I’ve mentioned before that we consider these years kind of like my husband’s residency for auditing. When busy season is over though? We like to just spend time together. We decided to go Chattanooga because we’ve never explored there together. Problem though… we highly underestimated how packed everything would be because of Memorial Day weekend. We decided to forgo most of our plans when we saw how long the lines were and decided to come back again on a less busy weekend. Well, lucky for you, this means I’m sharing our Chattanooga bucket list for when we do get to go back.
OUR CHATTANOOGA BUCKET LIST
- STAY IN THE CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO HOTEL
This hotel was formerly the last major train depot into the south. The majority of all trains passed through Chattanooga if they were going into the south and investors kept this historic place from getting demoed by turning it into a hotel.
- LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN
Absolutely gorgeous views and the ability to see seven states from one place? Sign me up! I’m looking forward to taking the railroad up to see the top too. It looks incredibly steep, but I can only imagine how the city looks from it.
- ROCK CITY
I love kitschy stuff and every picture of Rock City I have seen has pictures of lawn gnomes and the like. Sign me up!
- RUBY FALLS
Devin is a huge fan of caves and the highlight of his trip is definitely being able to go on the hike. Bonus: we’ll be able to skip hot summer weather this way too!
- RACCOON MOUNTAIN CAVERNS
I had never heard of this cavern prior to this trip, but we’re really excited about taking the walking tour. There are a lot of more intense tours, but I’m really claustrophobic so it isn’t going to be my jam.
- CRAVENS HOUSE
This house is on the way to a lot of trail heads with civil war history. I’m really looking forward to the city views from here and reading the historic markers.
- CHATTANOOGA DUCK BOAT TOUR
I’m a World War II buff and the duck boat tour is on fully restored WW II landing crafts. Both of my grandfather’s were at Normandy and D-Day so I think this would be a really interesting experience. I would love to go down the river and I’ve seen there are some tours which include stops on Audubon Island.
- RIDE THE COOLIDGE PARK CAROUSEL
I wore a dress this visit to Chattanooga which isn’t conducive to carousel riding 🙂 . The carousel is housed in the building with the blue roof and gold horse on top in one of the pictures below.
- WATCH THE TENNESSEE AQUARIUM IMAX
I remember seeing this as a child, but I found out I had chicken pox right before we went in and that is not the way to be the cool kid when you’re on a girl scout troop outing 😉 . I would love to go back with my darling husband + NO chicken pox. If I can find the pictures, I’ll have to show you because I was a miserable sight to behold.
- CIVIL WAR RAILROAD TUNNEL (24 miles outside of Chattanooga)
I find civil war history fascinating and we saw this attraction on our way home. I really want to check out the house, museum, and tunnel.
WHAT WE SAW TODAY
Even though we didn’t do all that we had planned, we really enjoyed walking through downtown Chattanooga! We spent most of our afternoon on the Walnut Street Bridge which is actually the largest pedestrian only bridge in the world! The bridge was built in 1891 and has gorgeous views of the river. We loved being able to watch the steam boat go by and the bridge was a wonderful place to people watch everyone in Coolidge Park.
We finished up our day by walking along the Chattanooga Riverwalk before we headed out for food. We kept hearing about Julie Darling Doughnuts and the shop was so cute and close to the bridges that we had to try it out! We split a doughnut Sunday which is their classic with a red velvet doughnut, cream cheese and caramel icing, and topped off with vanilla soft serve ice cream. I’ll admit that I didn’t really love it because the doughnut seemed pretty dry and I’m not a soft serve fan, but the Bavarian creme doughnut Devin ordered had a lot of flavor. Looks like when we go back next time that we’ll have to try some other kinds 🙂 .
We ate our dessert before our dinner, but we headed to Taco Roc because we love really good Mexican. There aren’t a lot of non-Tex Mex places in our burbs in Atlanta and we were thrilled to see that the place really reminded us of places we go to in Arizona (where Devin is from). If you like hole in the wall places and great food, this place was SO DELICIOUS. I had a chimichanga plate that ended up being the daily special for under $7! Devin had tacos and neither one of us could finish our food. I’m always a big fan of places that give you a salsa bar too and this one was excellent 🙂 .
We have a lot more to see in Chattanooga and we quickly found from looking up restaurants that there are a lot of brunch places for us to try. We’re looking forward to our next trip and I’ll take all of the tips if we should add more places to visit on our Chattanooga bucket list. In the mean time, we’ll just be glad that Devin’s busy season is over and we’ll be one of those super clingy couples for the next few weeks.