There is no more romantic environment in the South than the Bluff View Art District housed in historic mansions overlooking the majestic Tennessee River.
On the bluffs overlooking the majestic Tennessee River, you will find an artisan’s and dining paradise in a small neighborhood known as the Bluff View Art District in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It contains relaxing accommodations in beautifully restored bed and breakfasts, gourmet dining experiences, fine art galleries, and distinctive shopping. The area has received countless awards for inventive menus, signature specialties, and top-notch annual events.
Bluff View Art District is an easy walking neighborhood. Just down the street is the Hunter Museum of American Art and the area is only minutes away from the Coolidge Park, the Tennessee Aquarium, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Everything about the neighborhood displays romance, art, and memorable times. My husband and I have visited several times to commemorate special times, but sometimes just to escape reality for a few hours. There are quite a few places that make the neighborhood special. Everything is within walking distance, so park the car, indulge in great food, and then walk it off, hand in hand.
River Gallery of the Bluff View Art District
The River Gallery occupies the former home of Dr. Edward Newell. The iron accented solid wood door into River Gallery once served as the residence’s entrance. River Gallery was the first business to open in the Bluff View Arts District in 1992 and today represents the works of recognized artists from all over the world.
Chocolate Kitchen on the Chattanooga, Tennessee Cliffs
Chefs celebrate the Culinary Arts every day as they prepare delicious selections for the Chocolate Kitchen. They have a demonstration window where you can peek inside to observe the preparation of seasonal chocolates and chocolate-dipped pastries.
Rembrandt’s Coffee House in the Art District of Chattanooga
The doorway at High Street reveals the area’s finest chocolates, pastries, teas, and house-roasted coffees. The architectural details from another home that stood where Rembrandt’s patio now was salvaged and preserved, while being placed and built into the interior designs of the District’s beautifully restored properties.
Tony’s Pasta Shop and Trattoria is a Chattanooga Favorite
A favorite of ours, Tony’s is located in the carriage house of the T.C. Thompson House, which is now a part of the Bluff View Inn. This divine restaurant features the District’s homemade pasta, sauces, and rustic European style bread. You have several choices of seating available. You can dine in the glass-enclosed patio, in an art-filled loft, or an outdoor deck on the second floor that overlooks the District and the Tennessee River area.
River Gallery Sculpture Garden Overlooks the Tennessee River
This garden is one of 195 gardens listed as one of the International Sculpture Center’s “Sculpture Parks and Gardens Directory, a listing of such places world-wide. This outdoor whimsical fantasy garden overlooking the Tennessee River features a respected permanent collection and hosts an annual changing exhibit. The statue of The Prodigal Son is our favorite. The Sculpture Garden is also listed in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens, and more sculptures can be found throughout the district on the sidewalks, corners, and at doorways.
Bocce Court Terrace in the Bluff View Arts District of Chattanooga
You will find this delightful resting spot nest to the towering Magnolia tree overlooking the Bocce Court. Bocce is an ancient game brought to America at the turn of the century by Italian immigrants. Join in a game of bocce or simply relax and enjoy the view.
Bluff View Bakery and Pasta Kitchen Bakes for Chattanooga
This is the former Powers and Condon building and was once home to an advertising agency. Today it houses the Bluff View Art District’s bakery and pasta kitchens. You can observe bakers and pasta chefs creating rustic European bread and fresh signature pasta for the four restaurants and bed and breakfast homes throughout the District. You will be able to sample some of their creations or take some home from Tony’s Trattoria. Artisan bread is also available for purchase. Some local Chattanooga businesses now sell the bread across the area as well.
Back Inn Café is Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Most Romantic Restaurant
This restaurant was voted Chattanooga’s most romantic restaurant. Whether dining on the outdoor terrace overlooking River Gallery’s Sculpture Garden and the Tennessee River, or inside the warmth of the mansion, you will find the Scenic City restaurant one of Chattanooga’s finest. This is an upscale restaurant and features global cuisine, an extensive wine list, and exclusive service. A renovation project was completed in 1997 which added the upper and lower sunrooms offering panoramic views from both levels.
Renaissance Commons Displays Intricate Art in Chattanooga
This building’s transformation is a working testament to the progress and sustainable urban renewal for which the District has been recognized. The solid copper-clad door was taken from the Ohio Governor’s Mansion and provides a grand entrance to the building. The entire front façade and interior have been extensively renovated to house featured pieces from the District’s permanent art collection, exotic and antique wood furnishings, and cut glass windows.
Visit the Bluff View Arts District
The area is generally open seven days a week and there are also four distinct bed and breakfasts housed in renovated homes which represent the finest living Chattanooga, Tennessee once offered to the wealthiest and most influential people in the city. At one time, these people were referred to as ‘cliff dwellers’, and was a term they embraced. The Bluff View Arts District would make a wonderful weekend getaway or an overnight anniversary celebration. Although it has received countless awards and acclaim, I still feel it is one of Chattanooga’s best-kept secrets and jewels.