the chattanooga choo choo is a hotel, museum, and entertainment complex located at the historic chattanooga train terminal. the name of the complex is based on the 1941 glenn miller song "chattanooga choo choo". the complex has a collection of antique engines and railroad cars and is home to the national model railroad association. for those interested in railroad history the "choo choo" is worth a stop when in chattanooga.
"Pardon me boy..." Now, just TRY to get the song out of your head! My father has fond memories of playing on the Chattanooga Choo-Choo when he was a boy, as they would drive from Pensacola, FL to Dayton, OH each summer. So I took him back to Chattanooga to relive his childhood memory. My, how things have changed...
The Choo Choo is now a train station converted into a Holiday Inn hotel, restaurants, garden and shops. Although I think it might be nice to spend the night in one of the traincar rooms, overall, I was underwhelmed by the experience. The shops are rather "boutique-y", and I ended up just buying some postcards and a link for my Italian charm bracelet (it had a train on it!). The gardens are lovely, and you can walk up the steps to the engine car and have your photo taken, which is cool.
Overall, I think kids may like it, but adults not so much. If you are in the area anyway, I would say definitely stop and have a look-see. But I would not make a trip just for this...
The Chattanooga Choo Choo is the name of an actual train which ran from Cincinnati to Chattanooga, beginning in 1880, offering the first through passenger service to the South. This little steam engine was dubbed the Chattanooga Choo Choo by a newspaper reporter and later made famous by a 1941 Glenn Miller song, which became the music industry's first ever gold record. Alas, the last passenger train pulled out of the magnificant old Chattanooga Terminal Station on August 11, 1970. Today the Chattanooga Choo Choo, is a 24-acre vacation complex with restaurants, shops, gardens, a Model Railroad Museum, trolly rides and more. The entrance to the old Terminal Station, with its impressive free-standing 85-foot dome, is now the lobby of a Holiday Inn.
Every time I visit the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and I have done so dozens of times, I find myself remembering the wide-eyed excitement of coming here as a little boy. It was a bustling terminal then, with up to 68 trains arriving and departing daily. I came with my parents to pick up Grandmother Minor who often traveled by train from Decatur, Alabama to visit us. It was a noisy beehive of activity then, with hissing steam engines and clamoring crowds of people coming and going.
The Choo Choo is quieter now, but it can still be a lively place, and one that every visitor to Chattanooga should experience.
Pretty neat place to stay. It kinda gets boring after a couple days, but good for a relaxing weekend.