Chattanooga's 'State of Joy' lures visitors

Tourism leaders expect strong summer travel season

Hundreds of people enjoy the visual experience at the Imax Theater adjacent to the Tennessee Aquarium. (Staff photo by Tim Barber)
photo Cory and Rachel Shain, left, of Columbus, Ohio, experience the sturgeon touch tank with their children Solenne, Manny and Simon. (Staff photo by Tim Barber)

On a sunny Friday afternoon in April, the Miles family walked between buildings at the Tennessee Aquarium downtown, which was the first stop on their three-day vacation to Chattanooga. From the Clarksville area, Haley and Keith Miles were in town with their 22-month-old twin sons, Cooper and Owen, with plans to also visit Rock City and the Chattanooga Zoo in the coming days.

Attendance at Chattanooga's top attractions in March was up 9 percent over March 2017, said Dave Santucci, marketing vice president for the Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.