Discover the Falls
Opened as a public attraction in 1930, Ruby Falls, located 1,120 feet underground inside Lookout Mountain, is quite the sight! Visitors can hike through winding underground trails while learning more about the dazzling rock formations and marvel at the enormous waterfall. Special tours include the Lantern Tour and the Extended Cavern Experience. Feeling adventurous? Take a turn on Ruby Falls ZIPStream Aerial Adventure – a tree-based aerial adventure park featuring suspended obstacle courses. Glide through the trees on the 700-ft roundtrip zip lines!
Ride the Incline.
Travel “America’s Most Amazing Mile” by way of the Incline Railway. Located atop historic Lookout Mountain, the incline was established in the 1800s to carry residents and visitors up and down the steepest part of the mountain. Today it’s used for entertainment and recreation purposes. Up top, you’ll find attractions like Civil War hotspot Point Park, and down below, the quaint neighborhood of St. Elmo, featuring antique stores, restaurants, and ice cream shops.
Located just six miles from downtown, Lookout Mountain’s Rock City is a whimsical 4,100-foot walking trail showcasing rock formations, caves, lush gardens, and a panoramic view of seven states. Journey along the Enchanted Trail and experience the magic of Mother Goose Village and Fairyland Caverns, and – if you dare – walk across the 210-ft Swing-A-Long Bridge! Celebrate Rock City’s 85th anniversary during our Southern Blooms Festival May 13-14 and 20-21. Rock City’s Summer Music Weekends feature the sweet sounds of Amber Carrington and Highbeams, as well as the bluegrass beats of Matt Downer-Old Time Traveler, Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Immerse yourself in bluegrass.
Signal Mountain is home to one of the area’s oldest musical traditions and best-kept secrets. The Mountain Opry, currently in its 38th year, hosts weekly performances featuring bluegrass and old-time acoustic pickin’, giving audiences an authentic taste of Appalachian roots music. Admission is free, concessions are available, and the venue is wheelchair accessible.
Segway the city.
You’ve seen them around town, but have you tried them? Pick your route and hop on a Chattanooga Segway Tour! Riders can choose from a guided two hour Downtown Historic Tour, covering places like the Tivoli Theater, Warehouse Row, Ross’s Landing, the Choo Choo and more, or a slightly shorter guided tour of the NorthShore and Coolidge Park by way of Frazier Avenue. Tours tend to fill up quickly, so be sure to make a reservation in advance.
See Chattanooga as the amphibians do! Perfect for history buffs and ecology lovers, the Chattanooga Ducks tour places visitors aboard an authentic WWII amphibious landing craft built specifically for the D-Day invasion. See the city by land first, and then splash into the river for an ecological tour of the Riverfront and Maclellan Island.
Root For the Home Teams.
Celebrate “America’s Pastime” two different ways. First, head down to AT&T Stadium to catch a Chattanooga Lookouts game. With the installation of the brand-new videoboard, fans will be even closer to the game. Enjoy Fireworks Friday Extravaganzas, Kids Eat Free Mondays, Thirsty Thursdays with two-dollar drink specials, and the opportunity to run the bases after every home game! Fans can also cheer on Chattanooga’s barehanded vintage baseball teams at the Tennessee Association of Vintage Baseball games held at 6th Calvary Museum and at Tennessee Riverpark. See history come to life!
Devour delectable treats.
Opened in 2008, this locally-owned chocolate shop knows how to create scrumptious chocolates. The Hot Chocolatier is located on Market Street and is a necessary stop for any chocoholic. In recent years, the menu has expanded beyond just chocolates and now offers gourmet pastries, desserts, and gelato. Beyond the shop’s counter and display cases, guests can view pastry chefs assembling cakes or watch chocolatiers through the chocolate kitchen’s windows as chocolate creations are moved through various stages of production.
Sample some brews.
Taking place on the historic Ross’s Landing Park, Southern Brewers Festival is back for its 23rd year! Saturday, August 26, attendees can try brews from more than 35 of the region’s best breweries, including some made locally in the Chattanooga area. Live musical performances add to the day and night full of fun at this annual festival.
Wind down with wine.
With an urban winery on the Southside and a lush vineyard spanning acres just minutes from downtown, Debarge Vineyards & Winery provides a fun experience. Stop by the winery for tastings of handcrafted wines, or travel 20 miles down the road to LaFayette, Georgia to see the vineyard.
