When I lived in Atlanta, one of my favorite weekend jaunts was Chattanooga. Just far enough away to make you feel as though you are going somewhere, and just close enough to make it not a hassle to get there.
If you live in or near Atlanta, and are itching to get away for the weekend, listen up because I am about to let you in on my perfect weekend in Chattanooga. First of all, I have always been partial to The Chattanoogan Hotel. My next favorite choice would be to stay in the Bluff View Art District.
When you wake up on Saturday morning, head straight over to Rembrandt’s Coffee House and get fueled up. If you do it properly, this will carry you through your Aquarium and Hunter Art Museum touring. Truth be told, the Aquarium sort of loses me towards the end, but it is worth it if you’ve never seen it before, and I still really love going. The penguins are hysterical show-stoppers. The last time I was there, they had a few little penguins separated from the pack (I guess they were misbehaving and had to go to penguin jail), and some of their friends were gathered around them trying to figure out how to bust them out. They had a lot of heart, those penguins. Much better than just watching the fish float around blowing bubbles (but the fish were good too – I don’t want to get any angry emails calling me a fish hater). Come to think of it, the seahorses were almost as good as the penguins. I loved how many of them held onto each other with their tails. You could really tell those seahorses loved each other. Either that, or they had major separation anxiety. I prefer to think they were in love.
As for Hunter, this is a venue that offers American Art from colonial times to the current day. You can tell this from the architecture of the complex before you even go in! The main building is a stately old mansion, and to your left is the modern wing. This facility will always be special to me because it was the first art museum I ever introduced Bob to. There are some fantastic spots within the museum to relax and look over the Tennessee River.
When you are finished up with the museum, you have to make one last stop, and it is pure touristy kitsch at its finest. You have to go to Lookout Mountain and see Rock City. It really is a beautifully maintained former private garden, and when you hit it towards the end of the day you will have some privacy and can pretend that it is your own backyard. It goes a little awry at the end, but I still recommend it. For you locals, notice that I made no such recommendation to see Ruby Falls. I don’t have anything against the Falls, but you just can’t see everything in one weekend, so I am cutting it from the itinerary.
For dinner, you can walk to the Terminal Brewhouse from The Chattanoogan Hotel. I would like to be able to tell you that I eat an entrée when I come here. But inevitably, what happens is that I start off with Mr. Frogs Super Happy Fun Journey, and then that’s it. I love that stuff. After dinner, walk next door to the Chattanooga Choo Choo and poke around a bit. This is a really cool old train station that is now a hotel.
The next morning, take a walk across the Walnut Street Bridge and take in a shop or two at the North Shore. Your last stop before you head home is Cloudland Canyon State Park. Take the 2 mile waterfalls trail down to the base of both falls. This is such a good workout, because you will be going up and down a lot of stairs in between your hiking!
Congratulations, you just completed Jamie’s Chattanooga quick fix perfect weekend getaway.
As always, our weekend getaways are always indexed inside our “Play” Journal by Stealth Journals. A sample entry page is pictured below: