Here’s a preview of my media visit to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Follow along vicariously, or, use the information to plan your next visit to the city named by Lonely Planet as the “Best in the U.S.” and one of “10 U.S. destinations you need to see in 2018.”
Monday, April 30
Depart via Delta from Kansas City to Chattanooga. Check in to lodging at Chattanooga Choo Choo.
Dinner at Easy Bistro and Bar. Chef Erik Niel, James Beard Nominee for Best Chef in the Southeast for 2017, serves contemporary Southern cuisine using distinctive flavors from Chattanooga’s surrounding farmlands.
Evening–Have a drink at The Social, which serves its most popular cocktails on tap.
Tuesday, May 1
7:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.–Breakfast and tour at Tennessee Aquarium. The aquarium celebrates the rich biodiversity of the Southeast through its exhibits and actively engages in preserving and restoring that biodiversity through the aquarium’s Research arm, the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute. The aquarium has contributed $115 million to the city in an economically impactful way, along with having more than 750,000 visitors to the facility since opening in 1992.
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.–Tour and lunch at Rock City Gardens. Located atop Lookout Mountain in Georgia, just six miles from downtown Chattanooga, Rock City Gardens is a 4,100-foot walking trail showcasing rock formations, caves, and gardens. Nearly a half-million people from all over the world visit this natural attraction each year.
1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.–Tour Ruby Falls. In 1928, Leo Lambert and a team of excavators found a breathtaking waterfall located more than 1,120 feet below the surface of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga. Lambert named the falls after his wife, Ruby, and opened the area as a public attraction in 1930. Ruby Falls has welcomed thousands of visitors each year for over 85 years.
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.–Tour Battles for Chattanooga Museum. Five battles decided whether the Union or Confederacy would maintain control over Chattanooga, a pivotal trade route for military supplies during the Civil War. The museum provides an overview tour of all five of these battles, which ultimately sealed the fate of the Confederacy.
5:00 p.m.–Tour and dinner at Bluff View Art District. This art district is a historic neighborhood filled with restaurants, a coffee house, art gallery, historic bed & breakfast and gardens. It is Chattanooga’s first art district and stretches more than 1.5 city blocks, set atop high stone cliffs that plunge into the river below. From this location, you will have breathtaking views of the Tennessee River, downtown Chattanooga and the Walnut Street Bridge.
Evening–Grab drinks at The Flying Squirrel Bar, which serves seasonal and classic cocktails.
Wednesday, May 2
9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.–Hike the four-mile Little Cedar Mountain Trail. This trail hugs the western shoreline of the Tennessee River and the Nickajack Lake. The elevation gain and topography grant the Little Cedar Mountain Trail a dry side and a moist side; wildlife and plants reflect these subtle changes, thus making the two-loop trails a different experience as you hike.
10:45 a.m. – 11:15 p.m. Lunch at Dutch Maid Bakery & Cafe.
12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Explore Savage Gulf State Natural Area. Savage Gulf, a 15,590-acre natural area, is carved into the western edge of the Cumberland Plateau in Grundy and Sequatchie Counties. The attraction Stone Door, a 10-by-100-foot crack, stretches from the top of the escarpment into the gorge, making it a photogenic stop for visitors.
6:30 p.m. Dinner at Community Pie. With a selection of New-York, Neapolitan and Detroit style pizzas, Community Pie is a part of Chattanooga’s Monen Family Restaurant Group, which owns seven restaurants in Chattanooga and Nashville.
Evening–Have a drink at The Bitter Alibi, which provides an intimate dive-bar experience.
Thursday, May 3
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.–Tour James F. Corn Interpretive Facility at Red Clay State Historic Park. During the 1830s when Red Clay was functioning as an important governmental center, the Cherokee had adapted remarkably well to the American culture that surrounded them. At this time, the Cherokee had a government based on a constitution similar to that of the United States, elected officials, written laws, a Supreme Court and law enforcement officers. Some were Christians, many spoke English, they practiced trade, agriculture, and industry much as their American neighbors. Still, they retained much of their own unique culture, which the Interpretive Facility shows within the context of the past.
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.–Tour Museum Center at 5ive Points and learn about the history and culture of the Ocoee region.
12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.–Lunch at Jenkins Deli. Voted as one of the best restaurants in Cleveland, TN, and featured by National Geographic and Southern Living, Jenkins Deli featuring old-fashioned cooking and unique dining experiences.
2:00 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.–Tour Hiwassee River Heritage Center. The banks of the Hiwassee River were witness to nationally significant history involving the Trail of Tears and the Civil War. It was a pivotal crossing for troop movement in the Civil War. Discover these important stories and more at this recently opened interpretive center, designated by the National Park Service as a certified site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.–Tour Cherokee Removal Memorial Park. The Cherokee Removal Memorial Park is a multipurpose facility dedicated to those who suffered and died in what has become known as the “Trail of Tears”. The history told here involves the removal of the Five Civilized Tribes from the Southeastern United States to make land available for white settlement. The park is intended to interpret and educate the public about the forced removal of the Cherokees from their ancestral land as well as inform them about the unique wildlife in the area.
6:30 p.m.–Dinner at Café Roma. Chef Shannon Ritzhaupt serves traditional Italian cuisine in a modern, rustic space.
Evening–Have a locally brewed beer at Terminal BrewHouse.
Friday, May 4
Check out of accommodation and depart for Kansas City.
Learn more at https://www.chattanoogafun.com.