Pie In the Sky Trail
Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a strolling nature lover, the views on this mountain trail are some of the best Tennessee has to offer. Get a dose of history at Civil War sites, check out county museums and stroll the European-inspired University of the South-Sewanee. In season, you'll find farm stands overflowing with fresh produce, and chances are you'll catch some live bluegrass music along the way!
Falcon Rest Mansion & Gardens
In 1896, Clay Faulkner promised his wife "the grandest mansion in Tennessee" if she'd live next to his Gorilla Pants factory. The pants were known for being "so strong even a gorilla couldn't tear them". Today, Clay's 10,000-square-foot showplace has been referred to as "Tennessee's Biltmore" by PBS, and some say his friendly ghost still watches over the home. Take a fun-filled guided mansion tour, have lunch in the Victorian Tea Room, check out the gift shop and even stay overnight in a B&B Cottage.
Hunter Museum of American Art
The museum is home to an exceptional collection of American art housed in three buildings, one built in each of the last three centuries. It also features one of Chattanooga's most stunning masterpieces: gorgeous views of the Tennessee River.
Cumberland County Playhouse
Catch a play in the "house" known across the state. This is the only major non-profit professional performing arts resource in rural Tennessee, and one of the 10 largest professional theaters in rural America. It serves more than 165,000 visitors annually with two indoor and two outdoor stages, young audience productions, a comprehensive dance program, a concert series and touring shows.
Come see why this attraction is known as one of the "Best Little Zoos in America,"" with six beautifully constructed habitats and a variety of animals, including a camel and the famous chimpanzees and red pandas.
South Cumberland State Park
Stop in to the information hub of Tennessee's largest state wilderness park, stretching over 24,500 acres on the largest remaining forested plateau in the U.S. South Cumberland is made up of 10 different natural areas: Meadow Trail, Carter State Natural Area, Collin's Gulf, Fiery Gizzard Trail, Foster Falls, Greeter Falls, Grundy Lakes and Forest, Hawkins Cove, Savage Gulf Natural Area and Sewanee Natural Bridge. Chat with the helpful staff at the visitor center for maps and information about over 35 hiking trails and camping, as well as exhibitions on area history and ecology.
<p>This U.S. National Natural Landmark is also a unique entertainment venue. The cave displays some of the most spectacular formations and largest underground rooms in America, and the Volcano Room hosts "Bluegrass Underground," a monthly concert series recorded for WSM radio. Daily scenic walking tours are offered year round, departing every hour on the hour. Serious explorers can even book an overnight spelunking expedition.</p>
Rock Island State Park
Located at the confluence of the Collins and Caney Fork Rivers, this 883-acre wooded park is home to the Great Falls of the Caney Fork River, an imposing limestone gorge. Here you'll find scenic overlooks, waterfalls and deep pools for fishing, rock hopping and exploring, as well as a 19th-century textile mill and one of Tennessee's early hydroelectric plants. Camping and rental cabins are available, as well as canoe and kayak rentals and lots of other outdoor fun.
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Follow Hwy 284 through this popular state park, covering over 20,000 acres with oak and hickory forest, cascades and deep chasms. The highlight for many is the spectacular 256-foot Fall Creek Falls, the highest waterfall in the Eastern United States. With its many amenities (restaurant, Park Inn, golf course) and panoramic natural setting, it is little wonder that Southern Living readers voted Fall Creek Falls the "Best State Park" in the Southeastern United States." Camping and rental cabins are also available. Inn & Cabin Reservations: 800-250-8610 Inn & Cabin, Local: 423-881-5241 Camping: 800-250-8611
Cumberland Mountain State Park
The park sprawls across 1,720 acres at a soaring 2,000 foot elevation. A grand seven-arch bridge spans Byrd Lake, made of sandstone quarried on site. Stop here for hiking, camping, cabin rentals, the Bear Trace golf course and other outdoor activities, or just drive through this beautiful park on your way to dine at the Cumberland Mountain Restaurant overlooking the lake. Cabin Reservations: 800-250-8618 Restaurant: 931-484-7186
Lodge Cast Iron Factory Store
The iconic Lodge Cast Iron Company is based right here in South Pittsburg. The Lodge tradition dates back to 1896 and encompasses so much more than skillets; this is the place to buy a piece of cookware that could literally last for 100 years.
