A trip to Chattanooga

Last year Mom and I started what we hope will be an annual summer trip with the kids. So, Mom and I took the kids to Chattanooga last week for 3 days. I hadn’t been to Chattanooga in years, and had never really explored the downtown area, which I know has been revitalized as of the last 10 years or so. I was thoroughly impressed with the city and what it has to offer! We packed everything we could in those three days…Incline Railway, Rock CityRuby Falls, Aquarium, IMAX, Coolidge Park carousel and fountains, Chattanooga Choo ChooThe Bluff View Art DistrictThe Passage on the Trail of Tears at Ross’s Landing, and Chattanooga Cupcakes, just to name a few. And there is even more on our list for our next visit…like taking a ride on the Chattanooga Ducks!

I really had no idea how fun Chattanooga is with its southern charm, beautiful mountain views and the Tennessee River ambling right through the bustling downtown area! I love how you can walk everywhere to take it all in. After years of seeing the “See Rock City” signs painted on the top of every barn as you drive through Tennessee, I admit that I expected Rock City to be a cheesy tourist attraction, but I was pleasantly surprised! It was beautiful! I was also very interested to learn that Ruby Falls is privately owned! I guess I expected it to be owned by the state of Tennessee. The family who decided one day “I think I’ll purchase a mountainous cave with a waterfall” is now smiling all the way to the bank!

We also enjoyed walking around the Bluff View Art District with its museums and yummy places to eat, like The Back Inn Cafe. I wouldn’t say it’s super kid-friendly with it’s fine dining and white tablecloths, even though they were very nice to my kids and accomodating. We probably wouldn’t have gone there with the kids, except for the fact that it was a weekday night and we could eat outside, and Mom and I really wanted to try it after it was recommended to us. And, after smelling Tony’s Pasta Shop and Trattoria next door while we we were waiting on our food, I added it to my list of places to eat on a return visit. The art district and its museums, shops and restaurants might be a separate trip for a girls’ weekend or an anniversary weekend sometime in the near future.

I highly recommend this city for a quick getaway. I’ve included the links to some of the attractions I mentioned above so that if you haven’t ever ventured to Chattanooga, it will help you in planning your trip. Here are some photos from our time there. There are more images than I usually post, especially of personal, but I thought posting them would highlight each attraction for those of you who haven’t experienced Chattanooga yet. And I might add that when I go on vacation, I have to be okay taking photos at high noon while my kids are playing out in the full sun. I have to remind myself on occasions like these, that it may not be the perfect lighting, but it is the perfect memory! 😉

waiting for our turn to ride the incline railway
headed up the incline railway to Lookout Mountain
almost to the top!
our reflection in the clouds from the ceiling windows of the railway car
view from the top
Just had to visit the Choo Choo! My son loved Thomas the Train when he was little!
with Nana at the Choo Choo

checking out the huge model railroad exhibit

on the carousel at Coolidge Park

Coolidge Park carousel

the water pad at Coolidge Park

Here we are underneath the walking bridge! I love that it is painted blue! I know where I would be shooting a lot if I lived there!
Delta Queen riverboat – If you look closely you can see the staff sanding the wooden handrails

having a little fun on one of the bridges
the riverboat all lit up after our dinner
I loved this dome near the Hunter American Museum of Art
A closeup of the dome made for interesting composition.
at the butterfly exhibit in the Tennessee Aquarium
a little kissy for the pretty fishy

Luke was all about the sharks!
shark bait
like mother—like daughter

anyone up for some fried catfish…and a lot of it?
nah, we'd rather have a Chattanooga Cupcake

enjoying the hotel's indoor pool

squeezing by at Rock City
on the swinging bridge at Rock City

You can see 6 states from the view atop Lookout Mountain at this point of Rock City.

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