With exciting events and hands-on programs scheduled throughout the summer, it’s not hard to see why Creative Discovery Museum has been recognized as one of the premier children’s museums in the region. Permanent and temporary exhibits make it the perfect place for curious young minds to explore and grow. The books and illustrations of children’s author, Eric Carle, will come to life on May 27 with the Very Eric Carle: A Very Hungry, Quiet, Lonely Clumsy, Busy Exhibit. Celebrate honeybees, the world’s hardest workers, at Honey Harvest July 30 and 31.
Cycle the city.
Named one of America’s “Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities,” Chattanooga offers a fun way to explore the city. With the Bicycle Transit System, you can rent one of hundreds of bikes at more than 30 stations located throughout the city, and simply return the bike to any station when you’re done. Bikes can be rented 24/7, 365 days a year. A transit app, available on iPhone and Android, now offers Bike Chattanooga unlock and pay features.
Leap with Lemurs.
One of Chattanooga’s tourist destinations, the Tennessee Aquarium is home to the most diverse gathering of freshwater animals in the country. Visitors can experience both the River Journey building, with animals like river otters and turtles, as well as the Ocean Journey building, with sharks, penguins, jellyfish, and more. Recently, some new inhabitants leapt into town, and visitors can now enjoy the Lemur Forest! The Tennessee Aquarium works to “inspire wonder, appreciation, and protection of water and all life that it sustains,” and has been rated as the best in America for overall guest satisfaction.
Journey through IMAX.
Just a block away from the aquarium, experience new sights and sounds at the IMAX 3D Theater. Audiences will be transported to wild and magical places across the globe to learn about other cultures, creatures, and ways of life. With the newly-installed IMAX with Laser projection system, audiences are privy to the sharpest, brightest, clearest, and most vivid digital images ever seen. Add an additional $8 to your Aquarium ticket and witness exotic locales or new depths via IMAX.
Ride the waves.
Explore “Tennessee’s Grand Canyon” as you travel downstream on the Tennessee Aquarium’s River Gorge Explorer. Gliding smoothly and swiftly downstream, this hydrofoil-assisted boat allows guests to take in the natural beauty within the protected habitat of the Tennessee River Gorge. An Aquarium naturalist will bring history to life as you enjoy the scenery from the observation deck or the climate-controlled cabin.
Explore the city by land.
Step back in time and take an authentic train ride, which departs from the Grand Junction Station at the Tennessee Valley Railroad. Each day, the Missionary Ridge Local takes guests along one of the original Chattanooga railroad lines. Guests can opt for special rides like Dinner on the Diner, which includes a three-course dining experience, or the Summerville Steam Special, which follows a historic route from Grand Junction Station in
Chattanooga to Summerville, Georgia.
…or by water.
The perfect activity for a hot summer day: stay cool as you travel up and down the Tennessee River on a Stand-up paddle board. Rent a board from L2 Outside, located by the river downtown, and then take it for a spin on the water. You can also rent from River Canyon Adventures and launch from their scenic location. Not a fan of paddleboards? Both locations offer kayaks as well. Basic tutorials are provided for newbies.
l2outside.com, 423.531.7873; rivercanyonadventure.com, 423.488.8211
…or by air.
Calling all thrill-seekers. The Chattanooga Skydiving Company has been around for more than 50 years and promises one of the most awe-inspiring and scenic drop zones you’ll find anywhere. Tandem skydiving and solo instruction is provided, and experienced skydivers with a current USPA membership are welcome to jump alone!
Ride in style.
Open since 1992, Chattanooga Horse Trams offer an opportunity to explore the city at a slower pace. Climb upon a horse-drawn carriage for this whimsical tour of downtown Chattanooga. Tours depart from the Tennessee Aquarium plaza. Handsome horses and carriage dogs make the rides extra special.
Celebrate with the sounds of the symphony.
Each Independence Day brings a symphonic celebration to Coolidge Park. On July 3, grab your red, white, and blue and enjoy the free annual Pops on the River concert. This celebration includes a special tribute to veterans and celebrates music from some of America’s most influential composers. The festivities conclude with a patriotic fireworks finale.
Plan a shopping spree.
Whether shopping downtown for yourself or others, look no further than Warehouse Row! With a mix of national and local retailers, the converted warehouses provide shops for clothing, jewelry, stationery, makeup, home goods, and more. An on-site spa and high-end salon afford you the opportunity to pamper yourself all in one place. Round out the day by grabbing coffee, cocktails, or a full meal at one of several restaurants.
