6-Day Tennessee with a Twist

Day 1 You'll See:

  • Memphis
  • Graceland
  • Peabody Hotel
  • Beale Street

Day 2 You'll See:

  • National Civil Rights Museum
  • Rock and Soul Museum
  • Backbeat Tours
  • Stax Museum
  • Sun Studio
  • Orpheum Theater

Day 3 You’ll See:

  • Nashville
  • RCA Studio B
  • Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Wildhorse Saloon
  • Ryman Auditorium
  • Grand Ole Opry

Day 4 You’ll See:

  • Chattanooga
  • Tennessee Aquarium River Gorge
  • Chattanooga Choo Choo

Day 5 You’ll See:

  • Ruby Falls
  • Lookout Incline Railway
  • Battles for Chattanooga Museum
  • Point Park
  • Rock City Gardens
  • Bluff View Art District
  • Hunter Museum of American Art
  • Southern Belle

Day 6 You’ll See:

  • Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

 

Tennessee is a state full of rich war torn history, music and pop culture firsts, and gorgeous natural scenery, from the Smoky Mountains to the Tennessee River. There is so much here to offer your group for an unforgettable graduation getaway like no other, from the famous recording studios of Memphis and Nashville to the history filled train rides around the Smoky Mountains. Begin your trip in Memphis, make your way through Nashville, then end in beautiful Chattanooga, taking in all the fun, important, and historical sites along the way. Let loose, rock out, and enjoy the views on this 6 day adventure, Adventure Student Travel is just a call away to settle all the details!

 

Day 1

Memphis - Welcome to Memphis, the largest city in Tennessee, home of the King, the Grizzlies, and tons of cultural history. Located in the southwest corner of the state along the Chickasaw Bluff, just south of the Wolf and Mississippi River confluences, Memphis was established and founded in 1819 making it the youngest developed Tennessee city. Mississippi Row, the steamboat merchant promenade in downtown Memphis, acquired economic and cultural wealth quickly, and now stands as a mighty city ranking among the best and biggest in the nation. While you’re here your group can explore the historical River Landing, Victorian Village, Hunt Phelan Mansion, and Steamboat Sultana disaster, as well as trace the roots of their favorite songs and find new legendary music. The BBQ, breweries, and downtown buildings attract millions of tourists annually, all wanting a true Memphis experience. While you are here be sure to stop at the Peabody and Madison Hotels, Graceland, Original Memphis Cotton Exchange, National Civil Rights Museum, Historic South Main District, as well as the hundreds of miles of beautiful scenic trails throughout the rural landscape.

Graceland - Everybody in your group is going to be "all shook up" over your first Memphis stop at the legendary home of the King, Elvis Presley, in Graceland! Graceland is the most famous rock and roll residence in the world, giving the hundreds of thousands of annual visitors an intimate glimpse of the personal life of Presley. This 13.8 acre Colonial Revival Style mansion features majestic white columns, as well as 20 years of memories of Elvis and his closest friends and family. Upon entrance each member of your group will receive an iPad loaded with an interactive tour narrated by John Stamos. You will see video footage on your personal iPad based upon where you are standing in the house, as well as rock and roll trivia and photos. Explore all of the on-site structures to get the full Elvis experience, seeing his gold and platinum record collection, glittering jumpsuits, and film and music memorabilia at the Graceland Plaza and Graceland Crossing. You can also see the automobile museum which contains over 20 of Elvis’ pristine vehicles, or take the VIP tour to see many behind the scenes exhibits unavailable elsewhere. This is one stop that your group is going to love tenderly, and love truly.

Peabody Hotel - The Peabody Hotel was established in 1869 on Main and Monroe, an instant social and business hub of Memphis. In 1925 the hotel was remodeled at its current location at Union and 2nd, a mere half mile from Beale Street. Known as the "South’s Grand Hotel," the Peabody is legendary for its charm, elegance, and grandeur as a 5 star hotel. It is a landmark in Memphis that is 13 stories high, containing a famous marble-columned lobby in which an 80 year tradition takes place, the March of the Peabody Ducks. Started in 1933, the Peabody Ducks march daily in a parade from the roof to the lobby, attracting thousands of guests for this spectacle alone. A tour of the hotel will show your group several rooms, such as the Romeo and Juliet suite and the History Room, giving you plenty of information about memphis, merchants, and music in this area and how this entertainment and culture hub affected life in this location. After your tour be sure to check out the French or Italian style restaurants, featuring the finest and freshest foods, as well as the elegant gift shop featuring your essential Peabody Duck memorabilia.

