Erected in 1890, the Walnut Street Bridge was the first to connect Chattanooga's downtown with the North Shore. Structural modifications have been made to turn the bridge into what is now a pedestrian walkway. The 1/2-mile span is the longest pedestrian bridge in the world and very popular among local residents. Providing spectacular views of Coolidge Park, the Tennessee Aquarium and the Riverfront, the bridge is available for weddings and special events.
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.
Just west of Chattanooga is a high ridge known as Raccoon Mountain and Raccoon Mountain Cave. For adventurous people this area offers 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.
Once an abandoned shipping yard, Coolidge Park has carried the spirit of revitalization from downtown to the North Shore. The park features a century-old, hand-carved carousel. A large fountain with stone horses, lions, and sea turtles sprays water to cool youngsters on hot summer afternoons. A large common area along the riverfront allows for games, picnics and relaxing afternoons. Two stages and a pavilion area offer space for weddings and other special events.
Take a half-mile walk into the center of Lookout Mountain to the largest underground waterfall in the United States. This 145-foot fall funnels 300 gallons of water per minute into a subterranean river. The gorgeous falls are highlighted with colored lights and a reflecting pool. There is a 10-story observation tower, Ruby Falls Fun Forest for kids, and walking tour through the caverns, which lasts one and one-half hours.
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.
Missionary Ridge Local offers a historic train ride. Visitors can learn more about the rich history of Chattanooga and its struggle through the times of Civil War. This daily train ride passes many historically significant spots mainly being the pre-Civil War Missionary Ridge tunnel which was constructed in 1858. Ride through the journey of time and learn more about the life of the people and soldiers in Chattanooga.