March 26, 2019
The New York Times named Chattanooga one of the "Top 45 Places to Go" in the world, and there’s no wonder why. Tucked away in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains along the Tennessee River, Chattanooga, referred to as Scenic City, offers endless opportunities to enjoy yourself with breathtaking views from every direction. Take note of these hotspots and hidden gems of Chattanooga’s neighborhoods.
Situated on the Tennessee River, just a walking bridge from downtown, you’ll find the North Shore — a charming and eclectic Chattanooga neighborhood.
This North Shore favorite takes the donut to a new level with a rotating menu of creations served fresh Monday-Saturday.
The North Shore is home to two picturesque urban parks: Coolidge and Renaissance parks. In Coolidge Park, you won’t want to miss riding the beautifully-restored, 100-year-old Denzel Carousel. In Renaissance Park, look for the map describing the four Trail of Tears routes and the Civil War markers telling the stories of African-American Contraband Camps, the U.S. Colored Troops and more.
Four bridges connect the North Shore to downtown, but the most famous is the Walnut Street Bridge. Erected in 1890, it’s one of the world's longest pedestrian bridges and offers magnificent views of the city.
Come as you are and pull up a chair. Milk & Honey is the North Shore’s charming, locally-owned, counter service restaurant. Here you can fill up on breakfast, lunch, gelato and more.
Enjoy a brat or burger with a brew at Chattanooga’s only German-American gastropub, Brewhaus. Grab a seat on their back patio for a view overlooking Coolidge Park and the river.
A Mexican-Peruvian eatery with a cozy outdoor patio, Taco Mamacita is the place for funky fusion tacos and great-tasting margaritas.
Opened by the son of a third-generation candy maker, Clumpies Ice Cream Co. has handcrafted iconic ice cream with diverse flavors like oatmeal and apple butter, spiced hibiscus and pumpkin caramel cake in Chattanooga for 20 years.
Downtown is where you can plug directly into the source of what makes Chattanooga one of America’s best cities.
Newly-renovated Miller Park is the downtown destination to celebrate, sing, dance, watch movies and enjoy the company of those you love. Plan a night downtown May through September that includes the city’s free Friday music series, Nightfall.
Bluff View Art District is a creative haven and home to fine art and museum-quality crafts from emerging artists around the world.
The Hunter Museum of American Art offers one of the nation’s largest collections of American art in the world.
With a variety of hands-on exhibits, kids and adults love learning through play at the Creative Discovery Museum.
Founded in 1983, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center preserves and celebrates African-American history and culture in Chattanooga. Browse the many exhibits that include discussions of the Underground Railroad, the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Get close to a family of feisty otters, a school of giant catfish and tons of turtles at the Tennessee Aquarium — rated best in America for overall guest satisfaction.
An old stone fort during the Civil War, then refashioned into a textile warehouse district at the turn of the century, Warehouse Row is now Chattanooga’s design and fashion center offering an industrial-chic cluster of boutiques.
Housed inside a turn-of-the-century mansion, Back Inn Café offers an international menu with panoramic views of the Tennessee River and Chattanooga’s Bluff View Art District.
Join two-time James Beard Award semifinalist Erik Neil and his wife, Amanda, for some of the city’s freshest seafood; artful charcuterie boards; and can’t-miss culinary favorites like the beef short rib with beets, figs, beech mushrooms and black garlic.
Public House serves fresh fish, mouthwatering steaks and a rotating selection of seasonal vegetables. It’s also vegetarian-friendly with vegan options.
Puckett’s has built a name on hosting live local music acts and serving Southern staples like the meat and three and slow-smoked barbecue.
A highly-anticipated addition to Chattanooga’s downtown, The Edwin Hotel boasts Southern hospitality with a modern-day twist. During your stay, you’ll enjoy a top-notch fitness center and spa, award-worthy cuisine at Whitebird, and stunning views of the city at the rooftop bar, Whiskey Thief.
Located just minutes from the Tennessee Aquarium and Warehouse Row, The Westin Chattanooga offers a full-service stay with dining for all tastes.
Modern-day luxury meets smart and stylish 1920s design at The Read House hotel, conveniently located in the heart of the city.
Once the urban center of industry in Chattanooga, Southside offers visitors a vibrant mix of art, culture, cuisine and entertainment.
Presenting guitar history in a fun, educational and immersive way, Songbirds Guitar Museum houses the largest collection of vintage guitars in the nation; it’s a must-see for both guitar enthusiasts and those new to the world of fretted instruments. If you want an enhanced experience, you’ll want to check out The Vault.
Start or end your night at Chattanooga Brewing Company to enjoy a mug of one of the finest German-style beers in the Southeast.
Set within a former turn-of-the-century hotel, St. John’s Restaurant emanates grandness alongside locally-sourced, seasonal cuisine and year-round favorites like roasted pork belly on buttermilk biscuits.
Located at the First Tennessee Pavilion adjacent to Finley Stadium, Chattanooga Market is the place to get fresh produce, meats, cheeses and artisan fare while listening to the beat of live music. It’s free to the public and open on Sundays, April through November.
Sleep aboard an authentic railcar room or choose from several spacious rooms and luxurious suites at the Chattanooga Choo Choo — a 24-acre hotel and vacation complex located in the heart of the Southside.
ST. ELMO AND BEYOND
Nestled in the valley of Lookout Mountain below the curling stretch of the Tennessee River known as Moccasin Bend, St. Elmo is home to terrific restaurants and bars; Nearby, you’ll find some of the area’s most famed outdoor wonders, including Lookout Mountain and approximately 34 miles of trails.
Point Park commemorates the soldiers who fought in the 1863 Civil War battles for Chattanooga, which is preserved as part of the Chattanooga and Chickamauga National Military Park. In addition to touring the grounds that offer a bird’s eye view of Chattanooga below, be sure to check out the Civil War interpretive exhibits.
Located at the entrance to historic Point Park, The Battles for Chattanooga Museum features a digital projection show that helps you visualize how the Civil War battles were conducted on Lookout Mountain.
Choose from over 30 taps with a rotating lineup of quality beers, local beers, ciders and gluten-free options. A light fare menu is available and, if you plan on staying for a while, there’s even a selection of games for your entertainment.
Located across the street from the Incline Railway, 1885 Grill serves up cuisine with a Southern coastal twist.
Healthy, fresh and delicious, you can’t go wrong with Mojo Burrito’s farm-fresh Tex-Mex that’s vegan-friendly and vegetarian-based.
Experience the thrill of "America's most amazing mile" when you take the world’s steepest passenger railway to the top of Lookout Mountain in a trolley-style car.
Embark upon a leisurely 15-minute drive from downtown Chattanooga and you can’t miss the gigantic rock formations estimated to be 200 million years old. That’s Lookout Mountain. The mountain itself is a breathtaking attraction, but it’s also home to Rock City, Ruby Falls and more.
Located atop Lookout Mountain, Rock City is a true marvel of nature featuring massive ancient rock formations, gardens with more than 400 native plant species and the breathtaking "See Seven States" panoramic view.
Start your Lookout Mountain journey at Ruby Falls, where you will take a guided cave tour 1,120 feet under the earth to see the largest and deepest waterfall open to the public in the nation.