Beale Street - Your last stop on day one will give you the most wonderful case of the Beale Street Blues, as you explore the 1.8 miles of America’s most iconic street, Beale Street! Stretching from the Mississippi River to East Street, Beale Street is a top Tennessee attraction that is best known as the home of the blues that was officially established as a merchant paradise in 1841. Beale Street saw its heyday in the roaring '20s, when this carnival like atmosphere featured the best and the worst of Memphis. On the average day on Beale Street you could see booming nightclubs, theaters, restaurants, stores, pawnshops, and hot music, as well as gambling, drinking, prostitution, murder, and voodoo. Today a stroll down the street will show you the best blues clubs and restaurants, as well as many frequent festivals and outdoor concerts. Visit the Hard Rock Cafe, BB King's Blues Club, the Beale Tap Room, or the original Coyote Ugly Saloon. Pretend you’re in the '20s as you pass the Monarch Club, a frequent gangster body disposal location, or the street stand Machine Gun Kelly peddled whiskey out of. Still today you can pass the Palace and Daisy theaters, which used to be packed full of Vaudeville fans, eat a "hot snoot sandwich" at the corner cafe, or see the red light district that rivaled any other in its time, Gayso. Whatever your group decides to do on Beale Street enjoy the classic Memphis sights, sounds, and history on every corner!

 

Day 2

National Civil Rights Museum - The National Civil Rights Museum is one of the nation’s premier heritage and cultural museums, established in 1991. The museum aims to share culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement and also to explore how that era still shapes equality and freedom today worldwide. The building is located in the former Lorraine Motel, the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s untimely assassination in 1968. Featured on the History Channel, CNN, USA Today, and the award-winning documentary The Witness, the National Civil Rights Museum is among the top 5% of accredited institutions in America. Inside this museum your group can walk through history and learn more about the difficult and rewarding period of change through interactive exhibits, historic collections, dynamic speakers, and special events. Explore the 260 artifacts that span through 5 centuries of history, from the beginning of slavery resistance in the 17th century to Jim Crow’s contribution to equality. Be sure to check out the many themed exhibits such as The Year They Walked and Is This America before hitting the gift shop and picking up your essential Civil Rights souvenir and "Eracism" shirt.

Rock and Soul Museum - Next stop, the Rock and Soul Museum for a unique history lesson on the birth of rock and soul music. Created by the Smithsonian, this museum explores the lives of musical pioneers who overcame racial and socioeconomic barriers to create world shaking music. Located on 191 Beale Street, this museum features a comprehensive Memphis music experience from the rural field hollers and sharecroppers of the '30s to the Sun, Star, and Hi Record companys' heyday in the 1970s. Inside the museum your group will explore the impact globally of that recording studio, as well as have the chance to take a digital audio tour at your own pace of all the exhibits. Immerse yourself into the over 300 minutes of information, 100 songs, and 7 galleries that include 3 audio visual exhibits, over 30 original instruments, and 40 costumes. Since its opening in 2000 this museum has seen over 200,000 visitors from worldwide and has attracted countless students through its education program that covers music and social changes.

Backbeat Tours - Opened in 2006, your next stop will give you a plethora of options of tours that will be sure to have something for everybody in your group. Giving a unique, fresh, and interactive twist on local history and pop culture in Memphis, these tours are hosted by actual seasoned Memphis artists. Let Papa Don McMinn take you around Memphis as he tells you about the music industry from the 1940s to today, as well as personal and  important city knowledge. The fan favorite Memphis Mojo tour lasts either 1.5 hours or 3 hours, and will take you through the top attractions in Memphis on the nation’s only music bus (bongos and tambourines included!). You will see Sun and Stax Studios, the Lorraine, Cotton Row, Overton, as well as the homes of Elvis, BB King, and Johnny Cash through a series of live music, comedy, and narration. Get behind the scenes stories and history about the city’s musical heritage, or maybe choose the spookier side of things and take the Ghost Tour. On this tour your group will see the vice, voodoo, phantoms, ghosts, and lost souls that make up the eerie legends of some of the oldest sites in Memphis. Whatever tour you decide to take you won’t regret taking it with Backbeat Tours and their energetic and talented tour staff.

