We wanted to go someplace not too far away, somewhere we'd never been before and picked Chattanooga. Not really knowing much, other than Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls and Rock City were there, we thought, what the heck, let's go! So we did.
We left on Sunday and came back on Wednesday. It was the perfect amount of time to get in all the attractions and have a ton of fun. We both totally recommend heading down and checking it out. I took hundreds of pictures as you can imagine.
Here's what I recommend doing. When you get there and you hit your first attraction, buy the package deal. It's about $65 dollars for each adult, but you get to go to Ruby Falls, Rock City, the Incline Railway, 2 Aquariums downtown and take in an Imax movie. So for about $130 bucks you can do everything there is to do.
Ruby Falls is a very interesting active cave. In the old days, the military used the cave for medical facilities during the war and for a long time just locals could visit it. Then, I think it was sometime in the 1920's a man from Gary, Indiana decided he wanted to open the cave to the public and charge admission. He borrowed something like $25,000 dollars and started digging a new entrance (the current entrance used today). He did this bucketful by bucketful, manually carrying out buckets of limestone. When he entered the cave from the new entry he dug, a big rush of wind hit him. He knew there was something else to see in there. So he dug and dug, crawling on his belly for 16 hours and finally discovered Ruby Falls.
Why is it named Ruby Falls, you ask? Well, Ruby was the name of this man's wife.
So today, they take you down into the cave via an elevator with a glass door, so you can see all the limestone as you're going down. You are actually as deep into the earth as the empire state building is tall! Yeeeooowza!
They take you on a guided tour through the falls, every now and then stopping for a video or audio presentation. Then you can hear it...and feel it and kind of smell it. You walk into a very dark room and all of a sudden these beautiful lights come on and there's Ruby Falls. Quite a production and it did give me chills. It was breathtaking, just like they say it is.
Rich "falling" off the steps at Ruby Falls...He called it Richie Falls all day (no that didn't get annoying at all!) :)
Deep in the caverns of Ruby Falls, you get to see all the "cave stuff". I've never been in a cave before. It was pretty cool. You stay down there about an hour or so. I thought it would be nice and cool inside the earth, but it was very humid!
DUCK! Most of the time Rich had to hunch over.
Guess the cave wasn't carved out for a guy over 6 feet tall.
My camera had a heck of a time focusing in the dark caverns of this cave. Sorry these aren't more clear. We do have a video that Rich took. He's going to load it to YouTube.
We "accidently" ditched the group we were in touring the place, our tour guide went a little fast, so when they exited the falls area, we hung back and took our time getting back to the elevator. We ended up passing 3 or 4 new tour groups coming down (oops). The guides in those groups said, "your group is WaaaaaaaY up there!" We just said, "we know they left us!" So we had a great time wandering around in that cave before we went back to to the top of the earth. Ruby Falls was great, we totally recommend taking a trip to Chattanooga and checking out all the attractions.