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REVIEW: Best Holiday Trav-L-Park, Chattanooga

Don't let the antiquated name fool you into thinking this place is best left alone. Kind of reminiscent of a tacky 60s trailer park, right? Wrong. It is one of the best places we've stayed at! While it isn't flooded with nature or particularly quaint or picturesque, it was clean, easy in and out, well-maintained, and best of all, just a short hop from downtown 'nooga. (That's Chattanooga, folks.)

We showed up at our usual time (10:30 PM, waaaay after sundown and far too late to hope for any sort of daylight to illuminate the area). Fearing the worst, we got to the office and picked up our site info. Pull-through. Nice.

We breathed a sigh of relief to find our site well marked and easy to navigate, with ample room for our sweet little aluminum adventure cottage-on-wheels. Actually, it's big enough for even far larger rigs. Pulling into our site was easy, and all sites had some sort of light to make it easier. We pulled in and hooked up with minimum muss and fuss.

The RV sites all had electric (some up to 50 amp), water, sewer, and cable hookups. Of special note, we were overjoyed (ok, maybe overjoyed is a strong word) that the sewer connection was situated a little lower than the pad, making a nice gentle slope from the Airstream to the connection. That would mean no messing around (literally...ewww) with the sewer hose on disconnect. The less time that thing is in your hands, the better. Nothing turns a good day bad when you've got, um, you-know-what running down your hands. Bring on the Purell. As for the cable, a fair amount of channels to be had. I don't think we watched more than a couple of minutes of TV, with good reason. We're not ones to sit around and watch the clouds roll by, as we're primarily using the site as HQ.

Location, location, location: Best Holiday Trav-L-Park is smack dab in the middle of tourist central Chattanooga, TN. And yes, there is such a thing as The Chattanooga Choo Choo. We've seen it. We stood where the engineer would stand, if this train still moved. Currently, the cars behind the Choo Choo were converted to (rather tourist trappy, overpriced with aging bad 80s decor) dining facilities, and some of the other cars at the station were converted to be guest rooms for the Holiday Inn that adjoins the museum. That actually seemed kind of cool, although we didn't recall them feeling particulary clean. Maybe we're just used to Wally and prefer our own germs to others'. If you're into toy trains, the museum has a toy train car collection, which should be enjoyed for those that are into that. All aboard.

Next up: Rock City has been a tourist trap for decades. However, it still is an enjoyable place to visit. The view from Lover's Leap is fantastic; get your cameras ready. No picture could ever adequately describe the view. When we finally got to the "top" we were pleasantly surprised to hear a bluegrass band playing some old timey tunes with a nice crowd gathered around. It was nice to sit down for a bit and enjoy the breeze.

4th of July evening fireworks found us, once again, heading to where the crowds wouldn't be. There are a good many overlooks if you wind your way up Lookout Mountain, and we settled on a nice view near the Incline Railway station. Speaking of the Incline - yep, another heavily populated tourist trap, but still neat. The Incline is the steepest passenger train in the world, boasting a 73% grade near the top of the mountain. That's downright almost vertical, people. The ascent (or descent) takes about 10 minutes and is truthfully a little lackluster until you get to the steep bit. The "station" at the top is a bit of a disaster: an outdated building with bad carpet, a snack bar that needs a good deep cleaning, and all the magnets, shot glasses and keychains you could shake a stick at. Not our scene.

Finally, one of the more interesting tours is that of Ruby Falls. Best thing: it never rains on Ruby Falls, nor does the temperature get above 58 degrees. Why? Because the Falls are underground inside Lookout Mountain! During the day, there are normal tours with plenty of artificial (and some call...errr...tacky) light. However, we chose to do a nighttime lantern tour. Why? Less crowds, and just a cooler, off the beaten path experience. So all lights were turned off, and the only available light was from our flashlights. This definitely added a bit more adventure. The most incredible thing was when we finally arrived at the falls, the tour guide ran a lantern up more than 200 feet of rope to illuminate the falls. They were completely inside a large cavern, collecting in a large pool on the ground. Interesting fact: they know where the waters end up, but still cannot figure out where the source is coming from.

Bottom line – we'd recommend Best Holiday Trav-L-Park, and the city of Chattanooga makes a lovely weekend jaunt from lots of places in the Southeast.

Until next time...happy travels.