Lookout Mountain, Tennessee 101 guide

Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, is a southern icon that appears in wide view as you drive down the I-24 ridgecut coming into Chattanooga, Tennessee. It's one of the key reasons Chattanooga got the nickname, the "Scenic City." This majestic mountain's base starts at the Tennessee River and runs into both Georgia and Alabama.

If you've ever traveled through Tennesse, you've surely seen "See Rock City" or "See Ruby Falls, Lookout Mtn" painted along barns and signs along the highways. I've seen these markers my entire life but had never visited these fun attractions until Angela & Matt Lanter came for a visit in 2013!

My dear friend (and PR goddess) Meagan called us this summer and asked if we'd like to take a visit up the mountain.  We knew the kids were old enough to take it all in and would love seeing all the sights.

We started our journey at the base of Lookout Mountain at the iconic Incline Railway.
I remember, years ago, when some of my Ohio family came to visit, they rode the Incline Railway to the top of the mountain but this was my first time and it was so very cool.  It was a very steep ride all the way to the top and I wish we would have had a clearer day to take some magnificent photos of the valley below! If you're traveling to Point Park or The Battles of Chattanooga, you have to take the Incline up!
Also, make sure to bring your quarters for the view finders!
After a short walk down E Brow Road, you end up at The Battles for Chattanooga museum and Point Park, a 10-acre memorial park at the very top corner of the mountain. If your a history buff like me, you will love reading all the markers and learning more about the Civil War and where the "Battle Above the Clouds" took place. We loved that we could throw a little educational mix into our trip. We were too early for the Ranger tour but the reviews for that are great. We'll make sure to catch it next time. I do suggest hitting this later in the day as well. It was quite foggy the morning we went and we know the views would have been spectacular!
Across the street is The Battles for Chattanooga museum and gift shop. After a quick drink and snack inside, we toured the relic and weapon collection and then watched the digital-projection mapped show. I had always known that Chattanooga was an important battleground for the war but I had never heard the story told like this before.  With a 3-D landscape display and projections to show all the events and areas that the battles took place, this was one of our favorite parts of the trip. It's shown in a small theater and is perfect for school-aged children!
I do suggest going here first, before you hit Point Park.
After a ride back down the mountain on the Incline, we drove up to Rock City next.  The kids were SO excited to finally visit and it did not disappoint!
We knew we wanted to hit Café 7 before it got too busy so we started there and my, oh my, it definitely hit the spot!  From the Choo Choo nachos to the Peach Cobbler, it made our bellies very happy! I went with the Fried Green Tomato BLT but substituted the avocado puree and chipotle mayonnaise for the pimento cheese, with a side of cheese grits (as suggested from my friend Meagan) and it was simply heaven on a plate. You can't get much more southern than that!
After "Seeing Seven States" we rushed to catch the "Birds of Prey" show in Rock City's Critter Classroom. I am so glad we didn't miss this as it was my daughter's favorite part of the trip. From seeing barn owls, to peregrine falcons, and even a bald eagle, it was incredible seeing these magnificent birds up close. They do let them fly around so if you're scared of birds, I'd stay outside the net. 😉 We loved Cayce the vulture and Buddy the small screech owl (the little fella below with one eye), but Gilbert, the colorful American kestrel was my favorite. Isn't he gorgeous?!
We wrapped up our Rock City tour as we squeeeeeezed through "Fat Man's Squeeze", gazed the beautiful scenery and waterfall at Lover's Leap, and toured magical Fairytale Caverns. The views from Rock City are simply spectacular. We did, somehow, miss the Swing-A-Long bridge but we'll make sure to hit that next time.
Next up, Ruby Falls!
Ruby Falls is simply a wonder.
For over 89 years, Ruby Falls has been a main attraction in Chattanooga and it's no wonder why. Home of the tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public in the United States, it's surrounded my astounding cave formations and is a beautiful sight to behold.
After traveling down 26 stories in an elevator you reach a slim path that will take you deep into the mountain. You'll follow the path that discoverer Leo Lambert took when he found the waterfall in 1928! Named after his wife Ruby, the 145 ft waterfall is simply magnificent when illuminated by the light show. To this day, they still aren't sure where the water comes from!

It can be a tight squeeze and a little slippery at times so make sure to wear good shoes and a coat isn't a bad idea either as it stays around 60 degrees down there all year long.

Ruby Falls recently went through a renovation with new amenities and beautiful new gift shop.  A new feature is their timed-entry ticketing, which means you can purchase your tickets ahead of time and not wait in line with your little ones.

