14 Of The Most Fun Things To Do In Chattanooga, TN – Here Is What I Recommend

Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a place that really has it all – and I’ve seen it firsthand. Think of it as a playground for all ages, where you can find everything from towering waterfalls to historic trains.

It’s the kind of city where you can spend the morning exploring an aquarium and the afternoon hiking up a mountain. Every time I visit, there’s something new to discover.

So, whether you’re into history, love being outdoors, or just want to see some cool stuff with your family, Chattanooga’s got you covered.

An Overview

Category Attractions
Cultural and Historical Sites Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
Outdoor and Adventure Ruby Falls, Rock City, Ocoee River Outdoor Adventures, Highpoint Climbing Gym, Raccoon Mountain Caverns, Lookout Mountain
Family and Educational Attractions Tennessee Aquarium, Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga Zoo, Chattanooga Duck Boat Tours, Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park, Chattanooga Lookouts Baseball

1. Tennessee Aquarium

Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga

What I love most is the journey it takes you through different aquatic environments, from the mountains to the sea. The River Journey exhibit is a highlight, showcasing the amazing biodiversity of the Tennessee River.

Walking through the Ocean Journey building, with its sharks, rays, and colorful reef fish, feels like diving into an underwater paradise. The Aquarium isn’t just about viewing; it’s an educational experience, teaching about conservation and the importance of aquatic life.

Their IMAX 3D Theater is an added bonus, offering breathtaking nature films that are both entertaining and enlightening. It’s the perfect spot for families, nature enthusiasts, and anyone who’s ever been fascinated by the underwater world.

Detail Information
Ticket Price Adults: $39.95, Youth (5-17): $29.95, Children (0-4): Free
Opening Hours Monday-Friday: 10:00am-5:00pm, Saturday: 9:00am-6:00pm, Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Special Exhibits IMAX 3D Theater, River Journey, Ocean Journey
Location Broad Street 1, Chattanooga, TN 37402

2. Highpoint Climbing Gym

High Point Climbing Gym

This unique facility offers indoor and outdoor climbing walls, catering to enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. With diverse climbing options like top roping, bouldering walls, and auto belays, there’s something for everyone.

The gym also features dedicated Kid Zones, making it an ideal family destination. Additionally, Highpoint offers climbing instruction for various skill levels and complements climbing activities with yoga and fitness classes.

Detail Information
Ticket Price Adults: $22, Children and Seniors: $20, 7-day pass: $129
Opening Hours Monday-Friday: 6:00am-10:00pm, Saturday: 10:00am-10:00pm, Sunday: 10:00am-8:00pm
Facilities Indoor and Outdoor Climbing, Bouldering, Auto Belays, Kid Zones, Yoga and Fitness Classes
Location 219 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402

3. Creative Discovery Museum

Creative Discovery Museum

It’s a place where kids can explore different sections, from clay sculpture in the Artists Studio to zooming messages through pneumatic tubes in the Inventor’s Clubhouse.

The Excavation Station allows kids to unearth dinosaur bones, while the Back Alley Theatre offers interactive fun. The museum is designed to engage children in play while educating them, making every visit a new adventure.

Detail Information
Ticket Price Adults and Children (2-12 years): $12.95, Military Price with ID: $9.95
Opening Hours Thursday – Tuesday: 10:00am – 5:00pm, Closed on Wednesdays
Facilities Interactive Exhibits, Artists Studio, Inventor’s Clubhouse, Excavation Station
Location 321 Chestnut Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402

4. Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

The museum is not just about revisiting history; it’s an immersive experience that takes you through the beautiful landscapes of Chattanooga, allowing you to relive the romance of the rails.

The museum started in 1961 with the aim to preserve steam locomotives and passenger trains, a goal they’ve successfully achieved.

The museum’s exhibits provide an in-depth look into the golden age of railroading, showcasing various locomotives, passenger cars, and other artifacts. It’s a family-friendly destination, perfect for anyone interested in trains or history.

