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Scenic City Scene
From the mountains to the sea,
Chattanooga-area attractions rock-n-roll

From the top of Lookout Mountain to the depths of the Tennessee Aquarium’s Undersea Cavern Chattanooga, Tenn., takes visitors above the clouds and below the waves on a journey from the mountains to the sea.

Voted one of America’s top family weekend getaways by “Southern Living” magazine, and one of America’s top family destinations by “FamilyFun” magazine, Chattanooga has a safe, pedestrian-friendly downtown and a host of attractions to appeal to visitors of any age, all surrounded by the scenic beauty of the mountains and the Tennessee River.

In the heart of Chattanooga visitors can explore a world-class aquarium, play at an award-winning children’s museum or discover priceless works of American art. These downtown attractions are surrounded by miles of walking trails, acres of parkland and a series of public art pieces. Just a few miles from downtown, Lookout Mountain offers visitors a chance to experience an amazing garden with ancient rock formations and native plants, an underground waterfall and a trip on the world’s steepest passenger railway.

In addition to the attractions, Chattanooga’s unparalleled scenic beauty provides a wonderful natural playground. It’s a Mecca for rock climbers, hang gliders and spelunkers. Visitors can also explore the outdoors while hiking or biking the miles of mountain trails, taking a canoe or boat down the Tennessee River or braving the whitewater of the Ocoee. Chattanooga’s waterways are also great places for fishermen to reel in the catch of the day. For more information about Chattanooga’s outdoor adventures:

These Chattanooga-area attractions are arranged geographically to make it easier to customize a story. To find additional story ideas, customized itineraries or to provide a helpful online link for your readers, listeners or viewers, please check the online getaway planner at

On the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River, there are river parks, river walks and attractions you won’t find anywhere else in the country.  All within strolling distance or easily accessed by free shuttle bus.

  • Tennessee Aquarium -- The world's largest freshwater aquarium, the Tennessee Aquarium, now offers a spectacular new saltwater adventure. Dive beneath the waves through a coral reef teeming with fascinating 10-foot-long sharks, fierce barracuda and graceful stingrays. You'll enter a lush tropical cove, where 100 feet of shoreline beckons you to a touch pool where you'll have hands-on encounters with tiny bamboo sharks and stingrays. Then you'll discover a serene rainforest fluttering with hundreds of jewel-colored butterflies. Other enchanting exhibits showcase amazing creatures like octopus, jellyfish and giant crabs.
  • IMAX 3D Theater -- Practically next door to the Tennessee Aquarium, the massive six-story-high IMAX 3D Theater screen combines breathtaking crystal clear 3D images with state-of-the-art digital sound. You'll feel like you're in the movie, not just watching it! IMAX 3D. So real, it's unreal.  Films show every hour on the hour.
  • Creative Discovery Museum -- Perch high in a crow's nest, splash in water creating dams and channels for floating boats, feel the sand between your fingers as you dig for dinosaur bones in an excavation site, create your own artistic masterpiece or take the fun sky high and blow soap bubbles in the new Rooftop Fun Factory. Children will discover a whole new meaning to art, music, science and technology in a world made just for them at the children's Creative Discovery Museum.
  • Hunter Museum of American Art -- Connect with American history as you approach art like you've never done before. The Hunter Museum of American Art now offers a whole new museum experience. Bring the artist alive and connect with the past. Immerse yourself in the country's finest collection of American Art, stroll through an outdoor sculpture garden, create your own masterpiece in a studio class or sip a cappuccino in the café where the glass walls offer spectacular views of the Tennessee River and downtown Chattanooga.  While you're up on the bluff, explore the Bluff View Art District, where there are several restaurants, galleries and another outdoor sculpture garden.
  • Ross’s Landing -- Alongside the Aquarium as you approach the river is an incredible historical point, connecting Chattanooga with Native American cultures. The Passage was created to celebrate these cultures while providing a dramatic passageway leading to the river. The Passage is lined with huge Cherokee symbols, wall figures of Native American sports like stickball and a water spider collecting the water that slides over the wall and down the stairs.
  • Chattanooga Regional History Museum -- More Native American history can be discovered just two blocks from the Aquarium in Chattanooga's Regional History Museum, where interactive exhibits feature Chattanooga’s history:  Early Land, Early People; the Cherokee Nation; Growth and Conflict; the New South; and the Dynamo of Dixie.
  • Southern Belle Riverboat -- There's no better place to see the beauty along the Tennessee River than the views you get from the Southern Belle Riverboat. With a variety of thematic, lunch, dinner or sightseeing cruises, you’ll have a chance to sit back and enjoy the scenery, while eating delicious food and listening to the Riverboat Ramblers band.
  • Chattanooga Choo-Choo -- Made famous in a song written by Johnny Mercer and performed by the Glenn Miller band, the Chattanooga Choo Choo offers a unique experience. Visitors not only get to eat in a train car, but they could sleep in one too. The grounds at the Choo Choo are scattered with gardens and gazebos, a trolley, the largest railroad museum in the South, gift shops and a variety of restaurants including one where the waiters sing for your supper.
  • Chattanooga Pier -- Strollin' along the river walks and river parks that surround the Aquarium will wow you with vast green spaces to lounge on a pedestrian pier, featuring special artistic lighting, to bring you even closer to your watery world.  The pier is especially beautiful at night.
  • Walnut Street Bridge -- Take a stroll over the Walnut Street Bridge, the longest pedestrian bridge in America.  The bridge connects the Aquarium side of the river to the north side of the river – another great hangout, with fun and funky shops and restaurants along Frazier Avenue.
  • Coolidge Park Carousel -- Enjoy the park's lush landscaping and interactive fountain.  This is a great place for a picnic, jog, stroll, Frisbee or ball toss.

In addition to the riverfront and a hoppin’ downtown scene, the Scenic City offers timeless attractions high atop Lookout Mountain six miles from downtown that have been exciting visitors for decades.

  • Rock City -- A mysterious marvel of nature featuring massive ancient rock formations, Rock City Gardens features panoramic views 1,700 feet above sea level as well as gardens with more than 400 different native plant species. Along Rock City's Enchanted Trail, explore wonders like the Grand Corridor, Needle’s Eye and a 200-foot swinging bridge on your way to Lover's Leap, site of the legendary See Seven States view.
  • Ruby Falls -- Descend deep within the heart of Lookout Mountain to experience a thundering 145-foot natural waterfall in the largest underground commercial cavern in the world. Ruby Falls is packed with amazing geological wonders that only occur underground. Your adventure takes you past natural formations in the shape of an angel's wing, an elephant's foot and even one that looks like a plate with steak and potatoes.
  • Incline Railway -- Experience the thrill of riding the world’s steepest passenger railway. The Incline Railway scales the side of Lookout Mountain at an almost impossible 72.7 percent grade, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys through the glass roof.  It’s been called America's most amazing mile.For more information on Chattanooga and its attractions, visit the Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Web site:


The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural world. Admission is $17.95 per adult and $9.50 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $7.95 per adult and $5.50 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $22.95 for adults and $13.50 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to join.

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