This Underrated Southern Town Is A Great Place To Catch Fall Foliage Views

Lookout Mountain may be perched on an unassuming ridgetop, but there is a lot going on in this tiny southern town, especially in the fall! The main attraction is Rock City Gardens, a natural marvel created around ancient stone formations which looks out onto seven different states. It was named one of USA TODAY's bucket list destinations in the U.S. as well as being voted number one in the 'Top 5 Best Scenic View' category in the Southern Living Reader's Choice Awards.

This naturally sculptured attraction is one of the most popular in Georgia, receiving half a million visitors per year despite its low-key location. The jewel in its crown is Lover's Leap, a picturesque lookout with a waterfall beneath it. Atop the natural stone platform is the perfect location for watching the leaves change across the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. There are many family-friendly events and activities to enjoy in the cooler months too.

Routes and prices to Rock City

Rock City is roughly equidistant between the cities of Nashville and Atlanta, which both have international airports and reliable transport links. It is less than two hours drive from Atlanta and about two hours and 15 minutes from Nashville. Knoxville and Birmingham are two other cities where you can start your trip, Knoxville is an hour and 50 minutes while Birmingham is two hours and 15 minutes.

The city of Chattanooga is a good place to base yourself as it is only six miles away, and it will take you about 15 minutes to drive. The two closest hotels to Rock City are Chanticleer Inn Bed and Breakfast and Garden Walk Bed and Breakfast — both in Lookout Mountain, a short walk from the gardens.

Rock City Gardens is open year-round and it opens at 8:30 am and closes between 5 and 8 p.m. depending on the season. Tickets can sell out so it is advisable to book in advance to make sure that you get a slot that suits you! It costs $26.95 for an adult and $16.95 for a child aged between three and 12 years old.

Things to do in Rock City

Aside from Lover's Leap and the seven states view, there are many other areas of Rock City Gardens to discover. There is the Fairyland Caverns, the Mother Goose Village with scenes from nursery rhymes, the Swing-a-Long Bridge that looks over Chattanooga Valley and seven art installations to marvel at along the Enchanted Trail. All of these locations look particularly beautiful when surrounded by fall foliage.

Another important reason to visit in October is Rocktoberfest, a themed festival that happens over every weekend of the month. It features German food, music and beer as well as children's entertainers and a bird of prey show. The price is $29.95 for an adult and $19.95 for a child, and the hours go from 8:30 am to 5 p.m. For those that aren't afraid of the colder weather, the Enchanted Garden of Lights happens nightly from mid-November to the beginning of January. Experiencing the rock formations when they are lit up with all different colors is a unique way to view this landscape.