Detail Information
Ticket Price (Exhibit Admission) Adults: $10, Children (2-12): $6, Infants (Under 2): Free
Opening Hours 10:00am – 04:00pm
Attractions Historical Train Rides, Exhibits on Railroad History
Location 4119 Cromwell Rd, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421

5. Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park

The Visitor Center at the Chickamauga Battlefield, located in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, provides a wealth of amenities. You can find a ranger-staffed information desk with free park brochures and hiking trail maps, a museum and exhibit areas, a book and souvenir store, restrooms, and even a cineplex-quality movie theater.

The park also features an artillery display showcasing various cannons used in the battle. The Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center, another key part of the park, offers additional insights. It houses an information desk, a book and souvenir store, and a small museum with informative park films available on request.

Detail Information
Admission Fee Free
Operating Hours 8:30am – 5:00pm (Closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day)
Main Attractions Chickamauga Battlefield, Lookout Mountain Battlefield, Visitor Centers, Museums, Park Films
Locations Chickamauga Visitor Center: 3370 LaFayette Rd, Fort Oglethorpe, GA Lookout Mountain Visitor Center: 110 Point Park Rd, Lookout Mountain

6. Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls - Chattanooga Tennessee

The attraction is open daily, although the cave schedule varies by season. Ruby Falls is closed on December 25th. Typically, most guests spend about 2-3 hours at Ruby Falls, which gives you ample time to enjoy the tour and explore other amenities like the historic Lookout Mountain Tower, Blue Heron Overlook, and the Village Gift Shop.

Parking at Ruby Falls is free, adding to the convenience for visitors. The cave maintains a constant temperature of around 60 degrees, making it a pleasant experience regardless of the weather outside.

Detail Information
Ticket Price Adults: $26.95, Children (3-12): $16.95, Children (Under 2): Free
Opening Hours Open Daily, Cave Schedule Varies by Season (Closed December 25)
Features Underground Waterfall, Historic Lookout Mountain Tower, Blue Heron Overlook, Village Gift Shop
Location 1720 South Scenic Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37409
Parking Free

7. Rock City Gardens

Ruby Falls - Chattanooga

It offers a unique experience with its ancient caverns, boulders, and a diverse array of plant species. The highlight of Rock City is the spectacular 90-foot waterfall and the famous “See 7 States” view from Lover’s Leap. A visit to Rock City is not just a walk; it’s an exploration of nature’s artistry.

Detail Information
Ticket Price Adults: $21.95, Children: $12.95
Opening Hours Varies by season, generally 8:30 am to between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Features Enchanted Trail, 90-foot Waterfall, “See 7 States” View, Mother Goose Village
Location 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750, Chattanooga, United States
Parking Free

8. Chattanooga Zoo

Chattanooga Zoo

Chattanooga Zoo is a delightful destination for wildlife enthusiasts and families. It’s a place where you can get up close with a variety of animals, including red pandas, jaguars, snow leopards, and many more.

The zoo provides a unique opportunity to observe these animals in a setting that’s not overcrowded, enhancing the overall experience.

Detail Information
Ticket Price Adults (13-64): $16.95, Seniors (65+): $12.95, Children (3-12): $13.95, Children (2 & under): Free
Opening Hours Daily: 9:00am – 5:00pm (Last Admittance 4:30pm)
Location 301 North Holtzclaw Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404, United States

9. Chattanooga Duck Boat Tours

Chattanooga Duck Boat Tours

Chattanooga Duck Boat Tours offer a unique and enjoyable way to explore Chattanooga by both land and water. The tours are conducted in authentic WWII amphibious landing craft, adding a historical dimension to the adventure.

Detail Information
Ticket Price Adults (13+): $34.99, Children (3-12): $24.99, Infants (2 & under): $5.99
Operating Hours Daily: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm
Features Land and Water Tour, WWII Amphibious Landing Craft
Location 151 Riverfront Pkwy, Chattanooga, TN 37402

10. Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park

Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park

Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park, often referred to as Lake Winnie, is a popular family-friendly amusement park located near Chattanooga. The park offers a wide range of rides and attractions, making it an ideal destination for a fun day out with kids.

To catch a break and enjoy a meal, we recommend you check you some of the best restaurants in the city.

