It seems like months since I have posted and it has been. My husband and I have been doing a little travelling. We were considering moving from Charlotte and visitied some towns that pride themselves in supporting their local artists.
One of my dad's favorite songs was Chattanooga Choo Choo. I had never given Chattanooga much thought other than this. So when my hasband suggested we visit I thought "OK" but was not overly excited. We drove into town on a Monday afternoon and thought we would grab dinner somewhere and keep driving to Nashville.
We stopped in a hotel in a kind of shabby part of town and asked if there was an arts district nearby. The concierge pointed us in the direction of Bluff View. We were instantly blown away. We loved the city so much we wound up spending an entire week. The locals call it the Scenic City and that really is the only way to describe it. I have been researching the area since then and several writers have called it the San Francisco of the South, which I can't argue with.
We came home and were so smitten that we went back the following week and spent another handful of days. The city had been plagued by urban blight but the locals did not take that lying down and are fighting to make their town a beautiful place to live and visit. Some of the more urban areas have turned their factories into loft homes. So trendy you would think you are in Manhattan!
If you are trying to decide on a place to vacation this summer I think the pictures above make a strong case. There is tons to do, especially if you are travelling with your family. The Aquarium is a transcending experience. The Mountains and river ar gorgeous. You can camp, or enjoy whitewater sports. Restaurants are as great as in any city. People are so open and accomodating. The only complaint I have is the city has not reached it's stride in it's higher end retail. Indeed there are a few great boutiques but more commerce will make this city a real "destination". For now the locals will have to continue to trudge to Atlanta and Nashville if they are missing anything.
In the end we decided we aren't up to the challenge of moving right now. I love my home and have it almost how I like it. And Charlotte is really an easy place to live. However that does not mean we won't be moving there in the near future.