Start your day off at Tennessee Aquarium’s River Journey for a look in and around the rivers of the southeast and the world. Not only will you see river otters play inside a cove forest teeming with birds and trout, you’ll see prehistoric looking paddlefish, humongous catfish, eerie alligators and some seriously ‘only-your-momma-could-love’ looking snapping turtles. Lunch
Need a warm, dry place for lunch? Meet both these challenges by enjoying a box lunch during an IMAX
movie. The theater draws you in with its six-story-high screen and digital surround sound. You’ll experience up-close underwater adventure as sharks and stingrays come alive and seemingly out of the screen. With crystal clear 3D images, it’s the largest and most exciting film format in the world. Box lunches includes a turkey and cheese sandwich, fruit, a dessert and a drink and are available with advance reservations for $5.
If you’re looking for a restaurant setting, downtown Chattanooga has many great restaurants within walking distance of the Aquarium including several that can accommodate groups with advance reservations including Big River Grille
. Teachers - w
ish you had time for an
education program? Need a warm, dry place for lunch? Meet both these challenges
by joining us for a Lunch 'n' Learn program
. You supply the lunch and we’ll
provide the education. Students view a short (20 minute) video while they eat
and then they meet one of the education animals or test their skills in a
challenging game. Afternoon
Complete your Aquarium adventure at Tennessee Aquarium's Ocean Journey. Stroll through a lush, tropical cove where you’ll pet baby stingrays and bamboo sharks; enter a garden where jewel-toned butterflies fly all around you; get up-close with penguins, jellyfish, octopus and schools of fish, then enter the undersea cavern where 10-foot sharks lurk in the shadows.
Then head down to the riverfront and take a cruise down the Tennessee River on the Tennessee Aquarium’s River Gorge Explorer. This 70 passenger high-speed catamaran is the first riverboat of its kind in the Southeast. A Tennessee Aquarium naturalist will point out wildlife and historic points of interest along the way. Did you know the Tennessee River was a strategic transportation artery for both the North and South during the Civil War? Notable military points exist between Downtown Chattanooga and historic Pot Point.
- ONE NIGHT/TWO DAY ITINERARY
-- Same as above -- DAY TWO
Kids learn best when having fun, so jump in and be a kid for the day. At Chattanooga’s Creative Discovery Museum
you can pilot a river boat, learn about dams; create your own music; dig for dinosaur bones; and finish off blowing soap bubbles from atop the Rooftop Fun Factory.
Then, fill your soul with all things art, inside and out. Meander two blocks down to Ross’s Landing and take in the 160 foot pier extending out on the river while standing next to magnificent 40-foot stainless steel light masts piercing the skyline. Travel along the riverfront through the Passage, a tiered stream and wading pool lined with public art celebrating Cherokee culture, before heading up First Street to Chattanooga’s jewel, the Bluff View Arts District. Here, you’ll cross over a glass bridge leading you to the Hunter Museum of Art
. Holding the South’s premiere collection of American Art, the Hunter also offers up prominent views of the river, expansive gallery areas and a café with an outdoor patio.
Grab a bite to eat or continue your artful exploration through a wondrous sculpture garden before heading across the worlds longest pedestrian bridge—the Walnut Street Bridge –for an eclectic Northshore shopping excursion. Whether you’re shopping local or global, the Northshore has just the right mix of inimitable, quirky little shops that make your trip complete.
- TWO NIGHT/THREE DAY ITINERARY
-- Same as above -- DAY TWO
-- Same as above -- DAY THREE Morning
Start your day with a thrilling ride on "America's Most Amazing Mile," the Incline Railway
. The world's steepest passenger railway takes you above the clouds to the highest point on Lookout Mountain.
A short walk leads you to “Point Park” and “Battles for Chattanooga
” “Point Park,” a site well known in the Civil War battle as the ‘Battle Above the Clouds,’ allows visitors the chance to learn about the civil war battle site in and around Chattanooga and stand on the same fighting ground as union and confederate soldiers stood some over 140 years ago. “Battles for Chattanooga” takes you deeper into the conflict as you view a multi dimensional electronic battle map presentation featuring 5,000 miniature figures, 650 lights, sound effects and details of conflicts in the Chattanooga area in 1863. Lunch
Journey on up the mountain to “See Rock City”. Prearrange your meal and enjoy lunch at the new pavilion or Big Rock Grill, or pack your lunch and enjoy the great outdoors at one of Rock City’s picnic tables. Afternoon
You’ve no doubt seen the old barns and signs as far north as Michigan and as far west as Texas—now, come “See Rock City” and discover what it’s all about. This spectacular rock garden opened to the public in 1932 and the lovely gardens started by the owner have now grown to include over 400 different species of native wildflowers, shrubs and trees. An afternoon walk along the ‘Enchanted Trail’ of Rock City’s gardens reveals natural mountain beauty along a woodland path surrounded by huge boulders that lead you out to panoramic view of seven states. You’ll also spot a 90-foot waterfall along the way and a Swing-a-Long suspension bridge some 180-feet long. Don’t miss the popular Fairyland Caverns, Mother Goose Village, the Cornerstone Station, as well as a myriad of other shops and restaurants around the gardens. www.seerockcity.com
Continue your journey on Lookout Mountain to one of the most unusual geological features—“Ruby Falls.” Learn all about stalactites, stalagmites, columns, drapes, and flowstone and discover how some 200 million years ago this magnificent place was created. With a 145-foot underground waterfall located over 1120 feet beneath the mountain’s surface, Ruby Falls is one of the largest underground waterfalls accessible to the public and is a definite must see. www.Rubyfalls.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS Tennessee Aquarium’s Tropical Holiday Adventure
Mid November through December, open daily 10am to 6pm. (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.)
You don’t have to travel far to catch high tide during the Yuletide. Crystal clear ocean views, Caribbean holiday music, cascading waterfalls and lush tropical forests greet you while you bask in balmy temperatures and explore exotic island wildlife during a Tropical Holiday Adventure. Special animal encounters include butterfly releases and seahorse feedings as well as enrichment programs for the otters and macaws. Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater Open daily at 11am. (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.)
With a six-story screen and digital surround sound, IMAX is a perfect place to enjoy a holiday film. Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights Mid November through December, 6pm-9pm
For the holiday season, Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights is a family tradition. This award-winning, light extravaganza features more than 25 holiday scenes and nearly a million lights that transform the gardens’ natural daytime splendor into a nocturnal fantasyland. Enjoy gingerbread cookie decorating, hot cocoa and nightly music, too.