Summer is fast-approaching, and what could be better than spending the 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, check out our events calendar.

Your Guide to Memorial Weekend Fun in Chattanooga

Learn More About Local Civil War and Medal of Honor History

Learn more about the War Between the States and the battles that took place around Chattanooga with a visit to Chickamauga Battlefield, Point Park, or the Battles for Chattanooga. Head over to Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center and learn more about those who earned the highest award for military valor in action.  

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.

Savor Brunch

Around here, weekend brunch is a must. And with so many amazing brunches to choose from, it's no surprise! Treat yourself to an elevated brunch at WhitebirdJoin The Feed for their Sunday brunch where you can dig into The Hash or Short Ribs & Grits while enjoying some live music. Sip on a Katy Peary while you wait for your eggo sando to arrive at Frazier Five and Dime. Or maybe you'll want to keep it casual and snag the infamous hot chicken biscuit at Kenny's. Looking for more? Explore our round-up of brunch offerings!

Catch Some Live Music

Memorial Day weekend is loaded with live music! Start your weekend off right with Nightfall free concert series on Friday night. Vibe out on the patio of Barrelhouse Ballroom for their Sunday Fundays with Danimal, Martelli, and Forlines.

Go On a Riverboat Tour

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.

Check Out a Market or Festival

Consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation – including a top 10 nod from Frommer’sThe Chattanooga Market 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 Chattanooga Beer Festfeaturing local and regional brewers including 5 Wits Brewers, Chattanooga Brewing, Creature Comforts Brewing (Athens, TN), Good People Brewing (Birmingham, AL), Naked River, Hutton and Smith, and more!

Explore the Riverfront

What Memorial Day weekend would be complete without a picnic in the park or a football game of two-hand touch? Coolidge Park is a favorite spot to hang out and toss 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.

Paddle Your Heart Out

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.

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.

Go Out to a Game

Chattanooga's local soccer and baseball teams will be defending their home turfs this weekend! Cheer on Chattanooga FC as they take on Atlanta United 2, Red Wolves SC as they play Lexington SC, and the Chattanooga Lookouts against the Mississippi Braves!