Make sure you climb up to the top of The Lookout Mountain Tower see see a spectacular view of the Tennessee River and the city of Chattanooga. So gorgeous!
After a quick ride down the mountain, we grabbed a bite to eat and headed to our favorite ice cream spot, Clumpies.  With many locations spread throughout the city (and one on the mountain) we decided to try the brand new location near the Chattanooga Choo Choo. We loved it's cute mural wall and outside seating. A treat was well-deserved after a full day of sight-seeing!
Cookies n' cream in a waffle cone.
Just do it.
We ended our trip with a relaxing stay at the newly renovated Lookout Mountain RiverView Inn. This adorable bed and breakfast is just minutes away from Ruby Falls and the views from the balcony are simply spectacular.  We stayed in the two room Hillside Suite it was perfect after a long day. Our favorite part was definitely the balcony and all the gorgeous views. Give me a cup of coffee & a good book and I could stay out there all day. The kiddos definitely loved the pool but I believe it was the continental breakfast that they loved the most! From cereal, to bagels and yogurt, they were in heaven!
Another great feature is that they're pet friendly! You can read more about that here: http://www.stayatriverviewinn.com/about
Attractions/Lodging links:

A HUGE thank you to Rock City for sending us on this wonderful trip and many thanks to Meagan for setting everything up and being and amazing guide! We enjoyed visiting and eating dessert with you friend! 
Another big thanks to Lara, Beth, and Missy at Ruby Falls for all your help and support! It was a pleasure meeting you all.

Thanks and hugs to Charles River Apparel for keeping us dry and warm with our wonderful raincoats and to Royal Highnies (a local Chattanooga business 🙌🏻) for the cozy jammies and robe for our overnight stay! Love y'all so much!

Packing my bags for a weekend getaway

Hello Love!
Can you believe it's finally summer time? School is out, the weather is amazing, and we're all giddy to be getting ready for vacation!

It may surprise you, but I am not your typical fashion blogger when it comes to packing my luggage for a trip away from home.  Being a mom of three kids, my hands are pretty full, all the time. From three sets of electronics, to books, and just stuff in general, I have a lot to keep track of on a daily basis.  When it comes to getaways, both short and long, the less I pack, the better.

There's a funny meme that I see floating around on my IG and Facebook all the time where a girl goes somewhere for 3 days and packs 35 outfits.  That's not how I roll.

My Monogrammed Essential Travel Bag and matching Train Case from Marleylilly are my best travel buddies.  They've been with me to Boston, Ohio, Los Angeles, Gatlinburg, and will travel with me soon to Florida and Nashville for our summer trips. What I love most about these bags is that they're just small enough to be carry-ons when we travel by plane. I couldn't love these two bags more.

My newest travel bag is my Palm Paradise Beach Tote.  This huge bag was great for carrying all our other necessary travel things like our heavy jackets and my beloved Abrazo Designs essential oil diffuser carrying case. This bag is currently packed and ready to go with all of our beach towels and bathing suits for the beach!

No trip is complete without a great pair of cozy pajamas and there are none better than from Royal Highnies. I found this fabulous brand while vacationing in 30A a few years ago and I've been in love with them ever since.  I also love that they're local to me! 

Two duffle bags for a family of five is pretty darn good, huh?!

 Monogrammed Essential Travel Bag - Marleylilly c/o // Monogrammed Essential Train Case - Marleylilly c/o // Beach Tote - All For Color c/o // Pajamas - Royal Highnies c/o

Gatlinburg, Tennessee 101: How to cover the city all in one day!

Thank you Visit Gatlinburg for sponsoring this post. 
The mountains are calling! Plan your own Gatlinburg adventure today.

Hello Love!

Growing up in southeast Tennessee, Gatlinburg was one of those places we would go to just get away for a day or two, without spending the whole day in the car driving. We make a trip up there about once a year to take in the scenery, eat amazing food, and my favorite, people watch!
Gatlinburg is a beautiful, scenic mountain town nestled in the heart of The Great Smoky Mountains. We love taking trips up there because it is filled with activities for all ages and interests.
  Why are they called "smoky" mountains? Read below 👇🏻

A few weeks ago we were blessed with a fun campaign to take a day trip to Gatlinburg to visit fun attractions and highlight all the goodness for you!
If you've never visited, or plan to go soon, read along for our favorite activities!

We drove up late on a Saturday evening and spent the night at The Greystone Lodge On The River. Located alongside the Little Pigeon River, it was the perfect location to walk to all the attractions we wanted to hit the next day.  We honestly couldn't have stayed at a better spot.  We nestled ourselves into the big, cozy family suite, which included a master bedroom, bunks for the kiddos, spacious living room, 2 baths, and kitchen/dining area. The kids were in HEAVEN! The suite also had two outside balconies that opened to a view of the mountains and the Gatlinburg strip. The girls loved watching the wildlife alongside the river.

To our surprise Sunday morning, we woke up to SNOW on the mountains!!
We'd had some warm days in the Tennessee Valley weeks before our trip, but to our luck, it turned frigid the day before our travels.  We were bummed that it had cooled down and we couldn't take advantage of their amazing swimming pool.  The snow sure was a beautiful sight on those mountain tops though!

