Dame Traveler Explores Chattanooga

Dame Traveler Explores Chattanooga

A world traveler and blogger's guide to Chattanooga.

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This article and photos (unless otherwise noted) were created by and originally published on DameTraveler.com. It has been republished with permission.

Chattanooga is a city full of adventure, natural beauty, friendly locals and excellent restaurants. And if that’s not enough to convince you, this charming city has been consistently voted at the ‘Best Town Ever’ by the New York Times, Outside Magazine, Travel + Leisure and more. Chattanooga’s transformation is definitely getting up to speed right up there with the nation’s trendy cities with nitro cold brews, tech start ups and more.

To Do

Tennessee Aquarium
Photo Credit: Dame Traveler
Stop 1 of 13

Tennessee Aquarium

The Tennessee Aquarium is definitely a must-see when visiting Chattanooga. Set in the perfection location overlooking the river, the aquarium consists of two separate buildings, one of which happens to be the largest freshwater aquarium in the world! And the new Alligator Bayou includes more than one dozen American Alligators.

The Tennessee Aquarium is proud to be named the nation’s top aquarium for the third year in a row.

From the free-flying song birds in River Journey’s Cove Forest and Delta Country exhibits to the Undersea Cavern and Butterfly Garden in the Ocean Journey building, the Tennessee Aquarium combines both freshwater and saltwater habitats to give visitors an experience unlike any other.

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Ruby Falls
Stop 2 of 13

Ruby Falls Lookout Mountain

For gorgeous photo ops and a day well spent in nature, visit Lookout Mountain which begins in Chattanooga and stretches 88 miles through Alabama and Georgia. Spend the day exploring Rock City and Ruby Falls and hop on the incline for gorgeous views of the city. All of which are nearby one another. Tickets can be purchased online ahead of time are good for up to one year. 

Ruby Falls at the base of the mountain which is home to America’s deepest commercial cave and tallest underground waterfall. Located 1,120 feet beneath the surface, after a brief walk, you’ll end the tour with a magnificent view of the a 145-foot waterfall discovered by Leo Lambert who named the waterfall after his wife, Ruby.

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Rock City, Chattanooga
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Stop 3 of 13

Rock City & Rock City Gardens

Perched high on a mountain top, Rock City offers amazing views and peaceful gardens. Discover the beauty of the views from Lookout Mountain’s Lover’s Leap. On a clear day, you can see 7 states! Rock City is 1,700 feet above sea level, with a 100-foot waterfall that cascades down the mountain, and the famous Swing-A-Long bridge that spans nearly 200 feet.

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Incline Railway
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Stop 4 of 13

Incline Railway

Next, drive over to the Incline Railway where you will find Clumpie’s Ice Cream, a good pit stop to make before ascending to the Incline which climbs historic Lookout Mountain. The breathtaking 72.7 percent grade of the track makes it one of the steepest passenger railways in the world.

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Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga
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Stop 5 of 13

Hunter Museum of American Art

A charming area located on the south bluffs of the Tennessee River, one can easily spend an entire day here. You’ll find a lovely bed and breakfast, fine dining, bakery, coffee roasting studio, a chocolatier, museums, galleries, sculpture garden and café.

Perched on an 80-foot bluff on the edge of the Tennessee River, just three blocks from the Tennessee Aquarium, the Hunter Museum of American Art offers stunning views of the Tennessee River and downtown Chattanooga. Here is where you’ll find an incredibly diverse range of styles, periods and media all under one roof.

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Northshore Bridge
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Stop 6 of 13

NorthShore Historic District

The Riverwalk experience begins at Ross’s Landing Plaza to the north shore which is also home to Coolidge Park. The park features an antique carousel and is the first Riverwalk segment on the north shore of the river. The views are spectacular from one of the world’s largest pedestrian-only bridges. Take a segway tour around the city where you will experience museums, green spaces, entertainment, and tastes of Chattanooga.

Saints Peter and Paul Basilica

Saints Peter and Paul Basilica
See the architectural wonders of Saints Peter and Paul Basilica.

Visit this stunning Basilica with stained-glass windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, depicting significant events in the lives of the parish’s patron saints.

Where to Eat

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Stir in Chattanooga
Photo Credit: Dame Traveler
Stop 7 of 13

STIR Chattanooga

STIR is located in the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel and is the perfect place for oysters and craft cocktails.

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Julie Darling  Doughnuts
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Stop 8 of 13

Julie Darling Donuts

Have possibly one of the best donuts you'll ever taste. These moist and perfect cake donuts come in a variety of unique flavors.

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Milk & Honey, Chattanooga
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Stop 9 of 13

Milk & Honey

Loved this place so much, we visited twice! Homemade gelato, milk & honey lattes and more.

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Clumpies, Chattanooga
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Stop 10 of 13

Clumpies Ice Cream Co.

Clumpies is a classic with funky flavors such as salted buttered popcorn and more.

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Taco Mamacita, Chattanooga
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Stop 11 of 13

Taco Mamacita - Chattanooga

For a creative twist on Mexican food. Everything we tried was excellent, from the nachos, to the roasted chicken to the strawberry and coconut margarita.

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Public House, Chattanooga
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Stop 12 of 13

Public House

Absolutely loved the light and fresh ambiance during lunch at this restaurant. From the comfort food to the perfect service, Public House left a lasting impression.

Where to Stay

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The Dwell Hotel, Chattanooga
Photo Credit: Dame Traveler
Stop 13 of 13

The Dwell Hotel

The Dwell Hotel is hands down one of the most charming, retro boutique hotels I’ve stayed in. The 16-room property includes luxury amenities, an upscale restaurant and bar, incredibly friendly and helpful staff, retro furnishings and unique rooms equipped with free wifi and more. Incredibly impressed by the design of the trendy design of the hotel in the heart of Chattanooga. Terra Mae, the hotel’s restaurant, is simply beautiful.

Learn more about the Dame Traveler and follow her adventures at DameTraveler.com.

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