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Best Things to Do in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Every other city has its regular attractions: the public art museum, a shopping center, a historic site with a plaque, and the typical downtown. But Chattanooga is in a class of its own. 

Discover the local gatherings and popular attractions that are truly unique to Chattanooga. With unrivaled dining experiences, one-of-a-kind historic sites, and an enjoyable blend of the natural and urban, Chattanooga has more than just something to offer everyone — the city will melt your heart. 

Choose Your Favorite Activity

bridge over mountains with chattanooga tennessee in background

Chattanooga Must-Sees and Local Treasures

If you're visiting the "Scenic City," you can't possibly leave before you visit Chattanooga's history, natural wonders, and welcoming residents. Here are the top things to do in Chattanooga, outlined in this interactive area map and separated by category. Discover this beloved city for yourself! 

Tour the City on a "Duck"

Buy a ticket and ride the DUKWs ("Ducks"), the six-wheeled vehicles built for WWII, on a historic tour through the city. Don't be alarmed if you're heading for water at full speed — the Ducks are amphibious. 

The guides will share interesting trivia and local perspectives of Chattanooga's history while you cruise along city blocks and through the Tennessee River. This is truly a historic tour you won't find anywhere else. 

Other Historic Points of Interest

Visiting Chattanooga? Step back into the past at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, where you can sleep in Pullman train-cars-turned-hotel-rooms in this former Terminal Station. You might find yourself whistling along to the famous song of the same name while you're here. 

Another popular attraction is the Southern Belle Riverboat, a cruise along the Tennessee River that offers you the history — and delicious food — you've been craving. 

Discover Chattanooga's Natural Wonder, Ruby Falls

Deep within Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls is considered one of the most incredible cave waterfalls in the world, and rightly so. The falls drop 145 feet below the surface, cascading gently down with underground lights illuminating the spectacle.  

Afterwords, lounge on the mountainside deck and take in a panoramic view of the majestic Tennessee Valley and the sparkling Scenic City. 

Bring a jacket, it's a little chilly inside the cave.

Other Places to Explore

Be sure to check out Raccoon Mountain Caverns, Tennessee Riverpark, Lookout Mountain, and Coolidge Park, and bring your camera. These places are natural gems in addition to Ruby Falls that impress visitors and residents alike. 

Stay for Chattanooga's Festivals

From summer concerts to craft beers, Chattanooga residents can always celebrate their local culture. Take some time to stop by these annual festivals in Chattanooga:

  • 4 Bridges Art Festival — April
  • Riverbend Music Festival — June
  • Nightfall Summer Concert Series — May-September 
  • Riverfront Nights Music Series — July-August
  • Southern Brewer's Festival — August
  • RiverRocks Adventure Sports Games — October
  • 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival — October
  • Wine Over Water — October

Shop Local! 

You can always find your favorite brands at any other shopping center. Take some time to shop local in Chattanooga, whether you're just window shopping or eager to find your own treasured keepsake. Warehouse Row is always a delight, as are the local shops in Downtown Chattanooga.

Wine and Dine at Top-Rated Restaurants

Discover the local food scene by visiting some (or all!) of Chattanooga's best restaurants:

  • Alleia
  • Boccaccia
  • Lupi's Pizza Pies
  • Urban Stack Burger Lounge
  • Bluegrass Grill
  • Rembrandt's Coffee House

But you can find just about anything to eat in downtown Chattanooga along Market Street and Frazier Avenue. Take some time to explore the city and find your own favorite places to eat. 

Making Memories in Chattanooga, The Scenic City

Everything about Chattanooga is breathtaking, whether you're viewing architectural marvels, watching from the city surface, or descending into captivating caverns underground. And naturally, there are plenty of places to make memories with your friends, family, and neighbors. 

Explore the Wildlife at the Tennessee Aquarium

Spend several hours journeying through four floors of diverse exhibits, and stand captivated by wildlife from your unique perspective "below the surface." 

Wind your way from the top floor to the depths of the aquarium, discovering everything from butterflies to penguins. Be prepared for the gigantic water tanks, some as deep as the building is tall. 

Other Local Experiences

Be sure to check out the Walnut Street Bridge, ride the Incline Railway on Lookout Mountain, or visit one of Chattanooga's dozens of museums and art galleries showcasing the local culture. You'll remember these moments for a lifetime. 

So Much to Do, So Little Time...

The list of things to do and places to eat just keeps going! So the question is, "what isn't there to do in Chattanooga?" 

If you have any questions about Chattanooga restaurants, local attractions, and other must-sees, let us know! We would love to talk with you about this great city.

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