Did you know you can spend the night aboard the Chattanooga Choo Choo?

Sleeping in a refurbished car from this iconic train was one of the coolest lodging experiences I’ve ever had!


As you pull up to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, you quickly realize, you’re at an actual train station! This is the old station for the Chattanooga Choo Choo! We all were pumped to stay and experience this unique hotel. I think I was the most excited, as my Mom’s family was a railroad family, so I grew up around trains and railmen.

You can see my reaction to the room in the video.

Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel

The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel sits on what used to be the Southern Railway Terminal Station. The Station was saved from demolition when the train stopped running passenger services in the early 1970s. Now, the resort covers 30 acres that include the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and several historical railway exhibits.

In 1973, local businessmen bought the Terminal Station after it had closed and renamed it the Chattanooga Choo Choo after the Glenn Miller song. The current resort includes a convention center, restaurants, shops, exhibits, regular hotel rooms, and the train car rooms. The train car rooms are salvaged and refurbished versions of the actual sleeper cars that ran through the station!

Hotel guests can stay in half of a restored passenger railway car. This was our choice during our short stay. The rooms have a Victorian theme, meant to resemble the early 1900s, when the train cars were actually running.

chattanooga choo choo hotel room

We absolutely loved staying in the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. We can’t wait to come back. Be aware, this is a remodeled train. While very comfortable, it’s not a luxury resort. The lavatory is a little tight for adults. The shape doesn’t lend itself to quality viewing of the TV from all areas of the room, at once. These are minor things, but worth a mention before booking your stay.

The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Chattanooga offered a tremendous number of activities for our family to experience! In fact, we’re planning a return trip to enjoy some of the activities that we missed.

We decided to go up to Ruby Falls on Lookout Mountain. Ruby Falls is a spectacular underground waterfall. That’s right, an underground waterfall! Standing at it’s base, you are nearly 1,100 feet underground. The Falls themselves are about 145′ tall.

ruby falls chattanooga

To access the underground home of Ruby Falls, you take an elevator down 640′ to the main cavern. Then, it’s about a 3/4 mile hike to the Falls, but don’t worry, you have a guide leading you the whole way with lots of stalagmites and stalactite cave formations to ponder.

At the same Lookout Mountain location, you can visit Lookout Mountain, Rock City, and the Zipstream Aerial Adventure (zip line). Ruby Falls offers various deals, based on how many of these attractions you’d like to visit, but we only did Ruby Falls and it cost us about $19.95 per adult and $12.95 per child.

They also have a playground and gem panning at the main Ruby Falls location that we enjoyed. For $10, we got a bag of dirt with “gems” inside. It was plenty for both kids to pan for gems and walk away with a bag of gems for each. You can see that whole process in the video, above.

In addition to these activities, Chattanooga also has a children’s museum and activity center, whitewater rafting, fishing, and more! Additionally, we found that Chattanooga had a lot of great local restaurants. The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce has a great app that we used to find things to do and experience in the area.