Chattanooga: An Insider's Guide | Tennessee Vacation

Chattanooga: An Insider's Guide

You’ll want to be quick and charge into all the fun in Chattanooga.

Maybe not as quick as the otters sliding down the River Otter Falls at the Tennessee Aquarium, but really quick to experience the attractions, entertainment and fun things to do in Chattanooga. Outdoor adventure, family fun parks, fine dining and sports are packaged together at this easy-to-reach destination.

Splash and swim at SoakYa Water Park, at Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park, one of Chattanooga’s oldest attractions. Enjoy a ride aboard the River Gorge Explorer navigating the Tennessee River Gorge or a train trip departing from the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s Grand Junction Station.

Thrills of a different kind are yours for the taking at the IMAX 3D Theater and Creative Discovery Museum, a children’s play-and-learn place. Smart visitors buy package tickets to see the Tennessee Aquarium, IMAX 3D Theater, and the River Gorge Explorer. A combo pass for Rock City, Ruby Falls, and Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is an exciting way to experience the best of Lookout Mountain.

Pick your pleasure (without paying a fortune) with all the free and inexpensive attractions along the Tennessee River. Head to scenic Coolidge Park to splash in the interactive play fountain, try your hand at the climbing wall, and kick back with a picnic in the park. Or catch a ride—for only $1—on one of the 100-year-old restored carousel’s 52 whimsical, hand-carved animals. Venture out of the park, and spend some time window-shopping at more than 30 restaurants and stores along the Northshore. Then, take in scenic views as you stroll across the Walnut Street Bridge, the largest pedestrian bridge in the world, and see public works of art at the River Gallery Sculpture Garden or at The Passage, a tribute to the Cherokee Indians, marking the origin of the Trail of Tears. Keep on walkin’ along the Tennessee Riverwalk, a 15-mile greenway along the river, which is dotted with even more sculptures and public artwork.

For sports action, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball games play at downtown’s AT&T Field. Both inside and out, High Point Climbing & Fitness is the greatest place to climb. It dazzles with multicolor lights and 28,000 square feet of climbing walls.

Looking for some quirky attractions to add to your trip? Take a tour of the International Towing & Recovery Museum to spot towing relics dating back to 1916, or take a ride in an amphibious landing craft with a Chattanooga Ducks tour down the Tennessee River. To let off some steam, go a little wild and crazy at Jump Park, an 18,000-square-foot indoor trampoline park, and then unwind with a tasty beer at nearby Chattanooga Brewing Company. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try an original MoonPie at the MoonPie General Store. Or, once the sun goes down, scare yourself silly on a nighttime haunted tour through downtown with Chattanooga Ghost Tours.