Rock City's Resident Pass
If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Unless you’re talking about Rock City’s Lookout Mountain Resident Pass, which allows you to see one of the South’s most iconic tourist attractions for FREE (basically).
“When we took ownership in the late ‘80’s, we realized that folks who lived on Lookout Mountain had some very minor inconveniences related to visitors such as seasonal traffic,” says owner Bill Chapin. “I decided that if a resident with a valid local I.D. wanted to visit Rock City, we would let them in free for a lifetime after one ticket was purchased.”
I decided that if a resident with a valid local I.D. wanted to visit Rock City, we would let them in free for a lifetime after one ticket was purchased.
Not surprisingly, the program was an instant hit. Virtually every kid on the Mountain had one in their wallet, many using it as their first photo I.D. “I know kids who used their Rock City Resident Pass as I.D. to get in and out of Jamaica,” laughs Bill.
But membership has declined a bit over the years, with many longtime residents unaware a program still exists. The original program included people in adjoining counties, but today is limited to those living in 30750 or 37350 zip codes. The Resident Pass is not officially listed on Rock City’s website, but they’ve sent postcards and advertised it in local publications such as the Mountain Mirror, says Chapin.
The pass is even valid during special events such as Fairytale Nights and the Enchanted Garden of Lights – a nationally recognized event that welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year. Special event admission is restricted to Sunday through Wednesday. If you’d like to visit during the peak days of Thursday through Saturday, you simply pay an upcharge worth half the ticket price.
The Resident Pass also gives you access to one of Rock City’s latest dining upgrades – Café 7. Opened in 2013, the open-air café at Lover’s Leap allows you to soak in the seven-state view while gnoshing on modern Southern cuisine. It’s especially appealing now when ballads from bluegrass band, Old Time Travelers, are wafting through the dining area for Rock City’s Summer Music Festival.
Once only open on weekends, Café 7 has expanded to daily service, 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. (Memorial Day through Labor Day). During the spring and fall, Café 7 offers Thursday through Sunday service. Starting later this month the bar will remain open until 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday (until Labor Day) and offer selections from the starters and snacks menu.
As if Rock City doesn’t give enough to our community, they’d like to offer a free appetizer or dessert per family to the first 20 Living On Lookout readers who email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submit your name, email and phone number to enter.