Located in southeastern Tennessee, Chattanooga is now one of my favorite cities in the US! With beautiful scenery, a plethora of outdoor activities, and delicious restaurants, this city has it all.
Where to Stay
SpringHill Suites by Marriott
Located on the Tennessee River, the SpringHill Suites by Marriott sits in Chattanooga’s Downtown (Cameron Harbor) neighborhood. There’s a bike share rack right in front of the hotel, a helpful concierge, a pool and hot tub, and even live music on the back patio. My room was enormous with a swiveling flat-screen TV to cheer on the Nashville Predators who were vying for the Stanley Cup at the time!
The Crash Pad
For a hostel option, check out The Crash Pad. With affordable prices and a sustainable approach, this hostel is also the first to be LEED Platinum Certified.
Get acquainted with Chattanooga’s outdoor adventure theme by kayaking in the Tennessee river!
Indoor Rock Climbing
Once you dry off your kayak, get ready for some indoor rock climbing. High Point Climbing and Fitness is the go-to rock climbing facility in Chattanooga. It has more than 30,000 square feet of climbing and bouldering space, making it one of the nation’s largest gyms
During my visit, I was able to meet Isaac Caldier, professional climber and the Champion of the entire American Ninja Warrior obstacle course. He won 1 Million Dollars and is one of only two people to have even finished all of the American Ninja Warrior obstacles!
Can you tell which is the American Ninja Warrior?!
Outdoor Rock Climbing
After practicing climbing at High Point’s indoor center, we ventured out for some outdoor climbing at Lookout Mountain.
Chattanooga offers some of the best outdoor rock climbing in the country!
White Water Rafting
This was one of my highlights of the trip. The Ocoee River offers Class 3 and 4 whitewater rafting, some of the best in the country. Note: the highest possible is Class 6!
The Ocoee River was even the site of some races during the Summer Olympics that was held in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996!
The Tennessee Aquarium
Chattanooga is famous for its Tennessee Aquarium, located downtown. The aquarium showcases everything from sea urchin to sea horse to otters and even alligators! It makes for some fantastic photo opportunities, especially the electric eel, the sharks, the legless lizard, stingrays, penguins, and even a butterfly garden!
Songbirds Guitar Museum
The Songbirds Guitar Museum is a must-visit for any music lover. They have a wide array of classic guitars, specifically focused around the development of the electric guitar.
Here’s me playing a custom guitar made for Jimi Hendrix and worth more than ONE MILLION DOLLARS!!!
What to Eat
For Mexican food lovers like myself, check out Taco Mamacita on the North Shore.
Make sure to stop at Clumpies Ice Cream Chattanooga for some amazing handcrafter flavors. I got salted watermelon in a waffle cone:
Julie Darling Doughnuts
No trip is complete without finding a donut shop! Julie Darling Doughnuts has a diverse selection. I definitely recommend their mango flavor (the white with orange swirl below).
Chattanooga’s downtown can be walkable or bikeable, but you’ll want a car for getting around during your trip. Getting to Lookout Mountain, across town, and further away to places like Ocoee for white water rafting require a car.
Living in New York City, I love the Citibikes for getting around. Chattanooga actually has the same exact bikes! Theirs is called Bike Chattanooga and is a 24-7 bicycle transit system with more than 30 stations throughout Chattanooga. Grab a 24-hour pass for $8 with unlimited 60-minute trips. You can find the station map at www.bikechattanooga.com/stations.