Touring Chattanooga


Walnut Street Bridge

Walnut Street Bridge


On many of our trips we have found local tours. We have walked the streets of Savannah, ridden through Nashville. We’ve toured the Mall in DC, a graveyard in Gatlinburg, and the bowels of Disney.

We are convinced that once in New Orleans we even had a real life Vampire as our tour guide, or at least he thought that he was. He was a guide on a hunted tour.  He came complete with the red lined black cape and fanged teeth that appeared real enough that I wasn’t going to ask. He had one blue eye and one green. I can’t say that I remember that much of the tour, but he will be forever etched into my mind.  As a parent, there are many times that you wonder if certain decisions were really a good idea. This was one of those moments.


Walnut Street Bridge

Walnut Street Bridge


While in Chattanooga, we found a walking tour through the Bluff and Bridges area of the city.  Our guide was Carlton Thomas of Chattanooga Sidewalk Tours. While talking with Carlton, I learned that he had attended college with my cousin. What a small world.


Ross Landing

Ross Landing


This area was once known as Ross’s crossing. John Ross owned and operated a trading post and a ferry that crossed the Tennessee River. Ross was of mixed Scottish and Cherokee heritage from 1815 to 1826. He was also an elected chief among the Cherokee. Ross and his people were forced to move west by President Andrew Jackson in what became known as the Trail of Tears. In 1839 the area became known as Chattanooga.

We walked the 2376 feet across the Walnut Street Bridge to the North Shore.  Built in 1890, the bridge was closed to traffic in 1978. A decade later the city renovated the bridge and it is now one of longest pedestrian bridges in the world.

Walking down Frazier Avenue on the North Shore we pasted by Julie Darling Donuts . We had already found these darling donuts. All that I’m going to say is donuts with maple syrup icing and crusted with real beacon. They are almost worth the expense of driving to Chattanooga alone.


Carousel Horse

Carousel Horse

We turned off of Frazier and headed for Coolidge Park. This is a popular downtown park located on the waterfront. It features a beautifully restored Dentzel carousel, a pavilion, an interactive play fountain, and lots of open space. The 1894 Dentzel carousel is a central feature in Coolidge Park. The antique carousel was restored by local master wood carver Bud Ellis and a devoted team of craftspeople and volunteers at his studio “Horsing Around” located near Chattanooga.


Free Money

Free Money


Afterwards we walked back across the pedestrian bridge and up towards the Hunter Museum of American Art. Located in front of the museum is a statue by Tom Otterness who has explored social issues in the past with humor. In his work here the couple is dancing on a bag of “Free Money”.  He also has another statue title “Last Penny”.





An evening storm had been threatening to rain on us but stayed off in the distance. When we arrived at the museum the storm presented us a beautiful rainbow.


Sunset on the Tennessee

Sunset on the Tennessee


After the tour we were returning to the trolley, and enjoyed the beautiful scene of the sun setting behind pedestrian bridge.




  1. Edith Levy July 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    All terrific but I have to say I love the bridge shots.

    • Phillip July 19, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      Thanks Edith. That is an amazing bridge. I’m so glad to see a city re-purpose an asset like this. A lot of others would have just dropped into the river.

  2. Jimi Jones July 20, 2011 at 6:30 am #

    Awesome captures, Phillip!
    I love bridges and that paddle boat in the first shot really sets the atmosphere. This is a nice write up too. I enjoy these “instant getaways” where we can enjoy the places others gave visited through photography.

    Would love to do that bridge tour in Chattanooga. Must have been great fun. 🙂

    Nice work, man.

    • Phillip July 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

      Thanks Jimi. I really like thinks like this too.

  3. A.Barlow July 20, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    Nice shot here. The details in the brick are great.

    • Phillip July 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

      Thanks Aaron. I don’t have any shots posted of the other side. However, the bank behind me is solid limestone. This is where the bricks were quarried. It is amazing what people did years ago with so much less compared to today’s technology.

  4. Rob July 20, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    Awesome pics! fun to get out on photo walkabouts with others to really learn the city and learn more about photography. Love tom Otterness’s works. I have posted a number of his works here in Minneapolis on my blog.

    • Phillip July 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

      Thanks you Rob! I love going on these type tours. They are so interesting and I always learn something new.

  5. Caryn Caldwell July 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    I love it, but I have to say that my favorite part is the paddle boat. So cool!

    • Phillip July 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

      Thanks Caryn. I agree without the paddle boat we are looking at a totally different image.

  6. Will Marlow July 24, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    Beautiful photos. They make me want to visit Chatanooga!

    • Phillip July 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

      Thanks Will. Maybe I need to speak with Chattanooga’s Tourist Council and see if I can get something for all this advertising. LOL Seriously, we were impressed with some of the things that they are doing.

  7. Yvonne October 31, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    Great pics and info. Thanks for taking the time to post for us. We were there last years ago before they even broke ground for the Aquarium! So it’s a big surprise to find that there now and we also were not yet into going to art museums yet so we are looking forward to both now. I have some old pics on the pedestrian bridge or old railroad bridge? Not sure what bridge it was but you could walk through only one part of it as the rest was missing and broken down pieces! At the other side of the bridge was a couple of old RR cars and I think a little playground. Bet that’s gone now. I love bridges, so I look forward to walking on the ones I can. We’re coming down sometime in Nov. but not sure when. The more pics I see of the area now, the more excited I get about going. Thanks again for sharing your info and pictures.

    • Phillip November 1, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

      Thank you Yvonne for you comment. We had a great time in Chattanooga. It appears that the city has done a lot since your visit. The bridge is just up the “hill” from the Aquarium. Across the bridge there is a very nice park, with a carousel. As I remember a local artist actually makes the animals figures. At the time, he actually had classes to teaches others this lost art. We’re looking forward to going back ourselves someday.

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