I recently went through Tennessee on my cross country road trip and I found Chattanooga to be both charming and adventurous. From eclectic restaurants, cocktail bars, boutique sauna spa’s and nearby hiking, this little Tennessee town has all the southern charm to keep you for a long weekend.
The outskirts of Chattanooga are both beautiful and historically interesting with civil war history, green spaces and Tennessee river views.One thing I loved straight away was the quick access to the nature preserves and hiking trails. In just 15 minutes from downtown you can find yourself overlooking stunning views of the river on a 75 degree autumn day.
Nothing acquaints me with a city more than a birds eye view so I started off with a mansion view drive up to Sunset Rock National Park.
1. Sunset Rock National Park
Situated just 15 minutes above downtown, Sunset Rock National Park is a quick jaunt into the fresh open air. Not to mention the Bel Air vibes on the winding road to the top. The houses! I visited in late October just in time to smell the golden abundance of crunchy leaves. The trail here is very short and the parking lot stays busy. There are two ways you can go once you reach the sunset rock view, just pay attention to the one hour limit in the parking lot.
2. Point Park
Point Park is apart of Lookout Mountain which is a bit touristy in my opinion with attractions like a railcar incline, underground waterfall and gift shops. I skipped all that and instead went to Point Park, a civil war history site adjacent to Lookout Mountain. Entrance here was $10 and well worth it. The grounds commemorate the “Battle Above the Clouds” that was fought on Lookout Mountain in 1863. It spans 10 acres with both paved and unpaved walking trails.
The trails here are nice and you can view civil war canons and historical plaques carved into the mountain. I was pleasantly surprised by all of it and the views, stunning.
3. Walnut Bridge Street
Chattnooga is a city that you can easily take in by night and what better way to take in a city than from views on the water? Built in 1890, the 2,376-foot-long Walnut Street Bridge connects downtown with North Chattanooga. Remarkably, this bridge is one of the longest pedestrian only bridges in the world!
North Chattanooga has the water front green space park, Coolidge Park as well as great restaurants like Aretha Frankensteins and Southern Squeeze.
4. Whiskey Thief
After the sun sets head over to the waterfront for bourbon and rye based cocktail classics at Chattanoogas only whiskey bar. Located inside the Edwin Hotel, The Whiskey Thief is dimly lit with a cozy atmosphere.
The drinks are good and the proximity to the water and walking bridge is appealing. Enjoy a stroll over the bridge for pristine views of the city’s center and most defiantly do not climb the bridge!
5. Flying Squirrel
This eclectic comfort food restaurant offers southern favorites with a twist. Tucked behind the trendy members only hotel Common House off Johnson Street, this open air concept restaurant serves southern classics mixed with an international flare.
For starters order the Beet and Brussel Sprout Salad with the side of Karage (Japanese Fried Chicken). For dinner I had the shrimp and grits which were deeply buttery with a hint of spice and paired perfectly with a local pilsner.
6. Sisu Sauna Studio
Sisu Sauna Studio is Chattanooga’s exclusive health and wellness space offering infared light therapy, sauna and a cold plunge. Boutique sauna’s are my JAM! If you’re feeling tired from your travels be sure to book this into your day to feel renewed and detoxed.
I loved the personal sauna rooms with access to showers, local skin care products and a cold plunge tub. Honestly, I am obsessed. The health benefits of a good sweat are endless and I highly recommend reading my other post on sauna detoxing if. you’re new to sweat culture.
7. The Local Juicery + Kitchen
This girl likes a fresh pressed juice straight out of the juicer however the variety of daily bottled juices at the Local Juicery are just as well. All the usual suspects are blended for quick juicy remedies including ginger, lemon, beet, celery and carrot. This corner cafe also serves healthy snacks, teas, coffee and specialty elixirs.
Defiantly stop by The Local Juicery after your sauna session at Sisu to re-mineralize and vitamin boost your body after a long sweat!
8. Milk and Honey
Milk and honey is both a local coffee shop vibe and a bustling brunch restaurant on the Northside. Serving up specialty coffee drinks, fruit & vegetable juices and a tasty brunch menu, this American style diner is a classic with a healthy twist. Order the Vegan Big Kid Breakfast with sautéed spinach and a side of fruit to start your day right!
I found some really great guesthouses and apartments on Airbnb which defiantly helped the appeal of choosing Chattanooga as a stopover on my cross country trip. I stayed at this mid century town home on Market Street which was bright and squeaky clean with all natural bath and body products.
The location was easy access to downtown and it came with designated parking and a washer and dryer. After being on the road for a few months these are the kind of amenities that catch my attention! I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the guest accommodations of the city. Overall Chattanooga is cute, easy to navigate and makes for a nice stop over or weekend getaway.
Leave a Reply