Saturday, March 13, 2010

vegans in chattanooga, tn

happy birthday marty!

For my sweetie’s 40th birthday I decided to take him on a mini-vacation to Chattanooga. It’s only a 2 ½ drive from Nashville which makes it a convenient little getaway. After a very long and cold winter, we were so excited to see the weather forecast for Chattanooga was in the high 60's with "abundant sunshine."

Normally I plan every detail of our vacations, complete with spreadsheets listing out our minute-by-minute itinerary, but since going on this vacation was a last minute decision and because I’m trying to be more Type-B, I didn’t plan much and we had a terrific time.

Chattanooga is a fun little town with a wide variety of activities from tourist traps (Ruby Falls, Rock City) to Civil War Battlegrounds (Chickamauga and Lookout Mountain) to museums, zoos and the city’s pride and joy, the Tennessee Aquarium.  It is also a great place for the outdoor enthusiast with a lot of places for hiking, biking, rock climbing, rafting, etc.

Our hotel was located in the vibrant downtown district which has art galleries, locally owned bookstores, eclectic shops that are fun (for me anyway) to browse around in, restaurants, coffee houses and a small night life scene (although it was pretty quiet while we were there during the week), all set on the scenic banks of the meandering Tennessee River.

We were thrilled with the variety and abundance of places we could eat.  There are two all-vegan restaurants and many other places seemed vegan friendly (for example, we noticed a little hot dog place called Good Dog that allowed you to substitute an all-natural veggie dog (not sure if it was vegan) for any of their "dogs"). We didn't get to try all of the restaurants this trip but that just gives us something to look forward to on our next visit.  Here are my reviews for some of the restaurants we tried: Sluggo's North Vegetarian Cafe, Country Life Vegetarian Restaurant, Thai Smile and Mudpie Restaurant.

There are a lot of vacant buildings in Chattanooga that can make some areas seem run-down but all around Chattanooga we saw developments that were reviving the dilapidated areas into what I'm sure they hoped would be the next trendy hot spot.

There are many sculptures around the city that help to keep your attention focused on the beautiful things though.

One art installation we especially liked were the dances on Frazier Street. These were metal footprints in the ground with numbers to indicate the order of the moves and lines to show direction. Marty and I had so much fun laughing our way through each dance move.  My favorite was the waltz, with all of its sensuous turns, and I'm hoping I can convince Marty to take lessons with me now!

All in all, we had a lot of fun during our few days in Chattanooga and we plan to visit again soon.

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