Monday, January 10, 2011


Forgive us for a moment as we leap around the country as we jump from Nevada and back to the Southeast.  Nestled between Lookout and Signal Mountains is Chattanooga, TN. For a lot of people, Chattanooga is known for it's Choo-Choo, or as that city you pass through when you're heading down to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. But Chattanooga deserves a few days (if not more) dedicated to exploring it's wonderful downtown area and the nearby attractions on Lookout Mountain.

Pardon me boys...


A lovely 1:1 scale model of the riverfront
I remember trips to Chattanooga in the 80s with my family and we'd rarely EVER venture downtown.  If you went to the Chattanooga Choo Choo, you didn't dare set foot an inch away from the grounds because of crime, or the perceived threat of crime. Today the downtown area is home to restaurants, museums, an aquarium, IMAX Theater, minor-league baseball stadium and so much more. The Riverfront itself has nice waterworks features where kids (and kids at heart) can splash in the water. There is a nice long greenway to bike, run or jog and various paths to stroll along. There's even a somewhat hidden amphitheater underneath a bridge proving Chattanooga figured out how to use almost every available inch of space along the river.

But Chattanooga didn't stop with developing it's downtown-side of the river.  Take a stroll across the pedestrian bridge to the North Shore, a slightly more funky, eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. There is also a large park, plenty of nice, cool grass to lay out on and a large fountain for more kids to play in. Be sure to stop at Clumpie's Ice Creamery, a local Chattanooga favorite for ice cream treats. Also take notice of the fact that Chattanooga is home to a surprising number of hippies.

In future blog posts I'll dive in to some of the other attractions in the area, like Rock City, the Incline Railroad and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.

Rock City - where human-sized gnomes force
hapless families to enter dangerously
narrow passageways.

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