30 Fun Inexpensive Things to do in Chattanooga TN

If you’re feeling a constant itch to pack a bag and discover a new destination, set your sights on the American South this year! A true American gem, there are plenty of fun inexpensive things to do in Chattanooga. In fact, it’s ranked as one of the top 10 most affordable vacation spots in the United States in a proprietary research study completed by Livability.com.

Nestled in the southeastern region of the state along the Tennessee River, it’s framed beautifully by the ridges and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains. Chattanooga, often called “The Scenic City,” isn’t just a place. It’s a perfect mix of nature, history, and the vibrant feel of a city that’s modern yet timeless.

If you’re looking for an affordable and versatile destination for your next vacation or U.S. road trip, read the detailed guide below. In the article below, you’ll unearth 30 fun and inexpensive things to do in Chattanooga — plenty of reasons to book a trip this year! You’ll gain useful information about the city’s top sights, affordable hotel options, first-hand accounts of mouth-watering local eats, culturally rich museums, and some of the United State’s most historic landmarks.

Be sure to read through to the end to unlock pro tips, booking links, discounts, and more!

Intro: 30 Fun Inexpensive Things to do in Chattanooga Tennessee

Perhaps you’ve heard whispers about Rock City Gardens, or you’ve been intrigued by photos of the famed Lookout Mountain. However, I recently discovered that these attractions are just the tip of the iceberg. Below, I’ve curated a list of 30 fun inexpensive things to do in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

1. Ruby Falls

Atop Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls is a rare, breathtaking underground waterfall that plunges from a height of 145 feet. In fact, it’s the tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public in the entire United States. It’s a great place to start your Chattanooga adventure!

On each guided tour, you’ll first descend 260-feet into the cave by elevator. Once the doors open, you’ll be met with mesmerizing rock and mineral formations that surround you during a half-mile walk to the falls. 

After arriving at the falls, color changing lights illuminate the flow of water for a 7-minute light show. It’s truly an ethereal experience that speaks of nature’s hidden wonders! Discovered in 1928 by Leo Lambert and named after his wife, Ruby, this stunning underground cascade draws visitors from across the world year after year. Beyond the waterfall, the site boasts zip lines, incredible views, and events including the Bootleg Bash.

As Ruby Falls is one of Chattanooga’s most popular attractions, entrance fees are slightly higher, but still nothing unreasonable for the experience. Adult tickets cost $26.95 USD, while children’s tickets cost $16.95 USD. If you want to stay on a budget but still want to experience one or two of the city’s main attractions, let this be one of them!

2. Lodge Cast Iron Museum

Dive deep into the culinary heritage of America at the Lodge Cast Iron Museum located in the town of South Pittsburg. Just 30 miles from Chattanooga, this museum unveils the history of the iconic cast iron skillet to discover how it became a staple of kitchens across America, and how it shaped culinary traditions for generations. 

To get the full experience, set aside at least an hour or two to explore the museum and its many interactive exhibits which includes making your very own digital cookbook. While there, don’t forget to capture a photo with the world’s largest cast iron skillet. It stands just over 18 feet from handle to handle and weighs 14,360 pounds! The entrance fee for the Lodge Cast Iron Museum is just $10 USD. This includes your very own complimentary customized digital cookbook that can you create at one of the museum’s exhibits.

3. Read House Hotel

It’s true that hotels are a large portion of total travel expenses. Everyone has a different budget, and some may consider luxury hotels off limits. However, where you stay matters when comparing cost, and you can find some great deals on luxury hotel stays through Booking.com, Expedia, or Hotels.com.

There are of course cheaper options if you find yourself on a tight budget. However, if you’re looking for both luxury and convenience without breaking the bank in downtown Chattanooga, you’ll want to consider the Read House Hotel. Stepping into the Read House Hotel is like traveling back in time. This historic Jazz-era hotel founded in 1872 boasts stunning architecture and sparkling interiors that speak of an era of elegance and splendor. With 241 rooms, its high lobby ceilings, shimmering chandeliers, and a playful flapper vibe have wowed guests for nearly a century since its doors officially opened in 1926. 

