With nearly nine months of pleasant weather, seeing Chattanooga by bike is an almost year-round proposition. And there's no better way than via the city's bike transit system with its 400 bikes at 42 stations.
How It Works
The bike share program is quite simple. The Daily Pass offers access to the bikes unlimited 60-minute trips for 24-hours or score you a 3-Day pass for an entire weekend of fun. See pricing on Bike Chattanooga's website.
Rent a bike, ride for up to one hour, and leave it at another station. Then, grab another bike and repeat as many times as you'd like. Want to keep the bike out longer? There is a fee for each additional 30 minutes.
With its 42 stations, the system is designed to conveniently get around the city. Want to ride somewhere to grab a bite to eat? Just take a bike from one station, park it at another and enjoy your meal. Easy as that.
Bike Chattanooga has paired up with Transit, an app allowing users to plan their public transit routes. Typically, to get a release code for a docked bike, a rider interacts with the kiosk. With the Unlock and Pay Feature on Transit, customers have the option to skip the kiosk and purchase a day pass via the app. In addition to the ease of access, Transit allows you to scope out how many bikes are at each station.
Here are a few routes to try on your next trip to the Scenic City. Or plan your own route with this handy station map.
Route 1: Tour du 'Nooga
This route is for the die-hard bike tourist as it hits most of the downtown highlights. Begin in Coolidge Park, explore the shops and art galleries on Frazier Avenue, and then rent your bike at the 200 River Street station (just outside of the Outdoor Chattanooga building). Ride across the Walnut Street Bridge for the best downtown Chattanooga view.
Off the bridge, hand an immediate left and walk your bike over the Ruth Holmberg Glass-Bottom Bridge. Return your bikes at the High Street & East 2nd Street station (near Rembrandt's Coffee House) and explore the Bluff View Art District. Enjoy the River Gallery Sculpture Garden and the Hunter Museum of American Art.
Make your way down the steps past the Hunter Museum to the S-shaped walkway under the Walnut Street Bridge. The pathway will lead you to The Passage, a public art installation that includes a stairway waterfall and public art project commemorating the origin of the Trail of Tears and Cherokee history and culture.
Next, explore the Tennessee Aquarium, which takes at least two hours. Afterwards, walk across the street to Mellow Mushroom to enjoy a slice of fresh, stone-baked pizza. After dinner, take in a Chattanooga Lookouts baseball game at AT&T field or climb the walls of the 33,000 sq. ft. indoor climbing gym, High Point Climbing & Fitness. To get back to your car in Coolidge Park, rent a bike at either the 215 Broad Street or Power Alley & Riverfront Parkway stations (in front of Cold Stone Creamery).
Route 2: Little Tike Bike Tour
If young ones are involved, consider this kid-centric tour. Seats are adjustable but kids will have to be tall enough to ride adult-sized bikes. Start in Coolidge Park, ride the 100-year-old carousel, play in the interactive water play fountains, or just soak up the sun on the grassy lawn.
If you're getting an early start, stop by Julie Darling Donuts on Frazier Avenue for a homemade breakfast treat. Then, rent bikes at the 200 River Street station (in front of Outdoor Chattanooga), cross the Walnut Street Bridge and return bikes at the Broad & 4th Station (in front of the Majestic Theatre). The Creative Discovery Museum is just across the street, great for keeping the kids occupied for 2-3 hours. The exhibits are geared to the younger set, but older kids will have a blast with cooking classes, make-it stations and seasonally rotating exhibits.
Lunch is a short walk away if you hit the restaurants on Broad and 4th, including Lupi's Pizza Pies or Five Guys Burger and Fries. Afterwards, the Tennessee Aquarium is only a short walk away. When done, rent bikes again at the 215 Broad Street station in front of Big River Grille to return to the other side of the river.
Route 3: Dinner and Movie
For a brief bike date, consider cruising to dinner and a movie on two wheels. Park downtown in the garage by High Point Climbing and head to the Majestic Theatre. (Get your movie ticket stamped at the theatre and parking is free.) Or if you're feeling more adventurous, the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater will send you to space, the national parks, to the depths of the ocean and back, all in 3D.
Rent your bikes at the 4th Street & Broad Street station (just outside the Majestic) and head across the Walnut Street Bridge to Coolidge Park. You can return the bikes at the 200 River Street station (in front of Outdoor Chattanooga) then stroll around the park for beautiful sunset or twilight views of downtown's skyline. For dinner, walk to Brewhaus and hang out on the back patio and sip on a beer. Or try your hand at Sushi Nabe with its creative sushi roll combinations. After dinner, rent bikes again at Outdoor Chattanooga and ride back to your car.
Route 4: Riding for Brews
For an adults-only excursion, tour Chattanooga's brewpubs by bike. Below is a list of breweries and pubs on the bike share route, organized by station.
Market Street & 14th Street Station
Built in the Chattanooga Choo Choo, the restaurant weaves a modern, urban aesthetic with the historic remnants of the iconic terminal station. The restaurant brings an intense focus on artisan ice and craft cocktails.
Prepare yourself for laughs at the newly relocated comedy club in the Chattanooga Choo Choo. In its history, the venue has hosted some of the biggest stars in comedy with names like Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, Paula Poundstone and many others. They also feature the Backstage Bar for drinks before, during, or after the show.
Market Street & 4th Street
An English-inspired pub, Hair of the Dog boasts dark wooden walls, more than 50 beers and stick-to-your-ribs grub (try the hand-cut French fries). Inside you'll find a traditional pub environment, complete with dart board and pool tables upstairs while outside offers a multi-level wooden deck.
This truly unique concept combines karaoke with chicken wings and ample amounts of alcohol to make it all work. Belt out your favorite tune while noshing on their signature smoked wings or other specialties, like Dixie Chicks (chicken strips) or the K.D. Quesadilla.
215 Broad Street
Big River Grille & Brewing Works
Chattanooga's original brewpub is still one of the favorites, with award-winning beers and a vast menu, serving everything from New York strip and bourbon glazed salmon to finish tacos and pizza (all worth trying). Pair them with the beer fight to sample all the brews.
200 River Street
Coined a German-American gastropub, Brewhaus offers a truly unique food experience plus a panorama of Coolidge Park from its back deck. Try the Rooster Weiner Schnitzel (classic schnitzel topped with fried egg) or a grilled, spicy or veggie brat on a pretzel bun.
Route 5: Public Art Tour
Start by renting a bike in the Southside at the Market Street & 14th Street station in front of the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Ride down Main Street to the Main Terrain Art Park, where fitness and public art go hand in hand. Then, make your way towards the riverfront, dock your bike at the Power Alley & Riverfront Parkway station and enjoy lunch at Puckett's cooking up delicious Southern favorites.
After lunch, explore the public art around the Tennessee Aquarium and Ross' Landing, including The Passage. Then, walk up First Street to see the sculpture garden along the hill. Pick up a bike at 100 Walnut Street station (outside the Ice Cream Show), cross the glass walking bridge and head into the Bluff View Art District.
Park your ride at the High Street & East 2nd Street station and explore the River Gallery, the sculpture garden, and Rembrandt's Coffee. After exploring the bluff and grabbing a cup of coffee or a tasty pastry, head back to your car in the Southside.