Chattanooga is a beautiful and vibrant little city located just north of the Georgia and Tennessee border. The bustling and artsy downtown has much to offer for families looking to spend some quality time together. Start your day with a stroll along the river, crossing the pedestrian bridge to Coolidge Park, and play in the splash fountains or visit the merry-go-round. After you are finished enjoying the beautiful urban park scene and Tennessee Riverfront, be sure to visit these four other family-approved attractions:
The Tennessee Aquarium
The Tennessee Aquarium is perfect for families with all age groups. The Aquarium itself is broken into two buildings, one featuring ocean animals and the other featuring river animals — many which are native to the state of Tennessee. Children will delight at the butterfly garden, the sea otters and the myriad of colorful and unique species of fish to be found. If you visit in the summertime with small children, be sure to pack swimsuits, as there is a small creek and splash area in front of the aquarium that is the perfect place for children to cool down. Older children will love the add-on IMAX movie feature to the aquarium ticket.
Creative Discovery Museum
This is a hands-on museum that allows children to play, while learning about a large variety of topics, including fossils, art, music, basic science principles, and much more. Children will love running from exhibit to exhibit making crafts, putting on puppet shows, unearthing fossils, playing doctor, splashing in water, and more. Adults will also enjoy learning along with their kids and taking breaks to watch their children explore.
This is a great, light adventure activity for children and adults alike. Take a guided tour of a cave and see the nation’s largest underground waterfall available to the public. The tour consists of a half-mile walk to the falls and a half-mile walk back, while navigating natural terrain. The tour has a few stairs and narrow pathways and does not accommodate strollers. Bring a carrier if visiting with an infant, and have children wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes.
Located atop Lookout Mountain, this is a fun and versatile attraction for all ages. Paths and trails wind through natural beauty and provide awe-inspiring views. A favorite among families is the trail through an enchanted garden that features gnomes and fairy-tale themes. The famous see-seven-states view, rock formations, waterfalls and caverns make this the total package attraction. Some of the trails are not handicap and stroller accessible, but there are trails that strollers and wheelchairs are able to trek in order to see the gardens and enjoy the views.
Recommended Hotel: The Chattanoogan
– Hilarye Fuller
Hilarye Fuller is a mama to three little girls, children’s book author and travel and lifestyle blogger at Dotting the Map.