The best part? You can sip on a custom cocktail at the Bar & Billiards Room, grab a hot coffee to go from the lobby Starbucks, or treat yourself with a hearty in-room dining experience. Whether you’re checking in for a night or simply stopping by for a cocktail or glass of champagne, the Read House promises an experience wrapped in luxury and history. Don’t forget to ask the hotel staff about Room 311 – it’s apparently haunted with the spirit of Annalisa Netherly. 

Experience the old world charm of Read House Hotel and book your stay ahead of your next trip to Chattanooga!

4. Big Bad Breakfast

As if seeing the world’s largest cast iron skillet wasn’t exciting enough, head to Big Bad Breakfast in South Pittsburg. This breakfast staple is located inside the Lodge Cast Iron Museum, and is one of the best places to start the day. This culinary gem is a brainchild of Chef John Currence, who’s had a lifelong romance with everyone’s favorite meal: breakfast. 

Inspired by childhood memories from his grandma’s pancakes, Currence ensures each dish tastes like a nostalgic trip back in time. To keep the bill low, order the savory Chicken n’ Waffles ($10.50 USD), or split a Big Bad Breakfast Skillet ($13 USD). It comes with three scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, onions, potatoes, cheddar, and choice of toast or biscuit.

5. Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

Lookout Mountain is a highlight of fun inexpensive things to do in Chattanooga

Ever wondered what Chattanooga looks like from a bird’s eye view? If you take a ride on the famous Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, you’ll wonder no more! As you gradually ascend the one-mile single track system at a 72.7 percent grade, the city appears in all its glory. This historic passenger railway—deemed America’s Most Amazing Mile—is one of the steepest passenger railways in the world. It’s the perfect place to admire Chattanooga in all of its glory.

In fact, it’s one of the top reasons why you should visit Chattanooga, Tennessee this year!

It has provided millions of visitors with panoramic vistas for more than 125 years. At the upper station, you can enjoy a snack or beverage at the cafe, or shop for souvenirs and locally made goods. On the way back down to the lower St. Elmo station, grab a photo or two with the dramatic railway as your backdrop. The ticket cost is $15 USD for adults and $7 USD for children ages three to 12. It’s one of the best inexpensive things to do in Chattanooga, TN!

If you live near Nashville and are looking for place to visit on a short drive, check out this Lookout Mountain Tour with lunch and transportation included!

Pro Tip: Order your tickets and reserve your time slot online early as capacity is limited and days sell out in advance.

6. Chattanooga Choo Cho0

Step back in time at the legendary Chattanooga Choo Choo. Originally opened in 1909 as the Chattanooga Terminal Station, it’s a local favorite and pivotal part of Chattanooga’s history. The last train may have left the station on August 11, 1970, but today it’s a hub for great retail shopping. It also boasts a rose garden, amazing coffee, and plenty of nostalgia. It’s one of the most fun things you can do while visiting the city!

The best part, is that it’s free to visit! You can even step inside an elegantly restored train engine to take a peek at the controls. The engine truly has a storied history that really captures the essence of America’s Golden Era. If you don’t mind spending a small amount, grab a coffee at Frothy Monkey (located in the dome room), which is the train station’s former lobby. If you’re traveling with kids or a lover of locomotives yourself, check out this Derailed Trolley Tour and Train Ride experience.

7. Rock City Gardens

As if you need another reason to visit Chattanooga, Tennessee this year, the Rock City Gardens are definitely it. In fact, it’s one of the most recognized outdoor activities in the city. Even being the most popular attraction in the Chattanooga area, ticket prices are very reasonable. It’s $26.95 USD per adult, and $16.95 USD per child from the ages of three to 12. Rock City even offers discounts on tickets during select months. For example, they are currently running a $5 discount on all tickets for the month of March 2024.

You might be wondering what is so impressive about Rock City Gardens? Firstly, this impressive 4,100- foot walking trail at Rock City Gardens is not just a destination, but an experience of pure natural beauty. This natural marvel boasts ancient rock formations that stand testament to time. Its lush gardens are home to over 400 native plant species! Personally, I think it would be so fun to get a job here on the weekends if I lived closer.

While the trail itself is impressive, it’s the “See 7 States’’ that offers breathtaking views that truly captivate visitors. In fact, it’s rumored that you can see Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama from the lookout point! Along the trail you can also explore the whimsical Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village. Both of these exhibits are perfect for families with young children, or those just young at heart. For an additional cost, you can refuel at the onsite Cafe 7, or treat yourself to something sweet at Rock City’s Fudge Kitchen. 

