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February 26, 2012 by Beth at Unskinny Boppy 25 Comments So I just realized that Spring Break is like, weeks away.
Chattanooga is located in southeastern Tennessee, so it’s only about a two and a half hour drive from us here in Birmingham. A few of the shops were open, but not all of them, so we mostly wandered around and looked at the trains. My loco-for-locomotives addict had a blast climbing all over the trains and running up and down between the cars. Since the Choo Choo trains didn’t move, Garrett settled for a whirl on the quarter train ride out front. After a few gallops on the mini-train, we headed down to check into our hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott Chattanooga Downtown. It was a perfect place to stay for a family vacation when you want to park your car and walk around the city for the weekend. Garrett and I ate some of the best homemade guacamole that I’ve ever encountered in a Mexican restaurant.
Chattanooga is a beautiful city that has made lots of strides for revitalization in the past few decades. On Saturday morning we woke up early to see vendor booths going up in the parking lot of the aquarium. We bought our tickets from an automated machine which means we had NO direction from a live person on how to take the tour. There was one section that looked like The Everglades, with lots of creepy crawlies and slithering things.
The River building of the aquarium features a lot of freshwater fish from the Southeastern USA, so don’t go expecting a ton of giant sharks and colorful tropical fish. There is a definitely a little bit of everything from the waters of the world, but in this building you’re going to see lots of trout and bass and alligator gar and catfish. We saw a salt water tank and a few sharks, but Garrett was more impressed by this HUGE sting ray.
After spending a few hours walking around the aquarium and taking a bunch of pics of fish, we headed out to get some lunch and go back to the room for a rest. We decided to take a Chattanooga Duck boat tour of the river while we were there, so we headed over to the duck boat terminal (aka a parking lot) and bought our tickets.
Our boat captain tour guide was a MESS, telling us all sorts of crazy stories about the city and history and his personal experiences. After the tour it was getting dark so we headed out for some dinner at before going back to the room. After that we headed back across the river to the top of Lookout Mountain to See Rock City! My whole life I’ve lived in the South and seen red and black birdhouses and go barns commanding me to See Rock City. It was cool, like temperature wise cool, and dark and shadowy and just plain interesting to see. I will be candid and say that it concerned me a bit to go to Rock City as two out-of-shape parents with a preschooler, but it was fine. We didn’t get to linger much at Lovers Leap because a certain 3 year old kept dragging us back toward the bridge, but there is a fantastic view of a waterfall that you can hang over and snap cool pics.
We finally pried Garrett away from the shake shake bridge and headed back to the entrance where we stopped along the way for silly photo ops. The riverwalk and park below are great, plus that artsy section of town just beyond the walking bridge. Came across your blog by chance today as I’m planning a mini-vacay with my kids on Memorial Day weekend this year in Chattanooga, TN. What may you recommend in regards to your put up that you just made a few days in the past?
Hatteras 64 Motor Yacht features sleek, contemporary exterior styling matched to a luxurious interior finished to the industry’s highest standards.
The 106-square-foot aft deck provides convenient access to the swim platform and features fiberglass seating, a solid-surface table, ample lighting and stereo speakers. For a detailed description of Staybridge Suites CHATTANOOGA DWTN - CONV CTNR along with photos, lists of conveniences & amenities, room types and current pricing information, take a look at our hotel details. Shop over 200 stores and choose from over 30 fabulous restaurants at Tennessee's largest mall. Resort alaska fly fishing trip trips airlie central semi alaska fly fishing trip award all is a go airlie relaxa. Cities across the country are reclaiming their riverfronts, usually the focal points of astute designs to revitalize downtown areas. People are an important part of these 17 river walks; they bring the river walk and city to life.
Points of Interest: One story below street level and accessible by foot or water taxi, the River Walk connects its restaurants, bars, shops and hotels to major tourist attractions. About: Established in 2001, the North Shore Riverfront Park is a 7-mile stretch of trail along the banks of the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers across from Downtown Pittsburgh.
About: Completed in 1994, WaterPlace Park and the connecting cobblestone and brick Riverwalk are situated at the foot of the State Capital hill on the Providence River in downtown Providence. Points of Interest: Popular with walkers, bikers and joggers, this pedestrian-friendly area is full of activity throughout the day. About: Steps from Greenville’s Main Street is the Downtown RiverPlace business, entertainment and dining district along the Reedy River.

