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Chattanooga was the site of three major battles during the War Between the States. It is nestled in a valley through which the Tennessee River runs. It used to be a highly industrial town, but now caters mostly to tourists. A beautiful environment and an endless number of attractions make Chattanooga a tourist’s heaven. Located on the southern edge of Tennessee and sandwiched right between Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain, Chattanooga is full of natural vegetation and other exciting sites such as the view off the bluff of Lookout Mountain. It is located on the Tennessee River, making it appealing to fisherman and those who love water sports and boating.


Not only is the city a getaway for those who love and appreciate nature, but it also is the location of many entertaining attractions such as Rock City, an Aquarium, and the Creative Discovery Museum. Each is fun for all ages. In addition, the friendly atmosphere of downtown makes dining in one of the many tasty restaurants or strolling down Broad Street window shopping a pleasant experience.

Aside from the Tennessee Aquarium downtown, there is also nearby Lookout Mountain, Rock City (a bunch of caves and natural rock bridges that a rich woman made into a garden), Ruby Falls (a huge underground waterfall), and the Chattanooga Incline Railway.

tennessee aquarium

There are many good restaurants downtown, opening in an area that is gutting the old factory buildings and rennovating them to make way for new shopping areas. The Creative Discovery Museum, the I-Max Theater, and the Aquarium are just some of the tourist attractions in downtown Chattanooga make Chattanooga perfect for a family oriented vacation.

Hotel accommodations are right there in the main part of downtown. The layout of downtown makes walking a great way to get out and explore what the city has to offer. Shopping in the boutiques is recommended. Backstreet Betty’s, O Chattanooga, and Susanna’s are three examples of the quaint shops to visit. Not only are there boutiques to enjoy, but there is also a Polo outlet and Hamilton Place, a mall in the area. If one isn’t just interested in clothes, there are usual antique shops and gift shops that are great for window shopping or even entering if one might dare.

A stroll along the Tennessee River downtown will lead you to the largest and oldest pedestrian-only bridge. At the north end of the bridge is a real school for wood carvers of carousel animals, and a carousel made by the students.

Just north of Chattanooga is the Booker T. Washington State Park. It says you have to pay a car park fee, but as I understand it, that’s only if you are putting your boat into the water and are leaving your car there unattended.

Traveling down Lookout Mountain and toward the city of Chattanooga is a beautiful drive with the road surrounded on either side with woods and the homes of those who live there. Parts of the road take drivers right by the bluff of the mountain where one can see only a few feet in the morning fog or the sun setting over the valley in the evening depending on when he or she is passing by. For those of us visiting, it is sometimes hard to believe that those living in the area pass the breathtaking scenery, including waterfalls, everyday. There are many road signs for renting a log cabin in the mountains.

A stop by Coolidge Park, right off of Frasier Avenue and on the Tennessee River, is worthwhile for one’s visit to Chattanooga. The green on the river bank is a common picnic spot for people on weather-permitting days. There is a climbing wall by the bridge and a carousel to enjoy. Surrounding the area are more restaurants and shops to explore.


The Tennessee River and its banks are a hot spot for fisherman. Boats are frequently out on the water. The Southern Belle, a ferry that travels up and down the river in the area, can be seen in the evenings. Its lights stand out against the darkness of the water at night and one can see social events and sometimes dancing taking place aboard.

If one is lucky enough to be in town over the Fourth of July weekend, he or she can stand on one of the bridges or walk up the streets that sit high enough to look over the river and marvel at the fireworks show over the river. The bright lights and sparkle of the fireworks are a glorious sight with the bridges in view and the light show reflecting off the water.

While Chattanooga is a hot spot for tourists, offering numerous exciting attractions and an incredible scenic vacation, it is also a flourishing community that is home to many families. The atmosphere is softened and familiar to visitors because of the warmth that the members have for each other and for visitors to their hometown. A trip to Chattanooga will provide tourists with a full agenda every day and night of their stay, but also make them feel right at home.