Hey there, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, we’re diving into the vibrant and charming city of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Nestled between the mountains and the Tennessee River, this hidden gem is brimming with adventure, culture, and some seriously cool things to do. So, if you’re looking for a destination that’s off the beaten path, buckle up and join me as we explore the coolest things to do in Chattanooga.
From outdoor enthusiasts to history buffs, Chattanooga has something for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll uncover the top cool things to do Chattanooga-style, ensuring you have an unforgettable experience in this Southern city. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, you’ll be amazed at the variety of cool things to do Chattanooga has to offer. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the Suitcase Stories guide to the coolest things to do in Chattanooga, Tennessee!
Discover the Underground Wonders: Ruby Falls and Raccoon Mountain
If you’re looking for cool things to do in Chattanooga, you can’t miss the underground wonders of Ruby Falls and Raccoon Mountain.
Ruby Falls is a breathtaking underground waterfall located more than 1,120 feet below the surface of Lookout Mountain. The falls are illuminated with colorful lights, creating a magical atmosphere that will leave you in awe.
To get to the falls, you’ll take an elevator down into the caverns, where you’ll be guided through narrow passages and stunning rock formations. The tour ends with a spectacular view of the 145-foot waterfall.
Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of this natural wonder.
Raccoon Mountain is another underground attraction that’s worth exploring. This limestone cave system is home to a variety of unique rock formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones.
But that’s not all. Raccoon Mountain is also home to a hydroelectric plant that generates electricity from the water stored in the mountain. You can take a guided tour of the plant and learn about the history of hydroelectric power.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also go on a wild cave tour, where you’ll crawl, climb, and squeeze your way through narrow passages and tight spaces.
Both Ruby Falls and Raccoon Mountain offer a unique and unforgettable experience that you won’t find anywhere else. So, if you’re looking for cool things to do in Chattanooga, make sure to add these underground wonders to your list.
A Walk Through History: The Chattanooga Choo Choo and Civil War Sites
Chattanooga is a city steeped in history, and there’s no better way to experience it than by taking a walk through some of its most iconic sites. Here are some cool things to do in Chattanooga that will take you on a journey through the city’s past.
Chattanooga Choo Choo
The Chattanooga Choo Choo is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in trains or history. This iconic train station was once the hub of the city’s transportation system, and it played a crucial role in the Civil War. Today, it has been transformed into a hotel and entertainment complex, but the original station and tracks have been preserved, so you can still get a sense of what it was like to travel by train in the early 20th century.
Located on Lookout Mountain, Point Park is a national park that offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding area. It was also the site of a major Civil War battle, and you can still see the cannons and other artifacts that were used during the conflict. Take a walk through the park and learn about the history of the area, or simply enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
The Chickamauga Battlefield is another must-visit site for history buffs. This was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, and it played a crucial role in the outcome of the conflict. Today, you can take a self-guided tour of the battlefield and learn about the strategies and tactics that were used by both sides. There are also several monuments and memorials that pay tribute to the soldiers who fought and died here.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for cool things to do in Chattanooga, a walk through the city’s past is sure to be a memorable experience. So put on your walking shoes and get ready to explore the rich history of this fascinating city.
Outdoor Adventures: Rock Climbing, River Rafting, and Hiking Trails
If you’re looking for cool things to do in Chattanooga, then you can’t miss out on the outdoor adventures that the city has to offer. From rock climbing to river rafting and hiking trails, there’s something for everyone.
Chattanooga is known for its world-class rock climbing destinations. The city is home to some of the best climbing spots in the country, including the Tennessee Wall and the Foster Falls. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, there are plenty of routes to choose from. You can even take a guided tour to explore the best spots.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, then river rafting is the perfect activity for you. The Ocoee River, located just outside of Chattanooga, is one of the most popular rafting destinations in the country. With Class III and IV rapids, it’s sure to be an exciting adventure. There are several companies that offer guided tours, so you can sit back and enjoy the ride.
Chattanooga is surrounded by beautiful mountains and forests, making it a hiker’s paradise. There are several hiking trails in the area, ranging from easy to difficult. The Signal Point Trail is a popular choice, offering stunning views of the Tennessee River Gorge. For a more challenging hike, try the Fiery Gizzard Trail, which takes you through rocky terrain and waterfalls.
No matter what your outdoor adventure preference is, Chattanooga has something for everyone. So, put on your hiking boots, grab your climbing gear, and get ready for an unforgettable experience.
Art and Culture: Bluff View Art District and Hunter Museum
If you’re looking for cool things to do in Chattanooga, exploring the Bluff View Art District and Hunter Museum should be on your list.
