As the weather warms and social distancing is the new norm, fun, safe activities close to home are in high demand. To help you stay active and entertained, Chattanooga has four self-guided scavenger hunts around downtown so you can explore the city while still following all the stay-at-home guidelines.
The four scavenger hunts focus on different districts around the city: The Innovation District, Northshore District, Riverfront District, and Southside District. Designed to get you thinking and moving as you discover Chattanooga’s unique landmarks, each of the hunts has a series of seven rhyming clues for you to decipher and follow. Download or print the clues for each hunt before you set out on your adventure.
For safety, remember to embark on the hunts alone or with your immediate family. The clues are kid-friendly, so your little ones will love getting in on the action. Whether you complete one scavenger hunt or all four, you’re sure to learn something new and exciting about the Scenic City.
Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect from each challenge.
1. The Innovation District
This neighborhood is found at the intersection of Market Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, two of Chattanooga’s most popular areas. The area is home to Miller Plaza, a multi-purpose green space that hosts live music and special events throughout the year, as well as some of the city’s most beloved restaurants and breweries.
On the Innovation District scavenger hunt, you’ll tour the area’s most notable attractions including a sky-high mural, a trendy shopping spot, and three interesting sculptures. You’ll also get to explore a “big field of green,” a beautiful stained glass window, and the building that gives the Innovation District its name.
2. The Northshore District
This vibrant, colorful neighborhood looks out over the Tennessee River and is home to some of Chattanooga’s most unique shops and restaurants. With parks, outdoor art installations, and beautiful riverfront views, Northshore has plenty of fun things to see and do even when businesses are closed. The Northshore neighborhood is connected to the rest of downtown by the historic Walnut Street Bridge, a pedestrian-only walkway that acts as one of the city’s best vantage points of the gorgeous Tennessee River as it snakes through Chattanooga.
Throughout the Northshore scavenger hunt, you’ll be directed to seek out landmarks like musical sculptures, a rooftop animal, and one very unusual bench. You might even learn some new dance moves! You’ll need some supplies to make the most of this particular hunt—make sure to bring some sidewalk chalk and a piece of cardboard for some snow-less sledding.
3. The Riverfront District
Home to the Tennessee Aquarium, Ross’s Landing, and the Visitor’s Center, the Riverfront District is a hub for fun activities. Residents and visitors alike flock to this area to learn about local Native American history, discover the region’s aquatic wildlife, and enjoy the water features and climbable landscaping that surrounds the aquarium. This part of the city also offers a spectacular view of the Tennessee River.
In this scavenger hunt, you’ll see the place where the Trail of Tears began, take a free ride around town, and seek out an object that is “normally found on a body of water.” Continue following clues down to the waterfront to seek out a purple family, a place to walk over the river, and a spot to swing and slide.
4. The Southside District
This trendy neighborhood centered around Main Street is a hotspot for music, events, and nightlife. In addition to its many local bars and restaurants, the Southside is also home to the famed Chattanooga Choo Choo and a charming collection of street art. Throughout the year, the Southside hosts special events like the 24-hour MainX24 festival each December and the Chattanooga Market every Sunday during the season. Whenever you’re looking for a good time, the Southside neighborhood is a great place to start.
In the Southside District scavenger hunt, you’ll search for three outdoor sculptures, including one that’s a funky take on an old gate. You’ll also find something that once pulled train cars, a totally Instagrammable polka dot wall, and a lively street where “music lovers, comedians, and foodies like to meet.”
Each of these scavenger hunts highlights some of the most unique features found within the city’s favorite neighborhoods. Whether you’re new to Chattanooga or have lived here for years, you’re sure to discover something you’ve never noticed before when you follow the clues. The next time you’re looking for a creative and safe way to get out and explore near home, download the map and start a hunt.