Day 1: Magical History Tour 2013

Home sweet home after 2,581 miles and nine states in seven days. It’s taken me a few days to get back into a routine, so sorry this is a little late in coming. I’m still a little overwhelmed with a whirlwind of memories and thoughts of some of the beautiful historic sights I got to see. I will try to share the most memorable of these with you over the next few days and weeks.

Delta Queen

If you read my earlier post, you know my first stop was Chattanooga, Tenn., where I stayed aboard the Delta Queen.

What an awesome experience! The quarters were small and the doorways were short — as my forehead will attest — but it was still worth it.

Small cabin.

Built in the 1920s, the boat is lavishly decorated and retains its historic atmosphere. Stepping aboard is like taking a trip back in time. As someone said, it’s like staying at a Victorian bed-and-breakfast on water.

Tiffany-style stained glass windows, rich hardwood paneling, gleaming brass, and a beautiful Grand Staircase crowned by an elegant crystal chandelier are just some of the things that greet the eyes. (See photos below).

Lobby area.

Before my stay I was not aware of all of the notable people that have been on the Delta Queen, including President Herbert Hoover; President Harry Truman, President Jimmy Carter, Princess Margaret, John Wayne and Elizabeth Taylor.

 The afternoon we arrived was pleasant so we got to sit on the deck in rocking chairs and watch the boat traffic on the river. Although not as busy as the Mississippi, which I had the opportunity to see later in my trip, there were a few tourist boats on the Tennessee River.

Rocking chairs on the deck.

In the evening we went a few doors down to check out the bar and then checked emails while relaxing in the downstairs lobby in deep, comfortable leather chairs. (Sorry to say, I did stay electronically connected even while stepping back in time).


Right behind where the Delta Queen is anchored is a park, complete with an old-time (indoor) carousel. The weather was not as warm as expected, but there were still many families there enjoying the outdoors.

From the Tennessee Aquarium, which is accessible by the world’s longest walking bridge across the Tennessee River, to the city’s Arts District and museums, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Chattanooga during a stay aboard the Delta Queen. I saw some great shopping places in an old mill nearby too, but didn’t have time to check that out.

Fireworks over the water.

After dark, we were treated to a fireworks show over the water. It was spectacular! I didn’t do very well in the picture-taking, but trust me, it was loud and colorful!

For all of the ghost hunters out there, I did get up in the middle of the night and walk around the deck, but I didn’t see anything — not even the spirit of the captain that supposedly haunts the boat.

Night view from my cabin on the Delta Queen.
Assorted photos from the Delta Queen.
Lights in the cabin.
Grand staircase on the Delta Queen.
Brass ring towel holder in the bathroom.
Front of the Delta Queen.
Light fixture in bathroom.
Door to cabin – watch your head.

Original chandelier from the Delta Queen.



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