One of my goals and desires is to travel more! I decided to take a day trip to Chattanooga, TN and I set a budget of $100. I was determined not to go over that amount, and being the planner that I am, I planned my trip ahead of time.
Originally, I was going to spend 2 days in Chattanooga. I looked around at different hotels and I only found one that I really liked. However, I couldn’t check in until 4:00pm and I was planning to check-out early the next day, so I felt like it wasn’t worth it to spend $300 for a place to sleep, when I could just go back home. I could have just chosen another hotel, but I had the brilliant idea of making it a day trip and having a little fun with a budget!
First, I filled my gas tank up. It only took $18 because I had driven to Birmingham and back on a full tank, the previous day. However, I don’t like being low on gas. And by low, I mean anything below half a tank. So, I always fill my tank up every Sunday. That way, I always have a pretty good amount of gas, and I don’t have to spend too much money each time I go to the gas station. Fun Fact.
Chattanooga is a 3-hour ride from where I live. I think that anywhere between 1 hour and 3 hours would make a nice day trip. Where are some places that you would like to visit, that are a few hours or less from where you live?
The first place I went to was a vegan restaurant called Cashew. Downtown Chattanooga was so beautiful! The food at Cashew was also great. I was super excited because it was my first vegan restaurant. I ordered a BBQ jackfruit (“pulled pork”) sandwich and cashew mac & “cheese.” It was hard to believe that all of it was vegan!
Next, I went to the art district of Chattanooga, and visited the River Gallery. Admission was free 🙂 and they had some pretty intriguing artwork, with inspirational stories behind them.
Once I left the art district, I went to the zoo – $10. This was the most anticipated part of the trip. I had been wanting to ride one of the camels at the zoo and was slightly disappointed to find out that I could not. The normal camel that carries the adults had been sick and in the hospital, so there was a different camel there, who was not having it! However, I still got to take a picture with the camel, even though he initially tried to lick me. No thank you 🙂 Overall, I enjoyed the zoo!
Next stop, Incline Railway – $15. First of all, I don’t like heights. Second, I did not have a clear understanding of exactly how this thing worked. Third, I didn’t realize how high or steep the Incline Railway was until about 3 minutes before boarding. Shouts out to the strangers next to me in line that assured me that “it’s not that bad.”
The way that the seats are made, you’re sitting upright until you get to the very top. The higher we got, the more I was sliding out of my seat. I think the trip back down was worse for me, because we were so high in the air! Seriously, my eyes were closed for most of the trip. And any sudden noises made my heart rate go up even more! We landed safely, the brakes didn’t stop working, and we didn’t crash into the other train on the way down, thank God!
I was pretty hungry at this point and ready for my last stop – Sluggo’s North. It was pretty small, and the food was decent. I ate mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy and a bean burrito with vegan cheese, and tortilla chips.
Usually, I would fill up before heading back home. But after driving for a couple of hours, I decided to stop in Bessemer at the store, to get $15 worth of gas.
At the end of my trip, I had $6 left over. I really enjoyed my trip to Chattanooga and would love to go again some time in the near future (perhaps in spring or summer next time). I would definitely pass on the Incline Railway and there’s a chance that I may not visit Sluggo’s again. However, I loved the zoo, as well as Cashew’s. I’m already planning my next trip! I can’t wait to share it 🙂