Fun + Attractions

Fun + Attractions

Chatt Choices™

Tennessee Aquarium Diver with Turtle

Tennessee Aquarium

Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls

RockCity

Rock City Gardens

Entertainment for All Ages

There’s fun to be had for all ages in Chattanooga. This family-friendly city has everything from mountain views to riverfront restaurants, world-class museums, scenic attractions, and historic sites. Whether you’re simply looking to get away or you’re considering a more permanent stay, Chattanooga is a great place for families with entertainment around every river bend and mountain curve. 

It’s easy to see why tourism is the No. 2 industry in Tennessee. Despite the numerous complications COVID-19 brought upon the tourism industry, Chattanooga endured, maintaining only an 11% loss in tourism revenue from 2019 to 2020, compared to the national average of 42%. The Scenic City’s many outdoor attractions have helped to sustain the tourism industry throughout the pandemic. In fact, in 2021, Chattanooga made WalletHub’s list for “Most Fun Cities in America” due to its broad range of family-friendly attractions and general affordability. Also in 2021, U.S. News & World Report named Chattanooga one of the top four “Best Places to Live in Tennessee.”

For 30 years, Chattanooga’s Tennessee Aquarium has been bringing visitors face to fin with thousands of aquatic creatures in its River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings. Ranked No. 8 on USA Today’s 2021 Best Aquariums in the United States, the aquarium is home to more than 12,000 animals, including penguins, sharks, and the largest collection of freshwater turtles in North America. The aquarium features an immersive butterfly exhibit as well, housing up to 1,500 butterflies of varying colors and patterns. Also on the aquarium grounds, the IMAX 3D Theater allows visitors to dive into new worlds with its state-of-the-art laser projection technology.

Downtown, High Point Climbing and Fitness dishes up family fun with a side of exercise. The facility has 30,000 square feet of climbing space, including an outdoor climbing wall. Also located in City Center, the Creative Discovery Museum (CDM) displays hands-on exhibits that encourage creativity and learning. As one of the top museums in the country, CDM is regularly innovating and expanding. In 2021, the museum unveiled a new solar panel exhibit, the first of many sustainable living and alternative energy exhibits to be instituted at the museum.

Conservation efforts have also been a focal point for the popular Lookout Mountain landmark, Rock City. In 2021, Rock City partnered with EPB and Seven States Power to deploy an educational solar arbor, which can be viewed near the park’s guest entrance. In addition to viewing Rock City’s beautiful gardens, ancient rock formations, and Lover’s Leap, guests will be able to witness sustainability in action.

Lookout Mountain is also home to tourist hot spot Ruby Falls. Located 1,120 feet below the earth’s surface, Ruby Falls boasts America’s largest commercial underground waterfall. The attraction features High Point ZIP Adventure, complete with over 700 feet of ziplines and a 40-foot climbing tower. At the base of Lookout, the Incline Railway awaits. In operation since 1895, the ride takes passengers straight up the mountain at a 72.7% grade.

A little further south, the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo invites visitors to spend the night in an authentic Pullman train car guestroom. The complex additionally features an escape room, the Glenn Miller Gardens, and on-site restaurants. Railway enthusiasts will also enjoy the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, which offers a variety of trips from the Grand Junction depot.

One of Chattanooga’s oldest attractions, the Southern Belle Riverboat offers scenic tours of the Tennessee River, while Chattanooga Ducks invites guests to ride around downtown on a WWII amphibious landing craft before splashing into the Tennessee River.

Even more family fun is ready to be had at the 317-acre Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center, which has gardens, hiking trails, a native animal exhibit, and more.

At the Chattanooga Zoo, visitors can encounter animals from all over the world including giraffes, chimpanzees, jaguars, red pandas, and snow leopards. Lake Winnepesaukah, a family-friendly amusement park, opens in the summer months and on select weekends throughout the year.

The Tennessee Riverpark is the perfect place for a picturesque stroll or jog. Bike rentals are available at several locations along the Riverpark. For a more relaxed way to see the city, Chattanooga Horse Trams offers horse-drawn carriage rides downtown.

Athletes and sports enthusiasts will enjoy the numerous recreational facilities Chattanooga has to offer. From private and public golf and tennis clubs to sporting events ranging from rugby to minor league baseball, there’s always a game to be played or watched somewhere in the Scenic City.

Chattanooga is no stranger to the music scene, playing host to some of the South’s most popular music festivals including the Riverbend Festival and Moon River Music Festival. During the summer months, Nightfall and Riverfront Nights draw crowds for free outdoor concerts that showcase local performers and national acts.

For those lucky enough to be exploring Chattanooga close to a holiday, there are a wealth of options when it comes to entertainment. Both the Chattanooga Market and Rock City highlight Bavarian culture during their Oktoberfest celebrations, which feature German beer, music, food, and more. Also during October is Ruby Falls’ Dread Hollow, the Chattanooga Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo, and the Tennessee Aquarium’s Aqua-Scarium. The winter months bring attractions such as Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights, Tennessee Valley Railroad’s North Pole Limited, the Chattanooga Zoo’s Holiday Lights, and holiday events at Ruby Falls. Valentine’s Day comes to life with Romance at Ruby, and in the spring, Rock City transforms into Shamrock City as St. Patrick’s Day approaches. Rock City’s Southern Blooms Festival is another springtime favorite. In the summer, the Armed Forces Day Parade honors veterans and fallen war heroes, closely followed by Independence Day celebrations and fireworks on the river.

