You only need 24 hours to discover why Chattanooga has been voted “Best Town Ever” twice by Outside magazine – and that’s without ever leaving downtown! Chattanooga’s City Center is filled with trendy restaurants, world-class attractions, destination shopping, and scenic views to boot. Our perfect day in downtown Chattanooga would look something like this:
Head to Rembrandt’s Coffee House for a breakfast sandwich and house-roasted coffee to fuel your day. Located in the Bluff View Art District, this European-style café has an ambiance that is a treat all its own. Afterward, pop in to the River Gallery and enjoy the works of artists from all over the country. Just a short stroll away is another highlight for art enthusiasts: the Hunter Museum of American Art. With an impressive permanent collection of American art from the 1700s to present day, the Hunter could easily occupy a few hours on your itinerary. Don’t miss the outdoor sculpture garden if you happen to be visiting on a sunny day!
Time for lunch. If you have the family in tow, Lupi’s Pizza Pies on Broad Street is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Take your pick between apps, salads, and pizza by the slice – although the homemade calzones are a local favorite!
For an afternoon activity, it’s hard to beat the Tennessee Aquarium – consistently rated one of the best aquariums in the United States. Home to more than 12,000 animals, the aquarium boasts one of the most diverse collections of freshwater animals in the country. Here, you can view everything from jellyfish and turtles to penguins and otters. For a hands-on experience (literally), visit Stingray Bay to touch tropical fish, stingrays, and even different species of sharks! And, be sure to check out the aquarium’s newest exhibit, Ridges to Rivers, which shines a spotlight on Southern Appalachia’s vibrant aquatic life.
Dinner at Easy Bistro & Bar won’t disappoint. Located in Chattanooga’s West Village, this French-inspired restaurant specializes in shareable plates that feature favorites like hearth-roasted oysters, charcuterie, house-made pasta, and filet mignon. Whether dining indoors or outside on the patio, you’re in for a unique culinary experience thanks to owners chef Erik Niel and his wife Amanda.
If you haven’t explored the riverfront yet, now is your chance. The pedestrian-friendly Walnut Street Bridge offers up unparalleled views of the Tennessee River and makes for a perfect evening stroll. Dare we say ice cream is in order? You’ll have options galore at The Ice Cream Show, where you can mix over 40 fresh ingredients with your ice cream or yogurt.