Thursday, April 21, 2011


Chattanooga is an interesting town on the Tennessee / Georgia border on the Tennessee River. Chattanooga has been a major town since pioneer times due to its location and the river. During the Civil War it was a communication, railroad and river traffic center. That is why the North and South fought over it so hard. This is evident by the Lookout Mountain and Chickamauga National Battlefields being in the area.

I will have to say when I decided to spend a few days there I had the impression that the historic district was laid out along the river. Not true. These days things like the Tennessee Aquarium and the Hunter Museum of Modern Art are attractions close to the river. On the north bank is the Delta Queen paddle wheeler which was retired and is now a hotel on the river. I had thought about staying on the boat as an experience but after seeing the Delta Queen I wasn't as impressed with its upkeep and am glad that I didn't chose to stay there. The area around the Delta Queen has some quaint shops and there is a park with an old carousel near the boat.

One area we enjoyed was the Bluff View Art District. There are some Bed and Breakfast houses plus some restaurants and a sculpture garden overlooking the river. All of the sculptures are for sale I've been told. Among the buildings are also other sculptures. Also on the bluffs are the Hunter Museum of American Art.

We checked out the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. You can eat or sleep in old railroad cars. From the garage across the street the free electric trolley will take you up and down the main street down to the TN Aquarium.

A trip up to Lookout Mountain is worth the view. There is Point Park where Civil War artillery was fired and several memorials. The homes on the mountain are historic and beautiful. You can also visit Ruby Falls( a waterfall inside the mountain) and Rock City. Maybe you have seen the barns with the signs on top advertising Rock City. You can even take the Incline Railway a mile up the mountain at a 72.7% grade.That will give you a rush. You can even tandem hand glide from the mountain.

There is a river boat, the Southern Belle which will take you on lunch, dinner or just sightseeing tours on the Tennessee River. You can also see the barges that go up and down the river carrying all types of freight.

For the kids the Aquarium, the Zoo and the Creative Discovery Museum. There is also the Tennessee Valley Railroad and the International Towing & Recovery Museum, the only one in the world.

For the shoppers there is the historic district shops and Hamilton Place mall. It is the largest one in TN. Of course there are lots of places to stay and great things to eat. BBQ is a big thing in the area.

The photos are of the Hunter Museum of American Art, a cannon at Point Park and a view of the Tennesee River, Moccasin Bend and downtown Chattanooga.

Chattanooga is about 104 miles from Knoxville, 105 miles from Atlanta and about 130 miles from Nashville. It is on I-75 and I-24 so it is still a major transport center.

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