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Chattanooga: Top 7 Best Places To Visit in Chattanooga

Best Places To Visit in Chattanooga

Lookout Mountain is a great place to see the Tennessee River running through Chattanooga. This vibrant city, located in southeastern Tennessee near the Georgia border, was once a Cherokee settlement. It now boasts 180,000 residents. In the distance, you can see the Appalachian Mountains’ misty slopes blending history with the future.

One of the most visited places in the Southern US is Chattanooga Choo Choo,, which was immortalized by Glenn Miller’s 1941 hit. You want to remember your trip with a thrilling ride on rails? Lookout Mountain Incline Railway takes you up the highest grade in the world, to the battlefield of the Civil War battles.

The Tennessee Riverwalk is intersected by an iconic bridge, which takes you across a famous Tennessee river to a popular park near North Chattanooga. Chattanooga, Tennessee is known for its wide sidewalks and walking trails. Many of the most popular attractions can be reached by foot. You can take the free electric shuttle downtown to get to the next attraction on our list.

Ruby Falls #1

Ruby Falls, located just south of Chattanooga along the Tennessee River Gorge, is one of Lookout Mountain’s most beloved attractions. It was completely accidental. The Lookout Mountain Cave was closed to the public in 1905 due to railroad construction. Local cave explorer Leo Lambert wanted to reverse the situation and assembled a team to build an elevator from the ground that would allow visitors to enter the cave. One day, a member of the team drilled into an opening 18 inches wide, which led to a new cave. This is where Ruby Falls stands today.

Ruby Falls, which is 1,120 feet underground from the mountain’s surface, is America’s largest underground waterfall. Lambert’s vision was realized when visitors could take an elevator to the falls to learn more about the rock formations that line the path to it. There is also a lookout tower, and zip-lining. A variety of seasonal and holiday tours are offered, including the Lantern Tour where guests are only guided through mountain caverns by lanterns.

Many people found the waterfalls stunning and the cave formations cool. They also appreciated the friendly atmosphere created by the guides. One complaint from travelers is that the tour groups are too large for the small space. Some felt claustrophobic. Some suggested using the bathroom before the tour, since it can take more than an hour. There are also no facilities in the cave. Many people enjoyed the tour and would recommend it to others.

More Details About Ruby Falls

Height:44 m
Architect:Lambert, Leo B. Brown Contracting Co
Year built: 1929
Area:4 ha

Tennessee Aquarium #2

The Tennessee Aquarium, one of the largest freshwater aquariums in the world, is Chattanooga’s most popular attraction. It contributes more than $115million annually to the city’s economic growth. It’s not your typical fish tank. The aquarium offers a unique collection of animals that live above and below the sea level. It aims to take people on a journey. The journey follows the migration of a raindrop from the top of a mountain stream to its destination at the bottom of an ocean. Visitors can experience the “River Journey” exhibit and meet many friends, including river otters and alligators. Follow the “Ocean Journey”, where jellyfish, sharks, penguins, and colorful reef fish can be found. The journey also includes a pool with stingrays that visitors can touch.

The aquarium was a hit with reviewers. Many were amazed at the number of animals that are kept there. Reviewers were impressed by the knowledge of the staff and the animals. The aquarium offers a lot of activities and an enjoyable atmosphere. Many people recommend spending a whole day there. This is also a great place to take your kids.

The Tennessee Aquarium is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., though admission times can change due to the coronavirus epidemic. Adult admission costs $34.95 and children 3-12 years old $21.95; younger children can go free. IMAX tickets cost $8 per person regardless of age. The aquarium can be found downtown, on the banks the Tennessee River. Parking is not available on site, but there are lots of paid parking options nearby. There’s also street parking for $10 in downtown Chattanooga. The aquarium is also served by the city’s free shuttle.

More Details About Tennessee Aquarium

Address:1 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402, United States
Contact: +1 423-265-0695
Notable animals:Big T., Biscuit, Terk, Bobber, Blue, Roxie, Bug, Rodan
Number of animals:12,000+

Chattanooga Choo Choo #3

You might be wondering if you are visiting a train station, or a hotel after hearing the name of this building. Well, it’s both. The building was once a hotel until the Southern Railway purchased it in 1905. It was renamed Terminal Station four years later. This hub eventually transported more than 50 passenger trains per day. All southbound trains passed through Chattanooga from the opening of the station to its closing in 1970. The Chattanooga Choo Choo was well-known within the railroad industry but it wasn’t until the Glenn Miller Orchestra made a song with the same name that the Chattanooga Choo Choo became a household name. It was featured in 1941’s “Sun Valley Serenade”.

image credit : flickr

The efforts of four local businessmen, who were avid fans of the song and wanted the building to remain standing by, helped turn the train station back into a hotel in 1973. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The property still has some of its original railway tracks. Sleeper cars have been restored and converted to hotel accommodation. Visitors who don’t stay at the hotel will be able to admire the historic train and the elegant lobby. The surrounding entertainment complex has shops and gardens.

Many of the recent guests were drawn to the history of this hotel. They particularly enjoyed the lobby and the state of the gardens.

The attraction is located downtown Chattanooga. A free electric shuttle stops just outside the hotel. Even if your are not a guest, you can explore the hotel for free. However, you will need to have some money if shopping or dining at this complex.

