3 Days in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Bordered by the Tennessee river and southern Tennessee mountains, Chattanooga, Tennessee enjoys unforgettable scenic views
We are going to help you experience it all in three days. Here is our three-day guide to the best of Chattanooga.
Morning: After sipping a cup of caramel macchiato and eating a square of creamy hazelnut buttercream cake at the French stucco themed Rembrandt’s on High Street, walk next door to the Hunter Museum of Art. On your way out, be sure to stand on the Hunter’s overlook offering views of the Tennessee River snaking at the base of North Shore.
Afternoon: Walk across the Walnut Street Bridge and you’ll find yourself on Frazier Avenue. Notice the bronze feet along the sidewalk -- they’re laid out in various dances like the Waltz, Foxtrot, and Tango for you to follow along with. Walk down to Coolidge Park and sit by the river or ride a hand carved Mr. Toad at the antique carousel accompanied by a calliope band organ.
Evening: Grab a stack of inch-thick, buttery pancakes from Aretha Frankenstein's on Tremont Street, a local spot with an outdoor patio and decorated in artistic clutter. After dinner, drive, bike, or catch a cab to JJ’s Bohemia on E MLK Boulevard -- a sticky dive bar with a communal hand washing stashing and a bring-your-own-liquor policy. But don’t worry -- there’s plenty of cheap beer to drink while laughing at stand-up comedians or dancing to a hip-hop infused jazz band following a metal show.
Morning: Head over to the the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo built in 1908, admiring Victorian train cars-turned-hotel rooms and a courtyard lined with over 500 rose bushes.
If you’re not up for the 25 minute walk, catch a ride or drive over to one of the world’s largest freshwater aquariums and follow a metaphorical raindrop from the Appalachian Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico through the muddy Tennessee Aquarium’s River Journey exhibit.
Afternoon: Drive around historic St. Elmo snapping pictures of vintage bungalows lining shaded streets before heading up Ochs Highway to Sunset Rock. Whether it’s relaxing in a hammock overlooking panoramic mountain views, hiking the surrounding trails down the mountain, or facing your fear of heights, there’s no limit to the amount of time one should spend at this famous Chattanoogan spot.
Evening: Late night food cravings? City Cafe off Carter Street downtown is the spot to get a side of strip steak, a plate of rice stuffed grape leaves, or fajita omelette from a retro style diner at four in the morning.
Morning: Wake up early and drive 18.6 kilometers (20 minutes) to Soddy Daisy. Park in the lot off Montlake Road, where an easy hike leads to a plethora of blue holes lining the North Chickamauga Creek Gorge, cluttered with boulders and the occasional rope swing.
Afternoon: Stroll along North Chattanooga’s historic Stringer Ridge, an urban wilderness park with views of the Tennessee River and downtown Chattanooga. You can hike, run, bike, geocache, or mosey your way around the three loops.
Evening: Grab a burger topped with fresh jalapenos, bacon, ancho-cilantro dressing, and pepper jack cheese washed down with one of 21 beers on tap at the Tremont Tavern off Hixson Pike. It’ll be packed, but that’s only because every night has a variety of entertainment including open mic, trivia, or beer tastings.
Take a night walk over the Walnut Street Bridge as you watch the lights from waterfront fountains bounce off the Tennessee River Leisurely head to bed. Fall asleep with those Aretha Frankenstein pancakes already on your mind.