24 Best Places and Things To Do in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee, often referred to as the “Scenic City,” is a vibrant and picturesque destination with a plethora of attractions and activities to offer visitors. Nestled in the southeastern part of the state, Chattanooga is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, including the Tennessee River, Lookout Mountain, and the Appalachian Mountains.

1. Lookout Mountain

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This iconic mountain offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the surrounding area. Take a scenic drive up the mountain, ride the Incline Railway, or hike the various trails to enjoy the stunning vistas. Lookout Mountain is also home to several attractions, such as Rock City, Ruby Falls, and the Battles for Chattanooga Museum.

2. Tennessee Aquarium

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Located on the downtown riverfront, the Tennessee Aquarium is a must-visit for nature lovers. Explore the two buildings, River Journey and Ocean Journey, which house a diverse range of marine life, including penguins, sea turtles, sharks, and countless fish species. The IMAX theater and the interactive exhibits add to the overall experience.

3. Walnut Street Bridge

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Take a leisurely stroll or bike ride across the Walnut Street Bridge, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world. Spanning the Tennessee River, this historic bridge offers beautiful views of downtown Chattanooga and the riverfront area. It’s a great spot for a picnic or to catch a colorful sunset.

4. Coolidge Park

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Located on the north shore of the Tennessee River, Coolidge Park is a popular spot for outdoor activities. Enjoy a picnic, go for a walk or bike ride along the riverwalk, or let the kids play in the interactive water fountains. The antique carousel is a highlight and a hit with visitors of all ages.

5. Chattanooga Riverwalk

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This 13-mile paved trail follows the banks of the Tennessee River, offering stunning views and connecting several parks and attractions. Rent a bike or take a leisurely walk along the Riverwalk, and don’t miss the beautiful sculpture gardens and public art installations along the way.

6. Creative Discovery Museum


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Perfect for families with young children, the Creative Discovery Museum is a hands-on museum featuring interactive exhibits that promote learning and creativity. Kids can explore the water play area, climb a giant tower, and engage in various educational activities.

7. Tennessee River Gorge

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Embark on a scenic boat tour or kayak adventure through the Tennessee River Gorge, often called the “Grand Canyon of Tennessee.” This stunning 26-mile stretch of river is lined with majestic cliffs, lush forests, and abundant wildlife. It’s a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and experience the serenity of the area.

8. Hunter Museum of American Art

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Located on a bluff overlooking the Tennessee River, the Hunter Museum of American Art houses an impressive collection of American art from the 18th century to contemporary works. The museum features paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and rotating exhibitions, providing a captivating journey through American artistic expressions.

9. Chattanooga Zoo

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Pay a visit to the Chattanooga Zoo, home to a diverse array of animals from around the world. The zoo features exhibits like Himalayan Passage, Gombe Forest, and Corcovado Jungle, where you can observe species such as snow leopards, chimpanzees, and jaguars. Don’t forget to check out the interactive encounters and educational programs for a hands-on experience.

10. Songbirds Guitar Museum

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Guitar enthusiasts will be delighted by the Songbirds Guitar Museum, home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of rare and vintage guitars. Explore the exhibits showcasing iconic instruments and learn about the history and evolution of the guitar. You can also participate in guided tours or attend live music performances.

11. International Towing and Recovery Museum

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Uniquely dedicated to the history and preservation of the towing and recovery industry, this museum showcases a collection of vintage tow trucks, equipment, and artifacts. It offers an intriguing glimpse into the evolution of this industry and its impact on transportation.

12. Sculpture Fields at Montague Park

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Immerse yourself in a vast outdoor sculpture park at Sculpture Fields at Montague Park. This 33-acre public park features over 30 large-scale sculptures by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. Take a peaceful stroll through the park, appreciating the art installations amidst the scenic beauty of the surroundings.

13. Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

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Step back in time with a visit to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. This living history museum offers train rides on vintage locomotives and hosts special events, such as themed excursions and holiday train rides. Explore the exhibits, learn about the history of railroads, and even participate in interactive experiences like driving a train simulator.

14. Coolidge Park Carousel

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Located within Coolidge Park, the historic carousel is a charming attraction that appeals to visitors of all ages. Hop on one of the beautifully crafted carousel horses and take a nostalgic ride on this classic attraction. The intricately painted animals and the nostalgic music create a whimsical experience.

15. Chattanooga African American Museum

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Learn about the African American history and culture of the region at the Chattanooga African American Museum. The museum showcases exhibits highlighting the contributions, struggles, and achievements of African Americans in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. It provides an important perspective on the city’s diverse heritage.

16. Raccoon Mountain Caverns

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Raccoon Mountain Caverns is a captivating destination for those who want to delve into the mysterious underground world of caves. Located just a short drive from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Raccoon Mountain Caverns offers visitors the opportunity to explore intricate passageways, awe-inspiring formations, and hidden chambers. The highlight of Raccoon Mountain Caverns is the guided cave tours. Led by experienced guides, these tours take you through different sections of the cave system, each with its own unique features. You’ll witness stunning stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, and other incredible formations that have been created over thousands of years.

17. Tennessee Riverpark

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The Riverpark features a network of walking and biking trails that meander along the river’s edge. The trails are paved, making them suitable for walking, jogging, biking, and rollerblading. You can explore the park at your own pace, taking in the scenic views, and enjoying the fresh air.

18. Raccoon Mountain Dam

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The Raccoon Mountain Dam serves as a pumped-storage hydroelectric plant. Its primary purpose is to generate electricity during times of high demand. The facility operates by storing water in an upper reservoir during off-peak hours when electricity demand is low. Then, during periods of peak demand, the stored water is released to generate hydroelectric power.

19. Ross’s Landing Park

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Ross’s Landing Park is a historic and picturesque park located in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, along the banks of the Tennessee River. It holds great significance in the city’s history and serves as a gathering place for locals and visitors alike.

20. Enterprise South Nature Park

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Enterprise South Nature Park is a beautiful and expansive natural area located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Situated on the grounds of a former munitions plant, this park offers a range of outdoor activities, wildlife habitats, and recreational opportunities. The park boasts over 20 miles of well-maintained hiking and biking trails that wind through diverse landscapes, including forests, meadows, and wetlands. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a casual nature enthusiast, you’ll find trails suitable for all skill levels. The trails provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the park’s natural beauty while enjoying exercise and fresh air.

21. The Houston Museum of Decorative Arts

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The Houston Museum of Decorative Arts is a small but remarkable museum located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is dedicated to showcasing a diverse collection of decorative arts, including furniture, glassware, ceramics, textiles, and other objects that exemplify craftsmanship and artistic expression

22. Stringers Ridge Park

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The park boasts a well-maintained trail system that winds through its 92 acres of woodlands and meadows. The trails cater to hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers of various skill levels. With options ranging from easy strolls to more challenging routes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The trails meander through a mix of hardwood forests, open fields, and rocky outcroppings, providing diverse scenery and opportunities to explore nature.

23. National Memorial for the Unborn

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The National Memorial for the Unborn is a significant memorial located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, dedicated to unborn children and their mothers. It serves as a place of remembrance, healing, and reflection for those who have experienced the loss of a child through abortion or miscarriage.

24. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

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St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is a historic and vibrant church located in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a significant religious and architectural landmark, serving as a spiritual hub and community gathering place for worship, fellowship, and outreach. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1852. The church building itself is an architectural masterpiece, showcasing a blend of Gothic Revival and Victorian styles.

Chattanooga, Tennessee, truly offers an abundance of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, or simply a relaxing getaway, Chattanooga has it all. With its captivating blend of history, art, and scenic wonders, this “Scenic City” is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.