Free Things To Do In Chattanooga
Money is no object. Isn’t that what “they” say? Whoever “they” are. Well, news flash – it is an object and free things are nice. Lucky for you there are tons of free things to do in Chattanooga. You can start by exploring the many parks located within 6 miles of each other. Coolidge Park is one of the biggest and most popular parks downtown. Sitting right on the Tennessee River, you catch every beautiful sunset from your hammock or play a game of ultimate frisbee in the middle of the huge outdoor space.
Take a walk across the Walnut Street Bridge to the Bluff View Art District serving up old-time European vibes mixed with a modern feel of American art. Just a little further towards City Center is Miller Plaza where every Friday night during the Summer you can jam at Nightfall, a free music series. There’s also a large outdoor space where you can throw out that quilt that’s been hiding in your trunk for 10 years and watch the stars in the middle of Downtown Chattanooga while enjoying free live music. Did we mention it’s free?
Chattanooga is a city with tons of options for those who wish to have a great time without breaking the bank. Our unique location provides a variety of fun and free things to do for everyone. Check out all the free fun to have in Chattanooga!
Explore Downtown Chattanooga
- Coolidge Park - This popular park on the North Shore is a great place to throw frisbee, enjoy a picnic, or let the kids run around in the interactive water fountains. The park is also a great place to sit and relax as you enjoy the sights and sounds of the Tennessee River on one of the many benches throughout the park. For those who enjoy kayaking or canoeing, the park also includes multiple launch spots to take your adventure out on the water.
- Renaissance Park - Located adjacent to Coolidge Park, Renaissance Park is a unique place to bring the dogs, have a picnic, and enjoy scenic views of Chattanooga's downtown. Renaissance Park also includes what is known to locals as "cardboard hill," where people are encouraged to bring their own piece of cardboard to ride and slide all the way down.
- Walnut Street Bridge - The Walnut Street Bridge was built in 1891 where it once served as a bridge for automobiles. It has since been transformed into one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world! The bridge connects Chattanooga's eclectic North Shore to the Downtown area and is a great place to enjoy views of Lookout Mountain and the Tennessee River after hanging out in Coolidge or Renaissance Park.
- Tennessee Riverpark - The Tennessee Riverpark is one of the longest walking trails in the world. The 13-mile paved trail follows along the Tennessee River from the Chickamauga Dam, through downtown Chattanooga, and to the foot of Lookout Mountain. Along the way you will come across many grilling spots, a few swamps, a playground, piers for fishing, and of course, magnificent views. The trail includes bathroom facilities throughout and is a great place for a run or bike in the Scenic City.
- The Passage at Ross's Landing - The Passage at Ross's Landing marks the spot where the Trail of Tears originally began. Today, the area serves as a place to honor and remember those of the Cherokee Nation with beautiful Native American Art alongside stairs which lead out to the Tennessee River.
Experience the Arts
- First Street Sculpture Garden - After you cross the Walnut Street Bridge from the North Shore, take a right down 1st Street to enjoy a beautiful sculpture display. Don't forget to stop by the Ice Cream Show for a sweet treat to enjoy as you check out the art.
- Bluff View Art District - This popular destination has an old-time European vibe blended with the modern feel of American art right on the bluffs overlooking the Tennessee River. From here, you can take in the sights and sounds of downtown Chattanooga while enjoying the peaceful feeling of being transported to another time. If you get the chance, stop by Rembrandt's Coffee Shop or one of restaurants on the bluff to enjoy a variety of foods made in the district.
- River Gallery Sculpture Garden - Located within the Bluff View Art District, the River Gallery Sculpture Garden is a 2-acre outdoor art exhibit featuring one of the Southeast's most impressive collections of temporary American sculptures.
- Sculpture Fields at Montague Park - Chattanooga's newest cultural tourist attraction is a 33-acre sculpture park. The park features 27 world renowned large-scale sculptures and has plenty of green space, making it perfect for a family picnic or playing fetch with Fido.
- Main Terrain Art Park - The Main Terrain Art Park is located on Chattanooga's bustling Southside. The park provides a unique green space where visitors can enjoy art pieces, which also double as fitness alternatives.
- Sunset Rock - Situated atop Lookout Mountain, this trail starts off on a bluff looking out over the Tennessee River Valley. You can follow the trail down the mountain or even rock climb on the mountainside bluffs.
- Signal Point - This historic location atop Signal Mountain was important during the Civil War. Due to the high visibility, it was used to send and receive messages from one troop battalion to another. This 13-mile trail features cascading waterfalls and is pet-friendly.
- North Chick Blue Hole - This trail runs alongside the North Chickamauga Creek which carves out a steep gorge between Signal and Mowbray mountains. You'll find a series of deep, welcoming pools to cool off in along the way.
- Nightfall - Nightfall Music Series, now in its 32nd season, is held every Friday night from early May through late August at Miller Plaza. Bring your kids, lawn chairs, pets, and friends to enjoy great live music, food, and an ice cold beverage in the heart of downtown Chattanooga.
- Riverfront Nights - This free music series is held on Chattanooga’s riverfront every Saturday from July to September. Riverfront Nights is a great way to unwind with local food, drinks, and great music after spending a day on the town. Free & fee-based boat parking is available.