CityScope Magazine Summer 2024 Issue

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HAPPY HOUR WE’VE RAISED THE BAR Daily from 4-6:30pm in the bar & lounge. THIS IS HOW HAPPY HOUR IN CHATTANOOGA IS DONE. 2321 Lifestyle Way at the Embassy Suites (I-75 & Shallowford Road) · 423.602.5900 For Dine-In Menus & Carry-Out/Delivery Information, visit

We’ve assembled a team of well-established and highly experienced financial professionals. It has given us the ability to address every aspect of our clients’ financial needs. And by limiting the number of clients we serve, it allows us to offer an uncommon level of service and maintain our unwavering focus on helping to create quality financial solutions.

This is what we bring to the table – and what will ultimately bring you to us. If you are an individual seeking seasoned financial guidance and the comfort of working with an experienced group of advisors who call Chattanooga home, we welcome the opportunity to sit down together.

Photographed at Ruby Falls
• 877-770-0009 • 423-510-8889 • 1200 Premier Drive, Suite 100 • Chattanooga, TN 37421 Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Round Table Advisors is not a registered broker/ dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services.
Evan Russell, Financial Advisor // Austin Cone, CFP® // Andy Burnett, CFA // Dennis Wolfe, CPA, CFP® Tony
Briana Hazelwood, Client Svc. Assoc. // Wendy Railey, Client Svc. Assoc. Julie Elsea, Financial Advisor // Amy Bee, Client Svc. Mgr. // Lisa Listecki, Ops. Mgr. // Not Pictured: Deanise Barnes, Office Coordinator
Back row from left to right: D’Andrea, CPA, CFP® // Front row from left to right:
convergence of financial knowledge and capabilities. Right here in Chattanooga.
423-499-9999 • $16.5M $3.285M SOLD


“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” – Charles Bowden

In our annual summer issue of CityScope® magazine, we are excited to showcase locals who, through pursuing their passions, have found joy in their day to day.

First up, we are proud to spotlight some of our area’s talented cookie decorators in “Creativity, Color, and Craft.” Next, our annual yacht feature ushers in the feeling of warmer days and time spent with loved ones on the water. Highlighting the connection and camaraderie sports can provide, the article “It Takes Two” profiles competitive tennis duos and how the sport has furthered their connection. Lastly, “All Aboard!” gives a glimpse behind the scenes of the rail industry through the eyes of local train conductors.

Many more articles await inside. As always, our “Premier Living” section showcases several beautiful homes and the families who live in them. Another mainstay, “On the Map” takes a look at area high school alumni and their incredible accomplishments since graduation.

For anyone looking for seasonal inspiration, our special section “Chattanooga Checklist” provides a thorough resource for adventures and attractions to explore while “Luxe Living” includes fashions, must-try spirits, and watercrafts perfect for enjoying the summer weather. Finally, our summer dining guide “Sip & Savor” delves into a collection of local restaurants and their seasonal selections.

As always, we hope that on a warm summer evening or break in your day you will find inspiration and joy in this beautiful annual summer issue of CityScope® magazine.

Happy reading,

P.S. Follow CityScope® and HealthScope® magazines and the Choose Chattanooga® – Chattanooga Resource & Relocation Guide® on social media!

our website at
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Features 20 Creativity, Color, and Craft Cookie Decorators Talk Creating the Perfect Cookie 34 Traveling With Tranquility Spotlighting the Gribble Yacht, Tranquil Shellback Dreams 48 It Takes Two A Close Look at Tennis Duos 62 All Aboard! How Train Conductors Coordinate the Tracks 48 34 Contents [ VOLUME 31, ISSUE 7 • SUMMER 2024 ] 62 8 |

Once in a lifetime opportunity to own this stunning acreage property with its own private lake on the Tennessee River within 15 minutes of downtown Chattanooga. Family owned for multiple generations, the property is subject to a conservation easement which will ensure the continued stewardship and preservation of the natural setting, including the various plant and animal life and the beautiful lake and river frontage, while still allowing the use and enjoyment of this amazing property.

Located on a controlled waterway, this 167 +/- acre property has a gated entry and currently has a caretaker's house, the ''Lodge'', a log cabin, and the ''River House'' which is perfectly positioned with views of the river gorge. The Conservation Easement will allow up to 7 individual residences, including the 3 existing structures which can be utilized or replaced depending on your needs and vision for the property. The 4 additional home sites are located along the private lake with the river and mountains as an additional scenic backdrop.

The lake is over 55 +/- acres and offers 3 piers and a wonderful spot for all sorts of water sports. ''Cummings Lake'' is separated from the river via a grassy levy that has 2 draw bridges to allow discretionary access to and from the river. The levy provides a natural path along the riverside, and both the levy and the private road along the lake provide a wonderful place to walk, bike or run. Lighted tennis courts, a bocce ball court and greenspaces provide additional recreation opportunities.

1830 Washington St, Chattanooga, TN 37408

Office: 423 664-1900 | On Call: 423 304-6114

Contents Celebrating the City 82 Believe Bash Benefiting the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger 83 Sports Hall of Fame Induction & Awards Banquet Honoring Athletes From Around the Greater Chattanooga Area 84 Heart Ball Benefiting the American Heart Association 86 Black Excellence of Chattanooga Awards Celebrating Minority Businesses in Hamilton County Southeast Travel 88 Amazing Acworth 90 Alpharetta Adventure 92 Charming Cartersville 94 Adventure Into Dade Premier Living 98 Bella Vista, Revisited The Aultman Home 110 Bird’s Eye Bungalow The Gautier Home 120 Built to Entertain The Duncan Home 130 This Must Be the Place The Smith Home Celebrated Students 140 On the Map Area High School Alumni Take on the World 69 Luxe Living Unique Local Fashion, Gifts, Boats, & Spirits 130 10 |

Internationally Renowned Stroke Team.

At CHI Memorial, we’re focused on advancing stroke care by using the most innovative technology and experienced teams, along with humankindness – right here in Chattanooga.

To learn more, visit

Thomas G. Devlin, MD, PhD, FSVIN, has contributed to many of the medical breakthroughs in the modern-day diagnosis and treatment of stroke, with clinical outcomes that have been recognized worldwide.

147 Chattanooga Checklist Summer Fun 170 Sip & Savor Summer Dining Guide Special Summer Section 147 170 Contents 12 |
It’s more than a good job, it’s a job doing good.

Being part of Unum Group begins with doing meaningful work. Where you make a difference in customers’ lives. And you’re empowered to help your community thrive. Where you have the benefits and balance to support your finances, your family and your lifestyle.

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. © 2024 Unum Group. All rights reserved. Unum and Colonial Life are registered trademarks and marketing brands of Unum Group and its insuring subsidiaries. 4-24 Unum Group is comprised of the following brands:


Mike and Kim Gribble’s yacht, Tranquil Shellback Dreams , cruises on a bright, sunny day.

Publisher George Mullinix

Co-Publisher Cailey Mullinix Easterly

Sales & Business

Development Amanda Worley

Design Lead, Sr. Graphic Designer Lauren Robinson

Graphic Design Intern Marietta Song

Managing Editor Rachel Studebaker


Gray Bennett

Kristen Dee Tory Irmeger

Rinn Smith

Director of Digital Marketing Ruth Kaiser De Backer

Digital Marketing Assistant Houston McLain

Marketing, Events, & Operations Laci Lanier

Freelance Graphic Design Delve Studio


Anh Bao Tran-Le Creative Revolver

David and Drew Photography Hacker Medias

Rich Smith

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CityScope ® and HealthScope ® magazines and Choose Chattanooga ® – Chatt anooga Resource & Relocation Guide ® (the magazines) are published by CMC Publications, LLC, a Chattanooga, Tennessee company. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Views expressed herein are those of the authors or those interviewed and not necessarily those of the publisher, editors, or advertisers. The publisher, editors, and advertisers disclaim any responsibility or liability for such material. All content associated with and included in advertisements (ads, advertorial, and special promotional sections) placed in the magazines are the responsibility of the respective advertiser. CMC Publications, LLC, cannot and does not assume responsibility for any material contained within or associated with any advertisement.

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VOLUME 31, ISSUE 7 • SUMMER 2024 16 City Lights Events & Announcements 18 Ask Hamilton Rock City Barns Departments 182 Working in the City Collective Clothing 184 Toast of the Town Sunny Day Sippin’ 186 Last Look Summer Contents 182 B U S N E S S P R O F L E S S C H O O L S | C O M M U N T Y H O M E $5.95 SUMMER 2024 THE SUMMER ISSUE PLU T H E C H AT TA N O O GA C H E C K L ST T R A V E L N G W I T H T R A N Q U L T Y L O C A L C O O K E D E C O R AT O R S P R E M I E R L I V N G O N T H E M A P LU X E L I V N G S I P & S A V O R
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The Summer Savings Are HEATING UP!

Chattanooga City Lights


3 Bunny Hop! 2024

Bunny Hop! is a family-friendly fundraiser benefiting the Chambliss Center for Children. Hosted at First Horizon Pavilion from 6 until 8:30 p.m., kids can enjoy activities such as arts and crafts, a baby animal petting station, inflatables, and more. All children in attendance will receive a Peter Rabbit coloring book to take home, and parents can also enjoy an evening of festivities – including dinner and a silent auction. chamblisscenter. org/events/2024/5/3/bunny-hop-2024

4 ChattaDerby

Racing to end homelessness, Chattanooga Room in the Inn’s ChattaDerby 2024 is held the same day as the Kentucky Derby. While the big race is playing on a

big-screen TV, attendees can enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres, mint juleps, auctions, and more. There will also be a Grand Hat and Best Dressed Gentleman contest! Everything takes place at Parkside Hall from 5 to 8:30 p.m. derb_old/

10 Chattanooga Go Red for Women

The Go Red for Women experience continues to be the cornerstone of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement in the Chattanooga community. Taking place at the Chattanooga Convention Center from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., this empowering gathering focuses on saving lives and raising critical funds for the AHA.

13 Monday After the Masters

The Austin Hatcher Foundation’s third Annual “Monday After the Masters”

Golf Tournament, presented by Textile Rubber & Chemical Co. Inc., takes place at The Farm Golf Club in Dalton, GA, on Monday, May 13. While foursome spots are full, the event boasts a silent auction with many items and gift cards from local businesses. The event and auction help fund the Foundation’s mission to support families affected by pediatric cancer with 100%-free mental and behavioral health counseling and services.

18 Spirits in the Wild

Raise a glass to a wild night out! Sample an unlimited variety of wines, beers, and spirits while savoring delicious food from Chattanooga’s top restaurants at this 21+ event. From 6 to 9 p.m., enjoy the Zoo after-hours, dance to live music, and meet some of the Zoo’s residents! chatt

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Rock City’s Mountaintop Summers

19 Qatar Airways

IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga

Th e Qatar Airways 2024 IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga triathlon offers the perfect training opportunity for athletes getting ready for the full-distance IRONMAN Chattanooga, part of the VinFast IRONMAN North America Series, which is celebrating 10 years of racing this year, or a chance to race in one of triathlon’s most welcoming race communities on the IRONMAN circuit. It begins with a 1.42-mile swim, transitions into a 56-mile bike course, and then ends with a 13.1-mile run.


Morning Pointe Foundation

Annual Golf Tournament

Morning Pointe Foundation’s ninth annual Mastering Memory Care Golf Tournament will be held on May 20 this year. Hosted at Lookout Mountain Club in Georgia, registration begins at 7:30 a.m. followed by a catered breakfast. The tournament begins at 8:30 a.m., and all can anticipate the awards banquet and luncheon at 1 p.m. to round out the event. events/golf/

24 Mountaintop Summers

Get ready to soak up the sun at Rock City’s Mountaintop Summers! From May 24 to September 2, wind through cool corridors of stone and beat the heat with a refreshing beverage while taking in a seven-state view! As always, the Rock City Raptors birds of prey shows are a sight to see, as some of nature’s most incredible birds soar overhead in this immersive educational program. Animal encounters will vary daily.

27 Memorial Day Celebration

A true Memorial Day commemoration, this free celebration, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., includes a salute to the flag and veterans, the national anthem, picnic food for purchase, a children’s play area, local musical entertainment, and more at McCoy Farm & Gardens.





With a mission to grow diversity, equity, and inclusion across the region, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual DIVERSIFY summit aims to engage the local business community. Held at the Chattanooga Convention Center, this year’s keynote speaker will be James “Jay” Bailey. Bailey is the president and CEO of the Rice Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (“RICE”) in Atlanta, GA. RICE is an economic development organization that supports small and Black business development. The event begins at 11:30 a.m., and registration is required. chattanoogachamber. com/events

15 Ice Cream Safari

Join the Chattanooga Zoo and all of its residents at this year’s Ice Cream Safari. From 4 to 7 p.m., attendees can watch as the animals enjoy cool summer treats. Games, crafts, animal encounters, and ice cream vendors will also be available to attendees. Tickets can be purchased online.

16 Adventure Days

Join the Chattanooga Zoo and the Chattanooga Public Library for a fun series of Adventure Days. From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on June 16, all Chattanooga Public Library cardholders ages 18 and under can enjoy free admission to the Zoo, hands-on activities provided by the library, and plenty of Zoo fun!

22 Birthday Bash on the Mountain

Join the Walden’s Ridge Civic League for the fourth annual celebration of its auditorium, built in 1921. There will be free birthday cake, ice cream, and balloons from 4 p.m. until dusk. Mu-

sic, games for kids and grown-ups, prizes, hayrides, and a supervised children’s free play area are also in store. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

22 The Five Points 50

The Lula Lake Land Trust is partnering with Roost Racing, LLC for the 2024 Five Points 50 Ultimate Endurance Mountain Bike Race. With 50-mile and 25-mile course options, this event boasts scenic views around Lula Lake Land Trust and technical trails that span Lookout Mountain. This race will raise funds for LLLT’s mission of conservation, education, and low-impact recreation. Registration and more details available online.



Q ‘n Brew

Q ‘n Brew features two major summer staples – beer and barbecue! Enjoy a variety of dishes from the best barbecue restaurants in Chattanooga, paired with cool and refreshing beer, wine, and other beverages. This family event is fun for all ages! Guests will all receive two free beverage vouchers with their purchase of a Q ‘n Brew ticket to enjoy this summertime event in Chattanooga! | 17

Ask Hamilton

Dear Hamilton,

Growing up, I always noticed barns on the side of the highway painted with advertisements for Rock City. I came across one of these barns while on the road the other day and it was a pleasant surprise to see it still standing, not to mention nostalgic. I’m curious how many of these barns there are, and how exactly this advertising campaign came to be.


