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The Best of Chattanooga: History, Heritage, River Boats and Mountain Wonders

Program Number: 19022RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/5/2014 - 10/10/2014; 10/12/2014 - 10/17/2014; 10/19/2014 - 10/24/2014; 10/26/2014 - 10/31/2014; 3/15/2015 - 3/20/2015; 4/12/2015 - 4/17/2015; 5/17/2015 - 5/22/2015; 10/4/2015 - 10/9/2015; 10/11/2015 - 10/16/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/23/2015; 10/25/2015 - 10/30/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Price starting at: $935.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Vegetarian; Low Fat; Low Salt    

In this undiscovered gem of Tennessee, Southern charm and grand Victorian mansions meet a thoroughly modern metropolis. From high atop Lookout Mountain to inside the underground Ruby Falls cascade, and from the Hunter Museum of American Art to the Challenger Space Center, learn about this small city with a big personality.




Highlights

• Take a train ride through rolling vistas and the Missionary Ridge “horseshoe” tunnel to the turntable and Back Shop.
• Board the River Gorge Explorer to explore the spectacular Tennessee River Gorge.
• University of Tennessee speakers discuss the founding of the Challenger Space Center and its purposes today.



Activity Particulars

Walking from three blocks to one mile daily. Some stairs.



Coordinated by Center for Educational Adventure.




Chattanooga

Tennessee’s fourth-largest city is located near the Georgia state line on Chickamauga and Nickajack lakes. The city was the setting for several significant Civil War battles and later became a railroad hub and industrial center. Today, visitors to the Tennessee Aquarium help spur the multimillion-dollar revitalization of Chattanooga’s waterfront.



Accommodations
Popular hotel located in the heart of downtown Chattanooga, featuring stylish guest rooms, heated outdoor pool, contemporary lounge.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Justin Strickland

Justin Strickland has been fascinated by trains his entire life. His first "railroad" job was with the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway at the age of 15, where he eventually became a conductor. Justin has also worked with the Southeastern Railway Museum, Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. He authored the only book dedicated to the Terminal Station in Chattanooga and has been interviewed for the railroad documentary "Tracing the Tracks."
 
Meals and Lodgings
   DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown
  Chattanooga, TN 5 nights
 DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The DoubleTree Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown boasts an ideal location just off I-24/Highway 27 in the heart of downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. Our hotel is situated only minutes from Rock City, the Tennessee Aquarium, all of Chattanooga’s riverfront attractions, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). Shop, dine and stroll the Scenic City that waits right outside our doors. We have complimentary wired and wireless Internet access throughout, including guest rooms and suites. Check email in our inviting lobby or with a cold beverage at the H2O lounge. Our hotel offers a vibrant choice of dining and rejuvenation options. Dine on bistro-style dishes at ELEVEN, plunge into the pool or reinvigorate at the fitness center. Our 11,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space and downtown Chattanooga location makes us ideal for meetings, weddings and social events. Nearby Chattanooga tourist attractions include Historic Chickamauga Civil War Battlefield, Lookout Mountain, Rock City and the Tennessee Aquarium. The hotel is close to several businesses including Alstom, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, CIGNA, Unum Group and Volkswagen. Set on two lakes and surrounded by mountain vistas, Chattanooga, Tennessee is a scenic city. With a unique blend of urban and rustic charm, the riverside city offers a mix of shopping and dining experiences. Our hotel is steps away from the city’s riverside attractions including the TN Aquarium, IMAX 3D Theater, and the Creative Discovery Museum. After a family day at the aquarium, cinema and museum, enjoy a dinner cruise along the Tennessee River on the Southern Belle Riverboat. Spend an enchanted day at Lookout Mountain, minutes from our hotel. Trek through Rock City and admire views of the Chattanooga Valley. Discover the waterfalls of the Ruby Falls underground cave, and ride the Incline Railway, the world's steepest passenger railway.
  Contact info: 407 Chestnut Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402 USA
phone: 423-756-5150
web: doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/tennessee/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-chattanooga-downtown-CHACHDT/index.html
  Facility amenities: Automated Teller (ATM) ($2.50) Baggage Storage Elevators Gift Shop Laundry/Valet Service Lounge Luggage Hold Multi-Lingual Staff Room Service Safety Deposit Box Fitness Room Pool Parking: Self parking: $8.00 (per day) Valet: $12.00 (per day)
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for hotel rate. Press 2. Call ahead to make reservations on your own. Press 2 for the Front Desk.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for hotel rate. Press 2. Call ahead to make reservations on your own. Press 2 for the Front Desk.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel Check-In begins at 3:00 pm in hotel lobby. Road Scholar Check-In begins at 4:00 pm in the main lobby. You will be staying at DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends by 10:00 am. Hotel check-out is at 12:00 noon. You will be staying at DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Self parking is $8 per day or $12 per day for valet parking.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Chattanooga, TN
  Nearest city or town:  Nashville, TN, 2 hours, Knoxville, TN, 1 hr. 50 min
  Nearest highway: I-24, I-75, I-59
  Nearest airport:  Chattanooga, TN
  From End of Program
  Location: Chattanooga, TN
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

