It’s a two-day museum smorgasbord of tow trucks, classic cars, American military heritage, guitars, railroads, and decorative art. Seven Chattanooga-area museums open their doors for a package deal during Chattanooga’s third annual Museum Hop Aug. 15-16 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on both days.
Museum Hop admission for all seven museums is $25 per person or $50 for a family of four, a savings of more than $60 over regular admission prices. The first 100 ticket buyers will get a free Museum Hop T-shirt.
Here’s how it works. Purchase tickets on EventBrite using this link. Then pick up a passport at any of the participating museums. As guests travel at their own pace from museum to museum, they will have their passport stamped.
Participating museums and reviews:
International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum
3315 Broad St.
Enjoy a close encounter with a tow truck that is fun, positive, and nostalgic. Take a walk through history and learn how the towing and recovery industry started right here in Chattanooga in 1916. See 18 antique tow trucks and two Model T automobiles on display as well as hundreds of collectible toy tow trucks. Take time to walk through the Wall of the Fallen memorial grounds dedicated to the men and women who have lost their lives in the line of service in the towing and recovery industry. For more information: internationaltowingmuseum.org.
Coker Car Museum
1317 Chestnut St.
In 1958, Coker Tire started as a local tire shop and grew into the world’s largest manufacturer/supplier of tires and wheels for collector vehicles. The Coker Car Museum features vehicles and memorabilia spanning over 120 years of automotive history. The private collection highlights cars, trucks and motorcycles.
Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center
Northgate Mall, mall entrance near Sears
Downtown, 2 West Aquarium Way
Museum Hop visitors can tour two facilities. The current Heritage Center in Northgate Mall will be open 11 a.m.-5 p.m, both days. Guides will assist visitors in viewing exhibits representing the full span of Medal of Honor history including the Civil War, Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the War on Terror. Highlights include artifacts and displays related to Medal of Honor recipients in each conflict. For more information: mohm.org.
In addition, the Heritage Center will offer special one-hour "hard hat tours" of the new Heritage Center currently under construction at 2 West Aquarium Way in Aquarium Plaza. Only two tours will be offered each day, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The tour will offer a "sneak peak" of the theater and exhibits focusing on Medal of Honor recipients such as the Andrews Raiders, Dr. Mary Walker, George Jordan, Alvin York, Paul Huff, Desmond Doss, Charles Coolidge, and others. A maximum of 40 visitors can be accommodated on each tour.
Songbirds Guitars Museum
Every guitar has a story to tell. Explore a priceless collection of rare vintage guitars like no other on Earth through audio and visual components. Experience American history through an extensive anthology of permanent and revolving exhibits. Guests will see the most complete collection of Fender and Gibson electric guitars, along with many other brands, many rare custom colors, prototypes, and many that were owned by famous musicians. For more information: songbirdsguitars.com.
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
4119 Cromwell Road
Visitors experience the “Golden Age” of railroading through vintage trains placed in an authentic setting. Guests will have a chance to tour the display yard featuring steam and diesel locomotives as well as passenger and freight cars. Visitors can also enjoy a train ride on the Missionary Ridge Local. For more information: tvrail.com.
6th Cavalry Museum
6 Barnhardt Cir., Fort Oglethorpe
Where else can you see an M-47 Patton tank? Before the city of Fort Oglethorpe incorporated in 1949, there was an Army Post at Fort Oglethorpe from 1902 to 1947. The 6th Cavalry was permanently stationed at Fort Oglethorpe from 1919 to 1942 and considered it their home. On the Post’s parade ground, surrounded by officers’ quarters and many original Post buildings, visitors will see the history of the 6th Cavalry (1861 to the present) come alive with authentic weapons, uniforms, photographs, documents, a fully restored 1944 Willys Jeep and of course the M-47 Patton tank. For more information: 6thcavalrymuseum.org.
Houston Museum of Decorative Arts
201 High St.
Become enmeshed in a beautiful and bygone era when you’re surrounded by a priceless and extensive collection of Victorian art glass and antiques. A Victorian residence in the Bluff View Arts District contains one of the finest collections of antique glass, ceramics, and pottery in the world, as well as many other kinds of rare and unusual antiques. The collection is an enduring tribute to the determination of one extraordinary woman who spent half a century putting it together, Anna Safley Houston. The almost unbelievable story of her life, her many marriages and the hardships and deprivation she willingly accepted to preserve her collection is told here. Take a guided tour for the full experience. For more information: thehoustonmuseum.org.