What's New in Chattanooga, Tennessee: 2020-2021
The Chattanooga area is continuously growing and boasts many new experiences and places to stay, eat, drink, and explore. There’s never been a better time to visit the city New York Times names one of the “52 Places to Visit in the World” and TripAdvisor says is one of the “7 Rising U.S. Cities That Should be on your 2019 Travel Bucket List.”
The Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center offers immersive exhibits that tell the story of the birthplace of the nation's highest military honor.
Topgolf is a premier entertainment and event venue in East Ridge offering fun point-scoring golf games for all skills levels, upscale bar food and drinks, and music. (Opened August 2020)
Dave & Buster's is a 30,000 square feet entertainment center at Hamilton Place, featuring a restaurant, sports bar and hundreds of arcade games. (Opened March 2020)
Local indie record label Yellow Racket Records plans to open a 2,000 square foot record store that will carry new and used vinyl records from independent and major labels as well as music merchandise. (Opened August 2020)
Chattanooga Red Wolves, the community's new soccer team, broke ground on a $125 million stadium and mixed-use development in East Ridge that include a hotel, apartments, shopping, and more. The complex will be the first, and only professional, soccer-specific stadium in the region. (Stadium Opened August 2020)
Experience Chattanooga offers specially curated outdoor adventures that showcase the natural beauty of Tennessee and the local tastes of Chattanooga.
Naughty Cat Cafe is Chattanooga's first and only cat cafe from co-owners Whitney and Heath, who are fueled by a desire to help cats find their forever home and educate people on the importance of spay and neuter.
NoogaSplash at Chester Frost is an inflatable, on-the-water obstacle course with places to run, jump. slide, bounce and splash for all ages. (Opened Summer 2020)
Adventure Sports Innovation brings the latest inventions and innovations for outdoor experiences on water, land, and even through virtual reality opportunities. North Shore District
River Gorge Excursions specializes in Pontoon Boat Rentals and Pontoon Boat Tours to connect guests with the beautiful scenery that is the Tennessee River Gorge.
Civil Axe Throwing is exactly what it sounds like. Enjoy an hour of fun in one of the axe-throwing lanes as you learn to hit the target with skillful axe throws. Downtown District
Valkyrie Axe Throwing invites guests to experience Valhalla on Earth, the great hall in Norse mythology where heroes slain in battle are received. Take your turn by throwing an axe or sipping brews at the Viking ship bar. Southside District
Classic Arcade and Pinball Museum is an interactive museum featuring aisles of pinball machines and memorabilia, including some items dating all the way back to the 1940's. Downtown District
Scenic City Fishing Charters recently added 6 new guides providing even more access to people wanting to get outdoors and experience some of the best bass fishing in the country. Chickamauga Lake
FreightWaves is opening a 10,000 sq ft trucking Haul of Fame that will highlight well-known companies from the Golden Age of Trucking and showcase thousands of diecast trucks, truck-driving simulator, and much more. Downtown District
Passageways 2.0 at Cooper's Alley is the newest alley installation which has been transformed by a continuous, large scale sculpture flowing through the alley creating spaces for live music, happy hour, movie screenings, and more. Downtown District
Miller Park completed a $10 million renovation which included elevating the park to street level and then adding additional green space, climbable rock structures, street space for food trucks, and a stage. Downtown District
River Drifters Chattanooga offers kayak and SUP rentals with direct access to the Tennessee River as well as an onsite restaurant. Signal Mountain
Ruby Falls completed a $20 million expansion featuring a new entrance, self-service kiosks, accessible Blue Heron Overlook, gift shop, Village Plaza, 40+ LEED strategies including solar panels, lighting, an 8,000-gallon rainwater collection system, and more. Lookout Mountain
Escape Experience Chattanooga opened a Runaway Train Transport escape room inside a train car. With help from Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, the inside mimics the sights, sounds, and feel of being inside of an out-of-control train. Southside District
The Signal is a music venue located in an industrial-chic warehouse with a standing room capacity of 1,300. They have already hosted artists such as Corey Smith, George Clinton & the Parliament Funkadelic, X Ambassadors, and more. Southside District
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
Moon River Music Festival (Sept. 11-12, 2021), a 2-day festival created in 2014 by musician Drew Holcomb in Memphis, TN, moved to Chattanooga in 2018 and featured 20 national acts, local food/beverage vendors, The Avett Brothers, The Head and The Heart, Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors, and more. North Shore District
Chattanooga MotorCar Festival (Postponed to Oct. 15-17, 2021), the inaugural 3-day festival drives into downtown Chattanooga for a legendary motorcar experience. The family-friendly weekend will showcase a time trial along the riverfront between the bridges, a juried exhibit of vintage and historic cars and a thrilling rally ride through the countryside of the Tennessee Valley. Downtown District
The Chattanooga Airport has added several new flights: American Airlines added a direct flight to Philadelphia and a 3rd round-trip flight to Dallas/Fort Worth, while Delta added a daily direct flight to NYC/LaGuardia. In 2020, the airport added a nonstop route to Houston.
