Aerial view of downtown Chattanooga skyline and Tennessee River

Things to do in  Chattanooga

Rails, trails, and ales

Set on the twisty banks of the Tennessee River, thrumming between gentle mountains, soaring waterfalls, and narrow caves, Chattanooga isn’t under-the-radar for many outdoor enthusiasts. From rock climbing and spelunking to fishing and hiking, there’s loads to explore here—and with mild winters, it’s a year-round playground. And that’s not to mention the museums, the coffee shops and restaurants, the music venues, and more; heck, there’s even a bookstore scene. In short, you’ll be spoiled with things to do in Chattanooga.

Top 2 attractions in Chattanooga

Tennessee Aquarium

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Taking you on a journey from a mountain stream to the sea, the Tennessee Aquarium is spread across two buildings—one focused on rivers and the other on oceans. In both, you can discover an array of exhibits highlighting habitats, native creatures, threats, and conservation strategies.More

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

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A rolling museum of rail history that gave the world the Chattanooga Choo Choo, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum offers the chance for families, rail fans, photographers, and history buffs to experience Appalachia in style. Its lovingly restored retro locomotives run local and scenic routes.More

Top activities in Chattanooga

Murder & Mayhem Haunted History Walking Tour
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Downtown Chattanooga Food Tour
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Downtown Chattanooga Food Tour

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$119.00
The Equine Experience

The Equine Experience

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Walking Tour of Chattanooga
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Walking Tour of Chattanooga

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Sabotage: 1944

Sabotage: 1944

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2 Virtual Reality Simulator Bundle for Outdoor Experiences
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All about Chattanooga

When to visit

Though winters are mild, Chattanooga does have four seasons—if you’re looking for temperate weather, you’ll enjoy spring and fall. In spring, the city’s many green spaces are in full bloom; come autumn, you’ll get all the fall foliage Tennessee is known for, as Chattanooga sits at the foot of the Appalachians. In summer, the city comes alive with fantastic festivals, like the Riverbend Festival, a three-day music fest 40 years strong.

Getting around

Compared to most of the US, getting around Chattanooga is incredibly easy. While you could drive, the city has a free electric shuttle that winds through downtown and to the Northshore neighborhood. From Northshore, a pedestrian bridge connects to the Southside; there’s also a 16-mile riverwalk that connects to multiple neighborhoods and downtown. What’s more, the city also offers a robust bike-share program with locations throughout the city. Rideshares and taxis are an option, too.

Traveler tips

When you’re in Chattanooga, you’ll hear all about Point Park on Lookout Mountain—part of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, there’s great views and tangible history up here. But don’t miss Signal Point, an equally beautiful overlook that’s a great spot to picnic over the Chattanooga Valley. Another less-trodden gem is St. Elmo, full of gorgeous Victorian-era homes, strollable shops, and inventive eateries.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
EST (UTC -5)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English
Attractions
2
Tours
57
Reviews
2,197
EN
5533a4fd-145b-48aa-961a-78414c7feda6
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People Also Ask

What is Chattanooga most known for?

Chattanooga is arguably most known for the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, a 1941 song by Glenn Miller—today, there’s also the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel, a converted rail station now a downtown destination. Apart from its rail history, Chattanooga is nicknamed Tennessee’s “Scenic City,” as it’s immersed in nature from all sides.

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Is Chattanooga TN worth visiting?

Yes, Chattanooga is absolutely worth visiting. For starters, it’s steeped in nature—the Tennessee River winds right through downtown, perfect for paddling or simply strolling the riverwalk. There are also waterfalls, mountains, and nearby state forests and archaeological sites. As for culture, you’ll find food- and craft-forward neighborhoods, an artsy boutique scene, and a tangible history circa the Civil War.

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Where can I walk around downtown Chattanooga?

Get close to the water—the Tennessee River—downtown, and you’ll be spoiled for choice. Wander around Aquarium Way toward Ross’s Landing (the beginning of the Trail of Tears), then hop on the Riverwalk. From there, you can take the pedestrian-centric Walnut St. Bridge to explore the Northshore ‘hood and Coolidge Park, where there are even more shops, restaurants, and things to do.

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What is the best part of Chattanooga?

The “best part” of Chattanooga depends on your interests. Many gravitate to the 16-mile riverwalk, which connects downtown to Coolidge Park via the Walnut St. Bridge, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world. Across it lies the Northshore neighborhood, with shops and attractions along Frazier Avenue. Of course, downtown is its own force, with countless things to do on and around Market Street.

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What is the most walkable part of Chattanooga?

While most of Chattanooga is walkable (compared to many US cities), the most walkable is the Northshore neighborhood. That’s where you’ll find Coolidge Park, local shops and restaurants, and the Walnut St. pedestrian bridge connecting downtown and the riverwalk. Essentially, if you’re anywhere between Northshore and downtown, it’s walkable.

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Is downtown Chattanooga walkable?

Yes, downtown Chattanooga is absolutely walkable. For starters, the 16-mile riverwalk winds right through it—you can take that to the Bluff View Art District for independent shops and cafes, plus great views over the river and downtown. You can also hop on the Walnut St. Bridge to Coolidge Park or simply stroll Market Street on foot, window-shopping as you please.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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