Chattanooga Adventures

Boy, has it been a while since I blogged! Thank you for sticking with me and checking back in! We have started the school year off with a bang and a whole host of extra-curricular activities. Now that we have figured out our schedule, maybe I can schedule some time for blogging. I have missed writing!
One of our first activities after the start of the school year was a little family vacation/field trip to Chattanooga. What a fun town for a family get-away! Friends had told me previously about what a great spot Chattanooga is for a family vacation, and we fell in love with it!
We stayed at the Residence Inn downtown, which we HIGHLY recommend. It was withing walking distance of the Tennessee Aquarium, the Children’s Discovery Museum, the river walk, and many of the downtown restaurants. The staff was friendly and helpful. It was a little more expensive than the historic hotels, but they are farther away from the attractions we wanted to visit, so we thought it was well worth the extra money.
When we arrived, we parked the car at the hotel and walked over to the Tennessee Aquarium. It was FANTASTIC! First of all, the contemporary architecture of the building is incredible. The aquarium sits on the bank of the Tennessee River, and they have a second floor enclosed balcony with rocking chairs that overlooks the water. I could have sat there all day!
The aquarium is housed in two buildings, one for ocean life and one for river dwellers. Of course, they have the standard sharks and sea turtles and sea horses and rainbow trout, but they also have some of the most interesting animals I have ever seen. Have you ever seen a leafy sea dragon? It is one of God’s most creative creations!
I loved the underwater viewing bubbles that they have. They are so great for allowing kiddos to get up close to the sea life.
PattiGirl was enthralled by the penguins. I have to admit that I was pretty enthralled with them myself!
This is the only shark cage I want to be in!!!
The next day we walked from the hotel to the Creative Discovery Museum. Now, as members of the McWane Center in Birmingham, I had high expectations for this museum.We have been all over the South and used our reciprocal membership privileges to go to many children’s museums. The one in Chattanooga is one of THE BEST that we have seen. They had room after room of fun educational exhibits that engaged kids in learning. They had a fabulous art room with tons of different hands-on activities. Mary Anneliese really enjoyed the ones on printmaking and animated movie creation.
One of the great things about the Creative Discovery Museum was that they had plenty of activities for the little ones, too. Patterson had a ball learning about and playing the musical instruments. And she was so cute doctoring the baby dolls at thee medical clinic.
The next day we headed out to see Rock City, Ruby Falls, and to ride the Incline Railway. Y’all, I have known my entire life that I am afraid of heights and I have a touch of claustrophobia, bu this day about sent me into a panic attack. Don’t get me wrong, Rock City is absolutely gorgeous…
but do you see how close my dearest loved ones are to the edge of a MAJOR cliff?!? It makes my stomach turn to look at this picture!
And my baby going all by herself across the swinging suspension bridge that is, oh, SEVERAL HUNDRED FEET OFF THE GROUND!?! I almost can’t take it! I am glad I was able to pull it together to enjoy the day, but OH MY WORD!!!
Since visions of falling off a cliff wasn’t enough excitement for one day, how about we walk a mile into the heart of an underground cave in the most narrow passageway you can fit through? And just for kicks, let’s carry the toddler the ENTIRE WAY because she’s “tired of walking”. Actually, my prince of a husband did most of the carrying because, let’s face it, I was about DONE IN by that point.
After that kind of nerve-racking day, I needed some down time before bedtime so I could sufficiently unravel my nerves. We walked around the downtown area and found the coolest feature at the aquarium. They have a staircase that they have turned into a fountain/splash area for visitors. The water was freeeeeezing, and my girls had a ball.
We knew it was time to go back to the hotel when little Pitter Patter looked like this…
On our final day, we headed over to Lake Winnepesaukah, an 85-year-old amusement park just outside of Chattanooga. Patterson has never been to an amusement park, and when I showed her the brochure, which had pictures of the rides, she was FIRED UP! She was so hilarious! It was sooo past her nap time, but she hung in there and was a very good sport about it. Both girls LOVED Lake Winnie. Mary Anneliese even said it was her favorite part of the trip.
I can’t recommend Chattanooga enough if you are looking for a fun, affordable family vacation. We had a fabulous time and will return again one day soon!


  1. Creative Discovery Museum says

    Thanks so much Hill Family for visiting the Creative Discovery Museum on your trip to Chattanooga. We are so glad you had a great time and enjoyed our exhibits. We would love to share some of your pictures with our fans if you are willing. Please let me know.

    Lynda LeVan
    Dir. of External Affairs
    Creative Discovery Musuem
    e-mail: [email protected]
    phone: 423-648-6043

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