Take a cave tour and see the breathtaking underground falls.
Credit: Courtesy Ruby Falls

Located on Lookout Mountain, just a stone’s throw from Chattanooga, is the popular Tennessee attraction known as Ruby Falls. What is it, and where did it get its name? According to Ruby Falls, it’s “the nation's tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public. Discovered in 1928, Leo Lambert and a team of excavators found a breathtaking waterfall deep within Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Lambert named the falls after his wife, Ruby, and opened the Chattanooga attraction to the public in 1929.” It’s a popular spot to visit year-round, but the area is surrounded by gorgeous red and gold foliage in the autumn months, which is why we’re naming it a can't-miss Southern spot come fall.

The 145-foot-tall natural wonder welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, who come to tour the caves, see the waterfall and accompanying LED light show, and experience zip-lining adventures over the treetops and through the forest. There are also plenty of overlooks (and photo opportunities) where you can take in the surrounding Tennessee vistas. Don’t miss the views from Lookout Mountain Tower and Blue Heron Overlook for autumnal panoramas as far as the eye can see.

It’s an astonishing natural wonder, and if you’re in or near Chattanooga, it’s a must-see. (If you’re in the mood for a road trip, it’s also well worth your time.) Because it’s a cave feature, Ruby Falls says that it provides a perfect visit no matter the weather: “No rain and always a nice 60 degrees at Ruby Falls!”

Ruby Falls has been welcoming visitors for 89 years, and it’s as amazing now as it ever has been. Isn’t it time you took a trip to the falls this fall? Learn more and plan your trip at rubyfalls.com. While you’re at it, check out this Southern wonder: the world’s largest instrument located in a Virginia cave!

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Have you ever visited Ruby Falls? What’s your favorite natural wonder found in the South?