Stax Museum - Next your group will visit the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of American Soul Music, at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. This museum is located on the original site of the historic Stax Records Studio and serves to pay tribute to the recording artists from Stax history, as well as American soul legends. Through their amazing collection of over 2,000 artifacts, interactive exhibits, films, and galleries the Stax Museum will amaze your group and teach them all they need to know about the groovy beginnings of American Soul. On a tour of the structure you will see the actual birthplace of soul music, a modest country Mississippi Delta Church from 1906 that has been fit inside the museum. Next go express yourself on the Dance Floor next to reruns on the big screen of Soul Train. You will also see a replica of recording Studio A, as well as the Hall of Records/Wall of Sound, featuring labels from 1957 to 1975. Stop by the Stax Shop on your way out to pick up any soulful souvenir you can think of!

Sun Studio - The year is 1954, and a shy teenager with big hair and an even bigger voice has laid his first track at Sun Studio, called "That’s All Right." From there the rest is history, as Elvis Presley helped launched Sun Studio’s fame, and vice versa. Rock pioneer Sam Phillips began this historic birthplace of rock and roll in 1950 with the technical first rock and roll single in history, "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston. BB King followed soon, then came the million dollar quartet of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Sam Phillips helped musicians blend blues and country, making rock and roll, with his no-rules new style of recording that provided a non critical, spontaneous environment to promote creativity and vision. The music he has created has stood the test of time and reached across race, age, and gender boundaries to make one of the biggest impacts on American pop culture in musical history. A guided tour of Sun Studio will allow your group to hear about session outtakes of the best musicians, touch Elvis’ first microphone, plus hear the story of the famous quartet and studio launch. You can even stop by the cafe for a handmade milkshake or head to the gift shop for some essential records, books, or posters of your own rock and roll icon.

Orpheum Theater - Originally the Grand Opera House in 1890, the Orpheum Theater was renamed and reached the heights of popularity in 1907. It was known as the classiest theatre outside of New York City at the time and was a highly famous building on Main and Beale Streets that featured Vaudeville acts, singers, musicians, and magicians. A devastating 1923 fire caused its first remodel, adding twice the space as well as more lavish draperies, chandeliers, gilded molding, and the famous Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. After a 36 year stint of being a movie theater, Orpheum came alive again in 1977 with the introduction of Broadway to Memphis. Two more major remodels were undertaken in the next two decades and since then it has become known as South’s Finest Theatre. Productions such as Lion King, Wicked, Cats, and Les Mis have been performed here, as well as Jerry Seinfeld, Goo Goo Dolls, John Mellencamp, and many more talents. Orpheum sees about six to eight Broadway shows a year as well as dozens of live performances. Ballet Memphis and Opera Memphis call this premiere performing arts center for the mid-south home, and a tour of the grounds will show your group why one of the few "movie palaces" left from the roaring twenties is still drawing so many crowds today!

 

Day 3

Nashville - Nashville is home to some of the South’s best musical, cultural, and historical destinations that will be sure to spark the interest of everyone in your group. Home and birthplace of American country music, as well as Bluegrass, there are several opportunities for your group to learn more about the origin of some of their favorite musical styles, as well as see the impact the city of Nashville has made culturally on the music and entertainment world throughout history. You will also have the chance to see several Civil War era landmarks, historic districts and homes, as well as more modern architectural and scientific attractions throughout the city. Take a stroll downtown to take in the many local parks, shops, restaurants, and museums and get a true sense of Southern comfort. There is so much to do and so little time in Nashville, so be sure to put on your walking shoes and keep your eyes open so you don’t miss a thing!

