In recent years, Chattanooga, Tennessee has transformed its downtown area and waterfront into a city that has received national awards for its "outstanding livability." Nestled on the border of Georgia and along the Tennessee River, Chattanooga has all the elements of a big city, such as a burgeoning theatre and nightlife scene, yet still retains a welcoming, small town feel. Most of your time in Chattanooga will likely be spent in the downtown metropolitan area, the North Shore District, the more suburban Southside District, or the historic St. Elmo District at the foot of Lookout Mountain.
While you're in Chattanooga, be sure to make time for some of these must-see destinations:
-Rock City Garden: Located a few miles from downtown on Lookout Mountain, this garden features a 4,100 foot walking trail, 90 foot waterfall, and 180 foot-long suspension bridge. Be sure to climb up to Lover's Leap, where the view spans across seven states.
-Incline Railway: This railway features one of the steepest passenger inclines in the world.
-Ruby Falls: Check out this 145 foot waterfall inside of Lookout Mountain.
-Tennessee Aquarium: This aquarium is divided into two separate buildings for twice the fun. "River Journey" focuses on freshwater environments while "Ocean Journey" allows visitors to see sharks and touch stingrays, among other things.
-Coolidge Park: Chattanooga's most popular park features an interactive play fountain, restored carousel, and lots of open space next to the Walnut Street Bridge.
Many of Chattanooga's main festivals fall during the summer months, so be sure to plan your vacation around them if you were planning to visit then anyway. The most popular event is the Riverbend Festival, an annual, nine-day music showcase held in June. Other noted festivals are the River Roast, which celebrates the best in Southern barbeque, and the Bessie Smith Strut, a one-night festival named after the city's most famous blues singer.
A vacation rental is the preferred option for those visiting Chattanooga. Luckily, no matter what time of year you visit, it's easy to find a vacation rental in Chattanooga. In addition to a spacious condo rental with luxury amenities and sweeping views of the city, it's also possible to book a cabin rental for a wilderness experience you won't soon forget.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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