This past Friday, Steve and I headed out for a weekend in Chattanooga with my cousin and her husband. Chattanooga is the halfway point between both of us, since they’re located in Atlanta. I was so excited to spend some time with them since they’re new to the south and we’d been talking for a while about taking more weekend trips together to explore.
We arrived to our Airbnb in Southside, settled in, then walked over to Urban Stack for burgers and beers. It was a beautiful evening to sit on the patio and enjoy the atmosphere. We called it an early night so we could wake up early to enjoy a fun-filled, action-packed weekend in Chattanooga.
First thing Saturday morning, we visited Koch’s Bakery which was just a block from the house we stayed in. I knew I wanted to visit the bakery ever since I learned that they had the infamous doughnut mural in Chattanooga. It was a no-brainer for me.
After scarfing down doughnuts and danishes, we were off to our first tourist top of the day, Rock City. I hadn’t visited these Chattanooga stops since I was just a little girl, so I was excited to see everything as an adult. I was such a rock fanatic when I was younger that I used to collect rocks and throw them in my rock tumbler, then once they were perfectly polished I would place them to be displayed in my shadow box made by my grandfather. I even saved up my allowance as a kid to buy books so that I could study rocks and minerals. Straight up nerd status.
After we walked the trails at Rock City, we continued on to our next stop at Ruby Falls.
A brief history lesson about Ruby Falls: In 1928, Leo Lambert and a team of excavators found a breathtaking waterfall located more than 1,120 feet under the surface of Lookout Mountain. He named the falls after his wife, Ruby, and opened the area as a public attraction in 1930. When you enter the attraction, you’re taken down an elevator into the cavern and it’s a full mile roundtrip walk to the falls and back. It’s such a beautiful sight once you get the the falls.
The third and final tourist stop of the day was at the Incline Railway on Lookout Mountain, the world’s steepest railway system. It travels 1 mile straight up the mountain to a lookout point, where you can see the entire city of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River.
After descending back to the bottom of the mountain, we took off for Chattanooga Brewing Company to grab dinner and local brews. The beer was delicious, I was particularly a fan of the Chattahooligan Lager. We sat out on the patio where there was a very rowdy soccer game right across the street at the Finley Stadium.
We decided to enjoy a bit more of Chattanooga nightlife Saturday night, so we walked over to Terminal Brewhouse to grab another drink. They had the perfect patio outback for enjoying the warm summer evening.
To close out the night, we walked next door to STIR, a chic cocktail bar with a focus on ‘artisan ice and craft cocktails’ with an extensive collection of alcohol. I adored the atmosphere at STIR. They have amazing outdoor seating that connects to the indoor bar with giant windows.
Sunday morning I woke up early to walk down to grab a cup of coffee before everyone else woke up, but to my dismay, the coffeeshop I wanted to visit wasn’t open on Sunday. I then searched to see what coffeeshops within walking distance were open on Sundays and NONE of them were. It was a bit disappointing, but at least I got more exercise walking around Southside.
Once the rest of the gang was up and ready, we went to Aretha Frankenstein’s because a weekend in Chattanooga wouldn’t be complete with a big breakfast outing. The wait wasn’t too bad for being such a small place and we got to enjoy more time outside sipping coffee until our name was called for a table. The service was very friendly and the food was plentiful. The pancakes and omelettes were HUGE. Everything was delicious.
Following breakfast was a visit to the Tennessee Aquarium. I was really excited to see the penguins and sea otters. The Tennessee Aquarium has two buildings on its campus, one for the Fresh Water Exhibit, and one for the Salt Water Exhibit. To my surprise, the Salt Water building had parrots, a butterfly exhibit, and much more than I had expected. It was really beautiful.
Our final stop of the trip was to Clumpie’s Ice Cream to enjoy a cone. It was so refreshing since it was a 100 degree day. Clumpie’s had such an amazing selection of ice creams that it was hard for me to make a decision. I settled on the Blueberry White Chocolate Chunk. I was very satisfied with my choice.
After ice cream, it was unfortunately time to pack up and head back to Nashville. It was such a fun weekend exploring a city I hadn’t been to since I was a child and I already can’t wait to visit again in the near future. If you’re looking to enjoy a weekend in Chattanooga, I recommend visiting the places above. It was such a memorable time!