First-Time Traveler Guide: What Is There to Do in Chattanooga?

Chattanooga is a great location if you are looking for an Atlanta road trip or somewhere near the area. Although its size is definitely far from large cities like Nashville, or Atlanta, it has enough charming attractions to make up for its size. Besides, if you are really looking for that big city vibe, Atlanta is only two hours away. 

But, let us talk about Chattanooga and all the fantastic sights to see and things to do in the location. It is undoubtedly one of the must-see tourist places in America, and here are a few reasons why. As a first-time traveler, let us look at the different activities that we can enjoy when visiting Chattanooga.

Go Cycling

Although it might not sound like the most exciting option, cycling around a particular town is always a fun and enjoyable experience. It is a great way to navigate the area and see the city at your own pace. Enjoy calm afternoons or early mornings when you rent a bike and navigate around town. 

Go to nearby parks and eat your breakfast by the river or under a tree. You can also canvas nearby tourist attractions and add them to your itinerary when you return to the hotel. Cycling around town is a great way to navigate the city and get familiar with the location, weather, people, and surroundings. 

Go to the Chattanooga Choo Choo

Admittedly, the name sounds more like a child’s playground than a historic location. However, this building’s name and architecture have a rich background that piques many tourists who have visited the city so far. It was originally a hotel acquired by the Southern Railways in 1905 and was opened as a Terminal Station. 

Eventually, it was turned back into a hotel by four businessmen to spare the building from demolition. As of today, it is known as one of the Historic Hotels in America and is listed under the National Register of Historic Places. There are a variety of shops, gardens, entertainment complexes to enjoy. 

Visit the Tennessee Aquarium

You absolutely cannot leave the city without paying a visit to one of the world’s largest freshwater aquariums and Chattanooga’s biggest attraction. This destination is top-rated amongst tourists and contributes around $115 million to the city’s overall economy. You can bet that a trip to this amazing aquarium will get you your money’s worth. 

The Tennessee Aquarium is not just an average fish tank or near your regular aquatic park. Its exhibit displays a ton of sea creatures from sharks, jellyfishes, stingrays, even penguins! You can also visit alligators, turtles, river otters and make friends with some birds at the Appalachian Cove Forest.

The aquatic facility is top of the line, and animals were greatly taken care of by the staff members. These are just some of the things to do in Chattanooga that can make your stay pleasurable and enjoyable. Try to spend a full day at the aquarium to see all its wonders and enjoy the different activities they have in store. 

Enjoy Different Cuisines

You will be delighted to know that Chattanooga’s food is even more delectable apart from some exciting and thrilling activities. Besides, nothing is better than replenishing yourself with good food after a long day of fun and tiring activities. There are tons of restaurants serving a variety of food that will definitely satisfy your appetite. 

From a tasty and energy-filled breakfast to cocktails at the end of the night. Roam the streets of Chattanooga, and you will definitely enjoy a dozen restaurants, food hubs, and cocktail bars just waiting to serve you one of the best meals you will ever have. Satisfy your cravings and get sufficient energy for another day of fun-filled activities.

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park

Take a break from the cities and enjoy a historical monument that commemorates the memory of Chattanooga as a Civil War battleground in the past. The Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park is one of the oldest and most significant Civil War parks in America. Its main attractions are the railroads and natural location.

Its beauty and historical asset gave it the title: Gateway of the Deep South. This park is located in Chamagua, Georgia, nine miles south of downtown Chattanooga. Visiting this location along with nearby areas is an exciting trip for most visitors as it gives you an insight into the city’s essential war sights and background.

Get in Touch with Nature

If you want a trip that lets you get in touch with nature, that is not a problem when visiting the city of Chattanooga. There are dozens of state parks, mountain hikes, and rivers to visit. Try the Signal Mountain Hikes or Lookout Mountain Hikes and Lula Lake Land Trust and enjoy a morning or afternoon trail by yourself or with some friends.

You can also take a picnic at famous parks like Harrison Bay, Fall Creek Falls, and many more. Enjoy a luxurious outing that will take you away from the city’s bustling streets and overwhelming activities. Relax with nature and get that vacation you have always wanted. There are tons to see and do with a multitude of land and water activities available.

Go Hang Gliding

As mentioned, Lookout Mountain Hikes is one of the best spots to go to if you are looking for a hiking opportunity. However, you would be delighted to know that it also offers an incredible hang gliding experience at the top of the mountain. Lookout Mountain Flight Park lets you fly above the peaks and valleys surrounding Chattanooga.

Fly with a professional and certified instructor and enjoy the breathtaking views below. Unlike most hang gliding locations, you do not have to jump off the mountain. In Lookout Mountain Flight Park, you depart from the ground. An ultralight plane pulls the glider up in the air at 2,000 feet with you and your instructor attached. Afterward, you are released, and you can fly along the mountains as you please. 

Overall, there are tons of things to see and do at Chattanooga. As a first-time traveler, you will definitely see plenty of amazing sights and history-filled locations. Visit a local museum or hire a tour guide to give you a complete experience. It is better if you do some more research before the trip so that you will have an itinerary ready beforehand.