16 must-see area attractions

16 must-see area attractions

March 25th, 2012 in Chattanooganow2012

Check out a birds of prey show at Rock City.

Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

Chllenge yourself at Ruby Falls' ZIPstream Aerial Adventure, an obstacle course in the trees.

Photo by Angela Lewis/Times Free Press.

Meet gentoo and macaroni penguins at the Tennessee Aquarium.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Celebrate with msic at the Bessie Smith Heritage Festival at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.

Photo by Staff Report/Times Free Press.

Pick up local, organic produce at the Chattanooga Market.

Photo by Jake Daniels/Times Free Press.

Plan a night out at one of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre's more than one dozen plays each season.

Photo by Staff Report/Times Free Press.

Take a break from the heat with a splash in the Coolidge Park fountain.

Photo by Staff Report/Times Free Press.

Chattanooga has so many entertainment options it can sometimes be overwhelming. Here's a guide to some of Chattanooga's most famous attractions to help you get the most out of your time in the Scenic City.

Tennessee Aquarium

Visit several types of Arctic penguins, catch a 3-D film at the IMAX theater next door or take a ride on the River Gorge Explorer.

1 Broad St.

800-262-0695

www.tnaqua.org

Incline Railway

Enjoy panoramic views of the Scenic City as you take a straight shot from St. Elmo up to the top of Lookout Mountain.

St. Elmo Station (bottom)

3917 St. Elmo Ave.

Lookout Mountain Station (top)

827 East Brow Road

423-821-4224

www.ridetheincline.com

Rock City

Walk through gardens and impressive rock formations and see if you can spot all seven states visible from the lookout point. While there, enjoy some food and music at the recently renovated Lover's Leap.

1400 Patten Road

Lookout Mountain, Ga.

800-854-0675

www.seerockcity.com

Ruby Falls

This 80-year-old attraction is the deepest commercial cave and most-visited underground waterfall. Did we mention it's red?

1720 S. Scenic Highway

423-821-2544

www.rubyfalls.com

Coolidge Park

Home to many warm-weather concerts and events, Coolidge Park has a 100-year-old restored carousel, an interactive fountain and lots of grassy open space. Dogs are not allowed.

150 River St.

Walnut Street Bridge

One of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world, the Walnut Street Bridge, which connects Chattanooga's North Shore to downtown, recently underwent a face-lift and now is open to dogs as well as people.

Hunter Museum of American Art

One of the main features in the Bluff View Art District, the museum's collection includes works from the Colonial period through the modern day, including Mary Cassatt and Robert Henri. Free admission the first Sunday of every month.

10 Bluff View

423-267-0968

www.huntermuseum.org

Bessie Smith Cultural Center

This museum showcases African-American history from around the world and within Chattanooga.

200 E. M.L. King Blvd.

423-266-8658

www.bessiesmithcc.org

AT&T Field -- Home of the Chattanooga Lookouts

Grab a hot dog and a foam finger and cheer on the Lookouts, Chattanooga's AA minor-league Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate.

201 Power Alley

423-267-2208

Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel

One of the city's best-known attractions has been converted into a historic hotel, restaurants and gardens.

1400 Market St.

423-266-5000

www.choochoo.com

Chattanooga Market

Stop by the market any Sunday (and some Saturdays, too) between May and December and pick up locally grown organic produce, handmade arts and crafts and an afternoon snack.

First Tennessee Pavilion

1826 Reggie White Blvd.

423-648-2496

www.chattanoogamarket.com

Chattanooga Zoo

Get up close and personal with all manner of exotic animals including snow leopards, spider monkeys and red pandas.

301 N. Holtzclaw Ave.

423-697-1322

www.chattzoo.org

Chattanooga Theatre Centre

Whether you're into drama, comedy, musicals or dance, the Chattanooga Theatre Centre has a show for you. Some recent productions include "The Importance of Being Earnest," "Emperor's New Clothes" and "Dark of the Moon."

400 River St.

423-267-8534

www.theatrecentre.com

Creative Discovery Museum

Just a few blocks from the Tennessee Aquarium, the Creative Discovery Museum is hailed as the area's premiere hands-on museum for the young and the young at heart. Families can dig for dinosaur bones, play instruments or just play on the museum's rooftop playground.

321 Chestnut St.

423-756-2738

www.cdmfun.org

Delta Queen Hotel

The last fully operational, overnight wooden passenger steamboat in the country, the Delta Queen now is permanently moored in the Tennessee River near Coolidge Park and serves as a hotel.

100 River St.

423-468-4500

www.deltaqueenhotel.net

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park

With 45 miles of hiking and horse trails and a seven-mile self-guided car tour, visiting the historic park is worth the 15-minute drive from downtown for nature and Civil War fans alike.

3370 LaFayette Road

Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

706-866-9241

www.nps.com/chch