Justin loves to walk. We’ve had many an adventure walking through the streets of new and old cities. I wanted to share a recent trip through Chattanooga as I highly recommend the route we took.
First, drive across the Market Street bridge and park in Coolidge Park. You do need to pay for parking here, but all the lots in downtown Chattanooga require payment, and it’s not unreasonable. We love to go first thing in the morning and never have a problem finding parking. Also – the parking in Coolidge Park has a two hour limit. We did this route in a little under two hours. If you plan to linger longer, just stop by and refill your meter before heading across the bridge.
Coolidge Park is a great place to explore. You can get right down by the river, or ride a carousel! They also have public restrooms (in the pavilion). More on Coolidge Park here, and see reviews here.
From Coolidge, head to the corner of Market and Fraiser. A new-ish coffee shop, Revelator, sits in the first floor space of an old brick building on the corner. The full glass facade and painted brick interior draw the eye in and around the shop. Minimal furniture, sleek white countertops, and cool blue tones give a welcoming but cool atmosphere. The menu, though also minimal, covers the essentials. Hot and iced coffee, hot chocolate, tea. A tray of baked fig crumble bars sat by the register when we visited.
We recommend getting your food “for here” and your coffee “to go” – and then spend a few minutes watching the barista make each coffee order fresh with a Chemex and delightful coffee drip pot. Justin had the iced coffee and I had a regular coffee. We split the fig crumble bar. All was delicious.
Next, walk a few doors down on Fraiser Avenue to a great second-hand bookstore, Winder Binder. We’ve always had luck finding a few titles to bring home. Quality is high, and prices reflect both quality and availability of the book. We certainly don’t find the awesome deals we score at McKays, but browsing is enjoyable, and the art is neat.
After your stroll through the bookstore, stop by your car and drop off any purchases you might have made. Then head up to the Walnut Street Bridge.
The Walnut Street Bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge in the US. It’s one of my most favorite steel bridges. At one end, the end we started at, is the North Shore – with all the shops and park space along Fraiser Avenue – and the other end sits between the Hunter Museum of Art and the Tennessee Aquarium (I highly recommend both!). The view from the Walnut Street Bridge is second to none as you’re looking south at the heart of downtown Chattanooga.
From the end of the Walnut Street Bridge, make your way over to the Maple Street Biscuit Company on Market Street. We ate here for the first time this trip, and it was really good. We both had The Farmer, and Justin ordered grits as well. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was really conducive to sitting and chatting while eating. Everything on their menu looked great – it was hard to pick a single biscuit!
We finished lunch at the Maple Street Biscuit Company and decided to head back to the car. If you want to continue exploring, the MSBC is a perfect spot to start from for visiting the Aquarium, the Bluff View Art District, the Riverfront, or Hunter Museum of Art. Or if you’re finished exploring like us, the walk back to the car was the perfect compliment to finishing a delicious lunch
What are your favorite walks in Chattanooga? Favorite spot for a cup of coffee? Recommendations for lunch? Would love to hear!