Driving Down Memory Lane

Dear Driving Down Memory Lane, Rock City barns are a nostalgic sight for many, which is no wonder given how widespread they once were! Hundreds of these barns once dotted the highways as part of a campaign that originated nearly a century ago. The clever idea to use country barns

as billboards dates back even further. The Bloch Brothers Tobacco Company is credited with popularizing this concept when it began touting its Mail Pouch chewing tobacco on the sides of barns at the turn of the 20th century. Other companies took notice and began to follow suit, creating a boom in billboard barns that conveniently coincided with the rise of the automobile. More Americans hitting the road skyrocketed the visibility of these roadside advertisements, which would only continue to grow.

Billboard barns weren’t just successful, they were also cost effective. All that companies needed for their signage to receive prime positioning on the highway was a couple buckets of paint and a property owner willing to make a deal. The owner would receive payment, often in the form of complimentary products or passes,

and a free paint job in exchange for letting the company paint an advertisement on their barn.

Beginning in the 1930s, a new wave of billboard barns began popping up across the Midwest and the South, prompting passersby to “See Rock City.” Bold block lettering painted in white on a black background caught the eye of motorists, and word of the mountaintop attraction – and the barns themselves – began to spread.

The Rock City barns were the result of a marketing brainstorm initiated by Rock City founder, Garnet Chapin. The first barn that kicked off this campaign was located west of Chattanooga in Kimball, TN, its sign reading “35 Miles to Rock City.”

This sign and the hundreds more that soon joined it were the handiwork of Clark Byers, a self-taught painter

(Left) Clark Byers, pictured left, in front of the first Rock City barn in Kimball, TN
Photos Courtesy of Rock City ROCK CITY BARNS
(Right) A team from See Rock City poses in front of a barn they repainted in honor of the attraction’s 90th anniversary, 2023
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from Chattanooga. He quickly became a local legend as he braved bulls, precarious rooftops, and all manners of weather on the job. In addition to the iconic slogan of “See Rock City,” Byers added taglines like “World’s 8th Wonder” and “See 7 States From Rock City Atop Lookout Mt.”

Byers spent three decades painting barns for Rock City and, after being shocked by electrical lines while on the job, he understandably retired. He concluded his career having painted 900 barns across 19 states –now that’s impressive!

Rock City wasn’t the only local attraction to jump aboard this advertising trend. Its Lookout Mountain neighbor, Ruby Falls, also took advantage of the area’s many barns, painting its own slogan against a bright red background in a fitting homage to its name.

However, the heyday of billboard barns would soon come to a sudden halt in 1965 with the passing of the Highway Beautification Act. Nicknamed “Lady Bird’s Bill” after First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson’s active efforts to beautify the nation’s highways, this legislation limited the presence of billboards by prohibiting advertising media within 600 feet of a federal highway. As a result, many Rock City signs were buried under a plain layer of paint and billboard barns became symbolic of a bygone era.

Thankfully, not all was lost. Ten years later, the act would be amended to preserve the historic significance of “landmark signs,” including advertisements painted onto barns. While the barns were now protected under law, in the following decades, many would be demolished due to construction or simply fade with time.

But as you saw – there are still Rock City barns standing today! Over 40 have been sighted across the South and even as far north as Indianapolis. Byers passed away in 2004, but his legacy lives on in these barns and the painters who honor his handiwork each time they add a fresh coat of paint.

As they continue to stand the test of time, these historic landmarks will surely remain a recognizable part of America’s landscape for years to come! Hope this helps!

Chattanooga, TN (Left) Clark Byers and assistant paint a barn in Alabama
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(Left) Photo Courtesy of the Chattanooga Library
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Creativity, Color, and Craft

From birthdays to wedding showers to holidays, there’s never a bad time for a good cookie – especially when it’s decorated to perfectly match your event’s theme. Here, we feature six local cookie decorators who have mastered the craft of creating beautiful cookies that also taste fantastic. Read on to learn how these talented women got started decorating cookies and why they are passionate about the art of baking.


Anna Paulk

How did you get into baking and cookie decorating? I have been baking for most of my life. I loved making desserts for my family growing up. About eight years ago, I came across decorated sugar cookies on Pinterest, and I was instantly captivated! I thought they were so unique and beautiful. That is when I started teaching myself how to decorate. I remember doing it for the first time and thinking how hard it was! It took me three hours just to decorate eight cookies. I had no idea what I was doing but I was deter mined. I focused on mastering the cookie recipe first before learning to decorate – so the cookies taste as great as they look.

What is your cookie making process like? The cookie process starts with mixing and chilling the dough for a couple hours before rolling the dough out. During this time is when I pick out my cookie cutters and plan my designs. Then I roll out my dough, cut my shapes, and bake the cookies. Next, I make my royal icing and start mixing all the colors I plan to use. During this step, I also create different icing consistencies to give different looks while decorating. Once I have all my colors mixed and bagged, I’m able to start decorating! Decorating is a multiple-hour process, typically split into two days in order to let layers dry in between. Once finished, the cookies need to dry completely in order to be packaged.

What do you enjoy about baking and decorating cookies? Baking has always been an outlet for me. I love being able to just put on some music and get lost in my own little cookie world. Plus, being able to hand someone happiness in the form of a cookie is a wonderful feeling. My favorite part about decorating cookies is sharing the finished prod uct with the customer and watching my ideas come to life. Taste testing isn’t so bad either!

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Amanda Phelps

How did you get into baking and cookie decorating? My passion for baking began when I was a little girl. I come from a long line of women who knew their way around the kitchen, and they instilled those talents in me. My grandmothers were always honored to teach my sisters and me in their kitchens. My grandmother made this apron for me – she gave it to me when I was an adult and I have cherished it and still wear it while baking at home! My Momma always made birthday cakes for my family, and she taught me everything she knew, so it only felt natural for me to make my first son’s first birthday cake 17 years ago. After that, my best friend bought me my first baking kit, and I continued to make my children’s birthday treats and began getting requests. After a few years of baking cakes, I had a friend ask me to make decorated cookies and I fell in love! I found my niche and my little hobby grew by word of mouth.

What do you enjoy about baking and decorating cookies? I like to say that cookie decorating is similar to sitting down with an adult coloring book. After the baking is done, I can sit and make the cookies come to life! I find it so relaxing and rewarding. Without a doubt, the best part is the delivery! I love to see the joy on my clients’ faces when they see the finished product! That alone makes all the hard work so worth it. Cookies bring joy!

What is your favorite set of cookies you’ve decorated? It is really difficult to decide which ones are my favorite, but I truly enjoyed a set I made with my daughter for her birthday! She designed them and helped with the entire process. It brought so much joy to me to share my passion with her like my mom and grandmothers did with me! Hopefully, she will continue to nurture a passion for baking too – she is sweet Lannah after all!


Courtney Campbell

What do you enjoy about baking and decorating cookies? I enjoy baking because it allows me to set my own schedule. Having six kids makes for some interesting days, so sometimes my best work is done at 1 a.m. I also enjoy meeting new customers and building relation ships with them. It’s so fun to grow with them! As they get older, my cookies get better, so in a sense we kind of grow together, which I love. My favorite part about decorating cookies is getting to see the finished and final product. With all the different shapes and designs, sometimes I wonder if it’s going to turn out as good as I planned it in my head, and somehow it always comes together beautifully.

What do you think make your cookies unique? One thing that sets my cookies apart is my edible cookie printer that can print any logo, picture, or design directly onto the cookie. This makes for absolutely stunning cookies that turn into one of the main focal points for events and parties.

What inspires you to bake and be creative with your cookies? My customers defi nitely inspire me the most to be as creative and fun with my orders as possible. The fun themes and parties that they come up with make it so enjoyable, and it’s always a new challenge to convert their ideas into actual cookies for their event. My favorite type of event to create custom cookies for are children’s birthday parties. The possibilities are endless, and I love to see a kid get so excited when they see their name on a cookie or their favorite character or theme. I want to thank all my current customers for supporting my business and letting me live out my dream!

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Sandie Benson

How did you get into baking and cookie decorating? I started baking cookies as a child and I’ve always enjoyed baking, especially during the holidays. I found myself baking more as a hobby in 1995, trying new recipes and experimenting with decorating techniques. Pretty soon I found myself fulfilling orders from friends and neighbors, and in 2005, I decided to turn my love of baking into a business. And I’m so glad I did.

What is your process for baking and decorating cookies? Every cookie starts from scratch. It’s a more involved process of measuring and mixing than most people would think. Once the dough is prepared, it has to be rolled out and cut into the specific shapes our clients desire. After baking and cooling, the cookies get a base coating of frosting. That has to dry before we customize each cookie with the icing decorations. Frequently this requires mul tiple colors and decorating tips. After another drying period, the cookies are individually wrapped and tied with coordinating ribbon.

What is your favorite part about decorating cookies? The joy that cookies bring to our customers. There’s nothing better than seeing the looks on the faces of the kids that come in after school, the excitement of the holidays, or having a client order something special to sur prise a soon-to-be bride or new mother. I love the feeling of being a part of family parties and celebrations. We’ve made cookies for generations of special events and it’s really gratifying to play a role in making special memories. I bake because it makes others happy! I also enjoy the chal lenge of providing fun new designs or producing a one-of-a-kind look for a special occasion.

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Becky Blalock

What inspires you to bake and be creative with your cookies? I am an artist at heart. If it’s a creative craft, I’ve tried it. Cookies allow me to make art that doesn’t pile up around my house. I get a lot out of decorating cookies. It gives me a purpose and a goal. It keeps me busy and on a schedule. I also get a feeling of accomplishment when I can make people’s visions come to fruition. I love that people trust me to be a part of their most special life events.

Why do you enjoy baking and decorating cookies? Making cookies gives me a creative outlet. They give me a purpose and a sense of pride. My favorite part about making and decorating cookies is seeing my customer’s reaction the first time they see their cookies. It’s a privilege to make cookies for someone’s most precious life events and I don’t take that for granted.

How did you get into baking and cookie decorating? My introduction into cookie decorating started as a whim during Christmas of 2015. I enjoyed it but thought it was a lot of work. I continued baking and decorating cookies on and off for friends and family for several years. As time went on people would ask if I sold cookies or had an Instagram page. My answer was always no. At Christmas in 2020 I decided I enjoyed decorating cookies. I practiced my decorating and I quickly realized I had to start selling to fund my new hobby. I baked and decorated several Valentine’s Day cookies and asked my Facebook friends to support my new hobby. Bless them, they bought my primitive artwork. I watched video after video to learn and grow in my cookie decorating endeavor, and I started Chattanooga Cookies in the spring of 2021.


Christine Armao

How did you get into baking and cookie decorating? My family has always been into baking and decorating Christmas cookies, so during the pandemic, I ordered some piping tips and other decorating tools in an attempt to up my game. The very first cookies I decorated with the new tools were a huge hit on social media, so I decided to go ahead and try selling some decorated cookies for Halloween and Christmas. I discovered a whole Instagram and Facebook community of cookie decorators who shared decorating ideas and business tips which helped me grow my business very quickly. I decorated my first cookies in October of 2021, so I have been decorating for about two and a half years.

What inspires you to bake and be creative with your cookies? Other cookie decorators on Instagram or Pinterest inspire me a lot. I am always blown away by the things people are able to create on a cookie. I love working with event planners for weddings and showers because they always have detailed mood boards and a clear vision of how they want their event to look, and I get inspiration from the ideas they have already put together. I get ideas from nature, TV and other media, physical retail store displays, etc. Inspiration can really come from anywhere!

What makes your cookies unique? I think each cookie decorator has their own style and their own strengths, so no two are really the same! I do take pride in the fact that my cookies not only look pretty, but they taste great as well.

Royal icing can often be so hard that you wonder if you might break a tooth when eating it, and it can have an unappetizing chemical taste if low quality ingredients are used.

Everything I make in my brick-and-mortar bakery is made using fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, and everything is made from scratch with many recipes being passed down from older generations. That includes my sugar cookies, and I love hearing feedback about how soft and flavorful they are.


Traveling with Tranquility

Life on the water has been a constant for Mike Gribble his entire life. He grew up on the lake, fishing with his dad and skiing with family and friends through high school. During his second year of college, he joined the Navy to pursue his dream of traveling the world. He was married to his wife Kim in 2009, and it only made sense that they would continue their adventures on the water during their retirement.

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With plans to take on the Great Loop one day, the Gribbles worked with the team at Erwin Marine to purchase a Sea Ray 480 Sedan Bridge. Mike and Kim share their gratitude in special recognition of Michael Porter at Erwin Marine for his help throughout the process of finding and learning all about their new boat.

“Before we got our boat, we had an RV and went camping regularly for about eight years,” shares Kim. “Mike would always admire the boats we saw by the lakeside, and say, ‘That could be us!’ Now, we have the best of both worlds with our camper on the water.” | 35

After investing in the yacht in November of 2023, the Gribbles renamed the boat with an official boat renaming ceremony. It received its new name –Tranquil Shellback Dreams – in reference to Mike’s experience in the Navy as he crossed the equator and became a Shellback. Proud to return to the water after Mike’s five years of service, the Gribbles say their current “tranquil dream” is to make new memories together while exploring the Tennessee River and the surrounding Chattanooga area.

“We are currently getting used to our new boat,” says Mike. “With winter behind us, we plan on taking short trips until Kim retires, spending time with friends on the water at

concerts, UT games, and progressing into longer trips until we get to do the Great Loop.”

While sitting on the back deck to soak up the sun or listening to the stereo at the helm, what means most to Mike and Kim is sharing the experience with others. They share that Chattanooga’s boating community has been welcoming and supportive from the start, saying, “Most boaters are always willing to help and share their knowledge in times of need.” In addition to new connections with their fellow boaters, they look forward to having more adventures together with friends, family members, and their two boxers, Chevy and Daisy.

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While gearing up for the summer months, Tranquil Shellback Dreams is ready with all the space they need for upcoming trips with friends and family. Kim notes the convenience of the spacious interior, including three staterooms, two full heads, washer and dryer, refrigerator, freezer, stove, and dinette. While three air conditioning units keep them cool no matter the weather, cherry wood, tan carpet, Corian countertops, and a tan leather interior round out the salon and galley in style.

“There’s plenty of room for everyone to be comfortable here! The surrounding windows in the salon and galley make for great views and bring in plenty of light. The electric couch in the galley can unfold for an additional bed, and there’s also hidden extra storage space for everything we would need on a longer trip,” explains Kim.

Other favorite features for Mike and Kim include the boat’s twin diesels, easy maneuverability, cruising speed, and smooth idle. “She has large fuel tanks for extended travel,” Mike says. “She can cruise at 8 to 11 knots and has the power to get up and run at 30 plus knots should we need the speed.” As a new captain, Mike explains that the location of the helm is also especially helpful. The helm is located in the center and aft of the bridge, providing a full view of the stern for ease when it comes to backing into slips and pulling into the dock.

