We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

trip report mid July

Which Chattanooga hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Saint Louis...
posts: 7
reviews: 9
trip report mid July

So the family and I had stayed in Chattanooga 3 times as we were passing through going back and forth from Florida. Each time staying at the Holiday Inn Express off exit 174 (via highway 24). The hotel is in an industrial park area and is very safe and very nice. Right next to a Cracker Barrell which is a nice bonus. For the price the hotel is a great deal if you want upscale this is not for you but if you want safe, clean and affordable this is it. and it is in perfect distance to all the lookout mountain sites 10 minutes tops.

This year the wife talked me into seeing the sites and staying for a day and since I still got my week on the beach why not. We started off with Ruby Falls. Ruby Falls is very beautiful, and while many people complain about it being too touristy, I don't get the complaint, what do you expect it is a tourist attraction so I expect it to be touristy. The tour of Ruby Falls is awesome but beware it does take more than hour and there are no bathrooms or places to get a drink to prepare. We had a wonderful guide (an ex hippie) whom made the tour enjoyable. The only downfall (pun intended) is that the whole tour builds up to the falls and you literally only get to see it for 2 minutes as they heard the group in turn on the lights and move you out and turn the lights off for the next group. but there is more to the tour than the falls, so enjoy it all and get close to the guide.

Next was the incline railway, boy this was a dissappointment. now here is a tourist trap, its a great historic site but not worth more than a couple of dollars and they charge you more than a couple to go up and down too gift shops and durring the ride you see some god awful houses, not that mine is soo much better but mine is also not part of a tourist attraction.

Finishing off the day was Rock City...glad we saved the best for last. This we got to do at our own speed the whole thing is beautiful, from the garden walk, lovers leep, the rope bridge, the 7 states lookout point, all really breath taking, a place tourist have not ruined. (have to ask what was up with the poor white deer, that was sad).

southern hospitality is alive and very well in all our journey's in Chattanooga. Chattanooga by far has the nicest service people and people in general.

as someone who loves just sitting on the beach and drinking as his vacation, this part of my trip was a nice surprise, really enjoyed the whole experience. My 7 year old had a great time, he loved Ruby Falls and actually like the Incline, he treated it more like a carnival ride. The wife loved Ruby falls and Rock City and is wanting to go back and see all the things we did not this time. Since I want the beach again I am sure we will be back. Aparently there is a B&B or something that was on TV show about hauntings and that has my wife all interested and me.....well I dont like ghost so maybe I will skip that.

can't be the scenic views from the mountains that alone makes stoping in Chattanooga worth it.

posts: 5,537
reviews: 48
1. Re: trip report mid July

Your mention of Chattanooga hospitality makes me proud. Friendliness is one of the South's greatest traditions, and I am happy to hear it is remaining alive and well in our city.

I wish the Incline were less expensive or included transportation to Ruby Falls, Rock City, and the Chattanooga Nature Center. I've never minded the houses along the railway (perhaps because that was the way I first met the sides of the mountain and I'm used to it). In my experience they're nothing fancy, but not shambles either. You have to get to the top to get the neighborhoods of mansions. If your child enjoyed that, he might also enjoy the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Again you're not travelling through a whitewashed version of the city, but he'll like riding in a real steam engine and all the cars and historic bits in the museum.

There's a lot more in Chattanooga to enjoy when you get back. Consider a bike ride or ecocruise. Or an aquarium visit if you're looking for a big attraction. The nature center has a pleasant collection of local animals (in rehab) and the adjoining Reflection Riding Arboretum has become one of my most favourite places in the South.

Destination Expert
for Chattanooga, Blowing Rock, North Carolina Smoky Mountains
posts: 5,421
reviews: 83
2. Re: trip report mid July

Come back and visit us again. We are glad you enjoyed our beautiful city and the southern hospitality.

posts: 419
reviews: 52
3. Re: trip report mid July

Hi - we also enjoyed Chattanooga and found the hospitality and friendliness of people throughout the south to be the best we've ever experienced. We'd heard that people everywhere treat you like old friends and we actually found it to be true. We also noticed that children and young people generally seem to be very well-behaved, polite and respectful towards their parents and other adults. That was so refreshing!

I'll agree that a few more moments with the actual Falls at Ruby Falls would be nice. It takes a while to get to them and you have to keep moving out of the way for returning parties (labelled 'survivors'), but the guides are brilliant and make it into an adventure.

The Incline was fun for me because our local versions (at the seaside towns of Hastings and Folkstone) are but a teensy fraction of the size of Chattanooga's. I found that looking at the houses en route was all part of the experience. I am from the UK and seeing how other people live in other parts of the world is part of the reason I travel. I would hate every tourist site to be sanitised, polished and Disneyfied so that it is considered 'appealing' to the tourist's eye. No, there was nothing wrong with them and I hope they stay just as they are.

I agree that Rock City is the brilliant. We enjoyed it very much. The view from the top gives a small island dweller like me a sense of the scale and immensity of your land. We just don't get views like that in Kent!

But Chattanooga was great - great city, great people.

posts: 5,537
reviews: 48
4. Re: trip report mid July

Liffey, Thanks for the thoughts! Lately I've been hearing more good things than bad things about the Ruby Falls guides. Perhaps I should revisit to give it a more honest review, though the tour seems to be more or less the same. I agree about the view from the Incline. At the same time, I don't want to pay a bunch for something ugly. I think the answer is to lower the price, not whitewash, or to improve other parts of the attraction to make up. That said, I've never noticed the quality of house on the sides of the mountain. Perhaps that is because I am accustomed (or even familiar to) the liminal South.

I know you've already described much of your trip, but I would love to read a trip report if you have the time or interest to write one. I'd also welcome you to join our forum as a regular contributor, or as regular a contributor you can be considering the only occasional topics that we get.

posts: 419
reviews: 52
5. Re: trip report mid July

Hi Bluecuzco - thanks for the nice words. Yes, our guide at Ruby Falls was a good one. It can't be easy taking herds of people through those narrow passageways. I'll be glad to contribute to the forum again and I'll try and write a fuller trip report. Our stay was part of a trip through the southern states so I've probably already included much of the Chattanooga part, but I have put a review of our hotel on the site too. As I said, it was a fantastic holiday for us and really, the people we met along the way really made it special. Thanks again.

south darenth uk
posts: 54
reviews: 11
6. Re: trip report mid July

i just had to reply to liffey; im very glad they enjoyed all the great things that chattanooga has to offer ,im visiting in about 2 weeks and really looking forward to my trip especially lookout mountain.

But i also live in Kent and we do have great high panoramic views in this county some very near folkestone ie. On the road between folkstone and Canterbury. Also Wrotham the highest point in the county. Both comand

views that im sure will stand alongside Lookout Mountain. Im sure it wasnt intentional to overlook these magnificant views in the Garden Of England.

see you soon

7. Re: trip report mid July

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:17 am, February 22, 2011