Travel to the Tennessee Valley (Tennessee, Alabama) – Episode 464

categories: USA Travel

Hear about travel to the Tennessee River Valley as the Amateur Traveler talks to Chuck Prevatte from about the region from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Huntsville, Alabama.

Chuck says, “the Tennessee Valley is kind of a snapshot of the South, its past, its present and its future. In Appalachia the history that is there, people coming across the mountains initially, you move down through the 1940s and the Tennessee Valley Authority which brought electricity to the area and then you move down into the Huntsville area where NASA has a huge facility the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center where they do the day to day operational control for the International Space Station and did most of the development on the Hubble Space Telescope. The Shuttle was all managed out of the Marshall Space Flight Center.”

We start in southeast Tennessee in Ducktown, spending the day rafting on the Ocoee River. “It’s a great fun family trip, kids 8 or 9 years old and up can do it.” The copper mining history of the area can be seen at the Ducktown Basin Museum. For the whole history of the area stop at the 5 Points museum in Cleveland, Tennessee. “While you are there stop at the Gardner’s Market which is a British Market.”

Spend a couple of days in the Chattanooga area. See the art galleries and coffee shops on a bluff above the river. The Tennessee Aquarium presents the life to be found in and around the river. Railroad fans can visit the old Chattanooga railroad station which has been converted into a hotel. Your room can be an old train car. Plan your trip to attend the Riverbend Festival in June. You can visit the Chickamauga & Chattanooga Military Park to see the Civil War history of the area.

On the road from Chattanooga to Huntsville, stop at the Russell Cave National Monument which had 10,000 years of human habitation. Make a stop at the Unclaimed Baggage Center. “They have more stuff they you can imagine”.

In Huntsville the must see thing to see is the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. You can see the entire history of the U.S. space program in one place. You can get on a bus and explore the historic George C. Marshall Space Flight Center. “Living in Huntsville when they set off the Saturn V engines it would show up on the Richter Scale, it would shake the entire town.” Huntsville is also the home of Space Camp.

Huntsville is also only an hour from the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, but don’t plan on a tasting while you visit as it is located in a dry county. Also nearby is Muscle Shoals which is a center for music recording.

From BBQ with white BBQ sauce to lost luggage, from Civil War sites to full size Saturn V rockets, come see what the Tennessee Valley has to offer.

subscribe: rss feed | Apple podcasts | stitcher

right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)


DK Eyewitness travel guidesDK Eyewitness Travel Guides – One of my favorite guidebook series

Show Notes

Food Wine Beer Travel
Tennessee Valley
Tennessee Valley Authority
Marshall Space Flight Center
Ducktown, Tennessee
Ocoee Rafting
Ocoee Adventure Center
Nantahala Outdoor Center
Ducktown Basin Museum
Cleveland, Tennessee
Museum Center at 5ive Points
Gardner’s Market
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Bluff View Art District
Tennessee Aquarium
Chattanooga Choo Choo
Riverbend Festival
Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
Lookout Mountain
Chattanooga River Boat
Huntsville, Alabama
Russell Cave National Monument
Unclaimed Baggage Center
Cathedral Caverns
Lodge Cast Iron Factory Store
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Monte Sano State Park
Jack Daniels Distillery
Lynchburg, Tennessee
Muscle Shoals
FAME Studios
Big Bob Gibson BBQ
Panoply Arts Festival
Big Spring Jam
Walls of Jericho
Burritt on the Mountain
Ruby Falls


Dyanne on Travel to Easter Island / Rapa Nui – Episode 220

Thanks Chris, for the link to your Easter Island podcast. As I’m headed there in a few weeks it was good to listen to Mike and Hilary’s take on it. But as I could find no dates as to when the interview/podcast was conducted, after listening awhile I was understandably disappointed to inadvertently learn that their visit to Easter Island was more than 6 years ago (2008). Worse, some key information in the podcast has now changed (e.g. for more than a year now, there is no longer the $160 “reciprocity”/visa fee for U.S. citizens visiting Chile, and there is more than a single flight to/from the island from Santiago.

I know that many bloggers prefer not to date their posts/podcasts (presumably to make their content seem ever “fresh”?), but when it comes to travel info, not knowing how old the resource is can be a serious problem for those seeking info for a CURRENT trip they’re planning. You also talked about a photo contest and an Egypt tour on “Nov. 5th” in the EI podcast, but… now I’m not sure if that info too is obsolete.

In short, did I somehow miss the date of the podcast? And in any case, I dare say… an update on Easter Island might be a good idea (and naturally, I’d be happy to help with the latter if you like, when I return from the isle next month). πŸ˜‰

Kathy adds her 2 cents to Travel to North Carolina – Episode 461

Share this:

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

4 Responses to “Travel to the Tennessee Valley (Tennessee, Alabama) – Episode 464”

Mary Frances


While I enjoyed the great suggestions from this episode, I feel that any podcast on the “Tennessee Valley” region should include Knoxville, TN and its surrounding areas. Knoxville, or “Scruffy City,” is the largest city in the Tennessee Valley and has lots to offer. From great outdoors opportunity in our “Urban Wilderness” to great culinary opportunities and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, it is a great place to start your exploration of the region. If you want to explore both the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Valley, it is a great choice for your base of operations.



We saved Knoxville for another show. We did debate the title of the show since we did not cover the whole valley.

Brandon Smith


Let me say, this person is definently nit from Huntsville. Having lived in Huntsville my whole life, everybody that lives there pronounces it “Huntsville”, not “Huntsvul”. The only people that day that are the people around the area that aren’t from there.



I have to say, “Huntsville” is what I heard there.

Leave a Reply

Tags: , , ,