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.
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.
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 Whitebird. Join 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!
Memorial Day weekend is loaded with live music! Start your weekend off right with Nightfall free concert series on Friday night. Or snag tickets to Kevin Gates's concert at The Signal. 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’s – The 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 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.
Also happening this weekend is the Little Owl Fairy House Festival and 5K at Audubon Acres! You don't have to join the 5K to partake in the fun. Meander down the fairy house trail; enjoy storytelling, live music, and local vendors.
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.
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.