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When asked about his most fond boating memory so far, Mike shares his overwhelming pride in his recently earned captain’s license. Mike officially met U.S. Coast Guard qualifications and obtained his Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vehicles (OUPV) captain's license on May 12, 2024, and the adventurous couple has been eager to continue exploring the water ever since.

“We enjoy the freedom and tranquility of the beautiful open water, shorelines, wildlife, and friendships with fellow boaters,” says Kim. “We look forward to spending more time with our dock mates, friends, and family on our dream boat.”

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It Takes


While tennis is often a solo sport, many opt to play with a partner by their side. A successful doubles team requires both individual skill and close coordination. The following six local duos excel in each and bring competitive spirits and years of camaraderie to each match. Read on to learn the ways they coordinate on the court and how, in pairing up with someone who shares their love for tennis, they have found not just a doubles partner but a lifelong friend.


Cathy Palisoc & Sarah DeLay

For Cathy Palisoc and Sarah DeLay, playing tennis was a great way to find time for themselves in their busy schedules as both women juggled corporate careers and raising their families. “I highly recommend for anyone to try playing tennis – especially doubles. It allows you to forget about any worries or stresses and focus on just following and hitting the ball,” Palisoc says. “It’s a great exercise for anyone at any age.” Now that they’ve gotten back into it, their love for the sport has only grown stronger. “Once my youngest headed to college, I had time to get back into tennis. It’s won-

state championship win that drove them on to another win at regionals in Mobile, Alabama. “We had just started playing together, but we won four matches in a row in the Southern Championship in Mobile two years ago. Our team then won the Southern Championship, and we were thrilled,” Palisoc recalls. Both women attribute their success to their shared determination and their ability to capitalize on each other’s individual skills. “Our skills complement each other,” DeLay explains. “Cathy has a strong backhand and likes to play the net, and I have a strong forehand and like the baseline.

each other when we miss a shot or serve and need to be picked up.”

The pair’s strong teamwork is bolstered by the trust they have built in each other over the years. “No matter what the score is in the game, we know that we will do our best while having lots of fun and laughter. We never criticize or blame each other for any lost points,” Palisoc explains. DeLay adds, “Because we know each other well, I can anticipate how she will respond and where she will be on the court. This is very important in a match.” Whether they’re celebrating a win or encouraging each other


Richard Wagner & Jim Bach

Jim Bach and Richard Wagner met through their wives, who are lifelong friends, and ended up forming a friendship of their own through tennis. “My wife, Sunny Hooper Wagner, and Jim’s wife, Mary Harper Bach, have been friends since seventh grade at GPS. I knew Mary from college but didn’t meet Jim until the early ‘80s. The four of us went on vacation and Jim got me out on the tennis court – it hasn’t stopped since,” Wagner recalls. Now, the two of them have been friends and

keep their opponents in check. “We complement each other: my serve, his unorthodox overhead, our court coverage. We both anticipate our opponents’ moves well,” Bach says. They also know each other well after spending decades on the court together, which offers an advantage in challenging matches. “Singles is physically harder, but doubles is technically harder. I like the strategy of doubles,” Wagner shares. “When your competition is hitting particularly good and above their nor-

be our 35th year of hosting, with our spouses, a Christmas party benefiting the CHATT Foundation (formerly Chattanooga Community Kitchen).

Over the years, this party has raised over $300,000 to support their important work. Friendships we have made through tennis and other endeavors have helped this worthy cause.”

After 40 years, Bach says “Our partnership has resulted in plenty of good doubles matches and a lifetime of memories both on and off the court.”

Any financial advisor can know the markets. We know our clients. Riggs & Associates A private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC 423.648.0782 Understanding your goals is the first step in providing personalized financial advice to help you reach them. We take the time to know what you’re looking forward to, as well as what your challenges are, to help you build the financial future you want. The Compass is a trademark of Ameriprise Financial Inc. Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Member FINRA and SIPC. © 2023 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. 1210 Premier Dr., Ste 202 Chattanooga, TN 37421 Not FDIC or NCUA Insured | No Financial Institution Guarantee | May Lose Value

Louise Schults & Donna McLaurin

For Donna McLaurin and Louise Schults, tennis opened the door to a beautiful friendship. The two of them were officially introduced to each other in 1997 when their captain paired them up to play doubles together for the first time, though they had previously played on opposite sides of the court. Now, nearly 30 years later, their partnership and friendship are both as strong as ever.

McLaurin and Schults are both competitive by nature, and this shared quality makes them an excellent team. “Louise is a fantastic tennis player and also a fantastic athlete. She has an incredible forehand and has developed an equally fabulous backhand,” McLaurin explains. “She, like me, wants to win and never gives up, and I love that about her!” Likewise, Schults says, “Donna never gives up. We can be losing 6-0, but she is going to make our opponents earn every point.”

For the two of them, collaborating on the court is one of the most exciting things about playing doubles. “We make a great team because she tells me what to do and I do it!” Schults laughs. “My favorite thing about playing tennis with Donna is that she strategizes on every point. Also, she is always telling funny stories during the changeover which makes me laugh and keeps me loose.” Beyond playing to win, McLaurin and Schults make sure to enjoy each match. “We have lots of fun, laugh, and always try to figure out a way to win. Many times we are success ful, and sometimes we are not! Either way, we always have fun and enjoy being together,” McLaurin shares.

The pair’s friendship has taken them on count less vacations and to the final rounds of many tournaments, but it has also gotten them through difficult times over the years. When health complications affected McLaurin in 2018, Schults was right by her side throughout her recovery –whether they were walking, biking, or enjoying a lunch at Boathouse. “I have a deep appreciation for her friendship and look back on those times with great fondness,” McLaurin says. “Louise is a sweet, loyal, and true friend. I will be forever grateful for my tennis partner and for her friendship!” Echoing the sentiment, Schults says, “Tennis is a great sport. If it hadn’t been for tennis, I may have never met Donna. It has been a pleasure to play doubles with her all these years.”


For Jay and Erin Sizemore, a lifelong love of tennis blossomed into an even stronger love for each other. Erin started playing at 7 years old and progressed to play competitively throughout high school and college, while Jay began at age 10 and continued through his first years of high school. “We have played together ever

Erin & Jay Sizemore

Being married means we have a deep level of trust in each other’s abilities and intentions. We know that we can rely on each other to give our best effort and make smart decisions during matches.” After playing together for so long, their familiarity also provides a unique advantage as the couple can anticipate each other’s moves and

these less common formations.”

For the Sizemores, one of the best things about playing doubles tennis is that it gives them a chance to connect on a deeper level. “Tennis is not just a game we play side by side; it’s a shared passion that strengthens our bond and creates lasting memories. What I love most about playing tennis with

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Cynda Holmes & Dee Dee Buckley

Cynda Holmes, a retiree, and Dee Dee Buckley, a stay-at-home mom, began playing tennis as a rewarding way to fill their free time. Their paths would soon collide on the court and result in the perfect partnership. Now close friends, the women are unmistakable as a pair as they sport identical outfits – down to the accessories – every game.

Holmes and Buckley also bring this coor dination to the tennis court. “Our games complement each other. Dee Dee is great at the net, and I cover the back,” says Holmes, “When she knows I am back there she has freedom to move back and forth whenever she wants.” Buckley agrees, adding, “We have fun most of all. She is a great baseline player and I love playing the net, so we are a great team together.”

Buckley says that Holmes’ strength is her “ability to know what we may need to change up our game. Her back hand is wicked also.” Holmes returns the praise, saying that Buckley “has no fear at the net and has great tennis intuition – and is always styling!”

No matter what happens on the court, “I always have Dee Dee’s back and she has mine,” says Holmes. “I like being able to support one another and rely on one another, win or lose.” She adds that they overcome any gameplay challenges by “trusting each other and knowing your partner will do her best even if it’s not a great day.”

Both women agree that playing tennis is great fun, and even more so with a teammate. They often travel to their tournaments with their husbands, where their camaraderie – and coordinating at tire – leave a lasting impression. While competing together is still a highlight, many of their fondest memories have taken place off the court, from being approached by competitors who remember their outfits to enjoying each other’s company in between matches. “We have such a great time together. Dee Dee is fun and cute and deadly com petitive. She is not only my partner, but my very good friend,” shares Holmes. “There is never a dull moment with Cynda,” adds Buckley.

For this duo, doubles tennis has proven to be a source of lively competition and lasting friendship. Holmes laughs, “I had no idea it would be such a great retirement job!”


John Sterner was ranked by Forbes as the #1 Financial Security Professional in TN and #38 nationwide. Al Waldrop was ranked #3 in TN on the Best-in-State list.



Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM) and its subsidiaries in Milwaukee, WI. Sterner Financial is a marketing name for doing business as representatives of Northwestern Mutual. Northwestern Mutual Private Client Group is a select group of NM advisors and representatives. Sterner Financial and Northwestern Mutual Private Client Group are not a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer, insurance agency, federal savings bank or other legal entity. Ranking Published 7/26/23. Data as of 12/31/22. No compensation provided for ranking. Licensing fees apply to use Forbes logo. Research and ranking provided by SHOOK Research, LLC. Rankings and recognitions are no guarantee of future investment success.

The Northern Flicker is a large woodpecker native to our region. It often forages on the ground, looking for ants, worms, nuts, fruits, and seeds. Its preferred habitat is wooded areas with openings. With its various colors, stripes, and spots, the Flicker stands out amongst the woodpecker family. In flight, a flash of yellow or red can be seen from the tail feathers.

The Northern Flicker, like many cavity-nesting birds, is in decline due to loss of habitat, but humans can help the species rebound. Wild Birds Unlimited in Chattanooga carries Flicker nesting boxes and can offer expertise about how to attract this striking bird to your property.
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Tennis is a lifetime sport, and Jim Dunbar and C Y Liu are proof. Dunbar has been playing tennis every week for nearly half a decade, and now, at 91 years old, has no plans of slowing down. Meanwhile, Liu put down the tennis racket to pursue a long, successful career in medicine and picked it back up again after retiring from his local practice in 2012.

Playing doubles has enabled Dunbar to keep competing at his age and he has found Liu to be a supportive companion on the court. “What makes us a great team is

Jim Dunbar & C Y Liu

says Dunbar. “I love playing with C Y because he can cover so much of the court for me, and at 91 years old, I’ll need all the help I can get every time I hit a bad shot.” Liu adds, “We don’t get upset or blame each other when we are losing or have lost the game. We always try to support and encourage each other and try to have a good time!”

Dunbar’s lifelong passion for tennis and unwavering optimism are contagious and make it hard not to enjoy even challenging matches. “He plays every ball and every game with enthu

Liu says that playing doubles requires “coordination and cooperation between you and your teammates,” both skills he and Dunbar excel at as partners. Their strong teamwork has earned them many a win and helped them come out on top after close calls.

“One time we were losing 5 to 0, then miraculously one ball at a time, we somehow slowly and gradually came back and eventually beat the other team 7 to 5!” recalls Liu.

The pair’s upbeat approach and gameplay are the perfect recipe for

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Whether it’s welcoming tourists aboard a historic train ride or coordinating freight shipments as they travel across the region, train conductors are key to keeping this mode of transportation on track. Read on to learn more about their important role and hear from local conductors about what it takes to help the railroad stay running smoothly.


Chattanooga has played a prominent role in the rail industry since it welcomed its first rail line in 1850, and today, boasts both a rich rail history and growing acclaim as a hub for freight. Thanks to hardworking individuals across the city, an active network of local railways continues to move full steam ahead.

At the helm of these crews is the conductor, who is responsible for overseeing every step of the transportation process, from departure to arrival. Conductors coordinate rail cars, direct their train’s movements on the tracks, and ensure that the products or passengers being transported enjoy safe passage to their destination.

Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum 62 | | 63


Major freight carriers including Norfolk Southern and CSX pass through local rail yards for daily loading and unloading as they deliver cargo across the country. With plenty of product to move along, the rail yard is a spot bustling with activity.

Tom Foden is no stranger to this fast-paced environment, having worked as a conductor for 27 years. He oversees operations for trains on the Chattooga & Chickamauga Railway (CCKY) which comprises 38 miles of track that stretch from Chattanooga to Summerville, Georgia.

As a freight conductor, Foden coordinates the movement of materials – primarily plastic resin – to factories across the Southeast. When he’s not helping shuttle crews to and fro, his role in the rail yard involves switching out the rail cars needed by different carriers. Rain or shine, work in the freight yard keeps chugging along, and every day holds something new.

“Not every switch is going to be the same,” notes Foden. “You have to take into consideration that it might be an easy switch but the cars that we need may not all be together. You might have to pull a track of 20 train cars out just to dig out the one you need and then put them all back.”

Foden welcomes everyday challenges such as these and collaborates with his crew to keep things moving as efficiently as possible, saying, “We keep on trucking.”


Though the last passenger train left Chattanooga’s Terminal Station, now the Chattanooga Choo Choo, in 1970, the city’s rail history – and train rides – live on at the Tennessee Railroad Valley Museum (TVRM). Here, visitors can hop aboard diesel and steam engines for a ride around the city’s scenic surroundings.




fascinated with

trains growing up. Every kid kind of has an idea of what they would like to do, and I thought it would be a neat job.”


“I start the morning with a safety brief and then get a work list of the product that’s needed and what the day holds. The majority of time in the morning is spent getting product prepared and going to switch up the cars. We then go up to the industries and swap out what they’ve got, loading product in and pulling empty rail cars out to the particular areas they’re needed. Then, at the end of the day, we secure the equipment.”

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YOUR SUMMER SCENE 3400 Around Lenox Road NE Atlanta, Georgia in the heart of Buckhead

Passenger conductors at TVRM play a central part in ensuring visitors enjoy their trip, in addition to managing the logistics of their locomotive.

“The conductor is in charge on the train. Full responsibility of the train, including its movement and the safety of the crew and passengers, falls on the conductor. You can think of the conductor as a captain – every other crew member on the train answers to the conductor,” explains Zachary Langley, who has worked as a conductor at TVRM since 2021.

Zach Gilmore, conductor at TVRM for 20 years, adds that great customer service is an essential skill for passenger conductors as they welcome guests aboard, check tickets, and answer any questions during the train ride. “As the conductor, you are the person passengers interact with the most,” he says.

Having both grown up captivated by trains, Langley and Gilmore now get to nurture this same curiosity in children who remind them of their younger selves. “I enjoy seeing the wonder and excitement on the kids’ faces if they have never ridden a train before,” shares Langley. Gilmore echoes this sentiment: “I love seeing their excitement; it reminds me of how excited I was as a kid.”

“I have always been interested in trains. Trains were my favorite thing as a kid. I can’t remember ever not being interested in them.”


