We are lucky to live in a tourist town. While most of the time we stick to local activities, sometimes it is nice to play tourist and learn a little more about the city we live in.
This past week a Groupon popped up for the Chattanooga Duck Tours and we decided to go with some of our friends.
Jack was very excited because as he said, it was his first time riding a bus AND riding on a boat. Not to mention that this vehicle was BOTH. (He may have forgotten, but he has been on a boat before here and here).
This excursion lasts about an hour but was enjoyable for all of us (well, Isaac didn't really care). Jack loved being on the water and all of the kids were given an opportunity to drive the boat.
When Jack got back in his seat with me, he proudly told me that he was a captain now.
I really enjoyed the history of Chattanooga that our captain shared with us. We learned that the Indian word "Chattanooga" meant "Rock Point." Literally where two mountains point at each other across the Tennessee River.
We learned about how the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge was saved and how the downtown area was restored from 100+factories to what it is today.
We discovered that the river used to routinely flood and that the city had to be raised because streets had been flooded up to the 3rd floor of buildings.
We learned about how Maclellan Island was purchased by the Maclellan family and used to raise cows (until a flood swept many of the cows away).
And how the carousel at Coolidge Park was given to the original artist, Bud Ellis, who is a master wood carver who continues to carve carousel animals at his studio, Horsing Around.
Our captain also told us his top recommendations for things to do in Chattanooga:
- The Bluffs View Bed and Breakfast which is expensive, but if you don't have time or money to do this, go to Tony's Pasta Shop & Trattoria and Rembrandts Coffee (both of these are favorites of ours).
- Maclellan's Island – free but you have to have a way to get yourself there. Either kayak, paddle board or boat.
- Coolidge Park – the fountain and carousel are a local favorite.
The Captain also let us know that the Hunter Museum of Art is open for FREE to families on the first Sunday of every month. We will have to check it out some time. We learned so much more that I can't even remember, but it was all fascinating.
Overall it was a fun and informative trip and we hope to go back when Daniel has time to go, maybe when Isaac is old enough to enjoy the experience as well.