Top Places to Visit in Chattanooga: Must-See Attractions & Fun

Places to visit in Chattanooga

Located in southeastern Tennessee, Chattanooga is a city brimming with history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture. With a wide range of attractions and experiences, it’s no wonder that so many visitors are drawn to this charming destination.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the great outdoors, immersing yourself in art and history, or indulging in local cuisine, there’s something for everyone in Chattanooga. In this article, we’ll highlight the top places to visit in Chattanooga, providing an overview of the must-see attractions and fun experiences available in the city.

Key Takeaways:

  • Chattanooga is a city full of history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture.
  • Visitors can enjoy a range of attractions and experiences, from exploring the outdoors to indulging in local cuisine.
  • In this article, we’ll highlight the top places to visit in Chattanooga.

Explore the Beauty of Lookout Mountain

Lookout Mountain is a top tourist destination in Chattanooga, offering breathtaking views and unique attractions. A visit to this mountain is a must for any nature lover or adventure seeker!

One of the most famous attractions on Lookout Mountain is Ruby Falls, an underground waterfall inside a cave! Visitors can take an elevator down to the cave and experience the stunning beauty of the waterfall up close.

Another popular attraction on Lookout Mountain is Rock City, a beautiful and unique rock garden filled with natural rock formations, gardens, and stunning panoramic views. The trail through Rock City is a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls was discovered over a century ago, and it’s been a popular attraction ever since. The waterfall is inside a cave, and visitors can take an elevator down to explore its beauty. The cave also has interesting rock formations and underground pools to admire. It’s a perfect activity for a hot day, as the temperature inside the cave is a cool 60 degrees.

Address: 1720 Scenic Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37409
Hours: 9am-8pm, daily
Tickets: $23 for adults, $15 for kids

Rock City

Rock City is a beautiful and fascinating natural rock garden, with unique rock formations and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area. Visitors can stroll along the trail and explore the gardens, which are filled with native plants and flowers. The highlight of the trail is the breathtaking view from the top of Lookout Mountain, where you can see 7 states on a clear day.

Address: 1400 Patten Rd, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750
Hours: 8:30am-5pm, daily
Tickets: $22.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids

Lookout Mountain is a unique and beautiful destination that should be on everyone’s list when visiting Chattanooga. Be sure to check out Ruby Falls and Rock City for an unforgettable experience!

Discover History at the Tennessee Aquarium

The Tennessee Aquarium is a must-visit attraction in Chattanooga, offering an immersive experience into the city’s rich history. With over 12,000 animals, visitors can explore the aquarium’s freshwater and saltwater habitats, and learn about the diverse aquatic species that call Chattanooga home.

But the Tennessee Aquarium is more than just an aquarium. It also showcases exhibits that highlight the region’s history, including its role in the Civil War and its industrial growth. Interactive displays and educational programs offer a unique perspective on the area’s past, making the Tennessee Aquarium a valuable educational tool for visitors of all ages.

Be sure to check out the “Rivers of the World” exhibit, which features animals and habitats from five of the world’s major rivers, including the Amazon and the Mississippi. You can also learn about the aquarium’s conservation efforts, which include partnering with local organizations to protect aquatic habitats and species.

If you’re looking for a unique and educational experience in Chattanooga, don’t miss the Tennessee Aquarium.

Immerse Yourself in Art at the Hunter Museum

Located on the beautiful Bluff View Art District overlooking the Tennessee River, the Hunter Museum of American Art features an impressive collection of over 4,000 works of art. The museum showcases paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from the Colonial period to contemporary art.

The Hunter Museum’s collection includes works by prominent American artists such as Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, and Robert Rauschenberg. The museum also hosts temporary exhibits and installations, bringing a diverse range of art to Chattanooga.

Notable Artists and Artworks

Visitors can see works by legendary artists such as Thomas Cole, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Andrew Wyeth. The collection also includes contemporary works by artists such as Nick Cave, Yinka Shonibare, and Kara Walker.

One of the most popular exhibits at the Hunter Museum is the collection of American Impressionist paintings, which features works by Childe Hassam, John Henry Twachtman, and Frank Benson, among others.

Importance of Art in Chattanooga

The Hunter Museum plays an important role in promoting art and culture in Chattanooga. Through exhibitions, educational programs, and community partnerships, the museum helps to enrich the lives of locals and visitors alike.

As one of the city’s premier cultural institutions, the Hunter Museum is a must-visit destination for art lovers and anyone interested in exploring the vibrant arts scene in Chattanooga.

Experience Thrills at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Chattanooga, look no further than the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. This unique attraction offers train rides and immersive experiences that transport visitors back in time to the golden age of rail travel.

The museum has a rich history, having been established in 1961 to preserve and showcase the role of railroads in the region’s development. Today, it continues to delight visitors with its historical significance and exciting train rides.

Step Aboard Historic Trains

One of the main draws at the museum is the chance to step aboard historic trains and experience the thrill of the railroad firsthand. The museum offers a variety of train rides, including the Missionary Ridge Local, the Chickamauga Turn, and the Summerville Steam Special.

During these rides, visitors can soak in the scenic beauty of the surrounding countryside, marvel at the engineering feats of the trains, and imagine what it would have been like to travel by rail in the past. It’s a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

Enjoy Special Events and Activities

In addition to train rides, the museum hosts a variety of special events and activities throughout the year. These include seasonal train rides, such as the North Pole Limited during the holidays, as well as themed excursions like the Dinner on the Diner and the Hiwassee River Rail Adventure.

There are also opportunities for guests to get up close and personal with the trains, including guided tours of the museum’s collection and the chance to climb aboard some of the historic locomotives and rail cars.

