Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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Kicking off a brand new series here at gracefulandfree and I am SO excited to share with you Weekends Worth It. Over the course of the next several weeks, I will be sharing weekend guides for escapes all over the Southeast to provide encouragement and inspiration for spending a weekend that is WORTH IT, with all of the people you love most.
The work week can be the most exhausting and when Friday finally arrives, it can be overwhelming trying to balance all the desires and hopes of what to do and accomplish over the course of a Friday night through Sunday, but I am going to try and make that a little easier, by presenting to you a solution that focuses on a whole lot of LOVE, a whole lot of LIFE, and doing so in the most intentional way. Here’s to weekends that are worth it ~ worth all the hustle and bustle of a work week AND worth all the smiles and laughs and memories shared with the ones we love most.
So without any further hesitation, #weekendsworthit.
Living north of Atlanta, J and I find ourselves a quick eighty minute drive to one of Tennessee’s fastest growing cities. And for many living in Georgia, weekends were shared growing up as kids escaping to the city by the river, with the aquarium and the Sticky Fingers off of Market Street.
In fact, I could count on both hands the number of times I have visited Chattanooga in the last five years alone, and boy how much has changed and grown in the course of those five short years. And with all the new restaurants, hotels, and breweries quickly opening up on the banks of the Tennessee River, Chattanooga is a place you will most definitely want to add to your 2019 travel adventures.
So, to be completely honest…. J and I spent two different weekends in Chattanooga preparing and planning for this post so what I present to you below is a wonderful combination of two research-based weekends in Chattanooga and let me tell you just how much fun research for travel posts can be.
Chattanooga has SO many great options of places to stay all from a variety of price points. Regardless of which room you find to lay your head, I strongly recommend staying within the heart of the city. Two of my favorite options are The Moxy – Chattanooga and the newly opened The Edwin Hotel.
The Moxy is located right in the heart of Chattanooga’s exponential growth, centered around the city’s Southside. The Moxy brings you a combination of modern meets trendy with a dash of sass. Situated along the railroad and nearby some of the very best neighborhood eats and drinks, the Moxy is where you will most definitely want to stay.
Rooms typically range from $169 a night for a Saturday. One of my favorite features of the Moxy is the check-in process. You check in at the bar. Yes, you got that right and all hotel guests (21 and older that is) are given a complimentary cocktail – called the Moxy (and it is absolutely delicious) upon arrival.
In addition, the bar at the Moxy, the Railbar, is one of the hottest spots in Chattanooga’s night scene. In addition to a spectacular drink menu, you can enjoy board games, pool, or giant Jenga all while enjoying the company of those around you.
The rooms themselves are adorable. From the old-fashioned telephones, to the modern chair and stool hanging on the massive rack… you will most definitely feel like luxury.
Head over to the river side, located directly next to the pedestrian bridge, the Edwin is Chattanooga’s newest edition to the luxury scene. Situated in the heart of Chattanooga, in perfect walking distance from the north shore, the River Arts District and Market Street, the Edwin will most definitely meet all the desires of your heart and more.
Upon arrival, the valet drivers in their uniform that is straight out of 19th century England, will charm your heart and make your welcome the most charming.
After you check in, be sure to pay attention to the beautiful artwork lining the halls, and be sure to watch yourselves in the mirror as the elevator doors close so you can see the elevator artwork at its finest.
The rooms at the Edwin alone are out of this world. From the chandelier and the chaise in the corner, to the white subway tile bathrooms and overall luxurious vibe, you will most definitely feel like you are on the path to heaven.
Rooms aside, the Edwin also features a restaurant on site – the Whitebird, a coffee shop that serves an absolutely delicious Honey Cinnamon Latte, Provisions, and hosts Chattanooga’s best rooftop bar ~ The Whiskey Thief.
Alright, let me be one hundred percent real, I think that brunch is by far the most important part of any weekend, and let me tell you something.. Chattanooga absolutely nails brunch. I am talking a buffet that is included with your entree and $1 mimosas! Yes, that is right $1 mimosas and if you are feeling really spicy, you can get a double mimosa for $2. Yes, it’s a thing in Chattanooga and I absolutely LOVE it!