Detail Information
Ticket Price – Unlimited Ride Pass (May 4-26 & Sep 9-24): $31.95 – Guests ages 1-2 & 60+: $22.95 – Lake Winnie & SoakYa Unlimited Rides (May 27-Sep 4): $41.95 – Guests ages 1-2 & 60+ Lake Winnie & SoakYa Unlimited Rides: $31.95
Operating Hours – Thursday: 10:00am – 5:00pm – Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm – Saturday: 10:00am – 6:00pm – Sunday: 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Location 1730 Lakeview Dr, Rossville, GA 30741, USA

11. Chattanooga Lookouts Baseball

Chattanooga Lookouts Baseball

The Chattanooga Lookouts, a historic minor league baseball team, play their games at AT&T Field in Chattanooga. The team offers a variety of ticketing options for their games.

Detail Information
Average Ticket Price Approximately $45.14
Price Range for Tickets $11.00 to $143.00
Stadium AT&T Field, 201 Power Alley, Chattanooga, TN 37402

12. Raccoon Mountain Caverns

raccoon mountain caverns

Known for its extensive underground passageways, the caverns present a captivating exploration opportunity. The Crystal Palace Walking Tour is particularly notable, allowing visitors to marvel at the cave’s diverse formations like stalactites and stalagmites.

This tour is suitable for families and those seeking a less strenuous adventure. The Wild Cave Tours provide a more adventurous experience, letting explorers delve deeper into the caverns. Discovered in 1929, these caverns are a testament to the region’s rich geological history.

Detail Information
Ticket Price Crystal Palace Walking Tour: $25, Wild Cave Tours: $35 to $55
Operating Hours Monday to Sunday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location 319 W Hills Dr, Chattanooga, TN 37419

13. Lookout Mountain

lookout mountain chattanooga

Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga is home to several iconic attractions, each offering a unique experience. These attractions are separately ticketed and provide a range of activities from exploring natural wonders to experiencing one of the world’s steepest passenger railways.

  • Ruby Falls: This attraction invites visitors to descend 260 feet by glass-front elevator into Lookout Mountain, leading to the tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public in the United States. The visit to Ruby Falls typically takes about 2 to 2.5 hours.
  • Rock City Gardens: Here, you can enjoy an enchanted trail through soaring rock formations and lush greenery. The trail is designed to offer a new experience every season, with various special events enhancing its beauty. A visit to Rock City usually takes around 2 to 4 hours.
  • Incline Railway: Known as “America’s Most Amazing Mile,” the Incline Railway is one of the steepest passenger railways in the world. It offers spectacular views as it travels up and down Lookout Mountain. The visit typically lasts about 1 hour.

14. Ocoee River Outdoor Adventures

Ocoee River Outdoor Adventures

As a kayaker and rafter myself, I’ve found the Ocoee River to be an exceptional destination for white-water activities. The river, famous for hosting the canoe slalom events during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, offers a range of rapids that cater to both beginners and seasoned adventurers.

What makes the Ocoee River stand out is not just the adrenaline-pumping rapids but also the stunning natural scenery that surrounds it. The lush forests and rolling hills provide a breathtaking backdrop to the exhilarating water activities.

Detail Information
Activity Types White-Water Rafting, Kayaking, Canoeing
Rapids Classification Class III and IV
Significance 1996 Atlanta Olympics Canoe Slalom Events Venue
Natural Setting Lush Forests, Rolling Hills


Are people in Chattanooga friendly?

Chattanooga has a friendly and welcoming community. It is one of the friendliest cities in the US, and its people are known for their Southern hospitality.

Is Chattanooga a walkable city?

Chattanooga is mostly car-dependent, but some areas are more walkable. The downtown district, the Southside neighborhood, and Coolidge Park are good places to walk and explore.

What is a fun fact about Chattanooga?

One fun fact about Chattanooga is that the MoonPie was created there in 1917. They were popular with coal miners because they were filling, cheap, and fit in a lunch pail.

Is Chattanooga a foodie town?

Chattanooga is a foodie town that has a variety of cuisines and dining experiences. You can find fine dining, casual eateries, local specialties, and international flavors in Chattanooga.

The Bottom Line

From the depths of Ruby Falls to the heights of Lookout Mountain, each visit promises a new and exciting experience. Remember, whether you’re rafting on the Ocoee River or exploring the Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga is a place where memories are made. Enjoy your journey in this vibrant city.