24 Hours in Chattanooga, TN
CHATTANOOGA, TN // MARCH 2017
ART, VIEWS & A RETRO-CHIC BOUTIQUE HOTEL
I thrive on a frequent change of scenery and while it's been nice to be home the past month, I was getting antsy for an adventure! With the goal of staying close to home yet visiting someplace new, Greg and I hit the road and drove two hours southeast to Chattanooga. This vibrant town on the Tennessee River, with a beautiful backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains, was the perfect solution for a 24-hour trip.
Like most of my travels, the thing that sold me on visiting Chattanooga was the hotel! I did some research on Memphis and Louisville, both just a short drive from Nashville, but nowhere seemed to offer lodging that stood out to me as much as The Dwell Hotel. A Design Hotels property, Dwell is Chattanooga's first boutique hotel, which takes an unassuming historical building and outfits it in luxury-meets-retro, mid-century allure.
The hotel's 16 rooms all feature a unique design complemented by vintage furniture and curated art pieces. We stayed in the Tropicana Suite which, as you can see, had plenty of personality and every corner was charming! Each suite has a rain shower and soaking tub, gas fireplace, cozy sitting area and a personal balcony with views of downtown. What more could you want?! Attention to detail is evident throughout the building and the rooms evoke a journey into another era. Not to mention the staff was great!
In recent years, Chattanooga has evolved from a kitschy mountain town into a cultured city. Offering a wide range of activities, especially in the form of outdoor recreation, you get the sense upon arrival it's a city that lives for days spent enjoying nature. Between rock climbing, hiking, white-water rafting, hang gliding and more, it's an adrenaline junkies playground.
We, on the other hand, chose to keep our day much more low-key and headed to the Bluff View Art District. This historic neighborhood perched on an 80-foot bluff overlooking the river is a creative haven. With charming houses lining the streets and sculpture gardens to stroll through, I inevitably fell in love with the area. We started at the Hunter Museum of American Arts, strolled part of the 12-mile Riverwalk and finished the afternoon at the prettiest coffee shop, Rembrandt's. Anywhere with a good latte and European style desserts is alright by me!
The rest of our time seemed to consist of shopping and eating. A must-visit is Warehouse Row- a collection of buildings built in the early 1900s that have been authentically restored and transformed into a trendy retail space. We had a delicious dinner of homemade pasta and pizza at Alleia- which happens to be a sister restaurant for one of our Nashville favorites- and a yummy brunch at the land of Milk and Honey. So many of the menus I looked at sound wonderful, and the restaurant scene is definitely strong in Chattanooga.
One spot we didn't have time to eat at but will make a priority during our next visit is Terra Mae- the five star restaurant in The Dwell Hotel. The funky design of the lobby seeps through the main level into the dining room which boasts an imaginative menu. Both Greg and I were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed Chattanooga, and if you live in the South, I highly recommend you add it to your must-visit list!