In the Cherokee Indian language "Chattanooga" means "rock coming to a point." And from just about any vantage point in the city it's obvious where the name came from. Lookout Mountain is not actually a pointy type mountain, but a long flat-topped rocky ridge, running many miles through northeast Alabama, across the northwestern corner of Georgia, and then coming to an abrupt stop (point) at the Tennessee River, above Chattanooga.
Many people consider Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain one and the same place, but actually they are different cities, so I have built a seperate Lookout Mountain page, which I will not duplicate in my Chattanooga tips. There is MUCH to see and to on Lookout Mountain, including famous tourist destinations such as: Rock City, Ruby Falls, the Incline Railway and a portion of the Chattanooga and Chickamauga National Military Park. If you visit Chattanooga, by all means don't miss Lookout Mountain.
The Central Perk of Chattanooga
The Mudpie, located on the corner of Frazier Avenue and Market Street just on the north side of the river, is more than a simple coffeehouse. Besides offering several different blends that change daily, the Mudpie has soup, sandwiches, desserts, and more. This is my favorite restaurant, and coffeehouse, in the entire city. It has an eclectic local flavor and its walls are adorned with artwork. Recently, they added a single flat-screen plasma tv, which although I enjoy, almost took away from the atmosphere by making it noisier and less peaceful. Despite this, the Mudpie is my top choice for coffee and pie in Chattanooga. The pizzas at Mudpie are really good. They come in 3 different sizes I think and you pretty much choose all the toppings you want. My favorite entree is the mexican spud, a baked potato with cheese, tomatoes, black beans, and green onions, which I hold. The black bean burger is also very good. As you can see, the MudPie is vegetarian-friendly. They used to serve french fries made from sweet potatoes that were nasty, but now they have more normal fries with a somewhat-spicy seasoning that are really good. They also now serve breakfast from 7 until 10:30 on weekdays, and brunch on weekends starting at 9. I tried the breakfast burrito which was pretty good, but the pancakes here are delicious, better than anywhere else! The Mudpie also has beer and wine.
SEE ROCK CITY
SEE ROCK CITY
You've no doubt seen the signs painted on barns from here to Indiana. SEE ROCK CITY. So do it. Perched atop Lookout Mountain, Rock City is part natural gardens, part ultra-cheezy kids park, and 100% gnome-infested. Two of the little varmits are pictured above. If you detest gnomes, you'd probably best stay away from Rock City. If they don't bother you so much, then read on.
Along the river down in the city of Chattanooga lies the Tennessee Aquarium. This is a newer facility and one of the nicer aquariums you'll find, there are individual exhibits, but the center of the buidling houses some large, multi floor aquariums for the larger species. Prices are steep ($18 for adults), but I found it to be worth it. Many of the exhibits are based on a habitat, and then multiple species that would be in that habitat are in the exhibit. More than just fish, you'll also see bird, reptiles, and some other animals. Allow at least a couple of hours to see everything.
Two All-Time FavoritesThe Aquarium and 2x Choo
I still haven´t been inside in years! It is a train station turned into a hotel, restaurant and museum. Lots to do inside if its your kind of place, but I´ve never really wanted to go. It would be unique to stay in the hotel there though I think, you sleep inside an antique railway car, have dinner, then catch a ride on a carriage outside. You see them going up and down the street day and night, great huge horses trailing buggies with smiling people inside. That´s nice to see. The Choo-Choo I would say is not visited by locals very much, its a landmark to them, but more of a tourist attraction.
1400 Market St
Chattanooga, TN 37402-4429
Phone: +1 423 266 5000;+1 800 872 2529
Of course everyone has to mention the Aquarium, there are many cities around the world which has them, but Tennessee feels theirs is unique :-) Live jungles inside, all kinds of fish, sea life, animal life you can imagine. From top to bottom, it usually keeps everyone entertained and finds something they like to see inside of it. http://www.tnaqua.org/ The offical website has rates on tickets, and which events are being held, but usual rates are $12.95 adult; $6.95 children, open 10am-6pm daily.
1 Broad St
Chattanooga, TN 37402-1024
Phone: +1 423 265 0695