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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Southern Belle Riverboat Dinner Cruise is a great family activity in Chattanooga, Tennessee

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Several years ago, we took our three children on the Southern Belle Riverboat Dinner Cruise on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  We enjoyed the ride, the dinner, all the river views, and a gorgeous sunset.  I wanted to do that again this year for my birthday.  Now that our children are grown with jobs, they couldn't make the trip, but it was still a fun, relaxing few days for my husband and me.  We stayed at the Homewood Suites by Hilton in the Chattanooga - Hamilton Place area.  It is a short drive to the riverboat cruise.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

 The Southern Belle Riverboat Dinner Cruise


We usually visit Chattanooga in early to mid-summer when the sun doesn't set until much later into the evening.  This year, we made the trip in the fall of the year when the sun sets earlier.  It was also mostly cloudy on this particularly evening so there was no impressive sunset but the ride was still nice.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
When we first entered the "boat area," it looks and feels like you are already on the boat, but you're not.  Anyone can enter and shop in the Southern Belle Gift Shop, even without a ticket.  If you have a ticket, don't linger in here after they board.  This is not part of the boat.  If you are still in this area when the boat pulls away, you will be left here.  You'll have plenty of time to shop but you'll miss your riverboat cruise.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
We were seated in the dining area on the second floor.  It was not a crowded cruise so it wasn't cramped.  There was plenty of room to move around.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
This is the view from the other side of our table.  No one was seated in this area for this particular cruise.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
The cherry cheesecake was already at the table when we were seated.  I enjoyed mine early.  It was a little warm in the room and I like my cheesecake a little cold.

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We were also given these cute little sailor caps.  Not all of these are complimentary.  My husband purchased the tickets for my birthday which included the sailor caps, a guaranteed window seat, and glasses.

Image Credits:  Abundant Family Living
The next few pictures show our view from our seats.  The building to the left of the lawn is the Tennessee Aquarium.


Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

I've always loved this water spout area.  The sun was beginning to set so the lights on the water spouts was pretty.

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We were about to pass under the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge.  Although we didn't get to it this past weekend, I always love walking this bridge.  It's a nice walk with beautiful views of the river.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
Dinner was good.  We were served a roast, seasoned roasted potatoes, green beans, and rolls.  There was also an amazing looking garden salad but I failed to get a picture.  Dinner was served buffet style.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
After sunset, the lights were beautiful.  This is a view of the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge after dark.
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
Here are those water spouts again on the way back after dark.  The lights are beautiful.

The Southern Bell Riverboat Dinner Cruise is one of the downtown Chattanooga attractions that we have enjoyed more than once.  We are in Chattanooga a lot so we will likely do this again.  We will have to remember to book an earlier cruise in the fall months if we want to enjoy a gorgeous sunset over the river.  

If you're in the area, book a dinner cruise for your family.  They do serve alcoholic beverages on the boat but it has been a nice family environment both times that we've done this.  They serve sweet tea and water for non-alcoholic drinkers like us.  You can also purchase soft drinks from the Gift Shop and take them on board if you wish.

Read about more places to visit in Chattanooga, Tennessee here.

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