More Details About Chattanooga Choo Choo

Rock City Gardens #4

The popular, 4,100-foot trail on the Georgia side is a great attraction for all types of travelers. Outdoor enthusiasts will love weaving through the boulders at Needle’s Eye or Fat Man’s Squeeze on the Enchanted Trail. Children will enjoy the Swing-a-Long Suspension bridge, which spans 180 feet. They’ll also love the figurines that depict fairytales and classic stories for children in Fairyland Caverns or Mother Goose Village. Lover’s Leap is a spot for couples looking to capture a memorable moment. It’s located next to the mountain’s 140 foot waterfall. Everyone will enjoy trying to spot the seven states from the See Seven States viewpoint at 1,700 feet above sealevel.

image credit : flickr

Rock City was a popular destination for visitors who enjoyed their time there. They praised the natural attractions as being beautiful and enjoyable to explore, especially with children. Many visitors loved the waterfall, and recalled the incredible views from the various lookout points. However, not all were satisfied. Some travelers complained about the difficulty of accessing certain attractions (e.g. Fat Man’s Squeeze and Needle’s Eye) for guests with mobility issues. Many people recommended comfortable shoes, and advised that you visit early to avoid crowds.

Rock City is open during the summer. Check out the website for details. Adult admission is $21.95 and children 3-12 years old are $12.95. The attraction can be parked free of charge, but it is not accessible by public buses due to its geographic location in Georgia.

More Details About Rock City Gardens

Address:1400 Patten Rd, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750, United States
Contact: +1 706-820-2531
Founder:Garnet Carter, Fairyland, and Mini Golf

Tennessee Valley Railroad #5

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum displays, interprets, and operates trains. Begin your tour by visiting the Chattanooga Grand Junction Station’s museum railway yard.

image credit : flickr

You can book an excursion on a vintage passenger train pulling a steam engine or diesel engine. A steam-powered 1930s train that runs six miles along the track near Chattanooga is the most popular. It crosses three bridges, and goes through a Civil War-era railroad tunnel. You can reserve a seat in the dome-car.

The 50-mile Hiwassee Loop excursion departs Delano, approximately one hour north of Chattanooga. It offers a more memorable rail journey. You will be taken along the Hiwassee River and the breathtaking mountains of Cherokee National Forest by the Hiwassee Loop. This internationally recognized whitewater recreation area was first to be awarded the Tennessee Scenic River designation.

More Details About Tennessee Valley Railroad

Address:4119 Cromwell Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37421, United States
Contact: +1 423-894-8028
President:Tim Andrews

Creative Discovery Museum #6

The Creative Discovery Museum in downtown Chattanooga is a nationally-recognized children’s museum that encourages kids to learn by doing and have fun. Exploration can be applied to all passions and disciplines, such as science, music, and the arts.

image credit : flickr

This museum is a hub for young minds. It features a rooftop RiverPlay exhibit, a garden, and an equipped workshop that allows kids to become inventors.

The exhibits are designed for pre-adolescents, who love to get on the Dinosaur Train or splash in the Splash Zone. The museum introduces children to beekeeping as well as the use of biofuels for transportation. The best fun is shared by parents who are fully involved in activities, such as music making, with their children.

More Details About Creative Discovery Museum

Address:321 Chestnut St, Chattanooga, TN 37402, United States
Contact: +1 423-756-2738

Hunter Museum of American Art #7

The Hunter Museum of American Art focuses on works by American artists from the 1700s. The exhibits include furniture, paintings, sculpture, and glasswork. A portion of the museum is located in a 1904 Classic Revival home, while another section is situated on top of an 80-foot hill overlooking the Tennessee River.

image credit : flickr

Be sure to visit the Hunter Museum of American Art and walk east for the Sculpture Garden located on Bluff View. This museum is the main attraction in the Bluff View Art District, which defines downtown’s arts scene.

More Details About Hunter Museum of American Art

Address:10 Bluff View Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37403, United States
Contact: +1 423-267-0968
Area:5,666 m²

FAQs: Top 7 Best Places To Visit in Chattanooga

What is Chattanooga Known For?

In addition to being the county seat of Hamilton County, Chattanooga is the largest city in the state of Tennessee and extends into Marion County on the western end. It is one of two principal cities of East Tennessee, and it anchors the Chattanooga metropolitan area, which encompasses Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia, and Northeast Alabama. The city is also home to several colleges, including the University of North Carolina-Chattanooga.

Is Chattanooga a Rich City?

If you are looking to live in a wealthy city, you might want to consider Harrison, Tennessee. Its zip code and good weather are sure to make you feel at home. You can also check out its racial makeup and check out the best place to buy a home. Then you can decide if Chattanooga is right for you. And, if you’re not sure, you can always move to another part of the state.

What is the Racial Makeup of Chattanooga Tennessee?

The most widely recognized racial group in Chattanooga is white. However, a recent census indicates that Hamilton County is less racially diverse than the rest of the U.S. As a result, the city is becoming more diverse. In 2010, the city’s black population decreased by 5.8%, and the non-white population grew from 41.6% to 44.9%.

How Do Locals Pronounce Chattanooga?

Before you visit the city, you need to learn how to pronounce the name of the town. While it was once called “Gruesli-Laager,” the current name is pronounced Cha-duh-NOO-guh. While the town’s original name is Cherokee, the name of the city was changed to Chattanooga in 1836. Unlike the Cherokee, however, the locals of Chattanooga prefer to pronounce the city’s name as “Cha-duh-NOO-guh.” This is because the word ‘Chatta-duh-NOO-guh’ has four syllables and is pronounced as ‘Ch-duh-NOO-guh,’ with a soft “d.”

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