"Roadside America's finest" Lookout Mountain by goingsolo
Lookout Mountain Travel Guide: 33 reviews and 36 photos
Anyone who's ever done a roadtrip in the USA is familiar with all the signs. They pique your curiosity at first. Travelling down a long stretch of highway with more miles in front of you than behind you, your eyes seeing the same thing for hundreds of miles, the idea of the World's Largest Ball of Twine becomes tempting. After hours of driving and the beginnings of fatigue, the signs tempt you further. As if by subliminal messages, the closer you draw towards your desitination and the more roadside signs you see, the temptation to stop becomes almost irresistable. Soon you are paying $20 to see The Thing, or to walk across The Highest Bridge in America or taking photographs next to a large indentation in the earth that may or may not have originated from a meteor (and, if it did, who cares, really?) You wonder how they did it to you again.
A visit to Lookout Mountain begins with the same dreaded curiosity which leads us into temptation. The neon signs for "Rock City", "Underground Waterfalls" and "Hidden Caves", smaller these days due to new laws or something like that, are almost easy to ignore initially. But, after many miles of driving and reading (which is dangerous, by the way), your curiosity becomes unbearable and you begin to head towards Lookout Mountain, wondering if you're about to be suckered yet again.......
At least I am. Admittedly, I am a sucker for roadside tourist traps. The tackier the better. Something about the nostalgia of times past when a road trip was a Great American Experience and the rapidly disappearing trend of enjoying simple albeit tacky pleasures being replaced by the advances of technology in a world where people watch DVDs while traveling in cars (hopefully just the passengers though) instead of reading the road signs, or something like that. Or maybe its just what happens when you travel a lot of miles in a car.
Unlike many roadside attractions which lead to unfulfilled expectations and broken promises (because, as we know, signs never lie. At least, they are not supposed to), Lookout Mountain actually delivers. Just ask all the people from Tennessee who come here over and over again. And they don't have the excuse that they are taking a detour from a roadtrip. There are plenty of sights worth seeing at Lookout Mountain, including a civil war battlefield, rock gardens and, yes, an underground waterfall. It is part tacky tourist attraction, but, admit it, you wouldn't stop at these places unless, deep down, you actually liked them, right?
Lookout Mountain is more than your average roadside destination. It is a series of natural wonders which, while heavily exploited by the tourism commission, are interesting and worth viewing. There are plenty to choose from, plenty to appease the children and even skeptical adults.
Still not convinced? Take a look inside and see some of what Lookout Mountain has to offer.
- Pros:Interesting sights, views and history.
- Cons:A visit here can consume a day or more and wads of cash.
- In a nutshell:Roadside America's finest.
Balanced Rock is a 1,000 ton rock balanced atop a smaller rock. I'm assuming they are guessing at the weight and are a... more travel advice
The first portion of Rock City is known as the Grand Corridor. Here, a path leads you through a garden of sorts where... more travel advice
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