Chattanooga Travel Guide – Ruby Falls, Incline Railway, the Choo Choo and more

– [Robert] In today’s video we’re going to explore Chattanooga, Tennessee We’ll visit Point Park, Ruby Falls, The Incline Railway, all of them on Lookout Mountain Also the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo We’ll walk the Walnut Street Bridge and see Coolidge Park by the Tennessee River All that coming up next ♪ I’m riding, riding, riding ♪ ♪ Riding in my RV, my RV ♪ ♪ Wherever I want to be ♪ ♪ Because I’m free in my RV ♪ ♪ Yeah ♪ – [Robert] Greetings from the Raccoon Mountain Campground, located just outside Chattanooga Very close to all the attractions (upbeat country rock music) We’ve just arrived and have about an hour of daylight left, maybe a little longer So let’s go to the top of Lookout Mountain first And see the city from above I guess it is through here It is such a pretty drive to the top of the mountain Located toward the southernmost end of the Cumberland Plateau, Lookout Mountain is shared by Georgia and Tennessee and is home to many of the tourist attractions here in the Chattanooga area It is also the site of several historic battles Here to the right we have Ruby Falls, which is actually a waterfall inside of a cave And we’ll be coming here first thing tomorrow morning before the hoards of tourists arrive It’s a very popular place We’re getting close to the top of the mountain, which at its highest point, it is 2392 feet, 729 meters above sea level Although we’re not gonna go that high Almost, but not quite All these homes here near the top? I’m sure they cost a pretty penny Especially the ones with a view Here’s the Incline Railway station, which we’ll also visit tomorrow And I’ve seen a lot of police presence around this neighborhood Well here we are: Point Park Let’s park (electronic music) The park overlooks the site of what has become known as the Battle Above the Clouds, which happened right here, on November 4th, 1863 It also affords a, shall I say, commanding view of downtown Chattanooga and the Tennessee River (jazzy music) There are several monuments commemorating the battle, but since the park closes at sunset, we don’t get much time to explore The gates, built in 1904, are modeled after the Army Corps of Engineers’ Insignia Yeah, very picturesque up here Let’s continue exploring This is actually private property right here, someone’s backyard if you will But don’t worry, we are not actually trespassing There’s the Inclined Railway And then more lavish mansions Probably with a nice view Let’s go back down

I want to get back to the campground before it gets too dark Tomorrow we are going to have the whole day to explore Here they have a lookout point where you can stop and see the Incline Railway going up and down the mountain Well, pretty nice Right here at Raccoon Mountain As the day slowly comes to an end I might do a fire later Well good morning From the Raccoon Mountain Campground here Well breakfast for champions Now onto Ruby Falls we go Yeah, let’s go to Ruby Falls first, since it is such a popular site and it might get swamped with tourists later in the day As you can see the parking lot is already pretty full Well here we are, Ruby Falls With a view of downtown Chattanooga in the distance Little cloudy today Hopefully it’ll get better We take an elevator down to the cave, 260 feet underground – [Woman] They just kinda go all out about it here – I’ll tell ya a lot more about it but this is what was natural So we kinda opened it up Around 800 (mumbles) down to Nashville – [Robert] We walk to this first chamber here, where we get treated to a short video presentation with some curious facts about the cave and some of the history as well – [Narrator] The discovery of amazing geological formations and the existence of an enormous waterfall A few days later, Lambert reentered this new-found cave with his wife Ruby and christened this natural wonder with her name, Ruby Falls – [Robert] This is the original size of the cave Yes, that was the size of the original shaft they had to crawl through when they discovered the cave, which was actually done by mistake They were building an elevator shaft to reach Lookout Mountain cave, which was actually deeper and whose entrance had been collapsed by the building of a railroad tunnel Eventually this cave became the more popular one of course – [Guide] And what’s more impressing to me is somehow Mr. Lambert convinced his wife to follow him and crawl as well She did it in a dress She was, she was the hero, or the crazier one, I don’t know She thought he was dead Alright, so seven hours, hands and knees, this tight crevice You can imagine how excited they got when they got up here and found this sign that told ’em they could stand up Unbelievable folks Seven hours to get that far (group murmurs) – [Robert] The cave’s natural beauty is greatly enhanced by the fact that it is exquisitely illuminated They’ve done such a great job (epic music) – I’m standing on top of a formation This is a stalagmite Stalagmites come up from the ground and stalactites again are the ones up top Hang on tight from the ceiling It’s made out of a mineral called calcium carbonate It’s just the solid form of calcium Calcium’s growing through the rocks So when it becomes like this it is more commonly called calcite But this up here, this is the only formation that you guys can touch So as you come up, hug it, rub it, kiss it, I don’t care, just get it out of your system here Alright? We all agree, we good? Alright Everybody touches this one, so just have at it We’re gonna play a little audio tape Don’t go anywhere

