Southeast Tennessee Attractions

Southeast Tennessee Attractions
Southeast Tennessee is home to plenty of camp sites, trails and other outdoor centers, but it also is mixed in with city life that offers attractions for the entire family. Surrounding the large city of Chattanooga are smaller towns like Athens, Sweetwater and Cleveland. Within a couple of hours are Nashville, Knoxville and Gatlinburg. Whether your family is interested in aquariums or state parks, southeast Tennessee is sure to guarantee a good time for all.

Tennessee Aquarium

In Downtown Chattanooga along the Tennessee River sits the Tennessee Aquarium. It is home to 10,000 animals, including various sharks, penguins, alligators, sting rays, butterflies and birds. Along the tour, guests can interact with some of the animals, learn more about the creatures that live there and see plenty of photographic sites. Nearby is the IMAX 3D theater, the Creative Discovery Museum and plenty of shops, restaurants and hotels.

Tennessee Aquarium
One Broad St.
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(800) 262-0695

Ruby Falls

For more than 75 years, families and other visitors have taken the elevator ride more than 250 feet underground to explore Ruby Falls. Along the tour, they will see natural cavern formations and learn about the many geological structures on the way to view the nation's largest and deepest public waterfall. At the site above-ground, guests also can visit the Lookout Mountain tower. Several special events are held at the falls throughout the year, especially around the holidays.

Ruby Falls
1720 South Scenic Highway
Chattanooga,TN 37409
(423) 821-2544

Harrison Bay State Park

Just north of Chattanooga near Harrison Bay on the Tennessee River sits the 1,200-acre Harrison Bay State Park. At the park, families, campers and fishers can explore Chickamauga Lake. They also can park their RVs at camp sites --- complete with water and electrical hookups --- or stay in a camp site or rustic cabin. Bikers and hikers also can enjoy several miles of trails year round. Also at the park are picnic and meeting facilities, an Olympic-size swimming pool and a marina. Special activities may be scheduled throughout the year.

Harrison Bay State Park
8411 Harrison Bay Road
Harrison, TN 37341
(423) 344-6214

Booker T .Washington State Park

North of Downtown Chattanooga along the Tennessee River is the 353-acre Booker T. Washington State Park, named after a famous former American slave who eventually ran the historic Tuskegee Institute. Bikers will find several miles of trails, many on hills, and fishers will find catfish, bass and other fish in Chickamauga Lake all year long. Guests also can enjoy picnic facilities, swimming and other recreational activities.

Booker T. Washington State Park
5801 Champion Road
Chattanooga, TN 37416
(423) 894-4955

The Lost Sea

A drive into the outskirts of urban Tennessee in Sweetwater is the nation's largest underground lake at The Lost Sea. Guests can take a boat ride into the underground Craighead Caverns to explore geographical structures and take a tour around the lake, once used by the Cherokee Indians. The site also is home to the Old Sweetwater Village, which includes a general store, ice cream parlor, gem mine, a glassblowing area, a blacksmith shop and a restaurant, as well as a nature trail and picnic areas. Guests also can take an interactive wild cave tour, an overnight adventure for groups.

The Lost Sea
140 Lost Sea Road
Sweetwater, TN 37874
(423) 337-6616

Article Written By Lisa Floyd

Lisa Floyd is a freelance writer who specializes in music, travel, food and education, among other topics. Since 2000, she has written for several print and online publications including "The Red & Black" newspaper, "Southern Distinction" magazine and various websites. Floyd holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Georgia.

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