Last updated: 11:39 AM ET, Mon September 26 2022
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, City skyline


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Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, City skyline
Chattanooga, Tennessee. (Photo via SeanPavonePhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Experience thundering waterfalls, breathtaking views, world-renowned attractions, venture more than 1,000 feet underground or tour the world-famous Tennessee Aquarium – all of these experiences are available in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

With its convenient location, gorgeous scenery and world-class attractions, Chattanooga is attractive for families, couples or anyone else looking for a destination that includes experiences that are out of the ordinary but still have a taste of Southern charm. Adventure lovers can choose to take part in a Ruby Falls ZIPstream Aerial Adventure; go canoeing on Lookout Creek at the Chattanooga Nature Center; enjoy 2000 foot tandem hang gliding, venture over 1000 feet beneath the surface of the earth at Ruby Falls, then climb to the top of Lookout Mountain on Lovers Leap for the amazing seven states view at Rock City Gardens, ride the World’s Steepest Passenger Train – the Incline Railway.

History lovers can re-live pivotal battles that molded history. Because of its strategic location and rail systems, Chattanooga was considered the gateway to the Deep South and a strategic location for both the Union and the Confederacy. You can tour the Chickamauga National Battlefield,site of the last major Confederate victory. The museum here contains one of the most extensive arms collections from that period, the Fuller Gun Collection.

And don’t miss visits to the area’s renowned museums. The Hunter Museum of American Art, for example, contains a collection recognized as one of the country’s finest; and the Model Railroad Museum at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and Resort contains the largest model railroad display in the United States.

shot of the waterfall beside lovers leap in rock city, chattanooga tn.
Shot of the waterfall beside lovers leap in Rock city, Chattanooga, Tennessee. (Photo via Antipunk / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

You can relax on a Tennessee River lunch or dinner cruise aboard the 500-passenger, Southern Belle riverboat. And while you’re in the area, enjoy a trip to the Tennessee Aquarium, which takes visitors on a journey from the mountains to the sea. Beneath its six magnificent glass peaks, guests explore three living forests and meet amazing creatures that swim, fly and crawl in their natural habitats.

Chattanooga’s variety of dining options include everything from BBQ to hand-dipped chocolate truffles, or animal cracker ice cream. You can get your "Meat and Three" or feast on seafood like sautéed Walu; find a diverse wine selection and imaginative cuisine at one of Chattanooga’s fine dining establishments, from Italian to Chinese influenced restaurants; sample some of Chattanooga’s locally-brewed beer or have a good old-fashioned hamburger at one of the informal pubs/restaurants around town.

Among the many entertainment options, consider a show at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, one of the nation's oldest, largest, continuously running community theaters in the country. Here you can see everything from Broadway-style musicals and dramas to comedies and children's plays.

The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport offers nonstop or one-stop service to over 1,000 destinations. A free shuttle on electric buses runs between the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel and the downtown riverfront, stopping near the Tennessee Aquarium and the Creative Discovery Museum. Another shuttle runs across the Tennessee River to the North Shore Neighborhood. By car, I-75, I-24 and I-59 all have exits in Chattanooga.