AAA Four Diamond Hotel in Downtown Chattanooga
Lookout Mountain, a forested summit to the south of downtown Chattanooga, is one of the city’s most popular outdoor attractions. Its rocky knolls are crisscrossed with more than 30 miles of hiking trails, but the best way to get to the top is on the Incline Railway, a trolley-style tram that travels up and down the mountain at a near-vertical incline. You can also travel deep into Lookout Mountain on a tour of Ruby Falls, an underground waterfall that cascades through one of the country’s deepest cave systems. It’s easy to get here from The Chattanoogan—the AAA Four Diamond hotel is just 15 minutes away, in the heart of downtown Chattanooga. Winter temperatures often rise into the 50s and 60s during the day, so you can explore the mountain all year long.
To fuel up after a day of sightseeing, head to Broad Street Grille, one of The Chattanoogan’s onsite restaurants. Executive chef Matt Pinner prepares bison meatloaf, pan-roasted fish, and other seasonal southern specialties using locally sourced produce and meats. Alternatively, unwind with a pint of beer from the Chattanooga Brewing Co. at The Foundry, an upscale lounge that hosts live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Chattanoogan Spa is located on the second floor of the hotel. Many of the treatments here are inspired by Lookout Mountain, including a mountain-mud body mask and a Ruby Falls hydrating body treatment infused with local passionflower.
Chattanooga, Tennessee: Museums and Parks Along the Riverfront
Chattanooga, which sits right along the Tennessee-Georgia border, was a major railroad hub in the late 19th century, inspiring the song "Chattanooga Choo Choo." Today, the city has scrubbed away its industrial-era grime and adopted greener practices, including an electric shuttle that runs through downtown and lots of public parks. These include Coolidge Park, a downtown hangout along the river where kids can hop on a century-old carousel and enjoy acres of open green space.
Chattanooga is also home to the Walnut Street Bridge, one of the world’s longest pedestrian bridges. The bridge’s wrought-iron trusses stretch across the Tennessee River, which bisects the city’s downtown. From here, you can take a scenic stroll toward other downtown attractions such as the Tennessee Aquarium and the Hunter Museum of American Art.
The city, which the New York Times named one of the top 45 places to visit in 2012, has seen a resurgence of arts and culture in recent years. Chattanooga now hosts a number of art and music festivals each year and encompasses several up-and-coming art districts lined with independent boutiques and galleries.