Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, we’re venturing into the heart of the American South to explore the vibrant city of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Nestled between the Appalachian Mountains and the Tennessee River, this charming city offers a plethora of activities and attractions for all ages and interests. So, buckle up and join me as we uncover the top things to do around Chattanooga.
From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, there’s no shortage of things to do around Chattanooga. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a fun-filled family vacation, this city has it all. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the must-see attractions, hidden gems, and local favorites that make Chattanooga a destination worth visiting. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the best things to do around Chattanooga!
Outdoor Adventures in Chattanooga
Chattanooga is a city that is surrounded by natural beauty, making it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are some of the things to do around Chattanooga for those who love to explore the great outdoors:
Chattanooga is home to some of the best hiking trails in the region. The Signal Point Trail is a popular trail that offers stunning views of the Tennessee River Gorge. Another great option is the Lookout Mountain Trail, which takes you through lush forests and past beautiful waterfalls.
2. Rock Climbing
For those who love a challenge, rock climbing is a great way to experience the natural beauty of Chattanooga. The T-Wall is a popular spot for rock climbers, with over 150 routes to choose from. The crag is located on the Tennessee River Gorge and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
3. Whitewater Rafting
The Ocoee River is a popular destination for whitewater rafting enthusiasts. The river offers Class III and IV rapids, making it a thrilling adventure for those who love to get their adrenaline pumping. There are several outfitters in the area that offer guided rafting trips.
4. Mountain Biking
Chattanooga has some of the best mountain biking trails in the Southeast. The Raccoon Mountain Trail System is a popular spot for mountain bikers, with over 30 miles of trails to explore. The trails offer a variety of difficulty levels, making it a great option for both beginners and experienced riders.
5. Hang Gliding
For a truly unique experience, try hang gliding over Lookout Mountain. The mountain offers some of the best hang gliding conditions in the country, with thermals that can take you up to 3,000 feet in the air. There are several companies in the area that offer hang gliding lessons and tandem flights.
Whether you’re an experienced outdoor enthusiast or just looking to try something new, Chattanooga has plenty of things to do around Chattanooga for those who love to explore the great outdoors.
Cultural Experiences and Museums
Chattanooga is a city rich in history and culture, and there are plenty of museums and cultural experiences to explore. Here are some of the top things to do around Chattanooga for those interested in learning more about the city’s past and present:
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a must-visit for train enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Take a ride on a vintage train and experience what travel was like in the early 20th century. The museum also offers tours of the restoration shop, where you can see the process of restoring old trains to their former glory.
Hunter Museum of American Art
The Hunter Museum of American Art is a beautiful museum located on a bluff overlooking the Tennessee River. The museum features a collection of American art from the colonial period to the present day, including works by famous artists such as Winslow Homer and Mary Cassatt.
Creative Discovery Museum
The Creative Discovery Museum is a great place to take kids for a fun and educational experience. The museum features interactive exhibits that teach children about science, art, and culture. Kids can explore a simulated archeological dig, learn about the human body, and even create their own works of art.
Bessie Smith Cultural Center
The Bessie Smith Cultural Center is a museum and performance venue dedicated to preserving the legacy of Chattanooga’s African American community. The museum features exhibits on the history of African Americans in Chattanooga, as well as rotating exhibits on contemporary African American art.
Chattanooga African American Museum
The Chattanooga African American Museum is another great museum for those interested in learning about the city’s African American history. The museum features exhibits on the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the contributions of African Americans to Chattanooga’s culture and economy.
Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for something fun and educational to do, these cultural experiences and museums offer some of the best things to do around Chattanooga.
Scenic Drives and Lookout Points
If you’re looking for things to do around Chattanooga that offer breathtaking views, then you’re in luck. The city is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, and there are plenty of scenic drives and lookout points to explore. Here are some of the best:
Keyphrase: things to do around Chattanooga
Lookout Mountain is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for scenic drives and lookout points. The mountain offers stunning views of the surrounding area, including Chattanooga, the Tennessee River, and the Appalachian Mountains. You can drive to the top of the mountain or take the Incline Railway, which is a fun and unique way to experience the mountain’s beauty.
Another great option for scenic drives and lookout points is Signal Mountain. The drive up the mountain is beautiful, with winding roads and stunning views of the surrounding area. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River.
If you’re looking for a more adventurous scenic drive, then Raccoon Mountain is the perfect choice. The drive up the mountain is steep and winding, but the views from the top are well worth the effort. You’ll be able to see for miles in every direction, and you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.
Keyphrase: things to do around Chattanooga
Sunset Rock is a popular lookout point that offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding area. The rock is located on Lookout Mountain, and it’s a great place to watch the sunset or just take in the beauty of the area. The hike to the rock is relatively easy, and it’s a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the scenery.
Finally, Point Park is another must-visit destination for anyone looking for scenic drives and lookout points. The park is located on Lookout Mountain, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding area. You can drive to the park or take the Incline Railway, and once you’re there, you can explore the park’s trails and take in the beauty of the area.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for things to do around Chattanooga that offer stunning views and natural beauty, then be sure to check out these scenic drives and lookout points. You won’t be disappointed!
