Chattanooga, TN: Fun-filled Family Getaway
Last May, my family and I were considering different places to vacation to for a quick, weekend getaway. After researching our options, we finally settled on Chattanooga, TN. Chattanooga offered some of the best indoor attractions coupled with exciting and scenic outdoor adventures. Chattanooga also has a rich history that makes downtown the place to be! Below is a list of just a few of the things that make Chattanooga the best choice for your next family vacation!
1.Chattanooga Aquarium- This was definitely one of the best highlights from our trip to Chattanooga. The aquarium showcases all kinds of aquatic animals from sharks to alligators to penguins. It even features an IMAX theater along with a riverboat available for tours. There is sure to be something that will thrill every person in your family. The aquarium is a very popular tourist and local hotspot, so definitely be conscious of allowing enough time to explore every part of the aquarium when you plan your visit!
2.Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel- This hotel has been one my favorite hotels that I have ever stayed. It is a hotel that used to be a real, working train terminal. There are so many great aspects to this hotel that you could take a good chunk of your day just to explore the grounds. It has everything from pools to gardens to shops and restaurants all on-site. One of the best parts is that you can actually reserve a renovated train car as your hotel room! The location of this hotel is hard to beat as well. It is in downtown and has a shuttle bus stop right outside of the hotel. (TheFREE shuttle bus gives you access to all of downtown including museums and the aquarium. And you can bring your stroller aboard!)
3.Area museums- I love getting to visit a museum in a new city, and Chattanooga has plenty to choose from. There is a Creative Discovery Museum that is a great place to let the kids get some energy out. There are also multiple museums that offer the adults a little time to appreciate an impressive array of art and history. And there is even a whole museum dedicated to vehicle towing and recovery! All you have to do is decide if you are in a fun, silly mood or a more serious, contemplative one. Either way, there is a museum for you!
4.Outdoors adventures- One of the absolute best parts of Chattanooga are the amazing outdoors activities that you can participate in. Rock City Gardens offers an exciting and beautiful nature walk that leads you to Lookout Mountain, which is where you will truly be in awe of the 7-state view it gives you. Don’t worry if you aren’t in excellent shape, though because the walk is easy enough for anyone to be able to conquer. But do wear tennis shoes! Those paths can get slippery with all of the natural waterfalls. Once you have had your fill of climbing up the mountains, it’s time to go way down below. Ruby Falls was my daughter’s absolute favorite part of the whole trip. Ruby Falls is a natural waterfall that is 1,120 ft. below the surface. You get to take an elevator ride that lasts about 30seconds down to the beginning of the trail that leads through the mountain and ends at the waterfall. Along with the colorful lightshow that shines on the waterfall, it is a breathtaking sight. Your tour guide will also give you a brief history lesson about the waterfall, which only serves to make the fact that you are viewing it that much more incredible.
I hope that this list of our favorite parts of Chattanooga has made you consider it for your next vacation. This list is in no way totally comprehensive of all there is to do in Chattanooga because there is just so much. So get on out there and make some new lifelong memories with your family in Chattanooga, TN!
--By Dani Mosley
--By Dani Mosley
Why Las Vegas is Still My Favorite Vacation Spot
I enjoy traveling to many different places, but Las Vegas is one of the few places I make it a point to visit at least once a year. It's a perfect getaway if you're looking for some fun and excitement, and the surrounding area offers lots of natural beauty. If you haven't been to Las Vegas lately, I invite you to check out my list of recommendations.
1. Interesting Museums in Las Vegas
One aspect of Las Vegas that I've always found charming is all of the oddball museums and exhibits you can find all over the place. For example, the Atomic Testing Museum on Flamingo Road has all kinds of collections and exhibits on the topic of nuclear weapons and testing. They even have lectures dedicated to the mysterious Area 51, the possible site of an alien spacecraft landing! If you have a fascination with old signs and advertising you shouldn't miss the Neon Museum, which is full of remnants from the city's fascinating past. You can take a photographic tour of the museum's "bone yard" and add to your collection of interesting photos.
2. A Unique Mini Golf Experience
My whole family loves mini golf, and one of our very favorite places to play is KISS By Monster Mini Golf. This unusual mini golf course pays tribute to the unique American rock band that became famous in the 1970s. There is nothing quite like this course, which has 18 holes of bizarre but thoroughly entertaining features, including animated replicas of the band members. It's a challenge to focus on your golf swing as you try to putt the ball into Gene Simmons' head! This is the perfect place to come if you're looking for a fun activity in between meals or before you hit a show or the casino.
3. Eat For Free -If You Can Finish It All
Man vs. Food on The Travel Channel is one of my family's favorite shows, and in Las Vegas there are several places that have created similar challenges for the public. The Texas 3-Pound Challenge at Bally's Tequila Bar gives you 30 minutes to put away a BBQ Bacon Cheese Burger with 12 strips of bacon. If you succeed, you eat for free but if you fail the effort will cost you $35! If you prefer a steak challenge, you can pit your appetite against the 120-ounce Ultimate Steak at the Monte Carlo's Brand Steakhouse. Don't forget your wallet for this one, for it will cost you $250 if you don't clean your plate!
4. Take a Mixology Class
Las Vegas is famous for its bars and clubs, and you can be sure that the city has some of the world's best bartenders. One fun activity I signed up for last time I was in town was a Mixology class at the Monte Carlo, so I could pick up a few drink mixing tricks of my own. This two-hour class is taught by the hotel's very knowledgeable Director of Beverages and includes a tasting. This is a popular class that is limited to four participants, so you should book in advance if you want to sign up for it. Now when I entertain at home, I can mix a few drinks just like the pros!
Las Vegas is one of those cities where it's almost impossible to get bored. There are so many things to see do and even places to stay. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, sites like Gogobot make it easy to plan your trip and read user reviews so you can be prepared to take on the city.
By Kendra Thornton