For over thirty years I have been visiting the Chattanooga Choo Choo and I have always wanted to stay in the old Pullman Passenger Train cars that have been converted into hotel rooms. This past week I was finally able to check that off my bucket list.
We had planned on leaving Thursday morning for Nashville, but a last-minute business appointment was cancelled and we left Wednesday with Chattanooga in our sights. Last minute reservations online got us a train room…I was ecstatic!
The rooms are incredibly nice, although little wear and tear on the 70 year old train cars was visible. Each of the cars is split into two rooms leaving an area much larger than a standard hotel room. The bath facilities are a little tight and occupy the space the original toilets were. It had a queen size bed and a trundle-bed with a flat screen television. There are no phones in the room so any requests are made by text to the front desk.
The main building was opened in 1909 and the history is fantastic. The train cars sit where the old platforms are located and gardens have been planted instead of tracks. It was a very relaxing evening after we had dinner downtown. While my wife read, I played with the camera making long exposure shots in the dim light. It was definitely worth the stay….
The Seamour Shavin House is the only Frank Lloyd Wright structure in the state of Tennessee. We made a quick stop here on our way home from Chattanooga. It is a private residence so this is as far as I trespassed.
The house was commissioned in 1949 and completed in 1952. Both the exterior and interior of the house use primarily crab orchard stone and treated Louisiana cypress wood. The stonework is reminiscent of Fallingwater. The house is sits on top of a hill to take advantage of the view of the Tennessee River and Lookout Mountain.
The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga is, simply put: Awesome! I have only been once before many years ago after it first opened and it has already doubled in size. It is located on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The Aquarium is split into 2 sections, The River Journey and The Ocean Journey. Each part is housed in a separate building.
We started with the River Journey. The inside of the building greets you with a very long escalator that takes you to the top of the structure where you are met by playful river otters. This is the top and the start of the giant tank that goes all the way down four levels. The center of the building has ramps that descend to each level so that forty feet of water is visible. At each level there are exhibits on each side that are independent of the main tanks. All the exhibits here are from a typical local stream or lake, everything from fish to snakes to alligators.
The second building is the Ocean Journey and again you start at the top where you can pet sting rays and sharks and visit the live butterfly room. I had not been in this part before.
It is well worth the money and trip. It was $26.95 each and for $8.00 more we just bought a family membership…..just in case!
I remember vividly as a kid always seeing the barns all over the United States that said “See Rock City.” Over the last 30 years I have been probably a dozen times and it always seem to get a bit better.
It had been about 10 years since my last visit and they have added a bunch of new stuff including a restaurant and a bird show. The bird show was awesome and all the birds there have been hurt or are unable to be returned to the wild for some reason or another. We got to see a Bald Eagle up close and also a Horned Owl.
Rock City was built in the early 1900’s as a garden and is a fairly easy hike through the paths, rocks, gardens and Gnomes.
If you are ever near Chattanooga it is well worth the stop!