There's no way around it: Chattanooga is an active-man's town. Nestled between two mountains at a bend in the Tennessee River, the city of 173,000 has a competition going on most every weekend, including both a full and a half Ironman, along with plenty of hiking, whitewater kayaking, and fishing for the more laid-back. While the outdoors are the reason to come, the top-notch food, drink, and hotels are no afterthought. 

Lover's Leap-Rock CityDon't miss stirring up some foam via kayak on the rapids of the Tennessee River Blueway, hang gliding at Lookout Mountain, and tackling the cracks of the Tennessee Wall, an epic crag on the rim of the Tennessee River Gorge. There's also always the three-mile run on Bluff Trail, which hugs the scenic edge of Lookout. And if you're already spent, there's fried chicken and a long beer list waiting for you at Champy's.

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Published by Men's Journal on June 2017: Written by: Robert Earle Howells, Perri O. Blumberg