Top Things to Do in Chattanooga in 2023 – Your Ultimate Guide

Things to do in Chattanooga in 2023

Welcome to Chattanooga, a bustling city in the heart of Tennessee. If you’re planning a trip in 2023, you won’t want to miss out on all the exciting things to do here. From exploring Chattanooga’s natural beauty to immersing yourself in history and culture, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, Chattanooga is the perfect destination for a memorable vacation. In this ultimate guide, we’ll take you through the top things to do in Chattanooga in 2023, so you can make the most of your time here.

Key Takeaways

  • Chattanooga is a bustling city in Tennessee with lots to offer for tourists.
  • There are plenty of things to do in Chattanooga in 2023, including exploring the city’s natural beauty and immersing yourself in its history and culture.
  • Chattanooga is an excellent destination for travelers of all ages, with plenty of family-friendly attractions and adventure activities to enjoy.
  • Don’t miss out on Chattanooga’s vibrant art and music scene, shopping opportunities, and exciting nightlife.
  • Make sure to check out the various festivals and events happening throughout the year in Chattanooga, including annual celebrations and special events.

Explore Chattanooga’s Natural Beauty

Chattanooga is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty that offers a wide array of outdoor activities, natural attractions, and scenic spots. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or prefer a more laid-back experience, there’s something for everyone in Chattanooga.

Outdoor Activities in Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, and more. One of the most popular destinations for outdoor activities is Lookout Mountain, which offers stunning views of the surrounding area and a range of activities for all ages.

For those seeking a more peaceful experience, the Tennessee Riverpark offers a peaceful retreat with scenic walking and biking trails along the river.

Natural Attractions in Chattanooga

Chattanooga boasts several natural attractions that are worth visiting. The Tennessee Aquarium is home to a variety of aquatic life, including penguins, otters, and sharks. The Rock City Gardens are another popular natural attraction, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape from lookout points and rock formations.

Scenic Spots in Chattanooga

If you’re looking for scenic spots in Chattanooga, there are plenty to choose from. The Walnut Street Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that offers stunning views of the Tennessee River and the city skyline. The Sunset Rock and Point Park are also must-visit locations for their breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Overall, Chattanooga’s natural beauty offers endless opportunities to explore and appreciate the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, you won’t be disappointed in Chattanooga’s natural offerings.

Immerse Yourself in History and Culture

Chattanooga is steeped in history and culture, with a rich heritage that is reflected in its many museums, historical sites, and cultural activities. Here are some of the top places to visit for a glimpse into Chattanooga’s fascinating past and present.

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

If you’re a history buff, don’t miss the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the site of some of the Civil War’s most significant battles. Here, you can explore the museum, hike the trails, and even attend living history events.

Hunter Museum of American Art

The Hunter Museum of American Art is a must-see for art lovers. The museum features works by American artists ranging from the colonial period to the present day, with an emphasis on art from the South.

Bluff View Art District

For a taste of Chattanooga’s vibrant arts scene, head to the Bluff View Art District. This picturesque neighborhood is home to art galleries, studios, and cafes, as well as stunning views of the Tennessee River.

Tennessee Aquarium

The Tennessee Aquarium is a fun and educational outing for visitors of all ages. With exhibits featuring freshwater and saltwater animals, as well as an IMAX theater and a butterfly garden, there’s something for everyone at this top-rated attraction.

Chattanooga Choo Choo

The Chattanooga Choo Choo is a historic hotel and entertainment complex housed in a restored train station. Visitors can explore the train museum, ride a vintage train, and even stay in a converted train car.

Whatever your interests, Chattanooga has plenty of ways to satisfy your appetite for history and culture.

Experience Thrilling Adventure

Looking for an adrenaline rush? Chattanooga has got you covered with its thrilling adventure activities and outdoor adventures. Whether you’re a daredevil or just looking to try something new, there’s something for everyone.

Zip Lining

Take a leap of faith and soar through the treetops on a zip line. Chattanooga offers several zip lining options, including Lookout Mountain Zip Lines and Ruby Falls ZIPstream Aerial Adventure.

White Water Rafting

Experience the rush of the rapids with white water rafting on the Ocoee River. This exciting adventure is perfect for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike.


Explore the underground world of Cumberland Caverns with a caving adventure. Experienced guides will take you through the caverns and show you stunning natural formations.

Hiking and Rock Climbing

Chattanooga is surrounded by beautiful mountains and rock formations, making it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Take a hike on one of the many trails in the area or challenge yourself with some rock climbing.

Hang Gliding

Soar like a bird over Lookout Mountain with a hang gliding adventure. Experience the stunning views of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River from above.

Get your heart racing and your adrenaline pumping with these thrilling adventure activities and outdoor adventures in Chattanooga. Don’t forget to bring your sense of adventure!

Discover Chattanooga’s Food and Drink Scene

Chattanooga has a burgeoning food and drink scene that you won’t want to miss. From fine dining to casual eateries, there’s something for every taste bud.

