Fun and free things to do in Chattanooga

It’s no secret that a drive up I-75 to Chattanooga boasts many exciting attractions and things to do for all ages. There’s the Tennessee Aquarium, Ruby Falls, Rock City Gardens, but what about activities that won’t cost an arm and a leg?

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Fortunately, there are a ton of free things to do in Chattanooga. Here are some suggestions:

Lookout Mountain

Experience Lookout Mountain in a new light, without its famous paid attractions standing in the way. This landmark also features several free hiking trails and outdoor excursions to enjoy. Sunset Rock at Lookout Mountain’s western bluff offers breathtaking views of the Tennessee River and Chattanooga skyline.

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The Chattanooga Market

Open Sundays April through December, the Chattanooga Market is a popular spot for entertainment and browsing local goods, arts, crafts and specialties. It features over 50 farms and 130 artisans each week. The market is free to attend and is held at the First Tennessee Pavilion.

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Walnut Street Bridge

The Walnut Street Bridge was built in 1891 for automobiles. Since then, it has been transformed into one of the world’s longest pedestrian bridges, connecting Chattanooga’s North Shore to the vibrant Downtown area. It’s the ideal spot to enjoy views of Lookout Mountain and the Tennessee River while also hitting your step count.

Hunter Museum of American Art

For art lovers, a visit to the Hunter Museum of American Art is a must. The museum offers spectacular displays of artwork spanning the Colonial period to the present day, gorgeous architecture and educational programs for all ages. Although this museum does not completely qualify as “free,” it is for children aged 17 and under.

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Coolidge Park

Coolidge Park on Chattanooga’s North Shore is a popular hangout for locals and visitors alike. The park, which runs alongside the Tennessee River, is a great place to have a picnic, relax or let the kids play in the interactive water fountains. Bonus: for those who like to kayak or canoe, there are multiple areas to launch at.

Chattanooga Choo Choo

What was once a prominent train station has been transformed into a hotel that honors its roots. The Chattanooga Choo Choo is a popular spot for families to relax, play games and provides an opportunity to get an up-close look at an old train engine. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants within walking distance to peruse.

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