Spring Break in Chattanooga

Hey Friends! Hope you had a great weekend! We were on spring break last week. It was a fun and relaxing week. We started at our lake house on lake Lanier for the weekend. We had to get some work done around the Lake house to get ready for spring and summer. One day was yard work and one day an organization project of the back storage area, not sure if that one will get on the blog as it was a quick one without pics, but I do have another one for you soon.

But it wasn’t all work because we headed up to Chattanooga for 3 days and it was a blast! I did a girls trip there 2 years ago and always wanted to take the kids back since there’s so much to do with kids, so for this Spring Break adventure, Chattanooga was our destination.

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Only a 2 hour drive from the lake house, we left around 8:45 am on Monday. After a quick stop for lunch we arrived at our first destination, Lookout Mountain, which is home to Ruby Falls, The incline railway, and Rock City.  I have driven past these destinations over the years so it was time we experienced it!

Wanting to approach this attraction the most efficient way, I called Ruby Falls customer service.   I learned that all 3 are on Lookout Mountain and the best way to experience each attraction was to start with an entrance time to Ruby Falls.  Ruby Falls sits at the bottom of Look Out mountain.

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We arrived just in time for our 12 noon entrance time.  We maybe waited 15 minutes before we descended 26 stories down via elevator to the beginning of the tour.  We started with a video and a bit of history of Ruby Falls.

From Wikipedia:

In 1928, Leo Lambert and a team of excavators found a breathtaking waterfall located over 1,120 feet below the surface of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN. Lambert named the falls after his wife, Ruby, and opened the area as a public attraction in 1930.

And then our tour began.  As we walked through the cave our tour guide pointed out various areas and history about Leo Lambert and his team and how they excavated the cave.

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The route was fairly easy to walk. It was under a mile from start to finish,  with a few narrow areas. but nothing you couldn’t get through and easily accessible for all skill levels.  Once we arrived to the Falls and through a door, it was very dark but you could hear the falls. Once everyone was in our tour guide counted to 5 and the Falls lit up with music.  It was truly amazing!

We made our way back and up the elevator with a quick stop in the gift shop and then drove up to Rock City.  Most people head to the incline railway which is the next stop up the mountain, to ride the train up to Rock City, but we decided to drive up.  You can buy a combo ticket for all 3 but I just purchased the 2 event combo ticket.

Rock City was so cool! First up, is walking through the rock formations and the enchanted garden to get to the top.  Rock City sits on top of Lookout Mountain.  The gardens are a 4,100 foot enchanted trail that houses gardens, rock formations, and caves.  It is absolutely beautiful!

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From Wikipedia:

Rock City is a tourist attraction on Lookout Mountain in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Opened in May 1932, the attraction gained prominence after owners Garnet and Frieda Carter hired Clark Byers in 1935 to paint “See Rock City” barn advertisements throughout the Southeast and Midwest United States; Byers painted over 900 barn roofs and walls, in nineteen states, by 1969.

We spent a good 2 hours here just walking through the gardens, exploring the caves, taking pictures and enjoying the view into the Chattanooga Valley.  At the top of the mountain the claim is you can “See Seven States” on a clear day.

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We then headed to check in to our hotel.  We stayed at the Springfield Suites Marriott, a newer hotel that sits on the Tennessee river with a FREE hot breakfast and an indoor pool.  After a long day of walking and exploring, the kids enjoyed the indoor pool and I enjoyed the hot tub.  We ended up staying in that night ordering room service.

Day 2:

We gave the kids the option of either the aquarium or zoo.  After a unanimous vote we headed to the aquarium after breakfast.  The Tennessee aquarium has 2 buildings: The ocean journey and the river journey.  Each one takes about 1.5 – 2 hours to get through. We started at the ocean building first.  The kids favorite part was the butterfly garden.

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We took a break between buildings and headed over the walking bridge to what is called the Northshore.  We found a hot dog place for lunch called Good Dog. The only picture I have is the much needed beer I drank at lunch LOL!!  You can literally get anything you wanted on a hotdog or sausage along with a side of fries.

After lunch we took an Uber over to the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel which used to be a train station. The hotel rooms are in old trains.  While we really couldn’t see in the rooms the kids had fun exploring the old trains that weren’t used as rooms and open to the public.

We then Uber’d back to the aquarium and visited the river journey building.  Another great experience.  Kids favorite was the Otters because their school mascot is an Otter 🙂

Back to the hotel for a quick swim and then off to dinner at Taco Mamaceta for Mexican food.  I had been here on my girls trip and knew the kids would love it.  After dinner we were pooped after a fun filled day and headed back to the hotel.

Day 3:

We decided to just wing it on Wednesday and really had no plan.  Karl had seen a pamphlet at the hotel about an excursion at Tennessee Valley Railroad.  We were all game to check it out.  Only a 15 minute drive from our hotel we headed there after check out.  I must admit, puling into this place seemed a bit scary! But once we got in and over the rail road tracks it is legit!  We purchased our tickets, and waited about 30 minutes for the next train. There are several excursions but we opted for the train ride to East Chattanooga called Missionary Ridge Local or the Local for short.

From Wikipedia:

Missionary Ridge Local begins at our Grand Junction Station and take passengers over four bridges and through the pre-Civil War Missionary Ridge Tunnel. The trip is 55-60 minutes long and includes a turntable demonstration and brief tour of the TVRM restoration shop in East Chattanooga. Breakdown of the 55-minute experience on the Missionary Ridge Local includes, 6-miles round trip, tour guide providing local history throughout the experience, crossing 4 bridges, passing through pre-civil war, hourseshoe-shaped tunnel, Historic turntable demostration, and a brief tour of train restoration shops.  

The turntable demonstration was amazing!  Hopefully you saw it in my stories last week! Upon our return to the train station we headed back to the lake house for the rest of the week.  We did a little bit more work to get ready for boating season and enjoyed family time.

Spring Break was a little bit of work, a lot of fun family time and relaxing! I can’t believe we only have 7 more weeks of school left before school is out for summer!  I am working on a list of 15 things to accomplish before summer break for all of us!!  Stay tuned to the blog for that list coming soon!

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XXOO,

Fran

The post “spring break in Chattanooga” first appeared on Busy Fit Mom Life

 

 

 

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