||Ruby Falls, Rock City, Sleepover at the Tennessee Aquarium
(Wednesday, July 16)
Note: The Ruby Falls tour is on a paved pathway with only a couple of gradual slopes. There are approximately 35 stairs on the pathway, each paired in sets of 4-5 with handrails provided. The temperature in the cave is around 60 degrees year round, but with the humidity in the cave it feels more like 70 degrees. The cave tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Rock City is a 4100 ft. walking trail surrounded by natural geological and botanical wonders.
| Breakfast: ||Breakfast at the hotel.|
| Morning: ||You won’t believe everything you’re going to see, learn and experience today!
Lookout Mountain is famous for many unusual geological features. Ruby Falls is unique: a 145-foot underground waterfall more than 1,120 feet beneath the mountain’s surface. The fascinating story of the formation of Lookout Mountain, the cave and Ruby Falls itself is told by the rocks that formed each of these wonders.
The story begins with the original Lookout Mountain Cave whose natural entrance is located at the foot of Lookout Mountain on the banks of the Tennessee River. Tales of this cave’s huge chambers and winding passages have long been passed down from one generation to the next, and its whereabouts were known by Chattanooga inhabitants for centuries. Learn about the rich history of this cave that includes Native Americans, cave explorers, notorious outlaws, Civil War soldiers, and even a President of the United States. There were many reports of explorers traveling deep into this cave, as far as 12 miles without reaching the end.
As the field trip begins, anticipation builds, the temperature drops, and a cool fresh breeze surrounds you as you are immersed in darkness. There is the thunderous sound of water splashing directly in front of you, and you feel an invigorating mist. Suddenly, there is light, your attention is drawn immediately upward. You are now staring at one of the world’s most amazing phenomena, Ruby Falls. The minimum time spent at the falls will be around 1-1/2 hours. You will be on a paved level pathway with a few gradual slopes and a few steps on the pathway, each paired in sets of 4-5 with handrails provided. (The temperature in the cave is around 60 degrees year round but with the high humidity it feels more like 70 degrees so bundling up is not necessary.)
The Ruby Falls entrance building is handicapped-accessible but the cave itself is not handicapped-accessible due to narrow passages, two-way traffic, and steps.|
| Lunch: ||Lunch will be at a restaurant atop Lookout Mountain.|
| Afternoon: ||Continue discovering Chattanooga’s wonders at the brow of Lookout Mountain, Rock City, located 1,700 feet above sea level, with a 100-foot waterfall that cascades down the mountain, and the famous Swing-A-Long bridge that spans nearly 200 feet. Get a real bird’s-eye-view from atop the mountain. Some of the other features you'll experience include the climbing wall at Lover’s Leap where you can see seven states. 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. 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. This is a favorite for kids and grands.|
| Dinner: || Adults will have dinner out at a favorite local restaurant. Enjoy the evening knowing your grandchild is having fun at an aquarium sleepover. Dinner will be at The Station located at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Terminal. Your delicious dinner comes complete with exciting entertainment provided by a live band and "Singing Server".|
| Evening: ||Kids will go to the aquarium for a sleepover. Grandparents will have an evening of dining and adult conversations while the kids enjoy activities at the aquarium.
KIDS: Ever dream of sleeping under the peaks alongside sharks, stingrays and more? Now is your chance. Come ‘sleep in the deep’ and wake up to a whole new world. Aquarists and divers will give you some idea of what it’s like to be part of the Aquarium team. Just when your eyes can’t stay open any longer, we’ll bed down alongside our largest exhibits where you can dream about all the magnificent creatures found in the Tennessee Aquarium.