Chattanooga Things to Do
It won’t be hard for visitors to find attractions and things to do in Chattanooga. Here are a number of must see sights to check out when you’re in the area.
Returning visitors say that if you have only one thing to do in Chattanooga, this should be it. Tennessee Aquarium is one of the best you would find this far from the ocean. It includes exhibits of local river fish and amphibians and includes a large ocean tank. This freshwater aquarium is accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. For a quieter experience, get there when it opens or after 2pm to avoid waiting in line. The Tennessee Aquarium is the world’s largest freshwater Aquarium. It has two main buildings, the peaks are essentially the skyline of downtown Chattanooga, so no trouble finding the buildings! The first building is River Journey that follows a drop of water in the Smoky Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. The other building, Ocean Journey, showcases salt water marine life and penguins.
The campus city park and Aquarium grounds are great places for taking pictures of the famous four bridges. It’s an excellent starting point for your trip to Chattanooga. From here, you can walk to the tasty and unique North Shore, the Hunter Museum of American Art, downtown eateries, the Creative Discovery Museum and the IMAX Theater.
Rock City Gardens
Another famous attraction is Rock City Gardens. Rock City was first visited by tourists in the early 1800’s on mule back. The modern attraction was opened by Garnet Carter in 1932. Rock City has rock formations, great views of Lookout Mountain, and Mother Goose’s Village of childhood fairy tales inside a big cave. On a clear day, you can see seven states from the Lover’s Leap Overlook. This historic park is a great place to visit with children.
Incline railway leads to the top of Lookout Mountain and the Battle of Chattanooga site. It is one of the most scenic ways to get to the top of Lookout Mountain and the attractions there. The top of the railway is within the National Military Park on Lookout Mountain. The railway is “steeped” in history. Previously a coal burning rail, it is now electric with two 100 horse-powered engines.
Ruby Falls is a 145-foot underground waterfall inside Lookout Mountain and was discovered in the 1920s by Leo Lambert. He was trying to access Lookout Mountain Cave by drilling an elevator shaft. He came upon the Ruby Falls Cave and discovered the huge waterfall at the other end of the cave, naming it for his wife. The waterfall has since become a major tourist attraction in Chattanooga. For those interested in geology and natural beauty, Ruby Falls is worth a stop in the Chattanooga area.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Chattanooga.