How to spend an perfect afternoon in Chattanooga Tennessee

Chattanooga is a great place to both absorb history and spend a fun day hanging out with friends and family. Whether you’re just going bike riding in Coolidge Park, or want to get engrossed in history, Chattanooga is the place to go.

Opened in 1998 and named after a World War 2 veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, Charles Coolidge, Coolidge Park is an awesome park with lots to do. It is a great place for families to hang out with biking and walking paths, an antique carousel, and fountains shaped like horses, turtles, lions and camels that are always ready to cool someone off in the summertime.

One of our favorite things to do is ride the carousel. It may not look like it, but this carousel is actually almost 125 years old! This antique carousel was made in 1894, but was then fixed up by a local wood carver named Bud Ellis. It has 52 different animals to ride, and is one of the key attractions at Coolidge Park.

A New York style delicatessen, River Street Deli is a small restaurant located right across the street from Coolidge Park and is a great place to have lunch after an afternoon at Coolidge park. In addition to their large selection of sandwiches and a variety of soups and salads, they also sell a number of assorted meats by the pound.

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Not only are visitors allowed to wander around the platform outside, the conductor’s box is also open for visitors to explore.

One of the places that might have the most history in Chattanooga is the “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”. Beginning in 1880, this historical passenger train was the start of public transportation between the North and the South (actually the Chattanooga Choo-Choo was the first passenger train traveling between Cincinnati and Chattanooga), and was operated, and possibly owned, by the Cincinnati Southern Railroad. After the decline of rail traffic in the 1950’s and 1960’s, a group of businessmen bought the station, turning it into a hotel.  The name of the train came from the Glen Miller song, “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”. Though the original Terminal Station is now a hotel, visitors are allowed to wander around inside the building and around the courtyards outside, where the train is kept. And in addition to the museum, there are also restaurants and bars scattered around the building. Or if you are in the mood for something a little more energizing, there is also a coffee shop inside the building called the Frothy Monkey.

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The Frothy Monkey is located in the main lobby of the Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

Here’s some links in case you want to look up some history:

Also here is the link for River Street Deli in case you’re interested in looking them up:

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