Bluff View Art District
Located in the heart of Chattanooga, the Bluff View Art District is a charming neighborhood that features a variety of art galleries, restaurants, and cafes. Take a stroll through the district and admire the beautiful sculptures, paintings, and other works of art on display.
One of the highlights of the Bluff View Art District is the River Gallery Sculpture Garden, which features stunning sculptures by local and national artists. The garden is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city and is a great place to relax and take in the beauty of the art.
The Hunter Museum is another must-visit destination for art and culture lovers in Chattanooga. The museum is located on a bluff overlooking the Tennessee River and features an impressive collection of American art from the Colonial period to the present day.
In addition to the permanent collection, the Hunter Museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Be sure to check the museum’s website to see what’s currently on display.
Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or just looking for cool things to do in Chattanooga, the Bluff View Art District and Hunter Museum are definitely worth a visit.
Family Fun: Tennessee Aquarium and Creative Discovery Museum
If you’re looking for cool things to do in Chattanooga with your family, the Tennessee Aquarium and Creative Discovery Museum are two must-visit attractions.
The Tennessee Aquarium is home to over 12,000 animals and features two buildings: the River Journey and the Ocean Journey. The River Journey takes you on a tour of the Tennessee River, showcasing the diverse aquatic life that calls it home. The Ocean Journey, on the other hand, takes you on a journey through the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic Ocean, featuring creatures like sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles.
The aquarium also offers a variety of interactive experiences, including a butterfly garden, a touch tank, and a penguin exhibit. Don’t miss the chance to see the aquarium’s newest addition, the Lemur Forest, where you can observe these playful primates up close.
Creative Discovery Museum
The Creative Discovery Museum is a hands-on museum that encourages children to learn through play. With over 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Kids can explore the wonders of science in the Excavation Station, where they can dig for fossils and learn about geology. They can also learn about the human body in the Healthy Me exhibit, or explore the world of art in the Art Studio.
The museum also offers a variety of programs and events throughout the year, including summer camps, workshops, and special exhibits.
Both the Tennessee Aquarium and Creative Discovery Museum are located in downtown Chattanooga, making them easily accessible and perfect for a day of family fun. Don’t miss out on these cool things to do in Chattanooga!
Savor the Flavors: Unique Dining Experiences and Local Breweries
When it comes to cool things to do in Chattanooga, exploring the local food and drink scene is a must. From unique dining experiences to local breweries, there’s something for every taste bud in this vibrant city.
Unique Dining Experiences
Chattanooga is home to a variety of restaurants that offer unique dining experiences. For a taste of the city’s history, head to the Terminal Brewhouse, located in a restored 1909 train station. The restaurant serves up delicious pub fare and craft beer, and the atmosphere is unbeatable.
If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, check out St. John’s Restaurant. This fine dining establishment offers a seasonal menu featuring locally sourced ingredients and an extensive wine list.
For a truly unique dining experience, book a table at the Back Inn Cafe. This restaurant is located in a restored mansion and offers stunning views of the Tennessee River. The menu features a mix of Southern and European cuisine, and the atmosphere is elegant and romantic.
Chattanooga is also home to a thriving craft beer scene. Cool things to do in Chattanooga include visiting local breweries and trying some of the city’s best brews.
One of the most popular breweries in Chattanooga is the Chattanooga Brewing Company. This brewery offers a variety of beers, including IPAs, stouts, and lagers, and has a spacious taproom where you can enjoy a pint or two.
Another great brewery to check out is Hutton & Smith Brewing Company. This brewery is known for its creative and unique beers, such as the “Promenade” sour ale and the “Hoppy Ending” IPA.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, head to OddStory Brewing Company. This brewery has a cozy taproom and offers a variety of beers, including a delicious Belgian-style witbier.
In conclusion, exploring the unique dining experiences and local breweries in Chattanooga is definitely one of the cool things to do in Chattanooga. So, make sure to add these places to your itinerary and savor the flavors of this vibrant city.
In conclusion, my time in Chattanooga has been nothing short of amazing. This charming city has proven to be a treasure trove of adventure, culture, and entertainment. From exploring the depths of Ruby Falls to soaring high above the city on Lookout Mountain, there’s no shortage of cool things to do Chattanooga. As Journeying Jack, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing many incredible destinations, but Chattanooga will always hold a special place in my heart.
If you’re planning a trip to this vibrant city, I hope my Suitcase Stories have inspired you to discover all the cool things to do Chattanooga. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun-filled getaway, Chattanooga has something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready to create your own unforgettable Suitcase Stories in this remarkable city.
Until our next adventure, this is Journeying Jack, signing off from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Remember, there’s always more cool things to do Chattanooga, so don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path and explore all that this fantastic city has to offer. Happy travels, fellow explorers!