If you’re looking to head south, Chattanooga is a wonderful, wheelchair accessible destination in beautiful Tennessee. Nestled at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, the views offered by this forested paradise are absolutely stunning. As Tennessee’s fourth largest city, it’s the ideal size to explore – not too large or too small, exciting yet manageable. I actually live very close to Chattanooga and usually visit it a couple times per week. I am constantly impressed with the amount of things to do that I’ve come up with this list of the 10 best wheelchair accessible activities in this cool city, so be sure to head to Chattanooga and check them out! 

Tennessee Aquarium1. Visit the Tennessee Aquarium
Bet you didn’t think you’d be having an oceanic adventure in Tennessee, but that’s exactly what the Tennessee Aquarium offers. Featuring an IMAX 3D Theater nearby as well as an optional cruise along the Tennessee River, you can discover a number of worlds in this one awesome attraction. The River Gorge Explorer Riverboat is wheelchair accessible for up to two chairs, and tickets for this one attraction are $32 for adults. You can also get tickets for the River Gorge Explorer and the Aquarium combined for $56.95, an Aquarium/IMAX combo for $37.95, just Aquarium tickets for $29.95, or tickets for all three attractions for $64.95. It’s neat to see the 45-minute IMAX movies, and the Aquarium itself offers incredible views of animals.

2. Stroll Around Downtown
Chattanooga’s downtown area makes for a scenic and sublime stroll on a pleasant day. This district is both historic and revived, making for an incredibly unique atmosphere with gorgeous shops and restaurants, especially those along the riverfront. These are all excellent local businesses to explore, and one of my favorites is the iconic Moon Pie General Store. Sporting events and museums are also headquartered in this district, so there’s plenty to do once you’re done with your stroll and plenty of places to stop along the way. Downtown is also where most of the city’s exquisite pathways and river walks begin, so you can start here and follow the trails through other Chattanooga neighborhoods. 

Escape Experience Chattanooga3. Try an Escape Game 
Have you ever heard of “escape games”? They’re a new craze, and if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, you’re missing out on an incredibly fun and challenging experience. In these games, you and your companions will be trapped in a room, and to “win” the game, you have to use what’s in the room to solve a series of puzzles in order to escape within a certain amount of time. It’s a thrilling brain exercise and definitely a great bonding experience. I went to Escape Experience and had an exhilarating time in their wheelchair friendly C-Block game. When I was solving mysteries and searching for clues so that we could break out of there, I felt like I was the star of my own movie! It’s $28 per person and well worth the adventure. 

4. Visit the Bluff View Art District
This neighborhood is definitely a highlight of Chattanooga and is a continuation of its scenic downtown area. This hip district is crawling with galleries, museums, and excellent restaurants – plus it has that neat historic vibe that permeates Chattanooga. Set atop stone cliffs, the views of the rest of Chattanooga are almost as amazing as the art. Art lovers can visit the Hunter Museum of American Art and a number of galleries. Follow your stomach to one of the many great dining options, but I suggest grabbing a coffee at Rembrandt’s and indulging in some excellent Italian cuisine at Tony’s Pasta Shop.

Rock City5. See 7 States from Rock City
Rock City is one of the most exceptional points in the USA, because from this perch atop the aptly-named Lookout Mountain, you can see seven different states. Its name comes from the ancient rock formations you can find here, and Rock City also features acres of lovely native plant gardens, fantastic Fairyland Caverns, and an excellent Enchanted Trail through the woods. Rock City is famously fabulous no matter which season you choose to visit in, and they sell “world famous birdhouses” if you’re looking for a neat souvenir. It’s a wedding-worthy view, so don’t be surprised if you see a bride walking along the wheelchair accessible trail to the overlook at Lover’s Leap.

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Published by Curb Free with Cory Lee on May 10, 2016: Written by Cory Lee