When I started planning our trip to Destin, FL for spring break, I started searching the map for a stopover point. I was unable to secure a campsite at the ever popular Topsail State Park for the entire week so I had a few days to plan elsewhere and Chattanooga seemed to jump out at me as a great place to spend a few days.
Thanks to the awesome knowlege of an amazing Facebook Group of fellow RV family travelers, our few days in Chattanooga were filled with fun for all of us! We had no trouble filling our days with yummy food, awesome trails, and tourist attractions. And as a bonus, we got in some family time with my cousin and her family who lives a few hours south of Chattanooga in Atlanta.
We visited downtown Chattanooga on a beautiful spring day. The city was buzzing and the parks were filled with people anxious to get out and enjoy the warm sun after the winter. We found parking easily on a midday Sunday by the Riverwalk area of downtown. I was given the tip that if we get there before church gets out, we will beat the crowds. This was very much true. We wandered around and the girls had fun posing with all the statues outside of the Hunter Museum of American Art-a place I think I would have enjoyed checking out if we would have had more time.
A major atraction in the area was the Tennessee Aquarium. I was a little hesitant to splurge on the cost of admission ($114 for the four of us-$34.95/adult and $21.95/child at the time this was published) but the girls really enjoyed the afternoon spent here. This particular aquarium was not part of the reciporical zoos and aquariums that we can visit at free or reduced admission with our local zoo membership. We spent three hours walking through the exhibits. I appreciated the set up of the auquarium with salt water exhibits in one building and fresh water on the other. It made it easy to follow. I also liked how you walked through the exhibits in a pre-determined order-like a route through the aquarium.
We made it to one of the short educational programs that were offered throughout the day. I do think the set up of the museum does make it difficult to get to a program if it isn’t “in order” of how you are walking. The girls had a chance to ask a diver in the shark tank questions about sea animals and they learned a little more about sharks and shark attacks-something Elsie was very concerned about with our upcoming trip to beach. We also saw quite a few unique animals that we hadn’t seen like that long-necked turtle.
Touch tanks are always a favorite with our girls. This aquarium had two-sting rays in the salt water building and lake sturgeon in the fresh water building.
Just a short walk from the aquarium is the pedestrian bridge across the Tennessee River which leads over to Coolidge Park.
The bridge was busy with walkers, bikers, and runners. There were a lot of dog walkers, which my girls loved! It took way longer than it should have to cross the bridge because my girls asked EVERYONE if they could pet thier dogs. Thanks to a recommendation from Boxy Colonial on the Road we hit up Clumpie’s Ice Cream.The line was long but we waited and it was worth it! They charge based on ounces of ice cream so you get to tell them exactly how much you want. Well I had NO idea how much ice cream an ounce was and we made it out of there spending right around $10 for 4 hand scooped ice cream cones.
We left Clumpies and made our way down to the park to try to find a place to relax and enjoy our ice cream. The girls enjoyed thier ice cream, people watching, and doing gymnastics in the open grass. They also were VERY impressed with a talented woman who was practicing yoga in the sun.
But most of all, they enjoyed the carousel that sits in the park.
I was hoping this post would include all the attractions we hit while in the Chattanooga Area but I think the rest will wait for another day. . . because really, there is SO much to do in Chattanooga.