Admire outdoor art.
What is better than a leisurely walk on a nice summer day? Not much when that walk includes the outdoor art installations that Chattanooga provides. The Public Art Walking Tour extends from NorthShore to the Southside and includes the River Gallery Sculpture Garden, Bluff View, The Passage, The Blue Trees, and more. The tour uses a simple map to lead you to each stop, highlighting some of the best public art the city has to offer.
See Real-Life Superheroes.
Named 2016’s “Best Race Venue,” “Best Host City Experience,” and “Best Post-Race Celebration,” it’s clear the Scenic City is well-suited for IRONMAN. This year, catch Chattanooga’s Sunbelt Bakery IRONMAN 70.3 on May 21, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Septemer 9 and 10, and then the Little Debbie IRONMAN
on September 24. Pick a spot at one of Chattanooga’s many bars or restaurants on the route, or post up streetside to cheer on these accomplished and inspiring athletes. Ironman.com
An outdoor destination, Reflection Riding Arboretum &
Nature Center consists of 317 acres of hiking trails, the Reflection Riding Loop for driving and cycling, and a Wildlife Wanderland with native animals. Children and adults alike will embrace the sights and sounds of nature. Scheduled events include guided canoe trips, nature hikes, trail runs, and other outdoor activities, all held in one of the most scenic spots in the city.
For a day of wild fun, be sure to visit the Chattanooga Zoo! With animals ranging from chimpanzees and red pandas, to komodo dragons and snow leopards, you can feast your eyes on over 250 creatures you’ve never seen before. Exhibits include animals indigenous to rainforests in Latin America, the Himalayan Mountains of Asia, African deserts, and habitats all over the world!
Did you know the Chattanooga Zoo offers “WILD Encounters”? Visitors can get up-close and personal with some of the cutest animals at the zoo. Choose from red pandas, meerkats, fennec foxes, two-toed sloths, and more! You can meet, feed, and hangout with these amazing creatures while learning all about how the zookeepers make sure the animals are happy, healthy, and eating well.
Become a Zookeeper.
Kids can step into the boots of a zookeeper in one of this summer’s week-long camps, open to children Pre-K to 8th grade. Each camp will feature behind the scenes tours, games, and of course animal encounters. The older kiddos – 4th grade-8th grade – will even get to stay overnight on Friday night! Teens and adults don’t fret though, there’s an option for you, as well. “The Zookeeper for a Day” program is an interactive, educational offering that gives attendees a firsthand look at working in a zoo. You’ll shadow a zookeeper as they follow their daily routine.
Take in some tunes.
Music lovers are set this summer! With Nightfall heading to Miller Plaza every Friday night, May 5 – August 25, and Riverfront Nights returning each Saturday night down at Ross’s Landing, July 15 – August 19, there will be an abundance of diverse musicians hitting the stage. Each concert series showcases opening acts at 7 p.m. and headliners at 8 p.m. and offers concessions. Bring your blankets, chairs, and pets and listen to some quality music.
Chug on down to the Choo Choo.
Much more than a hotel, the Chattanooga Choo Choo has everything you need, all in one place. This newly-renovated and modernized space includes both upscale restaurant STIR, and newly-opened, hip coffeehouse and wine bar, Frothy Monkey. With two music venues and a comedy club on site, not to mention the brand-new Songbirds guitar museum, there is truly something for everyone. Its original charm, reflected in the authentic Victorian train cars, traditional hotel suites, and the lush rose garden, keep the timeless feel intact.
Release your inner kid at the Chattanooga Jump Park and Superfly Extreme Air Sports. A series of connected trampolines and obstacles fill these massive play places. Chattanooga Jump Park also includes a game room with ping pong, pool tables, foosball, shuffleboard, and more, while Superfly houses a rope forest, rock wall, rope bridge, and other activities.
Treat yourself to a show at the Tivoli Theatre.
Known as the “Jewel of the South,” the historic Tivoli Theatre has entertained Chattanoogans for nearly a century. Named after Tivoli, Italy, the theatre boasts more than 1,500 seats, a grand lobby, red velvet plush chairs, and the original box office. New this year, Broadway at the Tivoli completes its 2017 lineup with performances of “Annie” May 2nd and 3rd.
Spend a day with the arts.