RCA Studio B -  Located on Music Row, the RCA Studio B is one of the most famous recording studios in the world, with over 35,000 songs recorded on location. Studio B is a highly admired cultural attraction and important sight in the evolution of Music City. It also serves as a classroom for musical education in Nashville, discussing, innovating, and teaching the science of sound and recording technology engineering aspects. Studio B was built in 1957, becoming quickly the cradle of Nashville Sound. Nashville sound is a sophisticated style of music characterized by background vocals and strings that has established Nashville as an international recording center as well as revived country music’s popularity in general. On a tour of this popular studio your group will learn about its history, including the many innovations it has contributed to the musical world such as the Nashville number system (shorthand for chord structure). You will even have the chance to see the inside of the very studio that Willie Nelson, Eddy Arnold, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, and the Everly Brothers have all sat and recorded their top hits. The studio is now technically a part of the museum, so check out the rest of the exhibits throughout the whole complex if you have time as you leave happily from the "temple of sound" that is the RCA Studio B!

Country Music Hall of Fame - Established in the musical heart of Nashville in 1967, the Country Music Hall of Fame is an essential and exciting stop for your group while visiting Nashville. Considered the Smithsonian of country music, this hall of fame aims to collect, preserve, and interpret the evolving history and traditions of country music, which it does spectacularly. Your group will delight in the opportunity to look through the history of the most popular and influential country music stars, the very first to be inducted into the hall of fame being Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose, and Hank Williams. Your group will have the opportunity to choose from several exciting country music tours, such as the Star For a Day tour, Legends Lunch and Lyrics tour, Hatch Show Letterpress tour, or fan favorite Cash on Cash tour, a two hour private concert and Q&A with Johnny and June’s son. On any tour you will see the 776 seat CMA Theater, the Taylor Swift Educational Center, and Nashville’s oldest surviving studio. The studio on this premises has seen the likes of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, and Waylon Jennings. Don’t forget to visit the best country music themed gift shop on your way out to pick up the perfect Nashville souvenir!

Wildhorse Saloon - Put your dancing boots on and head over to the world famous Wildhorse Saloon, the 66,000 square foot live country music paradise located in downtown Nashville. This live music and dance paradise features 3 floors of fun, including a restaurant, bar, concert venue, dance floor, TV studio, and catering and event space. Over 1.5 million music lovers and catering groups have visited Wildhorse since its doors opened in 1994, being one of the most popular must-do attractions in Nashville. While here your group will have the chance to watch the hottest live entertainment, learn new dance steps, or dine in the award-winning Southern Smokehouse (can you say fried pickles?). The saloon offers guests free line dance lessons and tours of the entire facility, as well as stories abound about the talent they book, such as Heart, 38 Special, Darius Rucker, and Big and Rich. A few country stars have even gotten their big break on this stage, such as Lonestar and Lo Cash Cowboys. This dancetopia is so widely visited that it goes through 3,000 gallons of BBQ sauce, 2 million pickle slices, 10 million beer, and over 4,000 TV recordings annually. What more do you need in Nashville?

Ryman Auditorium - Known tenderly by Southerners and tourists alike as the "Carnegie Hall of the South," Ryman Auditorium is a true country music icon in Nashville that your group is not going to want to miss. Being the largest structure in its time attracted community events, political rallies, and turn of the century entertainment such as operas, symphonies, ballets, and bands. Inside the Ryman your group will have the chance to tour the halls of the historic entertainment paradise and set foot on stage and backstage, getting the full Ryman Auditorium experience. Hear the story of Earl Scruggs and how this very site became the birthplace of bluegrass, see memorabilia from the 1901 Barber of Seville opening at Ryman, and be immersed in the past as you learn about the earliest performers at this venue, such as John Philip Sousa, Harry Houdini, Charlie Chaplin, Bob Hope, and even Theodore Roosevelt. Musically you will hear the amazing acoustic sounds of performers present and past such as Aretha Franklin, ZZ Top, and the Zac Brown Band. Find out why this stage as been named "the mother church of country music," the birthplace of bluegrass, and has been voted Theater of the year for 5 years running firsthand as you visit the prestigious and historic Ryman Auditorium.

