Summer is fast-approaching, and what could be better than spending opening weekend cruising the Tennessee River on a steamboat or zip lining high above the treetops? Start your summer off right with Memorial Day fun in Chattanooga! For a full list of events happening over the Memorial Day Weekend, click here.
Catch a movie
On May 29 enjoy Sunset Cinema in Miller Park where you can sprawl out on the lawn of Miller Park and watch Guardians of the Galaxy. This event is free and open to the public so get there early to reserve your spot!
High Point ZIP Adventure at Ruby Falls
Get your adrenaline pumping with High Point ZIP Adventure at Ruby Falls. Make your way through the trees on over 700 feet of high ropes course elements. The three courses offer loads of excitement with their many ladders, nets, walkways, bridges, tunnels, and zip lines. If you’re not feeling up for an entire obstacle course, soar high above the ground on the Tower Zipline.
Listen to Live Music
Memorial Day weekend is loaded with live music! Enjoy music from local artists like Amber Fults and Jason Lyles at FEED Co. Table & Tavern, and Toby Hewitt and Jessie James Jungkurth at the Backporch on Station Street.
Check out the Chattanooga Market
Consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation – including a top 10 nod from Frommer’s – this weekly farmers market is the real deal featuring producer-only products. That’s a fancy way of saying the person smiling behind the booth either helped make or grow what they’re selling, whether it’s a hand-blown glass bead necklace or a bushel of tomatoes picked that morning (usually within a 100 mile radius). This Memorial Day weekend, you can enjoy the Street Food Festival featuring over two dozen local and regional food trucks. The Chattanooga Market is open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. each Sunday and is a great place to enjoy live music as you stroll through the First Tennessee Pavilion.
Celebrate summer’s opening weekend properly by hitting the water. The easiest way to explore Tennessee’s Grand Canyon is to hop aboard a riverboat. Several companies offer trips leaving from downtown docks. Climb aboard the Southern Belle to experience the luxury of 1800s-era riverboats. To explore both downtown and the river, take a ride on the Chattanooga Ducks, a renovated WWII landing craft used in the D-Day invasion.
Civil War & Chattanooga History
Learn more about the War Between the States and the battles that took place around Chattanooga. Hear the cannons roar with Artillery Demonstrations at Point Park, or make your way to the Chickamauga Battlefield to visit the pyramids honoring the infamous battles. Head over to Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center and enjoy one of their many events celebrating Memorial Day. Some of their events include a Civil War Artillery Drill demonstration on the plaza, Bricks of Valor demonstration ceremony, Air National Guard Band of the South performance on the plaza, plus a chance to meet a Medal of Honor Recipient. Click here to see the full schedule for events.
What Memorial Day weekend would be complete without a picnic in the park or a football game of two-hand touch? Coolidge Park is where the locals go to hang out or throw a Frisbee. The fountains are perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. Just across the river, play in the cascading waterfalls at The Passage near the Tennessee Aquarium.
Whitewater fun is less than an hour from Chattanooga. The Ocoee River is famous for its class III and IV rapids and the location of the 1996 Olympic whitewater events. Several outfitters offer cabin rentals should you decide to make it a weekend, and some can even coordinate fly fishing expeditions, rock climbing, caving and kayaking adventures.
Kayaking & Paddleboarding
Looking to explore the river at your own pace? Put a paddle in your hand and a smile on your face on a kayak or SUP board. River Canyon Kayak equips you with your own personal vessel for river exploration. If you’re not sure you want to head out by yourself, opt for a guided tour or join a group. If you want to try your hand at Stand Up Paddleboarding, stop by L2 Outside for rentals, lessons, and a SUP sunset paddle down the Tennessee River.