DoubleTree By Hilton Downtown Chattanooga, TN

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Millennium Taxi Services
phone: 423-267-2008
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$28/person or $33 for two people
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15-20 mins 

 

Distance:

 

13.7 miles

   

www.yourquicktaxi.com

 
Driving Directions
  Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport to DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Downtown Chattanooga South on Airport Connector Rd.East on Shepard Rd.Turn right onto TN 153S towards I-75.Take exit 2 to merge I-24 West toward I-59.Take exit 178 merge onto I-27 North.Exit 1C first light make a right Distance from Hotel: 15 mi. Drive Time: 20 min. TYPE TYPICAL MINIMUM CHARGE Limousine 60.00 USD Rental Car varies Taxi 20.00 USD
  From Atlanta to DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Downtown Chattanooga Take I-75 North to I-24 West. Then take Highway 27 North and get off at exit 1C. Take a right at first stoplight and a right turn into the DoubleTree Hotel entrance.
  From Knoxville to DoubleTree By Hilton Downtown Chattanooga Take I-75 South to I-24 West. Then take Highway 27 North and get off at exit 1C. Take a right at first stoplight and a right turn into the DoubleTree Hotel entrance.
  From Nashville to DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Downtown Chattanooga Take I-24 East to Highway 27 North and get off at exit 1C. Take a right at the stoplight and a right turn into the DoubleTree Hotel entrance.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival & Check-In, Registration & Orientation, Get Acquainted
(Sunday, October 26)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel check-in begins at 3:00 pm. Please register with the Road Scholar program staff at our desk in the main lobby beginning at 4:00 pm. You’ll receive your arrival packet containing the most up-to-date schedule and program information that we’ll review during our orientation that begins at 5:45 pm followed by dinner at 6:30 pm.
 Dinner: A dinner buffet will be in the conference room of the hotel.
 Evening: ORIENTATION: You'll have an informative overview of the program to come plus an opportunity to meet the program staff and your fellow participants during an introductory get-acquainted session. We’ll review the updated schedule, answer any questions you may have, and cover responsibilities, safety guidelines, and emergency procedures. The remainder of the evening is yours to begin getting to know one another. Or, you may join the group leader for a walk to the riverfront to familiarize yourself with the area. (If you arrive late, please pick up your packet at the hotel front desk.)
Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of any changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding!
NOTE: Enrolled participants will receive a packet of preparatory materials several weeks before departure. If you still have questions after reading through the preparatory materials, please feel free to contact us.
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Chattanooga History,Horsin’Around Carving School, River Gorge Explorer, Geology of Ruby Falls
(Monday, October 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Start the week off in Chattanooga with a short presentation on the history of the city. Then board the motor coach for Soddy Daisy, TN, only minutes from your hotel. Master Carver Bud Ellis, who restored Chattanooga's Coolidge Park vintage carousel of pigs, ostriches, giraffes, camels, rabbits and fish, runs the only carving school of its kind in the country. See first hand students carving ability as you learn about the history of the Coolidge Park Antique Carousel. Road Scholar participants have rated this as one of their favorite field trips and a delightful experience that was unexpected. The 1894 Dentzel carousel is a central feature in Coolidge Park. The antique carousel was restored by local master wood carver Bud Ellis and a devoted team of craftspeople and volunteers at his studio "Horsin' Around" located near Chattanooga.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: After lunch we'll board the River Gorge Explorer. This hydrofoil-assisted vessel is the first of its kind to operate on an inland waterway in North America. Four water jets transport guests smoothly and swiftly along the Tennessee River. Angled seating allows each guest to relax in the climate-controlled cabin and enjoy the scenic beauty and wildlife through oversized windows. All cruises are led by Aquarium naturalists who bring the area’s rich history to life and share animal expertise while pointing out wildlife along the way. Passengers will have plenty of time to enjoy the topside observation deck while taking in the scenery on each cruise. Enjoy the beautiful spring green or the fall foliage as you settle into the tradition and hospitality of the riverboat. A detailed narration will tell you all about the Tennessee River Gorge, how it was formed, and highlights along the cruise route. The Gorge, 27,000 acres of land carved through the Cumberland Mountains by 27 miles of the Tennessee River, is one of the most extraordinary natural treasures in the Southeast.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at the hotel.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: Experts will set the stage for tomorrow’s field trip to marvel at the geological wonders of Lookout Mountain, Rock City, and Ruby Falls. Think geology is boring? Just take a longer view! Millions of years ago, the North American and African plates collided in a collision that lasted for several thousand years. The collision was felt even as far inland as the Chattanooga area. These tectonic forces produced a series of earthquakes that pushed and bent the hardened rock to form mountains. About 240 million years ago, a shallow sea covered the eastern Tennessee area, and it was in this sea that the limestone of Lookout Mountain was formed. Rock City is located atop Lookout Mountain — a true marvel of nature featuring massive ancient rock formations, gardens with over 400 native plant species, and breathtaking "See 7 States" panoramic views. Ruby Falls is a 145-foot underground waterfall more than 1,120 feet beneath the mountain’s surface. On your field trip tomorrow, you will see both.
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lookout Mountain, Rock City & Ruby Falls, Chattanooga Train History
(Tuesday, October 28)

