Mapping in at just a little over an hour away from Unclaimed Baggage, it’s an easy day trip to visit Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Chattanooga is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains alongside the beautiful Tennessee River, which is part of the reason why it earned its nickname “The Scenic City.” Even the New York Times named Chattanooga one of the "Top 45 Places to go" in the World, so what are you waiting for?
We spent a day exploring Chattanooga and found some of the best things to do in the city! Check it out:
1. Rent a bike and ride across the Walnut Street Bridge
The Walnut Street Bridge holds the title of one of the world's longest pedestrian bridges at 2,376 feet in length. The bridge, erected in 1891, fell into disrepair in the late '70s and was closed for a decade before being restored to its former glory. Now the bridge, which connects the North Shore to Downtown, has become a favorite destination for tourists and locals alike. You can easily walk the bridge, but we recommend giving the Bike Chattanooga rental bikes a try. Ride across the bridge and up though the art district to get you to our next recommended stop!
2. Explore the Art District of Chattanooga and refuel on coffee from Rembrandt’s
Chattanooga is a super artsy city with so many murals, sculptures and museums to explore. Bike through Bluff View Art District and make a stop at The Hunter Museum of American Art. This museum is well-known in the southeast and features a large collection with artists from the Colonial period to the present day. If you don’t have time to wander the museum, you can also take a free cell phone tour of the sculpture art parked in front of the museum. Just follow the instructions on the signs underneath the sculptures. Once we’re done, grab a coffee and an artisan dessert from Rembrandt’s Coffee House
3. Ride the historic carousel at Coolidge Park
Coolidge Park, featuring 13 acres of public land nestled underneath the Walnut Street Bridge next to the beautiful Tennessee River, is a Chattanooga favorite for family fun. Stop by and take in the view before heading to the pavilion for a ride on the 100-year-old restored carousel for only $1!
4. Visit the Tennessee Aquarium
The Tennessee Aquarium is one of the highest rated aquariums in America and features freshwater exhibits in the River Journey building and more in the Ocean Journey building. It’s almost like getting two aquariums for the price of one! Come for a visit and meet otters, watch the penguins play, pet a stingray and more.
5. Climb aboard the Chattanooga Choo Choo
Another one of the city’s claims to fame is the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo, a former train station built in 1906 that was almost demolished in 1972. A group of local businessmen were inspired by Glen Miller’s 1941 hit song, “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” and decided to save the building and turn it into a hotel. Now you can stay in this historic hotel or just come by for a visit to see some of the Pullman train cars, grab dinner at Stir or Frothy Monkey, and stay for a show at the on-site comedy club or two music venues.
6. Try a Chattanooga original at the MoonPie General Store
As the story goes, the famous MoonPie was created in 1917 after Kentucky coal miners asked for a snack “as big as the moon” to quickly fill their bellies on short breaks. Traveling salesman Earl Mitchell brought this idea back to the Chattanooga bakery he worked for, and they began to manufacture these cookies with the perfect combination of marshmallow, graham and chocolate. At 5 cents a pop, they were a huge hit and are still sold today! Grab one of your own at the MoonPie General Store for a perfect Chattanooga souvenir!
There is so much to see and do in downtown Chattanooga, that we just couldn’t see it all in one day. Downtown, and the surrounding area, has an assortment of restaurants to choose from. Whatever you are craving, there is sure to be a restaurant to suit your taste. For a complete guide of things to do, where to eat, and places to stay check out Chattanooga Fun’s website.