May 26, 2014


I suppose everyone is very proud of their home town I know I certainly am.  Chattanooga, Tennessee was at one time a city occupied by heavy industry.  We had five (5) major foundries in the downtown and surrounding areas.   We still have manufacturing to a great extent but now, industries are definitely aware of environmental issues and how local environment affects everyday life and health.   Over the past twenty years there has been a “massive” cleanup effort and building programs that provide residents and visitors a truly exciting and healthful place to live and experience.  So much so that Chattanooga was named “Best Town Ever” by “Outside” magazine, and one of the “Top 45 Destinations to Travel” by the New York Times.   It’s easy to see why.  Chattanooga is less than a two-hour drive from Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville, Huntsville and Birmingham and is located in the valley along the Tennessee River and surrounded by picturesque mountains.   The map below will show location relative to other destinations.


I would like to give you a visual tour of our city and then indicate one special event we host on an annual basis.

The city is located on the Tennessee River—one of the major rivers in the United States.  Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in Tennessee, with a population of 167,674 as of the 2010 census, and an estimated population of 171,279 in 2012. Located in the southeastern United States in the Eastern portion of Tennessee, on Chickamauga Lake and Nickajack Lake, which are both part of the Tennessee River.  As mentioned earlier, Chattanooga lies approximately 120 miles (190 km) to the northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, 120 miles (190 km) to the southwest of Knoxville, Tennessee, about 135 miles (217 km) to the southeast of Nashville, Tennessee, about 120 miles (190 km) to the northeast of Huntsville, Alabama, and about 148 miles (238 km) to the northeast of Birmingham, Alabama. Chattanooga abuts the Georgia border and is where three major interstate highways meet: I-24I-75, and I-59.


The first inhabitants of the Chattanooga area were American Indians with sites dating back to the Upper Paleolithic period.  This is not uncommon at all in the Southeast.   It is known that Chattanooga exhibited continuous occupation through the ArchaicWoodlandMississippian/Muskogean  period from 900–1650 AD, and the Cherokee period from 1776–1980.

The first part of “Chattanooga” derives from the Muskogean word cvto /cható/ – ‘rock’. The latter may be derived from a regional suffix -nunga meaning dwelling or dwelling place.  Chattanooga is a “river city” as shown below.  This area is called Moccasin Bend with Chattanooga lying just to the north of the “bend”.



The most prominent geological feature in the Chattanooga area is Lookout Mountain.  Lookout Mountain was used by Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War as observation posts.  You can actually see seven (7) states from Point Park locations on the top of the mountain.



This slide shows one of the three major bridges crossing the Tennessee River, the Aquarium and the profile of Lookout Mountain.

Let us now take a quick tour of this great American City.



One of the favorite places to gather in Chattanooga is Coolidge Park.   Coolidge Park, located on the city’s North Shore and one place where you can overlook the beautiful Tennessee River, play in an interactive water fountain, stroll across the world’s largest pedestrian bridge-the Walnut Street Bridge, test your skills at rock climbing, picnic with your family in plenty of open green spaces, admire a military memorial and even ride a tiger on the 100-year old restored antique carousel.    It is adjacent to local entertainment, art galleries, shops, and restaurants and serves as a venue for numerous concerts, festivals and special events. It is also part of the Tennessee Riverwalk, a 15-mile long public greenway that runs along the Tennessee River – from the Southern Belle Riverboat to Chickamauga Dam. In 2006 The Peace Grove was added to Coolidge Park. It is a circular landscape of trees planted to represent each of Chattanooga’s Sister Cities and celebrate the city’s global friendships around the world.  The park is named after Charles H. Coolidge.    Coolidge joined the Army from his birth city of Signal Mountain, Tennessee in June 1942, and by October 24, 1944, was serving as a technical sergeant in Company M, 141st Infantry Regiment36th Infantry Division.  During an enemy attack on that day and the following three days, east of Belmont-sur-Buttant in France, Coolidge assumed command of his group and demonstrated conspicuous leadership. For his actions during the battle, he was awarded the Medal of Honor in July 1945.

The Riverwalk at night is shown by the following slide.


This is also the location for a June event known throughout the southeast as the Riverbend Festival.   Over a fourteen (14) day period, bands gather to play for the visitors and the “locals”.