“The first thing you do as a conductor is conduct a job brief with your crew to ensure everyone is on the same page. This includes going over the schedule, special instruction, and speed restrictions, to name a few. We then proceed with getting the train ready for the day. We conduct a terminal brake test to ensure the brakes on the train are functioning and to check for any air leakage. We also inspect the train for any defects or dragging equipment. After everything has been given the green light, we can run the passenger train for the day. Things we do during the day include coupling and uncoupling the locomotive from the train, operating handbrakes, operating the turn table, punching tickets, and ensuring passengers have a good time. After the day is done, we put the train away for the night, and complete our paperwork for the day.”

(Top) Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
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“When I was about 3 years old, my parents took me to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, and I was immediately hooked!”


“The morning starts with

getting the train ready, ensuring it is clean and ready for passengers. The train is inspected, and a brake test is done to ensure everything works correctly. Then, we are prepared to board passengers. We provide narration, punch tickets, and answer questions during the trip. Once we arrive at our destination, we must go to work to turn the locomotive around for the return trip.”


Conductors constantly communicate with their crew, including the engineer behind the wheel. “The conductor is the one in charge of the train, even though the engineer is the one driving it,” shares Gilmore. “The conductor makes the decisions and ensures everything is safe and on schedule.”

Foden describes conductors as “the foreman of the job,” saying, “You’re in charge of the rest of the crew. You tell the engineer when to go forward and when to back up. You guide them back and make sure everything is under control when coupling train cars together.”


Coordinating road crossings, watching the weather, and working in a busy rail yard all require conductors to take precautions so that they and their crew remain safe on the job. “The No. 1 skill to be a successful conductor is a sense of safety,” says Langley, advising anyone new to the job to always go into it with a safety-first mindset.

“Being alert and attentive are vital skills,” adds Gilmore. “At times, multiple things are going on, and it's important that the conductor keeps track of where everyone is and what is going on to ensure that everyone is safe.”


Many experienced railroad workers have served different roles in a train crew, these local conductors included. When they’re not managing train movements, all three men also spend time in the driver’s seat as qualified engineers. Plus, having helped operate historic trains for decades, Langley and Gilmore are both experienced firemen, responsible for stoking the fire of coal-burning steam engines.


For these three and many others serving their railways as conductors, each day’s work is fueled by a love for the livelihood. “I was fortunate to find something I love early in life; it makes a huge difference to be able to go to work doing something you genuinely love,” says Gilmore, adding, “My best advice for anyone invested in becoming a train conductor is to have a passion for it. The same advice I’d give to anyone about a job is to love what you do.”

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Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum


See some of Chattanooga’s unique local fashion, gifts, recreational vehicles, and spirits. | 69
Photo Courtesy of Erwin Marine
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The eighth annual Believe Bash, Erlanger Foundation’s signature event, was held in April at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Proceeds from the Paris-themed gala benefit the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

Co-chairs Shelly & Bob Elliott and Guru & Dr. Neha Shah Cary Garrett, Gabriela Halfin, Pamela & David Garrett Eddie & Gail Thomas Colleen Teal and Anne Bordash Lesley & Bradley Moore
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Brenda & U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann

On March 11 at the Chattanooga Convention Center, the 57th annual Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame Induction & Awards Banquet honored the athletic accomplishments of citizens of the Greater Chattanooga Area.

Ryne Shumaker, Angie & Van Shumaker, Scott Wilson, Gene Lively and Kim Wilson Class of 2024 Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame inductees and award winners | 83
Tammie Chappell, Connie Caldwell-Rogan, William & Jennifer Lansden

Chaired by Dr. Christopher and Tracie LeSar, the annual Heart Ball was held in February at The Chattanoogan Hotel. The black-tie event celebrated the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association, as well as raised funds for the organization’s community health initiatives.

Garrett Hinkle, Cora LeSar-Hinkle, Tracie & Dr. Christopher LeSar John Alston, Grace Johnson, Lynnette & Mike Alston, Abby Alston, and Anna Alston Taylor & Graham Taylor LaTrice Currie and Darryl Leslie TN State Senator Todd & Sylvia Gardenhire
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Cynthia Fain and Lemon Williams Brandon Cochran, Avery Striker, Cherry Rushing and Chase Cochran Dr. William & Ashley Harris Garry & Rhonda Thurman Rebekah & Derek Markey Courtney & Dr. Harish Manyam Brenden & Anna Koon Lynda & Michael Hood | 85
Scott Hickman and Dr. Alison Bailey

On February 17 at the Chattanooga Convention Center, Chattanooga

Business Elite presented its fifth annual Black Excellence of Chattanooga Awards. The event recognizes and celebrates minority businesses across Hamilton County.

Billy Sorrells, Mayor Tim Kelly, and Eric Foster 6- Alvin Reynolds, Christy & Shakir Rashed, and Mia & Stephan Bryant Mrs. Universe World International Juanita Ingram, Esq. Mona Lisa the Poet and Cedric Goddard
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Lawanda & Herman Prater, Sr.


When it’s time to sneak away and find hidden treasures off the beaten path, we’re fortunate to live in a region rich in culture and personality. In the Southeast, even the smallest towns can be home to a bounty of historic sites and alluring attractions. So if you’re hoping to find a perfect getaway, peruse this selection of not-to-be-missed attractions in nearby towns and create your ideal trip. | 87

Just a short drive from Atlanta, Acworth brings the best of a rich history and lively present together for a relaxing getaway. Take a trip down memory lane and learn about the city’s storied past, kick back at the waterfront, or stroll through the downtown boutiques, brew in hand. Plan your adventure at


Whether you need a little retail therapy or you’re shopping for a special occasion, Acworth’s Downtown District has you covered with boutiques, bookstores, jewelry, antique stores, and art galleries. You’re sure to find something to love while you meander Main Street with a refreshing alcoholic beverage.

Amazing Acworth



History buffs will enjoy the Acworth Depot Park, a replica of the original depot with displays that tell the story of Acworth, including videos with residents’ oral histories. You’ll also want to check out Doyal Hill Park, an outdoor space with public art and interpretive signs celebrating the city’s Black history.


Head down to relax on the beach at Cauble Park! The 25-acre park on Lake Acworth features a beach, boardwalk, and two playgrounds along with fishing points. Lake Acworth doesn’t allow motorized crafts, making it a haven for paddleboard and kayak enthusiasts – bring your own or stop by the nearby Appalachian Outfitters to rent a board for the day.


Originally built in the 1870s, The Cowan Historic Mill is the oldest commercial building in Acworth and the perfect industrial chic venue for your next celebration. Including both elegant indoor and outdoor spaces, the restored Cowan is the ideal location for everything from holiday parties to weddings to yoga classes.


One of the best things about summer is the markets, and Acworth is no exception. Logan Farm Park hosts the bustling Acworth Farmer’s Market every Friday morning from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in AprilOctober. In addition to Georgia-grown fruits and veggies, you can find local cheese, meat, and baked goods plus a variety of jams and honeys.

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From exciting restaurants that cater to a variety of tastes, to charming boutiques with a unique local flare, Acworth keeps it fun and fresh. And with its diverse collection of scenic outdoor activities, events, and challenging golf courses, you’ll experience the welcoming atmosphere that makes Acworth so special.

1.5 hours from
minutes off I-75 from Exit 277 or Exit

Alpharetta Adventure

The perfect combination of big city fun and small-town heart – and conveniently situated only 30 minutes from metro Atlanta – Alpharetta is an ideal destination. For outdoor enthusiasts, the city offers award-winning parks, arboretums, and biking and hiking trails. For music lovers, there’s plenty of opportunities to listen to live local performances and big-name artists. For art lovers and foodies, Alpharetta features galleries, art festivals, and everything from local brews to upscale chefs’ creations. Plan your adventure at


April through October is concert season at the Ameris Bank Amphitheatre, featuring some of the biggest names in country, rock, and top 40 pop. This impressive venue has acoustics that make every seat – from the front row to the picnic-style general admission area – feel like the best seat in the house.


Family and friends can come together for shared fun at the Fairway Social. This destination offers activities for all ages and skill levels with competitive games on world-class simulators. Plus, guests can enjoy delicious all-day dining, a rooftop patio with music, and a back nine putting course.


The Velvet Note is a hidden gem for music lovers. Nestled in the heart of Alpharetta, this cozy jazz club offers an intimate ambience, plush seating, and impeccable sound quality as it immerses patrons in live jazz, blues, and soul music for a memorable night out.


The Ginger Room is a haven for tea enthusiasts in search of a leisurely afternoon tea or a private tasting session. This charming tearoom invites guests to savor the simple pleasures of life as they sip from delicate porcelain teacups and enjoy an extensive selection of premium loose-leaf teas sourced from around the world.


The Wire & Wood Alpharetta Songwriters Festival will fill downtown Alpharetta with music on October 11 and 12 this year. This free event features both locally and nationally recognized acts on multiple stages, where listeners will hear incredible performances and learn the stories behind some of their favorite songs.

Excitement awaits you in Alpharetta, GA, a beautiful Southern town ready for discovery and exploration!
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North Point Area

Charming Cartersville


Whether you’re in search of outdoor adventure, delicious dining, or a deep dive into history, Cartersville has it all.

Located just north of Atlanta, this city charms visitors with its small-town feel and wealth of offerings to explore. Spend a relaxing weekend on the lake with loved ones or head downtown to browse local vendors and sip on a craft brew. Plan your adventure at


Start your day on a delicious note at the Cartersville Farmers Market, voted No. 1 in Georgia, open Saturday mornings from May to September. Head downtown to browse fresh food and products from local vendors, including artisanal French pastries, floral arrangements, farm-fresh eggs, and more. While you’re there, grab a bite to eat from a food truck and listen to live entertainment from local artists.


If you’re wanting to get outside without all the fuss, Timberline Glamping has the perfect solution. Located in Redtop Mountain State Park directly on Lake Allatoona at Pine Acres Retreat, Timberline features luxury campsites with modern amenities such as electrical outlets and air conditioning. After a night spent in comfort, you can wake up refreshed and ready to enjoy a day out on the lake.


Whether you’re a seasoned wakeboarding pro or want to try your hand at this watersport, Terminus Wake Park is great for anyone seeking outdoor adventure. Its full-size lake features an advanced cable wake system that tows guests along at different speeds – no boat needed. You can pack light and rent all the gear you need on-site before heading to the water for an action-packed afternoon.


Behold the historic landscape that was home to thousands of Mississippian people over a millennia ago at Etowah Mounds State Historic Site. This significant archaeological site will give you a glimpse into the artistry and rituals of the Mississippian Culture as you explore three earthen mounds, a village site, nature trail, and more.



After a day of exploring, unwind with a well-deserved craft brew at Drowned Valley Brewing Co., located in the historic Carlton Building. Choose from 16 beers on tap while you enjoy the company of others –furry friends included – in this inviting taproom. Plus, check out its new location, The Outpost, located along the scenic Euharlee River this summer and sample the seasonal Museum City Honeysuckle Blonde Beer.

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Wind your way through the mountains and valleys of Dade County for an unforgettable weekend away. Head to Lookout Mountain for breathtaking views before returning to the valley for continued fun outdoors, whether it’s grabbing a cup of coffee or catching the latest feature film. Plus, lifelong learners will feel right at home with a wealth of history and new skills to explore. Plan your adventure at


One of Georgia’s largest parks, Cloudland Canyon State Park is situated on the edge of Lookout Mountain and provides front-row seats to stunning, panoramic views. Here, options to explore the outdoors abound and include hiking, mountain biking, camping, caving, and plenty of opportunities to view the impressive system of canyons that give the park its name.

Adventure Into Dade



Soar across the sky on a hang glider or paraglider at Lookout Mountain Flight Park. Here, certified instructors will accompany you on a tandem flight as you glide up to 3,000 feet in the air. Those wanting to learn how to fly solo can take advantage of the location’s Flight School, which has been training pilots since 1978.


If you’re an animal lover, head to Rosie Mae’s Alpaca Farm & Boutique to handfeed and snap some photos with the farm’s alpacas. When you aren’t befriending these fluffy farm animals, grab something to sip on from the on-site coffee shop before browsing alpaca wool products and more in the boutique.


The Oscar Ellis American Legion Post 106 Military Museum, open Fridays and Saturdays, houses artifacts from America’s military history, ranging from the War of 1812 until modern day. During your visit, you can also view personal displays from Dade County veterans and learn about their experiences during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.


Sit back and relax as you enjoy two backto-back feature films at the Wilderness Outdoor Theater, open on weekends April - October. Choose from one of the theater’s 1,000 parking spaces to watch from your car or bring chairs and blankets to set up on the grassy hillside. Before the show begins, be sure to stop by the full-service concession stand to stock up on some sweet and salty snacks.

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From scenic vistas and world-class caving to adventurous hang gliding, spectacular nature photography, three challenging golf courses, great shopping and restaurants, luscious farms and gardens, a memorable military museum and even a delightful alpaca farm, a long weekend is never long enough in Dade County! 706.657.4488

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Photo by Bekah Berry/Creative Revolver

Bella Vista, Revisited

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Beauty is best experienced when shared with friends and loved ones, and for Drew Aultman, her home is no exception to this. Fondly dubbed Bella Vista, this stately Italian country-style home features panoramic views, from the low-rolling hills in the east to the ribbon of the Tennessee River in the west. Sporting sand-colored Crab Orchard stone, red roof shingles, and a classical colonnade, Bella Vista instantly transports guests to a Mediterranean scene. This charm is what initially attracted Drew to the home.

“I bought this house in 2020,” Drew says, “What I liked about it is that on the inside, it has lots of cozy,

intimate spaces and nooks where you can sit and relax. It feels very lived in.” The house was built in the 1930s by the owners of Colonial Bakery, whose influence can still be seen in the bricks comprising the driveway that were reclaimed from the bread baking ovens.

After changing hands a few times, the house is now entrusted to the Aultman family, and Drew is excited to extend Bella Vista’s warm welcome to her parents, children, and grandchildren. “For me, this house offers an intimate space where people can gather and relax, because it’s all about getting together, making memories, and providing those spaces that allow for conversation and storytelling,” Drew says. | 99

Stepping into the foyer, guests find themselves in a welcoming transitional space. To the left and right, seating vignettes offer a repose for warm conversation. Picture windows set against dark shiplap paneling make the room comfortable, yet airy. Furnishings tend towards the contemporary with a traditional flair, revealing the balance Drew strikes in updating the interiors while being conscious of the house’s history.

Proceeding directly through the set of wide doorframes, guests enter an open living and dining area. In contrast to the foyer, the shiplap paneling is painted in white to brighten the space. The living area features two velvety black sofas next to the hearth, while abstract paintings and textiles layer pops of blue, red, and gold against the room’s neutral color palette.