Restaurants in Chattanooga

If you’re looking for top-rated restaurants, there are plenty to choose from. You can indulge in Southern-style cuisine at St. John’s Restaurant or treat yourself to delicious Italian dishes at Alleia.

Local Cuisine in Chattanooga

Chattanooga’s food scene is also known for its unique local cuisine. Don’t miss out on trying some of the city’s famous dishes, like the Chattanooga-style chili or the Moon Pie.

Craft Breweries in Chattanooga

Beer enthusiasts will love exploring Chattanooga’s craft breweries. Check out OddStory Brewing Company for their unique flavors or enjoy a pint at Heaven and Ale Brewing Company.

Food Festivals in Chattanooga

Chattanooga hosts several food festivals throughout the year, showcasing the diverse food scene of the city. Be sure to attend the popular Chattanooga Wing Festival or the Chattanooga Market’s Oktoberfest.

With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find something that satisfies your cravings in Chattanooga’s food and drink scene.

Enjoy Family-Friendly Fun

Chattanooga is a great destination for families, offering a wide range of fun activities and attractions for kids of all ages.

One of the most popular family-friendly attractions in Chattanooga is the Tennessee Aquarium. This world-class aquarium features over 12,000 animals and is home to a variety of exhibits, including a butterfly garden and a penguin exhibit.

For kids who love trains, a visit to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a must. Visitors can take a ride on a vintage steam or diesel train, explore the museum’s collection of historic railway equipment, and enjoy special events like the annual Halloween Eerie Express.

The Creative Discovery Museum is another popular attraction for families. This interactive museum features exhibits that encourage creative play and hands-on learning, including a music-making studio, an art studio, and a simulated archeological dig site.

If you’re looking for outdoor family fun, head to Coolidge Park. This popular park features a beautiful carousel, a large fountain for splashing, and a spacious playground where kids can run and play.

Other family-friendly attractions in Chattanooga include the Chattanooga Zoo, the Children’s Museum of Chattanooga, and Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park.

Explore Chattanooga’s Art and Music Scene

Chattanooga’s art and music scene is a vibrant and growing community, with something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a fan of live music, cutting-edge art, or cultural events, Chattanooga has plenty to offer.

Art Galleries

Chattanooga is home to a number of art galleries, showcasing works by local and international artists. The Hunter Museum of American Art features an extensive collection of American art, from the Colonial period to contemporary works. The Association for Visual Arts and the River Gallery are also great places to explore the city’s art scene.

Live Music

Live music is a major part of Chattanooga’s nightlife, with venues like the Tivoli Theatre and the Chattanooga Choo Choo hosting nationally renowned acts. The Signal offers an intimate setting to catch up-and-coming musicians, while JJ’s Bohemia and Barking Legs Theater showcase local talent.

Cultural Events

Chattanooga plays host to a number of cultural events throughout the year, including the Riverbend Festival, Chattanooga Film Festival, and the 4 Bridges Arts Festival. The city also has a strong theatre scene, with productions at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre and the Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga.

Whether you’re a fan of visual art, live music, or cultural events, Chattanooga’s art and music scene is not to be missed!

Shop ’til You Drop in Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a shopper’s paradise, with a variety of shopping opportunities for every taste and budget. From local markets to unique shops, you’ll find it all in this vibrant city.

Market Name Location Description
The Chattanooga Market 1829 Carter St, Chattanooga, TN 37408 Open on Sundays, this market features local produce, artisan crafts, and live music.
Warehouse Row 1110 Market St, Chattanooga, TN 37402 A historic building converted into a shopping destination, featuring high-end brands and local boutiques.
North Shore Various locations in Chattanooga, TN A trendy neighborhood with unique shops and boutiques, offering everything from clothing to home goods.

In addition to these markets and shops, Chattanooga also has a vibrant arts and crafts scene. Be sure to check out the First Friday Art Walk in the Southside district, where you can meet local artists and browse their work.

For those looking for a unique shopping experience, head to the Chattanooga Choo Choo complex, where you’ll find a variety of shops and restaurants housed in train cars and a former railroad station.

Whether you’re looking for trendy boutiques, local markets, or one-of-a-kind shops, Chattanooga has something for every shopper.

Experience the Vibrant Nightlife

When the sun goes down, Chattanooga comes alive with its vibrant nightlife. Whether you prefer a laid-back evening with friends or an exciting night out on the town, the city has something for everyone. From trendy bars to live music venues, Chattanooga’s nightlife scene is not to be missed.

If you’re looking for a unique experience, head to the Comedy Catch, one of the city’s premier comedy clubs. You’ll laugh the night away with nationally recognized comedians and top local talent.

For a more sophisticated evening, visit The Social, a stylish rooftop bar with sweeping views of the city skyline. Sip on expertly crafted cocktails while enjoying the ambiance and taking in the stunning views.

If live music is your thing, head to JJ’s Bohemia, a dive bar that hosts live music shows almost every night of the week. The bar has a laid-back atmosphere that’s perfect for relaxing with friends and soaking up the eclectic music scene.

For a night of dancing and fun, head to the Station Street District, a lively entertainment district with bars, clubs, and restaurants. You’ll find everything from DJ sets to karaoke nights, and the district is always buzzing with energy and excitement.

