|Echoes of laughter and splashing ring through the air, sights that can only be seen high atop our mountains, and the history native to our valley, Chattanooga offers visitors many unique sights and sounds. You’ll be amazed at how much there is to do for everyone in your family. Chattanooga was voted one of America’s Top Family Weekend Getaways by Southern Living’s Reader’s Choice Awards, and one of America’s Top Family Destinations by Disney’s FamilyFun Magazine. Stay a while and you’ll see why!
In May 2005, the waterfront of the Tennessee River changed dramatically with a $120 million revitalization. Downtown now boasts a $30 million saltwater expansion to the Tennessee Aquarium, a $19.5 million expansion to the Hunter Museum of American Art, and a $3 million renovation and enhancement to the children’s Creative Discovery Museum. Improvements along the riverfront also include a new 160-foot pier, boat slips, a wetlands park, retail shops, restaurants, public art and a dramatic passageway to the Tennessee River.
High atop Lookout Mountain, open your eyes to the magnificent views stretching over rolling hills, green valleys and rivers. As you stroll along the 4,100-foot walking trail at Rock City Gardens, touch the massive rock formations and smell blooms bursting from the lush gardens. Immerse yourself in the magic of Fairyland Caverns, sway across a 200-foot swinging bridge and see seven states from Lover’s Leap.
Descend 260 feet underground deep within the heart of Lookout Mountain. At Ruby Falls, you’ll see water dripping from glistening stalactites and trickling streams along the path as you make your way to this natural wonder. A sparkling waterfall emerges from the vaulted dome of Lookout Mountain Caverns to plunge 145 feet straight down into a crystal clear pool. It is the highest and most visited underground waterfall open to the public.
How about a thrilling ride straight up the side of Lookout Mountain? The Incline Railway has been coined America’s Most Amazing Mile. You’ll see breathtaking views through the glass ceiling of your trolley-style railcar as it climbs the 72.7% grade along the side of the mountain.
Downtown has opened a whole new playground, just for you. At the Tennessee Aquarium, journey from the mountains to the sea. Explore a cove forest where otters play. Feel the steam rise in a delta swamp where alligators lurk. Visit a tropical island, touch a stingray and surround yourself with butterflies. Stand in the shadows of sharks overhead while thousands of reef creatures dart through amazing coral formations.
Check out a 3D movie at the Tennessee Aquarium’s IMAX® 3D Theater, where cutting edge technology and a six-story screen makes you feel as if you are in the movie, not just watching it.
Giggles and excitement echo throughout the children’s Creative Discovery Museum, one of the top 20 children’s museums in the nation. Brush sand away from hidden dinosaur bones, perch in a crow’s nest, build a robotic machine, watch how bees make honey or create your own music. Take fun high in the sky in the new Rooftop Fun Factory where you’ll blow soap bubbles and watch them drift through downtown. Make beautiful melodies and even use pulleys to lift yourself off the roof!
Stroll along the Chattanooga Pier, where light masts jet 40 feet in the air while their brilliant illumination reflects on the serene river. Roll up your pant legs and step into the glistening water as it cascades down The Passage; an underground passageway symbolizing the Trail of Tears and celebrating Chattanooga’s Native American culture. Large circular discs, which display various symbols of the Cherokee culture, protrude from the walls of the Passage. Sail aboard the Southern Belle Riverboat during a dinner cruise to savor the award-winning prime rib, while dancing and listening to live music by the Riverboat Ramblers. Cruise past urban parks, picturesque bluffs and Maclellan Island, an 18-acre bird sanctuary with Great Blue Herons, Osprey and migrating Warblers.
Only a few steps from downtown is the quaint Bluff View Art District. Meander through galleries, sculpture gardens, museums and unique restaurants. Peer through the eyes of American artists, or shape your own masterpiece as you immerse yourself in the Southeast’s finest collection of American art at the Hunter Museum of American Art. Search for treasures in the museum store, grab a bite to eat in the Hunter Café, and soak in the picturesque views of the Tennessee River and the NorthShore.
Take a walk across the Walnut Street Bridge, the longest wooden pedestrian bridge in the world, to the NorthShore where you can frolic in the interactive water fountains at the 12-acre Coolidge Park. Ride on an antique carousel with hand-carved animals or just relax by the river. Explore the revitalized NorthShore district where you can find everything from gourmet treats for your canine, to eclectic art and jewelry. Shop at the art galleries and boutiques, or grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurant along Frazier Avenue. Bike or walk the 12 mile long Riverwalk, where your venture will take you past parks, marshes, boating docks and green spaces along the Tennessee River.
Only 15 minutes from downtown, you can shop at one of the 200 stores and eateries that make up Tennessee’s largest mall, Hamilton Place Mall.