Grand Ole Opry - What began as a simple radio broadcast in 1925 has grown into Nashville’s number one attraction and a true American icon, the Grand Ole Opry. The Grand Ole Opry is dedicated to honoring country music’s rich history and dynamic present and showcases a mix of country music legends of the past and contemporary chart toppers of the present. This, the country’s most famous stage, has launched countless music careers and is the driving force behind the Nashville nickname Music City. The first members of the Opry family included Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff, and Minnie Pearl. Today you can see such acts as Trace Adkins, Brad Paisley, and Martina McBride. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take a backstage tour while you are here, either upon arrival or prior to a 2-hour live show. During a tour you will walk in the footsteps of country superstars and get an exclusive look at the behind the scenes on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Your group will hear stories of backstage excitement throughout the years, as well as have the varying opportunity to see a star preparing or practicing before a big show! Prepare yourself and your group for a "foot-stomping, hand clapping, laughing, crying good time" as you visit an absolutely essential country music tour stop, Nashville historic icon, and home of American music!

 

Day 4

Chattanooga - Start your day out in one of New York Times “Top 45 Places to Go in the World,” Chattanooga, Tennessee! This top southern destination is a widely popular and immensely beautiful classic Tennessee town nestled between the Tennessee River and southern mountain ranges. It is considered one of the most breathtaking cities, home to Lookout Mountain and several exquisite rock formations.You can even travel by train to the top of the mountain to spend some time looking at the most spectacular vistas of the area. Chattanooga offers exciting outdoor adventure, fine dining restaurants, live events, local art, and many other world-class attractions. Visit the world’s largest freshwater aquarium, Tennessee Aquarium, or spend some time exploring the many Civil War, Native American, and 20th century history museums. Downtown your group will have the chance to stroll along Main Street for some amazing shopping, explore 1st Street outdoor art, or spend the day at Coolidge or Renaissance park. The culinary cuisine from all over the world rivals any other southeastern town as well, so be sure to stop at the Mountain City Club, Steamboat Super Sandwiches, or Sticky Fingers Smokehouse!

Tennessee Aquarium River Gorge - Just two blocks away from the Tennessee Aquarium your group is going to board the high tech catamaran, the River Gorge Explorer. This classic Chattanooga excursion takes you downstream from the Chattanooga Pier into the 26 miles of River Gorge. This typically two hour excursion is guided by an Aquarium naturalist and features relevant local history and wildlife viewing and information opportunities. A lot of Civil War history is covered, as well as geological facts about the highlight of this tour, the Tennessee Grand Canyon! The boat itself has climate controlled cabins in which you can view the gorgeous scenery out the windows, or you can choose to hang out on the observation deck for the best 360 vistas. The 27,000 acres of protected land within the Gorge is highly photogenic, so be sure to bring a camera with plenty of film! Most importantly, this cruise is meant to be peaceful and relaxing, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the views and facts as you float down the Tennessee River Gorge.

Chattanooga Choo Choo - Built in 1908, the Chattanooga Choo Choo Terminal was previously known as the Southern Railway railroad station. It is now listed on the national register of historic places and serves as a hotel and resort primarily. This 24 acre complex is a Beaux- Arts style station designed by Donn Barber. One of the most impressive architectural features is the 82 foot centerpiece dome paired with the brick arch at the entrance that is considered to be the largest unsupported arch in the world. Today this complex is used as a convention center, hotel, resort, restaurant, and shop. Your group can view the ‘rooms’ of the hotel in which guests can sleep in restored passenger railway cars. You can also choose from 3 unique eateries, from the Station House at the old baggage storage area, to the Dinner in the Diner, a fine dining experience within a restored 1938 dining car. Take in the historical importance of this heavily trafficked station as you look at the original Chattanooga Choo Choo, a very small wood burning steam engine that was the first to perform non-stop service. A visit here with your group will have you undoubtedly leaving with that catchy 1941 Glenn Miller song stuck in your head!

