Category Archives: Tennessee


Summer Road Trip: Chattanooga Choo Choo

Luke is a huge fan of trains, so after we dried off from our Coolidge Park trip, we drove a short distance to the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel.

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You can actually spend the night in a train car at this hotel! Pretty fun, and definitely on the list for the next time we come to town.

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Luke loved pretending to drive the train. He could’ve spent the whole day there.

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There were also several little kiddie trains to ride for a quarter or two, and a big trolley to ride.

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After we had explored everything outside, we decided to visit the Model Railroad Museum. The cashier didn’t charge us for Scarlett, so it only cost $10 for all of us.

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The museum had a LONG model railroad set up that even had some interactive elements, like making the Incline Railroad climb the mountain and making miniature chickens move around on a farm.

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There was also a very interesting section about how everything was made. We all wished that part had been bigger.

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Before we left, we spent a little more time admiring the gardens and doing a little window shopping.

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I’m so glad we decided to seek out the choo choo in Chattanooga!


Summer Road Trip: Coolidge Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Tom and I had both been interested in visiting Chattanooga for a while. The plan had originally been to visit Ruby Falls, the Incline Railway, and Rock City (visiting caverns was part of our Summer Fun List). By the time we got there, though, we were getting tired from all the travel and weren’t sure the kids would want to do all that walking. We didn’t want to waste $150 on tickets to find out everyone would rather be taking a nap instead of hiking through the mountains.

Plan B – a trip to Coolidge Park on the Tennessee River, followed by a visit to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel – turned out to be great fun!

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Coolidge Park in Chattanooga

The first thing we did when we arrived at the park was take a ride on the restored antique carousel.

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It was absolutely beautiful and only cost $1 per person – a huge bargain compared to our local carousel.

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An extra bit of fun was that you could pick one of many different animals to ride. Scarlett had her heart set on a traditional golden horse. The rest of us rode more unusual creatures – Luke rode a fish, Tom rode a donkey, and I rode an elephant. 

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The kids never get tired of carousels. I just love to see their joy while the ride.

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When the ride was done, it was time to beat the heat in the splash fountain.
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The kids changed into their swim suits and had a blast running around and getting wet.

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It was especially fun when the animal statues around the edges shot water at them!

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It was a very entertaining place to spend the morning.

Next post, I’ll continue with tales of Chattanooga – this time with Choo Choos!


Summer Road Trip: Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

For the first stop on our summer road trip, we picked Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Tom had to be in Little Rock, Arkansas on Monday night, so we left our Virginia home on Sunday and drove about halfway. Pigeon Forge was just about in the middle.

We stopped there on last year’s trip as well and the kids experienced their first mini golf game. This year we took it a little easier and headed to Old Mill Square.

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It was close to 8pm when we finally got there so the stores were closing soon. We popped into the General Store for a quick look around. Scarlett loved all the bears she could collect!


After the stores closed we hung out by the river for a while, climbing rocks and watching ducks as the sun set.

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Finally, we took a stroll over to Patriot Park to check out the giant lit up Liberty Bell. How weird is that?

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The kids had fun exploring and didn’t mind returning to the hotel to get a good night’s sleep before the second leg of our trip: Little Rock!