Tennessee Fall Colors – The Reason Everyone Needs to See Them


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Fall is my favorite season in large part because of the changing leaf colors, and it always makes me sad when I’m oohing and aahing about it and my boyfriend doesn’t share my enthusiasm.

All he sees is a blanket of brown. He has red/green color blindness which means red and green look exactly the same to him — brown. If it weren’t for placement on traffic lights, he wouldn’t be able to discern “go” from “stop”, and as far as enjoying nature’s spectrum of colors the way I do… well, he just doesn’t.

But this year was a game changer.

With sunshine in the forecast and beautiful fall foliage coming into its prime, my boyfriend and I set off to Chattanooga, Tennessee for the weekend to see those blazing fall colors in all their glory.

Why Tennessee? Well, firstly, Tennessee has some of the best fall views and everyone should experience them. But secondly, my boyfriend is colorblind and Tennessee has special viewfinders that allow colorblind people to see the magnificent vistas the way most people see them.

So off to Chattanooga, Tennessee we went!

After a good night’s rest, we got up early and headed to Lookout Mountain State Park. Because the morning fog hadn’t fully lifted, we decided to take the cave tour to Ruby Falls first. Yep, it’s an underground waterfall, and it’s one of those iconic Tennessee locations everyone should see at least once (especially if your parents never let you stop there as a child and you’re still bitter).

Beautiful light and music show at Ruby Falls

After our waterfall tour,  we decided to ride the Lookout Mountain Incline, the world’s steepest incline! It took about six minutes to go from top to bottom, and then we rode it right back up again. The narration during the ride was fabulous and the views were extraordinary!

Next, we went to Rock City (also inside Lookout Mountain State Park) and yet another place our parents never let us go as kids.

Visitors follow pathways and cross a swing-a-long bridge through ancient and unusual rock formations and lush gardens before finally reaching the famous “See Seven States” vista, a 100-foot waterfall and the most amazing views of the spectacular Tennessee fall rainbow.

With the fog fully lifted, we headed back to the observation tower at Ruby Falls, the location of the special colorblind viewer, for a moment my boyfriend and I will never, ever forget!

When you exit the stairway to the observation tower, the colorblind viewer is the first viewfinder you see.

I was practically tingling with excitement when he took his first look.

Imagine seeing fiery reds, burnt oranges, vivid greens and golden yellows for the very first time in your life…

I had to fight back tears when I saw how overcome with emotion he was. I hadn’t expected that, but he was blown away by the vivid and distinctly different colors he had never been able to see before.

Y’all have to visit one of the colorblind-less viewfinder locations and see the wondrous colors of nature for yourself.

I’m not sure anything will ever top that experience for my boyfriend, but our entire weekend in Chattanooga, Tennessee was amazing.

We got up close and personal with our aquatic friends at the amazing Tennessee Aquarium.

We took a Chattanooga ghost tour.

We sampled the original ‘1816’ whiskey that put Chattanooga Whiskey on the map, and we tried their experimental varieties too.

We took an amphibious vehicle ride on the world-famous Chattanooga Ducks.

We walked the mile-long Walnut Street pedestrian bridge with amazing views of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River and strolled through Coolidge Park to see the carousel.

We shopped and tasted our way through the Chattanooga Market.

And we ate some of the most amazing food we’ve had in a long time. It was truly a weekend full of fabulous memories, and Tennessee will forever hold a special place in my heart for giving my boyfriend the view of a lifetime.

Plan a trip to Tennessee! It’s everything you could want and more.

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

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