University of the South
This scenic campus is a must-see. Gothic-inspired, Oxford-style architecture, pink sandstone and garden pathways nestled into a wooded landscape create a European village feel. Founded in 1857 by Episcopal dioceses throughout the South, today it is known as a top liberal arts college, School of Letters, and Seminary of the Episcopal Church. Pick up a campus map at the admissions office, across the street from the majestic All Saints Chapel.
Battles for Chattanooga Museum
This may just be the most unique Civil War attraction in the country. Watch Chattanooga's battle history play out on an electronic map featuring 5,000 miniature soldiers, 650 lights, photos & sound effects illustrating the battles fought in and around Chattanooga in November of 1863.
Bessie Smith Cultural Center
Named for the "Empress of the Blues" who started out singing on a corner for pocket change as a little girl, this museum and performance hall promotes African and African-American heritage through cultural and artistic education. Make a stop here for unique exhibits and programming, as well as live jazz and blues performance events.
Tennessee Valley Railroad
Don't miss an opportunity to climb aboard the largest operating historic railroad in the South, with several different train rides created just for visitors. Choose from the 50-minute Missionary Ridge trip or a longer excursion to experience this "moving" museum. Operating for over 50 years, this attraction was recently featured in the motion picture "Water for Elephants," starring Tennessee native Reese Witherspoon.
Piney Falls State Natural Area
This pristine forestland features creeks, deep gorges, waterfalls and old growth forest. It is one of only 14 National Natural Landmarks in Tennessee, recognized as the country's best remaining examples of major biotic communities and geologic features. You'll find a trailhead just a mile off Hwy 68; take the 2-mile hike to Upper Falls.
Explore the banks of the Tennessee River at Ross's Landing Riverfront Park, where you'll learn more about John Ross, Chief of the Cherokee Nation. At Chattanooga Pier, you'll find several ways to explore the riverfront. Take a 3.5-hour ride with Blue Moon Cruises, or board the River Gorge Explorer for a 1.5-hour trip on a high-speed catamaran vessel; both provide naturalist guides and spectacular views of the "Grand Canyon of the Tennessee." Or splash into the river in an authentic WWII amphibious "duck" for a narrated Chattanooga Ducks tour. Blue Moon Cruises: 888-993-2583 Chattanooga Ducks: 423-756-3825 River Gorge Explorer: 423-265-0695
Chattanooga, TN 00000
Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center
<p>Meet over 50 native creatures that make their homes in the Southeast, including a bobcat, flying squirrel, bald eagle, crows, red-tailed hawks, owls, vultures and snakes. You'll also see red wolves, one of the world's most endangered animals.</p>
Southern Belle Riverboat
Just to the left of the pier, visitors enjoy sightseeing, lunch and dinner cruises on board this popular 500-passenger attraction, known for its October Fall Leaf Cruises and special Christmas Carol Cruises.
Hales Bar Marina & Resort
The 1912 structure standing in the water was once the powerhouse for the first multipurpose dam constructed on the Tennessee River. Rent a boat or floating cabin, or just enjoy the view for a bit. This site was featured on the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures.
Bluff View Art District
Perched on a bluff covering about one and a half blocks, this neighborhood has two artisan restaurants including Tony's Pasta Shop & Trattoria; a coffee house, bakery and sculpture garden; three unique 1900s B&Bs and an art gallery featuring work by nationally known artists, all with views of the river as a backdrop.
Military Memorial Museum
Located in Cumberland County's restored second courthouse, this museum features displays and artifacts dating back to the Civil War.
20 S. Main St.
Crossville, TN 38555
Jim Oliver's Smokehouse
Located atop beautiful Monteagle Mountain, the Smokehouse includes a newly remodeled lodge hotel, 14 secluded log cabins, and a family-owned and operated restaurant that's been hitting the spot for over 30 years. Country ham, pit BBQ, and hearty, home-cooked breakfasts are just a few of the specialties here. Stop in for a meal or stay for the weekend.
850 W. Main St.
Simonton's Cheese & Gourmet House
Opened in 1947, Tennessee's oldest family-owned cheese and gourmet shop is filled with delicious delicacies and great gift items. Stop in for a sample.
2278 Hwy 127S, #101
International Towing Museum
Visit the world's first tow truck, made right here in town in 1916 by Ernest Holmes, at this museum celebrating the towing and recovery industry. Encounter a collection of restored antique tow trucks, antique cars and a memorial garden and "Wall of the Fallen" of those who died in the line of duty.
