Just south of Chattanooga is the site of the area's longest and bloodiest battle of the United States Civil War. The U.S. War Department (now the Department of the Interior) declared this battlefield a National Military Park. It has attracted millions of visitors over the years. A visitor's center provides detailed information about the history of the battlefield and the battles fought here. The self-guided tour takes you through a number of battle sites, Wilder Tower lookout and a common area for picnics and recreation.
Start at the top of a raging river and then delve beneath the surface to discover all the life that teems within. It is all a part of the experience of the world's largest freshwater aquarium. Within the 12-story structure, you will see birds, snakes, river otters and turtles in their natural habitats, as well as fish indigenous to the Tennessee River.
The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a non-profit organization that came into being with the goal of bringing back the steam engines and locomotives which have become a thing of the past. Today everyone can actually experience the nostalgic feeling by walking past the working repair shops. Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a great venue for holding a birthday party or picnics for your kid. It offers great variety like the Christmas Special, the Autumn Leaf Special, the Valentine Dinner Train and the Halloween Eerie Express. Also, it has been one of the prime locations for shooting movies, including October Sky, Heaven's Sky and Fool's Parade.
Be it music, arts or food, The Chattanooga Market will have some of the very best on offer. The market is a non-profit farmers' market that functions every Sunday, from April to December. It is held at the open-air First Tennessee Pavilion, and is known to attract large crowds every weekend. Besides promoting local farming and arts and crafts, the market also aims to promote community events, and does so by inviting bands to perform live every weekend.
Just west of Chattanooga is a high ridge known as Raccoon Mountain. Outdoor types love this area for camping, but there is a lot more to do than simply pitch a tent. Drive like the Andrettis on the go-kart course or go exploring in the caverns in and around the area you can pan for gold and gemstones in the creeks that run along the base of the mountains.
Pamper your child with a fun-and-learn experience by visiting Creative Discovery Museum. This museum is a popular landmark in Chattanooga and sees more than 209000 visitors every year. Its interactive exhibits like RiverPlay, Rooftop Fun Factory, Arts Alley, Inventors' Clubhouse, The Little Yellow House, Lookout Tower, Excavation Center and make learning fun. Children of all ages, right from four-months babies, are sure to find something according to their liking. Besides the exhibits, the museum hosts several fun activities for families visiting together. All in all, you are sure to enjoy a visit here.
This downtown museum features a collection of 247 artifacts from the personal collection of Mose and Garrison Siskin. The Siskins founded a physical rehabilitation hospital, preschool and steel company here in Chattanooga. Among the artifacts are Christian and Judaic pieces from the 16th to 20th centuries, made of stone, wood, fine art, ivory, porcelain and silver. In addition to western religions, Buddhism, Hindu and Confucianism are also represented. Admission is free.
There's nothing like a trip to the zoo. Children love to watch animals in their natural environment. At Warner Park, you won't find a giant panda or a pride of lions, but you will find jaguars, monkeys, birds, small mammals and reptiles. The small size makes it ideal for bringing young children without fear of losing them in the crowd. Small selections of barnyard animals live in the petting zoo, providing city folk with a glimpse of the country.
Take a break from your regular city life and enjoy some time surrounded by lush greenery as you visit the Tennessee River Park. This spacious park is known for its scenic beauty and is a popular outing spot for the locals as well as the tourists. Situated by the riverside, the park features a water front trail which is just ideal for a romantic walk with someone special. Besides, the park has picnic facilities, drinking fountains and public art throughout and is a great spot for spending some quality time with your loved ones. You can also fish or enjoy boating when here.
Rows and rows of short white granite rise from the ground as a stark reminder of those who gave their lives in battle. This national cemetery is the second largest in the USA, and was established in 1863. Over 12,000 Union soldiers were buried here during the battles in and around Chattanooga, most notably "Andrews Raiders," the first four men to win Medals of Honor. Veterans of the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam are resting here, too. All U.S. Veterans of the Armed Forces are eligible for interment in this beautiful cemetery.