Once a major rail hub in the Tennessee and the site of several Civil War battle sites, Chattanooga is now home great parks and outdoor spaces, recreation areas along the Tennessee River and has been repetitively ranked as one of the most livable cities in the country.

WHAT TO DO

One of Chattanooga's oldest attractions is Rock City, which is located on Lookout Mountain. After Garnet Carter, the inventor of miniature golf, opened the Rock City Gardens in 1923, which has a 4100 foot walking trail, a 90 foot waterfall, a 180-foot suspension bridge a spot called lover’s leap where you can supposedly see seven states. In the winter, this area also lights up with the “Enchanted Garden of Lights.”

Located near Rocky City is Ruby Falls, which is actually a 145 foot waterfall inside Lookout Mountain. The caverns inside Lookout Mountain were discovered in 1929 during drilling excavations and today you can take an elevator down into the caves for a tour and a peak at the impressive waterfall.

Because of Chattanooga's close historical ties with the railroad industry, Every traveler to Chattanooga should visit the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo, which was erected in 1908 and features an 85 foot cast iron dome. The former train terminal served thousands of passengers until the trains stopped running in 1970. Today, the former rail station is a unique hotel, where private rail cars serve as sleeping quarters and visitors can see the world’s largest model railroad setup, an 1880s steam engine, the beautifully restored terminal. At night, this cast iron dome is lit up with lights, making its decorative colors really pop.

GETTING THERE

The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA) is located east of downtown Chattanooga and is easily accessed from downtown. The airport is serviced by a few different major American carriers and offers non-stop flights to and from many major U.S. cities, which should make getting a flight to Chattanooga both affordable and easy. Whether you rent a car or chose to drive your own car to the airport, you can save both time and money by booking your airport parking at Chattanooga in advance.

WHERE TO STAY

If you can't manage to get a room in the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel, there are lots of other options available in the city. From budget option to luxury hotels, this Tennessee city has something to offer everyone at every budget, making getting a hotel in Chattanooga super simple. For those on a truly shoestring budget, there may not be any official hostels in Chattanooga, but there are some super budget options located in the city that should work.