 

Day 5

Ruby Falls - Within Lookout Mountain your group will have the chance to visit Ruby Falls, America’s deepest commercial cave and largest underground waterfall all in one. This immense cavern featuring a 145 foot enclosed waterfall is considered to be one of the ten most incredible cave waterfalls on Earth! The cave in which you will be walking is over 1,120 feet below the surface and stays a comfortable 59 degrees year round. The cave was discovered in 1928 and opened for the public’s amazement in 1930. For over 85 years thousands of visitors have annually visited to see the hundreds of gallons of water rush through here per minute, as well as the full color LED light show put on the fall itself. Ruby Falls takes pride in its environmental sustainability methods of showmanship, from their solar paneled LED supports to their onsite recycling program, this is the 1st US attraction to receive the Green Globe Certificate. A tour of this geological wonder will show your group the many unique rock formations, view from Mountain Tower, and chance to take part in the ZIPstream Aerial Adventure zip line tour. There’s something for every adventure lover here at Ruby Falls, and the sight of the underground waterfall is a one-of-a-kind view you won’t find anywhere else.

Lookout Incline Railway - “America’s Most Amazing Mile” is also located within Lookout Mountain, experienced fully with the Incline Railway. In 1895 visitors from far and wide would pay $2 for a 4 hour buggy ride up the mountain, but in 1911 a broader gauge pass railway was built and the Incline Railway was born. Originally a coal burning steam engine, this railway is now powered by two 100 horsepower motors. Considered to be the world’s steepest passenger railway, this ride in a trolley style car takes you up a 72.7% grade, giving you the best mountain and valley views from the observation windows along the way. At the top your group will have the chance to see the most amazing panoramic views from the Observation Tower. The Incline Railway is registered as a National Historic Site as well as a Mechanical Engineering Landmark, with millions of riders being impressed throughout its history. At the top your group can explore the civil war points and museum, and at the bottom you can take advantage of all the small town shops and restaurants. Be sure to check out the machine room on the ride to have a unique view of the giant gears in motion!

Battles for Chattanooga Museum - Another history rich stop on Lookout Mountain is at the entrance toward Point Park, called the Battles of Chattanooga Museum. This museum provides an excellent 3D electronic battle map of the Chattanooga Civil War history. This whole map includes 5,000 mini soldiers, 650 lights, sound effects, and exceptional details of major battles . With this map your group will be able to hear and see the “Battle Above the Clouds,” fought in November 1863. This location’s history involves General Sherman’s assault on Missionary Ridge before his historic March to the Sea. Experience the battles as they were fought over 130 years ago as you learn how Grant got involved right here and changed the outcome of the Civil War, as this was the beginning of the end that sealed the fate of the Confederacy. Inside the museum you will see excellent relics and weapon collections, as well as have the opportunity to peruse the extensive bookstore for well-known war works.

Point Park - Your next stop will be at the top of Lookout Mountain, at the Point Park Battle Site. This historic area is technically located within the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and is the official site of the Civil War Battle known as the “Battle Above the Clouds.” During the height of the war control of the "gateway to the deep south" was a very high priority, and in 1863 confederate and union soldiers partook in a 3-day battle for control. The fog on the mountains provided a great cover for takeover, and the full battle took place on November 24th, the union soldiers coming out victorious.  Your group will have a chance to walk around the site and also explore the Visitor Center. Within the center you will see a 33’ by 13’ mural painted by James Walker, an eyewitness to the infamous battle. You will also have the chance to see several different short audio visual presentations about the mural and the battle in general. This stop is a fantastic combination of historic and geographic wonders all in one!

Rock City Gardens - Your last stop within the Lookout Mountain Range is 1,700 feet above sea level, at Rock City Gardens. This geological wonderland is technically located in Georgia, but is still only 6 miles away from downtown Chattanooga. Rock City is a unique geological and botanical wonder featuring 4,100 feet of walking trails, a 100 ft waterfall, and the famous 200 foot swing along bridge. The park was developed sensitively over time, a combination of strange and unusual rock formations, lush gardens, and caves. The park features over 400 different species of wildflowers, shrubs, and trees and works under the motto "created by God, enhanced by men." On a tour of Rock City, your group will undergo a self guided hike around the brow of the mountain, providing a bird's eye view of the location. Make sure you stop at the climbing wall at Lover's Leap, featuring the 7 State Flag Court, where on a clear day you will be able to see 7 states in the foggy distance. Your group can also catch a birds of prey show, have a bite to eat at the Cafe 7 on the terrace, or visit the first mini golf course in the nation at Fairyland Caverns. Take a walk through Fat Man’s Squeeze and shimmy through the Tightrope Walk as you experience what half a million people from around the world do annually at the amazing Rock City Gardens.

