Chattanooga is located in Eastern Tennessee, just over 100 miles from Atlanta. Chattanooga is surrounded by mountains and ridges, and provides many scenic views. Chattanooga is home to many attractions and museums, and it’s the perfect place to spend a weekend exploring.
We’ve put together a three-day itinerary for all the must-dos in Chattanooga and its surrounding areas. Have fun!
Morning: Explore Downtown Chattanooga
We love starting a trip off by exploring the city. It’s always nice to get acquainted with the area right from the get go. We suggest using the Tennessee Aquarium as your reference when exploring downtown Chattanooga. The aquarium is not only a fun place to explore if you’re interested, but it’s in the heart of the city, just minutes from landmarks and shops.
We recommend meandering through the boutiques, coffee shops, and bakeries to experience Chattanooga as a local. Our favorites are Rock Creek, Greyfriar’s Coffee & Tea Co and Cupcake Kitchen. If you run out of shops, you can venture to the Hunter Museum of American Art or the Tennessee Aquarium.
Our favorite brunch spot downtown is Maple Street Biscuit Company. You can’t go wrong with any of the options, but our favorite is the chicken club. Their fresh squeezed OJ and coffee is to die for. If you aren’t feeling brunch, Lupi’s Pizza Pies is just a few blocks down and also heavenly.
Afternoon: Wander Across Walnut Street Bridge & Explore North Shore
Walnut Street Bridge is a beautiful blue pedestrian bridge over the Tennessee River. Spend some time taking in the breathtaking views, and be sure to grab ice cream or a milkshake at The Ice Cream Show just before crossing the bridge! Once you cross, you will be in Chattanooga’s hipster area called North Shore. There are tons of cute shops and boutiques to wander in and out of. If you haven’t already grabbed brunch/lunch, be sure to check out Taco Mamacita on North Market Street for lunch or Milk and Honey for brunch and/or gelato.
Evening: Grab a Drink at Beast and Barrel Gastro Smokehouse
Since you’re already in the North Shore area, grab a drink and a snack at Beast and Barrel on Frazier Avenue. Be sure to call since they have different hours for the fall and winter seasons. Another good drink spot nearby is Heaven and Ale Brewing Co. If you’re looking for dinner in the area, Il Primo is one of the best dinner spots in the North Shore. Be sure to get there early because it’s first come first serve seating!
Night: Karaoke at Sing It or Wing It
Sing It or Wing It is a bar and karaoke spot in downtown Chattanooga. First thing’s first — put your name in because the waitlist can build up on Friday and Saturday nights. Even if no one in your group is interested in singing, it’s a fun spot to sit and watch others.
Morning: Visit the Choo Choo, Terminal Station, & Main Street
The Chattanooga Choo Choo is located at Terminal Station, which opened in 1909. Now, the area is called Southside, and Terminal Station is home to a hotel, retail shops, restaurants, and gardens. Grab some coffee from Frothy Monkey and explore the area.
Nearby, you’ll find Main Street. Along Main Street, you’ll find many local shops including Chattanooga’s only independent bookstore, Starline Books, and Locals Only Gifts & Goods. Close by is the Chattanooga Market, where you can purchase fine arts and crafts at affordable prices, but be sure it’s open before trekking there. If you find yourself in the area around lunch, be sure to check out Urban Stack Burger Lounge for delicious burgers and brews or Alleia for a rustic Italian meal.
Afternoon: Grab Lunch & Shop at Warehouse Row
After the morning’s activities, head over to Warehouse Row. Warehouse Row is home to many higher end shops like Anthropologie, Onward Reserve, Lululemon, and J. Crew, along with several restaurants. Tupelo Honey Cafe is a solid option for lunch within Warehouse Row, or there’s a good Asian ramen restaurant called Two Ten Jack. If you’re looking to venture away from Warehouse Row, Pickle Barrell, a pub known for its fired pickles, has a rooftop deck and is close by. If all that shopping has you thirsty for a beer, you’ll be close to two of our favorite breweries in Chattanooga: Oddstory Brewing Co and Hutton & Smith Brewing Co.
Evening: Chattanooga Whiskey Distillery
Chattanooga Whiskey Distillery is a micro distillery and tasting room located across from the Chattanooga Choo Choo. They offer guided tours and whiskey tastings all days of the week, and it’s only $12 a person! If you’re looking to grab dinner in the area, check out Terminal Brewhouse or any of the other Southside restaurants mentioned in this post.
Night: Bar Hop
The Southside area mentioned before is home to a great nightlife scene. Create your own bar hop by grabbing drinks at The Flying Squirrel, STIR, Songbirds (a guitar museum that often has live music), Feed Co Table & Tavern, and HiFi Clyde’s, Southside Social (my personal favorite!), and Chattanooga Brewing Co — all of which are in walking distance of each other. Most offer food too, so no stress if you didn’t have time to grab a bite to eat before heading out!
Morning: Visit Lookout Mountain
On your way out of town, don’t miss out on visiting Lookout Mountain and taking in all the beautiful views of the Chattanooga Valley. In the area, you’ll find Rock City, Ruby Falls, and the Incline Railway. At Rock City, you’ll see ancient rock formations and gardens with over 400 native plant species. The tourist stop boasts panoramic views and the ability to see 7 states at once. Ruby Falls is America’s deepest cave and largest underground waterfall accessible to the public. The Classic Waterfall Tour offers views of the cavern guided by a knowledgable staff member. The Incline Railway is one of the world’s steepest passenger railways and offers scenic views of the mountains and valleys. Visit the Lookout Mountain site to purchase a joint ticket to all three which saves you money, and by purchasing tickets in advance you can save time and skip lines.