3315 Broad St.
Head up this 100-mile-long mountain in three states and wind your way through the forest, discovering breathtaking views along the way. You'll travel first through the St. Elmo Historic Area, where Victorian homes line the route. Signs direct you to some of the South's most famous attractions, including points 22-29.
Since 1895, the Incline has thrilled guests as "The World's Steepest Passenger Railway." Ride up historic Lookout Mountain to see Chattanooga and its surrounding mountains and valleys come alive, as trolley-style railcars carry you sky-high. Round trips leave from both the lower and upper stations. Lower Station, 3917 St. Elmo Ave., Lookout Mountain, 423-821-4224 Upper Station, 827 E. Brow Rd., Lookout Mountain, 423-821-4224
Henry Flury & Sons
Family owned for nearly a century, this classic general store has supplied Tracy City with an interesting mix of merchandise since 1905. Stop in to see memorabilia and antiques from the area, just down Main Street from its famous neighbor (point 58).
223 Main St.
Tennessee Valley Theater
An amateur group with professional quality, this Spring City community theater presents four productions a year.
184 W. Jackson Ave
Free Electric Shuttle Northern Terminal Station
The Pie in the Sky Trail kicks off here at 215 Broad Street, in downtown Chattanooga. You will find the Chattanooga Visitors Center located in the free Electric Shuttle Park North Terminal breezeway across from the Tennessee Aquarium. Stop in for information on attractions, restaurants, events or fun tips before you hit the Pie In the Sky Trail. This is a great starting place for exploring downtown's world class attractions, whether you set off on foot, by bike or car, or just catch the free Electric Shuttle. Shuttles run every 5 to 10 minutes daily between the Tennessee Aquarium and the Chattanooga Choo Choo Complex with stops everywhere in between, including the restaurants in Jack's Alley (Between 4th & 5th Streets) and The Shoppes at Warehouse Row. Grab a shuttle brochure, hop on and explore! The Visitors Center is open daily – from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. EST
215 Broad St.
Rock City Gardens
This is your chance to obey the iconic barn commands and "See Rock City." Explore the quiet woodland paths and gardens, ancient rock formations, and 400 species of plants, flowers and shrubs. Stand atop world-famous Lover's Leap and take in the famous view of seven states. Wind your way through massive rock boulders that lead to Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village. There's no place in the world quite like this.
1400 Patten Rd.
Coalmont, Altamont and Gruetli-Laager
Leaving Tracy City, you'll pass near or through three small communities established in the late 1800s by Swiss immigrants as part of an initiative to start Swiss colonies on the Cumberland Plateau. The towns at first were isolated, then grew as coal mining and railroads brought connecting routes to other towns. Altamont is the county seat and home to the Grundy County Courthouse.
Jacob Myers' Restaurant on the River
Dine on steaks, seafood and gourmet sandwiches including specialties like the "Elvis," (peanut butter and banana, grilled in butter), as well as soups, salads and desserts. Homemade milkshakes, a full espresso bar, and dressings made on site make this a hometown favorite.
185 Chickamauga Dr.
Tennessee Aquarium / IMAX® 3D Theater
Chattanooga's top attraction takes you on a remarkable journey from the mountains to the sea. You'll explore three living forests and get up close to amazing creatures like giant catfish, feisty otters, playful penguins, toothy sharks and free-flying butterflies. The IMAX® 3D Theater runs daily with movies from all over the world and under the sea.
One Broad St.
Stone Door / Savage Gulf State Natural Area (SNA)
This is a great stop for folks interested in a short, easy hike and amazing views. From the ranger station, choose the Laurel Falls loop for a 273-yard walk down to a picturesque waterfall, or a 1-mile hike to the rock formation known as the Stone Door, a 10-foot-wide by 100-foot-deep crack that looks like a giant door left ajar, opening into the gorge below. Bring your camera for stunning views along this easy trail, a part of the 15,590-acre Savage Gulf SNA inside point 54.
1183 Stone Door Rd.
Cookie Jar Café & Johnson Family Farm
There's nothing like a home-cooked meal on the farm--literally--and this is your chance to dine in the countryside. Stop at this farmhouse restaurant for serious home cooking with off-the-beaten-path charm, and sit a spell on front porch rockers overlooking the pastures. It's no secret, though: This gem won readers' choice honors as Southern Living's "Best Back Roads Food" in 2009. Following your meal, explore the farm a bit and say hello to the animals.
