An aerial view of the Bluff View Arts District
By Emma Kent
If you’re looking for a honeymoon location that’s a little bit adventurous, a little bit indulgent and a whole lot of scenic – look no further than Chattanooga, Tennessee. The growing Southern city is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and sprawls across the Tennessee River. The best part? It’s only about a four-hour drive from Northeast Mississippi.
Where to stay
The Dwell Hotel, located in the heart of Chattanooga’s downtown, is a design-lover’s dream. The historic building was converted into a boutique hotel inspired by mid-century modern design. Bold patterns, mid-century antiques and retro flair make stepping into the Dwell like walking onto the set of Mad Men. Rooms are upstairs, as the bottom floor is made up of the Terra Máe restaurant and Matilda Midnight cocktail bar. The Dwell is also close to lots of restaurants, bars and other attractions, making it a good place to stay for walkability. But honestly, with rooms this gorgeous you might just want to stay in. For a more bed & breakfast style experience, the Bluff View Inn in the Bluff View Arts District features cozy accommodations in three historic homes. A little bit outside of Chattanooga, but still close enough to enjoy the city, are the treehouse-inspired Treetop Hideaways. These treehouse cabins are located in Flintstone, Georgia, on Lookout Mountain. Treetop Hideaways strikes a balance perfect for honeymooners as the cabins are equipped with all of the modern luxuries of a boutique hotel but surrounded by the mountain’s wilderness scenery. Right now there are just two cabins available, so book early.
The Lobby at The Dwell Hotel
The Kite Suite at The Dwell Hotel
In the city
Chattanooga is ripe with things to do, both well-known attractions and hidden gems. Staples like the Chattanooga Aquarium and the Hunter Museum of American Art are certainly worth a visit while spending time in the city. Away from the tourist attractions, though, you’ll find more local flavor. Get lost in The Refindery or Burlap & Board, both of which stock vintage and antique items as well as locally-made goods, or visit Chattanooga Whiskey for a tour and tasting. One thing you should be sure to do while in Chattanooga is experience the city’s food scene. For a perfect day in Chattanooga, meal-wise, start at The Daily Ration. After breakfast, walk around the North Shore and pop in some of the local shops. For lunch, grab a hot dog at Good Dog on the North Shore, and weather permitting, stop by Coolidge Park and walk across the Walnut Street Bridge. For an afternoon pick-me-up, head back across the river to Rembrandt’s in the Bluff View Arts District. The coffee is good, but the pastries are even better. Try a macaron, you won’t regret it. For dinner, try Tony’s Pasta Shop & Trattoria. It’s got that classic, out-of-the-movies Italian restaurant feel (a la Lady & the Tramp) perfect for a romantic dinner. A few other must-try spots include: Main Street Meats, Milk & Honey, Lupi’s Pizza Pies, Champy’s and The Bitter Alibi.
In the mountains
If you have the time, and especially if you’re visiting in the fall, a trip to Cloudland Canyon State Park is well worth the half-hour drive. The park sits on the western edge of Lookout Mountain in Rising Fawn, Georgia, and bursts with color during the fall. Try the short, steep Waterfalls Trail, which goes down into the canyon and leads to Cherokee Falls and Hemlock Falls. The park’s picnic area offers beautiful views for a post-hike picnic. If it’s summer, take a short drive to the Montblake Blue Hole in nearby Soddy-Daisy. An easy hike from the road leads to a creek and an array of refreshing swimming holes. Another good place to hike is the Lula Lake Land Trust on Lookout Mountain. While the popular Rock City and Ruby Falls attractions on Lookout Mountain do offer some great views, getting off the beaten path means fewer people and more peace in which to enjoy the natural landscapes.
Cloudland Canyon State Park