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Fun Things to do in Chatanooga


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city guide

Surrounded by mountains, rivers and lakes, Chattanooga and Hamilton County, Tennessee, offer a little bit of everything - the fastest internet service in the western hemisphere, a thriving innovation business district and a booming downtown along the Tennessee River brimming with shops, dining and history. Awarded Outdoor Magazines Best Town Ever title for two years, the Scenic City always delivers.


Best time to go

The best time to visit Chattanooga is during the spring and fall months. These periods offer ideal weather, fewer crowds, and boast the city's most popular festivals and events like beer festivals, art festivals, and music festivals.


Fun city facts and activities

    Nashville and Memphis might be the most popular and most musical cities in the Volunteer State, but they dont call Chattanooga the Scenic City for nothing. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Tennessee River and the mountain ridges of the Appalachian foothills, its no wonder this outdoorsy town is replete with fun things to do for locals and travelers of all stripes.

    Once in town, youll be overwhelmed by a desire to spend a whole lot of time outside of your hotel, strolling through some of the small but mighty museums, shopping at some popular boutiques and, of course, eating your heart out at the best restaurants in town. But remember, Chattanoogans are all about taking it easy, keeping it local and making sure to partake in activities with an eye towards all things sustainable.
City facts

Neighborhoods to explore

    Lookout Mountain
    Signal Mountain
    Lookout Mountain
    Our Lady of Perpetual Help School
    Tunnel Hill
    Red Bank

Food Specialties

    Its no secret that the American South offers some of the most deliciously unique food across the country. Although Nashville, Atlanta and Charleston have long hogged the national spotlight as food destinations, those looking to experience a smaller, more walkable city whose culinary scene focuses on sustainability and fresh ingredients should turn their attention to Chattanooga. Nestled in the Tennessee Valley, the city is home to a bevy of young and enthusiastic Southern chefs aiming to make their marks alongside plenty of old-school institutions that have been quietly serving to-notch plates for decades. From pricey date night spots offering a delightful ambiance to quirky dives serving fried chicken that would make any Tennessee grandmother nod in appreciation, the food served at the best restaurants in Chattanooga will undoubtedly revive your taste buds and fuel your desire to add a couple of nights to your hotel stay, giving your more time to cross off the very best things to do in town and, of course, dine at even more eateries.

Chattanooga Offbeat activities

Free or cheap things to do

1. Take a ride on the Chattanooga Choo Choo
2. Climb Rock City
3. Visit the Tennessee Aquarium
4. Check out the Chattanooga Ghost Tours
5. Take a walk along the Walnut Street Bridge
6. Hit up the Chattanooga Zoo
7. Visit the Creative Discovery Museum
8. Ride the Incline Railway
9. Explore the Hunter Museum of American Art
10. Take a hike on Lookout Mountain

Offbeat activites
Kid friendly

Fun things to do in with kids

Free or cheap things to do

It's full of wonderfully southern, small-town amenities, as well as big-city attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Similar to Knoxville, Chattanooga has both charm and excitement and offers a ton of ways for families to get together and enjoy a Southern adventure in one of the US' most culturally rich states.

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Best Parks

City data and FAQ 

Are two days enough to visit Chatanooga?

I wanted to go to the Aquarium the last time I was there but there was a scheduling problem. There is so much to see so I think you could have a great visit but if you only have two days you will miss a lot. Lets seethe Aquarium, Ruby Falls, the trains, the nature center, the Creative Discovery museum (if you have kids), Hunter Museum of American Art, the zoo, and more. You will have to choose what you want to see. If you only have two days I recommend the Aquarium, lookout mountain (ride the Incline train to get there), and maybe a museum of your choice.
Cathy Romanczuk - Former Teacher at Tennessee (state) (20012007)

It really depends on what you're headed there for the outdoors, the aquarium/downtown attractions, the food, or the historic value of the city. You could definitely hit most of the highlights at a surface level and eat at the best restaurants. Just make sure you have a good itinerary and maximize those two days.
I drive down to visit my friend in Chattanooga every few weekends and am amazed at what we are able to do in such a short amount of time! Two days will probably make you happy, but it will also make you want to come back for sure!
Shelby Lives in Tennessee (2011 Present)

What is Chatanooga famous for?
I could think of these ten things (besides being a major city and in the little-known Appalachian Rainforest); Border disputes with Georgia; Little Debbie; Lookout; Mountain; Moon Pies; Raccoon Mountain; Rosss Landing; Ruby Falls; Tennessee Aquarium; Tennessee River Gorge; The W Road.
LAM - Lives in Appalachian Rainforest (2003 Present)

Do you need a car to visiti Chatanooga?

Not necessarily. If you dont mind walking or a short bus trip, the most frequented downtown areas are within blocks of each other. Food, arts, museums, entertainment, lodging, and many things to do are a stones throw away. The shuttle busses run every 5 minutes and are free.
Sandi Goodell Lives in Chatanooga, TN

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