As soon as the audio tape’s over, we’ll be gone Take notes There’s still a test (speaking in foreign language) – [Man] You thought you were out You thought you were in the clear – [Announcer] From the diary of Leo Lambert, December 31st, 1928 “We we were all amazed at the incredible things we observed “in this new area “We originally entered the caverns through a small opening “at the elevator shaft.” (dramatic music) – [Robert] So many interesting rock formations I think I like this one even more than Mammoth Cave But what do you think? Don’t be shy Leave me a comment – [Guide] All these little ones up top are (mumbles) Water dripping down from the center And when it reaches the top over hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years it starts barely growing – [Robert] Wow, would you look at that – [Guide] Alright, very active area up here folks Watch your step Don’t touch anything, especially up here in the middle of the walkway there’s a column – [Robert] There’s water down here – [Guide] There’s over 3000 of them in this room I know that because I had a very long night last night and counted each and every one of those (group chuckles) – So beautiful And as I said before, so beautifully lit Hmm, bacon Now they’re making me hungry And now the potato chip Look how thin and delicate that rock formation is Hmm water We must be getting close I hear water

(water rushing) (speaking in foreign language) And here we are! I guess at some point they’re gonna light it up, right? Wow Our guide mentioned that this is a brand new LED light system they just installed And it illuminates the falls from behind Well here we are, we finally made it to the famous Ruby Falls Say hello It’s amazing Mom taking a selfie of course And it’s gone, that was it Ruby Falls (thoughtful music) (singing in foreign language) One the way out we get to see even more cool rock formations Some of which we even missed on the way in The brightly lit ones, like this one, the camera doesn’t really capture the whole picture, the whole color gamut (dramatic music) Out we go Where Leo Lambert first entered the cave And if the elevator were to malfunction, that’s the tunnel that we would take It’s a couple of miles long, but it’ll take us to safety Maybe – [Announcer] We now invite you to extend your stay and enjoy the panoramic view from the Lookout Mountain Tower – [Robert] This is the very top of the tower As you can see, not many people wanted to come up here But we got a commanding view of Chattanooga Of course you get to exit through the very well stocked gift shop This whole castle looking building was built with rocks blasted out when they were building the elevator shaft back in the late 1920s (country music) (woman speaking in foreign language) (upbeat music) A short drive and we are now at the Incline Railway We get our ticket and promptly board this unique car It’s a long way down – [Announcer] The world’s steepest passenger railway and America’s most amazing mile The Incline will travel from an altitude of 2100 feet above sea level at a speed of 600 feet per minute Nearly one mile straight down the face of Lookout Mountain to the Chattanooga valley below – [Robert] Not the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen, but still it is a pretty cool ride down on this unique and historic mode of transportation (electronic music) – [Announcer] On behalf of all CARTA employees,

please have a pleasant stay in Chattanooga – [Robert] Ooo, check it out I learned how to drive on a car just like that one 1974 Impala We’ve reached the bottom The historic Chattanooga district of St. Elmo We came from all the way up there Elmo district here in Chattanooga Let’s find something to eat Here’s the 1885 Southern and Coastal Grill Seems pretty fancy And the people eating inside Yeah, I think we’re gonna do it Southern Coastal, let’s check it out An IPA to get started Fried green tomatoes I’m having the crawfish etouffee and Mom is having some salmon Well we just finished lunch here at the 1885 Pretty good I had the crawfish and shrimp etouffee, which was very, very tasty A little on the small side But not bad My mom had salmon And she liked it a lot Service was okay Maybe she was having a bad day today, I don’t know But over all pretty good And now we have to go back up on the Incline Railway Our parking is running out And then up to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Choo choo! We’re not gonna make this train We’ll have to take the next one There it goes Up the mountain Did I mention I’m traveling with my mom? This sculpture here, called St. Elmo a History in Steel, represents the history of this neighborhood here And it is pretty cool Each small figure represent a historical event Let’s go, we have a train to catch There’s a train coming down And there’s the other train going up And our ride is here – Thank you sir Watch your step There you go – Thank you Alright – [Conductor] Hold onto these Whenever ya’ll decide to come back down we’ll tear off the blue side Watch your step (thoughtful music) – [Robert] Up we go again We’re back at the Lookout Mountain Station And up here they have a mural with photographs of the Incline Railway at different points in history Very, very cool 1907 (upbeat music) Next stop, downtown Chattanooga Wait a minute Weren’t we just here a few minutes ago? Well we sure were We’re back by the historic St. Elmo district (electronic music) There it is, the Chattanooga Choo Choo Originally popularized by Glen Miller and his orchestra back in 1941, with the song of the same name And also originally the Chattanooga Terminal Station