With moderate weather throughout the year, a multitude of natural resources and scenic beauty, Chattanooga is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Outside magazine named us one of their top 10 Dream Towns to Live Big, Play Hard and Work (if you must) and Runner’s World magazine says we’re “one cool city” and a “jackpot destination for lovers of the outdoor life.”
Your sense of adventure will find you rising in the air as you experience both the adrenaline rush and the peaceful serenity at 4,000 feet. Anyone who’s taken flight from the Lookout Mountain Flight Park & Training Center, the nation’s largest hanggliding school, will tell you that the world is a completely different place from so high in the air. Soak in the magnificent landscape that can only be seen from thousands of feet as your hangglider soars over the Tennessee Valley. Prefer flying over water? Get the bird’s eye view while parasailing suspended hundreds of feet in the air over the Tennessee River.
If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, Chattanooga’s landscape provides hundreds of miles of all-purpose terrain. Bike down a mountain trail, hike along greenways and streams, or challenge yourself while rock climbing over 2,000 feet of the Appalachian Mountains. If you don’t mind getting a little dirty, try crawling underground, wading through water and sneaking past a few bats in one of 7,000 caves within an hour of Chattanooga.
For some serious adventure, whitewater rafting will give you a rush down the Ocoee River. View the challenging course used during the 1996 Olympics Canoe & Slalom Competition. For a more relaxing pace, canoe or kayak down the scenic Tennessee River, or seek solitude while fly fishing from cascading freestone streams in the highlands and mainstream reservoirs.
The name “Chattanooga
” comes from the Creek Indian word for “rock coming to a point.” This refers to Lookout Mountain, which begins in Chattanooga and stretches 88 miles through Alabama and Georgia.
John Ross, a chief of the Cherokee Indians, established Ross’s Landing on the banks of the Tennessee River. Many of the Cherokees assembled at Ross’s Landing to begin the painful journey that later became known as the Trail of Tears. In 1992, Ross’s Landing Park and Plaza was dedicated to the public as Chattanooga’s front porch. In 2005, Chattanooga’s waterfront revitalization enhanced Ross’s Landing with the creation of The Passage.
At the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, close your eyes and imagine cannon-fire ringing through the valley, men scattering to find more strategic locations and orders being shouted above the gunfire. In Chickamauga, the bloodiest two-day battle of the Civil War brought victory to the Confederates and successfully pushed the Union forces out of North Georgia. In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed legislation declaring it the nation’s first military park, and it remains the largest of its kind today.
Chug, chug, choo choo! At the Chattanooga Choo Choo Holiday Inn, toot a train whistle from your stationary sleeper train car, delve into the fascinating tales of the conductor as you ride an authentic New Orleans trolley, shop at unique retail stores, or eat at a restaurant where the servers sing for your supper.
MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS
When you choose Chattanooga for your next meeting or convention, we guarantee that you will have that unique and unforgettable experience. Chattanooga boasts a state-of-the-art, 185,000 square-foot convention center with 11 loading docks, roomy foyer and 21 meeting rooms – all on one level. Over 2,000 hotel rooms surround the Convention Center and an additional 7,000 rooms are within 5 to 15 minutes from downtown. Once you’re here, you can park your car and connect to downtown restaurants, attractions and shopping on our free, electric shuttle.
Chattanooga is centrally located between three major interstates; I-75, I-24 and I-59, and the airport is only 15 minutes from downtown. We’re less than a two-hour drive from major southern cities like Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville and Birmingham.
For more information on choosing Chattanooga for your next meeting or convention, visit chattanoogameetings.com
or call 800.964.8600.
With first-class sporting facilities, moderate weather year-round, spectacular natural beauty and an abundance of activities, Chattanooga is a prime location for any sporting event. Our facilities can accommodate basketball, football, wrestling, lacrosse, softball, indoor and outdoor soccer and tennis events just to name a few. With an abundance of outdoor space, the Tennessee River provides the perfect venue for rowing regattas, speed boat races and fishing tournaments.
The Greater Chattanooga Sports and Events Committee is a non-profit sports advocacy organization that provides leadership, guidance and expertise in attracting sporting events to Chattanooga. They’ve brought events such as the NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship, the Junior Golden Gloves National Championship, the IcyHot Intercollegiate Tennis Association and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Women’s Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds – just to name a few.
For more information on bringing your sporting event to Chattanooga, visit chattanoogasports.org
or call 423.756.8689.
What is there to do? Where can we eat? Where can we shop? The information specialists at the Visitors Center have all the answers.
The Visitors Center is located downtown next to the Tennessee Aquarium. The parking lot in front of the building provides 15 minutes of free parking! For more information on Chattanooga, visit chattanoogafun.com
or call the Visitors Center at 800.322.3344.