Pro Tip: Plan to spend at least 2 to 2 and-a-half hours here to get the full experience. You won’t want to rush through the trail! Even though it is a short walk, there are a number of caves, artistic designs, and displays to admire along the way.

8. Tennessee Aquarium

While this is one of the “pricier” activities you can do in Chattanooga, it’s still not a deal or bank-breaker. Additionally, visiting is an absolute must as the aquarium is known as one of the best and largest in the United States. From the mysteries of the deep sea to the vibrant ecosystems of freshwater rivers, the aquarium campus boasts two separate buildings (Ocean and River). Both buildings provide an immersive experience that takes you through various aquatic realms. 

You’ll come face-to-face with more than 10,000 exotic animals and marine life. Each exhibit tells a story of conservation, education, and the world beneath the waves. Keep an eye out for river otters, coral cat-sharks, and red-tailed lemurs! It’s truly a great spot to enjoy exotic animals, learn about their habitats, and spend wholesome time with family. Kids especially love the aquarium!

If you have a rental car, there is a large parking lot in front of the Tennessee Aquarium that fits a large number of vehicles. Since it’s such a popular destination, if that lot is full, there are other parking lots around the downtown Chattanooga area. Some of these may cost a small fee to park, yet are a short walk to the Aquarium. 

9. Walnut Street Bridge

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love free activities. Lucky for me (and you!) Chattanooga offers an array of super fun free things to do year-round. One of the best free things to do that local and visitors alike love, is walking the Walnut Street Bridge. A testament to Chattanooga’s rich history, the Walnut Street Bridge one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world. From the bridge, you can enjoy sweeping view of the Tennessee River below. Perfect for an evening walk or a morning jog, this bridge connects you to the heart of Chattanooga, both metaphorically and literally.

10. Clumpies Ice Cream Co.

A trip to Chattanooga wouldn’t be complete without a sweet pitstop at Clumpies Ice Cream Co. First things first: the Oreo milkshake is nothing short of dreamy. It has just the right blend of sweetness and iconic cookie crunch. If you fancy something a tad more traditional, the coffee toffee ice cream is your go-to. Their flavored iced teas provide a refreshing palate cleanser on a hot day! For a budget-friendly option, order a scoop of your favorite flavor (mine is Butter Pecan) in a cake cone for $3USD.

11. Chattanooga Market

Step into a world bustling with local flavors, artisan crafts, and heartwarming tunes at the Chattanooga Market. This isn’t just a marketplace; it’s a celebration of local talent and produce. It’s one of the best ways to find authentic, locally made specialty foods and handmade craft items at great prices! Dozens of unique food trucks line the area, each offering a window into a different cuisine from spicy tacos to aromatic Asian delights. And the best part is that you don’t have to spend any money at all to enjoy the market. You can simply walk around and enjoy the lively vibes and live music, or taste test samples of different dips, desserts, and beverages from the local vendors.

12. 1885 Grill,  St. Elmo

Situated in the historic neighborhood of St. Elmo across the street from the Incline Railway, 1885 Grill brings southern charm right to your plate. Dive into their famed crab soup, a delicate blend of rich cream and hearty crab. However, the real showstopper is the Carolina Gold BBQ wings. Award-winning for a reason, they offer a tangy-sweet bite that leaves you craving more. Pair it with the juicy – and generously portioned – 1885 burger, and you’ve got a meal fit for a king. If you’re on a tight budget, order a plate of the Award Winning Carolina Gold BBQ wings to share ($14USD) along with a side of honey butter hushpuppies ($4USD) or a kale salad ($7USD). It makes for the perfect lunch!

13. Mean Mug Coffeehouse, Southside

exploring cute coffee shops is one of many fun inexpensive things to do in Chattanooga

Nestled in Southside, Mean Mug Coffeehouse is more than your average café. It’s where flavors and community blend seamlessly. If you’re looking for an affordable breakfast or brunch, this is the place! Some menu favorites include the Breakfast Biscuit Sandwich ($6USD) and the Turkey and Red Pepper Quiche with side salad ($6.50USD). The iced coffee with any flavored cold foam is a sweet addition to a meal ($4USD for 16 ounces).

If you wish to check out more of the neighborhood, there are plenty of other delectable eateries you can explore on a Southside Food Tour!