ChattyWagon offers free rides downtown in an eco-friendly electric car. Rides are requested on-demand through the ChattyWagon app. The transportation service helps connect people to the community, nightlife, adventure, food and lifestyle of Chattanooga.
Nooga Shuttles offers trips to/from airports in Nashville, Knoxville, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Huntsville as well as transportation to meetings, restaurants, events, and more while in Chattanooga.
Chattanooga Tennesseer offers 60-minute tours in an open-top conversion van. Van can be booked for private events. Regular tours are Fridays and Saturdays, March-Nov.
Chatt Taste showcases the transformation of dining and local businesses in downtown Chattanooga through guided food tours including the West Village Signature Tour, Taco Tuesday Tour and Art & Southern Culture Tour. Transportation and a Chattanooga Ambassador are included in each tour, which visits 3-4 restaurants.
ACCOLADES AND UPDATES
- Established in 1895, the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, America's Most Amazing Mile, is making upgrades with new fully accessible, air-conditioned rail cars. (Reopened June 2020)
- The Hunter Museum of American Art is celebrating A Year of Female Artists, which honors the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage.
- The Chattanooga Zoo expanded with a giraffe exhibit. (Spring 2020)
- The Tennessee Aquarium is celebrating the Year of the Turtle with new experiences and exhibits like Turtle Trail.
- 2019 Wine Spectator Awards
- 2019 James Beard Awards Semifinalist
- Best Chef/Southeast: Rebecca Barron, St. John's Restaurant
- Chattanooga Whiskey 91 and Cask 111 won gold and double gold at the 2019 SIP Awards - the only internationally recognized consumer judged spirits competition. The release of Chattanooga Whiskey 91 replaces the company’s 1816 Reserve. Chattanooga Whiskey 111 replaces the 1816 Cask. This bourbon includes an additional 3 specialty malts (malted rye, caramel malt barley, honey malt barley) making it the first "Tennessee High Malt.”
- Flying Squirrel Bar, located in the Southside District, is now serving brunch on Saturdays in addition to the popular Sunday brunch. Brunch is family friendly.
- Volkswagen is making Chattanooga its North American base for the new electric car. The car will be a version of the ID. CROZZ SUV concept, and Volkswagen will offer a multi-purpose one too. The first car will be available in 2020 with Chattanooga beginning production in 2022.
- The Chattanooga Airport is the first in the nation to meet all its energy needs through solar. The airport’s 12-acre, 2.64-megawatt solar farm generates enough power to fulfill its energy use.
- The 2019 Great American Beer Festival awarded Hutton & Smith Brewing Co. with a bronze in Scotch Ales for its Wee Heavy Metal and silver in the German-Style Maerzen category for its Rocktoberfest beer.
- The International Downtown Association recognized River City Company with the 2019 Downtown Achievement Award of Excellence for Passageways 2.0: City Thread, an art installation and alleyway that's activated with events like live music and movie screenings.
