As limitations on travel begin to lift, the first thing on all of our minds is welcoming our friends and family to the Scenic City, but safely of course. When folks begin to arrive to Chattanooga, we want to show them our city as we know it, so...
We’ve compiled a short list of fail-safe — and literally safe — activities that will wow any Chattanooga visitor. And the best way to do that right now is to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty the Scenic City has to offer.
Downtown History/Art Walk
Have you ever noticed that you can find a piece of art, a colorful mural or historic building almost everywhere you look downtown? That’s actually by design. Our city is a perfect example of how a public arts program can inject a little vibrancy into the landscape. Chattanooga’s rich history is also on display in the form of restored historic buildings. This mix of historic and modern architecture is one of the reasons our city feels different than others. It adds a familiarity and a coziness that other cities don’t have. Go explore. Your family and friends will think you’re super smart.
To-go picnic in the park
Another vote for outdoor activities. Many of us still feel uncertain about dining in at our favorite restaurants. But there’s no problem with to-go orders. In fact, that’s the best part about a to-go order … you can take your Alleia, Meeting Place, Main Street Meats and River Street Deli favorites into the park. Why didn’t we think of this before? Relaxing while dining in one of Chattanooga’s great open spaces — Coolidge Park, Renaissance Park and Ross’s Landing along the Tennessee River. For other great picnicking, consider the spacious Greenway Farms in Hixson, Signal Point, Enterprise South Nature Park and many more.
Explore a new neighborhood
Downtown is certainly the heart of activity in Chattanooga, but you could argue the true heartbeat of the city is in our wonderful neighborhoods and communities. Restaurants, small parks and public spaces, walking trails, tiny shops and, of course, the lovely people all make up the fabric of our local neighborhoods. We recommend starting with visits to St. Elmo, West Village, North Chattanooga and the Southside Historic District. You never know what you might discover.
Enjoy the wonderful Tennessee Riverwalk
Not many cities have a luxury like Chattanooga’s Tennessee Riverwalk for both locals and visitors to enjoy. Ideal for walkers, bikers and joggers, the 13-mile trail offers stunning views of the Tennessee River and plenty of parks and interesting stops along the way. You can pick up the trail in the Bluff View Art District and finish at the Chickamauga Dam. Stop for a margarita or lunch at Boathouse Rotisserie and Bar. Or, if a more industrial walk is your preference, you can pick up the trail from Blue Goose Hollow all the way into the St. Elmo neighborhood. You’ll definitely need a bite from Mojo Burrito by the end of the trek.
Explore Sculpture Fields
Want a little bit of culture with your tourism? One of the most unique parks in our city (or, arguably anywhere) is Sculpture Fields at Montague Park. The 33-acre park is dog-friendly and free to visitors. But what makes it special is the multiple larger-than-life sculptures that you can view up close throughout the park. Pack a lunch and enjoy this off-the-beaten-path gem just outside the downtown footprint.
Get on the River
Chattanooga and the Tennessee River are a symbiotic relationship. The best way to enjoy the river is to experience it first-hand by getting your feet wet. You can rent a kayak and paddleboard for an afternoon adventure under the sun. Or, if you’re a thrill-seeker, you can visit the folks at Adventure Sports Innovation to try e-surfboards, e-jet bodyboards and racing pontoon waterbikes. Want something in-between the personal and adventurous? The Chattanooga Ducks tours offer daily narrated excursions.