2 days in Chattanooga

Chattanooga…most people have heard of it because of the Choo Choo, but did you know it’s been voted consistently as one of the best places in the US to live? I can see why – it has a lovely downtown area with lots of places to eat and explore, and yet it’s close to mountains, waterfalls and nature too. If you love getting out in nature, a laid back feel and epic views – Chattanooga is for you!

I had the most magical time in Chattanooga. I stayed at The Westin which was a lovely hotel and had a view out to Signal Mountain, but also walkable to all the main Downtown attractions.

So here’s my Chattanooga Top 3 (and ‘best of the rest’):

ONE. Signal Mountain at Sunrise

Oh. My. Goodness. Do I need to say any more? You can park a little way from this view point and then hike there. If anyone wants to know the exact location, I can send a picture of my map with it highlighted. But Oh. My. Goodness. Look at that sunrise. And we had the rock to ourselves. Worth the 4.30am alarm and a hike in the dark.

Watching the sun rise on Signal Mountain
Watching the mist rise over the river
The start of the hike to the viewpoint (at the end as it was dark when we started)

TWO. Chattanooga Incline Railway and the Chattanooga Battlefield Site

So the incline railway is pretty cool. It’s so steep and starts right at the bottom of Lookout Mountain. It drops you off about half way up, near the Battlefield Center and Point Park. In Point Park there are beautiful views out over the Tennessee River, as well as a little museum. There is also a Battlefield Center which uses a 3D model to highlight and tell the story of the Battle of Chattanooga. Definitely worth spending a few hours visiting.

View from the top of the Incline Railway
A view out over the Tennessee River from Point Park
Me looking out from Point Park

THREE. Rock City Gardens

Rock City Gardens are a bit mad. They were designed by a German lady and her husband in the 1920s and 30s. She had an obsession with gnomes, so they are everywhere. It’s basically a beautiful park that combines nature with German Fairytales. There’s a big waterfall, you can see 7 states from the viewing point on Lookout Mountain, a swing bridge and there’s even a huge fairytale cavern with models of all the famous Grimm stories. Bizarre and amazing all at the same time!

The Waterfall at Rock City Gardens
A view out to 7 States
Me at the top of Lookout Mountain

The best of the rest in Chattanooga

  • Downtown and Walnut Street Bridge – Downtown is a cool area with lots of nice restaurants and shops. There’s also an art museum, an aquarium and a cool bridge. All of which we had almost to ourselves.
  • Foster Falls – A nice waterfall just outside of town which we took a trip to. It was too cold to get in, but in the summer it would be a lovely place to cool down.
  • Ruby Falls – an indoor waterfall underground. It’s fun as you get to go through all the caves and then this underwater waterfall is the main attraction. I’m not sure how legit it is, but worth a visit if you’re in the area
Watching the Foster Falls
On the Walnut Street Bridge
The Ruby Falls

Thanks so much for reading! Was this post helpful? Have you ever been to Chattanooga? Let me know in the comments below!

3 Comments

  1. Wow, the Chattanooga area in Tennessee has lots to offer! I’ve only visited once – hiking to Foster Falls & Denny Cove Falls – but, based on your blog post, I’m sure I’ll go back again and explore more – including Signal Mountain. Thanks for sharing!

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