Chattanooga is a great destination for families with kids of all ages. Here are some of the best family-friendly attractions to check out during your visit:
The Tennessee Aquarium is a must-visit attraction for families. It’s home to over 12,000 animals and features two buildings: the River Journey and the Ocean Journey. You can see everything from playful otters to majestic sharks and rays. The aquarium also offers interactive exhibits and educational programs for kids.
Creative Discovery Museum
The Creative Discovery Museum is another great attraction for families. It’s a hands-on museum that encourages kids to learn through play. There are exhibits on science, art, music, and more. Kids can climb a tower, play in a river, and even create their own inventions.
Rock City Gardens
Rock City Gardens is a unique attraction that’s perfect for families who love the outdoors. It’s a 4,100-foot walking trail that takes you through beautiful gardens, rock formations, and caves. The highlight of the trail is the “See Seven States” viewpoint, where you can see seven states from one spot.
Ruby Falls is a natural wonder that’s sure to impress the whole family. It’s an underground waterfall that’s over 145 feet tall. You can take a guided tour through the cave to see the waterfall and learn about the history of the area.
The Chattanooga Zoo is a small but charming zoo that’s perfect for families with young kids. It’s home to over 300 animals, including tigers, chimpanzees, and red pandas. The zoo also offers educational programs and animal encounters for kids.
These are just a few of the many family-friendly attractions in Chattanooga. With so many things to do around Chattanooga, you’re sure to find something that everyone in your family will enjoy.
Chattanooga’s Culinary Delights
When it comes to things to do around Chattanooga, exploring the local food scene should definitely be on your list. Chattanooga is home to a variety of culinary delights that will satisfy any foodie’s cravings. Here are some must-try dishes and restaurants to add to your itinerary:
1. Hot Chicken
If you’re a fan of spicy food, you can’t leave Chattanooga without trying the hot chicken. This Nashville specialty has made its way to Chattanooga and can be found at restaurants like Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken and Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. Be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart!
Did you know that MoonPies were invented in Chattanooga? These sweet treats consist of two graham cracker cookies with marshmallow filling, covered in chocolate. You can find them at the MoonPie General Store in downtown Chattanooga.
3. Local Breweries
Chattanooga has a thriving craft beer scene, with several local breweries to choose from. Check out places like Chattanooga Brewing Company, Hutton & Smith Brewing Company, and OddStory Brewing Company for a taste of the local brews.
4. Southern Comfort Food
For a taste of classic Southern comfort food, head to restaurants like The Feed Co. Table & Tavern, Tupelo Honey, and St. John’s Restaurant. Indulge in dishes like fried chicken, mac and cheese, and biscuits and gravy.
5. Chattanooga Market
If you want to sample a variety of local foods, head to the Chattanooga Market on Sundays. This outdoor market features vendors selling everything from fresh produce to artisanal cheeses and baked goods.
Make sure to add these culinary delights to your list of things to do around Chattanooga. Your taste buds will thank you!
Nightlife and Entertainment Hotspots
Chattanooga is not just a city for outdoor enthusiasts, but it also has a vibrant nightlife scene. Here are some of the best things to do around Chattanooga at night:
1. The Comedy Catch
If you’re looking for a good laugh, head to The Comedy Catch. This comedy club has been around for over 30 years and has hosted some of the biggest names in comedy. With shows every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, you’re sure to find something to tickle your funny bone.
2. Southside Social
Southside Social is a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy some friendly competition. This entertainment hotspot has bowling lanes, pool tables, shuffleboard, and even an indoor bocce ball court. They also have a full bar and restaurant, so you can grab a bite to eat while you play.
3. The Signal
The Signal is a music venue that hosts a variety of concerts and events throughout the year. From up-and-coming artists to well-known bands, there’s always something happening at The Signal. Check their calendar to see what’s coming up next.
4. The Flying Squirrel
The Flying Squirrel is a unique bar and restaurant that’s perfect for a night out. They have a great selection of craft beers and cocktails, as well as a menu of delicious food. The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, with dim lighting and a rustic decor.
5. Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery
If you’re a whiskey lover, you won’t want to miss the Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery. This distillery offers tours and tastings, so you can learn about the whiskey-making process and sample some of their unique creations. They also have a bar where you can enjoy a cocktail made with their whiskey.
Whether you’re in the mood for comedy, live music, or just a night out with friends, Chattanooga has plenty of options for nightlife and entertainment. These are just a few of the many things to do around Chattanooga at night.
In conclusion, my fellow travelers, there’s no shortage of exciting things to do around Chattanooga. From exploring the depths of Ruby Falls to soaring high above the city on Lookout Mountain, the adventures are endless. As Journeying Jack, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing many of these incredible activities firsthand, and I can confidently say that Chattanooga is a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
So, whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun-filled getaway, the things to do around Chattanooga will undoubtedly leave you with memories to last a lifetime. I hope my Suitcase Stories have inspired you to embark on your own journey to this charming Southern city, and I can’t wait to hear about your own discoveries and experiences.
Until our next adventure, remember to keep exploring and seeking out the best things to do around Chattanooga and beyond. Happy travels, my friends!