The first Southern railway station, Terminal Station, opened up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1909. Located in the heart of downtown Chattanooga, the train station welcomed millions of travelers over the years when trains were the way to travel. The Beaux-arts style building is a beautiful piece of history that has been preserved in Chattanooga, beloved by locals and tourists.
In 1973, construction around Chattanooga put the historic building at risk. Thankfully, some businessmen got together with a new marketing idea that could save the old Terminal Station. They invested $4 million to transform the building into The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places the following year.
The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo, at 1400 Market St, has become a popular destination for tourists as well as locals. Visitors can stay in an old Pullman Train Car that has been transformed into guest rooms. If you prefer a traditional hotel room those are also available. But the Choo Choo is way more than just a historic hotel. You can experience the "Runaway Train" escape experience in an old train car. Multiple restaurants have also opened on the property, including Gate 11 Distillery, Backstage Bar and restaurants STIR and Frothy Monkey. There's even a beer hall, American Draft.
The Chattanooga hotel also has the Songbirds Guitar Museum on site, which has some of the rarest vintage guitars out there. It's definitely the ideal museum experience for a music lover. The museum even expanded to include the Revelry Room, a live music venue.
The Glenn Miller Gardens are situated on 2 acres of land that were once 7 platforms and 14 train tracks. The gardens are named after Glenn Miller, the musician who recorded the 1941 song "Chattanooga Choo Choo" which was featured in the film Sun Valley Serenade. At one point, it was even the number one song in the United States.
As of 2015, the Choo Choo grounds also include a residential complex, Passenger Flats, so you can live near all the action in downtown Chattanooga.