Christmas is the time of spending time with friends and family. If you are like us, there are so many visitors this time of year. We are fortunate to live in a part of the country that people love to visit for reasons other than us (although I like to think I am a huge draw to Chattanooga!). When we have visitors, it is nice to have an arsenal of places to take them and attractions to view in our back pocket, something to draw on when we get a little cabin fever and need to stretch our legs. Here is a list of our “back pocket” Chattanooga active fun to help you out this holiday season.
High Point Climbing
Not only does it look like Spiderman’s cool hangout with the climbing wall on the OUTSIDE of a parking garage and building, but High Point Climbing is literally one of the best bangs for your buck when it comes to wearing out kids. And adults. All day passes are available, along with rental shoes and harnesses for those of us who do not have them and you can come and go as you please. Meaning, you can climb and wear yourself out on any of their dozens of walls including the kid zone , grab lunch at any of the dozens of nearby restaurants and then come back for more! You can also take a break and visit the Imax or Tennessee Aquarium which are located just one block away or take the free electric shuttle, anywhere downtown to explore. 219 Broad Street, check website for hours and activities.
Hike A Trail
Chattanooga has more trails within 30 minutes of downtown than Boulder, Colorado. That’s right! You can drive 30 minutes and hop on a trail. Whether you are looking for views, challenge, history or just to be out in nature enjoying the fellowship of creation, there is a trail for you. Several of my personal favorites is the Bluff Trail on Lookout Mountain which gives you excellent scenic views of the Chattanooga Valley. If you can carpool and park a car at Craven’s house and then drive to Covenant College and hike the trail back to the car, you will have a nice 8 mile hike that features views almost the entire way. Another great trail with views is on Signal Mountain. Parking is easy at the Ewards Point Park trailhead and the trail offers excellent views of the Tennessee River Gorge. While a more technical trail than the Bluff Trail, this equally beautiful trail is an out and back 6 miles, making it easy to not get lost. Rootsrated.com is an excellent source of local trails, offering straightforward info.
When my kids were little, we spent a lot of time in Coolidge Park, riding the carousel. All of the hand carved animals are so special and beautiful and children love to ride them. My favorite is Mr. Toad, dressed in his fancy yellow suite. There is something so magical about riding around on those horses, fish and giraffes, just like our parents and grandparents did. After riding the carousel, take a stroll around the park being sure to check out the views of the Tennessee River, the sculpture Blue Boy Pull Toy #1, and across the river. After you have enjoyed the park and the circus animal sculptures that are water fountains in the summer, make your way to have a real ice cream at Clumpies or a hot dog at Good Dog. The local shops, Blue Skies and Tangerina’s offer Chattanooga centric gifts for all ages.
See Rock City
If you are a southerner, or traveled through the south as a child, you have seen at least one of the famous Rock City barns. Alas, they are vanishing as the artists have passed away and time wears down the iconic barns. You can visit the iconic park, located on Lookout Mountain. Home to the famous 7 states view and the gorgeous Christmas lights, the charm of which are hard to resist by even the most cynical of souls. Head to Lookout Mountain anytime of the year and you will be happy you did. Check it out at Christmas and you will see Santa, his elves, and all manners of live music and treats. Rock City has an extensive event calendar. Open every day except Christmas.
We love our city and have plenty to share about it, from where to visit to where to eat and everything in between. If you are considering a trip, or have guests coming and need some ideas of fun things to do, give us a shout. We are here to help!