After a delicious, complimentary breakfast at the lodge, we headed across the street to Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. Voted "Best U.S. Aquarium" in 2017, this is definitely a must-see when visiting Gatlinburg. Jason and I came here many years ago when I was pregnant with Brayden and it's just as amazing now as it was then. From many species of shark to penguins and jellyfish, it definitely a fun place for the whole family.

We also had a lot of fun perfecting our photography skills. 😉

Next stop on our list was the Hollywood Star Cars Museum.  I originally thought this would just be something for the boys but us girls LOVED it!  From seeing one of the trucks from the movie Twister to seeing one of Dolly Parton's personal cars, we had so much fun!
Brayden was in heaven because he FINALLY got to see his dream car, a Lambo.

Before heading up to Ober Gatlinburg, we stopped into Blaine's Grill, located right on the strip. We'd never been there before but we will definitely be going back.  It wasn't crowded at all, our server was incredibly kind (and was a Boston fan ❤️)  and the food was soooo tasty! I think the girls' nachos and cheese were the best I've ever eaten! Y U M !

I've been to Gatlinburg countless times but I'd never been up to Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area. I had always assumed that it was just skiing, but they've got so much more up there and I'm so glad we decided to go this trip. We rode the Aerial Tram all the way to the top and it was the coolest thing ever! I even saw a live bear running down the mountainside! It was so fast that I couldn't get my camera in time.

Aren't the trees so pretty?! It almost looks like fall foliage!

When you step off the tram and into the main center, the sweet, decadent smell of fudge SMACKS you in the face and summons you over to buy a tasty treat. Man, that smell gets me EVERY TIME!
We grabbed our wristbands and made a beeline to the Wilderness Encounter to see the bears!
Cal was dying to get on the ice skating rink but they we closing it down 10 minutes after we got there to smooth the surface. Maybe next time, Cal.

After a quick ride at their amusement park, we went back inside and cozied up by the fire.
It was definitely a cold day for sightseeing and adventuring!

We shimmied back down the mountain and stopped by the Ripley's Moving Theater and World of Illusions, before heading to The Space Needle. We LOVED the Santa movie at the moving theater and all the brain teasers at the World of Illusions. It was dark and a bit spooky in there though, so it may not be suitable for those with younger children.

The Space Needle was another "new to me" attraction. I've always wanted to do it but just never did.
The views were AMAZING! If it would have been a warmer day, we would have stayed up there longer! Definitely worth the trip to the top!

And you know I did me a little shopping while I was there! When you go on vacation or little getaways, do you gift yourself a little treat? I usually pick up a "You Are Here" mug from Starbucks but since Gatlinburg doesn't have their own, I picked up a new monogrammed Charles River Apparel pullover from a little shop called U Name It. Aaannnndddd, I had to sneak by my favorite pastry shop, the Donut Friar for a coke and cinnamon/sugar donut, my fav!

No trip to Gatlinburg is complete without a trip to Fannie Farkles, the best arcade in Gatlinburg! From fun games to ginormous corn dogs, it's a MUST!

Our last stop for the day was a brand new attraction, Anakeesta. Located right across the street from The Greystone Lodge and Ripley's Aquarium, this amazing outdoor theme park was the perfect way to end our day. After riding the Chondola up to the top of Anakeesta Mountain, we entered Firefly Village, with quaint places to shop, eat, and play! You've GOT to check out Pearl's Pie in the Sky!
The kids loved playing hide-and-seek in the Treehouse Village Playground but my favorite was the Tree Canopy Walk! Even on a cool, brisk day, it was perfect to see all the amazing sights of our beautiful state.

We ended our trip at Calhoun's, our favorite East Tennessee restaurant. The closest one to us is in Knoxville so we don't get to dine here very often.  Jason ALWAYS gets Calhoun's trio with baby back ribs, chicken tenders, and hickory smoked pork, with a side of onion rings. I usually snack on a little bit of his and get myself a bowl of their amazing white chicken chili. I could eat 3 bowls of this at one sitting! It's so good!

The mountains are calling! Answer the call by visiting Visit Gatlinburg today!

Attraction/Lodging links:
The Greystone Lodge On The River
Ripley's Aquarium
Hollywood Star Cars Museum
Blaine's Grill
Gatlinburg Aerial Tram
Ober Gatlinburg
Ripley's Moving Theater
Gatlinburg Space Needle
World of Illusion
Fannie Farkle

Outfit deets:
White Jacket - Charles River Apparel c/o // Pink pullover - Charles River Apparel c/o // Chambray button down - JCrew factory // Backpack - Lily Jade c/o // Jeans - Levis 710 // Sneakers - Nike (similar here and here) // Jenn's pajamas - Royal Highnies c/o (BEST PJs EVER!!)

A huge thank you to GCVB for sending us on this wonderful trip! We are very thankful for you! 💕
Another big thank you to my girl RJ for helping me take all these photos! ✨ She's a superstar! ✨

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.