Areas of Chattanooga: What to do & Where to stay

Chattanooga is a vibrant, exciting city that is perfect for a short weekend trip or a weeklong vacation. The bustling neighborhoods that make up the Scenic City each have their own voice and style – there’s something for everyone. No matter which part of town you’ve decided to visit (or hey, maybe you have plans to see what every neighborhood has to offer!), you can find family fun, exciting adventures, delicious food, and more. If you’re looking to make a stop in this beautiful city full of history and Southern soul, read on to find everything from can’t-miss meals to where to lay your head.

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Downtown

Downtown Chattanooga is the heart of the city and a great place to start if you’re visiting with family! The Creative Discovery Museum is a fantastic way to learn about the city through play. From immersive exhibits about the city’s riverways to rotating special events, there’s always something new and exciting to engage child and adult minds alike. If the arts are more your speed, then hop on over to Bluff View Arts District and tour the beautiful River Gallery before grabbing a coffee and pastry from Rembrandt’s or homemade pasta from Tony’s Pasta Shop. At the end of a busy day, get some much-needed relaxation at one of the wonderful hotels in the area. The Edwin Hotel makes for a gorgeous stay for those who want an urban and artsy experience; The Edwin features rotating local artists, making for a museum-like experience as you grab a bite to eat at Whitebird or enjoy great drinks and breathtaking rooftop views at Whiskey Thief. If you enjoy your travel with all the comforts of home, then the Staybridge Suites is the perfect hotel! Complete with on-site laundry and full kitchens, stocked with everything but the groceries, the Staybridge will make Chattanooga feel like home. Or maybe you can’t get enough of the Tennessee River. Book a stay at the SpringHill Suites, the city’s only riverfront hotel. With fantastic amenities like an indoor pool, fitness center, and locally owned restaurant Scottie’s on the River all on-site, it’s a great place to book a stay. Plus, when you’re ready for more adventure, you’re less than a mile from the Tennessee Aquarium or right across the bridge from fantastic shopping on the city’s Northshore at eclectic stores like blue skies or The Winder Binder Mercantile.

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North

Has your visit to Chattanooga taken you north? Then you’re in luck! Conveniently located just minutes from downtown, this part of town is wonderful for travelers who want to be centrally located but away from the hustle and bustle of downtown life. After waking up in the comfy beds at the Hampton Inn Chattanooga – Hixson, fuel up for an exciting day ahead with a freshly baked croissant or slice of quiche from Bread and Butter bakery, or get your caffeine fix at Be Caffeinated. After that, take the scenic route and head up Signal Mountain for breathtaking views and amazing outdoor experiences. Hike Rainbow Lake Trail to experience a variety of terrains or to test your bravery on the suspension bridge. Alternatively, stop by Fairmount Orchard to try all the best apples, cider, jams, and jellies the city has to offer! After a busy day, grab some delicious Mexican food at El Agave or make your way back down the mountain for a night of exploring the Red Bank neighborhood. Make a reservation at SideTrack Restaurant for a dining experience like no other – both their oven and grill are wood-burning!

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South

The vibrant Southside offers restaurants and attractions galore. Main Street Meats is the neighborhood’s butchery and restaurant complete with an innovative menu and mini-market stocked with local goods and, of course, plenty of meat. Have a craving for comfort food? Feed Table & Tavern serves elevated Southern classics, and its covered patio is often a great place to find live music or trivia – or if old-school arcade games are more your speed, they have that too! At the end of the night, relax in comfort and style at Kinley Chattanooga; in walking distance of plenty of Southside attractions, the Kinley blends luxury and small-town charm into one. And don’t forget to check out their speakeasy – if you know where to look, that is. If you want a different kind of stay, make a reservation at Moxy Chattanooga. When you check in, get your room key and a complimentary signature cocktail before dropping off your bags in one of their sustainably designed rooms. The next morning, grab a latte and cold brew at the attached Up/Down Coffee Bar or take a walk down beautiful Main Street and grab a cup at Velo Coffee Roasters. Afterwards, venture a bit further south for beautiful sunset views and incredible hiking trails at Cloudland Canyon State Park, or take a walk through history and tour the Chickamauga Battlefield and Chattanooga National Military Park.

East

If your trip began with a stop at baggage claim at the Chattanooga Airport, then you may as well make a day of it in the eastern part of the city. The airport is close to incredible shopping at the Hamilton Place Mall and Dave & Buster’s. With everything from arcade games and bowling to virtual reality experiences, there’s something for everyone! And with Chattanooga’s reputation as the Scenic City, it would be a shame to not spend at least one day outside in this part of town. For chills and thrills, spending the day at Chattanooga’s local amusement park Lake Winnie can’t be beat, and for a variety of recreational activities from soccer and volleyball to kayaking and ropes courses, Camp Jordan is a must-see attraction. After smoking the competition in air hockey, riding the tallest roller coasters, or scoring the winning goal, rest up for your next day of fun at the Aloft Chattanooga Hamilton Place, where you can enjoy an evening swim in the heated outdoor pool. Or stay in one of the rooms at the Fairfield Inn & Suites. With one location just steps away from Hamilton Place and the other minutes down the road in East Ridge, you won’t have to sacrifice comfort or convenience! Traveling with a four-legged friend? The Homewood Suites has a variety of suite styles so there’s more than enough room for everyone, Fido included. With each hotel conveniently located to I-75, exploring Hamilton Place, East Ridge, or one of Chattanooga’s other great areas, is a breeze!

West

Can you name the presidents in ascending AND descending order? Are you the go-to history buff when it’s time for trivia? Then look no further than the Lookout Mountain area of Chattanooga. Take in the beautiful outdoors with a hike from Point Park – home to the Civil War “Battle Above the Clouds” – to Craven’s House, home of early Chattanooga iron industrialist Robert Cravens. Originally destroyed in battle, Cravens rebuilt the house that still stands today! If you can’t get enough of those sky-high views, ride the Incline Railway and experience one of the steepest passenger railways in the world. Classic Lookout Mountain attractions Rock City and Ruby Falls should be on every itinerary, especially if you have the kids in tow, and children are also sure to enjoy the trails and wildlife at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center. Come nightfall, and after catching the final rays of light at Sunset Rock, settle in at the conveniently located Hampton Inn or Fairfield Inn and Suites.