Ruby Fall: The Wonder Inside the Mountain
The original discovery of the falls was in the early 1900´s, a young man was caving, and did the completely brave/foolish thing by crawling into a narrow tunnel in a cave and kept going and going for 17 hours, deeper and deeper until he found the great opening in the caverns inside the moutains and found the falls, which he named after his wife, Ruby.
For thousands of years, part of the cave system had been used by Native Americans, as well as later, as a hideout for outlaws, but Leo Lambert was the man who had a dream to open it up to the world. Amazing rock formations, fossils from millions of years ago, a water system, and still living and growing rock, stalactites, stalagmites, columns, drapes, and flowstones plus the end line of the falls is a great adventure for everyone. And on a hot summer day, this is one of the coolest places you can go. Its always about 60°F inside.
BEWARE of the low ceiling however! One has to watch their head and feet at all times. Because of the humidity, the rock floors can be slippery (our tour guide hd just broken a thumb a week ago falling, while giving a tour!). If you are claustrophobic, you might want to pass on this tour. Its very close and narrow many ways, very cramped. I am very tall and my neck and back was tired from crouching for so long, but the getting to see the magnificent falls was worth the trip!
You can buy your tickets online before going, or once you get there. Also can purchase tickets in combination with other nearby tours for a discount price. Great if you are visiting for a few days, the Incline, Rock City, etc. Its $12,95 for one adult to see Ruby Falls, for Ruby Falls and Rock City, its $24. If you include the Incline ride, get all three for $33. Children 3-12 years are about half of each price. We chose to do Rock City and Ruby Falls at one time. See my tip for Rock City separately for more about it. The tickets don´t have to be used all in one day, you can come back with 2 or 3 days.
see more fotos of specific formations in the t´logues
Taco Mac is an excellent dining choice and a great place to drink with your friends while watching the game. Its one of my dad's favorite downtown bars. The food is excellent as well and the atmosphere is great for families as well as singles. They have everything from tex-mex to chili. There are probably 10 or 12 televisions, including large projection screens, not all of which are at the bar. You can watch all 3 or 4 ballgames at once, whatever they happen to be. I highly recommend this place. Its located on Market Street at Jack's Alley, beside Panera and Sticky Fingers.
If you're a Civil War buff,...
If you're a Civil War buff, you'll be in heaven. Otherwise, don't forget to see Ruby Falls. You can't miss it, there are billboards lining all the freeways headed towards Chattanooga.
Ruby Falls is a cavern discovered in a mountain just south of Chattanooga town. The cavern trail winds through the inside of the mountain for about a mile until you come to a huge waterfall within the cavern. I think the falls are about 100 feet long (I'm just guessing), but it's quite impressive. The tour is guided and the falls are 'introduced' by being cloaked in darkness, then suddenly illuminated to the sound of music crescendoes. Quite dramatic, if a bit hokey. The trail itself offers a variety of photo ops, with natural formations and strategic lighting. It's worth the few bucks it costs to get in.
Ruby FAlls is an Icon
Ruby FAlls is a site about 1/2 way up the mountain. In the old days, there was and entrance near the bottom of the mountain, but a railroad needed access, so it closed up the entrance to that. There is said to be 12 miles of caves inside, however, only about 1 mile is part of the tour. Tour is around 3/4 hour. You take an elevator down 260 feet, and from there enter the open area of the cave, then the fall of Niagara and Ruby. The Lambert family started this cave 75 years ago for tours. It is now a illuminated show of colored lights, from what was a pristine cave and falls that flow 300 gallons a minute, and fall 145 feet. The at the entrance is a pattern form an Irish castle, and you can climb to the top to see the valley and city. Other attractions are a fun forest for kids, and the parents can pan for gold. It all seems rather "trashy" in my opinion, but welcome to USA. The signage to direct you to this attraction goes for many miles in all directions.
Price is $15.95 for the cave, and $30.00 if combined with Rock City tour.
Coolidge Riverside Park
Coolidge Riverside Park, named for Charles Coolidge, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor during World War II, is a delightful setting for either rest or recreation. There are beautifully landscaped grounds, walkways, and a magnificent fountain that my grandchildren absolutely LOVE to play in on a hot summer day. You will also find restrooms, concessions and a carousel. The park is especially popular with young families - as well as young lovers.