Outdoors with a city vibe: Chattanooga, Tenn. has both

 By Lydia and Andrew Pankratz
Times-News correspondents 

The view from Snooper's Rock Overlook. Lisa Pankratz / Special to the Times-News

If you’re looking for something to do this summer, head southwest to   Chattanooga, Tenn.
Lonely Planet named it “Best in the U.S.” and the New York Times   selected it for the list of “Top 45 Places to Go in the World.”
And for good reason — Chattanooga offers indoor, as well as outdoor   activities, and good food. We usually have a strong aversion to big   cities, but we found upon visiting it last fall that this one was different.
Nature lovers and hikers should visit Snooper’s Rock Overlook, which   offers incredible views of the Cumberland Plateau, the Grand Canyon of  the Smokies. The view is so majestic that people have even used it as a wedding venue. To reach it, one may walk either three-tenths of a mile, or a mere 50 yards, depending on where the tourist parks their vehicle.
One thing we particularly enjoyed was the iconic Walnut Street pedestrian bridge across the Tennessee River. It offers a great view of the city and connects the downtown to the North Shore, where it almost lands in Coolidge Park. It’s another reason why Chattanooga is called the most walkable city in the U.S.
Because of the intermittent rain, we were unable to spend much time at Coolidge Park, a favorite with the locals, though we’re sure it would have been a fun place to be if the weather was nice. There’s a carousel, splash pad and plenty of room to walk and soak up some sunshine.
Across from Coolidge Park is Clumpies, a local ice cream shop that makes all their ice cream in small batches by hand, and with the best ingredients that can be found.
Chattanooga is known for its diverse array of awesome restaurants. The Good Dog serves delicious hot dogs with hand-cut fries and “a gallery of house-made ketchups.” The funky decor is mostly comprised of repurposed items, which gives the restaurant a “hippie” vibe. It has been featured in Southern Living magazine.
Chattanooga is a wonderful place to visit for those who enjoy the outdoors within reach of the city.

Lydia Pankratz is a home-schooled high school graduate and Andrew Pankratz is a rising home-schooled high school junior. Both are Teens & 20s writers.

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