This open floor plan allows for seamless movement between spaces – perfect for Drew to host gatherings with family and friends. The formal dining area seats six parsons chairs as well as a lounge-worthy wall-to-wall sofa. One of Drew’s favorite family traditions includes gathering around the table at special occasions and passing around heirloom silver goblets engraved with major family milestones.

“We’ve been doing that now for three generations,” Drew says. “By reading the engravings, the younger generation learns about the older generation, and it’s fun to share that family history through the years.”

(Bottom) Photo Courtesy of Drew Aultman/by Casey Yoshida
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Drew Aultman (center), Hilsman & Alivia, Andrew & Katie, grandsons Anson and Holden, and Annie
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Photo courtesy of Casey Yoshida & The Scout
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The continuity of the house’s color palette extends to the master suite. Here, creamy linens and warm wooden furnishings offset the dark walls, creating a cozy repose. A claw-footed dresser and studded footboard bench evoke elements of traditional design while blending with modern light fixtures and abstract art.

Abutting the master suite is a one of Drew’s favorite nooks in the house. This relaxing spot is complemented by a comfortable settee and northeastern picture windows that allow sunlight and mountain views.

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You Deserve the Best Creating World-Class Ornamental Iron Since 1979. For a free quote call 423.472.4365 or you can contact us on our website Handrails Gates Fences Balconies Stairs Structural Projects Facilities
“I call this my Coffee Room. I wake up, come in here to get my coffee, and have my reading time in the clouds.”
- Drew Aultman
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Beyond the dining area lies the kitchen, a room that has been completely reimagined from its original layout. Drew says, “When I bought this house, I had the task of renovating the kitchen. Even though it had been updated by previous owners, it still had the footprint of a kitchen built in the �30s – very small, no pantry. We opened the space up and added stainless-steel restaurant-style appliances to accommodate guests and entertaining.”

This modern space now features a double island with tufted barstools, as well as sleek inset cabinetry and two farmhouse sinks. Glassware is displayed in a distressed, ivory-colored cabinet trimmed with decorative carving. Drew points out that the rosettes carved into the cabinet are repeated throughout the house. The motif appears in the details of the columns on the porch as well as in glass flowers in the iron chandelier above the dining table.

As welcoming as the interiors are, nothing beats an evening on the pool deck, taking in sunset views. “We practically live on the porch from spring until fall,” says Drew. “With the city lights below, this property is completely different at night.”

The porch is home to what Drew considers to be Bella Vista’s crowning glory: an iron gas lantern hand-forged by a New Orleans artisan. This “pendant” is an ode to the old-school charm sprinkled throughout the property.

Steps away from the pool deck, decades-worth of wisteria grows over a pergola in an area Drew calls the Secret Garden. Here, she reveals another footnote from the past. “The trellises for the wisteria are bread baking racks from the Colonial bakeries,” she explains. The warped, weathered racks bolstering the thick vines are a testament to the decades of change this house has seen.

“You can see how each owner did something to add to the house in some way,” Drew says. “Bella Vista is truly a living, breathing work of art.”

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“Paula and her team were wonderful to work with. They continued to update strategies to increase traffic, which led to more showings During the entire process, the team kept us informed and constantly communicated with us They were a delight to work with and would do it again. Thanks Paula!”

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Bird’s-Eye Bungalow

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After 18 years living on campus at Baylor School while serving as dorm parents, Bill and Jan Gautier knew it was time to move to their forever home. They had a few things in mind when working with their architect on the new house: a manageable main floor, extra rooms for their grown daughters to visit with their families, a retro aesthetic, and – last but not least – great views. | 111

“With views of downtown from the back porch and Lookout Mountain from the front porch, this house was designed to enjoy the scenery,” Jan explains.

In addition to an ideal vantage point, this lot offered a convenient proximity to work and a space to build the mid-century home of their dreams. “I’m a ‘60s kid,” shares Bill, “so we wanted something modern that was also a throwback.”

This design inspiration is immediately revealed in the house’s exterior: a sloping roofline directs the viewer’s sightline to the horizon beyond, while dark board-and-batten siding creates a unique accent. With organic elements such as exposed timber posts punctuating the exterior, the Gautier home is akin to a mid-century treehouse.

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“Miles and Kirk worked serious magic. Our kitchen is beautiful and I could not have dreamed up what to do with it. They were able to take it from very dated to a beautiful, modern centerpiece of our home.” - Homeowner

Ryan Kirk Kopet Esmé Oehmig

Upon entering the home, guests are greeted with an airy and bright interior. Eight-foot picture windows line the upper floor, ensuring that natural light fills the entire main level. In their forever home, Bill and Jan wanted enough space to host family for holidays and gatherings, but not so much space that it would be difficult to maintain. They strike a balance with this open main-level floor plan complete with a kitchen, dining area, master suite, and living room, while a furnished basement provides guest accommodations. Jan shares that the palette of the house is a major contributor to its character. “The colors are a mixture of mid-century shades and colors that are warm and inviting. We wanted to add warmth with the wood tones and the choice of the ceramic tiles in the kitchen backsplash.” The result is a welcoming space tinged with earth tones and soft neutrals, which complement the sleek modern furnishings.

The living room is distinguished from the rest of the main floor with an Avocado green accent wall. Matching wingback chairs in army green provide a stylish repose, and wood tones manifest in austere side tables with a wicker accent. Steps away, a glass-topped dining table seats six, with additional wingback swivel chairs in beige. These innovative textures and materials help create that ‘70s retro feeling.

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Catherine’s primary focus is residential sales, specializing in home buyers. She is experienced in fixer uppers, rentals, and older homes. Whether it’s buying or selling, she is committed to producing the results for all of her clients. With her “can do” attitude, constant communication, and positive energy, she is a joy to work with during the entire process. Catherine is very easy-going and loves a challenge. Problem solving is one of her best skills. Dedicated to providing a top-notch experience to her clients, she also eases all the stresses the process can create.


Cody is dedicated to helping his clients find the home they deserve and earns the respect of those who sign with him by putting their needs above his own.

Raised in Ringgold, Georgia and a Covenant College graduate, he’s a proud member of the Chattanooga community and has a deep understanding of the surrounding area. If you are looking to buy, rent, and invest in Tennessee or Georgia, look no further.


When buying or selling, turn to the local and connected experts at The Group. Our caring and professional team will get to work right away finding the perfect place for you to call home. It’s our number one priority to make sure you have a boutique, tailor-made experience.

Call us today and begin your journey with one of Chattanooga’s Top Realtors. Local, connected, and ready to move you.

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Rounding out the main floor, the kitchen features bird’s-eye views and minimalistic design. The area feels spacious due to the tall ceilings, from which two caged pendant lights hang over the island. The combination of modern, clean lines with warm colors and organic shapes creates an effective overall look.

“The kitchen isn’t huge, but it suits our needs perfectly,” says Jan. “For a small space, I wanted there to be a strong focal point.” The focal point in question is the backsplash, which features a striking medallion motif in ceramic tiling. Foxhall Green cabinetry creates a warm contrast against glossy black countertops, and stainless-steel hardware and appliances sharpen the space.

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The final area of the main level is just inside the front porch, where the entryway doubles as a sunroom. Here, ochre yellow armchairs pop against aqua walls, while the geometric décor completes the clean, organic lines in the house. Through the windows, birds flutter back and forth through the canopy. This bright nook is the perfect reading spot for the Gautiers.

“I still smile at the sun coming up in the morning, while I get my coffee with the view of downtown,” Jan reflects. “The sun follows the windows throughout the day and warms the house.”

Bill and Jan imbued their house with intention and love, even in hidden details. Jan shares, “My daughter gave me the idea to write Bible verses behind the drywalls that fit each room. It gives me peace to know that they are there.”

Curated to retro perfection and catered to the natural beauty of the city, this bungalow is a perfect forever home for the Gautiers.

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Jan & Bill Gautier
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Perched on a bluff with nearly 270-degree views, the Duncan home is a midcentury marvel packed with cherished spaces.

The house, built in the 1970s, drew the Duncan family with its unique, contemporary roofline and unbeatable panoramic vista. Dr. DeAnna Duncan shares that the 3-acre property was also appealing due to the large, flat lawn with nearby trailheads to a waterfall. “In our last house, we lived like a billy goat on the side of the mountain,” DeAnna jokes. “So we were really looking for a level yard for the kids without sacrificing the amazing view.” The home also proved to be an ideal retreat for DeAnna as she navigated serious health issues, and since her recovery she is grateful to have the space to foster healing and community with friends and family. | 121

The recessed den area is a prime example of the house’s capacity for entertainment, as this expansive space can fit quite a crowd. The room boasts several ideal amenities: a home bar, a screened-in fireplace, and a large sectional that can accommodate any party. Even the extra padded plush carpet provides a safe landing pad for roughand-tumbling kiddos or yogis finding flow during the occasional yoga retreats DeAnna enjoys hosting.

Throughout the house, the combination of architectural elements with mid-century modern furnishings gives the space a distinctly retro aesthetic. Hardwood flooring and shiplap ceilings add warm timber tones, while patterned textiles and upholstery infuse the home with comfort. Custom art pieces form gallery walls that are eclectic and intriguing.

“I’ve always liked modern design,” shared DeAnna. “But this house helped me lean into more mid-century styles, which fits well with the exterior.”

As much as there is to appreciate inside, the house is structured to feature the views. A wide array of picture windows and glass doorways open up the home to the horizon. Exposed brick on the interior, as with the fireplace wall in the den, works with these observations points to create an indoor-outdoor feel.

Dr. DeAnna Duncan with sons Duncan and Preston Cannon
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(Bottom) Photo Courtesy of Dr. DeAnna Duncan
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Each step through the home reveals a new aspect of its personality, from bright pops of color to recycled and reimagined textures. One such room showcasing this pomp is a lounge aptly dubbed the “Orange Room.” Sporting all shades of tangerine, the Orange Room is full of fiery warmth and ‘60s pop art flourishes. Bookshelves in a shade of russet compose a miniature library, while vinyl-covered benches offer a unique sitting area. This is a favorite area for the Duncan family, where they can curl up for a movie, hang out with friends, or settle in for a siesta.

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Abutting the Orange Room is the kitchen, which is relatively unadorned with color but spunky with retrostyle appliances. Flat paneled cabinetry offers plenty of storage space, while silver hardware pops against a white backdrop. The kitchen is bathed in natural light due to a central skylight as well as wall-to-wall windows that DeAnna added.

Rounding out the primary living area, a dining room sports yellow ochre walls and fun, sculptural fixtures. A glass-topped table seats six, and sliding glass doors provide easy access to the porch. From here, guests can spill out onto the deck on a nice evening or take a quiet dinner al fresco. | 125

In contrast to the bright oranges and yellows of the main level, the master suite incorporates plush pinks and warm wicker tones. Here, modern furnishings blend with older embellishments, such as a vintage suitcase and retired treadlefoot Singer machine. Around the corner, a walk-in closet provides luxurious storage space behind mirrored sliding doors.

This cozy master suite is lined with picture windows as well as a personal porch, ensuring a bird’s-eye view of the morning rays. “I wasn’t much of a sunrise person before I lived here,” DeAnna shares. “But now I set an alarm just for the view. It’s gorgeous, it’s changed my entire morning routine.”

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Stepping onto the deck, guests arrive at the pièce de résistance of the Duncan home. An infinity pool spills seamlessly into the horizon – a feature that DeAnna designed for use at her yoga and healing retreats. Other features include an outdoor shower as well as several seating vignettes offering spaces for conversation and sightseeing. The Duncan family is sure to be found here catching glimpses of distant fireworks on New Year’s or the Fourth of July.

On a clear day, guests can make out specks of cars moving along the highway below and the Blue Ridge Mountains rising in the distance. With pristine views and a brightly curated collection, the Duncan home was built to be shared with friends and loved ones.

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(Top) Photo Courtesy of Dr. DeAnna Duncan
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Like many others whose lives were rearranged by the pandemic, the Smith family had started to feel like the walls were closing in. In their small space, Jenn and Tyler Smith had transitioned to working from home while also homeschooling their two boys. They originally set their sights on a new build in Red Bank, but when they stumbled upon this plot of scenic property, they began to reassess their plans. | 131
Photo Courtesy of Jenn & Tyler Smith

“We drove by this lot and tried to imagine our family living here,” shares Jenn. “We were downtown people – we walked everywhere, the kids walked to school, we loved being central in Chattanooga. But we fell in love with this property. We feel like we’re in the country, although the grocery store is only a short drive away.”

The Smith home is tucked away on a slice of paradise, with front porch views of open fields and an idyllic pond in the backyard. The house itself, however, was overdue for a remodel. Rather than being daunted by the task, Jenn and Tyler were excited by the prospect of reimagining the five-bedroom farmhouse. The pair met in school while studying architecture, so they are no strangers to remodeling and design projects.

The first task for Jenn and Tyler was to open up the interiors of the home. They went down to the studs, removing walls and raising ceilings. The entryway was amended to have a shed ceiling fitted with recessed lighting, so what was once a sealed foyer is now an open hall leading to the heart of the home.

The Smiths admit that achieving this remodel was no small feat, but the fingerprints of the house’s past give it an undeniable sense of character. “We probably could have saved money by starting from scratch,” Tyler says, “but there was some old energy here that was nice to preserve.”

The house was originally built in the early 20th century, with add-ons from the ‘80s. “It’s still a farmhouse at its core,” Jenn says, “but we wanted to add a coastal vibe with the blue and green color palette.” Here, this color scheme can be seen in the master suite, with aqua accents against cool, gray neutrals.

Meanwhile, emerald green doors punctuate doorways throughout the house. “This was a way to pay homage to the original home,” Jenn explains. “When we gutted the house, we uncovered preexisting siding behind the walls, which was all green.” The cool earth tones also tie in with the scenery around the property. Tyler adds, “We wanted the house to feel like an extension to the outdoors.”


Passing under the second-story walkway, guests enter the living area, which now functions on an open-floor plan with the kitchen and a dining vignette. A sculptural pendant light is suspended from the vaulted ceiling, but the space is flooded with natural light by two rows of picture windows. Prior to the remodel, this entire living area had 8-foot ceilings that made the space feel confined. From the start, the Smiths had a vision to make the house feel spacious, bright, and perfect for hosting guests.

“In our previous housing, we did several remodels and lived small, always working towards something like this,” Jenn shares. “We compromised not being able to entertain for a decade, and now we have the ‘hangout house.’” | 135

The living area seamlessly transitions to the kitchen, where a large quartztopped island provides plenty of counter space. Gold hardware pops against shaker cabinets, and a warm shiplap accent peeks out from under the bar. The design is clean and minimalistic with high-end finishes. Supplementary storage and appliances are available in the butler’s pantry, which can be sealed off with sliding doors while entertaining.

