The Group Travel Leader

JUN 2017

The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.

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GROUP TRAVEL LE ADER T H E including Barbecue and Bluegrass in late May and early June, which features performances by nationally known bluegrass music artists. S E E I N G R O C K C I T Y In the 1930s, the owner of an outdoor park and garden in Chattanooga had a brilliant idea: He would send a painter around the country offering to put a fresh coat of paint on roadside barns provided that the barns' owners would allow him to paint "See Rock City" on the roof in large white letters. The marketing campaign took off — at one time there were more than 900 Rock City barns around the country — and cemented Rock City as an iconic American tourist attraction. Today, there are still 62 Rock City barns in the country, as far north as Michigan and as far south as Texas. But groups that make the trip to Rock City on Lookout Mountain, just six miles from downtown Chattanooga, will find that the experi- ence is about much more than quirky marketing. "We have very unique botanical and geological formations — huge, massive rock formations," said Meagan Jolley, public relations manager for Rock City. "It's 13 acres, and there are more than 400 species of flowers and plants. It takes about an hour and a half to walk through at a leisurely pace." A walk through Rock City will treat visitors to some extraordinary sights and experiences. Besides seeing the gardens and rock formations, guests can walk across the Swing Along Bridge, which spans 200 feet over a chasm, and stand at the base of a 140-foot-high waterfall. Perhaps most famous is the lookout point at the top of the mountain, affectionately known as Lover's Leap, where up to seven states are visible on a clear day. Rock City features several gift shops, a fudge kitchen, an indoor restaurant at the beginning of the trail and an outdoor restaurant near Lover's Leap, which features modern Southern cuisine. Photos courtesy Dollywood A DOLLYWOOD CRAFT DEMONSTRATION THIS PARK IS SO REPRESENTATIVE OF TRUE AMERICANA AND THE HISTORY OF THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS THAT WERE SO KEY IN THE HISTORY OF THE SOUTH — P E T E O W E N S , D O L L Y W O O D DOLLYWOOD'S FIRE CHASER EXPRESS

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