As published in The Florida Villager
It seems I have been traveling around the South lately so it makes perfect sense that I would find my way to Chattanooga, TN. When the NY Times says it’s one of the top 45 places to go, you go check it out!
Let’s start with Adam, known as That Outdoor Guy. This guy knows everything outdoors and is funny to boot so of course he was the perfect match to show me the outdoors of Chattanooga. We started at Point Park, the National Military Park, where I insisted we crawl out on a ledge to get a spectacular view of the river and city. Our next stop was hang gliding. All I can say is what was I thinking (or drinking) when I signed up for this?! Needless to say, I took one look at people jumping off a cement platform high on a mountaintop in a cocoon looking contraption and we were back in the car devising Plan B.
Plan B, much to Adam’s chagrin was visiting Rock City. We had passed it coming up and yes, it is a major tourist stop but I wanted to play tourist. He humored me when I said I wanted to follow the music to see where it led but when we found ourselves at the Beer Garden where people were dancing, that’s where he drew the line. “I hike, not dance,” he said as he strutted off to get a beer.
The rest of the day was spent at the Bluff View Art District. We had lunch on the patio at Tony’s Pasta Shop and Trattoria and dipped into Rembrandt’s Coffee House for a European style sweet before heading to the sculpture garden. The next stop was a 1905 revival mansion that houses the Hunter Museum. What a fabulous museum with 100 years of architecture and American art.
Night was closing in and once again I could hear music in the distance. Adam rolled his eyes when I casually mentioned I wanted to see where it was coming from. Only this time he was pleasantly surprised when it brought us across a bridge to The Ice Cream Show, an adorable ice cream shop with a patio, swings and a guitarist. Sitting on one of the swings, I felt all was right in the world, Adam was smiling with his big ice cream cone, the stars were twinkling and I was lovin’ Chattanooga.
The next two days I enjoyed some of the local eateries. Pizza at Community Pie, drinks at STIR, a craft beer and ping-pong at Clydes on Main, which is a gastro pub in an old auto repair shop and a wonderful dinner of mussels on the patio of Easy Bistro and Bar. I paddle boarded the Tennessee River compliments of L2Outside and even came across a little Tom Sawyer looking island where I tied up and explored.
Staying at The Chattanoogan was a dream and a great way to end each day. It has won “Best of the Best” multiple times and I can see why. The rooms are well appointed, the staff is wonderful and the spa services will meet anyone’s needs. My last night there I grabbed a glass of wine at their upscale bar, The Foundry and moved outside by the fire pit for my last look at the Chattanooga sky.