Chattanooga’s best kept secret

In one of Chattanooga’s best kept secrets you’ll find boutiques, restaurants, coffeehouses, galleries, salons and day spas, a park, and even one of the area’s most scenic photo opp spots. Where is this jewel of a place located, and what else can be done there? Read more to find out.

By: Brad Bacon

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop)–In one block you will be able to eat in an open air restaurant, shop at one of a kind stores found nowhere else in the world, play in a fountain in the middle of a park, and even ride a carousel. Sounds a lot like New York City right? Wrong, this one of a community is none other than Chattanooga’s NorthShore.

NorthShore, as the locals call it, offers 10 gift shops, six distinctly different restaurants, 10 arts & crafts stores, seven separate home and garden stores, Coolidge Park, the Chattanooga Theatre Centre and two unique bakeries & dessert shops along with about 1000 other shops and businesses. With so much to do in the area you will probably need a road map to the best stores and attractions.

Keep in mind the area I feel is the best covers about two square miles of NorthShore, but it is all close enough to see and do in a few visits.

Everyone loves shopping, and in NorthShore, you can spend your money on just about anything. When it comes to the outdoor enthusiast, no store can compare to Rock Creek Outfitters. According to the store’s official website’s “About Me” section “Rock/Creek is an independent specialty outdoor retailer based in Chattanooga, Tennessee with over 20 years of brick and mortar experience. With a dedicated staff of outdoor enthusiasts and gear experts, Rock Creek offers only the very best outdoor apparel and equipment to ensure that customers are comfortable and safe in the outdoors.” Anyone that has ever been inside one of the retail locations can vouch for the stores seemingly endless supply of any and everything outdoors.

Once visitors have had their fill of shopping, they can fill their bellies at one of excellent eateries. NorthShore offers a number of restaurants, but in my opinion hands down the best place to eat is NorthShore Grille Smokin’ Crabshack and Canteen. The restaurant offers an open air area where the bar is located, as well as a screened in porch for customers to enjoy on nice summer evenings.

“The Smokin’ Crabshack is my favorite place to eat,” Tyler Brown, a Chattanooga sophomore said. “I’m not old enough to drink yet, but all of my friends say the Grille makes the best all white Caucasian they have ever had. All I know is I love their hamburgers.”

After you have eaten some of the best food in Chattanooga, the day will be winding down and the sun will be setting. This will be a perfect time to take a stroll around Coolidge Park. According to the park’s official website, “Coolidge Park features a beautifully restored 100 year old carousel, a pavilion, an interactive play fountain, the Outdoor Chattanooga Center, and lots of open space.  It is a popular destination for concerts, movies-in-the-park, festivals, and special events.” With so many fun attractions Coolidge Park is a must-do destination for those who love to have a great time outdoors.

Another unique and hip place to visit in the NorthShore area is the store Greenlife Grocery. Greenlife is a shop that offers foods and products that have been raised in an environmentally friendly or “green” nature. Not only are the products sold inside the store organic and all around good for you, the building itself was constructed to have as little effect on the environment as possible. The building is LEED certified and even has an organic roof to reduce harm to Mother Earth.

Now that almost every aspect of NorthShore has been highlighted, the most logical end would be a dessert right? Exactly, and in NorthShore there and plenty of delicious shops to choose a tasty treat from. There is Clumpies Ice Cream Co. and Sweet CeCe’s Frozen Yogurt and Treats for those who something with a little chill, but the best place to grab a diet buster is Whipped Cupcakes.

“My friends and I have tried just about every cupcake shop in Chattanooga, and Whipped is by far the best,” Hayley Martin, a Franklin, Tenn. junior said. “They are the oldest, and they have the best prices, I mean what’s not to love?”

With so much to see and so much to do Chattanooga has a unique and easily accessible gem of community in NorthShore.

Students who want to visit NorthShore can by simply walking over the Market Street bridge, or by riding on Chattanooga’s Downtown Electric Shuttle. Parking can be paid for on a long term basis, and most shops have a few spots for patrons to use.

Visit the communities’ official website here.