Our absolute favorite brunch place by far is State of Confusion. Located on the Southside, and nearby other fantastic eats. I strongly recommend the Chicken Fried Chicken and ask for your eggs sunny-side-up. Absolutely delicious. And well-worth the bloat!
Another notorious brunch place located right down the street from State of Confusion is the Flying Squirrel ~ notorious for great foods & an amazing bar, this place for brunch is spectacular. Please note, usually this establishment is over 21 only, except for brunch – so if you are traveling with kids you will definitely want to keep that in mind.
Other EXCELLENT BRUNCHES can be enjoyed at
Alright, so I grouped lunch & dinner together because there are just so many options that are absolutely delicious. Our top three favorites include:
Alleia – I one hundred percent recommend this OUTSTANDING Italian restaurant. Relatively new to the Southside, I strongly recommend making a reservation as we waited over an hour at 8:30 pm on a Saturday night and when we were finally done and leaving (close to 10:30 the place was still packed). Absolutely worth it though, as the pasta dishes are from heaven. Plus, the portions are LARGE, I would say you could split a dish, but then that would only limit you to one entree, where you should most definitely try two!
Main Street Meats – yes, yes and YES! So funny story, after we put our name down at Alleia – we walked three minutes down the street to Main Street Meats and split a burger as our “appetizer” because we heard it WAS THAT GOOD! and sure enough – it was! Definitely make plans to enjoy a meal at Main Street Meats.
Public House – the Public House is also in a league of its own. A complete farm-to-table menu featuring local farmers’ produce, you will most definitely be satisfied with your meal. Plus, the choice of sides will most definitely satisfy.
Other outstanding options include:
Chattanooga has some of the best coffee shops. Our personal favorite is Rembrandt’s in the Arts district. A cozy coffee shop built into an old house, hosting some of the best views from the ultimate comfort and heart of the city. Also, you most definitely want to take a chocolate chip scone to go ~ you will thank me later, I promise!
Additionally, other great coffee shops include, Milk & Honey, Mean Mug, the Goodman at Warehouse Row, Provisions at the Edwin, and Camp House.
Recently discovered this on our last visit to Chattanooga – Chattanooga’s first ever speakeasy. Walk along Cherry Street until you find a bright, red London phone booth. A secret code is needed to get in. Once you are in, enjoy the ambiance, the large portrait of the Queen and some absolutely tasting drinks. Cheers!
Chattanooga’s finest rooftop bar, located on the 5th floor of the Edwin Hotel – featuring a gorgeous interior of community table drinking, and lounge couches, or enjoy a drink on the outdoor patio overlooking the city of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River. Delicious options including a thorough Whiskey library as well as some of the best local finds. Small plates included as well.
Chattanooga has SO many wonderful options of things to do outside. In fact, everybody is always on the move, whether they are walking their dog, riding their bike, or running. You will see Noogans constantly on the move (and most likely with their dog) around you everywhere you go.
Some of the BEST THINGS TO DO OUTSIDEinclude:
Hopefully ya have realized by now, that J and I are big fans of the hops and in fact most of our travels are motivated by tasting and experiencing new brews across the country. Chattanooga also has a growing craft beer scene and if you enjoy craft beer yourself then you most definitely want to check out this breweries while enjoying your stay in the city.
While these were definitely our favorites, other breweries you may enjoy include: Mad Knight Brewing Company, Moccasin Bend Brewing Company, Chattanooga Brewing Company and the Naked River Brewing Company.
There are SO many things to do in Chattanooga. From the aquarium, to the amazing rock climbing facilities, to shopping at the local Chattanooga stores or along Warehouse Row, listening to music at Songbirds, there are SO many options.. just find what you LOVE and do it!
While you explore the city, you most definitely will want to check out Bluff View Arts District. Featuring a great coffee shop, art museum, galleries, tasty restaurants, a sweet bed & breakfast, and just overall, a sweet neighborhood to walk through.
Well, there you have it friends, a #weekendsworthit in Chattanooga. Have you been or are planning on visiting soon, I would love to hear in the comments below!
Until next week…
xo. Haley ~ gracefulandfree