No matter the occasion, Chattanooga’s attractions promise to deliver an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

Entertainment for All Ages

There’s fun to be had for all ages in Chattanooga. This family-friendly city has everything from mountain views to riverfront restaurants, world-class museums, scenic attractions, and historic sites. Whether you’re simply looking to get away or you’re considering a more permanent stay, Chattanooga is a great place for families with entertainment around every river bend and mountain curve.  

It’s easy to see why tourism is the No. 2 industry in Tennessee. Despite the numerous complications COVID-19 brought upon the tourism industry, Chattanooga endured, maintaining only an 11% loss in tourism revenue from 2019 to 2020, compared to the national average of 42%. The Scenic City’s many outdoor attractions have helped to sustain the tourism industry throughout the pandemic. In fact, in 2021, Chattanooga made WalletHub’s list for “Most Fun Cities in America” due to its broad range of family-friendly attractions and general affordability. Also in 2021, U.S. News & World Report named Chattanooga one of the top four “Best Places to Live in Tennessee.”

For 30 years, Chattanooga’s Tennessee Aquarium has been bringing visitors face to fin with thousands of aquatic creatures in its River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings. Ranked No. 8 on USA Today’s 2021 Best Aquariums in the United States, the aquarium is home to more than 12,000 animals, including penguins, sharks, and the largest collection of freshwater turtles in North America. The aquarium features an immersive butterfly exhibit as well, housing up to 1,500 butterflies of varying colors and patterns. Also on the aquarium grounds, the IMAX 3D Theater allows visitors to dive into new worlds with its state-of-the-art laser projection technology.

Downtown, High Point Climbing and Fitness dishes up family fun with a side of exercise. The facility has 30,000 square feet of climbing space, including an outdoor climbing wall. Also located in City Center, the Creative Discovery Museum (CDM) displays hands-on exhibits that encourage creativity and learning. As one of the top museums in the country, CDM is regularly innovating and expanding. In 2021, the museum unveiled a new solar panel exhibit, the first of many sustainable living and alternative energy exhibits to be instituted at the museum.

Conservation efforts have also been a focal point for the popular Lookout Mountain landmark, Rock City. In 2021, Rock City partnered with EPB and Seven States Power to deploy an educational solar arbor, which can be viewed near the park’s guest entrance. In addition to viewing Rock City’s beautiful gardens, ancient rock formations, and Lover’s Leap, guests will be able to witness sustainability in action. 

Lookout Mountain is also home to tourist hot spot Ruby Falls. Located 1,120 feet below the earth’s surface, Ruby Falls boasts America’s largest commercial underground waterfall. The attraction features High Point ZIP Adventure, complete with over 700 feet of ziplines and a 40-foot climbing tower. At the base of Lookout, the Incline Railway awaits. In operation since 1895, the ride takes passengers straight up the mountain at a 72.7% grade.

A little further south, the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo invites visitors to spend the night in an authentic Pullman train car guestroom. The complex additionally features an escape room, the Glenn Miller Gardens, and on-site restaurants. Railway enthusiasts will also enjoy the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, which offers a variety of trips from the Grand Junction depot. 

One of Chattanooga’s oldest attractions, the Southern Belle Riverboat offers scenic tours of the Tennessee River, while Chattanooga Ducks invites guests to ride around downtown on a WWII amphibious landing craft before splashing into the Tennessee River. 

Even more family fun is ready to be had at the 317-acre Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center, which has gardens, hiking trails, a native animal exhibit, and more. 

At the Chattanooga Zoo, visitors can encounter animals from all over the world including giraffes, chimpanzees, jaguars, red pandas, and snow leopards. Lake Winnepesaukah, a family-friendly amusement park, opens in the summer months and on select weekends throughout the year.

The Tennessee Riverpark is the perfect place for a picturesque stroll or jog. Bike rentals are available at several locations along the Riverpark. For a more relaxed way to see the city, Chattanooga Horse Trams offers horse-drawn carriage rides downtown.

Athletes and sports enthusiasts will enjoy the numerous recreational facilities Chattanooga has to offer. From private and public golf and tennis clubs to sporting events ranging from rugby to minor league baseball, there’s always a game to be played or watched somewhere in the Scenic City.

Chattanooga is no stranger to the music scene, playing host to some of the South’s most popular music festivals including the Riverbend Festival and Moon River Music Festival. During the summer months, Nightfall and Riverfront Nights draw crowds for free outdoor concerts that showcase local performers and national acts. 

For those lucky enough to be exploring Chattanooga close to a holiday, there are a wealth of options when it comes to entertainment. Both the Chattanooga Market and Rock City highlight Bavarian culture during their Oktoberfest celebrations, which feature German beer, music, food, and more. Also during October is Ruby Falls’ Dread Hollow, the Chattanooga Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo, and the Tennessee Aquarium’s Aqua-Scarium. The winter months bring attractions such as Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights, Tennessee Valley Railroad’s North Pole Limited, the Chattanooga Zoo’s Holiday Lights, and holiday events at Ruby Falls. Valentine’s Day comes to life with Romance at Ruby, and in the spring, Rock City transforms into Shamrock City as St. Patrick’s Day approaches. Rock City’s Southern Blooms Festival is another springtime favorite. In the summer, the Armed Forces Day Parade honors veterans and fallen war heroes, closely followed by Independence Day celebrations and fireworks on the river. 

No matter the occasion, Chattanooga’s attractions promise to deliver an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

rock city

Lover's Leap at Rock City

giraffe-at-chattanooga-zoo.RightColumn2

Giraffe at the Chattanooga Zoo

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