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Welcome to Chattanooga, TN!

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Situated along the Tennessee River at the crossroads of Interstates 24, 59 and 75, about 20 minutes from the Georgia border, and a two-hour drive from both Atlanta and Nashville, Chattanooga is the fourth largest city in Tennessee and often referred to as the “Gateway to the Deep South.”

Chattanooga possesses a wonderful small town feel and in some ways a European flair and lifestyle that has helped it grow into a major city for the arts and culture, business and tourism.

A great place to get an overview of the city and regional history is at the Chattanooga History Center, offering a wide range of information, programs, and lecture series. Visitors can also embark upon any of their unique themed tours including bus tours of Civil War battlefield sites and a historic neighborhood walking tour.

The area is also home to a wide range of museums, each offering its own unique flavor and flair of the city. For an in-depth look at the city’s railroad history, check out the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, the largest operating historic railroad in the southeast, and the only full-size operating railroad museum in the state.

The International Towing & Recovery Museum and Hall of Fame is also a nod to the city’s early history, as it was here in Chattanooga that the towing industry’s first wrecker was fabricated. In the art world, the Hunter Museum of American Art is a true city landmark. Located in the Bluff View Art District overlooking the Tennessee River, the museum encompasses three distinctive buildings representing 100 years of architecture and the South’s largest collection of American art from the Colonial period to the present day.


Attractions Galore

Most likely the most visible attraction in town is the Tennessee Aquarium, billed as the world’s largest freshwater aquarium and featuring multifarious exhibits highlighting two primary aquatic journeys—The River Journey and the Ocean Journey—both emphasizing the great biodiversity of the world’s waters.

While here, embark upon a ride aboard their sister attraction, the River Gorge Explorer, a high speed, hydrofoil-assisted catamaran tour along the Tennessee River. “Part thrill ride, part nature tour,” the River Gorge reaches speeds up to 50 mph, offering spectacular views of the shoreline, river islands, bird and animal life, historical river sites and other aspects from the water.

The natural outdoor beauty in town and around the area is simply astounding, in large part attributed to the scenic beauty of the Tennessee River and its numerous picturesque bridges. The most spectacular of these is the Walnut Street Bridge. Originally a steel truss bridge built in 1890 or 1891, it is the world’s longest pedestrian bridge, connecting the north and south shores of the city.

For a view of the city “down by the river,” check out the Tennessee Riverwalk,encompassing numerous public and private projects—all designed to collectively enhance the natural, social, cultural, and active lifestyle and landscapes here. Entities include Ross’s Landing Plaza,were you will find the Chattanooga Visitors Center, the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club, recognized as the oldest golf course at its original site in the state, and Renaissance Park, a 23-acre wetland park and appropriate mixed-use development.


Military History

One of the most fascinating aspects of Chattanooga is the plethora of Civil War history sites and attractions, as Chattanooga and the surrounding area played a major role in the key battles of the American Revolution and those of the Civil War between the Union and Confederate soldiers. This was in part due to the city’s position as a major railroad hub, a key link for transportation of soldiers.

Some of those key battles are explored at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, where both Confederate and Union soldiers were victorious in their struggle to control Chattanooga. The visitor center provides a wonderful overview of the historical setting of the day through an audio-visual introductory film, rare and unique weapons displays, historical timelines, maps, exhibits, artifacts, and oral histories provided by the National Park Service representatives. Visitors can also embark upon a seven-mile audio tour, as well as shorter walking tours, which cover key points of interest of the battlefields.  

This is just the beginning of all there is to do, see and love in Chattanooga!


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