Nestled on the banks of the Tennessee River and encircled by rugged mountain vistas, Chattanooga is a fusion of Southern charm, rich history, and a vibrant modern lifestyle. In this bustling, scenic city, there are countless experiences to explore, but Redfin has narrowed it down to 11 that truly encapsulate all the things the city has to offer. So whether you currently own a home in Chattanooga, are planning to relocate, or simply keen to learn more, here are 11 things Chattanooga is known for that you should experience.
1. The Incline Railway
Known as ‘America’s Most Amazing Mile,’ the Incline Railway on Lookout Mountain offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Chattanooga Valley. The trolley-style cars climb the mountain at a steep 72.7% grade, making it one of the world’s steepest passenger railways.
2. Rock City Gardens
Just six miles from downtown Chattanooga on Lookout Mountain, you’ll find the iconic Rock City Gardens. With massive ancient rock formations and over 400 species of plants, Rock City provides a blend of natural beauty and fairy tale charm.
Don’t forget to check out Lover’s Leap for a stunning view where it’s claimed you can see seven states (Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia) on a clear day.
3. Chattanooga Choo Choo
Chattanooga’s rich railroad history is proudly displayed at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. What once was a terminal station is now a renovated hotel and entertainment complex where the glamour of the railway era and modern luxury converge. The Chattanooga Choo Choo also hosts concerts, restaurants, and shops, making it a perfect place to spend an afternoon.
4. Tennessee Aquarium
Nestled on the downtown Riverfront, the Tennessee Aquarium stands as one of the world’s largest freshwater aquariums. It houses thousands of creatures from the nearby Appalachian Cove Forest to the Amazon River. It’s a must-see for marine enthusiasts and Chattanooga residents alike.
5. Outdoor adventures
Chattanooga is often considered the outdoor adventure hub of the South. The city is surrounded by mountains, rivers, and trails that cater to rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, and white-water rafting. Some particularly popular destinations in the area include the Cumberland Trail, Raccoon Mountain, and the Ocoee River.
6. Civil War history
Steeped with Civil War history, Chattanooga is home to the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, the oldest and most expansive of America’s Civil War parks. The park’s array of monuments and historical markers reflect Chattanooga’s significant contributions during the war. Offering immersive history lessons, visitors can engage in informative battlefield tours and live reenactments that bring the past to life.
7. Broad Street
One of Chattanooga’s unique features is Broad Street, a vibrant space bustling with artists, food stalls, musicians, and local businesses. The area is also home to the Chattanooga Market, the region’s largest producer-only arts and crafts and farmers’ market. The market is open every Sunday and showcases a rich array of local produce, arts, and crafts. It’s an excellent place to immerse in Chattanooga’s community spirit.
8. The Walnut Street Bridge
Built in 1890, the Walnut Street Bridge is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world, and a key part of the Tennessee Riverpark system. The bridge is near several Chattanooga apartments, making it the perfect place for residents and visitors to take leisurely strolls and enjoy fantastic views of the river and downtown.
9. Bluff View Art District
Overlooking the Tennessee River, this historical neighborhood is brimming with art and culinary culture. With its art galleries, the Hunter Museum of American Art, artisanal bakeries, and coffee houses, it’s a haven for art enthusiasts, food lovers, or anyone looking for a peaceful afternoon.
10. Riverbend Festival
Each summer, Chattanooga’s Riverfront Parkway turns into a hub of musical celebration with the Riverbend Festival. It attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees and features artists and singers across all genres, from local indie bands to international stars. Some of the most notable past performers include Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kid Rock, Florida Georgia Line, and Thomas Rhett.
11. Tech scene
Chattanooga has made strides in technology, being the first city in the Western Hemisphere to offer 1-gigabit internet speed citywide. This infrastructure has led to a boom of tech startups, transforming Chattanooga into a tech hub known as the ‘Gig City’.
What is Chattanooga known for? Final thoughts
Chattanooga offers a diverse blend of experiences, from its historical roots to its modern, vibrant lifestyle. We hope you’ll find joy in exploring and making this city your home. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, an art lover, or a foodie, there’s always something new to explore in Chattanooga.