Chattanooga, TN

This Chattanooga Ice Cream Shoppe May Be the Coolest Show on Earth


PT Barnum once branded his famous circus as the greatest show on earth, and that tagline became one of the enduring legacies of the traveling extravaganza. While Chattanooga's Ice Cream Show doesn't necessarily advertise itself in the same braggadocios manner, we definitely would proclaim it as the coolest show in the city based on the extraordinary array of toppings and mix-ins available to jazz up the frozen delights.
Chattanooga's Ice Cream Show is the coolest treat stop in the city, featuring a virtually endless array of combinations.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

This small and favorite treat stop is located at the foot of the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge, in a walking-only area approximately halfway between the Hunter Museum of American Art and the downtown Tennessee Aquarium. New and restored buildings surround the store, along with Chattanooga's trendy Autograph Collection Edwin Hotel.

The premise is simple, though the selections seem never-ending. First, choose cone or cup. Then, pick a base flavor of chocolate or vanilla for your ice cream or yogurt. Next, select a topping -- or several -- from the more than 40 wildly divergent choices. Finally, wait with great anticipation as your custom frozen concoction is created for you.
On a weekday visit, we were the only customers. But Ice Cream Show is hopping on weekends and holidays, and waits can be long.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

I majored in journalism so I didn't have to take advanced math, thus won't try to calculate the precise number of flavor options available from chocolate or vanilla ice cream or yogurt mixed with more than 40 flavors of fruit, chocolates, nuts, and other options. To keep it simple, we generally limit ourselves -- and our grandsons -- to two toppings. But, if you want a vanilla ice cream with coconut, amaretto, dark chocolate chips and marshmallows, you be you.
For simplicity, we usually limit ourselves and our grandsons to a maximum of two toppings. But, hey, you be you!Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

Once you get your treat, you can sit inside and enjoy the eclectic décor, or find a seat at one of the outdoor tables and benches. Often, we start at one of those seating spots, but end our eating extravaganza with an out-and-back walk over the Walnut Street Bridge, justifying in our own minds that the caloric intake was cancelled by the physical activity.

Regardless of why, when or how you justify a visit to Ice Cream Show, just do it. While it's a bit pricey, don't you deserve a treat?
Located at the foot of the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge, we often take the walk across the Tennessee River to justify our caloric intake.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

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I'm a trained journalist, global traveler and retired business executive who worked for more than 20 years with some of the world's best and largest restaurant enterprises. I left the business world behind, living in Northwest Georgia and writing about avocations including outdoor excursions, family-friendly travel, road trips, exploration ideas for active seniors and some of my community passions. I've traveled to 47 states and nearly as many countries, and I'm still counting up. I'm a traveler, hiker, cyclist, blogger, marketing consultant, community volunteer and local high school band nerd who previously has lived in Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Mississippi. I'm a South Louisiana-born French Cajun whose great-grandparents were sugar farmers, bar owners and reputed bootleggers. My upbringing in food-rich Louisiana and my restaurant industry career affirmed my status as an over-qualified eater. That also inspired the name of my blog, There, I offer up a complete menu of our my own experiences, explorations and adventures, organized by geography and always sprinkled with some spicy, tasty tidbits and food notes.

Acworth, GA

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