Chattanooga Getaway: ‘See Rock City’

Photos by Todd DeFeo / (c) 2012

By Todd DeFeo / (c) 2012

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, Ga. – “See Rock City.”

One of the more wildly-successful advertising campaigns in history. Over the years, the slogan has helped draw droves of tourists to this unique outdoor attraction.

What is today Rock City has been a popular tourist attraction for years. But, it was until the 1930s that the Rock City of today began taking shape.

Frieda Carter, whose husband, Garnet, fashioned one of the country’s first miniature golf courses and a housing development atop Lookout Mountain, built a walkway and rock garden for the people living in the development.

To promote the new attraction, which officially opened on May 21, 1932, Carter’s husband hired Clark Byers to paint farmers’ barns – for free, if the barns’ owners would let him paint “See Rock City” on the roof. The campaign worked; the slogan not only helped to draw guests to Rock City, it also became one of the most recognized advertising tag lines of all time.

Today, Rock City features winding, garden-lined trails. But, the highlight is Lover’s Leap, a natural overlook where travelers can supposedly see seven states from one spot.

The path leading to and from Lover’s Leap offers an adventure in and of itself, as travelers must traverse winding walkways with stairs and bridges and a number of tight rock formations – one aptly named Fat Man’s Squeeze, another known as Needle’s Eye – just to make it to the top and return safely. A swinging bridge offers excellent views of the landscape below.

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