The historic building reopened in 1973 as the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel There’s even a street name and a lot around here seems to revolve around the Chattanooga Choo Choo motif The whole place has been undergoing renovations recently And here we have the recently finished Glen Miller Gardens Seems the station slash hotel owes so much of its notariety to the aforementioned song This I guess what remains of the old station and here’s the Chattanooga Choo Choo By the way, that part that looks like the old station is the part of the hotel that is actually undergoing renovations Apparently as part of the hotel, you can spend the night in some of these vintage cars Some others have been turned into breweries and restaurants Let’s check out this old steam engine here I would love to see one of these in action, let me tell ya It is so well preserved The old boiler And this is where the coal used to go And let’s keep exploring And these platforms here, obviously part of the original terminal Another old train here Let’s walk up here Hmm, The Silver Diner I bet you they’re gonna turn that one into a restaurant And what do we have here? (other visitors chatting quietly) Hmm, self service bar? It is called American Draft, a self service, pour your own draft beer hall You get a card, pour your own beer and you get charged by the ounce at the end Cool concept I like it That way you can sample a variety of beers at your own pace (bright music) It would have been so cool to see this place in the early 20th century when the railroad industry was in its heyday They are building some kind of deck out here And it looks like they might turn the caboose into a kitchen Yeah you can tell this place is pretty new (easy going music) Let’s explore this other side It looks like they are ready for business, although there is no business right now There’s a comedy club This is The Silver Diner Now it’s a pizza car Well let’s explore Let’s see what they have in here Well this one is just a gift shop Oh, this must be the pizzeria Are these actual gas lamps or some kind of trickery? They definitely give the place an air of authenticity This is the ovens for the pizzeria Let’s continue exploring and we’re kind of lost and aimless here, I must confess Collection of timeless guitars I wonder what this is here Oh wow, cool It is a guitar museum And they have an old style jukebox I remember seeing those in action when I was a kid When I was a kid Songbirds Guitar Museum I will come back some other time What is this out here? Apparently this whole area is called Station Street As it says There, no alcohol beyond this point I bet you this place is happening later in the day or maybe on the weekends And here we have what looks like an abandoned building

And we just went around the whole hotel This of course was probably part of the old Chattanooga terminal – [Man] Thank you – [Robert] Back there, the area under renovation Let’s go into the cafe to get some much needed espresso Replenish some energy to continue exploring Um, fancy – [Announcer] If you would like a receipt, press yes If not, press no – No – Thank you Please drive ahead – You’re welcome (upbeat electronic music) Let’s drive north, across downtown, towards the Tennessee River There is this pedestrian bridge we want to walk on Alright, let’s park here Well here we are, Northside And there is a blue rhinoceros on a wagon of sorts Weird Nevermind, let’s walk on the bridge Well this here’s Walnut Street Bridge And we’re about to cross the Tennessee River This is a pedestrian bridge here We went in a coffee shop, the coffee shop by the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel’s pretty good Good espresso There it is Tennessee River On the other side there are a bunch of museums and the Tennessee Aquarium And the views of the Tennessee River are very much worth the walk It is a very historic bridge here It was built in 1890, then it was closed to traffic in 1978 And it sat in disrepair for many years until the late 80s when they repaired it, made it more structurally sound and reopened it as a pedestrian bridge There’s the Hunter Museum of American Art And the John Ross Bridge Check out all these nice apartments and in the back, Lookout Mountain (jazzy music) Oh by the way, that’s the Tennessee Aquarium This down here is called Coolidge Park We should go there next Lots of people going for a stroll, here on the bridge in the late afternoon And there is an indoor carousel We’re going to check that out too Seems to be a pretty nice neighborhood, this Northside Their slogan is where hip meets historic More in depth exploring shall happen next time we visit Chattanooga Let’s check out the indoor carousel I’m really intrigued It is over 100 years old Well the carousel was originally built in 1894 and it was recently restored It features 532 hand carved animals A calliope band organ and ornate gold leaf benches Well that was unexpectedly cool While we’re here, might as well, let’s explore Coolidge Park a little bit These stone animals here are apparently part of a fountain I’m sure they turn it on during the summer

