Before we left Chattanooga, we visited the TN Aquarium. As far as aquariums go, it was fine. It has two separate buildings, one for oceanic life and one for river life. The oceanic building had the most amazing butterfly greenhouse I have ever been to....and the price was included in the admission! Watching the butterflies flit and flutter about made me long for summer.........
Our second favorite exhibit was in the river life building. One giant tank was devoted to River Monsters! It was not affiliated with the show that we love, but it housed many of the same species of fish that have been featured on the show such as the South American arapaima and fresh water rays.
After we learned about the types of species found in the Tennessee River, we headed out on their River Gorge Catamaran boat tour. I loved it. We have never visited Tennessee before the leaves cover much of the landscape. The hills were bare allowing us to really see the rock formation, the skytop residences and the boulders precariously balanced on the mountainside. We learned about the history of this river gorge, the system of dams that dissect the river into segments and the history of the peoples who traveled this river long before the dams were created.
I wish I had realized to dress warmer. The extended forecast called for temperatures in the 70s but those temperatures never quite materialized. The wind whips around on the upper deck of the catamaran and our guide had on hiking boots, a wool hat, mittens and a parka. Due to our lack of proper planning, our ride was spent underneath in the protected and heated cabin. Still....it was worth it. If I lived close by, I would love to do this ride each season to see the gorge in the glory of summer, bedazzled by fall colors in autumn and blanketed in snow in winter.