Our great adventure along the Lookout Mountain Parkway landed us in the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee (James quickly tired of me saying, “You’re the only ten I see. Ten I see, Tennessee… get it?!”). After a long day on the road we thought, “What better way to spend an evening than seeking out some good ole Tennessee whiskey?” and we were not disappointed.
Chattanooga Whiskey Company
The first legal distillery in Chattanooga since prohibition, they worked to get the distilling band lifted from Chattanooga and when they succeeded, the band was lifted from all of Tennessee. They give their tastings at their “experimental distillery” where they experiment with small batches of whiskey before sending the recipe off for larger production size at their larger distillery nearby. Their whiskeys were good, but the food recommendation from our server turned out to be the diamond in the rough.
Main St Meats
This expensive, but tasty restaurant that used to be a butcher shop on Main Street in Chattanooga was where we were told we needed to go. Danielle and I “blew our wad” here having a couple beers, a meat and cheese plate, a local Tennessee beef burger, and chicken & andouille pasta. The food was incredible and the feel of the place was pretty neat as it was still much like a butcher shop inside, but we definitely cannot afford to eat out at places like that very often while staying on budget!
Just outside of Chattanooga and along Little Gizzard Creek is the Foster Falls Small Wilderness Area, home of course to Foster Falls. You can view the falls about 100 feet from the parking lot, but we decided to take the hike down to the base of the falls. Someone please remind Danielle to wear appropriate shoes when we go hiking! Worn down tennis shoes don’t fare well against wet rocks as she learned from the dark purple bruise on her butt.
George Dickel & Co
After stomping around in the woods and Danielle doing her best to tumble down the canyon at Foster Falls, we were off to the largest handmade whisky distillery (yes, whisky, it’s not spelled wrong) in the world. It is located way out in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee outside of Tullahoma. They of course have their own special blend of grains and a special process of charcoal filtering. However, unlike some places they give a great tour which we thoroughly enjoyed. James’ favorite part of course was getting to do the tasting at the end!
We couldn’t leave Tennessee without making our way to Nashville and although we didn’t make it to the Grand Ole Opry (we know, it’s a shame), we did have an amazing time exploring the Country Music Capital. We will give this warning: Music Row is not where all the country music is; we found that out after walking about 2 miles and had to walk all the way back past where we had parked to Broadway where there’s country music coming out of every bar. Music Row is where many of the recording studios of Nashville are and it’s really neat, just not what we were looking for. Bring on the country!
Country Music Crawler
We were enjoying the walk around all of the honky-tonks in downtown Nashville when a pedal powered trolley rolled by and we were recruited to help pedal. We got a discounted rate and were off to hop around the downtown bars. The first stop we went to was Bootleggers (try their many flavors of moonshine!! Danielle’s favorite is the Oatmeal Cookie moonshine), then Alan Jackson’s AJ bar (they have a drink called the “Hoochie Coochie”, how can anyone resist). Our pedal cart mates, were generous with the beer they brough and we were well lubricated by the time the tour was over, luckily we were able to find a little food and walk the town before the end of the night.
Tennessee is a place we would love to spend more time. There’s good food, great music, beautiful scenery, and whiskey (or whisky). What more do you really need?