Red barns have proclaimed the “See Rock City” message across the Southeastern United States since the 1930’s. However, although the number of visitors is quite high, I suspect that a relatively small percentage of people who have driven past one of these iconic and inventive early billboards, have actually paid a visit. Even I lived just six miles away for 3-4 years in the early 1990s, and never once visited. All that changed this past autumn when I took my wife and daughter for a weekend away – something that’s nice to do when the boys are off camping with the Scouts.
The Rock City Gardens were a surprise to me. Having lived nearby I was familiar with the “See Seven States” location, but I didn’t realize everything else that was contained within the 14 acre gardens (it seemed so much bigger). The massive rock formations were like a giant playground with panoramic views from 1,700 ft above the Chattanooga Valley. Over 400 types of wildflowers, shrubs and trees are contained in this unique and fantastic place
Our daughter just loved the Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village, although the 1,000 ton balanced rock, swing-bridge, 100 ft waterfall, and “Fat mans squeeze” were also favourite stops along the way. The attention to detail was reflective of the eight decades which have been invested into the original mission of “creating memories worth repeating”. The official website, www.seerockcity.com says it best in a portion of their vision statement, “Rock City remains a national treasure of botanical, geological, and entrepreneurial significance”.
There is a lot to see, so don’t rush. Allow yourself at least a couple of hours to enjoy the sights along the various walking paths.