No matter what type of nightlife experience you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Chattanooga. So grab your friends and get ready for a memorable night out in this vibrant city.

Join Festivals and Events in Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a city that loves to celebrate, and 2023 promises to be an exciting year for festivals and events. From music concerts to cultural celebrations, there’s something for everyone.

Chattanooga Film Festival

If you’re a film lover, the Chattanooga Film Festival is an event you won’t want to miss. This annual festival showcases independent films from around the world and features Q&A sessions with filmmakers, workshops, and parties. In 2023, the festival will take place in mid-April.

Riverbend Festival

The Riverbend Festival is one of the biggest music events in Chattanooga, featuring multiple stages and performances by national and international acts. Held in late June, the festival also offers food vendors, arts and crafts, and a fireworks finale.

Chattanooga Market

The Chattanooga Market is a weekly outdoor market held on Sundays from April through December. The market features local artisans, farmers, and food vendors, as well as live music and activities for the whole family.

Wine Over Water

Wine Over Water is a unique wine-tasting event held on the Walnut Street Bridge, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world. In 2023, the event will take place in early October and will feature over 100 wines, live music, and food from local restaurants.

Winter Days & Lights

Winter Days & Lights is a holiday celebration that takes place from late November through December. The event features ice skating, holiday markets, parades, and a grand lighting of the Chattanooga Choo Choo, a historic train turned hotel.

  • Chattanooga Film Festival in mid-April
  • Riverbend Festival in late June
  • Chattanooga Market every Sunday from April to December
  • Wine Over Water in early October
  • Winter Days & Lights from late November to December

Don’t miss out on the fun! Plan your trip to Chattanooga in 2023 and experience these exciting festivals and events for yourself.


Chattanooga is a dynamic and exciting city with a wealth of activities, attractions, and events throughout the year. From exploring the natural beauty of the area, to immersing yourself in the history and culture of the city, to experiencing thrilling adventures, there is something for everyone in Chattanooga in 2023.

Don’t miss out on the food and drink scene, including top restaurants and craft breweries, or the family-friendly attractions and events. And be sure to explore the vibrant art and music scene, as well as the local markets and unique shops.

With so much to see and do, Chattanooga is the ultimate destination for your next vacation. Start planning your trip today and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!


Q: What are the top things to do in Chattanooga in 2023?

A: The top things to do in Chattanooga in 2023 include exploring the city’s natural beauty, immersing yourself in history and culture, experiencing thrilling adventures, discovering the food and drink scene, enjoying family-friendly fun, exploring the art and music scene, shopping, experiencing the vibrant nightlife, and joining festivals and events.

Q: What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Chattanooga?

A: Chattanooga offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking trails, biking routes, water sports such as kayaking and paddleboarding, and exploring scenic spots such as Lookout Mountain and the Tennessee River.

Q: Are there any historical sites and museums to visit in Chattanooga?

A: Yes, Chattanooga is rich in history and culture. You can visit historical sites like the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, explore the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, and immerse yourself in the city’s cultural activities, including art galleries and museums.

Q: What adventure activities can I experience in Chattanooga?

A: Chattanooga is perfect for thrill-seekers. You can enjoy activities like rock climbing, zip-lining, white water rafting, and even paragliding. The city also offers plenty of outdoor adventure opportunities, such as hiking, camping, and exploring caves.

Q: Where can I find the best restaurants and local cuisine in Chattanooga?

A: Chattanooga boasts a vibrant food and drink scene. You can indulge in delicious meals at the city’s top restaurants, savor local cuisine at various eateries, and explore the craft breweries that Chattanooga has to offer.

Q: Are there any family-friendly activities and attractions in Chattanooga?

A: Absolutely! Chattanooga is a great destination for families. You can visit kid-friendly attractions like the Tennessee Aquarium, enjoy outdoor activities at parks and playgrounds, and participate in family-friendly events happening throughout the year.

Q: What is the art and music scene like in Chattanooga?

A: Chattanooga has a vibrant art and music scene. You can explore art galleries showcasing local talent, enjoy live music performances at venues throughout the city, and participate in cultural events that highlight the creativity and diversity of the local arts scene.

Q: Where can I go shopping in Chattanooga?

A: Chattanooga offers various shopping opportunities. You can browse through local markets, where you’ll find unique and handmade products, and discover unique shops in different neighborhoods that offer a wide range of items, from clothing and accessories to home decor and gifts.

Q: What is the nightlife like in Chattanooga?

A: Chattanooga’s nightlife is vibrant and lively. You can visit bars and clubs that offer a variety of drinks and entertainment options, enjoy live music performances, and immerse yourself in the energetic atmosphere of the city’s late-night scene.

Q: Are there any festivals and events happening in Chattanooga in 2023?

A: Yes, Chattanooga hosts a multitude of festivals and events throughout the year. From annual events like the Riverbend Festival and the Southern Brewers Festival to special celebrations and cultural events, there is always something happening in Chattanooga that will cater to various interests and preferences.