(Unlike me) Eric hates to rush out the door ;) so we left around 8:45 and got to Chattanooga around 11:30 due to the super fun traffic in Atlanta that we got caught in. It had been awhile since Cooper has been on a longer car ride so along with the super fun traffic we had super fun Cooper screams! He eventually conked out until right before we got there. We had no idea what to expect so when we pulled up to this castle looking building with a humongous cow out front we were a little surprised! Where is the cave and waterfall?
It turns out that the cave and Ruby Falls was under the castle looking building! We rode an elevator 1,000+ feet under the ground and arrived in a cave! Cooper was completely intrigued and did so awesome the whole walk through the cave until we arrived at the waterfall. He was freaked out by the waterfall but happy again once we started back towards the entrance. We were told that several years ago a tour group got stuck underground over night when the elevator malfunctioned so OSHA made them put in stairs *just in case* which was comforting.
We did a quick lunch at Pizza hut which was just down the mountain and then made the supposed-to-be-short trek to Rock City that ended up not being not-so-short and involved a talk with a police man and then a complete stranger driving in front of us to show us the way! Turns out it was less than a mile away -- oops! It was completely worth it because Rock City was AMAZING. There is some history involved with it but basically it was pathways, bridges, tunnels, etc. between and over giant boulders that led us out to the side of a mountain with beautiful views to seven states! This was the best part for Cooper because he was free to lead the way, explore the tunnels, and load up on some treats at the end. There was a little shop with handmade candies, fudge, etc. so Eric got fudge, I got sea salt caramel, and Cooper got chocolate covered graham crackers with sprinkles! Everything was delicious.
The third leg of our adventure was The Incline which is the steepest commercial railway in the world. It is about a mile from top to bottom and takes about 10 minutes to get from one side to the other. We snagged a seat in the very front of the train on the way down which Cooper thought was the best. They let you explore the town below and hop on a The Incline to head back up whenever you want but there appeared to me no good exploring within walking distance so we just took it right back up.
We decided to grab dinner before heading back and thanks to Yelp found The Terminal Brewhouse. The prices and food were excellent so we would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting the area!
Spontaneous day trips with my boys are the best.