Join us on an adventure to explore retro gems in Chattanooga. We’re here to help you get hip to the past and stay made-in-the-shade during this July heatwave. 

Shop Retro Goods

First, you are going to have to decide what you are wearing on this retro adventure. Stop at Poor Taste to swaddle yourself in gently worn band tees and knit wear whose origins span from the 1970s to the late 90s. If you’re starting on the Northshore, marvel at the selection of retro wearables from Electric Crocodile Vintage and then head on to Dirty Janes Antiques, a 24,000 square foot antique mall with over 100 vendors to peruse.

If you crave full immersion, your next stop must be Furnish Me Vintage, a huge warehouse of stunningly pristine mid-century modern furniture located in the back of St. Pete Records, in an unassuming concrete building that is only marked by a red-letter display that reads “Furniture & Records.” For more records, Yellow Racket Records is a place for music lovers to discover, hear, and buy new and pre-loved records in a beautiful space with a knowledgeable staff, great coffee, and comfy chairs 

Glide Groovy with Dazey Skate Co.  

Roller rinks are back, and local business Dazey Skate Co. is hosting a skate station in the Choo ChooThis temporary roller disco offers daytime workshops and themed parties every night, teaming up with neighboring businesses, local DJs and artists. This pop-up only lasts until August, so it’s time to bust out the terrycloth mini shorts and work on your spins. No Skates? No worries. They have rentals. 

Rack Up Points at the Classic Arcade Pinball Museum 

History and sheer fun collide at Chattanooga’s interactive pinball museum. The space is crammed with a collection of vintage pinball machines and informative placards explaining the story of each, and a wristband gets you unlimited play for the day.  

The experience is old-school. You leave the sun-bleached pavement of Broad street and are suddenly awash in a whirlpool of nostalgic, analog sounds: the thwack of bumpers, the anxious patter of flippers, and the weighted hum of metal balls speeding across their tilted rainbow vivaria. As your eyes adjust to the flickering light emanating from each machine, you are filled with a giddy, childlike imperative: “which one?! Which one?!” Here, you can play them all, stopping only to refuel at the snack counter.  

David Alverson, a Chattanooga native, is the mastermind behind this time-traveling marvel. Growing up spending time at malls and bowling alley arcades, he developed a passion for pinball. After high school, he became the technician for the arcade at Eastgate Mall (now Eastgate Towne Center) in Chattanooga. 

Alverson's journey to create the Chattanooga Arcade Pinball Museum involved rescuing many pinball machines from basements and game rooms of enthusiasts. These machines, which fell into disuse with the decline of arcades in the 1990s, required significant refurbishment. Alverson's technical skills and patience for sourcing parts and performing repairs brought these classics back to life. 

Put Your Quarters Up at Coin-Op Barcade at Boneyard 

Looking for a more neon-soaked arcade experience? The historic Coin-Op arcade was a standard of the Chattanooga bar scene and has now relocated into one of the more experimental venues in the area. Boneyard Bar bills itself as a “a DIY Bar & Grill / Live Music Venue that serves great cocktails, cold beer & wine and delicious bar food ‘til late.” It is one of the most textured bars in Chattanooga with graffiti, velvet, cave-like wooden booths, and projections of old VHS tapes cast across the checkered walls. 

The revamped arcade space boasts a giant Tetris wall in a faux-jungle. It feels at once nostalgic and timeless - the sheen of the plastic steering wheels, and glow of pixelated screens beckons you into a maximalist amalgamation of the basements of the coolest teenager you knew in every decade from the 1960s to the 2010s.  

Join the Passion Pit at Wilderness Theater 

Relive the golden age of drive-in theaters at this nifty nearby spot. The Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater in Trenton, GA is just a keen 30 minutes from Chattanooga! This venue features two gigantic screens, each showcasing double-features every Friday and Saturday, night. Roll in when the gates open at 7:30 p.m. ET, and get ready for movies to begin at 9:30 p.m., rain or shine. Treat yourself to old-fashioned concession stand goodies before you settle into your car or spread a blanket on the hillside to watch the double feature on a colossal 100' x 50' screen—the largest in the world.