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Neighborhood Spotlight: Ashwood Subdivision

Chattanooga is filled with different types of communities: you can live in an urban environment, out in the country, or somewhere in between. Over the next few months thenoogalife.com is going to spotlight a few of the places ‘Noogans live, and what makes them special.

The community of Ashwood is one of those “in between” places. The ‘burbs have gotten some bad press lately, but in Chattanooga, living in the suburbs doesn’t mean you have an hours’ long commute or that you have less access to grocery stores and pharmacies. In fact, in Ashwood, the opposite is true. Located just off Shallowford Road, there are lots of shopping and dining options nearby, but the neighborhood is still quiet and family-oriented. It takes just minutes to get to Hamilton Place Mall and the surrounding businesses, yet most homes are equipped with inviting yards for dogs and children. Travel is easy too because I-75 is close enough to be convenient, but far enough away that there is no road noise.

Enterprise Park, with miles of walking trails, is minutes away, as is Heritage Park where dogs are welcome. Life in the Ashwood community has much to offer! If being near downtown, having a lawn, being able to get to both shopping and parks easily appeals to you, then a neighborhood like Ashwood may be what you are looking for. The homes are beautiful, too. Take a look at this one, located at 7619 Asherton Drive, which is currently for sale:

Asherton postcard

Easter in ‘Nooga

Easter dresses -- a lovely tradition!

Easter dresses — a lovely tradition!

Whether you celebrate Easter or simply that spring has sprung, the weekend of April 19-20 promises to be a busy one in Chattanooga.

Last week’s Mega Post of Things To Do in April left out a Chattanooga tradition: the egg hunt in Coolidge Park. Hosted by Stuart Heights Baptist Church, this year is the 6th annual community egg hunt, from 9-11am. Children up to age 11 will search for 100,000 eggs hidden in the park.

Following the egg hunt, there will be an open air worship service. Families are invited to stay later for a picnic, face painting, music, and story-telling.

If your family traditions skew more towards big meals, you might be interested in following Pearl & Associates seasonal board on Pinterest, where they are gathering traditional, southern recipes you may want to try this year.

Regardless of your religious affiliation or traditions, we here at theNoogaLife hope that you are enjoying this beautiful time of year in Chattanooga. With redbuds, dogwoods, tulips, and iris in bloom all over the city, you don’t have to look very far to find colorful beauty!

 

 

Keeping the Love Alive in Nooga

Just because it isn’t February 14 doesn’t mean you can’t experience romance in Chattanooga! Most people are busy, with work, with kids, and with life. It’s easy to let romance fall to the wayside. Here are some of our favorite ways

An unexpected bouquet of fresh spring flowers is romantic!

An unexpected bouquet of fresh spring flowers is romantic!

to keep the love alive, no matter the date:

Take a stroll together. We’ve written about which parks are best for small children before, and several from that list can be romantic, as well. Coolidge Park is great for stroll after a romantic dinner at any of the restaurants on the North Shore.

Spend an afternoon in the Bluff View Art District. Enjoy coffee at Rembrandt’s, then enjoy the River Gallery Sculpture Garden, the Hunter Art Museum, or the Houston Museum of Decorative Arts. Finish up with a romantic dinner at Tony’s Pasta Shop & Trattoria.

For a more traditional romantic excursion, visit Chattanooga’s wine and cheese bar: Brix Nouveau. You can enjoy wine, cheese, meats, fresh bread, a beautiful outdoor patio, and an all around excellent atmosphere. There is often live music scheduled, too!

If you and your sweetie prefer a more outdoorsy kind of romance, spend a weekend exploring and camping at Raccoon Mountain. There are extensive hiking trails, campgrounds, cabin rentals, events, and, of course, the caverns to explore.

Share a day, an afternoon, or even an hour of luxury at the Chattanoogan Hotel Spa. Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, you can make reservations to enjoy a wide range of relaxing and rejuvenating spa services.

Whether your relationship is brand new, well established, or you’ve been together for a million years, some time for romance is always a good thing!

7 Best Places to Take Guests Visiting Nooga

Whether your in-laws are visiting, or friends from college, if you have guests coming to visit, you want to show them a good time. What you do will depend on lots of factors, like your guests’ activity levels, interests, whether children will be involved, and even the season of the year. Here are our top 7 picks, where there is something for everybody:

1. Enjoy a “tourist” day – There are a few big landmarks that everyone who visits Chattanooga should check out. Some of them, like Rock City, have been advertised on barns for so long that anyone who has driven on the interstate is curious. Others, like the Incline Railroad, are unusual and fun. Make sure to hit these major sites:

2.Tour downtown – From the Northshore to the Southside, downtown Chattanooga has a lot to see! If the thought of walking from one end of town to the other is a bit daunting, use the electric shuttles. Highlights to be sure

Walnut Street Bridge and Hunter Museum

Just one of the many beautiful sights to see in Nooga!

and see:

  • The Northshore for some cool little shops, and don’t forget to check out the dance steps embedded in the sidewalk.
  • The Renaissance Arts District, to take in the sculpture garden, and to smell the wonderful aroma of roasting coffee at Rembrandt’s.
  • The Southside, for all of the funky art galleries and the awesome public sculpture on display.
  • The central section of downtown, where you can stroll around on the Aquarium Plaza, walk across the Walnut Street Bridge, and take a rest in Miller Plaza.

