School is back in session, the sunset arrives earlier each night, and there is the slightest hint of a chill in the air—summer is drawing to a close in Chattanooga. With the arrival of autumn in the Scenic City, though, the fun is just beginning. Chattanooga’s vibrant foliage and plethora of fall activities should put it at the top of your list of places to visit as we dive into a new season. Here are some of our favorite festivals, attractions, and all-around great places to enjoy the autumnal scenery on your trip to Chattanooga this fall.

Food and Drink

Wine Over Water

Every October Chattanooga's iconic Walnut Stree pedestrian bridge transforms into a wine lover's dream. In 2023 the event has been relocated next door to the Hunter Museum of American Art. Wine over Water pairs fine and popular wines from around the world with curated bites from some of Chattanooga's best chefs. The live music and majestic views round out the evening's vibes! For the dedicated wine connoisseur, be sure to purchase tickets to Best Cellars, a heightened experience with premium wines on the same night, and your ticket gets you into Wine Over Water as well!

Chattanooga Oktoberfest

This free German-themed festival held at the Tennessee Pavilion is Chattanooga’s oldest and largest Oktoberfest celebration. The weekend-long event features more than 100 local and seasonal brews, as well as authentic German foods. You can practice your polka dancing to the sounds of local oompah bands and see who will win the coveted title of Mr. and Miss Oktoberfest. Beer aside, this event offers fun and games for the whole family.

Looking for more ways to explore Food and Drink this fall?

Check out our list of Chattanooga Fall Festivals and Events!


Music and Activities

3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival

Happening on Chattanooga's Riverfront each October, this annual celebration of all things Bluegrass should definitely be on your calendar! 3 Sisters combines both traditional and contemporary bluegrass to appeal to a wide range of audiences. The festival  has featured some of the biggest names in bluegrass like Yonder Mountain String Band, Ricky Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent, Dan Tyminski and Del McCoury.


In October, Chattanooga transforms into ChattaBOOga! The fun and frights to be had are not of the typical haunted city. 

For the bravest of souls looking to be scared white as a ghost, test your nerves with an intense haunted experience crawling with terrifying creatures, chilling ghost tours of Chattanooga’s most haunted spots or a race against time to stop a runaway train at an escape room. 

For more mild experiences, gather the family to enjoy trick-or-treating at the zoo or an aquarium visit on weird creatures with abilities and behaviors that seem stranger than any legend or myth. 

Go on a Train Ride!

Whether you opt for a family-friendly ride on the the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum's Halloween Eerie Express or opt for a longer route to indulge in the fall colors, a ride on the local rails is a great way to experience fall in Chattanooga! 

Getting Outside

Guild Hardy Trail 

Located just a few minutes from downtown, the Guild Hardy trail is a converted railroad that stretches for about five miles on Lookout Mountain. The wide gradual path is perfect for a gentle stroll on a fall afternoon, and its four access points provide flexibility for time and distance. With its smooth gravel, you can look up at the beautiful foliage all you want without the worry of rocks or roots. Along the trail, you’ll pass Civil War relics, historic sites such as Craven’s House, and you’ll even spot the famed Ruby Falls.

Prentice Cooper State Forest

Prentice Cooper is perfect for viewing the beautiful colors of fall because of its quiet remoteness and dense tree coverage. Visitors can enjoy the serenity of the many trails, or catch a spectacular view of the river gorge from the Snoopers Rock and Mullins Cove overlooks.

Foliage from the River

In fall, the Southern Belle Riverboat offers boat rides to view the changing leaves from the river. These cruises mean getting gorgeous and unique views of the fall foliage while relaxing on a luxurious watercraft.

Explore More Ways to Experience Fall Colors

Learn more about how you can experience fall colors in the Scenic City! See dazzling fall colors by land, water, and air, and sample some of the best handcrafted delights created from a bountiful harvest of our region at local restaurants and farmers' markets.