Chattanooga has many unique spots that can make your day one for the books, from extraordinary museums, out-of-this-world aquariums to movie-like caverns. Some of the best places to visit and activities to take part in Chattanooga are very affordable and truly unforgettable; therefore, below, you can find the top 5 best things to do in Chattanooga to have some fun and spend a wonderful day, all family-friendly and with useful information about opening times and ticket prices.
The magical city of Chattanooga is a place you must visit if you’re planning a trip, or if you live nearby, you can’t miss out on any of these following exciting things to check out. Also, make sure to check all of these locations’ websites for upcoming events.
1. Visit The Tennessee Aquarium
One of the most known attractions in Chattanooga is the Tennessee Aquarium, home of many marine species that live in the deepest parts of the ocean and located at One Broad Street. In addition, the Tennessee Aquarium has a research arm, the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, where it constantly educates people on the importance of taking care of marine life and finding new ways to restore freshwater ecosystems and preserve endangered species.
The Tennessee Aquarium is listed as a must-see location on almost every website that shares the best things to do near Chattanooga due to its incredible experience offered as well as its affordable price. The adult (13 and older) average price for entry is $34.95, and the kids’ ticket (ages 3-12) is $21.95.
What’s more, the Tennessee Aquarium offers an incredible cinema experience with innovative film technology and the best seats, featuring current movies, such as Spider-Man: No Way Home, and seasonal favorites like The Polar Express. Both adult and kid’s tickets are $15 (per person).
If you’re looking for family things to do in Chattanooga, then you should definitely consider this one.
2. Discover The Raccoon Mountain Caverns
For more adventurous people, the Raccoon Mountain Caverns, located at 319 West Hills Dr., will bring you the excitement you’re looking for. Also known as Mount Aetna, these caverns were first opened to the public in June of 1931, under the name of “Tennessee Caverns” and discovered by famous caver Leo Lambert (who discovered the Ruby Falls in 1928 and a year later found these caverns).
Some fun stuff to do in Chattanooga is wandering around the site and appreciating the view and history of the place. The Raccoon Mountain Caverns now offer a great campground, in addition to the spectacular cave, as well as full-service RV sites, cabins, primitive tent sites, and water and electric sites. Everything you need to spend a unique weekend surrounded by nature and epic views.
The nightly rate starts at $50, and there are several options available such as normal and luxury accommodations for both RV’s and cabins.
For sure one of the best attractions in Chattanooga you can’t miss out on, and that will make your trip one for the books, especially if you’re traveling or visiting with children.
3. Take A Look At The Hunter Museum Of American Art
The Hunter Museum of American Art can be found at 10 Bluff View. It presents some of the finest collections and preservations of American art and connects the community through education and guided experiences so that everyone can learn and spend a wonderful time here.
The museum is focused on delivering excellence as role models to society by empowering art and giving voice to those who are not being heard. With DEAI principles (diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion), the Hunter Museum of American Art is truly an institution worth supporting and visiting.
Opening times are from 10 am to 5 pm (Monday to Friday, except Thursdays when closing time extends until 8 pm) and Sundays open from noon to 5 pm. Admission tickets range from $20 for the general ticket, $18 for seniors, teens, and children free of charge and the museum also offers special discounts for college students and educators ($18), retired military or veterans ($17), and EBT cardholders ($2). Active duty military citizens enter free of charge.
4. Go To The Tennessee River Park
The Tennessee River Park, located at 4301 Amnicola Highway, is a wonderful place to spend some time with your family or friends. It offers a unique experience for tourists to discover the beauty of nature preserved in an open and big space, which covers over 150 acres along the Tennessee River and scenic views and playgrounds, fishing piers, facility rentals, and public art, recreational areas, and more.
A family-oriented place designed with everything you need to spend a nice day surrounded by nature. One of the most known activities to do here is to walk along the Riverwalk, a 13-mile paved greenway optimal for all family members, where people can use it for walking, biking, jogging, skating (in-line only), and anything fitness-related. The park offers bicycle rentals as well.
The park is open from Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm, with Sundays closed. Some special rentals are ideal for events or small outdoor gatherings that range from $40 to $80 approximately, depending on the number of hours, the location selected, and amenities available.
5. Explore The Creative Discovery Museum
A fun place to explore in Chattanooga is the Creative Discovery Museum, which can be found at 321 Chestnut Street, and offers innovative learning experiences for children and the rest of the family. By engaging all senses, the Creative Discovery Museum is focused on inspiring children to explore, play, innovate, and build a better community for them to grow up in.
The museum was first opened in 1995, and since then, it has helped create a dynamic and creative cultural spot where kids can have some fun while learning. The CDM believes that learning can be done through playing, enhancing children’s ability to retain information, and highly encouraging them to become creative and active-thinker members of society.
It is open from Thursday to Tuesday from 10 am to 5 pm, and the general admission costs $15.95. Foster parents and children, local police and firefighters (with ID), and museum members enter free of charge. Tickets for seniors (+65) cost $12.95, and law enforcement outside of Hamilton County (with ID) $9.95. Discount tickets apply for EBT cardholders ($3) and aquarium pass holders ($13.95).
The Bottom Line
Chattanooga has many beautiful and fun activities, and attractions worth planning a trip to, and these five exciting spots are proof of it. From amazing aquariums to innovative museums, along with a family-friendly river park, a movie-like cavern, and a historic art museum, these locations have one thing in common: they will make your day or trip one for the books.
Affordable options in one space that are creative, fun, and opt for the whole family. Chattanooga is definitely a place you must visit when you have the chance.
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