An August 2002 trip
to Chattanooga by Lovestogo
Quote: Downtown Chattanooga has taken on a new face in the past few years through revitalization and the new venues enables one to spend an entire weekend enjoying the sights, sampling the new restaurants and visiting the entertainment spots.
Some of our favorite things to do on a return trip to Chattanooga are:
1. Visit the Aquarium.
2. Enjoy the new shows at the Imax Theater.
3. Dine at a new or different restaurant.
4. Take a leisurely stroll over the Tennessee River using the historic Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge.
5. Tour around Maclellan Island on the Tennessee River in a WWII amphibious vehicle.
If you decide to spend some time in the downtown area, take some comfortable walking shoes and enjoy the results of the ongoing revitalization project of downtown Chattanooga.
If you will be visiting during the summer months (Memorial Day to end of September), be sure to drop by Miller Plaza at the corner of Market Street & Martin Luther King Blvd. to see what entertainment act will be performing there on Friday nights with the city's sponsored "Nightfall" event.
The horse drawn carriage rides were extremely popular with many folks during the weekend we were there. They depart from the area around the Aquarium.
A couple of great web sites for Chattanooga are: www.chattanoogafun.com and www.chattanooga-chamber.com
Downtown Chattanooga is easy to explore by foot and most sights/activities are easily accessible by a short walk.
If you really want to enjoy Chattanooga, park the car and take advantage of the free CARTA electric shuttle, which runs from the Chattanooga Choo Choo parking lot through downtown to the Aquarium.
To explore Chattanooga's other scenic interests, such as Ruby Falls and Rock City, or to go shopping at Hamilton Place, a personal car would be ideal; however Chattanooga has a public bus service that covers 14 different routes at a charge of only for adults & .50 for senior citizens & children 12 and under.
Hotel | "Chattanooga-Days Inn Rivergate"
The Days Inn Rivergate has a 5 star sunburst rating, which means that it exceeds Days Inns "standard of quality."
The rooms are clean and tastefully decorated with either two double beds or a king bed. Handicapped accessible rooms, as well as smoking and non-smoking rooms are also available. Each room has a remote controlled color tv with cable & HBO. A hairdryer, ironing board, iron and a 4 cup coffee maker are all standard amenities at this motel as is the tub/shower combination. Parking is not a problem at this motel either as it has many available spaces.
There is an outdoor pool with a very nice surrounding area equipped with patio furniture for sitting and relaxing with the morning newspaper or a good book. If you prefer to do your morning workout before reading the paper, there is an exercise room in the building directly across from the lobby.
At the time of our visit this year, the motel was offering a free continental breakfast from 6 - 10 a.m. in the adjacent restaurant (enter from the motel lobby). (In the past, Denny's restaurant and Riley's Irish Pub were also part of the motel. Both have since closed.) However, we were told that a new restaurant and pub would be opening on September 16, 2002.
If planning on staying at this motel, book your reservation early as it is very popular with conventions, church groups, tour buses, etc. because of its easy downtown accessibility. To check rates or book reservations on line go to www.daysinn.com
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 4, 2002
Days Inn Rivergate Convention Center
901 CARTER STREET
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
Sticky Fingers can only be described as "wonderfully delicious."
When you walk into their restaurant, you know your experience will be memorable. From the brick walls to the deep, rich turquoise colored walls with the jammin blues music playing in the background, you know that you will not soon forget Sticky Fingers!! When seated, your host/hostess will provide you with your rolled napkin and silverware.... your napkin being a dark, evergreen hand towel. You immediately think, "Oh no, a hand towel can only mean that I will now need a bib!!!!"
Sticky Fingers' specialty is Memphis style ribs that are slow cooked over aged hickory wood to produce that scrumptious tasting world famous ribs that they are known for. To tempt you even more, they offer their ribs in 5 different styles:
1. Memphis Style Wet
2. Memphis Style Dry
3. Tennessee Whiskey
4. Carolina Sweet
5. Habanero Hot (NEW)
Of course, other items are on their varied menu, ranging from their very own "Sticky Potato Skins" appetizers which are potato skins filled with hickory smoked barbecue and topped with melted cheddar and their original barbecue sauce to salads topped with grilled, barbecued or hickory smoked chicken breast. Various sandwiches are also available to choose from such as their "Sticky Fingers Burger", Hickory Smoked Turkey sandwich, or their delicious barbecue sandwich.