Having designed and constructed many houses over the years, the Smiths know where they’re willing to compromise as well as the amenities they don’t want to live without. “Something we did here that’s always been a priority of ours is making the home as energy efficient as possible. There’s geothermal heating and air and a water filtration system throughout the entire house,” says Jenn. The backyard pond is not only a great source of bluegill and bass; it also works with the climate control system to maintain comfortable house temperatures all year long.

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Rounding out the main level, a game room adds a fun auxiliary space in place of what was previously an enclosed kitchen. The foosball table was Jenn’s parents, while the exposed light fixture above the table as well as the sliding barn door were both taken from the Smiths’ old office space. Tyler calls this house a big “reuse and recycle project,” as they didn’t want old furnishings to go to waste.

No fixer upper is ever truly complete, and Jenn and Tyler admit that they’re always looking forward to the creative process of a new project. For now, however, this adapted space is well-suited to the family’s needs. “We work from home, homeschool, and are basically together all the time here,” Tyler says. “We’re a good unit.”

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Jenn & Tyler Smith, sons Dakota and Abram

Quick Challenge!

Unscramble the phrases below

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These graduates have accomplished incredible things and enjoyed great successes since their high school years. Their talents and passions have taken them to the country’s most prestigious universities, across the globe, and in some cases, right back to the Scenic City.

So what’s putting them on the map? Read about it here.


Blakesly Warren Brock, Baylor School, Class of 2014

Blakesly Warren Brock, a 2014 graduate of Baylor School, captured the 2021 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur at Berkeley Hall Club in Bluffton, South Carolina, in her first championship appearance. The former University of Tennessee, Knoxville golfer became the third-youngest champion in U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur history at the age of 25. Brock also won the 2021 Tennessee Women’s Mid-Amateur and is a two-time winner of the Tennessee Girls’ Junior Amateur. In 2022 she was named a brand ambassador for Team Teleri, a women-founded golf apparel brand looking to improve apparel options for women in the sport.


Kaylee Brown, Notre Dame High School, Class of 2016

Throughout her time at Notre Dame High School, Kaylee Brown grew in her love for serving her community. This passion led her to create Ruddle’s Bread & Book – a bookstore and cafe located in downtown Cleveland. Her business is a supportive and collaborative environment for readers, writers, artists, and free thinkers. This inspired her to partner with local farmers and food artisans to create a completely locally-sourced grocery market held every Sunday in downtown Cleveland called Farmers on First. Brown has created a safe place for her community to foster a lifestyle centered around the human experience, inspired by the environment fostered at Notre Dame High School.


Daniel Dassow, Chattanooga Christian School, Class of 2019

Daniel Dassow’s interest in journalism began at CCS as a member of the student newspaper The Charger. After graduation, he studied English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he served as the editor-in-chief of The Daily Beacon student newspaper and earned accolades from the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists and the Green Eyeshade Awards. He now works at the Knoxville News Sentinel as a reporter focused on technology and energy growth, covering topics including the Department of Energy, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the McGhee Tyson Airport.

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Kade Owens, Boyd-Buchanan School, Class of 2017

While playing football and soccer at Boyd-Buchanan School, Kade Owens also excelled in the engineering program and mentored several students in engineering and robotics. After graduating, he attended The University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he obtained an aerospace engineering degree while working on NASA’s SLS rocket for the Artemis Program. He was also named student of the year and participated in several honors programs during his time at UAH. Currently, he works at Blue Origin as an avionics engineer, designing space hardware for an orbital rocket that will help return mankind to the moon.


Kylie Sanzo, Hixon High School, Class of 2014

After graduating from Hixon High School, Kylie Sanzo attended Belmont University to pursue a degree in music business. During her time at Belmont, she was a member of the symphony orchestra and interned with Peermusic, the largest independent music publisher in the world. She also worked as royalty administrator for Clearbox Rights before transitioning to her current role at the prestigious Opry Entertainment Group as the rights and clearances manager. Sanzo holds more than 20 television credits for music clearances for shows such as Opry Live, ACM Honors, and various documentaries.


Charlie Rizzo, Silverdale Baptist Academy, Class of 2015

During his time at Silverdale Baptist Academy, Charlie Rizzo played baseball, was a member of the honor society, and graduated valedictorian of the class of 2015. Rizzo went on to get a computer science degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, followed by a master’s degree in computer science in 2021. He is currently a doctoral candidate in a computer science program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His doctoral research focuses on neuromorphic computing, which models computer engineering after the human brain and nervous system. In his free time, Rizzo is an avid chef and loves to cook, and he enjoys working out and playing piano.


Josie Love Roebuck, Girls Preparatory School, Class of 2014

Josie Love Roebuck played soccer throughout her time at GPS, earning Best of Preps accolades and helping her team to a Division II-AA state championship runner-up title. When a series of injuries ended her college soccer career, she began pursuing her other love – art. In 2019, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia, and in 2021, her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati. During the 2022-23 school year, she taught art full-time at Northern Kentucky University. She is also a working artist, creating portraiture and tapestry-like quilts and wood cutouts, and is represented by LatchKey Gallery in New York City.

ON THE MAP 142 |
Boyd-Buchanan Summer Camps offer customized schedule options for kids ages 3 and up! Choose your fun adventure: athletic, academic, STEM, arts & more! Scan here for more info or to register visit: | (423) 892-2319 | 7236 Bonny Oaks Dr. | Chattanooga, TN 37421 1999 • 2024 2023 Empowering their potential


Kent Scruggs, DO, Grace Academy, Class of 2014

While at Grace Academy, Dr. Kent Scruggs blended outstanding scholarship and athleticism with his participation in local swim leagues, first as a swimmer and later as a coach. After graduating from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2017 (biology & chemistry with honors), he began a master’s degree program at East Tennessee State University in microbiology. After his first year, he was accepted into the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine at Auburn, where he graduated with a Doctor of Osteopathy degree in 2022. Dr. Scruggs will begin his third year of residency this June in general surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, after which he will pursue his Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery (Robotic Surgery).


Madison Hayes, East Hamilton High School, Class of 2020

During her tenure at East Hamilton High School, Madison Hayes was a dedicated athlete and leader. She participated in varsity volleyball and basketball from eighth grade to senior year, sporting many top accolades and becoming a decorated athlete. As a senior, she was ranked by ESPN as the 25th best women’s basketball player in the country and received more than 25 Division I offers to play at the collegiate level. Now a senior guard for the North Carolina State Wolfpack, she was honored as a USBWA National Player of the Week, and, most recently, she represented NC State in their first March Madness Final Four Semifinal appearance since 1998. After college, Hayes hopes to play for the WNBA or to become an ESPN Broadcaster.


Shikhar Baheti, Red Bank High School, Class of 2018

Shikhar Baheti combines academic excellence with a passion for community service. He graduated cum laude from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor in Holistic Leadership. Currently, Baheti utilizes his skills as a software engineer at Amazon in Austin, Texas. Beyond his technical expertise, Baheti demonstrates exceptional leadership. He spearheaded the nation’s largest one-day student-led volunteering event, The Big Event, showcasing his commitment to giving back. He further extends his impact by volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, fostering positive relationships, and mentoring youth. Baheti exemplifies how leadership and technology can drive positive social change.


Sarah Ruf, Collegedale Academy, Class of 2009

Sarah Ruf lives in Tempe, Arizona, serving as director of communications for the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. Her passion for communications and advocacy blossomed during her time at Collegedale Academy, where she served as editor of the Echolier. Ruf graduated from Southern Adventist University with a bachelor’s in international studies (Spanish) after studying in Argentina for a year. Her award-winning career led into other types of community roles, including working with the Arizona Conference Young Adult Advisory Team and serving on the board of Lighthouse Phoenix, a nonprofit assisting women seeking to leave the sex industry.

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Melanie Weldon, Signal Mountain Middle/High School, Class of 2013

Melanie Weldon graduated from Signal Mountain Middle/High School in 2013 as one of the first cohort of students to complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in Chattanooga. She went on to attend the Savannah College of Arts and Design. Since her time at school, her digital production career has taken off. Her name can be seen in credits for films such as “The Adam Project,” “Eternals,” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Weldon is currently serving as visual effects production manager for Scanline VFX - Powered by Netflix and resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Alexis Eaton, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, Class of 2015

Alexis Eaton graduated from Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences in 2015. She then attended Wofford College, where she received her bachelor’s degree in government with a minor in sociology. While in college, she developed a senior research project to address student food insecurity on campus which led to the establishment of a food pantry called the Terrier Supply Closet, which is now in its fourth year of operation. After graduation, Eaton began working at the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. She currently serves as their programs coordinator, overseeing the food bank’s internal school programs in Hamilton County Schools and other schools within the food bank’s 20-county service area.


Evan Gaffney, Tennessee Christian Preparatory School, Class of 2018

Evan “Swish” Gaffney earned many titles during his basketball career at Tennessee ChristianMost Valuable Player, All Tournament Award, and the Coach’s Award. And now, Gaffney has another title to add to that list - Harlem Globetrotter. Currently in his rookie season, Gaffney had a full circle moment as he returned to the Chattanooga area to UTC’s McKenzie Arena with the Globetrotters on April 14. Whether he travels the world or comes back to Tennessee, Gaffney exemplifies what is possible when hard work is combined with passion and skill.


Olivia Bandy, Walker Valley High School, Class of 2018

During her time at Walker Valley High School, Olivia Bandy was an accomplished member of the Mustang Band, playing the flute. After graduation she moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University, where she attained a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in music business. Bandy completed several internships during college including a creative licensing intern position at Round Hill Music, and also released an EP titled “Here to Home.” She is currently the North American copyright coordinator at Sony Music Publishing in Nashville.

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Summer is about more than just extra sunscreen and extra-high electricity bills, hot days and even hotter pavement. It’s also about sunset walks, ice cream cones, and frozen drinks. And in Chattanooga, summer means rock formations, breweries, and waterfalls. It’s paragliding, disc golfing, mountainous hiking, and wine-sipping. Here is a list of dozens of activities to do around town and beyond.

Photo Courtesy of Chattanooga Lookouts | 147

Journey from the mountains to the sea.

Feisty otters, playful penguins, a giant octopus, and toothy alligators are just a few of the 12,000 amazing animals at the Tennessee Aquarium Guests encounter species from every continent while exploring two buildings of carefully curated habitats, including the 618,000-gallon Secret Reef exhibit and a trio of “living forest” galleries that recreate lush Appalachian woodlands, a sunny tropical cove, and a teeming swamp at the mouth of the mighty Mississippi River. Visitors of all ages will gain new understanding of the natural world. Purchase timed-entry tickets in advance online.

See the Photo Ark.

While exploring the Aquarium, guests will see enormous portraits of more than two dozen species taken by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore for his Photo Ark project. This effort to photograph all 25,000 species of animals in human care around the world has produced stunningly beautiful images on black and white backgrounds that make a tiny Midland Mud Salamander look just as important and eye-catching as an African Elephant. This exhibit is free to enjoy during your visit and will remain on display through the end of 2024.

Dive deep into the world of the magnificent blue whale at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX

3D Theater. Following the story of two scientific expeditions, “Blue Whales 3D” gives audiences an unforgettable glimpse into the lives of these fantastic animals and the risks scientists must take to study them.

This film is entertaining for viewers of all ages and includes an incredible cast of supporting characters, including dolphins, sperm whales, sea lions, and orcas!

Chattanooga Checklist - Summer Fun
Photos Courtesy of the Tennessee Aquarium
Have a whale of a time.
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PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE AT TNAQUA.ORG Chattanooga Riverfront • 800-262-0695 GET CLOSER. LOOK DEEPER. And enjoy all the wows along the way.

Dazzle with Art Deco.

From May 24 through September 2, the Hunter Museum of American Art will be featuring special exhibit Art Deco Glass from the David Huchthausen Collection. This collection includes early 20th-century glass by iconic European and American Art Deco studios such as René Lalique, Daum Frères, Charles Schneider, Muller Frères, Steuben Glass Works, and more. With smooth lines and geometric shapes, this exhibit showcases the Art Deco movement and its economically austere origins during World

Take flight.

At the exterior of the museum’s east wing, visitors can find the powerful and symbolic 37-foot mural Flights of Hope and Healing by artist Rondell Crier. This mural combines bright colors with bold shapes and invites viewers to reflect on their shared humanity and celebrate the progress of societal growth through time. Ultimately meant to inspire a shared responsibility to care for one another and the world, this work helps hope take flight.

See vivid color.

Take a closer look at overlooked histories and stories at the museum’s exhibit VIVID: A Fresh Take. Including bold colors and a larger-than-life scale, each work featured in the gallery brings attention to the interweaving of personal and global happenings throughout history. Each piece demands attention and provokes reflection, allowing viewers to consider the intersection of American and worldwide happenings.

Kehinde Wiley (b.1977), Ferdinand-Philippe-Louis-Charles-Henri, Duc d’Orleans, 2014, oil on canvas, Museum purchase with additional funds contributed by Kitty and Hacker Caldwell, Sally and Gary Chazen, Andrea Crouch, Katherine and Sam Currin, Ashley and Ward Davenport, Susan and Joe Davenport, Terri and R. Craig Holley, Candy Kruesi, Kathy and John Marek, Pam and Rick McKenney, James H. McKissic, Butch and Olan Mills, Paul Neely and Susan Street, Virginia Anne and Hugh Sharber, and Anonymous. © Kehinde Wiley.

Chattanooga Checklist - Summer Fun
Photos Courtesy of Hunter Museum of American Art Verreries Schneider (French, founded 1913-closed 1981) and Charles Schneider (French, 1881-1953), Vase Nénuphar (Water Lily Vase) from Le Verre Français line, circa 19261929. Mold-blown glass with interior and exterior crushed and powdered glass frits and single surface acid cutting, 19 x 7 in. (48.3 x 17.8 cm). Collection of David Huchthausen. Photo by Lloyd Shugart.
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Local artist Rondell Crier painting his mural Flights of Hope and Healing at the Hunter.


From the David Huchthausen Collection


24 - SEPT 2 Pierre D'Avesn (French, 1901 -1990), Charger with phoenix design, circa 1926-1931. Press-molded opal glass, 2 x 15 in. (5.1 x 38.1 cm). Collection of David Huchthausen. Art Deco Glass from the David Huchthausen Collection is organized by Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA.

Get to climbin’.

Young climbers can reach new heights at High Point Climbing & Fitness summer camps. Beginner climbers and young athletes alike will enjoy instruction from enthusiastic coaches. Campers will learn more about climbing techniques, equipment usage, and gym etiquette while building self-confidence and communication skills. With half-day camp options for kids ages 5+ and full-day camp options for kids ages 8+, all young climbers are welcome to learn the ropes, play games, and enjoy team building under expert guidance.

Make the boulder choice.

Kids looking for more climbing fun?

