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8:30 am - 8:00 pm

Atop Lookout Mountain
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Celebrating 90 Years!

 

Enchanted for 90 Years!

Rock City first opened to the public on May 21, 1932. Owners Garnet and Frieda Carter decided to share their “backyard” with guests 90 years ago. Guests entered through the original round gatehouse, strolled through beautiful rock formations and enjoyed the native plants Frieda cared for along the Enchanted Trail. In celebration of our 90th anniversary, Rock City has planned a year-long lineup of enhancements, with four key cornerstones highlighting the attraction’s historical leadership while guiding the pathway forward: Innovation, Sustainability, Art, and People.

For 90 years Rock City has been a leader in innovation, beginning with its founder, Garnet Carter. He not only envisioned his wife Frieda’s rock garden as something others would want to see, but created Tom Thumb mini golf, as well as the advertising legacy of over 900 barns painted across the U.S. with the message “See Rock City.” Sustainability has also been at the attraction’s core, with the cultivation of plants and flowers in their natural habitat, into the more modern era of solar panel usage harnessing power from the sun. Art inspiration in the gardens dates back to Rock City’s early days as well, with Frieda’s creation of Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village. In recent months, there has been a re-imagining of whimsical pathways set by original masonry and glasswork, an intricately carved stone troll and magical portals to the next enchantment. Then at the heart of Rock City’s legacy is its foundational mission with an ultimate focus on people, to create memories worth repeating for everyone who encounters this place.

PEOPLE

Rock City has a 90-year history of creating memories worth repeating for our guests and our partners. This mission of placing people and their shared experiences at the forefront of our 4th generation family-owned company, has given us the inspiration and ability to be a consistent leader in Innovation, Sustainability, and Art, while finding new ways to enhance and share Rock City Gardens with millions of people for over 90 years. Thank you for spending time at Rock City and creating your own memories worth repeating!

Whether we are focused on innovating new solutions, saving what we love through sustainability and stewardship, or allowing the inspiration of the natural beauty around us to shine through artistic endeavors, Rock City is all about people and their experiences as they discover and explore this enchanted place.

Come visit throughout our 90th anniversary year as we continue to share the Enchantment of Rock City Gardens…
Rock City Founders, Garnet and Frieda Carter
Rock City 4th generation owner Doug Chapin and his father Bill Chapin
Frieda Carter
Solar Arbor partnership with epb.

SUSTAINABILITY

Rock City has a 90-year history of nurturing and celebrating its natural place through stewardship and sustainability while finding ways to enhance and share the gardens and support and care for the people that enjoy them.

Since Rock City’s beginning when Frieda Carter cultivated native plants and wildflowers to create the spectacular gardens, sustainability has been at the core of all we do.

Rock City is proud to partner with EPB to harvest the sun with our innovative garden solar arbor that powers our Welcome Plaza.

Come visit throughout our 90th anniversary year as we continue to steward this beautiful place…

INNOVATION

Rock City has a 90-year history of entrepreneurship and trail-blazing that has created a model of innovation emulated world-wide from pioneering new experiences to sustaining timeless marketing campaigns.

In the 1920s when a slow down with construction meant that his golf course project was delayed, Garnet Carter turned that challenge into an opportunity with the innovation of the world’s first miniature golf experience, Tom Thumb Golf.

Rock City’s legacy of innovation continues today as we partner with Elemi Architecture and Branch Technology to create a hypoallergenic, 3D printed contemplative garden space for families at Erlanger Children’s Hospital.

Come visit throughout our 90th anniversary year as we continue to find inspiration and innovation through partnerships and creative opportunities…

Garden Space Development, Erlanger Children’s Hospital
Garnet Carter, Tom Thumb Golf
Ibsen the Troll, Will Jackson
Mother Goose Village, Jessie Sanders

ART

Rock City has a 90-year history of inspiring and engaging artists to create original artwork for Rock City Gardens and a rich legacy of supporting the arts in our community through partnerships and patronage.

In the 1940s, Rock City hired Atlanta artist Jessie Sanders to create glow-in-the-dark scenes from popular fairy tales to feature in Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village.

The re-imagining of the Hall of the Mountain King portion of Rock City’s Enchanted Trail features a larger than life figurative sculpture allowing artful passage to curious guests.

Come visit throughout our 90th anniversary year to watch our Hall of the Mountain King installation continue to unfold…