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Chattanooga, Tennessee, Offers Fun for Nature-Loving Families

by Eugenia Lazaris

May 8, 2024

© Melinda Fawver | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

Memphis and Nashville may have the claim to fame as Tennessee’s top music destination, but Chattanooga, the state’s fourth-largest city, has so much going for it that family travelers won’t even realize Tennessee has other places to visit.


Chattanooga, lovingly referred to as the Scenic City in honor of its extraordinary natural beauty, is unapologetically unique. Rather than trying to emulate the music scene of Tennessee’s other big cities, Chattanooga stays true to itself, refusing to grow too big too fast and focusing instead on doing what it does well: offering a beautiful, authentic destination with great food, great outdoor adventure, incredible beauty and something for everyone. By doing this, the city stays quintessentially Chattanooga and quintessentially Tennessee.


The city is located along the banks of the Tennessee River, creating miles of walkable trails known as Chattanooga Riverwalk. Exploring this outdoor space is the perfect way for families to get a feel for the city, from exploring its outdoor spaces to enjoying its thriving food scene which offers chef-driven experiences. With agriculture one of the top industries in the Chattanooga area, the city’s chefs have access to some of the most incredible produce imaginable, resulting in delicious, innovative dishes that help define Chattanooga as a culinary destination while honoring the city’s Southern roots.


You can take a whole day to explore the trails or break it up into smaller sections that let you focus on specific neighborhoods and waterfront attractions, like Tennessee Aquarium. This flexibility lets you take in the beauty and culture of the city on your own terms to suit the needs and interests of your family.


The river itself also offers great ways for families to enjoy the city with activities like paddleboarding and kayaking that let you see the city from the water while the family gets some fresh air and exercise. If you want to get away from the city — without actually straying too far — Chattanooga is ideally situated to let you get from the heart of the city to the nearby mountains for hiking in just a short 15-minute ride by car.


Whether you want to stay in the city or get out into the surrounding countryside, it won’t take long for the family to find activities to keep every member happy while they explore. The city’s ability to remain authentic and true to the beautiful natural landscape that provides a constant backdrop to daily life gives families the perfect reason to plan a trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee.


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