Actually I have an even better idea Let’s fly the drone I checked with my app and there don’t seem to be any flight restrictions Still, I will fly mostly over the river Just in case (country music) Tell you what, as crazy as it may sound, let’s go back one more time to Lookout Mountain We haven’t seen Rock City yet And even though by now it is probably closed, I know this pullout from where you can see the waterfall Oh by the way, Rock City is on the Georgia side of the mountain We should be seeing the waterfall any second now here up ahead Hey, where’s the waterfall? Don’t tell me it is a fake I guess it is and they turned it off Well anyways, this here is Rock City coming up We were here two years ago for Memorial Day Well there is Rock City Apparently they turn off the waterfall when they close down the park And that’s the balcony where supposedly you see the seven states Actually let me show you how it is supposed to look with water I’ll put a link to that video from 2016 in which we visited Rock City I think we’ve had enough fun for one day Let’s go back to the campground and chill out a little bit, because tomorrow, hmm, tomorrow we are heading towards Louisville (jazzy music) Well good morning

Good frigid morning here from Raccoon Mountain Campground Today we continue towards Louisville But first we have to tackle the treacherous Monteagle Mountain That’s up on the Cumberland Plateau But I think we’ll be fine Huh, nice camper here next to us I just have to inflate my tires a little bit here And hmm, healthy breakfast Mushrooms and spinach And scrambled eggs (exclaims) Off we go on the road again Lots of traffic coming into the city and we actually go back into Georgia ever so briefly (jazzy music) Then back in to Tennessee It is a very picturesque drive, let me tell ya Once again, crossing the Tennessee River There’s Marion County Park, the campground where we stayed last year Right there, across the river Right before the ascent to Monteagle, this nice young couple in the green van started frantically calling for my attention And it turns out that they are Jon and Nicole, viewers of the channel, on route to the Grand Canyon So happy travels to ya See ya on the road The following 10 minutes, which will be about a minute for you all, is the most perilous segment of the whole trip, at least up to this point It is the long steep grade known as Monteagle Mountain, which is basically the climb to the top of the Cumberland Plateau It is the mountain everybody tells you about, where tow vehicles come to overheat and die I’ve been through here twice before and while it is challenging, it’s really not that bad I have learned that the trick to not overheating is taking it slow and doing it early in the morning when it is not too hot (upbeat music) Here we are at the end of Monteagle We only overheated just a tiny little bit 45 miles per hour on the way up Let’s take a break We have conquered Monteagle one more time Well, now you know, don’t be afraid of Monteagle Just be prudent Take it slow I’m going to park here for a few minutes to cool down, you know and take a break And continue ♪ I’m riding, riding in my RV ♪ ♪ Wherever I want to be ♪ ♪ Because I’m free in my RV ♪ ♪ Yeah I’m riding, riding, riding ♪ ♪ I’m riding in my RV, my RV ♪ ♪ Wherever I want to be ♪ ♪ Because I’m free ♪ – [GPS] Welcome to Kentucky – [Robert] Thank you ♪ I’m riding, riding, riding ♪ ♪ Riding in my RV, my RV ♪ ♪ Wherever I want to be ♪ ♪ Because I’m free in my RV ♪ ♪ Yeah riding ♪ – [Robert] Well let me tell you what we’re gonna do here in the next couple of days I am going to experience Thunder Over Louisville, which is an airshow ending with a massive fireworks display Then I get to hang out with my cousin Juan and the rest of the family in Louisville We’re gonna visit Churchill Downs where they do the Kentucky Derby, Bardstown, a bunch of places Then Lexington, which I really like And then back south through the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg I’m telling you, the trip is just getting started

♪ Riding in my RV, my RV ♪ ♪ Wherever I want to be ♪ ♪ ‘Cause I’m free in my RV ♪ ♪ Yeah riding, riding, riding ♪ ♪ I’m riding in my RV, my RV ♪ ♪ Wherever I want to be ♪ ♪ ‘Cause I’m free in my RV ♪ ♪ Riding, riding from Florida to Tennessee ♪ ♪ My RV, wherever I want to be ♪ ♪ Because I’m free in my RV ♪ ♪ Yeah riding, riding in my RV ♪ ♪ Wherever I want to be ♪ ♪ ‘Cause I’m free in my RV ♪ If you have enjoyed traveling with us then make sure you’re subscribed And check out my other videos Also share it with your friends Spread the word and leave me a comment Now if you really, really liked it, you have a chance to show your support at Patreon.com/travelingRobert As always, thank you so much for watching and see you on the road