15643 Rankin Ave.
Main Street Bakery & Café
Enjoy homecooked breakfast or lunch next door to point 65. Save room for homemade desserts; locals rave about them.
114 W. Main St.
Sequatchie County Chamber of Commerce
Stop in for tips and info about area activities, from fine dining to hang gliding. Open Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
15643 Rankin Ave.
Relax and enjoy wildflower filled gardens and spectacular views of the historic Lookout Mountain bluffs. Walk, drive or bike your way through 12 miles of marked trails.
McMinnville Courthouse Square
The 1897 Warren County Courthouse features a monument erected in 1904 honoring soldiers of the 16th Tennessee Infantry of the Civil War. The county is named for the patriot who sent Paul Revere on his infamous ride in 1775, as the Revolutionary War was brewing.
111 S. Court Sq.
Dunlap Coke Ovens Park Museum
This 62-acre park and museum sits just outside of Dunlap, established to preserve the remains of 268 beehive coke ovens used in the early 1900s to convert mountain coal into industrial coke, a product used to smelt iron ore. Tour the museum to see the largest collection of regional historic coal mining photographs in the state of Tennessee; explore the wooded park where the Trail of Tears passed through and see the coke ovens, just a short walk behind the museum building.
350 Mountain View Rd.
Whitwell-Marion County Coal Miners Museum
Located in the former Orena Humphrey Library, the Whitwell-Marion County Coal Miners Museum tells the story of underground coal mining, once the primary industry of Marion County. It also brings to life the story of the miners and their work through exhibits and retired coal miners who staff the museum.
900 A Main Street
212 Market Restaurant
Since opening in 1992, this AAA three-star local favorite has been revered as a cornerstone of downtown Chattanooga's development and revitalization. It's also Tennessee's first certified Green Restaurant. If you're looking for upscale food in a casual atmosphere, this is the place.
212 Market St.
Raccoon Mountain TVA Pump Storage Facility
This engineering marvel stores water like a large battery in the vast lake. When demand for electricity is high, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) releases water through a tunnel drilled in the center of the mountain, driving generators in the power plant to create additional electricity. About 2 miles into the site, you'll find a picnic area; continue on about 6 more miles and stop at the visitor center to see how it all happens.
Named for the land formation known as Signal Point, this Chattanooga suburb is perched on Walden's Ridge overlooking the city. This spot is believed to have been used by Native Americans to signal important messages across great distances; it was also used during the Civil War by Union troops to observe traffic on the Tennessee River.
Coolidge and Renaissance Parks
These popular urban parks along the north river bank are two of Chattanooga's gems. In Coolidge Park, don't miss the beautifully restored 1895 Denzel Carousel, enjoy the laughter of kids playing in the interactive fountains in the summer, or try the new earthen slide in Renaissance Park--just bring your own cardboard box. Check with Outdoor Chattanooga and rent a kayak, learn to rock climb, or ask about renting a bike.
200 River St.
MoonPie® General Store
You've finished the Pie in the Sky: MoonPies to Mountain Highs Trail, landing right back here in Chattanooga, home of the MoonPie® for 84 years. Pick up a few to take home, pick out a souvenir, and don't forget the R.C. Cola. Open 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
429 Broad St.
Dutch Maid Bakery
The original location of this off-the-beaten-path favorite (point 58) is still going strong in Tracy City. Stop in the Jasper café for lunch or a homemade treat.
29 Courthouse Sq.
Van Buren County Historic Courthouse Square
The courthouse is an 1800s-era, two-story brick structure situated in the center of this quaint town.
179 College St
Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge
Built in 1891, this former vehicular bridge has been transformed into the longest pedestrian bridge in the world, now a city park open from dawn to midnight. Take a stroll across the bridge to the NorthShore Historic District (point 8) and enjoy the view.
Walnut Street Bridge
Whether you're looking for something specific or just browsing for anything that catches your eye, you'll find it here, from clothing to furniture and everything in between. One thing you can be sure of? You'll get a great deal.
220 S. Cedar Ave.
Homesteads Historic District
Now Tennessee's largest historic district, this community was created as a part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, a set of economic recovery measures enacted during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Stop in the Homesteads House Museum located at the base of the Homesteads Tower. See photos, documents and artifacts from original homestead families, many of which have been donated by locals.
96 TN Hwy 68