Itchy feet took us to Chattanooga last week. And we could not have chosen a more perfect week to go weather wise! The temperature was in the seventies every day except for Friday when it was in the low 60s and rainy.
We parked the RV at Harrison Bay State Park. It turned out to be a little tight with the RV due to the slopes and trees, but we had a fantastic spot with a view of colorful forest. Because we were about a half hour from town, and had lots to see, we did not spend a lot of time sitting around. It was interesting that most of the campsites had campfires going all the time. I think a lot of local people use the camp!
Monday we checked out the visitors center and planned our week. We drove along the river (check out the train going over the bridge!) The city has a revitalized riverfront, including Bluff View art district and sculpture garden. Hunter Museum is also along the river and architecturally has three distinctive styles: The classic 1905 mansion (original), 1975 East Wing with stark lines, and the wavelike curves and glass in the 2005 West Wing.
Chattanooga Choo Choo
We were a little disappointed in the Choo Choo, as all of the old cars were hotel rooms, so we could not explore them as we thought. Restaurants and entertainment were only open in the evening. The gardens were in winter mode, but I could imagine in spring and summer, they are probably just gorgeous with colors. I guess that is the trade off for going in the off season. We were impressed by Porkers for lunch…..and Paul even convinced the owner he knew all about the football games going on…quite a feat for one who is completely not interested in sports. Sometimes I wonder if it is not about the food, but actually about the interaction at these southern barbeque joints!
Tuesday and Wednesday we returned to Lookout Mountain…..what fantastic views!! We took a picnic lunch each day and found beautiful sites for our lunch. The fall colors were completely awesome! Pictures do not do them justice….but this tree was just too much! It had every color all in the same tree!!
We rode this railway car up “America’s most amazing mile” on the side of the mountain. The World’s Steepest Passenger Railway, it has a 72% grade at its steepest part!
Friday we chose to visit the Aquarium….a good choice due to the rain. It was a fabulous place to visit. One building had river fish, the other ocean.
We then drove out to the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. We drove the self-guided auto tour, and of course got a little lost, but not for long. A display of the Claud Fuller Collection of Military Shoulder Arms in the visitors center was really interesting. Some dated back to the late 1500’s
We plan to return sometime, most likely during the summer, so we can ride on the railroad and take a riverboat trip.