St. Elmo

Nestled at the base of Lookout Mountain, St. Elmo is a surprising little town. On your way in, you will be greeted with the International Towing Museum. Wait… what??? Yes, a towing museum. The only one in the world to be exact. The first recovery vehicle was created in Chattanooga. The Museum features a replica of the first towing vehicle as well as vehicles from other countries and decades.

Then you will want to earn some bragging rights by riding the world’s steepest passenger railway, the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, at an impressive 72.7% grade! The new cars have clear roofs with an incredible view of the Tennessee Valley, and when you get to the Upper Station, you’ll get a breathtaking panoramic view from the tower.

Take in some natural beauty walking or biking the 15-mile Tennessee Riverpark (or just some of it!) that runs adjacent to the Tennessee River or hike one of the nearby trails on Lookout Mountain – including two of the most scenic views at the Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military's Point Park and Sunset Rock, a division of the Military Park. Tucked away along Lookout Creek, the 300-acre Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center offers hiking, biking, boat rentals and a Native Animal Exhibit with snakes, owls, toads, a bobcat, red wolves and more.

For such a small geographic area, St. Elmo packs in some culinary options to fuel your adventures. Grab food and drinks from The Naughty Cat Café bar and then cozy up in the Cat Lounge. You may will end up taking home a sweet cat so go ahead and bring that cat gear with you. For quick bites, check out Mr. T’s Pizza & Ice Cream and Mojo Burrito. When you have a little more time to relax, enjoy a “Southern coastal” meal at 1885 Grill, The Tap House, Purple Daisy Picnic Café and Sawasdee Thai. You cannot leave St. Elmo (or Chattanooga, they have a couple of locations) without indulging in a handcrafted scoop from the local Clumpies Ice Cream Co.