Coolidge Park in downtown Chattanooga TN

Two Days in Chattanooga: Summer Edition

Trip ideas for family fun in Chattanooga.

The list is endless of things to do in Chattanooga. If you're into history, music, culture or trying to find fun things to do in Chattanooga with the kids, the following two-day itinerary can be your guide. Read below for fun stops the kids will love and places to visit if you're stealing away for a summer weekend. 

Day 1

Stay at The Dwell Hotel

Step into the colorful and inspiring hotel, The Dwell Hotel for a great stay when you're in Chattanooga. Luxury meets retro in the design and aesthetic of this boutique hotel that offers 16 uniquely designed suites, crafted cocktails at Matilda Midnight and even a Solarium. Made-to-order breakfast, parking and valet are included in your room rate.

Julie Darling Donuts

Sour cream, key lime pie, pancakes and bacon and many more unique flavors make their ways into the donuts you can order up at Julie Darling Donuts. They also have traditional flavors, too. Stop here while in Chattanooga and it'll quickly become a fan favorite with your kids and the adults in your family. 

Chattanooga Choo Choo

Chattanooga Choo Choo is one of the iconic things to do in Chattanooga that started as a train station in 1909 is now home to a world-famous hotel, great shopping, amazing restaurants and beautiful rose gardens. Don't forget to check out the wood-burning train engine, too. 

Elsie's Daughter

Photo Credit: @thehotelchalet

Reserve a table at Elsie's Daughter at the new The Hotel Chalet at the Chattanooga Choo Choo entertainment complex. It's the perfect place for craft cocktails and indulgent small plates. Order oysters on the half shell, bone marrow tartine or the roasted half chicken while sipping on the Beauford Delaney featuring hibiscus infused giniferous and St. Germaine or the espresso martini with Cocchi Americano, Meletti CIoccolato, Demerara and St. George gin. Stop in for brunch as well.

Ruby Falls

Descend 260 feet in a glass elevator to discover the city's buried treasure: the 145-foot underground waterfall hidden inside a cave near Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls. Ruby Falls is the tallest underground cave waterfall open to the public in the United States.

Dinner at Public House Restaurant

Photo Credit: @bjornarstaerk

Fine dining with no fuss, Public House serves big time flavors made with high-quality ingredients. If dining with your kids, opt for the family meals which serve three to four individuals and comes with two sides and bread service. Choose from fan favorites like fried chicken, grilled pork tenderloin or marinated and grilled chicken tenders. Sides include roasted beats topped with goat cheese, garlic green beans and parmesan grits.

Day 2 

Tennessee Aquarium

Go eye-to-eye with sharks, giant spider crabs, alligators and more at the Tennessee Aquarium, a fun thing to do in Chattanooga with kids. Watch your children discover Tennessee's regional and the larger international underwater ecosystems. If you're feeling aquatic, pick up backstage passes where you can dive deeper into the care of the underwater creatures plus, you can feed the animals. Check the daily schedule for diving demonstrations and more special events. 

Maple Street Biscuit Company

There are biscuits and then there are southern biscuits like the ones you find at Maple Street Biscuit Company. Order The Farmer topped with apple butter, fried chicken bacon and cheddar cheese or the Squawking Goat, a Food Network feature with fried hicken, goat cheese medallion and pepper jelly. 

The Passage

Water flows over The Passage downtown staircase all day, every day. It marks the beginning of the Trail of Tears and tells the story of the Cherokee Nation. Symbolism of the seven clans of the Cherokee Nation graces the walls. There is a 'weeping wall' that represents the tears shed as the Cherokee were driven from their homes at Ross's Landing in Chattanooga to Oklahoma. The space serves as a place of education and reflection. 

Creative Discovery Museum

Add Creative Discovery Museum to your list of things to do in Chattanooga with kids. Grab a shovel and dig for dinosaur bones. after unearthing prehistoric fossils, explore the museum's other interactive exhibits for a full day of fun.

Tony’s Pasta Shop & Trattoria

Photo Credit: @bluffviewartdistrict

You must add Tony's Pasta Shop & Trattoria to your travel list because it is a must dining experience. You'll find traditional Italian and Sicilian dishes made with garden ingredients. If it's a beautiful summer evening, grab a seat on their patio and settle in for a meal you won't soon forget. Pizza, chicken parmesan, lasagna and filled pastas like spinach and roasted garlic ravioli will leave you full and happy.

Two Days in Memphis: Summer Edition

Trip ideas for family fun in Memphis.

Read More