Fans of Lookout Mountain’s Rock City and Ruby Falls will tell you the quintessential tourist traps haven’t changed in decades—and that’s their charm. As you stroll the former’s “world famous” rock gardens (including the aforementioned overlook), piped-in music is oddly soothing, and there’s something eerily compelling about the dark caverns housing the fluorescent Mother Goose Village. Arrive at Ruby Falls early to avoid crowds as you examine the cave’s limestone formations. A tour guide (ours reminded us of an enthusiastic high-school football coach) will lead you to the 145-foot waterfall, which is accompanied by a soaring score and multicolor LEDs. Skip the area’s third attraction—the Incline Railway—but adjoining Clumpies is worth a stop for a giant waffle cone of homemade ice cream.
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