Over the Fourth of July weekend we went to Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Chattanooga is less than two hours for Atlanta by car. It has been a tourist city for many years. Anyone who drove across the south in forties, fifties and sixties would have had to have been blind to have not encountered the "See Rock City" signs, billboards and barns.
Almost as prominent were the Ruby Falls signs.
We didn't visit either of them.
Our excursion started out as a get together with an old friend who lives in Huntsville, Alabama. Chattanooga is about equidistant from Huntsville and Atlanta. Unfortunately our friend had a family emergency and couldn't make it. We decided to go ahead, if only to get a change of scene. In the end we decided to drive up Saturday morning, check out the town and return Sunday morning. A short, simple excursion.
Chattanooga is a tourist city, but very unlike New Orleans. The tourists are different, the attractions are different and the feel is different.
We were there only a short time, so my impressions are just impressions.
First the Chattanooga Riverfront has been developed into a continuous green space. there is a Riverfront Park which has a walking path which extends for miles through a combination of wetlands, parks and scenic vistas. While the Tennessee River is no where near as majestic as the might Mississippi, it is far more scenic.
An old railroad bridge has been converted to a pedestrian bridge and the older part of town across the river is accessible by foot.
We walked the river front and eventually ended up at a restaurant overlooking the river.
After taking a cab back to our restaurant we sortied out again to the Tennessee Aquarium.
It was interesting. There were the de rigeur exhibits of jellyfish, seahorse and tropical fish a la Nemo. It seemed well done.
Our time remaining in Chattanooga was spent eating in a brew pub, sleeping and having breakfast at a neighborhood restaurant across the river from Chattanooga. It was pleasant.
Our return to Atlanta was a pleasant ride in the country. We took a couple of side trips. First investigating an outlet mall in North Georgia. It wasn't that interesting.
The second to Lake Allatoona, a artificial lake north of Atlanta. It was very scenic and interesting. There is a state park there which offers cabins with fire places which might be a cozy place to hole up on a cold winter weekend.
Not long afterwards we visited the new Georgia Aquarium. But that is a story for another day.