Have you ever wanted to experience Chattanooga like a tourist or a travel writer does? Downtown businesses, along with the River City Co. and Chattanooga Home Builders Association, have come up with Daytrip Downtown, a two-day event taking place Saturday from 10 am. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Participants who purchase an $8 ticket today can check out exclusive real-estate open houses, take part in special outdoor activities and tours, and take advantage of discounts being offered by almost 100 retailers.
The new event is timed to coincide with several other existing downtown happenings, such as the open houses this weekend in the North Shore district, in an effort "to bring as many people downtown as possible," said Lisa Flint, vice president of marketing with River City Co.
"We want people to experience everything that downtown has to offer from the dining experiences, to the living spaces, to the public art to the parks. Whether it's great local cuisine, boutique shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities or a choice of housing options with all of the latest creature comforts, downtown Chattanooga delivers a hip, convenient lifestyle all its own," she said.
All districts of downtown are participating in the self-guided tours: North Shore, Riverfront, City Center, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga/M.L. King, Bluff View and Southside areas.
"Patrons can even turn their daytrip into a staycation by spending the night downtown on Saturday and receive special discounted rates at many participating downtown hotels," Flint said.
A full list of participants and event information is available on www.daytripdowntown.com.
Tickets are available online or at local BB&T branches and downtown businesses Blue Skies, Ice Cream Show, Merchants on Main and Shadowbox Paperie.
On Saturday and Sunday, tickets are available for $10 at CARTA's Shuttlepark NorthShore on Frazier Avenue, Shuttlepark North at the Visitors Center (former Bijou Theater) or Shuttlepark South at the Chattanooga Choo Choo.
Everyone who purchases tickets in advance is asked to check in at one of those three Shuttlepark locations the weekend of the event to exchange their ticket or receipt for an armband that enables access to special patron events and discounts. Discounted parking also will be available at all three Shuttlepark locations.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...