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Chattanooga

Country
United States
State
Tennessee
City
Chattanooga
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

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Places to Visit
How to Reach

By car

When a speed limit is not posted, assume that it is 35mph, especially when downtown or in a residential area.

By bus

The Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority, better known as CARTA, provides one of the easiest way to move around downtown Chattanooga via a free electric shuttle that operates between the Holiday Inn Choo-Choo and Tennessee Aquarium, along with new service to Chattanooga's North Shore shops and Coolidge Park.

Key places to visit
Rock City, Ruby Falls, Incline Railway


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Places to Visit

Rock City  Located on Lookout Mountain, Rock City has been an attraction in some form or another since 1823. However, not until Garnet Carter, inventor of Miniature Golf, and his wife opened Rock City Gardens in 1932 it was not a huge draw. Carter hired Clark Byers to travel the nation's highways, offering to paint farmer's barns in exchange for letting them paint "See Rock City" on them. Rock City Gardens features a 4100ft walking trail, a 90 foot waterfall, a 180-foot long suspension bridge, and Lover's Leap where you can "see seven states." Open year round, except Christmas Day, at 8:30AM. From the middle of November until the end of the year, they have the "Enchanted Garden of Lights" from 6PM-9PM which features local school/church groups performing and the entire gardens decorated in holiday lights. Adult admission is $12.95, Children ages 3 - 12 are $6.95, 2 and under are free. Combination tickets in form of Double play (Save $3) - Ruby falls + rock city for $31.90 ($16.90 for children, ages 3-12), or Triple play (Save $4) covering Rock City, Ruby Falls, and the Incline are available at any of the three attractions for 44.90$ ($22.90 for Children, ages 3-12).

Ruby Falls  This thundering 145 foot waterfall inside Lookout Mountain has been a popular attraction since 1929. Named after the founder's wife, Ruby Falls was found by Leo Lambert in 1923 as he and his corporation were drilling a shaft to open the historic Lookout Mountain Cave to the public. During the drilling, a small opening was located and after a 17 hour trip, Leo emerged with tales of beautiful rock formations and a spectacular waterfall. Parking is on-site, attended and free. Allow approximately two hours for your visit. Those with claustrophobia may be a little unnerved by the elevator ride into the caverns. No strollers are permitted and the cave tour is not wheelchair accessible. Ruby Falls is open from 8AM-8PM (except Christmas Day), the attraction is weatherproof and 60 degrees year round. Adult admission is $16.95, Children ages 3 - 12 are $8.95, 2 years and under are free. Combination tickets covering Rock City, Ruby Falls, and the Incline are available at any of the three attractions.


Incline Railway In November of 1895, the Incline in its second incarnation made its first ascent up Lookout Mountain on what is the steepest passenger incline in the world. Renovation in that was completed in 1986 has brought the station back to its original splendor. Traveling at a 72.7% grade, the trolley-styled cars pass at the midpoint of the 10 minute one-way trip. After arriving at the upper station, a short walk will take you to Point Park where a spectacular view of Mocassin Bend and the Tennessee River await you. Adult admission, round trip, is $14. Children, ages 3 - 12, $7. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the Incline is open from 8:30AM-9:30PM; During April, May, September, and October from 9AM-6PM; and from November through March, from 10AM-6PM.
 

Chattanooga Choo Choo  Erected in 1908 with an 85 foot cast iron dome rising majestically over the lobby, the Terminal Station served thousands of passengers until 1970 when the trains stopped running. In 1973, after a 4 million dollar renovation, it was reopened to the public as a hotel. Authentic private rail cars were furnished as unique sleeping quarters. Holiday Inn welcomed the hotel into its family in 1989 after another 4 million dollars were invested. The dome is decorated with magnificent colors and it is stunning when lit up at night, and the Choo Choo Holiday Inn is preparing to enter its second century as a premier hotel and convention center. The private rail car rooms are still available, and there are a variety of shops and dining options on the 35 acre complex. While there, see the worlds largest model railroad setup showing a scale version of the Chattanooga valley, an authentic 1880's steam engine (the only one of its type in the area), and the beautifully restored Terminal Station.
 

Tennessee Aquarium
Tennessee Aquarium as seen from the Market Street Bridge. The Tennessee Aquarium features two buildings, "Ocean Journey" and "River Journey." The River Journey focuses on freshwater environments, carrying you through mountains forests, swamps, valley and lakes, both in the Tennessee Valley and throughout the world. Some of the special attractions are the seahorses and otters. The Ocean Journey building, a recent addition to the campus, offers opportunity to touch stingrays, visit a butterfly garden and see sharks. Both buildings stand out in the skyline with their pitched glass roofs and have become a popular landmark for photographers. Expect to tour for at least two and a half hours, more during the summer. During the summer, hours are extended and tickets are time-stamped. Purchasing tickets in advance during the summer months (or even all year) is an extremely good idea. Not only are they cheaper, you can also plan on an entry time. Combination tickets for the Aquarium, IMAX and Creative Discovery Museum are available. First admittance at 10AM and last at 6PM, outside of summer months.
 

Right Time to Visit

January - March
November - December

Temperature