Things to do in Chattanooga TN
Looking for things to do in Chattanooga TN? Check out our awesome adventure!
Just getting home from visiting the GORGEOUS, Chattanooga! This trip is going to go down as one of my favorite vacations of all time. The crazy part about it? We only went for 2 days! Two days of non stop fun! If you haven’t been to Chattanooga, Tennessee, it is a MUST!
I’ve been quite a few places in my time and I never thought there was a place this close to my home that was THIS beautiful. Absolutely breath taking I tell you! If you haven’t been, be sure to mark this one on your bucket list!
Lucky for us, Chattanooga is only 3.5 hours away. It will forever be a must visit place at least yearly! The views I saw just in a short span of two days will forever be engraved in my memory!
We knew we wanted to go somewhere for the kids spring break. But between our jobs, we only were able to go for a weekend. Since we knew our time was limited we decided we would jam pack as much fun as possible. While this trip was a BLAST, we could def use a vacation from our vacation!
The Chattanooga Zoo- Things to do in Chattanooga, TN
I spent a lot of time searching for things to do in Chattanooga, TN. So by the time we got there, we had out weekend mapped out!
We were anxious to get our weekend started so we went ahead and went straight to the zoo instead of checking into our hotel!
This zoo is so cute! It’s definitely smaller than our Atlanta Zoo, but it still provided hours of entertainment! If there is one thing I’m a real sucker for, it’s animals!
When we first entered, we were greeted with a camel ride! I figured I would squish the poor guy, so I let my light 5 year old take the challenge! He loved it! I think it was $5 or something to go around the little circle. If you’ve never seen a camel in real life, those things are massive!
The set up of the whole zoo is gorgeous! Endless sights on each side of you the whole way! The cages were big and all of the animals seemed to enjoy their habitats! Everything was incredibly clean and inviting!
There were loads of different animals to see. The variety was endless! From reptiles to farm animals to pandas, this zoo had it all. Except elephants. No elephants.
My kids loved the farm animal petting zoo. We were actually able to get in the pin and pet all the goats! This was probably everyone’s favorite part. The goats are so sweet!
Speaking of sweet. Do you know what is not sweet? A peacock! While these birds are BEAUTIFUL and almost memorizing, don’t let their beauty fool you! These birds have free roam over the zoo since they are very territorial, they won’t leave the area.
Being the ding bat I am, I was so intrigued by its beauty I reached out to see if I could touch it. So yeah, this picture is about 2.5 seconds before I got bit by it.
Is bit the right word? Beaked? Pecked? I don’t know. Either way it didn’t hurt but it sholl scared the mess outta me! Don’t worry though, I don’t think they attack the average person. Just goobs like me who try to pet wild birds! Learn from my mistake and don’t do it. Abort peacock petting mission, I repeat, abort!
Aside from my peacock experience, everything else was great! Perfect weather, perfect zoo.
My favorite animal here was the red panda. He can be seen here playing in his huge playground! My son liked to call him a little red raccoon! He was rolling a ball around and climbing up and down the trees! He was precious!
They also had snakes and reptiles which was pretty cool. However I found these big a** cock roaches a little unsettling.
At the end of our walk around the zoo we came up to a photo booth. All the kids squeezed in and had a photo shoot. They thought it was pretty cool because they changed the filters on it like snap chat.
Throughout the trip, a train kept riding by. My middle child, Jase, kept insisting we ride. Finally, when we were leaving we saw our opportunity! They board in front of the cafe and take you all around the zoo! Pretty cool to just take a second and enjoy the ride!
All in all, I would def visit this zoo again! Gorgeous animals and great set up!
On to the next adventure! We are hungry. All the locals told us to head on over to,
Things to do in Chattanooga, TN-Taco Mamacita
I’d like to consider myself a Mexican foodie. It’s probably my favorite cuisine. When all the locals told us about Taco Mamacita’s, we knew it would be our first Chattanooga, TN restaurant experience!
Known for their funky-fusion tacos, Taco Mamacitas has paired tacos down to a T! I would have never thought to mix up some of the taco combos they came up with, but all the flavors meshed well together!
Micah’s favorite taco combo was the Sloppy Jose Taco: Mama’s version of a Sloppy Joe. Spicy ground beef, jalapenos, monterey jack cheese, queso, sour cream and Fritos. Sounds weird but he digs it.
The rest of us liked the Taco Royale! A double-stacked taco filled with roasted chicken, salsa verde, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, crumbled chorizo, creamy black bean mash and chipotle cream sauce.
Yummmo! Taco Mamacitas was a really cool, unique experience and we would def go again! Despite the 45 minute wait, it was worth it 🙂
Next stop, hotel check in and sleep! Got to get up bright and early for our next adventure:
Ruby Falls- Things to do in Chattanooga, TN
I really can’t put into words the pure raw beauty of Ruby Falls. If there is one single place you must visit in Chattanooga, let this be it!
I was in pure amazement this ENTIRE tour!
Ruby Falls is the tallest and deepest underground waterfall that is accessible for tour in the United States!
We were sure to book early because there is typically less wait time in the early mornings before 10am and later evenings after 6pm. Wanting to get our day started early, we knew an early trip was just what we needed!