About: Located on the New River and easily accessible from the beaches via Water Taxi, cab, Sun Trolley or Ocean View Rickshaw, the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District in downtown Fort Lauderdale connects cultural entertainment venues. Points of Interest: At the center of Northbank Riverwalk is the 9-acre Jacksonville Landing. About: As Georgia’s first city founded in 1733 along the Savannah River and America’s first planned city, Savannah is filled with historic sites, public squares and parks. Points of Interest: Lining River Street across from the Savannah River are century old buildings, once cotton warehouses.
About: With beautiful views of the Mississippi River from a myriad of angles when it opens in 2014, the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk is in the heart of Downtown New Orleans and within walking distance of downtown and French Quarter hotels, casinos, attractions, the Morial Convention Center and cruise terminals.
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About: The Tennessee Riverwalk is a 13-mile concrete trail beside the Tennessee River from the Chickamauga Dam to downtown Chattanooga near the Tennessee Aquarium.
Points of Interest: Look for picnic facilities, fishing piers, boat ramps, meeting facilities, open spaces and plenty of wildlife on this landscaped and lighted walking and biking trail. Points of Interest: This Riverwalk is a symbol of the city’s historic past as the oldest settlement in DuPage County. About: The Chicago Riverwalk is a pedestrian-friendly, open public promenade on the south bank of the Chicago River running about 3 miles from Franklin Street to Lake Shore Drive. Points of Interest: Get to know Chicago, its history and celebrated architecture on this Riverwalk.
Catch an architecture boat tour on the Chicago River in downtown Chicago from the Chicago Riverwalk. Points of Interest: The Central Canal is part of a walkable pathway system built in White River State Park to connect its cluster of attractions.
About: Opening in 2002, the Mississippi Riverwalk is considered one of Iowa’s finest tourism attractions. About: Created for World Expo ‘74, Riverfront Park is a 100-acre public park in downtown Spokane located along the Spokane River. Points of Interest: Riverfront Park features beautifully landscaped paths, spacious lawns, park benches as well as a variety of public art displays.
A view of Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Waterfront Bike Trail beside the Willamette River from Morrison Bridge. About: Located in the heart of historic downtown, the award-winning Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo (HARP) is a 32-acre urban waterfront. Points of Interest: The Pueblo Riverwalk spans a 2-mile loop using original Arkansas River stone throughout to create a historic setting and unique theme.
I want to share my vacation ideas and hear from others who like to travel with their preschool kids to get ideas on where to take them. There was a coffee shop inside, along with a nice lobby and a beautiful little courtyard area that had a firepit and plenty of loungers where I sat and read magazines.
This proved to be a mistake in a lot of ways, including missing an ENTIRE BUILDING of the aquarium where there are butterflies and penguins and other coolness.
Then after we recharged the batts for a little bit, we headed back out to see what else downtown had to offer. We still had time to kill, so we pulled out Garrett’s favorite toy at the time and let him play for a while. It was on the boat tour that we realized that the aquarium has a WHOLE OTHER BUILDING that we completely missed seeing when we were there.
There are tons of great restaurants down near the aquarium, so I doubt you could go wrong with any of them. We got up and headed across the river to pretty Coolidge park area that I had read about as a kid-friendly place to visit. It is a winding path through rocks and cave like canyons with a fairy hollow kind of feeling to it. The model reflects acute attention to customer input, shown in a fresh accommodation plan and intuitive touches found throughout the vessel.
Convenient for the owner-operator or crew, a fiberglass stairwell provides quick access to the bridge. The Staybridge Suites Chattanooga Downtown - Convention Center hotel is located in the charming city of Chattanooga, a cosmopolitan city featuring world-class attractions, breathtaking mountain views and a beautiful riverfront. For early settlers who gathered by a river and formed a city, the river was the economic engine fueling agricultural and industrial growth and the lifeline for importing and exporting goods to the outside world. Johns River in Downtown Jacksonville are the Southbank Riverwalk, the Northbank Riverwalk and Jacksonville Landing. Traveling with a four year old isn’t exactly a walk in the park, so I like to be as prepared as possible. Since I don’t have one of those kids who falls asleep instantly as soon as the tires hit the highway, the shorter the car ride, the better. It is located directly across the street from the Tennessee Aquarium and the IMAX theater and within blocks of almost everything that downtown Chattanooga has to offer.
These books have provided us with hours of entertainment over the past year- both at home and on vacation.
The duck tour drives you through the city and heads over to the boat ramp to enter the Tennessee River. We passed by Little Debbie’s house and heard her story, and also all the scandal surrounding the HGTV Dream house that was built and resold and nearly fell off the side of the mountain in 2007.