14. Hello Monty

At Hello Monty, every dish tells a story—a tale of tradition, innovation, and sheer culinary brilliance. Most dishes here are considered upscale, but most are shareable and the prices don’t break the bank! Firstly, their fried brussel sprouts are a must ($10USD). You can’t leave without ordering another side or two to share. I recommend the Elote corn ($9USD) and the Cast Iron Cheese Dip ($13USD). If you’re just feeling something sweet, the best dessert is the Cast Iron Apple Crisp ($9USD).

15. Hunter Museum of American Art

museums are one of the most fun inexpensive things to do in Chattanooga

If a journey through American art history interests you, you have to visit the Hunter Museum. Overlooking the Tennessee River, the museum houses a unique collection that spans centuries of art. Housed in a classical colonial-era mansion, the museum’s art pieces reflect the nation’s history and Chattanooga’s artistic evolution. It’s a must-visit for art lovers and history buffs alike! Admission tickets is also easy on the wallet. Teens and children enjoy free admission, while adult tickets cost $20USD. Teachers, students, and active and veteran members of the military can purchase discounted tickets. If you want to check out additional museums in Chattanooga, don’t pass up the Coker Museum. You can book this affordable Coker Museum tour which includes a trolley ride, or visit on your own. Tickets are $12 USD for adults and $8 USD for children ages 4-11 years old.

16. State of Confusion

This quirky spot is anything but confusing when it comes to offering a fun dining experience. State of Confusion transports you to a relaxed, rustic ambiance, complete with wooden decor and dim lighting. Their mojitos have just the right blend of minty freshness and tangy lime. However, it’s not just the drinks. The vibe here is all about enjoying the moment and leaving any state of confusion at the door! For a more affordable option, skip the cocktail and order a non-alcoholic Aguas Frescas ($5USD). My favorite flavor was the Peruvian Chicha Morada!

17. Rembrandt’s Coffee House

Offering a large selection of house-roasted coffees, Rembrandt’s Coffee House is a gem of the Bluff View Art District. Boasting European café vibes, it features a stunning outdoor terrace adorned with Jasmine and twinkling lights. It’s a great way to set the mood for a relaxing morning or afternoon of exploring! Everything on the menu here is freshly baked. For an affordable yet filling breakfast, order the Buttermilk Biscuit Breakfast ($5.50USD) and a cafe au lait ($2.75USD) with house-made lavender or rose syrup.

18. Frazier Five & Dime

A truly unique gastronomic experience, Frazier Five and Dime is more than just a restaurant. The interior vibes take diners back to the vibrant 1920’s and pay homage to the classic American diner — but with a modern twist.

The menu is ever-changing and reflects what ingredients are popular and available each season. Any veggie-based dishes here also won’t be a typical from-the-garden bland plate of greens, either. One of the best aspects about Frazier Five & Dime is that all plates are sharable (or you can indulge in one or two on your own if you wish). It’s recommended to order 3-5 dishes per table. To keep it under budget, order a plate of sour cream n’ onion deviled eggs ($5USD), warm pretzel bites with honey mustard ($5USD), or the wedge bacon, blue cheese, and everything bagel salad ($10USD).

If you want to fully immerse yourself in the local food culture of Chattanooga and don’t mind a bit of a splurge, consider booking this 2 hour Downtown Food Tour

19. The Co-Op Frose and Eatery

Located in Chattanooga’s trendy NorthShore neighborhood, The Co-Op’s lively vibe and hip interior are irresistible on a warm summer afternoon. With a friendly staff and a vibe that’s fun and welcoming, it’s clear why locals love this charming sandwich shop. Their turkey sandwich, layered with juicy cuts and fresh veggies, is an absolute must-order. But what really steals the show is their frosé flight. It’s an assorted selection of frozen rose wines that are both refreshing and slightly sweet. It’s an affordable stop for lunch as their fully-stuffed sandwiches range from $10 to $14. If you really want to save money, order a Kiddos sandwich (Turkey, PB&J, or Grilled Cheese) for just $4.16USD.

