Your Holiday Guide to a Hidden Mountain Gem

Ruby Falls is Home to Thundering Waterfall Views, Scenic Guided Cave Walks, and a Charming Historic Castle

Even though it’s just minutes from downtown Chattanooga, this natural attraction is truly a world apart. Head deep inside Lookout Mountain, where Ruby Falls, home of the famous underground waterfall, creates a spectacular setting to recharge and savor the holiday season.  

Nature, history, and adventure intersect at this not so little mountain escape.

A few of the perks drawing visitors this time of year include family-friendly, guided Cave Walks to see the waterfall, spectacular views from atop historic Lookout Mountain Tower, sweet treats in the cafe (in a castle!), and beautiful classic holiday decorations. Best of all, even if the weather outside is frightful, the cave maintains a cozy 60-degree temperature year-round!

 Cave adventures begin by boarding a glass-front elevator which descends 260 feet into Lookout Mountain, delivering visitors to their guide at the entrance of the half-mile long, paved cavern trail leading to the 145-foot waterfall. Guided Cave Walks are available daily, and special experience options including an after-hours Lantern Tour on Friday nights and an early-access Gentle Walking Tour are offered on select dates.

Holiday festivities kick off after Thanksgiving, on November 24, and continue through December. Stop by to visit Santa on Saturdays and Sundays, November 25 – December 18, for a special meet and greet with professional photos available for purchase. Write your Christmas wish on an ornament and add it to the Forest of Wishes, where thousands of heartfelt holiday aspirations create a colorful display of hope and good cheer. Visit on December 30 and take part in Discovery Day, celebrating the 94th anniversary of the discovery of Ruby Falls.

Stay for a casual meal, local craft beer, and holiday treats by the café’s cozy stone fireplace in historic Ruby Falls Castle. Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts and Christmas keepsakes at the Village Gift Shop.

Cave adventures require advance purchase of timed-entry tickets. Ensure ticket availability by purchasing your tickets online several days in advance. To buy tickets, see Santa’s schedule and more, visit

Holiday Traditions at the Tennessee Aquarium

Start creating your holiday memories at the Tennessee Aquarium and IMAX 3D Theater. Between November 25 through the end of the year, Holidays Under the Peaks will take you through a fun-filled underwater wonderland. Holiday music and decor will fill the River Journey...

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