Note: Rock City tour lasts one hour and fifteen minutes. There are approximately 35 stairs on the pathway, each paired in sets of 4-5 with handrails provided. The Ruby Falls entrance building is handicap accessible. Due to the natural, narrow cave passages; two-way traffic; and steps, the cave tour is not wheelchair accessible. Rock City field trip is a self guided trip along a 100-foot walking trail on paths that may be uneven with some steps and inclines.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Depart for a full day of exploration, discovery, and wonder. We begin high atop Lookout Mountain. The high, wide plateau that forms the top of the mountain is surrounded by near perpendicular cliffs that give way to a more gentle slope near the bottom. Early Woodland Indians called this plateau home in the time of Alexander the Great. A progression of Native Americans lived on the mountaintop including Creek and Cherokee Indians. The name “Chattanooga” is the Creek Indian word for Lookout Mountain. The mountain’s human history is almost as fascinating as its geology, as you learned in last evening’s presentation. As early as 1823, people wrote about visiting the area now known as Rock City Gardens atop the mountain, describing “a citadel of rocks” and noting the immense size of the boulders and their arrangement in such a way “as to afford streets and lanes.” During the Civil War both a Union soldier and a Confederate nurse wrote about "Seeing seven states..." — a slogan Rock City still uses. Starting in the 1890s, Lookout Mountain became a major attraction, with grand hotels and three railroads to the top (including The Incline, that still runs today). You’ll walk through this marvel of nature — 1,700 feet above sea level — featuring massive ancient rock formations, gardens with more than 400 different native plant species, a waterfall cascading down the mountain, and wonders such as Grand Corridor, Needle's Eye Big Rock Grill, Fairyland Caverns, Lover's Leap with its famed See Seven States view, and the famous Swing-A-Long bridge that spans nearly 200 feet. Self-guided.
 Lunch: Lunch will be on Lookout Mountain at Big Rock Grille.
 Afternoon: Ruby Falls — nearly 150 feet high — is an amazing UNDERGROUND waterfall, deep within the heart of Lookout Mountain. You’ll learn how this extraordinary geological wonder was formed inside the Lookout Mountain cave during our guided walk. The cave’s whereabouts have been known by local inhabitants for centuries as tales of its huge chambers and winding passages were passed down from generation to generation. The fascinating history includes Native Americans, cave explorers, outlaws, Civil War soldiers, and even a president of the United States. There have been reports of explorers traveling deep into this cave, as far as 12 miles without reaching the end. Located more than 1,120 feet beneath the surface, Ruby Falls is the nation’s largest and deepest waterfall open to the public. Hundreds of gallons of water rush over by the minute and amaze visitors.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at the hotel.
 Evening: Your presenter has been fascinated by trains his entire life. He authored the only book dedicated to the Terminal Station in Chattanooga and has been interviewed for the railroad documentary "Tracing the Tracks." Sit back and learn all about Track 29 and the Terminal Station.
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Music History Lecture, Field Trip To Terminal Station, Train Trip to Missionary Ridge, Free Afternoon and Dinner On Your Own
(Wednesday, October 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: Musical History of the Chattanooga Valley. FIELD TRIP:Terminal Station in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a former railroad station, once owned and operated by the Southern Railway, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 1941 Glenn Miller song "Chattanooga Choo Choo" told the story of a train trip from Track 29 at Pennsylvania Station in New York City through Baltimore, North and South Carolina, and terminating at Terminal Station. We will visit the historic site on the way to ride the train to Missionary Ridge. Missionary Ridge train trip begins at the Grand Junction Station and takes passengers along one of the original railroad lines in Chattanooga, crossing four bridges and passing through pre-Civil War Missionary Ridge Tunnel, which was completed in 1858. The train stops at East Chattanooga, allowing riders to see the locomotive rotating on a turntable and participate in a tour into the railroad restoration shop before re-boarding for the return trip. Round trip time is slightly less than an hour.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at the hotel.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Begin your appreciation of Chattanooga’s history and culture with a field trip to the Hunter Museum of American Art, housed in a sleek contemporary building perched on an 80-foot bluff on the edge of the Tennessee River with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. This panorama is equaled only by the exceptional collection of American art recognized as one of the country's finest, spanning the Colonial era to the present. In addition to an expert-led look behind the scenes, you’ll have time to explore exhibits including paintings, works on paper, sculpture, furniture, and contemporary studio glass covering a diverse range of styles and periods. Just a few of the well known artists whose work is represented in the Hunter include Thomas Cole, Fitzhugh Lane, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, John Marin, Thomas Hart Benton, Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Nevelson, Jack Beal, George Segal, Duane Hanson and Robert Rauschenberg. You will enjoy a free afternoon to explore the city on your own. You may want to return to some favorite spot or our coordinator will make suggestions and help you with your plans for the afternoon and evening. There is so much to see and do in Chattanooga that it won't be a problem to fill in your time. The free trolley is available and can be boarded a 1/2 a block from the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner this evening is on your own to sample some of the city’s many different culinary delights. The hotel is within walking distance of some of the finest local restaurants.
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Pursue your own personal interests this evening. Choose from a variety of entertainment or other options. Our coordinator will gladly help you with your plans.
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Walnut Street Bridge Excursion, Coolidge Park Carousel, Chickamauga Battlefield, Singing Servers Dinner Entertainment
(Thursday, October 30)