20. Eros Hat Co.

you can turn making your own jewelry or hat into a fun inexpensive things to do in Chattanooga

So making your own cowgirl hat has the potential to get super pricey, but hear me out! Eros Hat Co. offers more than just customized cowgirl hats. This boutique provides customers the unique experience of customizing different pieces of jewelry including bracelets, earrings, and rings as well. You can choose from a range of materials, designs, and adornments that are differing prices including rope, velvet, charms, feathers, flowers, leather, and more. They make beautiful and thoughtful presents and are a great price point for birthdays, anniversary’s, and weddings! You can also chat with an artist to determine what pieces and materials are best for your budget before you start to create your masterpiece.

21. Niedlov’s Cafe and Bakery

There’s nothing like the aroma of freshly baked bread. If that’s what you crave in the morning, you will want to visit Niedlov’s. The aromas will draw you in, but their diverse menu will make you stay. From flaky pastries to wholesome sandwiches, every item fresh and of the highest quality. It’s the perfect spot for a brunch date or a quick coffee run! Rooted in Chattanooga since 2002, Niedlov embraces age-old baking techniques, pairing organic grains and natural leavening. If you’re craving fresh pastries for an affordable price, order a Cruffin ($5USD), a Raspberry Croissant ($4.75USD), or one of their famous cinnamon rolls ($4USD).

22. Top of the Rock Restaurant and Brewery

After your visit to Chattanooga, Tennessee, be sure to stop by Top of the Rock Restaurant and Brewery on your way out of town. Perched high on a mountaintop in Jasper, Tennessee, Top of the Rock offers more than just mouthwatering meals. This eatery, true to its name, promises stunning vistas as well as delectable bites for lunch and dinner at affordable prices. To keep it light and under budget at lunch, order the tortilla soup ($5.95USD) and a pre-entree salad ($6.95USD). If you’re dining for two, split a 12-inch Hawaiian Pizza to share ($17.50USD). If you don’t mind adding a few extra dollars onto your bill, try one of their house beers ($6USD). The Kolsch brew was perfect on a hot day!

23. Main Street Meats

For the carnivores, Main Street Meats is a haven. Specializing in locally sourced meats, this spot promises a meal that’s both delicious and sustainable. From juicy burgers to tender steaks, it’s a dining experience that you won’t soon forget. A few menu favorites include the Cauliflower Dip, the Pork Rinds, and MSM Pastrami Reuben. Now, delectable quality meats don’t automatically equal expensive in price. If you want to watch your wallet but still get a taste, get one order of the daily cured meat selections paired with one daily cheese selection ($17USD). Popular sides include the House Made Fries ($6.5USD), and the Potato Salad ($9USD).

24.  Massey’s Kitchen

When you think of fun inexpensive things to do in Chattanooga, don’t forget Massey’s. More than just a restaurant, Massey’s is a legacy. Nestled atop Lookout Mountain, this restaurant stands where Massey’s general store once thrived from the 1920s to 1970s. The Massey brothers – Marvin, Henry, and Joe – not only ran their beloved general store, but were community pillars, endorsing local projects like the Fairyland Elementary School. Today, Massey’s Kitchen embraces that legacy, offering popular mouthwatering dishes like creamy baked feta, shrimp scampi flatbread, and fresh falafel and hummus. It’s become one of the area’s top spots for friends and family to reconnect while savoring Mediterranean dishes that inspired the creation of Massey’s in the first place. 

25. Peet’s Coffee

A household name for many, Peet’s Coffee in Chattanooga retains its charm with a Berkeley-born spirit. Located in the West Village district on Chestnut Street, this café serves hand-roasted perfection in every cup. From rich espressos to locally baked goods, the atmosphere is unmistakably comforting. Just across from the vibrant Umbrella Alley, it’s a blend of heritage and hometown warmth. To start the day out right, order a hearty Chicken Chorizo Flatbread ($5.25USD) and a large cafe au lait ($3.95USD).

26. “What Lifts You” Mural, Southside

If you’re looking for more fun inexpensive things to do in Chattanooga, check out the city’s public art scene. Art isn’t just confined to galleries in Chattanooga. The “What Lifts You” mural in Southside is a vibrant piece of street art that embodies the spirit of the city. Snap a photo or simply admire—the mural is a testament to Chattanooga’s vibrant and evolving art scene. However you choose to enjoy it, enjoy that it’s free!