Experience Nostalgia at its Finest

For train enthusiasts and history buffs alike, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a must-visit attraction in Chattanooga. It offers a unique opportunity to experience the thrill of the railroad, step back in time, and create lasting memories with family and friends.

As the museum’s website proudly proclaims, “The sounds of vintage railroading are waiting for you, and they’re louder than ever!”

Explore the Outdoors at Coolidge Park

If you want to enjoy Chattanooga’s scenic beauty and indulge in outdoor activities, make sure to visit Coolidge Park. Located on the riverfront, this park is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Take a stroll along the walking trails, have a picnic with your family or friends, or let your kids run wild at the interactive fountains. If you’re feeling more active, rent a bike from one of the rental stands and explore the park on two wheels.

One of the park’s main attractions is the historic carousel, which has been operating since 1897. This beautifully restored carousel is a must-ride for visitors of all ages and is sure to bring out your inner child.

If you’re visiting during the summer, be sure to catch a free movie or concert at the park’s outdoor pavilion. And if you’re hungry, grab a bite to eat at one of the many food trucks that set up shop in the park on weekends.

Indulge in Local Cuisine at the Chattanooga Market

If you’re a foodie looking for a unique culinary experience, the Chattanooga Market is a must-visit destination. This vibrant marketplace offers a diverse selection of local cuisine and artisanal products that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

From savory BBQ and fresh seafood to sweet treats and craft beverages, the Chattanooga Market has something for everyone. You can indulge in classic Southern delicacies or explore new and innovative flavors that showcase the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Not only is the Chattanooga Market a food lover’s paradise, but it’s also a great place to support local businesses and connect with the community. You can meet local farmers, chefs, and artisans who are passionate about their products and dedicated to providing the highest quality food and drink.

So come hungry and leave satisfied after experiencing the unique flavors of Chattanooga at the Chattanooga Market.

Experience History at the Chattanooga Choo Choo

The Chattanooga Choo Choo is a historic hotel that offers visitors a unique experience steeped in the city’s history. Originally built in 1909 as a railway station, the Choo Choo has been transformed into a vibrant hotel and attraction that continues to hold a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike.

The hotel offers a variety of accommodation options, from standard rooms to train car suites that are designed to evoke a sense of nostalgia for the golden age of travel. Guests can enjoy amenities such as a pool, gardens, and on-site dining and shopping options.

But the Chattanooga Choo Choo is more than just a hotel. It is also a historic landmark that played a significant role in the city’s development. The station served as a hub for transportation and commerce, and its success helped put Chattanooga on the map.

“Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?”

The Choo Choo’s rich history is celebrated throughout the hotel and the surrounding area. The station’s original architecture and train cars have been preserved, and visitors can explore exhibits and displays that highlight the city’s railroad heritage.

Overall, the Chattanooga Choo Choo is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in the history of Chattanooga or in experiencing a unique and nostalgic hotel stay. It offers a glimpse into the past while providing all the modern amenities guests need for a comfortable and memorable visit.


Chattanooga is a city with a rich history, natural beauty, and unique attractions that offer something for everyone. From the stunning views and natural wonders of Lookout Mountain to the educational and immersive experiences at the Tennessee Aquarium, visitors can explore the city’s diverse offerings and create lasting memories.

Art enthusiasts can indulge in the impressive collection at the Hunter Museum of American Art, while thrill-seekers can ride the train and immerse themselves in history at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Families can enjoy outdoor activities and relaxation at Coolidge Park, and foodies can sample the unique flavors and support local businesses at the Chattanooga Market.

Make the most of Chattanooga!

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer stay, Chattanooga is a destination that should not be missed. Explore the city’s top attractions, experience its unique offerings, and create memories that will last a lifetime!


Q: What are the top places to visit in Chattanooga?

A: Some of the must-see attractions in Chattanooga include Lookout Mountain, the Tennessee Aquarium, the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Coolidge Park, the Chattanooga Market, and the Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Q: What can I explore on Lookout Mountain?

A: Lookout Mountain offers stunning natural beauty and attractions such as Ruby Falls, where you can explore an underground waterfall, and Rock City, which features magnificent rock formations and breathtaking views.

Q: What can I expect at the Tennessee Aquarium?

A: The Tennessee Aquarium is a popular attraction that offers educational and immersive experiences. You can discover a wide variety of marine life, engage in interactive exhibits, and learn about Chattanooga’s history through its exhibits.

Q: What does the Hunter Museum of American Art offer?

A: The Hunter Museum of American Art showcases an impressive collection of American art. You can explore artworks by renowned artists, learn about different art movements, and appreciate the significant role of art in Chattanooga’s cultural scene.

Q: What can I experience at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum?

A: The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum offers train rides and immersive experiences. You can enjoy nostalgic steam train rides, explore historical rail cars, and learn about the rich history of railroads in Chattanooga.

Q: What is there to do at Coolidge Park?

A: Coolidge Park provides opportunities for outdoor activities and recreation. You can enjoy scenic views of the river, relax in the park’s green spaces, have fun at the carousel, and engage in various recreational activities such as biking and picnicking.

Q: What can I find at the Chattanooga Market?

A: The Chattanooga Market is a vibrant marketplace where you can indulge in local cuisine and discover artisanal products. You can sample a variety of food options, support local businesses, and experience the unique flavors of Chattanooga.

Q: What is the Chattanooga Choo Choo?

A: The Chattanooga Choo Choo is a historic hotel and attraction that holds significance in the city’s history. You can stay in unique accommodation options, soak in the nostalgic atmosphere, and learn about the role of trains in Chattanooga’s development.