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Best things to do in Chattanooga

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Where in the world: USA  /  Tennessee  /  Chattanooga

Top 15 things to do in Chattanooga

1. Ruby Falls

A thundering underground waterfall, Ruby Falls is fed by both natural rainwater and natural springs. Located at the end of the main passage of a deep mountain cave, the waterfall creates a pool in the cave floor and then continues to flow through underground passages until it finally empties into the Tennessee River. Enter the cave to see the 45 m (150 ft) waterfall and several types of geological formations, including stalactites and stalagmites. For an in-depth look at this underground world of water and limestone, join a guided tour of the cave, or check online for your chance to see the falls on an expedition using only lanterns to light the way.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Ruby Falls

2. Tennessee Aquarium

To see how one of the largest aquariums in the world works, take a behind-the-scenes tour of Tennessee Aquarium. Tours offer a rare look at the filtering and food-preparation areas, with an additional stop at the aquarium's biggest habitat, a large tank filled with sand tiger and bonnethead sharks. Other highlights include an invertebrate gallery where you can see jellyfish, cuttlefish, giant octopuses, and spider crabs. Save some time for the "river journey" exhibit, which follows the path of a single raindrop from the Appalachian Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. The aquarium also offers self-guided tours of three living forest exhibits teeming with wildlife that can be viewed from above and below the water's surface.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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3. Lookout Mountain

Lookout Mountain contains three famous American attractions, even though the view of Chattanooga Valley alone makes visiting this historical mountain ridge worthwhile. This wide plateau has a significant place in history as the site of an alleged Revolutionary War battle and the 1863 Civil War Battle of Lookout Mountain. Now the mountain is used for recreational activities, including rock climbing. The site's most popular attractions are Incline Railway, Ruby Falls, and Rock City. Incline Railway is the steepest passenger railway in the world and has been operating since 1895. Ruby Falls is America's largest underground waterfall at 44m (145 ft), and Rock City features a large outdoor waterfall and Swing-A-Long bridge.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Lookout Mountain:
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4. Walnut Street Bridge

Take a walk across the centerpiece of Chattanooga's riverfront, Walnut Street Bridge, one of the world's longest pedestrian bridges. The 724 m (2,376 ft) camelback truss was built in 1890. One side will lead you to the modern, vibrant part of the city, and the other to the famed arts district. Considered to be an extremely old example of its type, the bridge is one of the United States' National Historic Places.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. Raccoon Mountain Caverns

Go on an underground journey through Raccoon Mountain Caverns, one of Tennessee’s greatest natural wonders. Two types of tours are available. The Crystal Palace Tour is a guided walk through lighted pathways in the front area of the cave. The guide will explain the history of the cave as you admire the geological formations. For the more daring, the Wild Cave Expedition takes you deep inside the undeveloped portions of the cave--without trails, handrails, or electric lights. Trained guides will lead you through chambers, tunnels, streams, and waterfalls, and you'll have the option of staying overnight in the cave. You will be provided with all the necessary equipment, including helmets and lights. Wild Cave Expedition tours need to be booked in advance, but reservations are not necessary for the Crystal Palace option. The temperature inside the cave is consistently around 15 C (60 F), so make sure to dress appropriately.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Raccoon Mountain Caverns

8. World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta

Get an inside look at the creation and long-lasting legacy of one of the world's favorite beverages at World of Coca-Cola, which features interactive exhibits and more than 1,200 pieces of memorabilia. The 8 hectare (20 acre) complex includes the vault that guards the company's top-secret recipe. You can watch the bottling process, then move on to the tasting room and its 100-plus flavors of Coke. Don't forget your free commemorative Coca-Cola glass before you leave.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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9. Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta

With more than 100,000 creatures from 500 different species, Georgia Aquarium has more aquatic life than any other aquarium in the world. Stop at the entrance to note the times of the daily bottlenose dolphin shows, or arrange to swim with the whale sharks--the largest fish in the world. The aquarium features six galleries, each designed to represent a specific environment. You can visit touch tanks filled with sea stars, stingrays, shrimp, horseshoe crabs, and sea turtles. In the regional habitat exhibits, you can walk through a tunnel surrounded by water to observe fish from an underwater perspective. Consider a guided tour of the backstage area to learn the secrets behind the aquarium's popular exhibits.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. River Rafting & Tubing, Ocoee

Suggested duration: 4 hours
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11. Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery

Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery is the city's first legal distillery in 100 years. We offer daily tours of our production facility where you'll learn how whiskey is made, the history of Chattanooga Whiskey and you'll get a chance to enjoy a whiskey flight. Come for a tour, stay for a dram.

Our tasting room morphs into a full-service cocktail bar on Thursday-Saturday evenings! Stop in and imbibe on any one of our featured or seasonal cocktails created with handmade ingredients and of course, Chattanooga Whiskey.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Learn more about Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery

13. Rock City, Lookout Mountain

Hike to the top of Lover’s Leap at Rock City for sprawling views across seven state lines. Perched on Lookout Mountain, the roadside attraction features a stunning mix of ancient rock formations and over 400 native plant species. Wind your way through the many caves and colorful gardens along the Enchanted Flagstone Trail, which features dramatic cliff-top views all the way to the 43 m (140 ft) High Falls of Lookout Mountain. Unwind after the long hike with an afternoon meal at the Big Rock Grill.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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14. Coolidge Park

With a large pedestrian bridge and views over the Tennessee River, Coolidge Park is a favorite of both locals and visitors. Visit military memorials, picnic on a lawn, or take a ride on the antique carousel at the park. If you are craving some exercise, you can try your hand at rock climbing or take an easy stroll down the Tennessee Riverwalk. The park is near the downtown area, so entertainment and dining are close by.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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