Things to Do in Chattanooga
So you’re moving to Chattanooga? It’s a great place to live: comfortable summers, mild winters, and a low cost of living. And plenty of things to do, every day and season. Check out these options to fill your leisure time.
For Outdoorsy Folks
If you were born to spend hours in the fresh air, try these:
The Bike Chattanooga program rents bicycles by the hour for seeing the city on self-propelled wheels. (Daily, 3 Day, and annual passes available for unlimited riding.)
Coolidge Park along the Tennessee Riverwalk features picnic grounds, rock climbing, a military memorial, the famous Walnut Street Bridge, and a genuine century-plus-old carousel that’s still open to riders. Great place for family fun!
2,000-foot Lookout Mountain is a popular hiking and fishing spot. Don’t miss Ruby Falls (an underground waterfall open to public visits) or the 1,700-foot-high Rock City Gardens with its overlooks and swinging bridge. Lookout Mountain’s Incline Railway is the world’s steepest passenger-train route, and its machine room is open to visitors.
For Museum and Zoo Lovers
If you’re more the look-and-learn type, consider these:
The Bessie Smith Cultural Center (originally the Chattanooga African American Museum), was founded in 1983 “to preserve and celebrate African American History and Culture in Chattanooga through art, education, research, and entertainment.” It also offers rentable facilities for private events.
The Chattanooga Zoo now includes giraffe feeding (yes, for visitors) among its programs.
The Tennessee Aquarium is home to scores of water-loving animals from fish to penguins—not to mention alligators, turtles, songbirds, chameleons, and lemurs.
For Artsy Types
If you’re crazy about culturefests and their kin, try these:
Bluff View Art District prides itself on being “dedicated to the visual, horticultural, and culinary arts.” Check out the River Gallery and its Sculpture Garden (included in the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens) and the Hunter Museum of American Art.
The Chattanooga Choo Choo isn’t actually a train, but it’s still carrying imaginations back to the golden age of railroad, more than a century after the opening of the old Terminal Station. Today’s Choo Choo complex includes the restored station (now a historic landmark and museum), model railroads, a working antique passenger trolley, and rose gardens. Plus restaurants, live comedy venues, a guitar museum, and the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel where tourists (and locals needing a staycation break) can room in authentic train cars from the good old railroad days. And if you’re up for a thrilling think-fast challenge, try the Runaway Train Transport game from Escape Experience Chattanooga. (You can practice for the Runaway Train, and Escape Experience’s other offerings, in advance via virtual-gaming options.)
Tivoli Theatre (with its sister venues, Walker Theatre and Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Auditorium) hosts concerts, plays, and films in a variety of genres. Upcoming events are featured front and center on the website’s home page.
If your perfect day wouldn’t be complete without at least one restaurant-cooked meal, check these out:
The Big River Grille & Brewing Works restaurant features a craft brewery, billiards tables, and the Rhythm & Brews music venue.
Rembrandt’s Coffee House, “Chattanooga’s Favorite,” offers made-on-site fine chocolates along with lattes, sandwiches, and baked goods.
Whitebird serves traditional Appalachian cuisine made with local ingredients.
Annual Chattanooga Favorites
The Moon River Festival wraps up summer with music, sports broadcasts, and family activities. (Next scheduled for September 11–12, 2021. Live-attendance tickets sold out at time of writing.)
The Chattanooga Holiday Market is the place to be for Christmas shopping amidst local vendors and live music. (Next scheduled for the weekends of December 4–19, 2021. Watch the Visit Chattanooga website for announcements of additional 2021 holiday events.)
The Riverbend Festival, held the first weekend in June, features four days of live music culminating in a fireworks display. (Next scheduled for June 2–5, 2022.)
Note: As of this writing, the above venues and events are open and functioning on regular schedules. With COVID-19 still a concern, last-minute change remains a possibility for any planned outing, so be sure to check the websites and keep up to date.
Need Help Moving to Chattanooga?
If you’re set to enjoy Chattanooga but are still finalizing details for getting there, Fox Moving and Storage is at your service. We represent one of the best-proven brands in the business, guaranteeing safe handling, reliability, and personal attention from first contact to final unpacking. We even provide pickup and delivery for any new furniture you’ve reserved in Chattanooga stores! Contact us online or call 423-454-3927 for a quote.