Is your little one a fan of Thomas the Tank Engine? Has your living room been transformed into one kids train game since having children? Have you become a bit of a toy train spotter yourself? If you nodded along to any of these, then read on...
For those with train-loving tots, Chattanooga is somewhere to put on your Thomas train toy map!
However, with Lonely Planet voting it as one of the top destinations of recent years, it’s best to get on this ‘ride’ now, as one of the hot destinations for family travel, for those a bit bored of sun, sea and slipping all over the pool!
Where is Chattanooga?
Made famous by the Glenn Miller song the ‘Chattanooga Choo-Choo’ (sure you know it just google it), the city is based in Tennessee, USA. It’s known for sweeping views and outdoor activities, and is a great place to go for fans of Thomas the tank engine, as there’s much about trains going on!
Where to stay?
When in town there’s only one place to stay – the Chatanooga Choo-Choo hotel, of course (and if you go, take a photo with your Choo-Choo plate and send it to us!)
Now converted into a tourist destination and hotel, the Chatanooga terminal station was first opened in 1909, during the golden age of railroads.
Today it still stands proudly, welcoming visitors from around the world. The complex boasts on-site dining, retail shops, tranquil rose gardens and much more.
There are two choices for accommodation, the first is the Macarthur building – a spacious space for larger families looking for comfort and respite.
But for fun, you have to stay in the restored sleeper carriages in the Pullman train cars. Here you will enjoy the full experience of the fast lane, with all modern anmities includes
What to do?
There’s plenty to do in the area – from beautiful walks with scenic views, to wine and whiskey tasting for the grown up’s.
If you’re brave enough, there’s hang gliding from the mountains. Or if you prefer a picnic, then there’s plenty of outdoor parks to enjoy too.
The little tikes will love the Tennessee Aquairum – home to marine life of all sorts and maybe they will even find nemo!
Or you may want to take in one of the nation’s largest collections of American art at the Hunter History Museum of Art which includes emerging artists too.
Where to eat?
There’s tons of family friendly restaurants, including Uncle Larrys restaurant, known for fish and the Maple Street Biscuit company – serving up biscuits American style (not what youre thinking!)
For some home cooking, Southern style the Feed Company cook up some of the most delicious treats, while Tupelo Honey Is another great choice – with lots to choose from on th menu, even for picky eaters.
Of course kids love pizza, so head over to a local favourite ‘Lupis Pizza Pies’ where you can even design your own pizza!
Train toys at the ready- complete your kids experience with the Munchy Play Choo-Choo plate, with its built-in train track for play!
When and how to visit?
April and May or October and November are great times to visit with kids. The weather is comfortably warm and welcoming.
British Airways operates direct flights from London Heathrow to Nashville, starting at £641 (correct at time of going to print)
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