From stunning natural beauty and awe-inspiring, historic landmarks to an acclaimed arts and culinary scene, Chattanooga’s easy charm showcases a full array of sights and sounds to suit every interest.
It’s easy to see why Chattanooga is called the Scenic City. The area’s natural beauty offers plenty of possibilities to enjoy the view.
Known as a premier outdoor destination, you’re sure to love shooting the rapids while whitewater rafting down the famed Ocoee River, hang-gliding over Lookout Mountain or rock climbing at the numerous crags in the area. Of course, Chattanooga also offers tamer options, too – biking, walking and picnicking are popular pastimes along the 13-mile Riverwalk on the Tennessee River.
Minutes from downtown, Lookout Mountain offers fabulous views of the Chattanooga Valley and three world-famous natural attractions – Rock City, Ruby Falls and the Incline Railway. With breathtaking outdoor and indoor waterfalls, hiking trails and scenic vistas, Lookout Mountain is a great outdoor option for both adults and children.
History Comes to Life
Chattanooga’s geographic location and its river and rail systems made the city an important gateway during the Civil War. At the Battle Above the Clouds, tour historic sites Point Park and the Chickamauga Battlefield, which combine stunning outdoor views with important insights into the Civil War battles that raged in 1863.
You can follow the Civil War Trail that runs through Chattanooga and find over 16 landmarks that are located right in the heart of the city. The Passage at Ross’ Landing marks the start of another historically defining trail – the Trail of Tears.
The Southside Historic District is home to a famous piece of the city’s history – the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Saved from demolition in the 1970s, the old Terminal Station is now a 30-acre entertainment complex and historic hotel. Nearby, the Terminal Brewhouse, a former hotel for weary travelers, serves up refreshing craft beers that are brewed on-site, and Urban Stack, which is housed in the former Southern Railway Baggage Building, features nearly two dozen burger options.
The Heart of the Arts
The city’s creative spirit is on full display when it comes to the fine arts. Home to dozens of galleries, you can get lost in a colorful world of blown glass, bronze sculpture, intricate jewelry, watercolors and mixed media. Art truly happens everywhere in Chattanooga. From the outdoor River Gallery Sculpture Garden to the public art displayed throughout the city, beauty isn’t bound by four walls.
Open air and art also mix nicely at the Chattanooga Market, where you can browse more than 130 artisans’ crafts each Sunday alongside an appealing array of farm-fresh goods, street fare and live music.
The performing arts take center stage at the historic Tivoli Theatre, which is home to the Chattanooga Symphony, Opera Association and performance events from old silent movies to touring Broadway plays.
Known for its visual, culinary and landscape arts, the Bluff View Art District stretches just over 1.5 city blocks above downtown, but every inch is packed with treasures.
In addition to the River Gallery, the area is home to the acclaimed Hunter Museum of American Art and the Houston Museum of Decorative Arts. Even the meals are masterpieces from the artisans at Bluff View Bakery and Rembrandt’s Coffee House to the innovative menus at Tony’s Pasta Shop & Trattoria and Back Inn Café.
Eat, Drink, Repeat
You can find Chattanooga’s creative spirit extends to the burgeoning culinary and craft brewing scene. Modern takes on classic dishes are at home in historic mills and warehouses. Chef-driven menus highlight popular independent restaurants, and there are plenty of options to sample Southern fare. Nearly 12 breweries showcase a wide selection of craft beers, adding extra flavor to every outing.
While delicious dining can be found in every neighborhood, go to the West Village, a revitalized area that brings European flair to this Southern city.
Known for its trendy shopping and stylish hotels, this corner of downtown is also celebrated for its cuisine. From a modern twist on American classics at Old Gilman Grill to the international inspirations found at Citron Et Sel and Alimentari Cucina e Bar, the area is sure to please your palate.
Family Fun for Everyone!
Home to some of the state’s most popular family-friendly attractions, Chattanooga is the perfect vacation destination for quality family time. From exploring Rock City and Ruby Falls to discovering secrets from the deep at the nationally renowned Tennessee Aquarium, it’s easy to fill your days with engaging and entertaining exhibits and activities. Located in the heart of downtown, the hands-on Creative Discovery Museum has been named one of the top children’s museum in the country. And just a short drive away, things really get wild at the Chattanooga Zoo where you can see the animals in natural habitats or take advantage of special tours and Spring Break Safaris for a different perspective.
Accessible by the iconic Walnut Street Bridge, the North Shore neighborhood is where hip meets historical. Home to the beautifully restored antique carousel at Coolidge Park, it also features great shopping and dining, making this area a favorite for parents, too. Enjoy kid-friendly fare at Fiamma Pizza Company and Good Dog, and top it off with a sweet treat from Frios Gourmet Popsicles or Clumpies Ice Cream Co.
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