Summer in Chattanooga

Original article by Julianne Hale (Article Updated July 2024)

The winter months force most of us inside for the bulk of the season, so by the time the weather warms, we’re ready to get outside and have some fun under the sun. Making your home in the Chattanooga area means never running out of activities to do in the great outdoors. From walking along the Tennessee River to hiking up Lookout Mountain or shopping in downtown Chatt, there’s plenty of fun activities in Chattanooga, especially during the summer months.

Things to Do in Chattanooga

From seasonal activities to year-round attractions, there’s always things going on in Chattanooga. Here, we’ll discuss some of the most popular and fun things in Chattanooga. Whether you’re a tourist in town for the weekend or just recently moved here, there’s plenty of entertainment to be found in the Scenic City.


Summer is synonymous with swimming, and using your body to propel you through the water is a fantastic way to get in shape. If you have children, a pool is a great place to work out in peace while the children play under the watchful eyes of the lifeguard. 

The Chattanooga area has a wide variety of private and member-driven pools, as well as two public pools. The Chattanooga Parks and Recreation Department has two outdoor pools that are open to the public — Warner Park Pool and the Carver Center. Warner Park costs $3 per person for those ages 3 and up, and the Carver Center offers free entry.

Hiking in Chattanooga

Another great outdoor activity for all ages and fitness levels is hiking one of the trails in Chattanooga’s beautiful setting. Hiking is a simple, fun, and free outdoor activity, and Chattanooga has a plethora of trails to offer. Some of the city’s most popular hikes can be found at:

  • Signal Mountain
  • Raccoon Mountain
  • Lookout Mountain
  • Stringer’s Ridge
  • Greenway Farms

Whether you’re a hiking newbie or seasoned pro, Chattanooga has a wide variety of hikes in different moderations, so there’s sure to be a trail for everyone!


Cycling is also a fun way to spend time outdoors and stay active. From mountain biking to road biking, Chattanooga is loaded with cycling options for the whole family. There are many great locations to try out cycling in Chattanooga, such as the previously mentioned Greenway Farms and Racoon Mountain. New bikers can also try out the Tennessee Riverwalk and Harrison Bay State Park. 

If you or your loved ones don’t own bikes, you can also rent them through Chattanooga’s Bike Share program. Located in 43 convenient locations throughout downtown, simply pay the daily fee, grab a bike, and return it to any bike station when your time is up.

Water Sports

Water sports provide other great ways to burn calories and enjoy the summer. Chattanooga offers a wide variety of water sports for everyone, from novices to experts. Chester Frost and Harrison Bay State Parks both offer waterfront access for boating, swimming, and canoeing. 

Greenway Farms, a 220-acre park in Hixson that is managed by the City of Chattanooga Parks and Recreation, offers three canoe access points from which you can admire the natural beauty of the North Chickamauga Creek while getting a workout. 

If thrill seeking is more your speed, take a trip just north of the city to the Ocoee River, home of the 1996 Summer Olympics Kayaking event, and get your feet (and everything else) wet on a whitewater adventure down the river. Half and full-day trips are offered by several local guide companies.

Attractions in Chattanooga

While there are many things to do in Chattanooga, there are also many fun attractions to visit. From the heart of downtown to high up on Lookout Mountain, the Scenic City offers a wide variety of attractions fit for a variety of budgets.

Coolidge Park

An iconic spot in Chattanooga, Coolidge Park offers a fun (and mostly free) attraction for individuals and families alike. Located in the Northshore area, the park boasts walking trails, water fountains to splash in, and plenty of open space for picnics, games, and hanging out.

If you have a hankering to do some shopping, the park is right next door to the shops and restaurants located on Frazier Avenue. After your kids are done running through the fountains, you can take them for a scoop of ice cream at Clumpies, a local, fan-favorite stop.

While you’re in the park, don’t forget to stop by the antique Coolidge Park carousel. At only $1 per ride, this is a cheap and fun experience for the whole family.

Walnut Street Bridge

Another iconic Chattanooga spot, the Walnut Street Bridge connects Downtown Chattanooga to Northshore and provides the perfect spot for walking, running, and biking (and it also boasts a great view). 

According to the city of Chattanooga, the Walnut Street Bridge will be closing around March of 2025 for 18 months to undergo renovations. So, make sure to check this local gem out while you still can!

Downtown Chatt

Downtown Chatt has plenty to offer in the way of restaurants, coffee shops, activities, and more. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular joints:

If none of those are piquing your interest, you can also choose to explore downtown Chatt on your own. The Scenic City is very walkable, so have fun going on a stroll around downtown to see more restaurants, plenty of shopping opportunities, and public areas, like Miller Park.

Rock City

Located on Lookout Mountain, Rock City is a must-visit location. Filled with breathtaking views, giant rock formations, and lush gardens, this is a fun attraction to visit year-round. The enchanted garden trail features several observation points, a 180-foot-long swinging bridge, and Lover’s Leap waterfall. 

(If Rock City interests you, make sure to come back in late November and December for their Enchanted Garden of Lights!)

Ruby Falls

Also on Lookout Mountain lies Ruby Falls where they offer cavern tours to see the tallest underground cave waterfall open to the public in the United States. At $26.95 per adult ticket, you can experience a guided cave walk tour to see this beautiful waterfall (usually lasting around an hour and a half). here are also options for a history tour, gentle walking tour, lantern tour, and more.

And, if you’re feeling adventurous, you and the family can get your adrenaline pumping at their High Point ZIP Adventure. Purchase of a ticket includes a round trip on their ziplines as well as access to their 40 foot climbing wall.

See You in the Scenic City

As you can see, there’s a plethora of things to do in Chattanooga this summer. You can take the more active route and try out swimming, biking, and hiking, or you can simply explore the city and local shops. Either way, there’s bound to be an activity for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re a tourist in town for the weekend, a newcomer who just moved here, or a local looking to switch things up, we hope you enjoy all the things going on in Chattanooga!

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