Are you an art lover? If so, visit the Hunter Museum of American Art! With summer exhibits entitled Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, open through June 4, (Re)invention open through May 21, and Thrill After Thrill: Thirty Years of Wayne White opening June 30, you can experience the world through the eyes of artists. The permanent collection features pieces from the Colonial period to present day. After touring the museum, walk over to the Bluff View Art District to see the sculpture garden, or stop in at the artisan bakery or coffee shop.
Relax on the riverboat.
Cruise the river in Chattanooga’s Southern Belle riverboat! Choose from daily sightseeing cruises, lunch cruises, dinner cruises, and event private charters, or stop in and visit the 3rd Deck Burger Bar. This summer, don’t miss the Mother’s Day Cruise on May 14 and the Fireworks Cruise in July!
Chase the haunts.
Hear tales of Chattanooga’s most haunted spots when you embark upon one of the Chattanooga Ghost Tours. A haunted guide will take you on a tour of the city’s downtown, with stories about different haunts along the way. More adventurous? Try a ghost hunt with equipment. Don’t forget your camera, as orbs and ghost figures have often been captured by guests!
Become one with nature at Lula Lake.
Pet-friendly trails perfect for hiking, biking, and picnicking can be found at Lula Lake, located just outside downtown Chattanooga. The beautiful Lula Lake Land Trust is home to two waterfalls and more than six miles of hiking trails. From May to October the land trust is open the first and last weekends of each month, Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. On June 9, enjoy live music in a serene setting with River City Sessions.
Reach new heights.
Whether you’re looking for fun activity or a full-body workout, High Point Climbing and Fitness has you covered. One of the country’s most unique climbing facilities, the space runs the gamut on available climbs, with brightly-colored rock walls focused on speed, difficulty, and training. For those looking to learn the sport, the gym offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced climbing classes, as well as personal training and team building. High Point Climbing and Fitness offers two locations, one right downtown, and the other off Amnicola Highway. Climbers at the downtown location can scale “The Block” on the building’s exterior for an unmatched view of the city.
Summer rock camp.
Summer is the perfect time for kids to develop a new passion. High Point Climbing and Fitness offers weeklong summer camps for kids ages 5-14. Campers will learn the basics of climbing including equipment usage, climbing techniques, and the importance of trust and communication. Camps run June through August and include a field trip to either the Creative Discovery Museum or Aquarium, depending on age group.
A successful climber is strong, flexible, and thoughtful. That’s why High Point Climbing and Fitness also offers yoga classes! Yoga acts as a great cross-training element for climbers looking to build strength and stay fit. Through four different class offerings, yogis can choose to focus on flow, restoration, and alignment. Classes are offered at the downtown location Monday through Friday from 6:15 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Become a Chattahooligan.
Soccer fans will flock to Finley Stadium May through July to watch the Chattanooga Football Club’s men’s and women’s teams compete against teams from across the region. Join the mighty Chattahooligans as they cheer on the men and women in blue and see the best soccer action in the Southeast featuring players from around the block and from around the world. Coming on the heels of impressive 2016 seasons, both the men’s and women’s teams have their sights set on the championship this year. So grab your CFC gear and catch a home game to cheer them on.
Laugh till your ribs hurt.
This summer, stop by the Comedy Catch, now located on the Choo Choo campus, for some side-splitting humor. The Comedy Catch has been bringing the laughs to Chattanooga for more than 31 years, and has hosted some of the biggest names in comedy. The comedians hitting the stage this summer will be sure to keep you laughing. Be sure to visit the “Backstage Bar,” an outdoor patio bar on Station Street.
Pedal to the pubs.
Grab some friends and put the pedal to the metal as you work your way from bar to bar on one of Chattanooga’s 15-person party bikes! Pints and Pedals and the Chattanooga Brew Choo offer the perfect bar crawl on wheels. Don’t forget to BYOB and compile a playlist full of songs that’ll have your friends dancing in their seats.
Sample hometown favorites.
Chattanooga is known for one very special, super tasty treat – the MoonPie. With flavors including chocolate, vanilla, banana, and even salted caramel, this smores-like snack has come a long way since its creation in 1917. Originally intended as a snack for coal miners, folks can now pick one up, along with other local souvenirs, anytime they want at the MoonPie General Store, located on Broad Street. Of course, you’ll need to grab an RC Cola to pair with it.
Walk the Walnut.
Did you know that Chattanooga is home to one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world? The Walnut Street Bridge connects downtown Chattanooga to the NorthShore, and offers one of the best views in the city. Children and adults can walk across the bridge, then enjoy a picnic in Coolidge Park below. Follow that with ice cream from one of the two shops that act as bridge bookends!
