Chattanooga, Tennessee began in 1815, starting out as a trading post. The trading post is now known as Ross’s Landing, which is near the Aquarium.
The city has history rich in the events that formed the United States. It served as one of the staging areas for Cherokee relocation, known as the “trail of tears”. During the Civil War, the city was occupied by forces. Key Civil War battles were held around Chattanooga, at Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge.
Key attractions in and around Chattanooga include: Chattanooga African-American Museum/ Bessie Smith Hall, Chattanooga Nature Center, Chattanooga Regional History Museum, Chattanooga Riverboat, Creative Discovery Museum,. The Houston Museum of Decorative Arts, Hunter Museum of American Art, International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, Raccoon Mountain Caverns, Rock City gardens, Ruby Falls, Tennessee Aquarium, Tennessee Valley Railroad, Cherokee National Forest and Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
A restored 1909 Chattanooga Choo Choo Railway Station, located at 1400 Market Street, has a hotel, a Model Railroad Museum, shops and restaurants. There is free electric shuttle service between the train station and the Aquarium.
Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is one of the steepest railways in the world. Along the way are views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
The Tennessee Aquarium is reportedly the worlds largest freshwater aquarium. The freshwater aquarium contains about 12,000 animals that swim, fly and crawl in recreations of their natural habitats. Visitors can view the various ecosystems of the Tennessee River. This fascinating museum includes interactive displays and butterflies in an indoor rain forest.
Cherokee National Forest is 633,000 acres of forested land divided by the Smokey Mountains. The forest has over 200 recreational sites, boating, hiking trails, and areas for swimming and picnics.
Chicamauga and Chattannooga National Military Park straddles the Tennessee and Georgia Border. The military park commemorates the 1863 Civil War battle. Much of the park is kept in wartime condition. There are more that 1600 markers, monuments, cannons, and tablets which tell the story of the battle.
There is plenty to see and do in Chattanooga. Following are the top rated hotels in the historic city:
The Mayor’s Mansion Inn
801 Vine Street
Historic Bed and breakfast mansion was built in 1889. It was at one time the home of the may. There are 18 rooms located near well known attractions: Tennessee Aquarium, Ruby Falls, Rock City and Lookout Mountain. Luxurious B&B is AAA Four Diamond.
Holiday Inn Chattanooga Choo Choo
1400 Market Street
The landmark hotel is was originally opened in 1909. during the gold age of railroads, it welcomed thousands of passengers. The restored hotel sits on 23 acres. There are a variety of accommodations, including Victorian Era train rooms, luxurious suites. There are Theme restaurants and specialty shops. Visitors can enjoy the Authentic New Orleans trolley ride, model railroad display, convention center, three swimming pools, tennis courts and formal gardens. AAA Three Diamond.
1201 South Broad Street
The urban resort is the heart of downtown, in easy walking distance from museums, shopping and entertainment. There are fabulous views of Lookout Mountain. Amenities include indoor swimming pool., spa, and fine dining. AAA Three Diamond.
The Sheraton Read House Hotel
827 Broad Street
Historic hotel has recently had a major renovation and is restored to it’s original elegance. Historic hotel with contemporary amenities has relaxing zero edge pool indoor pool with cascading waterfall and whirlpools. Porters Steakhouse on the premises offers USDA Prime beef. AAA Three Diamond.
Hilton Garden Inn Chattanooga Downtown
311 Chestnut Street
Smoke free hotel is located in the center of the downtown riverfront area. Recreation includes a fitness room and swimming pool. AAA Three Diamond.