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Summer adventures in old Chattanooga
Associated Press

Lookout Mountain, just outside Chattanooga.


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Published: 5/30/2009 11:19 PM

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Festivals, cruises and history are all part of the summer scene in Chattanooga.

Here are some ideas for things to do if you're in the area:

• Boating: The Tennessee Aquarium's new River Gorge Explorer offers eco-cruises. Other ways to get on the downtown riverfront and Tennessee River include a ride on the Blue Moon; a sightseeing, lunch or dinner cruise on the Southern Belle Riverboat or a scenic ride on the Chattanooga Water Taxi/Fat Cat Ferry or Chattanooga Ducks.

• Creatures: The aquarium's collection includes sharks, stingrays and penguins, or visit the snow leopards, red pandas, jaguars and more at the Chattanooga Zoo.

• Festivals: Summer festival season kicks off with the Riverbend Festival, June 5-13, and winds down with the Southern Brewer's Festival Aug. 22, with plenty of outdoor concerts in between.

• History: It's not a working depot any more, but Chattanooga's Terminal Station celebrates its centennial this year. The station is now a unique vacation complex called the Chattanooga Choo Choo that includes a hotel, retail shops, gardens, convention center and trolley car. Authentic Victorian sleeper cars have been restored and turned into hotel rooms.

Just outside the city, Tennessee's largest mall, Hamilton Place, is 15 minutes from downtown, and Lookout Mountain, with Rock City Gardens, Ruby Falls and a passenger railway, is six miles away.

Chattanooga is less than a two-hour drive from Atlanta, Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn., and Huntsville and Birmingham, Ala.

For more information and things to do, visit or download a visitors guide from