27. Chattanooga Riverwalk

The Chattanooga Riverwalk is a popular place that both visitors and locals go to enjoy the great outdoors. It spans 16.1 miles along the Tennessee River, it is easily accessible from the Walnut Street Bridge. Here, you can have picnics, rent kayaks to float down the river, explore local cuisine, bike, or simply walk. The trail technically begins in the Art District and ends at the Chickamauga Dam. If you truly want to explore the city by foot and learn more about Chattanooga’s storied past, you can also join in on an award winning ghost tour. You’re sure to get a good scare out of it, ya know, if you’re into that sort of thing!

28. MoonPie General Store

If there’s one sweet treat that Chattanooga is known for (other than Clumpie’s ice cream), it’s the MoonPie. For more than a century, Moonpie has been making their chocolatey marshmallowy pillow of goodness. You can buy one of these sweet treats at the MoonPie General Store in Chattanooga. They come in flavors such as blueberry, strawberry, salted caramel, vanilla, and original chocolate. This dessert is also easy on the wallet at just $4.99USD for a box of 12 mini MoonPies.

29. Sculpture Fields at Montague Park

If you’re looking for something fun and inexpensive to do in Chattanooga, the Sculpture Fields at Montague Park is it. This International acclaimed outdoor sculpture park finds its home in Chattanooga’s Southside neighborhood. It features 50 large-scale sculptures across 33 acres of rolling hills and plains. You can walk the more than 1.5 miles of trail that winds through the park while you learn about and admire the sculptures. The best part is that it’s free!

30. Bike The Bluff View Art District

Want to explore and get exercise in at the same time? Rent a bike and put the pedal to the metal in the Bluff View Art District. The Bluff View Art District is a true gem of downtown Chattanooga. This family-owned and operated historic neighborhood is full of top-rated restaurants, world-class museums, adorable cafes, gardens, serene plazas, bed and breakfasts, and much more. You can even rent a bike through the Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System to explore The Bluff View Art District. The cost is just $10 per bike a day pass. After working up an appetite, grab an appetizer or split a plate of pasta from Tony’s Pasta Shop & Trattoria.

Where To Stay In Chattanooga

Read House Hotel

Read House Hotel is a top lodging option in Chattanooga

I mentioned the Read House Hotel earlier in this article, but there’s so much more to share about this elegant and stately property! First, this historic hotel hints at 1920’s history, while the recently upgraded interiors provide modern comfort. Diverse rooms like the historic Tower or chic Manor exudes sophistication, and The Penthouse is the pinnacle of hotel luxury. All rooms boast luxury bedding, lovely views of downtown Chattanooga, coffee makers, and flat screen TV’s.

Beyond its vintage allure, you can enjoy an indoor pool with lounge area, a state-of-the-art fitness center, the upscale steak house Bridgeman’s Chophouse, and the Bar & Billiards Room. As a guest, you can also enjoy free Gigabit WiFi, valet parking, and a serene library space with dozens of classic books. It’s also worth mentioning that the hotel is in close proximity to many of Chattanooga’s most popular spots: the Tennessee Riverwalk, the Tennessee Aquarium, and the Chattanooga Convention Center to name a few. 

If you’re looking for something less “luxe” and more “casual”, there are plenty of great hotel, cabin, and Airbnb options you can choose from!

30 Fun Inexpensive Things to do in Chattanooga, TN: FAQ’S

Why Should I Visit Chattanooga, Tennessee This Year?

One of the best things about The Scenic City is that it’s an eclectic destination where picturesque nature collides with bustling city vibes. There are a plethora of fun inexpensive things to do in Chattanooga that you and your family and friends will be sure to love. From family-fun outdoor activities, community events, and historic museums and landmarks, you just have to experience it for yourself! 

Boasting eye popping views of the Tennessee River, a rich culinary scene, and rugged Appalachian mountain landscape to explore, there are endless events, markets, and festivals that all ages will surely enjoy. The downtown area is also very accessible, and many notable sites can be explored on a short but informative walking tour

What is Chattanooga, Tennessee, most known for?

Chattanooga was put on the map long ago due in large part to the arrival of the railroad system. What was named a “boom town” then is still a boom town now in many different ways!  Thanks to the development of popular landmarks such as the Tennessee Aquarium, Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls, and the old-school Chattanooga Terminal Station are historic staples of the city. Lastly, if you’re the kind of traveler who loves hiking, rock climbing, or recreating on or by the river, the city is a gold mine. 

Rock City Gardens is one of the most fun inexpensive things to do in Chattanooga

What makes Chattanooga special?

