One of our favorite Tennessee road trips is the short 2 1/2 hour drive East from Nashville to Chattanooga. We first took our daughters in 2005 when our youngest was just a baby and our oldest was 4 and now that they are older they still love to visit Chattanooga. We”ve found plenty to see, do and eat in Chattanooga since that first trip that I’d love to share!

there is plenty for the whole family in Chattanooga

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There is no shortage of things to do in Chattanooga as a family.

Here is a hot list of the most popular Chattanooga activities.

  • Visit the amazing Tennessee Aquarium and 3D IMAX Theatre
  • Have fun at the Creative Discovery Museum
  • Ride the Inclined Railway up Lookout Mountain
  • Take a ride on the vintage carousel at Coolidge park
  • Visit Ruby Falls

Where to Stay in Chattanooga

We love to stay at the Chattanooga Choo Choo where you can ditch a traditional hotel room and sleep in a Victorian train car instead, although the hotel is not within walking distance of the very pedestrian friendly downtown. There are also several hotels to choose from that are within walking distance of the aquarium and children’s science museum, such as the Doubletree Hotel and Hilton Garden Inn, which is only one block away. Both these popular tourist destinations are in the heart of downtown on the banks of the Tennessee River. There are plenty of casual dining spots to choose from and you can literally park your car for the day.

Where to Eat in Chattanooga

Our favorite breakfast stops is the fun and funky Aretha Frankensteins in North Chattanooga on the other side of the river. The eatery was highlighted by Rachel Ray in her $40 a day feature on Chattanooga and is in the artsy district near Coolidge Park so it’s a great place to fill up on breakfast before hitting the park. They have amazing biscuits and pancakes but it has a laid-back vibe, so be prepared to wait or come armed with plenty of distractions if you are traveling with really young children.

Chattanooga is a family-friendly city with plenty to do

Photo credit: Pixabay

Chattanooga is also close to north Georgia and would make a great road trip stop on the way to the mountains or to Atlanta. It’s a great small city with plenty to do during a weekend getaway!


Have you taken your family to Chattanooga before? What do you love about the city and what are your favorite things to do there?