Should You Visit Chattanooga?

Is Chattanooga worth visiting?

Yes, Chattanooga is worth visiting for a number of reasons. This is a city that everyone should explore, and we loved our time here.

Whether you're a traveling as a family or a couple, this city has a lot to offer. Any local will tell you what makes it special is the amazing hiking and fantastic museums.

Chattanooga is a city that's located on the Tennessee River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It's surrounded by beautiful natural areas and nice hiking trails. You should also experience the Incline Railway that climbs Lookout Mountain. In town, there are museums and a growing food scene, as well as a pedestrian-friendly downtown area.

Chattanooga, Tennessee Chattanooga, Tennessee

6 Reasons to Visit Chattanooga

1. Hiking

It's proximity to the mountains means that you don't have to go far to find good hiking. Within a half hour of town there are more than 50 trailheads. Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain are both hiking destinations. Several trails have swimming spots and many pass through nice forests or head to impressive viewpoints.

2. Museums

It's a thriving city and there are a number of museums to explore. The Hunter Museum of American Art is great for art enthusiasts. There's also the Creative Discovery Museum, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, and the 6th Cavalry Museum, as well as several smaller museums that you can visit.

3. Food

There are a growing number of restaurants that range from local dives to fine dining. Fried food is common, but you'll also find Mexican and classic hamburgers. Popular dishes that are local to the area include catfish, southern barbecue, and hush puppies.

4. Nightlife

You'll find plenty of bars and clubs around town. There are also a number of comedy and improv clubs that are fun to check out.

5. Shopping

Head downtown for local shops or to the larger malls if you want mainstream stores. Many visitors enjoy antiquing while they're in town, but there are also farmer's markets and thrift stores.

6. Authenticity

Chattanooga has an authentic vibe where you can experience local culture, cuisine, and activities without the large tourist crowds of other popular destinations.

Is Chattanooga worth visiting in the Summer?

Summer is the high season for travel in Chattanooga, so expect more visitors and higher prices. This destination is fairly touristy, and in the high season it's busier than usual.

The weather in Chattanooga is fairly warm during summer, and stays around 27°C (81°F). But it can get as warm as 33°C (91°F) at times, too. It's also quite rainy during this season, so be prepared.

The nearby hiking this time of year is a must-do, so take some time to get out on the trails, take in some fresh air, and enjoy the scenery. You'll also find it quite easy to get around on foot, because this is a very walkable city, especially in the nice weather. You'll find plenty to do during summer, as you'll be able to get out into nature, spend time at the museums, and enjoy an evening out.

Summer Weather in Chattanooga
Avg Temp
Avg Rain
July 27°C (81°F) 131 mm (5.2 in)
August 27°C (80°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
September 24°C (74°F) 94 mm (3.7 in)

Is Chattanooga worth visiting in the Autumn?

This is the shoulder season for travel in Chattanooga. This destination is somewhat busy with tourists, but in the shoulder season you'll find less crowds and better deals.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during autumn with average temperatures around 17°C (63°F).

During this season it's fun to experience the museums and landmarks and the hiking.

Autumn Weather in Chattanooga
Avg Temp
Avg Rain
October 17°C (63°F) 75 mm (3 in)
November 12°C (53°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)
December 7°C (44°F) 133 mm (5.2 in)

Is Chattanooga worth visiting in the Winter?

The weather in Chattanooga can be quite cold during winter, and averages around 5°C (40°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

The low season for travel in Chattanooga is during the winter. This destination is fairly touristy, but in the low season you can find fewer crowds and better deals.

You'll like that you can take public transit easily in the winter, too. You can get around quickly while avoiding bad weather if needed. This is a great time of year to wander through the museums, dine out at amazing restaurants, and dance the night away.

Winter Weather in Chattanooga
Avg Temp
Avg Rain
January 5°C (40°F) 137 mm (5.4 in)
February 7°C (44°F) 132 mm (5.2 in)
March 12°C (53°F) 143 mm (5.6 in)

Is Chattanooga worth visiting in the Spring?

Spring is the shoulder season for travel in Chattanooga. This destination is somewhat busy with tourists, but in the shoulder season you'll find less crowds and better deals.

Keep in mind that it can be fairly rainy during spring, and temperatures hover around 17°C (62°F).

You'll find plenty to do during spring, as you'll be able to find the best deals at the shops, browse through museums, and enjoy the evening activities.

Spring Weather in Chattanooga
Avg Temp
Avg Rain
April 17°C (62°F) 112 mm (4.4 in)
May 21°C (70°F) 87 mm (3.4 in)
June 25°C (78°F) 93 mm (3.7 in)


What is Chattanooga most famous for?

Chattanooga is most famous for it's hikes, railways, and nearby natural areas. The city is very popular for its hiking. Also, it's known for museums, food, nightlife, and shopping. It is often described as outdoorsy, thriving, and bustling.

What is the most famous sight in Chattanooga?

The most popular sight in Chattanooga is Rock City. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Chattanooga on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for Rock City and other attractions here.

How touristy is Chattanooga? Is it a popular city to visit?

Chattanooga is more popular with local tourists than with international visitors. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)

    • Chickamauga Dam Lock Kayak Tour by Chattanooga Guided Adventures: $80
    • Chattanooga "The Inheritance Mystery Room" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $36
    • Private High Adventure Trip on the Ocoee River with snack: $115
    • Private Chattanooga Horse & Carriage Tour: $100
    • 2 Virtual Reality Simulator Bundle for Outdoor Experiences: $27
    • Full River Rafting Adventure on the Ocoee River / Catered Lunch: $115
    • Chattanooga "Locker Room Lockdown: Mascot Rescue" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $34
    • Full Ocoee River Rafting Adventure with a Riverside Lunch: $115

    How long should I spend in Chattanooga?

    The ideal length of time for a trip to Chattanooga is two to three days. Since Chattanooga has activities such as hiking, many visit for up to three days.

    If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Chattanooga? and Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Chattanooga?.