Love, Joleen: Romantic Couples Weekend Getaway Road Trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee | Part Two | Hiking Cumberland Trail and Creek Swimming

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Romantic Couples Weekend Getaway Road Trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee | Part Two | Hiking Cumberland Trail and Creek Swimming

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you Mitsubishi Motors for loaning me the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander for our road trip! All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Stopif you haven't read any details from our romantic couples weekend getaway road trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee, then check out Part One before you read this! Saturday, we slept in (woohoo!) and lazed around the AirBnB all morning. We headed out in the afternoon. Our plan was to go swimming at "The Blue Hole", a Chattanooga area watering hole popular for swimming. Turns out, it was closed for revitalization. Womp womp. Unsure if we were just missing the entrance, we stopped at the top of the mountain where there was a gas station and store. As it happened, a gentleman in the store told us about a local trail and creek that happened to be a part of the Trail of Tears. He offered to show us the way as it was just around the corner and we were so grateful he did! 
We had planned to spend our day swimming and relaxing by the water with the books we brought. We ended up having an even better day and adventure than was planned! We hiked about 1.5 miles of the Soddy Segment of Cumberland Trail, and it was an absolute treasure. If you plan to hike there, I would say it was beginner to intermediate. 
We came across this awesome view and then got to experience stone formations and the opening of a rock house that was confirmed to have sheltered Native Americans on the Trail of Tears. It was a really moving experience to be there. Part of a creek ran through this area and I took the opportunity to cool off in it. 
I collected so many photos of mushrooms/fungi (a passion of mine is photographing flora and fungi that I come across on hikes/walks). I can't wait to show them all to Benjamin and maybe do nature studies and journaling from them!
In hindsight, had I known about the watering hole being a bust, I might've suggested starting earlier in the day so that we could hike further. As it stood, we were all starving for lunch (it was around 3 p.m. when we ate) and hot from the afternoon sun. We had seen people pulled off at the creek at the bottom of the mountain, and agreed that after grabbing a quick bite to eat, we should head there for swimming. It wasn't terribly deep and would have been ideal with tubes, but it was just what we needed to cool off. We had so much fun!
That evening we selected a restaurant recommended to us in a binder of information left by our AirBnB owners called, Alleia, and made reservations. 
We ate really well in Chattanooga but if you like Italian food, you will love this place! I shared a Caesar salad with white truffle oil and grana padano. For my entree I chose the gnocchi with blue crab and lemon. It's not on the menu but it also included small orange mushrooms. It was incredible and we'll for sure eat there again next time we're in town. 
Sunday morning we gathered our things and checked out of our AirBnB at noon. We headed downtown in search of specific Tennessee-themed souvenirs. We found Scenic City Souvenirs & Sweets, right by the river! I mention this because we had done some searching at several local drug stores, so if you're looking for gifts to bring home to loved ones, check this store out near the aquarium. 
Chattanooga was a lot of fun and there was still so much we didn't do! I made mental notes of the things I want to do as a family next time in addition to Rock City again, like the Tennessee Aquarium and the Creative Discovery Museum. But for a romantic couples weekend getaway, it was absolutely perfect. We got to spend time connecting with each other outdoors, experiencing history, and creating new memories together. I know this is a trip we're going to be talking about for a while, and it has me dreaming of future trips together as well! 
I am so grateful to Mitsubishi for loaning me this 2018 Outlander for our road trip from Atlanta. It fit the four of us with room to spare. I loved the optional third row as well as the power in the back for tail gating. It rode smooth (even the passengers in the back commented on this!) and comfortably. My favorite feature was the audio system, which had the option to connect via Bluetooth so we could listen to my husband's summer playlist, in addition to having Sirius XM, and traditional radio. The point is, it sounded amazing and we may or may not have really tested it's capabilities. *wink* 

Some of my favorite products used on this trip. See more of my recommendations here

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