You may have driven pass it on the winding roads that lead to Nashville. You may have heard about the city built in a gorge. Or maybe you already know the charm of Chattanooga well.
If not, you should make a plan to visit. With such an interesting juxtaposition of burgeoning business, scenic hikes, and unique counterculture, your first trip to Chattanooga won’t be your last.
Here are seven photogenic places you’ll want to eat, drink, hike, and take photos in Chattanooga, Tennessee:
1. Mean Mug Coffeehouse
Any good adventure should start with coffee, and there is no better place for coffee in Chattanooga than Mean Mug Coffeehouse. It's super cozy with indoor seating ornamented by local art and an outdoor patio overtaken by cascading vines. Our suggestion is to go for the nitro coffee and the "Bat" sandwich - a twist on the typical BLT with avocado and brie.
2. Lookout Mountain
Now that you’re properly caffeinated, it’s time to get a better view of Chattanooga. Lookout Mountain is just a few minutes from Downtown and offers stellar photo-worthy views of the entire city -- the perfect vantage point to plan where you’ll go next. It’s also home to an incline railway (worth a ride up the mountain), very accessible cave waterfall Ruby Falls, and a lookout point where you can see seven states at once.
3. Cherokee Falls at Cloudland Canyon Park
There are multiple waterfalls a short drive from downtown Chattanooga, and you can choose which to visit depending on time and level of difficulty. Cloudland Canyon Park is home to two of these falls, Hemlock and Cherokee. The park is a quick 20 minutes from the city, and both falls are accessible by a short hike from the main parking lot. Though it's short, it can be pretty rigorous since you'll be taking a steep trek up and down 600 steps.
4. Clumpies Ice Cream
Clumpies Ice Cream Co. has multiple locations in Chattanooga, but we suggest visiting the one in Coolidge Park since you'll be able to take in scenic views of the Tennessee River while you're enjoying their handmade ice cream. Its white brick walls and industrial lights are contrasted by the pale pinks and browns of classic flavors like butter pecan, cookie dough, and strawberry. It is definitely a photo-worthy spot.
5. Coolidge Park
Coolidge Park is located on Chattanooga's North Shore and is the perfect place to take in views of the Tennessee River. There are multiple restaurants, boutiques, and even record stores that call Coolidge Park home, but our favorite reason to visit is Walnut Street Bridge. The pale blue wrought-iron pedestrian bridge is one of the world's largest, spanning the entire river.
6. Local Juice
Local Juice is the perfect stop for cold-pressed, raw, organic juices. Their menu of delicious drinks, the modern decor (punctuated by sculptures of pineapples), and their holistic approach to wellness will win you over. They serve their juice in reusable glass jars, have amazing made-to-order smoothies, and even serve fresh, drinkable coconuts you can take to-go.
7. Oddstory Brewing
There are two layers of Chattanooga. The bustling city outlined in this guide, and the city beneath the renovated streets that was claimed by the Tennessee River more than a century ago. Oddstory Brewing takes its name from that odd level of the city that no longer exists. It’s hard not to take photos inside the open-air brick building, with its natural light and walls of plants. If the atmosphere isn't enough, we suggest trying a few of the 12 beers on tap (our favorite was the Belgian Blonde) and finishing off your visit with an oversized cheese pretzel.