Bell Buckle and Chattanooga

Well, once again we had a  fantabulous weekend!  We were going to go to NC to check out places for the Plan but, baby hughes has been, how do I put it.... less than agreeable lately.  So, a 7 hour car trip did not sound like a good time for Mommy and Daddy.  So, we decided to go to Chattanooga to the aquarium with a few stops along the way to antique... I mean, let baby hughes stretch his growing legs.  Our first stop was Bell Buckle.  That is right, Bell Buckle.  This little tiny town is adorable.  The above strip is pretty much it.  It is famous for it's Moon Pie and RC Cola festival... we are in the South people.  So, we went to the 4 antique shops here... some reasonable, some, not so much.

I want some of these vintage chairs and a glider.  I recently saw one that someone completely restored... so cute.  I like the rust too!

I really want to use one of these.... never mind that I have never mowed a lawn, let alone with one of these babies... some how, I don't think that Mr. Hughes will go for it.

We didn't take any photos in the affordable antique stores... too busy grabbing stuff!  This one was and antique store/ ice cream parlor... does it get much better?

Kicking myself for not getting these cafe chairs!

This place was an old pharmacy... the built in stretched across half the back wall.

Each drawer was labeled... LOVE these.  Not for sale!

Really cute booth...really expensive...

On the strip of shops going to the next one

This booth made me swoon!  These numbers were from an old grocery store that they left on all the shelves.  And, all of these booths were arranged by color, this was my favorite...

oh boy!

This was part of a church... I think it was reliquary...

drool, drool. drool,

Then we strolled around a little more after our lunch before we got back in the car to drive to Manchester.  Manchester's antique stores were disappointing.  So disappointing that we left the overpriced fine antique stores without taking photos.

We arrived in Chattanooga and had dinner and tried to keep our monster quiet so we wouldn't get kicked out.  He was in rare form!  The next morning, we got up early so we could go to the Knitting Mill Antiques before our time to go through the aquarium.  This place was HUGE!

I so wanted to take this chicken coop home for herbs... $35!  But we didn't have any room in the car.  I cried a little inside leaving this.

So, do you believe me when I tell you about the size of this place?  Now there were about 4 aisles like this, and here is the best part....

They had shopping carts, more than likely to allow you to spend mucho dinero, but it allowed for some hands- free shopping for Mommy. 

So much stuff to look at, I am sure I missed so much

More vintage goodness!

Then, we drove around the North Shore area and saw so many cute cottages and bungalows. We don't even have photos of the best ones... these are just few that we snapped so we could look them up on zillow when we got back to the hotel.  I have to tell you, I loved this area so much.  Like called a  real estate agent kind of love.

Alot of the houses were built up on stony hills.  It is very hilly in Chattanooga, so the yards were very small... the backyards either went up hill or way down hill.  All the houses were different from one another.  We even figured out where this one was and what is wrong with it.... terrible, junky neighborhood.  The main problem with Chattanooga is the crime.  Mr. Hughes (who has a knack for these things) figured that we would have a 1 in 25 chance of having our house or car broken into.  And, that just isn't the place for our little guy.

Then, we went to this place:

It is incredible!  They have built another building since I had been the last time.  We have a video instead of photos and I won't bore you with me saying..."oh my gosh, look at the turtle, shark, nemo fish...."
But, trust me, this aquarium is great! Two buildings:  the River Journey and the Ocean Journey.  They have a penguin exhibit along with a great jelly fish one too.  The butterfly exhibit was awesome and I even helped one escape (not on purpose.)  Very, very cool.  baby hughes loved the butterflies and the birds, but the fish were kind of lost on him after the first little bit.  He mainly liked the light up photos showing what kind of fish were in the tank.  

After we finished, we found a small pizza chain that we adore, Mellow Mushroom.  That is one thing I would miss if we moved too far away.... but, they do have one in Savannah too *wink*

So, there it is, another great weekend  I will try to get some photos this week of the small treasures that made it home with us.  Now, I need to go brush my monster's teeth!  Bye for now!


  1. thanks, thanks so much for sharing your visit to the antique shops -
    I love the affordable ones too, glad you liked chat. -
    have you ever checked out Maryville,
    it's a small town too -

  2. Looks like you had a wonderful trip and found some amazing places to shop!! My favorite antique store has shopping carts, too! So handy with my baby!

  3. so glad you had a great weekend! you guys get major props for taking your little man antiquing with you. i'm quite sure that if i had to take my two little, um...sweeties, i would be buying quite a few 'you break it, you buy it' items. ha!

  4. I live about 10 miles from Manchester, and agree with you about the antique stores there. Never have much luck.

    We do have a few places in Tullahoma that are pretty good. Stop through here next time.

