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Looking for new ideas for family vacay in Chattanooga

Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Level Contributor
23 posts
Looking for new ideas for family vacay in Chattanooga

This will actually be my fourth trip to Chattanooga, but my first with only ONE daughter to entertain. My 18-yo just graduated from high school and has decided she has “aged out” of Dad’s family vacay. Now I just have a 13-year old in tow and have never been to the North Shore. I only mention it because I don’t know what I don’t know. Is there anything fun on EITHER side of the river that I haven’t done now that I don’t have to thread the needle and try to entertain two kids that are 5 years apart.

For sentimental reasons we ALWAYS stay at the ChooChoo, so that’s our starting point. We ALWAYS go to Rock City (love that place) and usually go to Ruby Falls, but I might be willing to let that go by the wayside if there are other fun things to do suggested here. We will skip the TN Aquarium this time since we’ll have already been to Aquarium of the Smokies (we call this split trip “Gatlinooga”), but might take their river cruise. I also haven’t done any of the Civil War stuff, which might be fun for my younger daughter since she seems to be a budding history buff like her Ol’ Dad. So, short story made long, am I missing anything kid-friendly by not crossing the river, and are there any other things on either side that you’d suggest. Nothing is too big or small..grateful for any suggestions from people who’ve vacationed with their kids in Chattanooga. Thanks in advance!

14 replies to this topic
Tennessee
Destination Expert
for Chattanooga, Blowing Rock, North Carolina Mountains
Level Contributor
9,535 posts
152 reviews
1. Re: Looking for new ideas for family vacay in Chattanooga

There is much history in our area and should be explored.

A short distance from Rock City is Point Park and the the Museum about the battles in the area.

Chickamauga,Ga offer much Civil War History also.

The Northshore is fun. Walk across the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, visit the eclectic shops, have a snack at Julie Darling Donuts, Good Dog or Beast and Barrel, visit Coolidge Park, ride the Antique Carousel and walk back to Bluff View Art District.

You can drive to the Tennessee Rail Museum and ride the trains, Chattanooga Ducks, Greyline Hop on/off Tour, Ghost Tour or there are History Tours.

The TN Aquarium is fabulous!! One of a kind and so different from others you have experienced.

www.chattanoogafun.com

Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Level Contributor
23 posts
2. Re: Looking for new ideas for family vacay in Chattanooga

Been to the Tennessee Aquarium all three times and agree that it is magnificent. All the other suggestions are unexplored territory-I’m making a mental note of them all. Thanks!

Tennessee
Destination Expert
for Chattanooga, Blowing Rock, North Carolina Mountains
Level Contributor
9,535 posts
152 reviews
3. Re: Looking for new ideas for family vacay in Chattanooga

Come see us! Something new all the time.

Chattanooga...
Destination Expert
for Chattanooga
Level Contributor
829 posts
55 reviews
4. Re: Looking for new ideas for family vacay in Chattanooga

Agree with Queenie- go to the northshore/Coolidge and play in the fountain and ride the carousel- never too old. The aquarium boat has been “retired” but the duck boat is great. Definitely go to point park, enjoy the beautiful views. Ride the incline if you haven’t- your daughters are lucky to have a dad that wants to make sure they have a great time on vacation. Love gatlinooga!!

Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Level Contributor
23 posts
5. Re: Looking for new ideas for family vacay in Chattanooga

Thanks a bunch!

Athens, Alabama
Level Contributor
4,137 posts
438 reviews
6. Re: Looking for new ideas for family vacay in Chattanooga

If you like history I would highly recommend the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center to see the Fuller Gun Collection. It's an incredible collection of guns. The visitors center also has a movie that runs maybe 25 minutes that's worth catching too. There's Racoon Mountain Caverns, TVA's Racoon Mountain Pump Storage Facility and a short drive north to Sweetwater to our favorite cave tour The Lost Sea Adventure. Mayfield Dairy offers tours of their facility in Athens if you decide to go to Lost Sea. If you like amusement parks Lake Winnepesaukah (Lake Winnie as most call it) is a nice small, locally owned park just on the outskirts of town. Not too pricey, clean, decent food and a nice collection of rides including some classics like the Canonball Roller Coaster, the 1916 carousel. antique cars and some one of kind rides like the boat chute and the Wacky Factory dark ride.

Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Level Contributor
23 posts
7. Re: Looking for new ideas for family vacay in Chattanooga

I've wanted to go to Chickamauga since our first trip in ‘12, but we got rained out on our last full day, and I’ve overscheduled all our trips since then with prepaid tickets to other attractions. That one is a guarantee this time! That’s why I decided to just pick people’s brains this time and go with no set events..just wing it and treat it like, well, a vacation :-)

Thanks for the ideas!

Edited: June 16, 2018, 3:55 am
Athens, Alabama
Level Contributor
4,137 posts
438 reviews
8. Re: Looking for new ideas for family vacay in Chattanooga

I left out the International Towing and Recovery Museum. We really enjoyed that one too. There's a pretty cool looking memorial to Andrews Raiders (Civil War) in the Chattanooga National Cemetery (largest cemetery in TN). The Raiders were the first recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor resulting from their efforts in the great locomotive chase.There's a bronze casting of the likeness of The General locomotive on the monument. In the same cemetery you'll also find a monument to 186 German POWs who died in POW camps during WWII. There are no Civil War veterans buried in the cemetery.

Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Level Contributor
23 posts
9. Re: Looking for new ideas for family vacay in Chattanooga

Yeah, we went to the IT&R Museum the very first time to get pictures of the kids with the antique wreckers for my Dad-of all things, he’s a wrecker mechanic that owns his own towing and recovery business here in Tuscaloosa. You’ve given me a lot to work with; thanks again!

Chattanooga...
Destination Expert
for Chattanooga
Level Contributor
829 posts
55 reviews
10. Re: Looking for new ideas for family vacay in Chattanooga

Fuller is first class if you care about firearm history- Chickamauga is a unique place- somber, informative, interesting and beautiful.

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