Note: Walnut Street Bridge Excursion is a 2,376 foot walk or make it shorter - up to you. Walking at Chickamauga Battlefield is getting on and off motor coach and going into the museum.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Excursion to the Walnut Street Bridge. a pedestrian walkway. The Walnut Street Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1990. Built in 1890, the 2,376 feet (724 m) Walnut Street Bridge was the first to connect Chattanooga, Tennessee's downtown with the North Shore. Walk Walnut Street Bridge and then walk to the Coolidge Park Carousel or walk the bridge and go by bus to the carousel. PRESENTATION: A Civil War expert will give a lecture on the Battle of Chickamauga in preparation for the afternoon field trip.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at the hotel.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: During the Civil War, Chattanooga was a key rail center and gateway to the heart of the Confederacy. The Battle of Chickamauga was fought for this prize and is essential to understanding Chattanooga’s history. Only the Battle of Gettysburg was more lethal but unlike that notorious conflict, Chickamauga was a huge Union defeat. Our expert historian will lead the field trip to Chickamauga Battlefield where you’ll learn what happened September 19-20, 1863, and how it impacted the war.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at a special restaurant at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel with singing waiters and waitresses. A fun evening to say goodbye to newfound friends.
 Evening: EXTRACURRICULAR: Experience a classic Chattanooga evening of entertainment and fun. The area which once housed the rail station's baggage room is now home to the most unique of all Chattanooga restaurants. Your delicious dinner comes complete with exciting entertainment provided by a live band and your own personal server. Our talented serving staff takes turns on stage throughout the evening to bring you live entertainment from all varieties of music. You'll never forget these "Singing Servers."
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Challenger Space Center, Program Concludes
(Friday, October 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: Our final program event brings us into the modern world and the future. University of Tennessee speakers will discuss the founding of the Challenger Space Center and its purposes today. Lecture ends at approximately 10:00 am and concludes our educational adventure in Chattanooga. Hotel check-out is 12:00 Noon. We hope you have enjoyed this exciting new program and will join us for other Road Scholar programs in association with the Center for Educational Adventure. Best wishes for all your journeys!
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Chattanooga (Then & Now: Tennessee) [Paperback]


