Saturday, July 16, 2016

Fun things to see in Chattanooga for the solo traveler

Chattanooga - Photo by Jessica Bray
I recently got the opportunity to visit Chattanooga, Tennessee, for a conference and had a little bit of free time in between sessions.  Here are a few sites that I recommend someone that is traveling by themselves should definitely check out.

Rock City
For miles, you will see the signs that lead you to go see Rock City.  The view is wonderful once you reach to the point where one can view 5 states at once.  Some tidbits when you do visit - weekends are higher priced than weekdays.  I also found out that you can save quite a bit if you go after 6:00 p.m.  There are no other discounts, but if you plan on visiting the Aquarium or Ruby Falls, go ahead and buy your tickets while at Rock City and save some money.  They do not offer AAA discount either. Visit them at

Furthermore, if you are unable to take steps, or afraid of close spaces, be sure to ask one of the guest services which trails are best to go on.  There is an ADA compliant trail that someone in a wheelchair or have difficulty with stairs can take.  Unfortunately, you won't be able to see the gnomes, but you can see the Lovers Leap and other sights.  There are quite a few benches to rest at, as well as plenty of places to grab a cold drink or a snack.  They did allow me to take in a bottle water.  There are several gift shops.  Over at the lookout part, there is a machine to get a large coin as a souvenir, which was neat!
Gnomecephus taking a few on top of Rock City

Hunter Museum of American Art
In downtown Chattanooga, there is a neat historic museum right on the banks of the river.  You will see paintings, as well as other beautiful works of art from as far back as the 1700's.  There are also several special exhibits over time.  There is a small gift shop to get a Chattanooga souvenir.  They do offer AAA discounts in the museum. Visit their website at
Hunter Museum of American Art - Photo by Jessica Bray
Moon Pie General Store
Did you know that the Moon Pie and RC Cola are made in Chattanooga?  Unfortunately, you cannot do a factory tour, but you can visit the Moon Pie General Store.  Inside you can grab a box of moon pies, as well as t-shirts, and other merchandise.  Don't forget to get your photo taken in the back next to the moon!  There are so many treats and Chattanooga items to take back home to remember your trip. Get more info at

International Towing & Recovery Museum
Not only is Chattanooga the home of moon pies and RC Cola, it is where the tow truck was invented!  The museum is jammed packed with fully restored tow truck and recovery vehicles.  You will be amazed as the massive size of some of them.  There is also an assortment of mechanical tools.  One highlight is the wall to wall display case of tow truck toys.  As you exit the museum, be sure to take a look at each of the portraits hanging in the wall of the Hall of Fame.  You might see someone from your home state, or even in your hometown.  There is also a small gift shop and outside a statue in memory of those that lost their lives while working in the towing industry.  They do offer AAA discounts.  Check them out online at

Main Street Meats
There is no shortage of locally owned restaurants in downtown Chattanooga.  I always love trying out the local flavors.  I stopped in the Main Street Meets for lunch one day.  Upon walking in the door, I was greeted with a friendly smile and hello.  I had a meatloaf sandwich, which was just downright delicious.  For a side, I had fresh strawberries mixed with peas and a sweet dressing.  Needless to say, you leave feeling full, but also a feeling of eating healthy with locally grown products.  Check out their website at
Main Street Meats - Photo by Jessica Bray
There were all kinds of murals around Chattanooga.  Here are a few of them that I was able to spot:
Chattanooga Train Mural - photo by Jessica Bray

Love, Peace, and Burger Grease Mural - photo by Jessica Bray

Moon Pie General Store and Coca Cola Mural - photo by Jessica Bray
Sticky Fingers Restaurant
Right across from the Moon Pie General Store is the Sticky Fingers Restaurant.  I had the pulled pork bbq, along with fries and coleslaw.  It was moist and I loved that you can put your own sauce on it.  It was a good place if you wanted bbq, or something simple for lunch or dinner.

Volkswagen Plant
Did you know that the US Volkswagen plant is located in Chattanooga?  They do offer tours, but at this time they were not.  It is a neat place to drive by and see how massive a facility it really is.  Get details on the plant and if/when they are doing tours at

Mayfield Dairy Farm Facilities
Just about an hour north of Chattanooga is the Mayfield Dairy Farm Facilities.  You can take a tour of the plant to see how milk and other products like ice cream are made.  Tours are lead on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  The gift shop is open throughout the week and is a must see.  They also serve refreshing ice cream.  Be sure to pick up one of the moorific items to take back home with you. More info on tours can be found at
Mayfield Dairy Visitor Center - photo by Jessica Bray

There is plenty to do in Chattanooga, as well as plenty of places to eat.  Two other stops that I would recommend would be the Aquarium, as well as the Chattanooga Choo Choo.  You can even take a train ride.  One good thing about downtown, there is a FREE electric shuttle service that runs every few minutes with multiple stops downtown.  There are quite a few national chain hotels downtown within walking distance of most attractions mentioned, as well a many restaurants.

For more information on Chattanooga, as well as to get coupons, be sure to visit the Visitors Center.  Their website is