In Chattanooga, the small things matter. From the decadent smell of locally brewed coffee from Rembrandt’s on a cool morning to the locally-sourced seasonal menu at Frazier Five and Dime, It’s the kind of place that feels like home, even if you’re just visiting. Pair this with rich history, plenty of green spaces and projects, and chill local hang out spots,  and you have one special city. No matter the season, planning a getaway to Chattanooga will always be a great choice. 

Why is Chattanooga the Scenic City?

Chattanooga earned the nickname “The Scenic City” due to its stunning surrounding mountains and ridges! Whether you’re strolling on the iconic Walnut Street Bridge, zipping around town on a mountain bike tour, getting up close and personal with the fish at the Tennessee Aquarium, or exploring the trails at Rock City, there’s a beautiful view waiting for you at every turn. 

Conclusion: Fun Inexpensive Things to do in Chattanooga, TN

From Lookout Mountain’s jaw-dropping views to the weekend buzz of the Chattanooga Market, there’s never a dull moment in The Scenic City. Another thing is for sure: you certainly won’t go hungry! Grab a filling meal at Massey’s Kitchen after exploring the underground world at Ruby Falls, or hop across the street to 1885 Grill after riding up the Incline Railway. One of the best things about Chattanooga, is that there are a number of affordable (and free!) activities to enjoy in any season.

If arts and humanities are more your thing, spend a day at one of the city’s countless museums to admire historical artifacts or dozens of contemporary works from inspiring local artists. If you’re feeling countrified, Eros Hat Co. can hook you up with an authentic, customized cowgirl hat or piece of jewelry.

Chattanooga’s like that cool mixtape of your favorite old and new songs. If you’re looking for fun inexpensive things to do in Chattanooga, don’t wait to book your trip! It’s a city rich in culture and historical landmarks that is fun for the whole family.

Whether you’re a foodie, a history nerd, or just someone looking for a chill spot, it’s no secret that Chattanooga’s the place to be.

This post was created in sponsorship with the Visit Chattanooga Tourism Board

4 replies to “30 Fun Inexpensive Things to do in Chattanooga TN”

  1. Chattanooga has been on our list forever! The mix of nature, culture, and culinary experiences makes it sound like the perfect getaway for us! How long would you recommend for a first-time visit?

  2. If you come to the Read House make sure to ask for a guided tour of room 311. the tour guide will give you the full story behind the legend of Annalisa Neitherly’s ghost.

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Wanna know one of my new favorite places in the U.S. to road trip? The location may surpise you! 🇺🇸 

I recently spent a few adventurous days in Summersville, West Virginia with @visitgreatersummersville with @wvtourism, and found *so much* to love about this little slice of #AlmostHeaven. It may be small in population, but it packs a mighty punch when it comes to nature, outdoor activities, and an impressive local food scene. Not only is it home to the largest lake in West Virginia, it boasts two state parks, great hiking trails, and is less than a 30 minute drive from the newest National Park in the U.S.: New River Gorge National Park and Preseve. 

If you’re planning on visiting for yourself (which you should) below are 5 Fun & Unique activities that you absolutely can’t miss in Summersville, West Virginia:

1. Kayak on Summersville Lake with @lakesideoutfitterswv. This is one of the best ways to enjoy the lake and surrounding rock formations. The water is crystal clear, and is the most beautiful emerald green color. It’s actually known as “The Little Bahamas of the East” and for good reason!
2. Visit the Almost Heaven Swing at Summersville Lake State Park. This is the newest state park in the area. While it’s still under construction, there are some great trails, and of course, one of West Virginia’s famous (and Insta-worthy) swings!
3. Have brunch at @vaultonmain. It’s located in downtown Summersville in the stunning former Nicholas County Bank building from 1923. Order the French toast and shaved steak breakfast burrito. 
4. Spend a day at Battle Run Public Beach. The longest beach in West Virginia at 1,000 feet, the area has picnic tables, restrooms, grills, volleyball nets, and plenty of space for lounging. 
5. Enjoy a wine slushy flight from @gaddambrewing. This super fun brewery serves up craft beer, premium coffees, real fruit smoothies, and super cute wine slushy flights. They also offer live music and country line dancing on select nights. Bonus: it’s family-friendly!

