After days of unpacking boxes and suffering through sweltering summer temperatures, an overnight getaway to the cooler temps, mountain breezes, and fresh air on Lookout Mountain was just what we needed. The visit was punctuated by time spent in two places that have become synonymous with Lookout Mountain and continue to thrive after decades of service to the public -- Chanticleer Inn Bed & Breakfast which was built in 1927 and Rock City which is celebrating its 90th birthday. The inn is within steps of Rock City's entrance.
CHANTICLEER INN BED & BREAKFAST
Don't let the rustic exterior fool you. Chanticleer Inn Bed & Breakfast is a lovely place to stay with modern amenities, comfortable, charming rooms, delicious afternoon snacks, and a cooked-to-order breakfast.
After checking in, you'll be given a tour of the main reception area and find cookies, cake, and beverages waiting. When you open the door to your room, a beautifully-decorated space will lure you inside for rest and relaxation. However, if the weather is nice, you will also find chairs for sitting under the trees outside. After dark, the innkeepers will light a large firepit for all to enjoy. The inn is quiet and peaceful, perfect for a great night's sleep.
At breakfast the next morning, you can begin with coffee, tea, juice, and bread before you place your order for a hot entree. Guests are served with real plates, cups, utensils, etc. This is, after all, NOT a chain hotel where everyone is rushing around serving themselves.
There is an outdoor pool available on the property as well as a gift shop with fun souvenirs.
Steve and I enjoyed the Chanticleer (another name for a rooster) very much and believe you will, too.
SEE ROCK CITY
As a girl, I remember the numerous barns in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee painted with those words -- SEE ROCK CITY. It was a clever advertising gimmick that became an icon. At its height, there were 900 such barns, but the number is down to about 100 now with only 10 in Alabama.
We took the kids to Rock City when they were small, and, of course, they loved the Fat Man's Squeeze and Mother Goose Village.
The incredible views and geological wonders are still present, but Rock City has added themed events around various holidays and live music on summer weekends.
They also offer Birds of Prey shows several times a day on weekends. The man and wife who present the shows are knowledgeable and personable. We thoroughly enjoyed the half-hour show we attended.
You might think after all these years that people wouldn't still be flocking to Rock City, but that is not the case. Visitors are very much still going through the gates to the point that timed entry tickets are required in order to control crowds and keep the visitor experience a quality one. Buy your tickets ahead of time through the website.
If it has been a while since your last visit to Rock City, I suggest you return. The exercise will be good and the time in nature will refresh your soul. It's beautiful up there.
Other things you might want to add to your itinerary are: riding the Incline Railway, savoring a scoop of Clumpie's Ice Cream, or dining at 1885 Grill. All are less than 10 minutes from the inn and Rock City.