- McKee Foods (maker of Little Debbie Snacks) is expanding its operations, investing $500 million and creating an expected 480 jobs over the next several years. (First phase - Summer 2020)
- Renfro Corp. is investing$17.5 million to expand its sock plant and create 168 jobs over five years. The company is a licensee for brands like Fruit of the Loom, Dr. Scholl's, Ralph Lauren/Lauren Polo, Copper Sole, Wrangler, Sperry, Russell, Jerzees, Spalding, Bike and Carhartt, and it owns fashion brands K. Bell and Hot Sox.
FOOD AND DRINK
- Paloma Bar de Tapas (rooftop inside the Westin) | Downtown District in the West Village
- Bridgeman's Chophouse (inside Read House hotel) | Downtown District
- Whitebird (inside the Edwin) | Riverfront District
- Bantam + Biddy (inside Market City Center) | Downtown District
- State of Confusion | Southside District
- Kenny's Southside Sandwiches | Southside District
- Scottie's on the River | Riverfront District
- Market South | Southside District
- Pax Breu Ruim | Southside District
- Taqueria Jalisco - ANIA | Southside District
- Nic & Norman's is a concept from a director and actor of the television show The Walking Dead. Director Greg Nicotero and actor Norman Reedus are opening their second restaurant, focused on great food and community, within the Chattanooga Choo Choo in a space that they will renovate and restore. Their first restaurant is in Senoia, Georgia, a town where much of The Walking Dead is filmed | Southside District in the Chattanooga Choo Choo
- Davis Wayne's | Cambridge Square in Ooltewah, TN
- Mezla Cocina Y Cantina | Northshore District
- Goodfellas Pizzeria (at King Street Station) | Downtown District
- PROOF, A Bar + Incubator is a cocktail bar and restaurant as well as an industry resource and education space with a shared commercial kitchen, an accelerator program for consumer goods brands and consulting services for businesses seeking to raise capital. | MLK District
- Easy Bistro (newly renovated location) | Downtown District in the West Village
- High Rail Chattanooga (rooftop inside The Chattanoogan Hotel) | Southside District (Opened Fall 2020)
- Gate 11 Distillery | Southside District
- Naked River Brewing Co. | Southside District
- WanderLinger Brewing Co. | Downtown District
- Five Wits Brewing | Southside District at Market South
- Unknown Caller | Downtown District
- Bar Moxy (inside Moxy Chattanooga hotel) | Downtown District
- Bar & Billiards Club (inside The Read House hotel) | Downtown District
- Whiskey Thief (inside The Edwin hotel) | Riverfront District
- Fountainhead Taproom | Southside District
- Exile off Main Street | Southside District
- Sleepyhead Coffee
- Starbucks @ The Block | Downtown District
- Mad Priest coffee and cocktail bar | Downtown District
- Starbucks @ 10 North Shore | North Shore District
ACCOMMODATIONS & MEETING VENUES
- La Quinta | Southside District (13th & Cowart Streets)
Opening/Transforming in 2021
- Hotel Legends Chattanooga | Downtown District (Market & 8th Streets)
- Kinley | Southside District
- Aloft by Marriott | Hamilton Place
- Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel | Southside District (Life House renovating by Winter 2021)
- Common House (A social club primarily with some hotel rooms) | Southside District (2021)
Opening in 2022
- McLemore Resort by Hilton Curio Collection | Lookout Mountain
- Hotel Indigo (Opened October 2020) | Downtown District (Pine & 6th Streets)
- BODE | Downtown District
- Home2 Suites Chattanooga | Hamilton Place
- Moxy Chattanooga | Downtown District
- Hampton Inn | East Ridge
- Rodeway Inn | Shallowford
- The Read House Hotel $25 million renovation | Downtown District
- District 3 Hotel renovation | Southside District
- The Edwin Hotel | Downtown District
- RiverView Inn renovation | Lookout Mountain
- SpringHill Suites North | Ooltewah
- Stay Alfred | Downtown District at market City Center (53 units)
- Westin Chattanooga | Downtown District
- Scenic City Hostel | Southside District
- Tru by Hilton | Hamilton Place
- DoubleTree by Hilton | Downtown District (renovated 2019)
Updated: November 2020