Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chattanooga - Ruby Falls

When we woke up Wednesday morning, we were all really excited for our day ahead which started at Ruby Falls. We got there about 9:30am Chattanooga time and got a great parking spot. We were a bit unsure about what the temperature would be like in the cave so we all either had on long sleeve shirts or light weight jackets. We took a few pics outside and then it was time to head in to buy our tickets.

We opted to go with the bundle tickets which included tickets for Ruby Falls, Incline Railway, and Rock City (where Lookout Mountain is located). We used the potty as there are no restrooms during the tour and got in line for the elevator. Down we went where we met our tour guide, Martin, who was great. They put you in tour groups and we had about 30-40 people in our group. Martin lead us to an area where they show a short video about how Ruby Falls was discovered. We then started into the cave where Martin showed us several neat formations including the cactus and the candle, the elephant foot, etc. We finally got to the falls which are really just beautiful. You actually get to walk under the falls which is really neat and you have a few minutes to take pictures, wander around, etc.

We came back out the way we came in and of course, as we exited through the elevator, you go out through a gift shop. We did opt to buy the pictures simply because they were really good and you got quite a few pictures for the price. They also have a large play area for kids and a grill, but I'll warn you the food prices are INSANE! $8.50 for a burger. We opted to head back down the mountain and eat at Wendy's.

A couple of points of interest for anyone planning a trip:
*the cave is actually very comfortable temp wise, so definitely don't dress like you are going to Alaska, otherwise I think you will be miserable.
*the gift shop where you buy tickets is MUCH better than the gift shop where you exit. You have to go back through the first gift shop when you leave so I would definitely plan to shop there.
*you will find a coupon for $2 off on the back of your aquarium tickets, but this discount is NOT available on the combo tickets like we bought. We decided it was not worth standing in line each time and to just go ahead with the combo tickets.
*definitely call ahead and make sure the cave is open. During rainy periods they noted that sometimes they have to shut the cave down because of flooding so I would hate for anyone to get there and it be closed.

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