Written by: Anna Van Erven
Nestled between the snaking Tennessee River and the Appalachian mountains, Chattanooga has earned its official nickname as the Scenic City. Once a bustling industrial hub for cargo traveling by river and rail, today Chattanooga promises no less of an adventure for visitors.
Efforts to revitalize the city have opened opportunities to engage with the city’s past and present: a popular outdoor rock climbing wall is just a 10 minute walk from the state’s oldest non-military bridge. Whether it’s the outdoor beauty that draws you in or the family-centric attractions, Chattanooga has plenty of rustic charm to fill your vacation itinerary.
The Chattanoogan welcomes out-of-towners to the South with wooden rocking chairs and sweeping mountain views from most every room. Located in the heart of downtown, The Chattanoogan puts guests within walking distance of boutique shopping, museums and art galleries, as well as the electric shuttle.
The Spa at The Chattanoogan is a highlight for those looking to return home rejuvenated. In addition to offering a range of traditional and seasonal packages, the spa includes access to steam rooms, an indoor hot tub and a rooftop spa terrace overlooking Lookout Mountain where guests can break from spa activities to lunch.
After a long day of sightseeing, families can unwind around the outdoor fire pits, couples can share a bottle of wine on the outdoor terrace and kids can dip into the neon-lit indoor pool. There’s an experience waiting for every guest.
SCALES AND TAILS
Rated one of the best in America, The Tennessee Aquarium is a highlight of Chattanooga, drawing in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Throughout the two buildings, staff give free presentations to enrich explorations of terrestrial, aquatic and plant life from regions spanning mountaintops down to the sea floor. Not to be missed is the new Leapin’ Lemurs exhibit, a major addition to the aquarium. Step into the lemur’s topical Madagascar habitat to watch these agile, acrobatic creatures swing overhead. Engage all your senses with powerful image clarity and surround sound at the aquarium’s IMAX theater, the only one in Tennessee to use the new IMAX with laser projection.
A WALK THROUGH TIME
No part of the city better represents the spirit of Chattanooga than the Walnut Street Bridge. Opened in 1889, the wrought-iron structure pays homage to its history as the first non-military bridge across the Tennessee river, while its vibrant teal color is a sign of the city’s revitalization. The bridge was restored and reopened to the public as a pedestrian walkway and linear park in 1993 and remains the focus of many community events. It connects the riverfront renaissance with the North Shore, which leads to the Tennessee Aquarium, the Hunter Museum and the Tennessee Riverwalk.
EAT & DRINK
Inside The Chattanoogan’s Broad Street Grille, light fills the dining room through the ceiling-to-floor windows along an exposed brick wall. Despite the relaxed atmosphere, there’s nothing casual about the grille’s approach to American cuisine. From sustainable seafood options to fresh artisan bread to homemade pasta and sauces, the Broad Street Grille welcomes locals and out-of-towners by offering hand-crafted meals at affordable prices. Come Sunday, not a single dining chair remains empty during the restaurant’s award-winning brunch.
SLICE OF LIFE
Departing from the traditional Southern collard greens cuisine, Community Pie offers Neapolitan and New York Style pizza made fresh from locally sourced ingredients. The pizzeria’s wood-fire ovens, imported from Italy, create perfectly round and lightly charred Neapolitan pies, as well as special deck ovens to craft large New York style slices that require two hands to eat. Even with the over-sized electric blue booths and painted brick walls, Community Pie maintains a spacious, industrial feel. Expect an endless local craft menu and excellent service.
OTHER GREAT SITES
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN: Don’t miss out on Ruby Falls and Rock City, two of the city’s main outdoor attractions within Lookout Mountain.
INCLINE RAILWAY: Step into the trolley-style cars and watch the panoramic view of Lookout Mountain expand during the one mile ascent up the world’s steepest passenger railway.
HIGHPOINT CLIMBING GYM: With more than 10,000 square feet of climbing walls, there are routes for beginners and experts alike, as well as yoga and fitness classes.
RIVER GALLERY SCULPTURE GARDEN: This two-acre outdoor exhibit features new sculptures each year, as well as a meditation area and nature walk for visitors to enjoy.
Published on: April 17, 2017