Can't get enough of the Tennessee Whiskey Trail? Pack your bags and head to Chattanooga for a weekend of whiskey tasting and good times! Chattanooga may be a single distillery town, but this vibrant, artsy city in the mountains will not disappoint you. With its art and music scenes, as well as outdoor adventure seeking, there’s enough to do around here that one weekend may not even be long enough to get your fill.
The lone distillery here is Chattanooga Whiskey. They first opened in March 2015 as the first whiskey distillery in Chattanooga in over 100 years, and have now expanded to two distillery locations in the heart of downtown Chattanooga. In 2017 they opened a production facility at a former car dealership, which is now home to their unique style of straight bourbon whiskey that they've named Tennessee High Malt. At this time, the Riverfront Distillery is not open to the public, but we look forward to the day that we can tour this state of the art distillery!
We can, however, still see how they make distilling magic happen at their orginal bulding on Market Street. Now called the "Experimental Distillery", this location offers tours and tastings as well as a fun cocktail bar with creative drinks! The cocktail lounge is currently closed, but the distillery is open with two ways to experience their whiskey offerings. You can choose from the Traditional Tour & Tasting or a Whiskey Flight Tasting. Due to current covid restrictions, their capacity is limited and you can only schedule tours or tastings by calling the distillery. For more information, visit their official website here.
With over 100 different barrels maturing in the aging cellar, every visit to the Experimental Distillery is an exploration of the past, present and future of hand-crafted bourbon.
What's more, the Experimental Distillery is located along a section of Market Street near the historic Chattanooga Choo-Choo rail station, which has hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, a comedy club, and a local music venue. This area of Chattanooga, known as Southside, is a former industrial district that has been transformed into a hip neighborhood chalk full of amazing restaurants, locally owned shops, and cool bars. You can find awesome Airbnb’s in the area if you want to be within walking distance of the distillery and everything else this little piece of urban paradise has to offer.
There's also a free electric trolley that will take you to other parts of downtown, such as the Riverfront or the hilltop Art District. The views of the river from the hilltop are spectacular, not to mention the art galleries, local arts and craft shops, and an amazing sampling of restaurants and cafes with delicious treats.
If you’re a music lover, you’re in luck! Chattanooga has a growing music scene, with multiple concert halls and small music venues for local musicians. For information on current and upcoming live music in Chattanooga, the Visit Chattanooga website is a good resource.
Wondering what to do with the rest of your weekend? There are too many options to mention, but here is a small sampling. Popular points of interest in the city include the Tennessee Aqaurium, Walnut Street Bridge, Discovery Museum, National Cemetery, or Farmer’s Market.
For outdoor adventures, check out Lookout Mountain, where you can see seven states on a clear day, descend 26 stories underground to Ruby Falls, fly down 700 feet of rushing zip lines, or marvel at Rock City’s natural rock formations. A little further out of the city is Raccoon Mountain Caverns, which has over five miles of mapped cave systems to explore. There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking, as well as water activities like canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and whitewater rafting.
No matter what you decide to do with your Chattanooga whiskey weekend, I guarantee you'll have a great time and want to come back for more! Cheers and happy whiskey tasting!
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