East Tennessee is notable for its beautiful landscape that hosts some of the oldest mountains in the world – the Appalachian Mountains. Their geological shape is softer than the rocky alpine mountains of the West making them easier to access by car and more hospitable to developing cities. Chattanooga, Tennessee, is one of those cities – somehow straddling the indeterminable line between metropolis and mountain town.
As of 2020, Chattanooga is home to over 180,000 people and is rapidly growing. Its charm lies within its landscape, the locals, and accessibility to nearby outdoor activities. It has received numerous awards and nominations from travel agencies and media giants, such as The New York Times, Lonely Planet, Southern Living, TripAdvisor, Outside Magazine, and Garden & Gun.
It is chock full of tasty eats for the foodie, outdoor activities for the adventurer, clubs for the night lifer, and interactive learning for families. It’s the perfect destination for any traveler.
Here are three ways to experience Chattanooga in a day:
The Party Hardy
The Party Hardy trip is perfect for anyone looking to experience top-notch food, drink, and clubs without getting out of bed before 10 am. It is ideal for bachelor and bachelorette parties, friends getaways, and lovers of unique urban experiences.
Get your body moving in the morning with a guided hike by Experience Chattanooga. They offer guided hikes rated short and easy to long and strenuous, pick-up service from your lodging, and only provide single group hikes, so you’ll get a private experience with just your party. Also, they offer a free photography service and photos so that you can put away your phone and just enjoy it.
Next, check out STIR for excellent brunch and, best of all, $1 mimosas. Since you’ve met your daily step count for the day, consider Whip Chattanooga private chauffeur service to take you to your following few destinations. You likely can’t visit every craft brewery and wine tour in a day, so pick two or three to visit. Sip rooftop cocktails at Whiskey Thief or enjoy your wine with stunning views of the Tennessee River and surrounding mountains at Look Out Winery.
Stay overnight at the Edwin Hotel – a lux boutique hotel located right in the middle of the fun. If you need some rest and recuperation the next morning, stop by the Ama Spa before heading out of town.
The Outdoor Enthusiast
Start your outdoorsy stay at Treetop Hideaways – boutique treehouses located in the heart of Chattanooga. But space is limited, so book early! Next, head to the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway. This one-stop shop hosts 13 miles of outdoor activities, from biking, hiking, kayaking, and canoeing. It offers four access points for your water vessel and is easily accessible throughout town. You can spend all day at the Chattanooga Riverwalk, which parallels the Tennessee River and enjoy coffee, food, and treats at places like Rembrandt’s Coffee House.
If you’d rather travel a bit further in search of adventure, check out Lookout Mountain, which includes Ruby Falls and Rock City. These destinations offer all sorts of outdoor activities like hiking and climbing from atop mountain lookouts to inside historic caverns. Don’t forget to pick up your red “See Rock City” barn memento on the way out.
Traveling with a family usually means you’re looking for less hustle and bustle with fewer destinations, but memorable experiences. Consider staying at the local Airbnb St. Elmo’s Farmhouse, where you have the amenities of home and the proximity to local destinations like Rock City and The Incline Railway. Or, for a more wooded mountain experience, check out Wauhatchie Woodlands cabins for a log cabin experience.
No matter your group size, makeup, or reason for travel, there’s something for everyone in Chattanooga, Tennessee.