9:30am time was perfect. We waited less than 10 minutes to get on the elevator. Once you get on the elevator, you drop down 1,120 feet (26 stories) below the ground! It is so fast but you don’t really feel it.
On the tour, you go with a guide and a group of people. I’m sure all the tour guides are great, but our guide was exceptional! Entertaining and funny, she kept us laughing and intrigued the whole tour.
We stopped and watched a short video on the history of the cave before walking through. The total tour is about a mile round trip. It doesn’t feel like a long walk because there are plenty of stops and breaks along the way.
NOTE that they do not allow strollers or buggies so if you have a little one, you may want to invest in a baby carrier. We figured we would just carry our GINORMOUS one year old but about half way through, we were wishing we would have brought our carrier! This one is amazing, lightweight and sturdy. It is made for adventures! It would be perfect for all of the sight seeing in Chattanooga!
Walking throughout the caverns, we were completely wowed! The formations of stalagmites, stalacitites, columns and flowstone are remarkable! My close family and friends know I have a strange infatuation with rocks and stones, so this was right up my alley!
At one point they let us stop and touch the formations. Pretty cool. I love how they had the different areas lit up with blue and red lights to place emphasis on certain areas.
They also had some cool signs with formations that resembled things. Such as dragons foot, or my favorite, steak and potatoes! How funny is that!?
Finally, we made it to the breathtaking waterfall, RUBY FALLS!
Words cannot describe this. Although pictures are beautiful, this is one you really need to see in person to get the jist of it all!
They put on a light show and lit up the falls with vibrant red, blues,purples and pinks! Mesmerized, we stood their staring at it until our time was up! I felt like I could watch it forever. Almost as if I were in a trance!
After the falls we headed back through the caverns for one last glimpse of natures beauty!
Passing through their gift shop, we had to add some cool new stones to our rock collection! They have such a variety of stones and unique gifts that everyone is sure to love!
The Ruby Falls cavern tour was the ultimate trip for our family. Finding something that 2 adults, a 16 year old, a 5 year old and a 1 year old can all enjoy together is typically quite the feat, but this was just perfect!
If you haven’t been to Ruby Falls, stop what you are doing and book a hotel! It is SOOOO worth it!
After all that walking and sightseeing, time to take a break and head to another local favorite restaurant,
The Blue Plate
The Blue Plate is a must eat at restaurant! They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner all day long! So everyone in the family is sure to find something they love!
We were told from lots of locals that there is a great place for breakfast that serves these amazing pancakes called Arethra Frankensteins. They said the wait was rather long sometimes so if you didn’t want to wait to head to The Blue Plate because they serve the exact same pancakes! Sure nuff we did and didn’t regret it a bit!
We were starving and it was late at this point so we got an appetizer. We got the loaded chips! they are hand-cut chips and loaded with lots of toppings and covered in a creamy cheese sauce! So so good!
My daughter got the pancakes and they were awesome! Huge and fluffy! Almost a corn meal taste to me. Different than the typical flour pancakes I’m used to but they were good!
I got the classic turkey club and it was enormous and delicious! I’m a mac and cheese junky of course I had to get that as my side! Mmm!
We will definitely go here again!
Last part to our trip,
Coolidge Park- Things to do in Chattanooga, TN.
While this adventure was FREE, this was one of the BEST parts of the whole trip! I’ve never seen a more beautiful park in my entire life!
Hands down. Gorgeous.
In fact we are planning a trip back just so I can see the sunset in Coolidge Park! Pictures do not do this place justice.
Coolidge Park is on the North part of town which was rather close to our hotel so it was very convenient! This park overlooks the gorgeous Tennessee River! Huge open spaces allow for lots of families to come out and have picnics in the park and even bring their doggies out for a jog!
There are people renting bicycles and hover boards and riding them all up and down the trails! There was a huge water fountain, splash pad, with some cool statues on it that you can get some pretty rad pictures with!
Beside that is an old restored carousel from over a hundred years ago! That’s probably the fastest carousel I’ve ever been on! The whole family got on it!
You can stroll along the worlds largest pedestrian bridge, the Walnut Street Bridge. It’s beautifully planked and great for a leisurely stroll with beautiful views!
There is so much to do and see, I recommend bringing a wagon to carry your little ones if they get tired. Ours was a LIFESAVER! Here is a link (Click HERE) to one similiar to ours! It has pockets and good wheels for different terrains. We packed drinks and snacks and were able to carry both the boys around with ease!
Coolidge Park is also part of the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is 13 miles long and runs along the entire Tennessee River.
We walked up and down the trails and found some pretty cool little forts to take some fun pictures in! My boys loved this!
My daughter is into photography so she was busy capturing the moments with her camera the whole trip. I highly suggest bringing a nice camera like this one so you can capture some of the fun memories too! This place is a photographers dream!
Aside from the beauty of the park, there are tons of cute downtown shops, alleys and eating places to explore! Clumpies ice cream is a must. It was a yummy treat after all that walking!
Time to go home
Our awesome weekend getaway has come to an end. But not before already booking our next trip here! We loved this place so much that w!e already have our next weekend getaway to come back on the books! See you later Chattanooga!
Hope you enjoyed our THINGS TO DO IN CHATTANOOGA, TN! Looking forward to many more trips!