With Civil War monuments, an aquarium, interactive museums, nature and arts, Chattanooga has a diverse range of attractions. After a successful redevelopment of its downtown area and waterfront, Chattanooga now also boasts a scenic riverside walkway. Head to the nearby mountains to get a view of it all.
Chattanooga straddles the Tennessee River in the southeast of the state. The river divides the city into north and south, with four bridges connecting the two districts. Among these bridges is the pedestrian-only Walnut Street Bridge. Cross it to get to the North Shore and visit Coolidge Park, a great place for kids, with a fountain to splash in and a carousel to ride.
Attractions in the waterfront area include the Tennessee Aquarium and the Creative Discovery Museum. Nearby, art lovers will appreciate the sculpture garden and Houston Museum of Decorative Arts between Market and Veterans bridges. From here, do the Tennessee Riverwalk or join a river cruise.
Just a 20-minute drive from Chattanooga city center, Lookout Mountain offers outdoor activities. Stare in awe at the towering Ruby Falls and take in the views from Rock City Gardens. For an adventure, step aboard the Incline Railway, one of the world’s steepest passenger railways.
See remnants of the American Civil War at Point Park and the Battles for Chattanooga Museum. Extending across the Tennessee-Georgia border is Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, which honors the 1863 Civil War battles.
Back in downtown Chattanooga, getting around is easy. A free electric shuttle runs all day along Broad Street, one of the city’s main thoroughfares, to the parks on the north side of the river. The route starts at the landmark Chattanooga Choo Choo, the train station named after Glenn Miller’s famous song. The terminal is now an entertainment precinct with plenty of dining options.
With Mexican and barbecue street food, traditional burger joints and fine-dining restaurants, Chattanooga’s culinary scene is as diverse as its attractions. If you can, visit the free Chattanooga Street Food Festival in summer and the Chattanooga Chili Cook-Off in autumn. This is when Chattanooga is at its best!