My husband has enjoyed the rib platter the last two times there, which includes ribs, baked beans and cole slaw priced from $11.99 for a regular order to $18.99 for a full slab. I have had the barbecue pork dinner (pulled pork sandwich), baked beans and cole slaw for only $7.99. This trip found me eating from the lunch menu and trying their 'chicken fingers lunch' which had more food than I could possibly eat. This lunch special had 4 pieces of deep fried chicken breast strips, a large dipping container of honey mustard sauce, cole slaw and fries for only $5.99!!!
A trip to Chattanooga is not complete unless you have a meal at Sticky Fingers. The food is delicious and very reasonably priced. If the weather is nice, you can enjoy your meal on their outside patio. The servers are second to none and we had a wonderful waiter this time by the nickname of "Crazy Dan." He will make your dining experience truly memorable!! Plan to eat early or be prepared for a wait which can sometimes be up to an hour and a half.
If you like the Sticky Fingers barbecue sauce, it is available for purchase at the restaurant or you can always order on line at www.stickyfingersonline.com
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 5, 2002
420 Broad Street
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
+1 423 265 7427
Attraction | "Chattanooga's IMAX Theater"
When you step into an IMAX theater, you will always experience spectacular filmed movies with thundering, earth shattering surround sound. The IMAX theaters are over 6 stories high and give you a feeling of actually being there and doing whatever you are watching on screen. Whether it be treking across a snow packed mountain or deep sea diving, you are in the midst of the action.
"Into The Deep" was a 3D movie, so with our large glasses on, we were swept away into a journey amongst huge, swaying kelp forests as it attached to the bottom of the ocean floor and stretched to the open rays of sunlight at the water's top. To see the marine life that lives there and how the ocean and its inhabitants go through the cycle of life was truly amazing.
"Space Station 3D" was an incredible 3 dimensional journey filmed in space by the astronauts of the International Space Station and was narrated by Tom Cruise. Cameras caught breathtaking views of the entire International Space Station. These cameras followed seven space shuttle crews and two resident station crews as they made the International Space Station into a research facility and their home away from home. From blast off to space walks, you felt as if you were one of the crew members experiencing the unbelievable views one can only achieve from outer space.
Discounts apply if you purchase more than one movie and an even greater discount is available if you purchase tickets to the aquarium at the same time.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 6, 2002
IMAX 3D Theatre
1 Broad St
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37401
+1 423 265 0698
Attraction | "Nightfall 2002"
"Nightfall" is a 'free concert in the park' held every Friday night from the end of May (Memorial Day Weekend) until the end of September (except during Riverbend) at Miller Plaza in downtown Chattanooga. These concerts are made possible through local businesses that are part of the Chattanooga Downtown Partnership.
The opening act takes the stage at 7 p.m. and the main event comes to center stage at 8 p.m. The event usually lasts until 9:30 or 10 p.m. Food is also available for purchase, such as hot dogs, popcorn, barbecue, soft drinks and beer.
The block of Market Street from M. L. King Blvd. to 8th Street is blocked off and is full of parked Harleys, Indians, and other brands of motorcycles. My husband loves to stroll (and drool) as we walk by and carefully inspect each and every one of them.
The band performing Labor Day weekend was "Seven Nations". This Orlando, Florida band's style was a unique sound of rock, pop and traditional music with an unlikely blend of bagpipes, fiddle and guitar. They had Miller Plaza rockin' with their foot stompin' music!! The guys in the band had two diverse cultures as they love American pop and rock 'n' roll, but they also love their Celtic roots music. These five guys have made a name for themselves as they were the first band to play the opening ceremony of the New York City Marathon (Nov. 2001) and they had a spot on the worldwide stage at the 2002 Winter Olympics torch arrival ceremony in Salt Lake City. They had a new CD, "And Now It's Come to This", as well as t-shirts for sale. After the show was completed, they were out socializing with the people and signing cd's and pictures.
What an absolutely fantastic way to relax and spend a Friday night!! Grab a seat on a bench (if you can find one) or bring a lawn chair early to mark your spot. It doesn't get any better than this......!!!!!
Nightfall Concert Series
850 Market St
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
+1 423 265 0771
The Tennessee Aquarium, with it's unique architecture, is located in downtown Chattanooga. Chattanooga is home to the largest fresh water aquarium in the world with over 9000 animals. This includes over 500 species of fish, crustaceans, mussels, amphibians, reptiles, birds and one (1) mammal, the river otter.
