Lookout Mountain, just minutes outside the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, includes three world-famous natural wonders that show off the beauty of the mountain and the Chattanooga valley below. Luckily, if done right, you can see all that Lookout Mountain has to offer in just one day.
Start your day off with a visit to Ruby Falls, America’s tallest underground waterfall. This attraction opens at 8:00 AM and closes at 8:00 PM. I highly recommend purchasing your tickets in advance to avoid long wait times. The Ruby Falls Cave Tour is about an hour-long from start to finish. If you want to spend more time at this location, there are options to take an extended cavern tour. Also, don’t forget to climb to the top of the observation tower for stunning views of the Valley.
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After seeing Ruby Falls, you have probably worked up an appetite! I highly recommend you head down the mountain to grab lunch at the Purple Daisy Picnic Cafe. You’ll enjoy a delicious meal of BBQ and southern sides. After lunch, head over to Clumpies Ice Cream Company for a quick scoop of ice cream!
I recommend starting with Rock City to help walk off lunch. This attraction requires you to go back up the mountain and cross the state line into Georgia. Rock City has so much to offer its guests including the world-famous “See 7 States” viewing deck. With every turn in the path, you will encounter impressive rock formations and views of the surrounding valleys.
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Following Rock City, you will wind along the top of Lookout Mountains ridge to arrive at the Incline Railway. This railway has the nickname “America’s Most Amazing Mile,” and it indeed is an engineering marvel. You will also appreciate the opportunity to sit after walking through Rock City. The Incline Railway has two stops: one at the top of the mountain and one at the bottom next to the restaurant suggested for lunch. Making it easy to swap which attraction you do first in the afternoon.
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After taking in the sights of Lookout Mountain, drive along the Tennessee River to Lookout Winery for some delicious pizza and wine. And end your day with some R&R at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel.
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You can purchase combination tickets for all three attractions here.