3. Spend a day at the park – or visit several parks. Chattanooga has a bunch of excellent parks and greenspaces where you can play, picnic, and generally enjoy life. Read this post to learn where our favorite parks are, and why they are our favorites.

4. Get out in the wilderness – Whether you like to kayak, mountain climb, trail ride, hike, hang glide, swim, or stroll at a leisurely pace, there are plenty of outdoor activities in Chattanooga. From the Ocoee to the Tennessee River, there are opportunities to have fun on the water, and from Shell Mound Park to the Cherokee National Forest, this area has abundant camping spots.

5. Take in a show –  As with the parks and outdoor activities, when it comes to entertainment, there’s something for everyone in Chattanooga. Hamilton Place, Northgate, and downtown, and East Ridge all have good movie theaters, showing the latest and greatest films. If you are in the mood for something a little bigger, the IMAX theater downtown is the place to go. For live entertainment, check out:

6. Enjoy a sporting event – Baseball, soccer, football, and basketball teams play in Chattanooga, so there is almost always some game to go to. Finley Stadium, on the Southside, AT&T Field downtown, and Mckinzie Arena at UTC are all modern, comfortable venues where you can enjoy some popcorn and hot dog while you cheer for your team.

7. Do some shopping – In every neighborhood and section of Chattanooga, there are unique, interesting shops. Gifts, clothing, doggie accessories, antiques, and so much more can be found in St. Elmo, in Hixson, on Cherry Street, in Brainerd, at the malls. From art galleries to department stores, Chattanooga is a shopper’s delight.

Bonus: Be sure to go out to eat! Alleia, Public House, St. Johns, the Southern Star, the Fork and Pie, 212 Market, and Niko’s are just a few of the fantastic eateries downtown. There are several local food trucks where you can get great grub on the go. Chattanooga isn’t exactly a food mecca (yet) but we are well on our way!

Top 8 Nooga Parks for Small Children

One of the most wonderful things about Chattanooga is that it has lots of public green space. There are all kinds of parks and public areas for people to get out, enjoy the spectacular scenery (it is the Scenic City!), and be part of a thriving community.

While all of the parks are nice, there are six that stand out as especially fun for small children. If your family is visiting the city, or you live here and haven’t been to these parks, check them out! You, and any little ones you take, are sure to have some fun!

1. Coolidge Park

This one has to top the list because there is so much for kids to love. During the summer, kids – and adults – can splash and play in the fountain. All year, the gorgeous, fully restored, 100-year-old carousel runs for at least a

Coolidge Park

A view of Coolidge from under the bridge

few hours each day. The open, beautiful lawn is ideal for a picnic, the sidewalks are great for strollers, and there are even interactive sculptures scattered along the walkways.

Learn more about the hours of operation for the fountain and the carousel, as well as the rules and regulations at the Chattanooga Parks and Recreation web site.

2. The Warner Park Zoo

All small children like to look at animals, right? There are plenty to see at the Warner Park Zoo. This small zoo has been in existence for 75 years, and is a perfect place to visit on a sunny afternoon. It is not overwhelming in the way bigger zoos can be, but there are some really cute animals to see.

3. The Chattanooga Chew-Chew Dog Park

If you have the pleasure(?) of caring for both a small child and a canine friend, you will enjoy one of Chattanooga’s off-leash dog parks. There are three: The Chew-Chew Park, which is adjacent to the Tennessee Pavilion, and two newer installations, one at Heritage Park and one at Greenway Farms.

Find out more about the city’s policies before heading out with your furry friend!

4. The Tennessee Aquarium Plaza

With wading pools, interesting bridges, sculptures, and walkways, this plaza is an excellent spot for little ones to explore! It is located downtown, and is part of the aquarium complex, but you don’t need a ticket to enjoy it. It’s a great spot to take a break if you are downtown shopping or eating or attending an event, as well as a good picnicking area.

5. The Permanent Outdoor Art Collection

You may be thinking, “My toddler doesn’t care about art!” but most of the sculptures in this collection can be climbed on, touched and otherwise enjoyed by small children. The vast majority of the installations are downtown,

Happy Swinging Baby

Swinging makes us HAPPY!

so if you feel like taking a walking tour of the city, grab a map and check out some of this kid-friendly artwork!

6. The Tennessee Riverwalk

No list of parks in Chattanooga would be complete without including this gorgeous, sprawling, 10 mile walking track. Adults and kids alike enjoy the views of the river, the surrounding mountains, the geese, the green spaces, not to mention the picnic tables, built in BBQ grills, and fishing piers. Whether you are looking for a spot to spend an hour, an afternoon, or a day, the Riverwalk has something to offer.

7. Vandergriff Park in Hixson

Baby swings, a walking trail around the perimeter, and a pavilion make Vandergriff Park a great place to spend some time with toddlers and babies. It’s also a fantastic place for a birthday party!

Babies in Swings

Swinging is fun for everyone!

8. The Pumpkin Patch

The Pumpkin Patch was built by community volunteers, and is maintained by volunteers. It is arguably one of the best parks in the area for very small children. There are baby swings, a sandbox, bells to ring, a baby slide, and it’s all nice and shady. Bigger kids can have fun, too – especially on the big slide. There is a pavilion that can be reserved for parties, and a short walking trail around the park.