Chattanooga, Tennessee has transformed itself from a gritty industrial town to a glittering tourist destination, with the city's downtown riverfront at the heart of the action. Here the Tennessee Aquarium dominates the skyline, beckoning families and tourists to explore its many exhibits, splash in the man-made streams, and take a stroll along the Tennessee Riverwalk.
The riverfront area is packed with attractions to suit every taste. Right next door to the Aquarium, you'll find the IMAX 3D Theater, where you can experience amazing films on a screen that's six stories high, or take the kiddies down the block for some hands-on fun at the Creative Discovery Museum.
Art lovers can easily spend an entire day at the Bluff Area Art District, a charming historic neighborhood filled with gardens and courtyards, galleries, cafes and shops. Located on bluffs overlooking the Tennessee River, the Art District offers breathtaking views. There are two major museums in the area: the Hunter Museum of American Art and the Houston Museum of Decorative Arts.
If you're longing to get out on the water, you can take a cruise on the Southern Belle Riverboat. Choose from sightseeing, lunch, or dinner cruises. You can also take a boat tour with the Fat Cat Ferry & Water Taxi, or explore both on land and water on one of the Chattanooga Ducks' amphibious vehicles.
Across the river from the Tennessee Aquarium, the North Shore is growing in popularity. It's a great place for a bit of low-key relaxation. You'll find shops, restaurants, galleries and boutiques. Coolidge Park features a play fountain, a beautiful 100 year old carousel, lots of green space and picnic areas. You can reach the North Shore by crossing the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, taking the Water Taxi, or driving over.
Lookout Mountain rises like a giant protuberance over the city. Located at the intersection of Tennessee and Georgia, the mountain offers panoramic views and some of the most popular attractions in the area.
You can explore unique rock formations at Rock City, ride the world's steepest passenger trolley at Incline Railway or tour the 145 foot underground waterfall at Ruby Falls.
Learn about Civil War history at Point Park, which also offers a panoramic view of the city and the Tennessee River. For the adventurous, Lookout Mountain Flight Park offers hang gliding lessons.