Another great area in Chattanooga is Bluff View.  Some say it reminds them of small towns in Western Europe.  The Bluff View Art District is a historic neighborhood filled with restaurants, a coffee house, art gallery, historic Bed & Breakfast, plenty of gardens, plazas and courtyards where you can relax and rejuvenate.  This is Chattanooga’s first art district and stretches over 1.5 city blocks, set high atop stone cliffs that plunge into the river below. From this bluff-top location, you will have breathtaking views of the Tennessee River, downtown Chattanooga, and the Walnut Street Bridge, a position which earned early residents of the area the nickname “cliff dwellers.”


While you are in Chattanooga, you MUST visit our downtown aquarium.  On the river, it offers a marvelous look at fresh-water and salt-water life common to the Tennessee Valley and the Gulf of Mexico.  The Tennessee Aquarium is a non-profit public aquarium located conveniently right downtown.    When it opened, the River Journey building was the largest freshwater aquarium in the world.  The River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings are home to more than 12,000 animals including fish, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds, penguins, butterflies, and more. You can see the structure of the aquarium in the background.  These spires break the landscape and provide a real contrast to the brick and mortar normally seen in downtown areas.


Do you like adventure?  I mean real dare-devil adventure?  OK, Chattanooga just might be the place to start.  From Lookout Mountain, you can experience the thrill of a lifetime by jumping off the mountain.  Nuts—right?


Lookout Mountain offers one of the best skydiving ports in the United States.  Year after year enthusiasts come to train and compete at the Rock City Skydiving port.  The updrafts and downdrafts coming off the mountain offer the best in sailing experience.  (OK, you try it.  It’s not really for me. )

Since we are on Lookout Mountain, we might as well visit Rock City.  This is nature at her finest.  Hundreds of people visit Rock City each year and are thrilled by the experience.



Located atop Lookout Mountain, just 6 miles from downtown Chattanooga, Rock City is a true marvel of nature featuring massive ancient rock formations, gardens with over 400 native plant species and breathtaking “See 7 States” panoramic views. Enjoy Cafe 7, Rock City’s outdoor dining restaurant with southern cuisine and a view like no other! Take an unforgettable journey along the Enchanted Trail where each step reveals natural beauty and wonders along the woodland path. Experience the magic of Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village, visit one of our regional gift shops and dine at the Big Rock Grill. Rock City is splendid year-round and has a full lineup events and festivals.


If you like baseball, the Chattanooga Lookouts is the place to see great minor-league play.  The “Looks” are one of the oldest minor-league teams in our country.    The team is named for, of course, nearby Lookout Mountain. The team, which plays in the Southern League, has been a Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers major-league club since the 2009 season. The Lookouts play in AT&T Field right downtown.  Opened in 2000, the stadium seats 6,160 fans. From 1930 through 1999, the Lookouts played at historic Engel Stadium.  Joe Engel Stadium is now on the Historic Register.  The JPEG below is the new stadium.



I mentioned earlier that Chattanooga was voted as one of the very best outdoor cities in our country.  My wife and I just got back from the downtown area where we watched the US Cycling National Championship Race.    The Pro Road & Time Trial Nationals return to Chattanooga, the Scenic City, for the second year in a row.    The race course will again take riders through downtown and over Lookout Mountain; a new segment in North Chattanooga dubbed “the wall” will add to the challenge of the best American men and women in their quest for a Stars-and-Stripes jersey.  Also new in 2014, both road race winners will receive a one-year loan of a 2015 Volkswagen GTI!  (As you might imagine, the race has as a major sponsor VW.)  No problem here.  VW is one the major employers in the Chattanooga area.  This is a marvelous event with both men and women competing.   Of course, it’s an all-day event.



The starting line for the race is shown above with several cyclists given in the JPEGs below.



As with any event of this nature, there are many other venues available, some of which may be seen as follows:


The JPEG below shows one lucky rider proving he just may be the “king of the hill”.  The course is absolutely grueling.  Three laps.


I do hope you have enjoyed this very brief tour of Chattanooga and certainly hope you will drop by for a visit.  If you like doing “stuff”, you need to visit.  If you love doing “outdoor stuff” you definitely need to visit.  The sooner the better.



2 Responses to “CHATTANOOGA”

  1. cozy cove Says:

    The Birch of the Shadow

    I believe there might become a couple duplicates, but an exceedingly useful record! I have tweeted this. A lot of thanks for sharing!


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