    Bell Buckle is such a neat place. Did you eat there? If not, next time you have to eat at the Bell Buckle Cafe. Oh my, they have good country food.

  5. What a fun trip!
    And your little monster looks so innocent and benign in his jaunty little cap and shopping cart!

    Reminds me of my antique mall, we have shopping carts, too. I always thought they were tacky, but now I'm seeing the wisdom. ;-)


  6. Oh thanks for sharing this! I soo love your country, have not been for a while. When seeing this i want to book a flight right away, if this vulcano stopped smoking.xx

  7. Oh Michelle,
    You have brought back so many memories of our trip to the Aquarium and the surrounding area. We loved it there and, the Aquarium is the best that I've ever been in. We were really impressed..... and, what wonderful antique shops. Some wonderful things to buy. When we were there, we did all of the touristy things and didn't have time for the antique shops.
    I'm sure that baby Hughes got a lot out of it, and you can take him again when he is older. XXXX

  8. Wow! Who knew Chattanooga was so charming! Thanks for sharing these pics. LOVE those antique finds! Seems like a great place :)

  9. I *adore* Bell Buckle! (I live outside of Nashville.) Did you try a Moon Pie sundae at the ice cream parlor? My husband can not go in there without getting one. I hate that a couple of the antique stores have gotten so ridiculously expensive. Sounds like you had a great trip!

  10. I recognize Phillips General Store in Bell Buckle a mile away! Did you just die? I have shopped there a couple of times. You just made me want to drive Tennessee.


  11. You know there is stuff to find if you have shopping carts. That place has buy me all over it.

  12. I am going to have to go to Bell Buckle. I haven't ever been before. We love the Aquarium and we always eat at the Mellow Mushroom. Next time you go, go to the Discovery Center. It's awesome!!

  13. You have been having so much fun junking lately!!!! what a great great time you had,

  14. So cute! I've never tried junking in Bell Buckle! I've got to try it. You might also want to try Tuscumbia, AL if you like little cute shops. They have an amazing park that Baby would love and there is a great two-level bookshop with coffee bar. It's all very authentic, and if you're within driving distance of Chattanooga, you're near Tuscumbia! Also, we found a very fun little place in Grand Rivers, KY called The Fudge Factory. It's amazingly quaint and used to be a pharmacy!

  15. Michelle,

    Wow what great shops! I have never heard of Bell Buckle but maybe one day I will rent a box truck and do a road trip! We've been so busy working on the house and gardens I haven't been on my weekly treasure hunts. I miss exploring. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

    Your Friend,

  16. ohhh I love that your hubby likes antique shoppes that is really much to look at and you are so brave taking your little guy in the shopping cart idea!! Can't wait to see what you came home with...and why is it that things have gotten so expensive, aren't we suppose to be in a recession? Happy Thursday!

  17. terrific post. Chatanooga is such a beautiful town. We've been there heading to North Carolina all the way towards the coast to the farm lands.

  18. Oh, I love Bell Buckle. Phillips General Store is my favorite...a feast for the eyes!
    What a great trip...I really enjoyed your pics!

  19. Looks like a FUN trip ... a shopping cart? wonderful ... now those people are thinking!!

    I'm around catching up ... I've missed you ; )
    Going back to read more ...


  20. I can assure you that after several hours of pushing one of those quaint old fashioned mowers around, you will be wondering what the h&!! you were thinking!!!

  21. Found your blog and was so excited about it. My sister and her children live in Chattanooga so I am very familiar with it. Love Chattanooga because the lakes, mountains and the different area. Hope you went to some of the shops in the mountains around and by the aquarium. I love how they took the old houses and have made shops out of them. My sister said it use to be really rough, but they have cleaned it up a lot and people are moving in all the time. I also love Bell Buckle and the north side of Chattanooga. The down town area around the aquarium has some of the neatest shops and art shops. Making me home sick already. Thanks for sharing your trip and ideas.
    Betty Whatley

  22. Came across your blog where you mentioned your visit to our store, Knitting Mill Antiques. Thank you for your very nice words about our shop and for shopping here. It is funny that you mentioned our little shopping carts. It was one of the things I always needed when I would shop in antique stores and decided that we needed some at the Mill when we opened in 2003. Perfect for those shopping trips with children and for keeping your hands free from carrying your treasures around our big store. We also have a pet cart for our customers who bring in their dogs to shop!

    Your blog was fun to read and it sounds like you have fun "junking" with the whole family. We hope you will visit us again.

    Again, thank you for your kind remarks. If you are on Facebook, please check out our facebook page:

    Many thanks, Lynn


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