Bluff View Art District - Enjoy a relaxing cool off as you stroll around the historic neighborhood downtown known as the Bluff View Art District. This, Chattanooga’s original art district, sits high atop the stone cliffs above the Tennessee River, giving it spectacular scenic bluff top views. From here your group will be able to see the Tennessee River, downtown Chattanooga, and Walnut Street Bridge. The district itself features a few restaurants, a coffee house, an art gallery, a historic bed and breakfast, several gardens, plazas, and courtyards. The whole district will give your group a sense of relaxation and rejuvenation, as you decide to stroll around the award-winning River Gallery Sculpture Garden or explore the nationally recognized artists of the River Gallery. The district is dedicated to visual, horticultural, and culinary arts, as is made clear as you view their several dramatically landscaped gardens or eat the freshest ingredients at any of their local eateries. Your group will delight in this opportunity to relax and immerse themselves into the downtown culture.

Hunter Museum of American Art -  Perched atop a scenic 80 foot bluff on the edge of the Tennessee River, the Hunter Museum of American Art serves the Chattanooga community as a cultural center, historical oasis, and important skyline icon. As the museum likes to boast, “the panoramic views here are only equaled by the excellent collection of American art inside.” This museum is one of America’s finest and aims to understand American history and teach its guests about what makes us Americans today. Inside your group will see art ranging from the colonial period up to today, including paintings, sculpture, photography, mixed media, furniture, and glass pieces. The artists range from Thomas Cole to Andy Warhol and the whole complex is filled to the brim with interesting American historical facts that were developed or affected by art. Particularly, within the 3 buildings that make up the Hunter Museum (1905 mansion, old and new galleries) your group will see 100 years of architecture, culture, and history of this region, including history of the Bluff Furnace, native american culture, and Civil War land usage here.

Southern Belle - End your day in Chattanooga the right way, with a gorgeous late night cruise down the Tennessee River on the floating restaurant, the Southern Belle. This Deluxe Excursion Vessel brings out the nostalgic Old South with an evening of relaxing entertainment and dining. The Southern Belle dinner cruise is considered the best and most unique family dining experience in Chattanooga and features live music, drinks, and fine food that changes daily, depending on the tour your group chooses to take. The boat itself is a 450 passenger ship created in 1985 with features of Easter River and Bay Boats, with Tennessee River specifications such as the large landing stage enabling easy docking anywhere. Nestled between the Olgiati and Market Street Bridges, this cruise line offers daily sightseeing, lunch, dinner, pilot house, and sunset tours to allow visitors from far and wide to take in the sights of the Tennessee River in a unique way. Your group can choose from the Admiral's Dinner, Deluxe Deli Dinner, 1st Mates Dinner, and many many more as you take in the smooth sounds of the South on Chattanooga's only Southern Belle. Don’t forget to check check out the behind-the-scenes captain’s cabin in between dancing and eating the night away, the engineering behind this boat is incredible!

 

Day 6

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum -Created in 1961, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum features a historical collection meant for the presentation, operation, interpretation, and display of railroad artifacts in an authentic setting. Aiming to educate the public of the history of the golden age of railroading and development in the region, this museum experience will take you on a short ride on your choice of train that is packed full of historical facts and interesting stories. Choose between the Missionary Ridge Local, Chickamauga Turn, Hiwassee Loop, Copper Hill Special or Summerville Steam engine as you learn about the first rail line, Western and Atlantic, in the 1850s all the way to the demise of the track after introduction of interstates and air travel in the 1960s. Your group will be drowned in facts about the use of the railroad during the Civil War, the famous beginning of that catchy Glenn Miller Song, as well as the economic advantages of having this industrial hub in early Chattanooga. Buckle up and enjoy the afternoon as you ride the rails of essential Chattanooga history!