Chattanooga has made a name for itself as a city where outdoor adventures are the norm. From exploring fantastical gardens to feeling like a bird as you swoop and sweep above the hilltops that hug this burgeoning city, you'll find activities that get you breathing in Tennessee's fresh air and making memories that'll last forever.
"America's Most Amazing Mile" takes riders in trolley-style cars up the world's steepest ride for scenic views of historic Lookout Mountain. Rides are every day 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
You can journey 1,120 ft. under the earth to see the largest and deepest waterfall open to the public in the U.S. Make your way through the cave that was discovered in 1928 by Leo Lambert. Learn his story of how he came to find the waterfall and how he named it. After a tour, soar above the trees on ZipStream Aerial along 700 feet for an adventurous roundtrip flight. The 40-ft. Climbing Tower has five routes of scurrying challenges.
See seven states in one place; take a panoramic photo at Lover's Leap that also houses the beautiful High Falls; and travel through Fairyland Caverns. Some of Rock City's famous gnomes guide you as you meander through the cave. Walk along the 180-foot suspension bridge to take in the views of the Chattanooga Valley.
Get outside in Chattanooga for adventures in paddleboarding, skydiving, hang gliding, horseback riding, and caving, camping, mountain biking and hiking. Whether by land, sea or air, Outdoor Chattanooga has you covered. Pack a lunch and explore in Tennessee State Parks like South Cumberland State Park, Harrison Bay State Park, and Booker T. Washington State Park. Natural areas are full of wonders and photogenic views like in Prentice Cooper State Forest, and Savage Gulf Natural Area.
High Point Climbing
Whether you're into bouldering, challenging climbing or need some beginner tips, come to the facility with 30,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor climbing. The outdoor climbing wall is on transparent climbing material with Chattanooga's downtown laid out before you. You can cross-train as well with yoga, weight and aerobic cardio rooms.
There's a reason the Aquarium has been named by visitors as the best aquarium in the U.S. for overall guest satisfaction. Travel under the sea without needing a swimsuit at the Aquarium's two buildings: River Journey and Ocean Journey. Discover the animals and habitats of not only Tennessee, but the world. Otters, exotic plants, seahorses and octopi are ready to be observed. Experts are always on hand to answer questions and even host immersive programs around penguins, butterflies, alligators and more.
Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
This historic spot tells the Civil War's Battle Above the Clouds that took place November 1863. The Chickamauga Battlefield is the largest part of the military park. Meander among the monuments, battlefields, forests and urban landscapes of the U.S.'s first military park (it was dedicated in 1895).
Songbirds Guitar Museum
Be wowed by more than 400 rare, vintage guitars at Songbirds Guitar Museum at the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo. Learn the story behind these fretted instruments then stick around for a live performance or, tack on a peek into The Vault - where some of the most valuable guitars in the world are housed.
Hunter Museum of American Art
Artwork from Colonial period to present day are housed in the art building that is perched on an 80-ft. bluff on the edge of the Tennessee River. Mixed media, sculpture, photography and paintings by some of the world's leading artists from past and present are on display for visitors to interact.
After a day outdoors, get gussied up for a night at the Tivoli Theatre, considered "The Jewel of the South." It has been entertaining locals and visitors for more than 90 years with an array of events like concerts, Broadway shows and even silent films. It's one of the few places you can see Modest Mouse, David Blaine, Michael McDonald and musicals like "Something Rotten" in the same venue.
Little to no crowds. Places of instant respite. Explore these off-the-beaten-path Tennessee waterfalls.