As someone who thoroughly enjoys the outdoors, one of my favorite pastimes is visiting botanical gardens, arboretums and the like. Most larger cities have a garden getaway, but few are as unique and interesting as the one I discovered in Chattanooga, Tennessee…Rock City Gardens. Rock City is technically located in Georgia, atop Lookout Mountain, but is just six miles from downtown Chattanooga.
While I was in Chattanooga I stayed downtown at the Chatanoogan Hotel, where I grabbed some tourist pamphlets and headed out for a day of sightseeing and activities. I had no idea what “Rock City” was…none! I kept seeing “Rock City” or “See Rock City,” but the “Gardens” part must have eluded me. As I meandered up Lookout Mountain I discovered a number of other area attractions, like Ruby Falls, Incline Railway and a zip-line excursion. I didn’t have a ton of time, so I had to pick just a couple attractions to visit. When I arrived at Rock City, I have to be honest…I was vacillating as to whether this activity should be one of the two that I’d spend time doing. I must have sat in the parking lot for five minutes making up my mind. Finally, I got my camera gear and headed toward the entrance.
I made my way through the gate entrance and walked out to the starting point of the garden path…as soon as I strolled around the corner, I was transfixed by the beauty before me. At that moment, I knew I had made the right choice to spend what ended up being hours at Rock City Gardens. My initial sight was that of a modest waterfall and a highly manicured tropical setting. This starting point was fairly compact with a narrow path leading visitors to what I would soon discover was an extraordinary setting…one of the most unique I’ve ever seen.
Rock City Gardens take visitors on an enchanting journey that reveals wonders that only nature can create. Of course, the gardens have been enhanced by man, but mother nature has certainly done most of the work. Rock City is situated on fourteen acres and features massive rock formations, with over four hundred native plant species. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a majestic, awe-inspiring view reveal itself…along with a 100′ waterfall. (Watch my video and you’ll see what I mean). Apparently, on a clear day you can see seven states from this vantage point.
The 4100 feet of trails throughout Rocky City take you through narrow slots where you’ll be looking up at soaring cliff faces. As you meander farther through the gardens you’ll find yourself looking down those same cliffs as folks behind you make their way to the elevated vantage points. Around every bend is something unique and different that continues to pique the curiosity.
If you find yourself in the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennessee, I highly recommend stopping by Rock City Gardens.
If you’ve ever been to Rock City Gardens before, please leave a comment below and share your favorite aspects or memories with my readers and me.
Rock City Gardens Information:
Hours: Hours vary depending on time of year, click here
Rates: Click here for current and special rates.
Address: 1400 Patten Road
Lookout Mountain, GA 30750
GPS: (34.582397, -85.210006)