Best Places to Visit in Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a historically rich city situated in a lush valley of the Cumberland Mountains in Tennessee. It goes without saying that there’s plenty to do here, whether you’re a tourist or a local. If you’re looking for suggestions, the staff at Lexus of Chattanooga are proud residents of the area, so we put together an insider’s list of the best Chattanooga, TN attractions. Check them out and then hit the road for an adventure you won’t soon forget.

Enjoy The Great Outdoors

Chattanooga is the kind of town where you can step out of your front door and into nature—the outdoor opportunities are endless. With some of the best rock climbing available in the south, dozens of nearby caves to spelunk, the Tennessee River, and hiking trails galore, you won’t reach the end of your vacation checklist. In particular, we recommend:

  • Ruby Falls: Do you like exploring? If your answer was yes, then you will love touring Ruby Falls! With a guide to show the way you will venture the into the alluring ancient caverns. This natural landmark is home to the tallest and deepest underground waterfall, open to the public, in the United States. In addition, there are some amazing views and other tours available at Ruby Falls – Click here.
  • Raccoon Mountain Caverns: They say that there is one place that is the most magical place on earth, but The Raccoon Mountain Caverns will make you wonder. Trip Advisor names Raccoon Mountain amenities as the #1 thing to do in Chattanooga, TN. There is good reason for this. The cavern walls are covered in countless formations of crystals. You may even see a bat or salamander! There are lots of other activities in addition to the illuminated caverns. Be sure to book your tour at Raccoon Mountain Caverns before visiting.
  • Tennessee River Park: This 16-mile trail starts downtown and ends in the Moccasin Bend National Archaeological District. It’s a great way to see most of the city while also exploring the surrounding environs—a perfect compromise for the urbanites and outdoorsy types in your family.
  • Bouldering at Stone Fort: Just a stone’s throw from downtown, it’s one of the best boulder fields in the south and a popular training spot for some of the nation’s elite climbers.
ruby falls chattanooga tn

Serene Strolls

  • Bluff View Art District: Stretching across 1.5 blocks of the city, the Bluff View Art District has several fun and relaxing activities to enjoy. The family owned and operated historic neighborhood is filled with restaurants, a coffee house, art gallery, historic Bed & Breakfast, and plenty of gardens, plazas and courtyards where you can rejuvenate. As well as breathtaking views of the Tennessee River and Walnut Street Bridge. View more details here. 
  • Walnut Walking Bridge: At the end of your journey of the Art District take a jaunt across the magnificent Walnut Street Bridge. The historic bridge tells a story. A story of community triumph. Through the perseverance of community members fellow Chattanoogans were able to achieve what local government deemed unrealistic. The City officials closed the bridge and slanted it for demolition in the late 1980s. People do not achieve great things by accepting defeat. A comity was formed and raised half of the money needed to save the Walnut Bridge. The local government matched that amount, and this beautiful landmark was restored and re-opened to the public as a walking bridge. Learn more here.
  • Coolidge Park: After your walk across the Tennessee River, hang a left toward stunning Coolidge Park. This park spans the waterfront where many festivals, concerts, and other fantastic events are held. As family fun goes, this is the perfect spot for children and for a relaxing picnic. You will find an interactive water fountain, a restored 100-year-old carousel, a river walk trail, and much more! There are local shops and restaurants off of the main road for you to explore. Find out More about Coolidge Park here.
Bluff View Art District

Food for Thought

  • Hennen’s Steakhouse: Are you looking for a delicious meal with your significant other? The modern and romantic setting at Hennen’s Steakhouse is the place for you two! With an extensive wine list, extravagant menu, and their prime location you will enjoy every moment. You can visit their website to make reservations.
  • Plant Power Cafe: Looking for a greener meal? Plant Power Café is right down the road from our dealership. They specialize in gourmet Vegan meals! Not only are they locally owned, but they also have a food truck! “Eat, Live, Thrive”. A look through their menu reveals many healthy alternative food choices. Vegan-raw-vegetarian meal friendly.  Smoothies, Juice & and More! Plant Powered!
  • Pickle Barrel: No restaurant better encompasses the history of Chattanooga than the Pickle Barrel. After being built in 1893 for part of the Southern Railway, this location has been home to many businesses over the years. The Pickel Barrel opened in 1982 and offers classic American cuisine and a fantastic pub atmosphere. View More Info Here.
Pickle Barrel in Chattanooga, TN

Family Fun

  • Chattanooga Zoo: What better way to spend an afternoon than gazing at some of the world’s most wonderful creatures? The Chattanooga Zoo offers you a trip around animal kingdom without ever leaving the downtown area! Find out More Details – Click Here.
  • Lake Winnie: Maybe something a bit more active is for you? Then check out Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park! Since 1925, this park in Rossville, Georgia has been home to roller coaster thrills and water park chills for the tri-state area. 85 acres of fun await you!
  • Escape Experience Chattanooga: Time is running out! do you have what it takes to make it out before the clock strikes zero? Multiple experiences to choose from allow you to determine what adventure you are ready to undertake. You and your friends/family must solve the puzzles and escape. Teamwork, cunning, and exhilarating fun, what a combo! Book your visit here.
Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park

Night Life

  • Alchemy at the Westin: The fun doesn’t stop in Chattanooga because the sun goes down. There are many bars, clubs, and hot spots that keep the fun going after the street-lamps go on. Alchemy offers fantastic rooftop views of the city and a large selection of scratch-made drinks and appetizers. This is great and relaxing way to end a night out in Nooga. Find out more here.
  • Whiskey Thief at The Edwin: Another fantastic rooftop bar downtown, this features an overlook of the art district, museum, and walking bridge at the river. Specialty drinks and Hors d’oeuvres accompany the views as you watch the city come to life around you. View more details. 
Alchemy at the Westin

Chattanooga Historical Attractions

During the Civil War, Chattanooga was one of the main hubs in the Confederacy, connecting over 50% of the army’s arsenal. But there’s another dimension to Chattanooga’s history: it was settled 10,000 years ago by Paleolithic Native Americans. There are countless mounds and ruins to explore. Naturally, the opportunities are rich for American History buffs of all stripes. Above all, we recommend:

  • Chickamauga Battlefield: The oldest and largest military park in the United States, the Chickamauga is the site of the Union’s most devastating defeat. It’s also one of the most haunted places in America and a favorite among ghost hunters.
  • Bessie Smith Cultural Center: The Empress of Blues, Bessie Smith was the most popular blues singer of the 20s and 30s. Her influence on American music is incalculable, and she was raised right here in Chattanooga. In general, the center serves as an African American History Museum, but also features plenty of artifacts from the singer’s life.
  • Moccasin Bend National Park: Moccasin Bend was settled in 10,500 B.C. and sports a number of burial mounds from a prehistoric civilization during the late Archaic and Woodland periods. It also contains the remains of a house that dates back to 1335 B.C., the oldest known ruin in the U.S. Additionally, the park features two towns from the Mississippian civilization. It’s remarkable that this 956 acre blip has been the site of so much historical activity—it was even used as a strategic scouting camp during the Civil War!
Aerial shot of chattanooga tennessee

Check Out More Local Attractions on the Lexus of Chattanooga Blog

Whether you’re from Ooltewah, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga itself, or Cincinnati, you’re sure to find plenty of Chattanooga tourist attractions that appeal to you. If you need other ideas for fun things to do in Chattanooga on your next visit, check out our Chattanooga guide for expert suggestions on hiking trails, attractions like the Smoky Mountains, and more. Have any questions or need directions to Chattanooga, Tennessee? Feel free to contact us for answers.

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