Savor some ’skey on the Southside.
You won’t need to leave the Southside to taste some of the best whiskey out there. The Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery is crafting Chattanooga’s first legally made whiskey since Prohibition, to the delight of local whiskey lovers. The stillhouse includes a micro-distillery and tasting room. All-age tours are offered seven days a week with a tasting at the end for patrons 21 and up.
Feast with foodies.
For those who enjoy whipping up delectable dishes, the Sweet & Savory Classroom is the perfect activity for a date night or outing with friends. Choose your class and make a meal, step by step. Participants can learn everything from basics like chopping skills to more advanced techniques like making homemade pasta!
Take the trolley.
Discover the ’Noog on Gray Line Tennessee’s brand new Chattanooga HOP On/Off Trolley Tour. Hop on for a 1-hour tour to learn the history of the city with an informative driver/guide and hop off at any of the 12 stops along the way to explore the city at your own pace. Tours depart from the Chattanooga Choo Choo every hour from 10A.M. to 5P.M. daily.
Catch a concert.
Two music venues at the Chattanooga Choo Choo – Track 29 and the Revelry Room – bring top acts to the Scenic City. The large, industrial venue, Track 29, holds 1,800 people and has hosted acts like The Alabama Shakes. The smaller, more intimate 500-person venue, the Revelry Room, hosts both local and national acts and is located right beside the Hush Lounge, a perfect place to get a preconcert cocktail.
track29.co, 423.521.2929; revelryroom.co, 423.521.2929
For over 90 years, Lake Winnepesaukah has been a summer staple for locals and tourists alike. With more than 40 rides, including 3 Roller Coasters, the classic Boat Chute, and the Oh-Zone 14-story free fall, along with other family rides and attractions, it’s a great place to spend a summer day or night. SOAKYA Water Park includes a crazy river with rolling waves and rafts, a soak-n-slide, water slides, a challenge course, and the new Winnie 500 racing slides! Fireworks will be on display July 1 and 4. Lake Winnie opens May 4, and SOAKYA Water Park opens May 27.
Fly in the sky.
Whether you’re four or 94, you can experience what it feels like to soar high above the
Scenic City with Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding. Take to the skies in a tandem flight with an instructor, or train with an experienced guide to go on your own. Make it a weekend getaway and reserve an RV space, bunkhouse, cabin, or camping spot!
Party on the river.
Take a trip on one of the city’s newest attractions – Chattanooga Cycleboats! Grab some friends and pedal this party boat up and down the river (with a little help from a solar powered motor). Bringing your own food and beverage is encouraged. Join other travelers or take a private charter. Morning trips run one hour long, while afternoon and evening trips last two hours. When docked, you can even jump off and swim!
Chattanooga is quickly becoming known for its vast array of local breweries. Whether you’re an IPA enthusiast, pilsner purist, or lager lover, you’re bound to find something that tickles the taste buds here in town. Try just one or make a tour out of it! Stop by places like Hutton & Smith, Oddstory, Big River Grille and Brewery, Moccasin Bend Brewery, Big Frog, The Terminal, McHale’s, or Chattanooga Brewing Company.
Be a friend of the festival.
Eight nights of music and more make the Riverbend Festival an international award winner. Located on the Riverfront in the heart of downtown Chattanooga, Riverbend is host to five stages and almost 100 bands ranging from country to classic rock to bluegrass. Bring a lawn chair and join the more than 350,000 annual patrons. Headliners for this year’s festival include Boz Skaggs, Ludacris, Old Dominion, Crowder, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Morris Day & The Time With Cameo, Toby Keith, The Flaming Lips and more. A booming fireworks display concludes the festival on the last night. June 9-17. riverbendfestival.com, 423.756.2211
Test your problem-solving skills at one of two thrilling, interactive thinking game locations in Chattanooga – Escape Experience and Breakout Chattanooga. Bring friends and put your heads together to find clues and solve the case. Choose from several different scenarios, and unlock the door to your freedom in only 60 minutes. Can you break free? escapeexperiencechattanooga.com, 423.551.3306
Learn to scuba at the Choo Choo Diving and Aquatic Center. Certification courses are available for kids and adults and taught by trained instructors. Once certified, you can take part in one of the diving trips! Events and club activities have taken participants as far as the oceans of Bali, Indonesia.