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Day Trippin’ — See Rock City (and More)! (Chattanooga, TN) ::Series::

Growing up in Northwest Tennessee, we didn’t usually travel much further east than Nashville. Now now that our little family has moved to Nashville, I’m really looking forward to exploring more of East Tennessee and beyond. In light of this, we recently took a trip to Chattanooga to check out Rock City and Lookout Mountain.

Rock City is a self-guided tour, and tickets are $19.95 for adults and $11.95 for kids 3-12. Their suggested time to allow yourself is 1.5 to 2 hours, but our personal experience might have been a little quicker since our little two year old was not very interested in stopping and looking at things as much as her mama! (Quick suggestion for parents of younger children: when walking through Rock City, there are some rather steep and very narrow passages—such as the Fat Man’s Squeeze and the suspension bridge—so for exploring it with kids, I would suggest either a front carrier or a “child leash” for your younger kids since strollers are not allowed.)

WaterfallFat Man Squeeze

Once you get to Lookout Mountain, you have a fantastic view that includes 7 states: Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. There is nice guide board on a rock that gives you an idea of which states you are looking at in the various directions.

View with Guide

If you have a little extra time as you head out to Rock City and Lookout Mountain, the Incline Railway is another fun and family-friendly activity to keep in mind. The train ride is approximately 15 minutes each way, and trains leave each of the stations every 20 minutes. After taking the 10mph ride to the top with a super-steep incline, you will be rewarded with an amazing view of Chattanooga.

Amazing View

Along with a snack bar and gift shop at the top, there are a few Civil War points of interests that you can explore, so once again, the amount of time spent here is up to the interests of your group. For us, it was a quick tour since the train held more interest for our little one. Round trip tickets are $14 for adults and $7 for kid’s 3-12 (some people opt to hike either up or down and only purchase one-way tickets. This was not an option for us, but if you have older children and your family enjoys a hike, it’s something to consider.) There is a $2 parking lot close to the station, or you can opt for street parking around the area.


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