This is a hidden gem in Northern Alabama. The visitor center is one of the best in the entire National Park system, and the rangers and volunteers are extremely helpful and knowledgeable. My daughter enjoyed the Junior Ranger program. There are regular events and ranger programs there, well worth attending--my daughter learned how to knapp flint arrowheads one afternoon. The driving tour will take you a couple of hours, but it will give you some of the best views of anywhere in Alabama.
I love visiting Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park on trips to Atlanta. Many Atlantans use the park to get away from the city--on weekends I am convinced it is Georgia's largest dog park (which is the only drawback: some people don't clean up after their dogs). The rangers are very helpful, the Junior Ranger program is great for kids, and the ranger programs are entertaining and informative. The hikes are pretty easy, but well worth it for the views of Atlanta. Do keep in mind that this is a historic battlefield, so picnics and games are not allowed in the open spaces.
Point Park, part of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, is home to one of the best views of Chattanooga. My daughter and I love the hike from Cravens House up to Point Park. There are regular ranger programs here, and it's a great place to learn about the Civil War.
Part of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Point Park is one of the best views of Chattanooga. My daughter and I love hiking here--we usually take the hike from Cravens House to Point Park and back. There isn't as much to see here as in the main section of the park below, but the view is well worth the trip.
My daughter and I regularly take National Park road trips, but Chickamauga & Chattanooga is home base for us. It's a great place to explore, hike, bike ride, and learn about the Civil War. The rangers are very helpful and knowledgeable, always giving us recommendations on new things to do.
Stones River National Battlefield Park is a great place to take a hike and learn about the Civil War. My daughter especially liked the Junior Ranger program, where she earned a badge for completing an activity book about the site and its history.
The Sandburg Home is beautiful, and it tells the story of one of America's greatest writers. My daughter loved seeing a house with that many books, along with musical instruments and board games, because that is what she thought a house should be. Mrs. Sandburg was known for her championship goats, the descendants of which are on the grounds today.
The Rangers do a great job of telling the story in an interactive manner. We were fortunate to be there on a cool winter weekday, so we got a tour to ourselves, which only enhanced the experience. Definitely worth the trip.
First, if you are going to Russell Cave to go caving, you will be disappointed. The accessible part of the cave is a simple walkway showing a brief history of the many peoples who lived in the cave. The Rangers know the history of the area extremely well, and were able to answer all of the questions my daughter and I had. The weapons demonstrations are informative and fun, and we enjoy hiking through the monument. Every couple of months the Barnard Astronomical Society in Chattanooga has a telescope party at Russell Cave, away from the city lights.
This is a beautiful cemetery, full of history from the Civil War to the present. I highly recommend participating in the Memorial Day torchlight tour, held every Memorial Day evening. A Park Ranger historian from Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Battlefield Park leads a tour of the cemetery, including telling the stories of several of the soldiers buried there.
The best donuts in Chattanooga, period. A wonderful assortment of flavors--I like Key Lime Pie and Banana Pudding--but if you want to compare Julie Darling to another donut, just try a glazed. You won't be disappointed.