Chattanooga, the fourth-largest city in Tennessee, is ditching its industrial background and embracing a new era of bars, eateries, outdoor activities, and southern hospitality. A new generation of young locals and transplants bolsters the fun things to do in Chattanooga and make this vibrant mountain city worth exploring.
Chattanooga is a haven for outdoors enthusiasts of all kinds. Explore the shimmering waterfalls at Fall Creek Falls State Park, go whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River, or try rock climbing at Stone Fort Rock.
Annual Chattanooga attractions include the Nightfall Concert Series, Wine Over Water, and the Chattanooga Craft Beer Festival. Also check out the RiverRocks Outdoor Festival, which spans all of October.
Visit the Creative Discovery Museum to learn about scientific principles through innovative play, or explore the world’s largest indoor red panda exhibit at the Chattanooga Zoo.
Step into the past at Terminal Brewhouse, which occupies part of a building that dates back to 1910, or take a tour of the Chattanooga Whiskey Distillery.
The Tennessee Aquarium has an expansive complex on the Chattanooga riverfront that features 12,000 animals in two separate buildings: the freshwater River Journey and the saltwater Ocean Journey.
Before venturing out to Chattanooga’s various climbing areas, learn the proper techniques at High Point Climbing and Fitness: Riverside. The climbing gym offers instructional classes and 10,000 square feet of rock climbing space.
Explorers can paddle downriver from downtown Chattanooga to Suck Creek Road. Or, take the weekend off and hike up to 50 miles of the Appalachian Trail, including Roan Mountain, the Smokies, and Grayson Highlands. Kayak on the Tennessee River, paddle the whitewater portion of the Ocoee River, or take a tour of Ruby Falls underneath Lookout Mountain.