Downtown Chattanooga

Downtown Chattanooga

About Downtown Chattanooga

The city of Chattanooga is the fourth largest in all of Tennessee with a population of roughly 170,000 and about 143 square miles in size. Southside North Chattanooga is considered the downtown area which has a number of impressive features.


Downtown Chattanooga has plenty to offer in terms of entertainment. The performing arts actually have a fairly extensive history in the city, especially in the downtown area. Here you can find the Tivoli Theatre, for one thing. This location has been in business since 1921 and holds the distinction of being one of the first public buildings with air conditioning in the entire country.

You can also take in a performance at the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. Back in 1985, it became the first merged opera and symphony company in the entire nation. Currently, Kayoko Dan is the conductor. Each year, the company offers 15 different productions divided over three different programs: the Circle Theater, the Mainstage and the Youth Center.

Another popular entertainment venue you may be interested in is the Memorial Auditorium. It was added to the National Registry of Historic Places back in 1980, but first opened its doors in 1922. The famous architect R. H. Hunt designed the entire thing, which cost $700,000 to build—even more money back then than it is today!


For one thing, this area of the city is crowded with culture. You can find a number of really interesting museums to enjoy. Being the home of the dump truck, you might enjoy a trip to the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum. Head over to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and you’ll also get a really great view of the passenger train. This museum is known as TVRM by natives, in case you’re in need of directions. This museum features the South’s largest historic railroad still in operation, so it can be a real point of interest for history buffs or those simply interested in the way things used to be.

Other museums you may want to check out include the Chattanooga African American Museum, the National Medal of Honor Museum, the Chattanooga History Center, the Houston Museum and the Creative Discovery Museum.

Tennessee Riverwalk

Zig Zag Walkway


There are a number of other attractions in Downtown Chattanooga or the surrounding area that you may want to consider as well. For example, the Tennessee Riverwalk will take you through the city and then out into nature for 13 miles straight. You’ll walk along the beautiful river, which will provide you with a nice breeze during the warmer months. The Riverwalk is so enjoyable that locals use it just as often as tourists.


The Tennessee Aquarium

You can also visit the Tennessee Aquarium for a different view of aquatic life. The non-profit aquarium was, when it first opened, the largest freshwater version on the planet. Guests can walk through at their own pace and take in well over 12,000 different species that include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, invertebrates, butterflies and many more. The building even houses penguins!

tennessee aquarium

The Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park

Chattanooga Zoo


If you’re willing to stray a bit from the downtown area, you can also visit the Chattanooga Zoo. It has been in operation for nearly 80 years and features a number of rare species, including a red panda. In fact, the building’s indoor red panda exhibit is the largest in the entire world.


The Delta Queen

If you head a bit north of downtown Chattanooga, you’ll find one of the city’s most famous attractions: the Delta Queen. This boat is the city’s only floating hotel and remains docked at Coolidge Park permanently. The hotel has just as much to offer as more conventional versions, except that, of course, you get stunning views and a very unique experience you can’t find many other places in this country.



All this exploring is sure to work up an appetite so be sure to save some room for places like Easy Bistro, Big River Grille, Boathouse, Hennen’s, 212 Market and Taco Mamacita. No matter what you crave, Downtown Chattanooga has something you’ll be sure to enjoy.

With so much to offer, Downtown Chattanooga may be one of the most unique cities in the country. If you plan on visiting, make sure you set aside enough time to enjoy all of it.

~ Sandy Battles ~

Downtown Chattanooga