Recreational Clubs offer mini-lessons, games, and extra climbing time perfect for kids who are excited to get active and be more comfortable in the gym environment. Club 1 is designed for kids ages 4-8, while Club 2 is designed for kids ages 9-13. These seasonal programs, each consisting of eight coached sessions, are a great option for new climbers and young climbers interested in climbing for sport.

Join the competition.

Step up your climbing game with competitive climbing teams! Development Team is for ages 10-18 and provides opportunities for more skill development and expert coaching. Those ready to compete may join the Competition Team for ages 8-19 or the Elite Team for youth climbers hoping to be part of the national team and participate in open events, the national cup, the National Championship, or international competitions.

Chattanooga Checklist - Summer Fun
Photos Courtesy of High Point Climbing & Fitness 152 |

Treat yourself.

This year-round destination is especially sweet come summertime when a frozen treat just can’t be beat. At The Ice Cream Show, over 40 fresh ingredients – including berries, chocolates, nuts, gummies, marshmallows, and more – can blend with either ice cream or frozen yogurt to create more than 17,000 flavor combinations. In addition to delicious creations like the Barrel Racer espresso shake, the shop also offers dairy-free, sugar-free, and smoothie options. This May, The Ice Cream Show is celebrating 15 years of business! Check Facebook for daily info.

Crunch on a customized cone.

In addition to providing the freshest ingredients for your custom ice cream flavors, The Ice Cream Show makes fresh, homemade waffle cones in-house daily. The cones are tasty enough to enjoy plain, but if you have the option to add more flavor and pizazz to your edible ice cream holder, why wouldn’t you? Personalize your cone with a chocolate dip, and add a rim of sprinkles, crushed nuts, or candies.

Bring your pup.

Humans aren’t the only ice cream lovers around here. After taking Fido on a long walk up and down the Walnut Street Bridge, reward your furry friend with a refreshing animalsafe confection at The Ice Cream Show. The shop offers “Frosty Paws” ice cream for dogs and outdoor seating where you and your pup can cool down with some frozen treats.

Chattanooga Checklist - Summer Fun
(Top) Photo by Sarah Unger; (Bottom Left) Photo by David and Drew Photography; (Bottom Middle and Right) Photos Courtesy of The Ice Cream Show
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Call Us: 423-702-5173 Visit Us: 105 Walnut St, Chattanooga Surf Us: Follow us on Facebook for seasonal hours & more info! Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-11pm Closed Sundays Choose from ice cream, yogurt, sugar-free, or dairy-free options. Then choose between 40 fresh ingredients and we will blend your selections together to create any of over 17,000 flavor combinations! We also bake fresh waffle cones daily and offer all-fruit smoothies, snacks, and gourmet coffee. Celebrating 15 Years! The Secret’s in the Combination!

Walk the walk.

Stroll along the Walnut Street Bridge for classic Chattanooga views overlooking the Tennessee River. The historic bridge, originally built in 1890, is now the oldest remaining truss bridge in the South. This resident and visitor favorite is also one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world! The bridge spans nearly half a mile between Northshore and downtown Chattanooga, providing the perfect path for a bike ride, jog, or afternoon stroll. our-parks-and-trails |

Pack a picnic.

Located in Northshore along the Tennessee River, Coolidge Park offers beautiful waterfront views, expansive green space, and nearby amenities that make it the perfect spot for a delightful lunchtime picnic. Not only is the park conveniently located along the Chattanooga Riverwalk, but it is also a popular venue for festivals, concerts, and special events. Other unique offerings at the park include the restored 100-year-old carousel, rock climbing, and an interactive water fountain and a connection to Renaissance Park, featuring restored wetland, and forested paths with public art. our-signature-parks

Make your escape.

Escape Chattanooga’s summer heat with indoor escape games at Escape Mission Chattanooga, Time to Escape, Escape Experience, and Breakout Games. Immersive and full of exciting puzzles, each escape experience includes a unique storyline full of problem-solving fun. A variety of difficulty levels are also available to increase the challenge. Bring the whole family or a group of your best friends, and work together to beat the clock and escape!|||

Support the arts.

As Chattanooga’s first art district, Bluff View Art District is dedicated to the visual, horticultural, and culinary arts. This family-owned and operated historic neighborhood offers restaurants, a coffee house, art gallery, historic bed and breakfast, and an abundance of garden and courtyard spaces. With over 1.5 city blocks to explore, the Bluff View Art District also includes stunning views of the Tennessee River, downtown Chattanooga, and the Walnut Street Bridge perfect for enjoying on a relaxing summer afternoon.

Chattanooga Checklist - Summer Fun
(Bottom) Photo Courtesy of Bluff View Art District
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Hit the trails.

Scenic views and mountain waterfalls wait for visitors to Glen Falls Trail on Lookout Mountain. This beginner-friendly trail is a hidden gem at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, offering a 2-mile roundtrip hike full of wildflower meadows, unique rock formations, and beautiful streams. Hikers can find the Glen Falls trailhead on the left of Ochs Highway while heading up Lookout Mountain from St. Elmo Avenue. index.htm

Get into the groove.

Dive into guitar and pop culture history at Songbirds. With interactive exhibits, live performances on select evenings, and an extensive collection of vintage and rare guitars, visitors can expect to be moved by the rich legacy of Southern music. Guitar lessons and music therapy offerings are also available for those looking to start strumming! Your support helps provide music education programming, events, and resources to kids across the South.

Turn a new page.

Bibliophiles and curious readers alike will be glad to know Chattanooga has plenty of great options when it comes to books. McKay’s is a treasure trove of used books, movies, music, and more. If you’re looking to sell or trade in a used book, McKay’s has you covered. The Book & Cover offers cozy reading nooks and an abundance of titles to browse. For new and used books, Winder Binder – Books Art and Music is another wonderful shop to explore. Rounding out the book crawl for eager readers is A Little Bookish, offering adults’ and kids’ books, puzzles, and toys. | | |

(Top) Photo Courtesy of Songbirds
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Honor a hero.

The Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center commemorates the rich legacy of the Medal of Honor and its origins in 1862-1863, making Chattanooga the Birthplace of the Medal of Honor. Through engaging exhibits honoring heroes from various eras, the museum aims to both educate and inspire visitors about the courageous acts and character values of those bestowed with our nation’s highest military honor. Offering ample opportunities for exploration and reflection, guests can walk through immersive exhibits that bring these heroic stories to life.

Have a ghouls night out.

A hauntingly fun G.N.O. awaits with Chattanooga Ghost Tours, Inc. As Chattanooga’s premier ghost tour experience since 2007, tour-goers can choose between a host of popular tour options with award-winning guides. Each tour includes ghost stories, a taste of Chattanooga history, and stops at actively haunted locations! Tour options are available for all ages, including classic walking tours and deluxe ghost-hunting experiences complete with advanced ghost-hunting equipment.

Follow the river.

For fresh air and family fun, the Chattanooga Riverpark is the place to be. The paved path spans over 16.1 miles along the southern banks of the Tennessee River, including additional legs that stretch into Chattanooga along the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway and beyond. Plenty of gorgeous views, shaded spots, and amenities along the way make this path ideal for exploring the city. In addition to Bike Chattanooga stations, visitors to the Riverwalk can enjoy picnic tables, playgrounds, unique sculptures, and more. chattanooga. gov/parks/ourparks-and-trails

Explore a local market.

Local produce, live music, and artisan goods abound at a number of popular farmers markets in the greater Chattanooga area. During select summer weekends, the Chattanooga River Market takes place at the Tennessee Aquarium Plaza, and the Chattanooga Market is held at the First Horizon Pavilion. For food-focused finds, the Main Street Farmers Market is the place to be on Wednesdays year-round. More local produce and products are available at the Bradley County Farmers Market in Cleveland.||

Chattanooga Checklist - Summer Fun
(Top) Photo by Hacker Medias, (Bottom) Photo Courtesy of the Chattanooga Market

Chattanooga Checklist - Summer Fun

Rock it out.

Looking for a photo-worthy summer adventure? Mountaintop Summers at Rock City includes picturesque views and more! Wander the 4,100foot walking trail past streams, wonders, and stunning rock formations. Pets are welcome at Rock City, so bring along your furry friend to enjoy the panoramic summertime views. Cool stone corridors make for the perfect escape from the heat, while a variety of animal encounters, including Rock City Raptors birds of prey shows, add an immersive educational experience.

Dine on the railway.

Climb aboard for an unforgettable excursion and dinner service with the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum Dinner trains depart from Chattanooga’s Grand Junction depot at 6:30 p.m. on select Fridays and Saturdays, traveling at a leisurely pace through portions of urban East Chattanooga before reversing direction and returning to Grand Junction. During the excursion, the dining car superintendent and his team of dining car stewards and chefs serve delicious food and ensure the evening is a treasured experience to remember.

Throw a curveball.

Head out to AT&T Field to cheer on the Chattanooga Lookouts! The Lookouts are home to Chattanooga’s most affordable family fun and are the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. Every night at the ballpark fans can look forward to great action on the field plus fireworks every Friday home game, Thirsty Thursday™ Drink Specials, special promotional events like Star Wars Night, their Independence Day Celebration featuring fireworks, plenty of fun with their mascot the World Famous Looie the Lookout, and so much more. See their full promotional schedule and get tickets online.

(Top) Photo Courtesy of Rock City; (Bottom Left) Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum; (Bottom Right) Photo Courtesy of the Chattanooga Lookouts
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elevate your memories! Gem Memberships can be purchased online or at Rock City’s Cornerstone Gift Shop next to Starbucks. with a Rock City
Membership Enjoy membership perks and unlimited visits for a full year!

Light the way.

Explore a mountain cavern by lantern light during an after-hours Lantern Tour at Ruby Falls. During the tour, an expert guide will lead the way as you explore the dark twists and turns of the cavern trail with hand-held lanterns. This specialty tour features a laid-back pace, extra time at the waterfall, and a limited-sized group. For more adventure at Ruby Falls, visitors can enjoy Lookout Mountain Tower, High Point Zip Adventure, and unforgettable lodging at Treetop Hideaways.

Make a discovery.

Savor the AC while you explore, innovate, create, and play at Creative Discovery Museum. CDM is an award-winning museum for kids and families, offering permanent exhibits like TreeHouse Adventure, STEM Zone, ArtSpace, and Tennessee RiverPlay that provide hands-on experiences for kids of all ages to learn about history, science, art, and more. Family membership benefits include unlimited free museum admission, local business discounts, members-only events, and more memorymaking fun for the whole summer.

Rev it up.

Ready to discover the innovation and artistry that has shaped the automotive world? In the heart of Chattanooga’s historic Southside, over 130 vintage cars, motorcycles, trucks, buses, and even three airplanes await visitors at The Coker Museum at Honest Charley. This vintage automobile and motorcycle museum houses Corky Coker’s personal collection with over 13,000 square feet of space to explore! With rich history, interactive videos, and iconic memorabilia, a tour through the museum is sure to spark curiosity for visitors of all kinds.

Checklist - Summer Fun
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(Left) Photos Courtesy of Ruby Falls; (Top Right) Photo Courtesy of Creative Discovery Museum; (Bottom Right) Photo Courtesy of The Coker Museum at Honest Charley


May 25 - Sept. 8 | @cdmfun Join us for a summer you won’t forget at the Museum
voted the best in Chattanooga. ONE OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE COLLECTIONS IN THE SOUTH! VINTAGE CARS, HOT RODS, MOTORCYCLES, TRUCKS, BUSES, AIRPLANES, RARE ENGINES, & MEMORABILIA. The Coker Museum @ Honest Charley Speed Shop 1309 Chestnut St., Chattanooga, TN 37402 1 (888) 795 – 7077

Visit Little Debbie Park.

The City of Collegedale opened Little Debbie Park in 2023. This park features something for every age: wide walking paths, bench swings, picnic tables, children’s zipline, climbing pieces, a music area, and lots of open greenspace to put down a blanket and soak in the outdoors. There are giant fiberglass sculptures of the sweet snacks we all know and love, perfect for taking group photos. For an afternoon of fun, bring along a box of Little Debbie snacks, and don’t forget to take pictures along the way! More information is available online. collegedale

Get a thrill and make a splash.

Learn something new.

Eager to find a new hobby this summer? Sign up for a class with The Chattery and fall in love with learning again! Now celebrating 10 years of women-founded, Black-led education, The Chattery offers fun, affordable classes and events for adults who love to learn. Class categories include Arts & Crafts, Professional Development, Home & Garden, Food & Beverage, Health & Wellness, and more! For added accessibility, in-person, outdoor, and online class options are available.

Looking for fun for the entire family? Lake Winnepesaukah is one of America’s top 10 family amusement parks for all ages. With a variety of thrill, family, and kiddie rides, guests can go from wild to mild on over 40 rides and attractions! Included in your visit is the splashtacular five-acre SOAKya Water Park, with tube slides, body slides, matt racer, crazy river, and much more! It’s an oasis of summer fun! Special discounts almost every day.

Chattanooga Checklist - Summer Fun
(Top) Photo Courtesy of Little Debbie Park; (Bottom) Photo Courtesy of Lake Winnepesaukah
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Cycle through the Scenic City.

Go green with your sightseeing adventures this summer! Over 43 stations and 465 rideables make Bike Chattanooga a fun, convenient, and Earth-friendly way to explore Chattanooga. Once you’ve secured your daily, 3-day, or annual pass, simply unlock, ride, and return! While each pass allows riders unlimited 60-minute bike trips for the duration of pass access, the System Map and mobile app allow for extra ease when it comes to checking bike and scooter availability.

Set up camp.

Chester Frost Park is located on the shores of Chickamauga Lake and offers a variety of yearround camping styles including RV, tent, primitive, and soon, yurt sites; three playgrounds; and a large sand beach perfect for soaking up the sun. Free wifi, laundry facilities, and dump stations add extra convenience for campers, while those looking to get out on the water will enjoy 12 fishing piers, two boat ramps, and six boat docks. Family-friendly events are also hosted throughout the summer, including movie nights, arts and crafts activities, and more! parks.hamiltontn. gov/166/chester-frost-park

Commune with nature.

There’s nothing like a little fresh air! Since 1994, Lula Lake Land Trust has been dedicated to conservation efforts for over 12,000 acres across Lookout Mountain in Georgia. With recreational trails for hiking, mountain biking, and trail running, this nonprofit organization offers low-impact recreation opportunities for those looking to enjoy and protect the great outdoors. Private and group guided hikes are now available, and more information about Open Gate Days and ticketed special events can be found online.

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Chattanooga Checklist - Summer Fun

Savor a new flavor.

Spend a day on the water.

