Posted by: RasmaSandra | April 16, 2019

Chattanooga Tennessee


Our armchair travels have taken up to the U.S. state of Tennessee. This is a landlocked state that is bordered by eight states – Kentucky and Virginia to the north, North Carolina to the east, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to the south, and Arkansas and Missouri along the Mississippi River to the west.

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Our travels begin in Chattanooga in southeastern Tennessee. In an idyllic setting along the Tennessee River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

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One of the most popular parks is the Tennessee Riverpark which begins at the Chickamauga Dam and stretches its way for the next ten miles along the Tennessee River to downtown Chattanooga.

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The park is well-lit and has beautifully landscaped grounds You can come here to relax and enjoy the river views There are six fishing piers and a boat ramp from which you can get out on the river by boat or canoe. You can see different species of birds. All along the paths in the park are public art pieces.

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Coolidge Park is located on the north shore of Chattanooga and is a popular waterfront park. There are wide open spaces, great views of the Tennessee River and the Walnut Street Bridge. It is part of the Tennessee Riverwalk.

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The historic 100-year-old carousel here is one of the park’s best well-known features. There is also an interactive water fountain and a rock climbing area.

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The Walnut St. Bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge in the world. It connects the north shore of the Tennessee River to downtown Chattanooga. It was built in 1890 and stands 2,376 feet high and was the first non-military bridge across the Tennessee River. It was closed to all motor vehicles in 1978 and today hosts a variety of events like Wine Over Water a wine tasting event and the Riverbend Country Music Festival.

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Lookout Mountain is a mountain ridge that is located along the southern border of Tennessee with awesome views of the Chattanooga Valley.

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Here you’ll find Ruby Falls, one of the world’s most amazing cave waterfalls. It’s the largest American underground waterfall. Guided tours lead you through the cavern with unusual rock formations.

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Outside you can have fantastic views from the Lookout Mountain Tower.

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Take a ride on the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway which played an important role in the Civil War. At the top of the mountain are sites where famous battles were fought. Of interest are places of natural beauty like the Natural Bridge, Lula Lake, Whiteside Park, and others.

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The Tennessee Aquarium has amazing sea creatures like Volkswagen-sized catfish, giant freshwater stingrays, powerful Arapaima, and strange-looking Wallago catfish. You can also see electrifying jellyfish and playful otters.

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The main focus of the aquarium is to introduce people to the above and underwater life of Tennessee which has some of the richest freshwater fauna in the country with over 320 fish species. The aquarium has two buildings where visitors can follow the water path from its mountain source to the sea.

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You’ll find the Raccoon Mountain Caverns just outside of Chattanooga. This mysterious cave system has over 5 ½ miles of passageways.

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Visitors can choose to take the Crystal Palace Tour for 45-minutes or one of the popular and exciting cave expeditions. Some of the adventures here include panning for gemstones, taking a go-cart ride, enjoying a campfire and thrilling to the views of the Lookout and Raccoon Mountains.

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Hunter Museum of American Art is located in the Bluff View Art District. It sits on an 80-foot bluff with great views of downtown Chattanooga and the Tennessee River. The art collection is housed in a 1904 Classical Revival mansion that was designed by the son of the  20th US President James A. Garfield. Many of the works of art come from the Hudson River School. You can see American impressionism, modernism, and more. There are different educational programs for both children and adults.

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The Bluff View Art District is a historic area with many art galleries, coffee shops, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, courtyards, and gardens.

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The Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center is home to different kinds of plants and animals. The Visitor Center has a library, a canoe training area, and play areas for children like the Red Wolf area and Snake Tale Alley.

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Here you’ll find about 14 miles of hiking trails that take you through meadows and mountain slopes. There are a blue heron boardwalk, a butterfly garden, the Mollie Nelson Garden, and the Arboretum with examples of plants native to the southeastern U.S. The center also features educational programs and tours.

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Audubon Acres and McClellan Island are Chattanooga’s oldest wildlife sanctuaries. The 130 acre Elise Chapin Wildlife Sanctuary at Audubon Acres is the headquarters of the Chattanooga Audubon Society and includes a Visitors Center, the South Chickamauga Creek, the Cherokee Arboretum,

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and the Spring Frog Cabin.

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There are over four miles of walking and hiking trails. McClellan Island or McClellan Sanctuary is officially known as Audubon island located in the middle of the Tennessee River. It is accessed only by water.

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Gallery 1401 can be found in the heart of the city’s Southside neighborhood. It was established in 1998 and represents over 40 well-established nationally and internationally known artists. You can see collections that range from contemporary realism and impressionism to classical styles.

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There are artworks made from paper, board, glass, and sculptures. Visitors delight in seeing original oils, watercolors, collage, bronze, drawings, photos, and hand-blown glass. The gallery also plays host to celebrations and special events.

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Take a unique look at Chattanooga from the Southern Bell River Boat, “The Pride of the South”. It was built in 1985 and has a capacity of 450 passengers. It offers cruises every day. The cruises are narrated and include lunch. You can enjoy the scenery and learn about local history. Special cruises include the Pilot House Tour, the Sunset Tour and various Dinner cruises with music and dancing  The riverboat can be hired for group events.

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The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum was founded as part of the National Railway Historical Society in 1960 to save historic steam locomotives. The museum includes a reconstructed rail like that runs a heritage railroad. Passengers can take a ride through the Whiteside Tunnel which is also known as the Missionary Ridge Tunnel. Among the historic steam locomotives are the Southern Railway 4501 and the Baldwin 349. The museum offers school field trips and hosts birthday parties.

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The Chattanooga Market is an art, crafts, and farmers’ market in the open-air First Tennessee Pavilion on Carter Street. It is open every Sunday from April to December. It also hosts weekend events like celebrity chef competitions, the Holiday Market art event, Oktoberfest, Bluegrass celebrations and more.

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The Chattanooga Zoo is a 13-acre zoo in Warner Park. There are several exhibits with one of the most popular Himalayan Passage, hosting the world’s largest indoor red panda exhibit. Also in this exhibit are Hanuman langurs and snow leopards.

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The Gombe Forest is home to many chimpanzees. It’s an indoor/outdoor facility with the Donovan Interpretive Center.

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The Tennessee Stillhouse is a micro-brewery and tasting room in downtown Chattanooga.

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It is located opposite the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo.

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It was the first legal distillery in the city and is part lab and part museum. There are tours available. They use old whiskey barrels from pre-Prohibition times.

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The International Towing and Recovery Museum displays restored antique equipment form the tow truck industry and antique wreckers. You can also see related equipment, tools, toys, and pictorial histories.

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It includes the Wall of the Fallen a memorial that is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the line of service.




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  1. I’ve never lived there but it is beautiful , thank you for the lovely tour!

    • Glad you enjoyed the tour. Many lovely places all over the U.S. I was pleasantly surprised how beautiful Chattanooga was since I knew nothing about it and only knew that song the Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

      • I’ve been to Tn several times but never Chattanooga that’s a great song! 😊

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