The Volunteer State: Best Things To Do in Chattanooga Tennessee

Last Updated on February 8, 2023 by Left Lane

Market Street, John Ross Bridge crossing over the Tennessee River in Chattanooga.
The Market Street (John Ross Bridge), a lifting bridge over the Tennessee River.


Looking for a little local weekend family fun in the South Eastern United States? Don’t want to drive to far, but still looking to have a blast outside of your normal stomping grounds? Well look no further then Chattanooga Tennessee.

Chattanooga Offers a wide variety of activities, & restaurants around the city. Here’s a short list of the Top 7 Things to do in Chattanooga TN:


Redhead woman, wearing glasses and sweat shirt posing next to waterfall at Tennessee Aquarium.
My partner posing at a nature exhibit inside the Tennessee Aquarium

We showed up bright & early to visit the Tennessee Aquarium. Which is home to over 800 animal species, with more then 12,000 animals living inside its walls. It’s located right in the heart of downtown Chattanooga, on the banks of the Tennessee River.

It’s within walking distance of the beautiful Ross Landing Park, right on the historic Chattanooga Riverfront. Directly across the street from the AT&T baseball field. There’s ample lodging & dining venues to choose from, so park your car. Get out & enjoy the fresh air, & walk the streets of the beautiful city of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

If you’re looking for an extra family activity, or a guided tour of the downtown Riverfront district. Check out the Segway tours offered by Segway•Bike Tours. You can take a 2 hour guided history tour around downtown Chattanooga, learning about the city as you go.


Penguin’s at the Penguin exhibit at the Tennessee Aquarium, with an action shot of a swimming penguin.
The Penguin Exhibit in the Aquarium, one of the more lively exhibits, & a fan favorite.

Touring the Tennessee Aquarium is an amazing experience. Leave yourself a little extra time, so you can enjoy a 3D show at the aquariums IMAX Theater. The aquarium allows you to dive into a hidden world beneath the waves. Granting you the opportunity to witnesses the antics of the local, & exotic marine wildlife rarely seen.

Freshwater Alligators relaxing on log in the water.
The freshwater Alligator exhibit.

The aquarium covers both the freshwater, & saltwater marine biomes. This allows you to encounter some of the animals from each biome up close, that you probably wouldn’t want to encounter while swimming in open water.

Shark swimming over aquarium reef.
One of the many shark species of the Aquarium (Top Right), Saltwater

Rather you’re coming to learn about the many local fish species of your home territory, or see the variety of fish from another region. They have something unique for everyone in the family.

Fish swimming through an old tree stump underwater.
A peek into the variety of local fish species. Learn what’s beneath the waves

Every species at the aquarium isn’t underwater, they also have a vast Avian exhibit at the aquarium, for any of those who may be avid bird watchers among us.

Turtles, Egret, and a Woodland Duck resting in a lagoon.
Turtles, Egret (right), & Woodland Duck (center).

The Tennessee Aquarium, is truly a unique family experience, located right in your home region of the Southeast United States. Now that you know about it, turn off the BBC channel, put down that TV remote, & go see the Marine wildlife with your own two eyes.


After walking around the Riverfront district of Chattanooga, & touring the Tennessee Aquarium. You probably could use a good lunch before getting on with the rest of your day’s activities. I suggest you drop by the Boathouse Rotisserie & Raw Bar for some of the best seafood, & sweet tea in town.

Don’t dine inside, you can do that at home. Instead sit out back on their porch, & relax in the shade. Enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of the Tennessee River right from your table. It’s well lit, even at night. It has ceiling fans to keep you cool on those hot summer days, & screens to keep the wind down & bugs away. Breathe in that fresh river air, as the tantalizing aromas of fire grilled food waft your way, awakening your olfactory senses.

Couple using a selfie stick at the Boathouse Restaurant in Chattanooga Tennessee.
Local couple we met at the Boathouse. She was amused with my selfie stick. Photo credit by her 🙂

Prepare yourself for the scrumptious feast that awaits you, as they fire grill each entree to succulent, mouth watering perfection. Appeasing your palate as they cater to you.

Couple in the shade alongside the Tennessee River at the Boathouse Restaurant in Chattanooga.
Waiting in the shade for our dinner to arrive

The food was every bit as good as they promised. If you plan to sit out back on the porch, call ahead & make a reservation to shorten your wait time. If you would like to see their menu, just click “HERE


Ruby Falls, the Tallest underground Waterfall in the United States.
Ruby Falls – the tallest & deepest waterfall open to the public in the U.S.

At 1,120 feet underground, & over 145 feet high. Ruby Falls is the tallest underground waterfall open for tourism in the nation. It was discovered in the 1920’s by a chemist named Leo Lambert. He crawled through a series of chambers only 18” inches high to discover it.

The story of how Ruby Falls received it’s name, has to do with the very next time Leo went to visit the underground falls. He took his wife along with him, & together they both crawled the narrow passageway to the falls. After reaching the falls with his wife Ruby Eugenia Losey, he named the falls after her.

Meet The Lambert’s

Leo Lambert, and his wife Ruby Eugenia Losey Lambert. The woman who Ruby Falls is named after.
Leo Lambert (Right) & his Wife Ruby (Left)

Since the original discovery of Ruby Falls. The passageway to the falls has been expanded to a much more comfortable size. Giving you ample space to admire its natural beauty, & take in some of the more famous cave formations.

A stalactite, and a stalagmite formation known as the Crystal Chandelier, and Totem Pole in an underground cave.
A stalactite & stalagmite formation known as the Crystal Chandelier & Totem Pole

Just in case you forgot your camera, or need something to remember your trip to Ruby Falls. They have a photographer located underground for your convenience at the entrance of the cave, so stop & have your photo made.

Couple posing for a picture during an underground spelunking adventure at the entrance of the cave leading to Ruby Falls.
My partner & I striking a pose heading down to Ruby Falls.

As you leave the cave, & head back above ground. There’s a breath taking view awaiting you as head up the stairs to the top of Lookout mountain. When we entered the cave, there was daylight. At the time of our exit, it was night. Adding to the beauty as you could see the city, & Tennessee River below. All aglow from the lights of the surrounding city of Chattanooga.

The Chattanooga Tennessee skyline as seen from the top of Lookout Mountain at night.
The view from the top of Lookout Mountain overlooking the city & river at night.

Next time your passing through the South, or just looking for a weekend family getaway. Be sure to stop by, & visit this natural wonder of Chattanooga Tennessee.

Looking for other Activities in Tennessee? Check out this amazing trip to Nashville RIGHT HERE.

The Roving Gypsy®

Thanks for reading my Blog, I hope you enjoyed our adventure as much as we did. Like what you read, & want more content, or have suggestions? Like, Follow, Share, Comment, & let me know.