Vacation on raveable

Although we were provided complimentary attraction tickets for the purpose of reviewing it (as is common in the travel industry), we only recommend places we would stay and products we would use.

61 Comments on See Rock City: One Tank Vacations from Atlanta

  1. My son is 7 and has been asking to go he loves everything outdoors and is a awesome little boyscout. He has even earned a “stinky boot”award for hiking more miles than anyone his pack which is about 135 kids. I know that this would be a great summer memory. Thanks

  2. I remember Fat Man’s Squeeze as a little girl and would love to go back with the family and visit again!

  3. I would love to win these so my family can make even more memories celebrating and exploring this cool place together!

  4. I live in Chattanooga and would love to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Sadly, we don’t visit the beautiful places in our own hometown as much as we should. We’re always hopping down to Atlanta for fun activities!

  5. We would love to win and take a much needed break and see Rock City. What a great way to spend time together as a family making memories!

  6. I would love to go to take my nephew and nieces to scratch it off our bucket list and to give their parents some R&R…

  7. I always see those bird houses and have always wondered where on earth Rock City was. Now I know! Thanks. We’d love to experience it first hand.

  8. Would love to win these tickets! My husband & I have been before kids, but now the kids are a perfect age & I know it would be lots of fun to take them!

  9. I haven’t been there in 30 years (I’m guessing since my memory is mostly of the signs to get there!). So, it would be awesome to share this childhood expedition with my non-native Georgian husband and our child!

  10. I would love to take my son here! I think he would absolutely love the views and the little “fairytale” area. It would be a great surprise weekend trip!

  11. Kristen, congrats to your son on his ‘stinky boot’ award. Kat, I had to laugh that you’ve seen the signs and didn’t know where Rock City was (sounds like my experience with that place called NOVA when I lived in Va. – there were a lot of people from that town NOVA. Then I realized it was Northern (NO) Virginia (VA).
    Melissa – you must do a staycation and visit your hometown. We had a BLAST. You could live in Chattanooga for years and not do it all.
    Love those birdhouses!

  12. I want to take my family there because I work 2 jobs and we rarely get to take a vacation. I would love this because it is only a short drive from Atlanta. I know my 7 year old daughter and 3 year old son would love it.

  13. Every time we passed by Rock City as a child, my parents never would stop. As an adult, my husband didn’t want to stop. Now, it’s time for me to take the kids!

  14. I would love to take my kids to Rock City. I remember driving from Ohio to Florida a few times a year growing up and seeing all the red barns along I-75 that said “SEE ROCK CITY” painted on the barn roofs. My parents would never stop to visit. Now I live in Atlanta and would love to take my kids to see what I never have seen!

4 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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