Each year the Tennessee Aquarium has a special showcase in their "changing gallery" on a distinctive type of animal. This year's feature is on seahorses from different bodies of water throughout the world, entitled "Seahorses Beyond Imagination". Upon entering this exhibit, you see many colorful coral reef displays with seahorses that are indigenous to those areas, such as the Carribean Reef, the Australian Reef and Chesapeake Bay. These displays were mesmerizing as we watched the seahorses change their body color to match their surroundings.
As you wind your way down the four floors, you encounter a living forest under glass; where river otters play in the cold simulated river, and venomous snakes, such as the timber rattler and copperhead, lie in wait for their next meal.
You will visit nine global river regions in the Tennessee Aquarium, from the Amazon to the Volga, some of which showcase the beautiful-but-deadly red-belly piranha to the beluga sturgeon that can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh over 2000 pounds. Stand face to face with a 80 pound catfish or see the astounding largemouth bass, nicknamed "Walter." There are alligator snapping turtles, paddlefish and various species of trout, just to name a few of the freshwater animals you will see.
Amongst all the aquarium's many freshwater displays is one extra large salt water exhibit that contains stringrays, moray eels, sharks, barracudas and a magnificient sea turtle.
At the end of your aquatic adventure be prepared to pass by the ever inviting gift shop where you can purchase momentos from your Chattanooga Aquarium experience!!
The Tennessee Aquarium is educational and fun for people of all ages. It is handicapped accessible and restrooms are located throughout the building. Plan on a minimum of two hours to see and experience these spectacular exhibits. Weekends are extremely busy and there is usually a wait time just to enter into the aquarium. When planning a trip to Chattanooga, this stop should be at the top of your list.
Some helpful web sites for the Tennessee Aquarium are: www.tnaqua.org or www.chattanoogafun.com
One Broad Street
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37401
Going on the Chattanooga DUCKS tour is an interesting experience.
This tour is taken aboard an authentic (1942), renovated, 2 1/2 ton, WWII amphibious landing vehicle. It is known as a DUKW, with the letters D = model/year (1942), U = amphibious, K = all wheel drive and W = dual rear wheel axles.
When entering this strange looking vehicle through a fold-down ladder, you will find a narrow aisle way and narrow seats, of which will seat up to 25 people. Once aboard, the captain will inform you of the lifejacket whereabouts, and how to properly put them on if needed (coast guard regulations). After that you are ready to begin your journey!
Our captain was named Mike and while driving through the streets of downtown Chattanooga, he informed us of the historic and scenic spots along the way. After cruising a few blocks in town, we found ourselves being driven across a four lane divided highway, straight towards the Tennessee River.... full steam ahead!!! The sightseers standing on the river dock gave us a wave and a friendly shout as we went barreling past them. Splash!! We were in the water and soon sailing right along at our top speed of 7 mph.!!!
As Captain Mike turned us toward the Market Street Bridge and the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, he gave us some history about Ross Landing. After passing these two bridges, Captain Mike explained that we were now in the 'Bluff View Art District' and we could see the pillars and roofline of the Hunter Museum. A little farther upstream, we prepared to pass by Maclellan Island, which is owned by the Chattanooga Audubon Society. A blue heron was seen standing at the river edge as we slowly churned past and the island is home to several animal species such as beavers, raccoons, muskrats, minks and in the summer, river otters. The Audubon Society has been trying to reintroduce the osprey to the area, however their attempts have been unsuccessful so far.
As we rounded the curve of this half-mile long island, a beautiful rainbow appeared against a dark, grayish blue sky, as we had apparently just missed the storm. Everyone was grabbing for their cameras as they wanted to capture the moment!! Captain Mike then proceeded to let the children aboard the vehicle have a special moment and be the 'captain' as they piloted this huge vehicle through the water. Several children (and some not so small children..."adults") took advantage of this opportunity! Everyone received a round of applause for their piloting abilities when the next person took over the helm....
This is something different to do while visiting Chattanooga, and it is a great way to do a relaxing and informative ride on the Tennessee River. The tour is approximately 1 hour with 15-20 minutes on land and 40-45 minutes in the water.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 5, 2002
201 West 5th St
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
+1 423 756 3825