Weekend Trip to Chattanooga: Recap
We spent the last weekend in Chattanooga and it. was. a. blast. There’s really nothing I love more than a growing city that feels new and exciting but also kinda like home. And that’s what Chattanooga was. It felt familiar but new but cozy but exciting. It was only about a 2-3 hour drive and we took off as soon as Caleb got home from work on Friday! Because we weren’t able to do much that night, we checked into our riverfront hotel and headed out to dinner because we were ravenous.
The cool thing about Chattanooga is that everything is so close to each other. You could easily bike from one destination to the other and it’s really not that hard to navigate because the Aquarium and the river are so central to everything! For example, it was only about a 7 minute drive from our hotel to dinner at the Public House downtown in Warehouse Row. If y’all are familiar with Atlanta, that’s totally unheard of - it would easily take 20-30 minutes for us to go downtown on a Friday night.
We started out with drinks: Caleb got a whiskey cocktail and I got a glass of rosé. Per your recommendations we started out with the pimento cheese plate which came with fried pickles and toasted sourdough. Major heart eyes. We couldn’t stop saying how delicious it was.
For main dishes, I got the halibut on corn grits and Caleb got the duck confit with squash and it was all divine. We loved the ambiance of the whole restaurant, too. It was the perfect mix of modern and vintage and eclectic and we would definitely come back.
By the end of dinner, we were stuffed and happy but ready to do a little more exploring! So we headed out to Miller Park, which was, again, just a short walk away.
The Nightfall Concert series is such a cool thing that I wish we had more of in Atlanta! It’s free live music every Friday night from May to end of August with tons of food trucks, alcohol, and various vendors so it’s perfect for people of all ages. It was packed! Caleb had some local beer (not Bud Light as the cup suggests lol), and I actually got some beautiful flowers instead of a drink. This little flower truck was soooo adorable and I actually purchased the ceramic vase and she made a small arrangement for me! And best of all, there were dogs everywhere. Basically this whole thing was perfect and I highly recommend it if you’re in Chattanooga on a Friday night!
After enjoying the live music by Blair Crimmins & The Hookers, we headed back to get our first night’s of rest. I’d say that it was a pretty successful first night in Chatt :)
The next morning, we slept in. And by sleeping in, we mean, we woke up at 0800. I think this means we’re adults now!? So we headed out to Milk & Honey for breakfast. We left a lot of time in between breakfast and the Aquarium because I was told that there’s usually a long (but worth it) wait for food. However, we got there right before it got busy and we were able to enjoy our food + coffee!
I opted for the Farmhouse Biscuit and Lavender Latte (my go-to if the cafe makes their own lavender syrup, because, duh) and Caleb had the Hot Mess Biscuit and the Burnt Sugar Latte. It was all as good as it looked. And how adorable is this place!? It was the perfect fuel for our full day.
Then… the aquarium! It was suuuuuuuper nostalgic to be back, since the last time I was here, I was in elementary school. Caleb had never been so needless to say, we were pretty excited. We started out in River Journey which is set up so cool and we got to see all the creatures that live in rivers all over the world. Did you know that Manta Rays can reside in rivers? We had no idea!
After touching the sturgeon and learning all about the river creatures, we headed out to Ocean Journey to learn more about oceans and the fishies that call the oceans their home.
In the beginning of the Ocean Journey building, there was also a butterfly sanctuary that was so stunning and you could see the little cocoons that would become the beautiful butterflies in a short time. Caleb and I are such nerds about this kinda stuff so it was truly such a blast.
For lunch, we ventured out to the Southside Historic District to Main Street Meats, a butcher shop that also serves food and cocktails all day long! I read that their steak is to die for but since we weren’t that hungry, we opted for cocktails and small bites. I had their Love 40 cocktail, which was my idea of a perfect cocktail: lavender infused vodka, orange bitters, and lemon soda. Caleb had the Homegrown cocktail, which was Chattanooga Whiskey Reserve in a Mexican coke with salted peanuts, and later their gin & tonic.
For starters, we got their local figs and cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto, drizzled with balsamic. It was fabulous. We then split their house burger with delicious caramelized onions, black pepper mayo and meat that melts in your mouth. They use buns from Niedlov’s, a bakery next door and Caleb and I are usually very picky about our hamburger buns and these were 10/10. Their salad with all local ingredients was the perfect side. Hiiiiiighly recommend if you want high quality meat and a cool experience.
We then did some shopping on Frazier Ave before dinner. Yes, we totally plan our trips around where we want to eat. Wait.. not everyone does that!? It was sooooo incredibly hot, though, so we headed back to the hotel so I could change, freshen up, and then we walked around on the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge before we heading to dinner at Brewhaus. The bridge overlooked Coolidge Park, a beautiful park perfect for families, dogs, couples, and they were actually starting to set up for movies on the lawn. The bridge itself was perfect for walkers, runners, performers, bikers, and connected the city from Frazier Ave. right to the Edwin Hotel and the Hunter Art Museum (pictured below; which I wish we could’ve visited) and the Bluff View Art District which is home to Remembrandt’s coffee!
By the time we crossed the bridge twice, we were ready for some beer and brats. And beer and brats we got. And more! This was actually our favorite restaurant we went to in Chattanooga. We love some cocktails and fancy dinners, but give us good local beer and you’ve won our hearts.
We each got flights and started with their amazing pretzel and their horseradish, cherry and cider mustards. Then Caleb got the Schnitzel and brussel sprouts and I got the spaetzle with the vinegar slaw and cabbage. It was all so good. And we sat on the patio as the sun set and it was all perfect.
After dinner, we walked across the bridge again to the Edwin Hotel to go up to the Whiskey Thief! There was about a 30 minute wait, so we got drinks at Whitebird downstairs while we waited. We debated between Whitebird and Flying Squirrel for brunch for the next day, so it was cool to see what Whitebird was like. Super cute and modern and they even had live music. At Whiskey Thief, I had a mint julep and Caleb had whiskey (duh) but we couldn’t stomach any more food after Brewhaus. But oh my god, the view! If you end up going, you need to sit on the patio for the rooftop view of the bridge and the city.
We got their cookie plate to-go, went by a liquor store nearby, and had some IPAs in bed while watching (and making fun of) Breaking Dawn. I can’t believe I used to think their books/movies were good! We giggled the rest of the night and I was reminded again that marriage is just like a life-long sleepover with your best friend.
The next morning, we had a quick breakfast at the hotel and headed out to Ruby Falls! We ended up having to wait such a long time and though the falls were beautiful, it was much more exciting when I was in elementary school. Surprise surprise! Regardless, we had a blast and marveled at the 124ft tall, naturally occurring waterfall and enjoyed learning about its history.
And for the final meal…. we went to Flying Squirrel back in SoHo for brunch. I got the steak and eggs, and Caleb got the steak tartare sandwich and we shared their rosemary fries. All delicious and was the perfect last meal and we really enjoyed the live music upstairs that flooded into the downstairs area in its very open area. If we had been staying another night, we would have definitely gotten some mimosas! But we opted for coffee as we were headed back home.
We were sad to leave but thankful for an amazing weekend making new memories. And of course, we couldn’t wait to be reunited with our baby!
Thank you again to the city of Chattanooga and the Tennessee Aquarium for having us this weekend. We had so much fun and made so many memories and we can’t wait to be back! Chattanooga, you were great. And homey. And beautiful. And exciting. See you again.