Cool off and explore the Tennessee River with L2 Outside. With a variety of rental options, including paddleboards, single kayaks, or tandem kayaks, there’s no better way to experience watersports in the Scenic City. Stunning views of the Hunter Museum bluffs and the famous four bridges make for an unforgettable adventure on the water, complete with opportunities to take photos, climb the bluffs, and explore the beaches of Maclellan Island.

From downtown Chattanooga favorites to delicious hidden gems, Chatt Taste Food Tour and Eat Sip Walk Food & Drink Tasting Tour transform Chattanooga’s lively food scene into a culinary experience. Fun for locals and visitors alike, a variety of guided tours are available for every taste! Bring a group or join in solo for great food, conversation, and even a little local history along the way.|

Get behind the wheel.

Try your hand at pottery making at Scenic City Clay Arts. With class options for adults, youth, and families, artists of all ages can enjoy art-making at this local Chattanooga studio space. Whether you’ve never touched clay before or you’re an experienced potter, Scenic City Clay Arts offers classes for all skill levels and has a mission to make art education and self-expression accessible for all.

(Left) Photo Courtesy of L2 Outside; (Right) Photo Courtesy of Scenic City Clay Arts
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Visit a retro arcade.

Take a step into the past and play classic arcade games and pinball at the Classic Arcade Pinball Museum. Conveniently located downtown, visitors can enjoy unlimited free play on all operating games with admission. In addition to a plethora of iconic retro games, drinks and snacks are available for purchase, and regular tournaments are hosted on select days for all ages and skill levels!

A full list of pinball and arcade games is available online.

Celebrate African American history.

Founded in 1983, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center has a mission to preserve and celebrate African American history and culture in Chattanooga through art, education, research, and entertainment. Current exhibitions include “Walk Through Time: The Chattanooga African American Experience,” “Chattanooga’s Black Soundtrack,” and more. With additional rotating exhibits and guided tours available, the museum is sure to inform and inspire.

Go for a glide.

Catch stunning views of Lookout Valley while hang gliding or paragliding at Lookout Mountain Flight Park. Spectators and first-time gliders are welcome – no experience necessary! Tandem flights with certified instructors are available, and for those looking to fly solo, the flight park offers a variety of training programs. Teaching people to fly since 1978, anyone eager to catch the clouds can practice alongside experts at the flight park’s bunny hills before braving heights of around 1,400 feet.

Chattanooga Checklist - Summer Fun
(Right) Photo Courtesy of Lookout Mountain Flight Park
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Hang Gliding & Paragliding Training Center Call or visit us online for more info. | 706-383-1292 | What’s Happening in the Scenic City Stay up to date on exciting local events happening in Chattanooga! Scan to sign up for our monthly newsletter.










1400 Market Street |

FROTHY MONKEY House-made basil pesto and grilled chicken breast with butternut squash, roasted tomatoes, leeks and kale, topped with sprouts The Blume latte was inspired by the beautiful blooms of spring. Served iced or hot, this latte includes a house-made lavender, banana, and orange latte syrup and is topped with an edible flower garnish A classic breakfast made with two KY Farm Fresh eggs cooked to order, Broadbent bacon, balsamic greens or gouda grits, orange wedges, and a side of toast
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Photos by Ryan Dugger/Creative Revolver


Chicken legs and thighs, brined, seasoned, grilled, and braised in Carolina Gold BBQ sauce



“Perfect ten” sea scallops, pan-seared and deglazed with orange liqueur


Mixed greens, leaf lettuce, cranberries, feta, and almonds tossed in a lemon rosemary vinaigrette

3914 St Elmo Avenue |



Baby spinach, feta, fresh strawberries, candied walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette


Smoked Springer Mountain Farms chicken wings, Carolina Gold BBQ sauce, Don Dust, celery, and blue cheese or ranch


Vegetable succotash, garlic green beans, and spicy crab remoulade

201 W Main Street |

SIP & SAVOR summer dining guide
Photos by Hacker Medias
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Photos by Hacker Medias

St. Elmo – Ooltewah Acworth


From corporate lunches to parties and receptions, our private event space provides intimate comfort with the attention to detail and unique culinary creations of The FEED Co. Table & Tavern.

Enjoy a seated dinner for up to 80 guests or 110 for a social reception. Sip a beer or cocktail at the private bar or on the patio and relax as our fullservice team oversees every aspect of your event.

Email to start planning your next gathering.

Authentic Coastal Cuisine




(plated) Mahi, red onions, sweet potatoes, Tiger’s Milk, plantain chips, cancha & cholco corn | (in glass) Maji, shrimp, lime juice, cucumbers, sweet potato purée, red onions, coconut milk


Bison, Swiss-American cheese, sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato, house pickles, peppercorn mayo

301 E Main Street |



Tomatoes, onions, Moroccan seasoning, red pepper sauce, lemon, arugula, pistachio pesto, herb couscous


Cerignola olives, salami, prosciutto, dried figs, tzatziki sauce, feta, pickled onions, mortadella, fresh mozzarella, pickles, cherry tomatoes, bruschetta, olive oil


Roasted chicken, fresh mozzarella, artichoke, sundried tomatoes, herb oil

826 Scenic Highway |

SIP & SAVOR summer dining guide
Parrilla grilled ribeye, peppers, pineapple, chimichurri, house salad, Confusion potatoes Photos by David and Drew Photography
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Photos by Rich Smith

confusionchattanooga ConfusionChattanooga

Market St. Chattanooga, TN 37402 423-531-7847
826 Scenic Hwy. Lookout Mtn., TN 37350 423-654-9800 masseyskitchenlookout MasseysKitchenLookout
St. Chattanooga, TN 37402
Stir_Chattanooga STIRChattanooga
301 E Main


A creamy orange vanilla ice cream with swirls of tangy house-made orange curd



Cake batter ice cream with rainbow sprinkles and Funfetti cake pieces throughout


A fresh mint infused ice cream with ribbons of tart blackberry rum sauce

Northshore, Southside, St. Elmo |



Topped with garlic herbed butter and served with homegrown fire-roasted shishitos


Graham and pecan crust with a creamy, sweet tart filling, topped with homemade whipped cream


Wasabi crema and ginger soy sauce, paired with Slash Beans (Asian inspired black beans with soy sauce, fresh ginger, garlic, and jalapeño)

28 Scenic Highway |

SIP & SAVOR summer dining guide
Photos by Hacker Medias
176 |
Photos by David and Drew Photography
The perfect pairing for your next event! Book now for events & catering. & Since 1996, we’ve offered a daily menu to allow us to offer only the most premium, quality seafood Visit to make Reservations & See What We’re Serving Tonight Ava Morgan, Kitchen Manager and Ashton Cadorette, Front of House Coordinator 28 SCENIC HIGHWAY RISING FAWN, GA 30738 OPEN TUESDAY - SATURDAY 706.398.9510 | CANYON GRILL


Served with pickles, onions, cornbread, and turnip greens


Pork, chicken, and brisket tacos with freshmade corn tortillas, lime crema sauce, grilled sweet onion, radish, queso fresco, roasted salsa and served with Texas pintos



Served with pickles, onions, cornbread, and mayo slaw


Choice of protein with rice, creamy pinto beans, Monterey Jack cheese, pico de gallo, and salsa roja covered in enchilada sauce and melted cheese

2450 15th Avenue |



Served on your choice of plain or everything bagel


Grilled chicken, cherry tomato, Monterey Jack cheese, cilantro, red onion, avocado, lunchbox peppers, roasted corn, and black beans served with roasted poblano ranch

1501 Long Street |

Photos by Hacker Medias
SIP & SAVOR summer dining guide 178 |
Photos by Hacker Medias 423-826-1199



Chopped greens, sliced grape tomatoes, corn, scallions, and chicken breast tossed in citrus vinaigrette and topped with bacon, avocado, and blue cheese crumbles


Pepper jack cheese, bacon, crispy onion straws, honey-jalapeño BBQ, fresh-cut toppings


Tempura shrimp, avocado, carrot, and seaweed, topped with tempura shrimp salad with sweet chili sauce, spicy mayo, tempura crunch, and micro greens

7338 McCutcheon Road |



Three scrambled eggs topped with mozzarella and provolone, sautéed spinach and red bell pepper, avocado, and choice of bacon or sausage


Sourdough toast, mozzarella and provolone, pesto, choice of a scrambled egg, soft boiled egg, hardboiled egg, or tofu scramble


Toasted everything bagel, whipped feta cream cheese, smoked salmon, spring mix, tomato, and red onion

Southside, Northshore, Fort Oglethorpe, and Hamilton Place |

SIP & SAVOR summer dining guide
Photos by Delve Studio (Left and Middle) Photos by David and Drew Photography; (Right)
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Photo by Delve Studio
MEANMUGCOFFEE.COM | @MEANMUGCOFFEEHOUSE Delivery available from DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub. Thanks for supporting local coffee roasters! ORDER ONLINE AND PICK UP AT ALL STORES Hamilton Place 2090 Hamilton Place Blvd. Suite 106 Ground Floor- Aloft Hotel | 423.498.3595 Northshore 205 Manufacturers Rd. Suite 109 423.498.1557 Southside 114 W Main St. 423.825.4206 Fort Oglethorpe 2711 Battlefield Parkway 706.841.0447



Collective Clothing, known for its one-ofa-kind vintage clothing and accessories, is celebrating 15 years in business. In addition to collaborations with popular films and TV series such as “Stranger Things,” the Chattanooga store continues to be a welcoming, creative space for all fashion lovers. Here, we spoke with co-owner Sondra Aten to learn more about the heart of this eclectic vintage store.

Original rock t-shirts, retro dresses, funky sweaters, and vintage tourist gear – Sondra and Travis Aten love it all. They started their journey into the resale industry about four years after they tied the knot, making the most of their natural talent for seeking out unique vintage items. Collective Clothing officially opened to the public on May 30, 2009, and the launch received unwavering support from friends, family, and the surrounding Chattanooga community.

An eclectic sea of vintage items greets visitors upon entering the Frazier Avenue store. The diverse selection spans various decades and styles, including ‘60s mod, ‘70s boho, and ‘90s grunge fashions. A range of accessories and vintage vinyl records are also available. When it comes to the store’s curation process, Sondra Aten says

“Belonging is at the heart of our store. Having walked into stores where I felt out of place, I’m determined to ensure that our space is welcoming to all.”
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attention to detail is key. “We look for distinctive features, such as unique prints, intricate embroidery, and unusual fabric textures,” she explains. “It’s these little details that add character and charm to our selection.”

With all the extra care and creativity put into the curation process, it’s no surprise that a number of Collective Clothing’s pieces have made it into the hands of creatives in the film and TV industry. Aten shares one story involving popular TV series “Stranger Things,” saying, “The pool scene in season 3 has loads of items from our store. They were in a crunch, so I actually drove there the day of the shoot, and they just pulled items off a rack to use in the scene. It was awesome!” For Aten, collaborating on creative projects like these has made her work extremely fulfilling. She looks forward to more exciting film and TV collaborations in the future.

While a selection of Collective Clothing’s pieces dazzles onscreen, the heart of the store remains delightfully down-to-earth. Aten says that, ultimately, her passion is to make space for all people to get creative with fashion. “Belonging is at the heart of our store,” she says. “Having walked into stores where I felt out of place, I’m determined to ensure that our space is welcoming to all. Witnessing our items worn in imaginative and inventive ways brings me immense joy, and I hope to continue fostering this sense of creativity for years to come.”

Sunny Day Sippin’

Relaxing on the river? Upcoming girls trip to the beach?

Sunset dinner on the back patio? Check out these light, summery drinks that pair perfectly with the hot days ahead.

Fleurs de Prairie Côtes De Provence Rosé

Named after wildflowers in the South of France where the grapes are grown, Fleurs de Prairie is the perfect summer rosé. Described as “a Mediterranean combination of summer, wind, mild water stress, and ocean influence,” this wine is light, fruity, and easy to drink. It combines flavors of red fruit and lemon with a hint of tropical fruit on the finish and has bright, refreshing acidity that pairs well with summer fruits and veggies, fresh fish, and herbforward dishes.

Monaco Canned Cocktails

Monaco cocktails are meant for poolside hangs. Conveniently bottled in a can, you can find a variety of spirits and flavors for all tastes. Embrace summertime nostalgia with a vodka-based hard lemonade in original or peach flavors, or enjoy a variety of spirits with Blue Crush, which combines vodka, gin, rum, and tequila paired with a crisp lemon-lime soda. You can also imbibe in more classic cocktail flavors such as Mai Tai and Moscow Mule. Each can contains two shots.

Patrón El Alto

While you may already be familiar with Patrón’s tequila offerings, don’t miss out on trying the luxurious Patrón El Alto tequila, handcrafted using the traditional Tahona production process. The tequila is made from 100% Weber Blue Agave, making for an incredibly smooth, perfectly aged spirit with notes of caramel, dried fruit, and vanilla. Patrón recommends drinking this neat, but it also pairs well with blackberry syrup, habanero tincture, and fresh lime juice for a unique margarita.


For those looking for a summer sip without the alcohol, consider Seedlip for your next mocktail recipe. Seedlip’s non-alcoholic spirits are made using a special process and carefully-sourced natural ingredients. If you’re looking for an earthy drink, try Seedlip Garden 108, which blends peas and garden herbs like rosemary and spearmint, or if you enjoy citrus flavors, consider Seedlip Grove 42, a bright blend of orange, lemon peel, lemongrass, and ginger. These plant-forward spirit alternatives can be enjoyed on their own, made into delicious mocktails, or paired with soda water for a refreshing beverage.

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“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
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The Newest Addition, 5090 Outdoor

Immerse yourself in the truly unique experience that is 5090 Outdoor, where the beauty of nature harmoniously blends with premium outdoor furnishings. Their outdoor deck, overlooking the serene Spring Creek, offers a tranquil setting that will inspire your outdoor living dreams. Admire their lush landscape in full spring bloom while enjoying a round of golf on their custom putting green. As the sun sets, their collection of fire pits will blaze, keeping you warm as you build the patio of your dreams.

At 5090 South, they’re more than just a furniture store – they’ re a destination of style, sophistication, and inspiration. Stop by their showroom and step foot into a world where design meets desire, and where your dream home comes to life.


Their 5090 Design Center is your gateway to a world of endless possibilities. Their team of talented designers is here to turn your vision into a reality. With their expertise and an exquisite array of high-quality product lines, you can create a living space that reflects your unique style. Customize every piece by choosing from an extensive collection of fabrics, textures, and finishes to craft a look that’s exclusively yours.

5090 South Terrace, Chattanooga, TN 37412 423-468-5090 | 5090SOUTH.COM
555 Walnut St., Suite 280, Chattanooga, TN 37402 | Individual & Family Accounts | Individual Retirement Accounts Taxable Investment Accounts | Trusts & Estates Foundations & Endowments OVER 45 YEARS OF SERVICE Investment Strategies Tailored to the Client

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