Summer in Chattanooga means events, festivals, music, arts, outdoor adventures, minor-league baseball, superb restaurants, microbrews, river cruises, shopping venues, enjoying the riverfront scattered with parks, green spaces – and that’s just to name a few things.
Once you get here, you can park your car and explore the laid-back city aboard the free electric shuttle that connects you to all the downtown hotels, attractions, restaurants and activities throughout the Downtown, Riverfront, NorthShore and Southside Districts.
Chattanooga was named “Best Town Ever” by Outside magazine, and one of the “Top 45 Destinations to Travel in 2012” by the New York Times – and it’s easy to see why. Chattanooga is less than a two-hour drive from Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville, Huntsville and Birmingham and is located in the valley along the Tennessee River and surrounded by picturesque mountains. Check us out at www.chattanoogafun.com.
CHATTANOOGA’S TOP 5 SUMMER ADVENTURES
We’re not just a day trip and it’s easy to plan your multi-day vacation to include a variety of Chattanooga adventures.
1. FESTIVALS & LIVE MUSIC: Be entertained at numerous music festivals throughout the summer including the 9-day Riverbend Music Festival featuring Goo Goo Dolls, Eric Church, Foreigner, The Band Perry, Chris Tomlin, Lauren Alaina and over 100 more artists; ‘Bend Unplugged where Riverbend acts perform songs at various locations & answers questions from audience; 5-month Nightfall Music Series; Riverfront Nights music series; Southern Brewer’s Festival or year-round concerts at Rhythm & Brews; Lake Winnepesaukah’s Jukebox Junction Music Series where you can hear some of the best in country and Christian music.
2. TENNESSEE AQUARIUM: Come face-to-face with sharks, stingrays, penguins & thousands of other animals that swim, fly and crawl at the downtown Tennessee Aquarium. And while you’re there, you can take an eco-cruise aboard the Tennessee Aquarium’s River Gorge Explorer and check out a movie at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX® 3D Theater.
3. LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN FUN: Cool down high atop Lookout Mountain, just six miles from downtown. Venture through the trails at Rock City Gardens; 260 feet below the ground at Ruby Falls; head straight up (and down!) Lookout Mountain on the world’s steepest passenger railway, the Incline Railway; or visit the nation’s oldest and largest military park, Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park.
4. OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Land, air and water – we’ve got it all. Try rock climbing downtown at Coolidge Park or numerous other places on the mountainous terrain; biking along the Tennessee River on the Tennessee Riverwalk; kayaking or canoeing downtown; hiking, fishing, golfing, and more. If you’re up for a thrill, try hang gliding 2,000 feet in the air along Lookout Mountain; whitewater rafting on the wild Ocoee River only 45 minutes from downtown or our newest addition, try skydiving!
5. ARTS & CULTURAL ACTIVITIES: Take in one of the nation’s largest collections of American art at the Hunter Museum of American Art; stroll through museums, galleries & outdoor sculpture gardens throughout the Bluff View Arts, North Shore, & Southside Districts; create your own masterpiece at the interactive Creative Discovery Museum for children or enjoy public art along First Street, Main Street and integrated around the downtown area.
And when you’re on vacation, you need to make your taste buds happy, right? Whether you’re looking for upscale restaurants or trendy dives, you’ll find an array of establishments downtown that have attracted food reviewers and celebs including Rachel Ray’s $40 a Day show. For fine-dining, you can’t miss St. John’s, Hennen’s, Back Inn Café, and 212 Market or the James-Beard-nominated St. John’s. If you’re looking for to-see-and-be-seen in places, check out one of the watering holes with the finest local brews at Big River Grille, Taco Mamacitas, Blue Plate, Hair of the Dog Pub, Sugar’s Ribs or The Terminal.
Chattanooga is dedicated to continually enhancing the city, always making it a better destination. So whether you’ve been here before or it’s your first time, you’ll find some great new ways to have fun, topping off an already impressive array of things to do.
Outdoor Chattanooga is launching a new bike-share program with 30 stations and 300 bikes throughout the city
Tennessee Aquarium opened a new “River Giants” exhibit with fish that are only found in remote lakes and rivers around the world as part of their 20th Anniversary celebration
Chattanooga Zoo opened a new “Deserts and Forests of the World” exhibit as part of their 75th Anniversary celebration
We joined the ranks of world-class music venues with Track 29 that opened and has had acts including Jack White from the White Stripes, Avett Brothers, Switchfoot and many more
2012 significant anniversaries: Tennessee Aquarium, 20 years; Bluff View Art District, 20 years; Hunter Museum of American Art, 60 years; Chattanooga Zoo, 75 years; Rock City Gardens, 80 years; Delta Queen hotel, 85 years