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I-75 Things to Do?

Grosse Pointe...
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I-75 Things to Do?

We are driving from Michigan to Florida and will pass through Tennessee on I-75.

Would love your suggestions for fun, touristy, interesting things to do (not too far from the freeway).

My wife, my son (18), and I - we are driving him to college in Florida.

Would love some "quirky" ideas - don't be embarassed to share silly ideas - we like silly places and things to do!!

Thank you, in advance!!

Boston...
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1. Re: I-75 Things to Do?

Chattanooga is an absolute must on your way down to Florida. It'd even be a good place to spend the night. How many days are you taking for the trip? You'll need three if you want to get any sightseeing in.

Downtown Chattanooga is about fifteen minutes west on I-20 from I-75. Closer to I-75 there's the East Brainerd/Hamilton Place Mall suburb. There's not much touristy stuff around there, but there's is a really nice natural area called Audubon Acres. It's a 1500's Indian village site, Trail of Tears site, and protects about a mile of South Chickamauga Creek. (I actually just got back from biking to South Chick.) It's no doubt interesting, though you should read up beforehand you can appreciate the history. There's a medium sized collection of artefacts in the visitor centre as well as a 1700's cabin. (Can't enter it, though, unless you're on a tour.)

If you're looking for touristy things in Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain is the place to go. There's three pretty commercialized attractions up there: Rock City Gardens, Ruby Falls (underground waterfall), and the Incline Railway (I think the steepest passenger railway in the world). Of the three, I think Rock City is the best, but if you have a particular interest in Ruby Falls or the Incline, they're worth it as well.

Other top attractions in Chattanooga include the riverfront, Tennessee Aquarium, Hunter Museum of American Art, Chickamauga Battlefield, Tennessee River Gorge, and Tennessee Riverwalk.

Grosse Pointe...
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2. Re: I-75 Things to Do?

These are GREAT suggestions - THANKS!!!!

I remember as a kid seeing LOTS of signs for "Ruby Falls" on I-75.

Never stopped - maybe we will now!!

right over your...
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3. Re: I-75 Things to Do?

You can take a tour of Mayfield Dairy and get some real good ice cream.

http://www.mayfielddairy.com/

Tour a chesse farm.

http://www.sweetwatervalley.com/farm.shtml

Here are some sites about I-75:

http://www.i75exitguide.com/index.php

www.allstays.com/Special/exits-I75-tn-map.htm

Grosse Pointe...
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4. Re: I-75 Things to Do?

Fantastic, thanks!!!

Athens, Alabama
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5. Re: I-75 Things to Do?

You can sail The Lost Sea in Sweetwater (an underground lake and nice cave tour)- http://www.thelostsea.com/

Visit TVAs Racoon Mountain Pump Storage Plant (a manmade lake on top of a mountain with nice picnic area and a beautiful view of the rive gorge)- http://www.tva.gov/sites/raccoonmt.htm

Visit Racoon Mountain Caverns (and go karts)- http://www.raccoonmountain.com/

Visit Lake Winnie in Chattanooga (a great little family owned amusement park of historical significance)- http://www.lakewinnie.com/

Here's a great web site to reserach roadside oddities that we like to reference. You can view by map and see what is near your travel route.- http://www.roadsideamerica.com/

vcv
Tennessee
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6. Re: I-75 Things to Do?

I just posted to your GA query but thought I'd add some comments for TN:

Shortly north of Knoxville there's a replica of an Appalachian homestead--think it's called the Museum of Appalachia.

Univ. of TN (Knoxville) has an interesting museum, including a mummy.

Maybe too far off the interstate, west of Chattanooga, the Whitewater Center built for the Olympics; raft the Ocoee River or the tamer Hiwassee River nearby; visit the Cherokee National Forest.

In Chattanooga, walk along the pathway (north side of the river) that goes all the way from downtown to the dam.

(I personally would skip Ruby Falls and the Lost Sea--but that's just my preference--depends on what you like.)

I don't know if you've posted on KY or not, but between Lexington and Knoxville, you'll go through Berea, home of Berea College (set up for area students from low-income families). Boone Tavern would be a great place to have lunch or dinner; it's run by the college and has excellent upscale Southern cooking. "Tavern" is misleading--it's an elegant hotel. All Berea students work; many work in the hotel and restaurant. They also have craft shops. If you eat there, you should call ahead for reservations.

Boston...
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7. Re: I-75 Things to Do?

I would skip Lake Winnie. It may be of historical significance, but most rides aren't high quality. It's not a bad attraction by any means, but it's not (in my opinion) a big selling point for Chattanooga.

I second the Lost Sea if you'd like a cave tour. The lake is pretty neat, there's a lot of history, and the guides are consistently good. Mayfield is pretty neat, too, and free. I haven't been to the Museum of Appalachia, but it from my research it looks quite worth while. Usually you have to head out to the Smokies to see such museums.

"In Chattanooga, walk along the pathway (north side of the river) that goes all the way from downtown to the dam." It's actually on the south side of the river. The pathway is the Tennessee Riverwalk. Top notch thing to see; great for biking.

Grosse Pointe...
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8. Re: I-75 Things to Do?

Spectacular suggestions - WOW - am I grateful for the help you have all given us - and we are THRILLED to make this trip and see these suggestions!!!!

We have LOTS of time to meander - and will likely see most of these.

Thanks you (a LOT)!!

vcv
Tennessee
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9. Re: I-75 Things to Do?

Oops--the last poster is right: the Riverwalk IS on the south side of the river.

Please post a TR after your trip and let us know what you saw and liked.

Boston...
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10. Re: I-75 Things to Do?

How's the planning?