We like to eat at non-chain places and there are a good deal of those along with many of the old stand-bys. There are places in the world where you step into and feel like you’ve entered a magical place.

And, my heart stopped when I saw the photo of your little one over the rail, but hubby holding on to him.
The 64 Motor Yacht incorporates Hatteras’ popular convex hull shape, allowing for more interior space forward and providing for a softer ride in rough water.
Situated in downtown Chattanooga, TN, the hotel's neighbors include the Chattanooga Convention Center, the Tennessee Aquarium and a host of other businesses. Years later, many riverfronts fell victim to industrial pollution, growing urbanization, floods or other disasters.
Reading about and seeing pictures from other people’s trips always helps me get a sense of what a city has to offer. We had the privilege of watching another boat enter the water right behind us so I made y’all a snapshot video of what it looks like. The boat ride was so hypnotizing to G after a while I thought he might fall asleep, but he hung in there. This wrapped up Saturday for us because G was worn out from all the walking (and I was too, I won’t lie).
G liked climbing on the animal statues, but the unfortunately the carousel was closed since it was Sunday morning.
The rest of the park was pretty easily walkable as long as you can go up and down rock steps.
But nope, Ruby Falls is inside of a cave and it’s located about halfway down the other side of Lookout Mountain. Propeller tunnels afford this 116,700-pound motor yacht a 4’8" draft with the heaviest engines available. With revitalization of these natural gathering places, cities showcase their beauty, history and architecture as they develop their riverfronts into major attractions for local residents and tourists to enjoy.
I have already blogged about that part of the trip here if you’d like to see more photos of the waterfall.
The aquarium is built so that you start at the top and work your way down a series of ramps. The new building features a butterfly garden and a penguin exhibit and all sorts of coolness that Garrett would have LOVED seeing but by the time we got back they were closed. Driving on land, good; driving on water, good; being able to do both with a pull of a lever, AWESOME!
They have their City of Lights during the Christmas season with Christmas lights everywhere.
Standards include twin helm seats, an L-shaped lounge with storage underneath, and a dry bar to the starboard side with refrigerator.
Business travelers appreciate the hotel's convenient location in Chattanooga, TN, as well as amenities including complimentary high-speed, wireless Internet access and an on-site boardroom. Gonzalez Convention Center, Rivercenter Mall, La Villita Historic Arts Village, Briscoe Western Art Museum, Arneson River Theater, San Antonio Children’s Museum and Marriage Island.
Johns River from the Landing is the Southbank Riverwalk which is currently undergoing reconstruction. Some of y’all might like uncharted waters, but in my house every new vacation destination needs hours of background research on things to do, places to see, fun things to experience, etc.
Just a tip, so you don’t drive all over Lookout Mountain trying to figure out the difference between Rock City and Ruby Falls like some crazy folks (us) might have done. A modular design approach allows the owner to add additional cabinetry to house an electric grill or additional seating aft of the standard dry bar.
So, let me share our Spring Break 2011 trip report to Chattanooga, Tennessee with all you folks out there who might be searching for a fun kid-friendly vacation destination this year.
But we figured it out pretty quickly as we were trying to make our way against the crowds coming down the ramp because we were the dummies that started at the bottom. Parts of the park are closed (like the swinging bridge, sorry G) but it’s quickly forgotten when you see Chattanooga lit up from the overlook. Hop aboard the free electric shuttle, offering rides from the Tennessee Aquarium to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, with stops every block in between.
So next time, we will start on the top level and leisurely stroll to the bottom instead of playing salmon and trying to swim upstream. So, for anyone out there thinking of taking a trip to the Chattanooga aquarium soon, be sure to go into the second building and see the rest of it! World-class attractions, restaurants and shopping in downtown Chattanooga, TN are all near the hotel's location.
There are petting farms and hiking trails all around this area, but not always as touristy as Chattanooga itself. Offering some of the only all-suite accommodations in downtown Chattanooga, this hotel goes above and beyond to make your stay more comfortable. They have a red panda exhibit that is fun to watch and a Camel experience that you can actually ride on a camel. If your little one likes sports, the Lookouts baseball team is a big draw to the area also.
Games are inexpensive and I have yet to find a bad seat, though some are better than others. I agree that it is a beautiful city and it appears you hit quite a few of the main attractions. Also, like you, I prefer to eat at a local restaurant instead of a chain, and there are several of our favorites in Chattanooga.
If you need any ideas or suggestions, just send me an email and I will give you some suggestions if you like.

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