Climb Every Mountain: A Weekend In Chattanooga

Please prepare to take notes because I'm going to share with you some of the BEST places to visit in Chattanooga (and area), Tennessee...

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For starters, instead of a hotel we opted for a home. Our only wants: a fireplace. We found a perfect place called Covenant Cottage located on Lookout Mountain only minutes from downtown Chattanooga. It might be a little ehhh looking on the outside, but has everything you need and want on the inside to include space! So big with 2 bunk beds in one room, and 2 queens in 2 separate other rooms ~ bring the whole family!! Also the booking was so easy and so friendly. We loved it! And/but btw, if you book a place in advance instead of last minute you will find some GREAT options like super cute little cabins with hot tubs in the mountains.

We arrived on Thursday the night before our house was prepared for us so we stayed at Days Inn. We were not so welcomed by the sleeping drunk front desk lady and prepared for a sketchy night. It was fine though. Sleep, awful coffee, questionable oatmeal, and we're off...

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First stop, Lookout Mountain and Rock City. Lookout Mountain is kind of the whole shebang. There are 3 famous attractions to include Rock City, Ruby Falls, and the Incline Railway. I'll let the photos speak for the beauty...

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Rock City is a 4,100 foot walking trail of a "garden" of rocks. Lover's Leap (named after exactly what you're probably thinking), seeing 7 states from one point, the gorgeous waterfall (the one I didn't have to travel deep down into the ground to see), and the swing along bridge are a few of the both natural and man made attractions that make for great photos and exploration. Dog friendly, even Jake had a great time smelling his way through Rock City.

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Now starving and Rock City'd out, we wanted a fantastic local eat ~ burgers and whiskey!!

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We found Urban Stack and wow!! The Old Fashioned cocktails were so tasty and the gourmet burgers were AMAZING! We shared the Farmers Burger and the Gourmet Cheese and Bacon Burger. Both so good! SO GOOD! The service was also exceptional with the waiter giving us great ideas for our Saturday mountain hiking expedition...

But first, to wrap up Friday afternoon/evening, we dropped Jake at the house and headed to Ruby Falls. Guys, I did not know that this meant we were going 260 feet underground (and then a bit deeper) and cave exploration!

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Holy shit I almost had a panic attack. But I did it. Half a mile in to the falls and half a mile out. It was SO cool and neat inside. Oh but/and the falls... THE FALLS!! 1,120 feet underground, incredible! What really blew my mind was that they have no idea where the water actually comes from. Say what!? No kidding. Leo, the dude that found this place, first low crawled in a tight crevice for 650 feet before he could stand. He and his partner then explored more for a total of 17 hours. They felt air coming from somewhere so they just had to keep going. Can you imagine suddenly emerging in front of a 145 foot waterfall!? You HAVE to go check this cave and falls out! Again with letting the photos speak for it all...

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^ TERRIFIED!!

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^ so many neat rock formations, tight squeezes, low rock, the cave is perfectly lighted, well kept, the tour guides are funny and great. It's a don't miss on Lookout Mountain.

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^ doing it anyway, like a BOSS!

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^ thank goodness for this guy having faith in me and getting me through!

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^ and SO worth every freaked out moment!! AMAZING!!


A mountain sunset on Sunset Rock perfected our Friday...

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Oh wait, the fire and movie back at home really perfected our Friday night. And we were still so satisfied from Urban Stack we didn't even need dinner. Saturday morning...

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Saturday morning we were up and at em ready for some hiking. We decided that we'd do a couple of short trails that way Jake could come. The first was nearby, Glenn Falls Trail...

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The fall colors was so beautiful. The fall air was so refreshing!! Jake loved it, we loved it, and even though the falls were nearly dry, all 3 of us loved climbing the falls and hiking in the mountains.

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We took Jake home and continued on to Grundy Forest (about 40 minutes away). We were in search of Foster Falls. The trailhead left us with 13 miles to the falls. I determined that would take us entirely too long and we were unprepared for such a hike so we opted for the 4 mile loop which incorporated a few smaller falls, tons of up and down climbing, gorgeous views, and overall a perfect hike!!

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^ this is where we stopped and sat for lunch. Perfect, right!?

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"it's you. it's always been you."

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Honestly, we didn't take very many more photos. What you're seeing is what we captured. We were busy hiking and looking, being silly, and enjoying our hike. I felt like we took so many but now looking, just a few.
Anyway, our hike finished we headed home to enjoy the sunset from our hammock with a glass of wine. A hot shower was necessary after the evening chill and we got ready for a great dinner...

We went to 1885 Grill, a southern coastal restaurant in St. Elmo neighborhood. It was delicious! We were a little nervous about our waitress, but she was great! The atmosphere was partially romantic but group friendly too. Great music was playing and noticing the ladies in the place were all eating with our jackets on, the manager made it a point to come let us know he turned the air down. Wow, thanks! We had so much food! Fried okra, pimento cheese dip, fried green tomatoes, pork chops and mashed potatoes and steak and fries. Coupled with some local bourbon and then wine, we were overly satisfied and wandered downtown for one last cocktail at a trendy bar. That didn't last long though, we were wiped from our hiking and dinner.

Sunday morning we cleaned up the house and headed for downtown Chattanooga. FYI, pretty much everything is closed on a Sunday morning in Chattanooga. Seriously. We managed to find a coffee shop for the most difficult cups of coffee ever! It was a snobby little shop that insisted they couldn't pour me a cup of half caff. With one eyebrow up, I ordered a cup of regular and a cup of decaf and mixed them (insert my face, you know the face...) and Luca's espresso.

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The Choo Choo was nice and fancy and we chatted with a woman about their night stay in a train box car (the Choo Choo is an old train terminal turned into a hotel, restaurant, attraction). It was cute and worth the visit and made our quick visit to Chattanooga feel complete.

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Spending this weekend with Luca and Jake was perfect! Both for the company and the fresh air. Air in the mountains feels different, fresher! We needed a step off the beach from coast life and wander around the woods. I'm so lucky to have found someone as adventurous as me (and silly). And so, the adventure continues... ;)

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