Chattanooga Choo Choo
When your campus is as beautiful and lively as Vanderbilt’s it’s hard to convince yourself to leave, even if just for a weekend. It’s a phenomenon almost all Vandy students fall victim to at least once during their four years: the Vandy Bubble.
If you’ve been around the blog or talked to any Vanderbilt students, you’ve probably heard this term thrown around a lot. Basically, it refers to the fact that Vanderbilt students like to stay, well, at Vanderbilt. Every day, there seems to be another fun event, another cool speaker, or some kind of activity that you don’t want to miss. It’s a blessing and a curse, really in a lot of ways, we’re really lucky to have such an active campus. But it also means that we often miss out on the fact that we are surrounded by awesome things, even beyond the borders of campus.
Getting out into Nashville isn’t bad, especially since the MTA bus system here is free for all Vanderbilt students. A few weekends ago, however, I got the chance to really go out and explore what Tennessee has to offer on a weekend road trip to Chattanooga with my sorority sisters!
To be honest, before I moved to Tennessee, I wasn’t really sure that Chattanooga was a real place, mostly because it had a crazy name. Turns out that it is in fact real, and it’s pretty much the cutest little city on the eastern border of the state, about a two hour drive from Vandy. My favorite part about Chattanooga has to be that downtown is completely train-themed – there’s an entire hotel there that’s basically an abandoned train, and guests stay in the old train cars. I think I’d be a little spooked spending the night there, but it was still cool.
When we first got to “Chatt,” as it is apparently nicknamed, we headed to a Ben Rector concert. If you don’t know who that is, go look him up. I had already seen him live once, here in Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium, but he was totally worth a second time.
Another cool thing about Chattanooga is that you can literally drive for like five minutes, and you’re immediately in nature. I love Nashville, but Chattanooga definitely takes the prize for the prettiest hiking locations. While we were on the trail, we found a random dog and forced it to take a picture with us. Good times.
Before we headed back to Nashville, we made sure to hit up some of the adorable restaurants and cafes in downtown Chatt. The highlight was definitely a café called The Hot Chocolatier, which sold all kinds of fancy coffees, hot chocolates, truffles, and pastries – the perfect snack for the road trip home.
I was sad to leave after such a short trip, but hey: Vanderbilt’s not too bad either.