All too often, travelers overlook nearby cities in favor of faraway destinations for summer vacationing. Living in Atlanta, it was time to change that attitude. Luckily, the bustling city of Chattanooga was calling my name. Less than two hours from Atlanta, Chattanooga offers the big city vibe intertwined with the humbling feels of natural wonders. Loaded with a rich cultural history, Chattanooga has become a magnet for creatives and foodies alike. Garnering attention from musicians and Eco-tourists, there seems to be no stopping Chattanooga in taking the lead for one of the most dope places to visit this year. Check in at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel for a unique stay in one of their retrofitted sleeper train cars, and then catch a locally-sourced meal at STIR right next door.

Into jazz music? Then check out the Big nine Walking Tour presented by Jazzanooga, where you’ll learn about the MLK neighborhood and its influence on the prominent music scene. How about a trip to the Tennessee Aquarium nestled on the banks of the Tennessee River? They boast a stunning array of plant and animal life on display year-round for its patrons. Side note, you must visit the Butterfly Exhibit, it’s totally dope. We here at stupidDOPE really dig a neat whiskey, and it was crispy cool to learn that adjacent from the Choo Choo is the city’s first legal whiskey distillery in over 100 years. So get your tasting glass ready, and head on over to the Tennessee Stillhouse to enjoy a tour of how they make their boss booze from “grain to glass”.

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Published by stupidDOPE on July 14, 2016: Written by Richard Williams