Author: Rob Clifton


Description: Twenty-five years ago, the citizens of Chattanooga met together to plot the future of their city by reinvigorating the townÂ’s origins by the river. Changes since then have refreshed the city and the waterfront, renewing energy in this friendly Southern town. This volume documents the landmarks that remain and the ones that exist only in images and fading memories.



Chattanooga Landmarks (TN): Exploring the History of the Scenic City (The History Press) [Paperback]


Author: Jennifer Crutchfield


Description: Chattanooga's history and heritage are embodied in the historical sites, structures and groundbreaking feats of engineering that have defined the city from its beginning. Many of the Scenic City's most important landmarks are still preserved. Yet with so many fascinating historic sites and storied destinations, seeing them all is no easy task. Fortunately, Chattanooga Landmarks offers a helpful survey of the most historically significant sites in the city and the surrounding area. Join Chattanooga local Jennifer Crutchfield as she guides you through the city's historic wonders, both natural and man-made. From the top of Lookout Mountain down to the banks of the Tennessee River and through downtown, Chattanooga Landmarks covers the breadth of the historic sites that make this Tennessee city a landmark all its own.



Historic Photos of Chattanooga [Hardcover]


Author: William F Hull


Description: HISTORIC PHOTOS OF CHATTANOOGA captures the remarkable journey of this city and her people with still photography from the finest archives of city, state and private collections. From the Civil War through Reconstruction, the rise of industry, World Wars and into the modern era, Chattanooga has remained a unique and prosperous city. With hundreds of archival photos reproduced in stunning duotone on heavy art paper, this book is the perfect addition to any historian's collection.



Chattanooga's Terminal Station (TN)


Author: Justin W. Strickland


Description: Long before Glenn Miller made the world-famous "Chattanooga Choo Choo" an American icon, Chattanooga was already a bustling railroad community. By the beginning of the 20th century, passenger trains overwhelmed Chattanooga's two railroad depots and a larger station was needed. The solution was Terminal Station, which rivaled most Southern depots in size, expense, and aesthetic beauty. Providing transportation to cities throughout the country, the terminal made its mark as the gateway for rail from the agricultural south to the industrial north. Following its closure, the terminal was reopened as a renowned hotel and entertainment complex in 1973, becoming one of Chattanooga's many exciting attractions. Images of Rail: Chattanooga's Terminal Station follows the history of this depot in both stories and photographs.





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