Which of these activities would you enjoy first? Let me know below and stay tuned for part 2! #WVTourism #WVTourismPartner
Have you ever received an expensive data roaming bill after a trip abroad? Yep…me too. #ad

Have you wasted time anxiously looking for an eSIM vendor at a crowded airport? (I’ve done this in the past, too 🤦🏽‍♀️) Both were expensive and hard lessons learned, but thankfully I’ve since discovered @airalocom!

@airalocom is the world’s first digital eSIM store that solves the pain of potentially high roaming bills. Using Airalo is super easy, too. Simply download the app, select your digital eSIM from more than 200+ countries and regions, install, and be connected with the outside world the second you land. With data plans starting at just $4.50, there’s really no reason not to give it a try! 

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Safe travels! ✈️
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#travelessentials #travelessential #travelhacks #travelhack #travelhacking #travelmusthave #travelmusthaves #smarttravel
A visit to Yosemite National Park really is like living in a dream 🥺

I recently spent a week in eastern Central California exploring @yosemitenps for the first time, and I must say it definitely earned a spot in my personal “Top 3 U.S. National Parks” category!

Some can’t miss spots in the park that are highlighted in the reel:

- El Capitan / El Capitan Meadow 
- Bridalveil Falls
- Half-Dome
- Glacier Point Overlook 
- Yosemite Valley 
- Hetch Hetchy (road is open year round, but may close intermittently due to snow depending on the time of year)

As always, for your safety and to protect Yosemite’s delicate ecosystems, always stay on designated trails. If encountered, give wildlife plenty of space and do not approach. Do not disturb or remove archeological or historical objects from where they reside. Leave the park even more beautiful than you found it for future visitors 🩵

**Reservations are required to drive into or through the park on certain dates / holidays through Oct 27, 2024. Additional reservations are made available seven days before the arrival date at 8 am Pacific time, but go quickly. For more information visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/reservations** 

Have you visited Yosemite National Park yet? #yosemitenps #nationalparksusa #nationalparkservice #usatravel #usaroadtrip #roadtrippers #outdoorsy #nationalparksgram
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𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝟒 𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐢𝐧 @charleston.travel ::

(You’ll want to SAVE this for your next trip!)📌

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟏:
- Check into the @hvicharleston. Here you can enjoy a complimentary wine and cheese reception, milk + cookies at night, and a made to order breakfast in the mornings!
- Grab a sweet pick me up at @tintoycrema next door 
- Stop for pics at Rainbow Row
- Walk to White Point Garden + The Battery
- Visit Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
- Have a late seafood lunch at @fleetlanding 

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟐:
- enjoy complimentary breakfast at @hvicharleston (order the ham + cheese quiche or croissant!)
- take the free DASH bus from the hotel to Liberty Square to visit the @southcarolinaaquarium. They have an amazing Sea Turtle Rescue Center! 
- eat lunch at @browndogdeli (I recommend ordering The Folly Beach Turkey Crunch Wrap or the Fried Green Tomato BLT) 
- tour the Nathaniel Russell House and/or the Edmondston-Alston House (it survived hurricanes, the earthquake of 1888, and the Civil W*r!)
- eat dinner at @magnoliaschs. Order the fried green tomatoes and southern egg roll!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟑:
- enjoy another breakfast at @hvicharleston! You can order it as early as 6am.
- Board a boat to @ftsumternps. This historic Fort is marked as the spot where the first battle of the Civil W*r was fought. Reservations required. 
- take an Uber to @fireflydistillery to try their Sweet Tea Vodka, Banana Pudding Moonshine, and their Chocolate Pecan Whiskey. Dont pass up a boozy moonshine milkshake (for 21+) and a Rocket Burger from @rocket_burger_chs food truck!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟒:
- enjoy an iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich at @carmellasdessertbar (just a few blocks from @hvicharleston)
- stroll through the @charlestoncitymarket. It’s been around since the mid 1800’s!
- eat late lunch at @hymans_seafood. Don’t pass up their hush puppies and crab cakes. They were voted Best in Charleston for a reason! 

Click on the link in my bio to read my full “4 Days in Charleston” guide (yes, there’s more!) on my blog to help you plan the ultimate Charleston vacation.
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Looking to sell, buy, or trade your car from the comfort of your home? You’ll want to check out @driveway_hq! 

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Driveway. The way better way to buy and sell your car online. # AD
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