Outdoor Fun is Like Second Nature in Chattanooga | Tennessee Vacation

Outdoor Fun is Like Second Nature in Chattanooga

From its forested recreation areas to its urban parks and green spaces, Chattanooga in Southeast Tennessee is a breathtaking play land for outdoor enthusiasts and active families. Set up your home base with a bunk or a private room at boutique hostel The Crash Pad, and then get outdoors.

Explore the wilderness on mountain bike at Stringers Ridge Park or Enterprise South Nature Park, or pedal along the 13-mile paved Tennessee Riverwalk, which winds alongside the Tennessee River from downtown Chattanooga to the Chickamauga Dam. Signal Mountain offers miles of hiking trails, and Renaissance Park is the spot for exploring 23 acres of peaceful wetlands. At Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center, wander beautifully landscaped gardens, walk along the boardwalk over wetlands, and see a variety of native wildlife.

For dramatic city views, stroll over the Tennessee River on Walnut Street Bridge, walk through the centrally located Miller Plaza, or enjoy a picnic at Ross’ Landing – Chattanooga Pier.

Experience large-scale artwork in Chattanooga’s outdoor green spaces when you explore the serene grounds of the Sculpture Fields at Montague Park, Main Terrain Art Park, or the River Gallery Sculpture Garden in Bluff View Art District.

Adventurers looking for an aerial thrill won’t want to miss soaring through the air with Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding or diving from the skies with a tandem jump by Chattanooga Skydiving Company.

Or, go deep beneath the earth’s surface on a subterranean cave tour of Raccoon Mountain Caverns, where sightseeing includes ancient fossils and incredible rock formations.

Rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak from L2 Outside to paddle through downtown Chattanooga on the Tennessee River, or shoot down the rapids on the Ocoee or Nantahala rivers with a whitewater rafting trip. For even more boating, get out on the water with a 16-person pedal boat ride by Chattanooga Cycleboats, enjoy a leisurely dinner cruise on the Southern Belle Riverboat, or get a glimpse of marine wildlife with a naturalist-led catamaran ride on the River Gorge Explorer.

Pair beer tasting and bicycling when you book a biking and bar-hopping tour with Chattanooga Pints & Pedals or when you take a seat on the Chattanooga Brew Choo—a 15-person pedal-powered party bike that travels through downtown.

When you’ve got kids in tow, there’s nothing like letting them loose at the Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park and SoakYa Water Park. Little ones also will love playing in the interactive splash fountain and riding the historic carousel at Coolidge Park. Meanwhile, teens will love the challenge of the treetops obstacle course at Ruby Falls ZIPstream Aerial Adventure or the extensive climbing walls at High Point Climbing and Fitness: Downtown. And visitors of all ages will enjoy getting up close to more than 300 animals at Chattanooga Zoo or glimpsing into spectacular underwater ecosystems at Tennessee Aquarium, where sharks, seahorses and jellyfish amaze kids and adults alike.

For a fascinating history lesson in the great outdoors, peek into the past at key historic sites, such as Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the oldest and largest of the United States’ Civil War parks, and Point Park Battlefield, the hallowed site of the Civil War’s “Battle Above the Clouds.” Explore Native American history at the 750-acre Friends of the Moccasin Bend National Park, or walk along The Passage, a downtown pedestrian walkway marking the beginning of the Trail of Tears.

But this is just a preview of all the fun things to do in Chattanooga. Discover even more outdoor adventures for your upcoming vacation.

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