Explore Chattanooga Spring 2023

Animated publication




SPRING 2023 • $5.99


Ridges to Rivers Tennessee Aquarium’s New Multi-Sensory Gallery

Breathtaking Overlooks The Area’s Top Views

Chattanooga Street Art: MURALS A Nod to the Past, Playfulness & Beauty

Chattanooga Trolley Tours A Ride Through Time



contents SPRING 2023 Welcome Letter from Publisher ............................................... 6

Getting Around Town Downtown Electric Shuttle.......................................29 Chattanooga Trolley Tours................................. 21, 24


Spotlight Celebrating Spring at Rock City..................................8 Raccoon Mountain – Wild Cave Tours.......................13 Tennessee Aquarium – Ridges to Rivers.....................16 Events At the Bluff View...........................................36 First: The Mansion - History of the Hunter Museum....38 Day Out with Thomas - Let’s Get Colorful Tour..........40 Chattanooga Trolley Tours – A Ride Through History.41 Adventure Sports Innovations - Explore Differently....42 The International Towing Museum............................44 Pet Friendly Eateries................................................46 Breathtaking Views..................................................48 Chattanooga Street Art Series: Murals.......................50


Spring 2023

contents SPRING 2023 Listings Attractions.............................................................. 10 Dining.................................................................... 29


Events What’s Happening ..................................................20

Maps Lookout Mountain.....................................................7 Chattanooga Area...............................................26-27 Downtown. ............................................................. 28




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Owner & Publisher ..............................Todd A. Smith VP of Business Development.............Catherine Smith Contributing Writers.........................Sarah Birmanns

Luke Harvey Camille Platte Catherine Smith

Graphic Designer...........................Harriet McDowall Contributing Photographer..................Andrew Keller Rachel Jimerson Explore Chattanooga Staff

Additional Images Provided by: Chattanooga Tourism Company ChattanoogaHistory.com

Cover Photo Credit: Andrew Keller Sculpture at Blue Goose Hollow Trailhead – Tennessee Riverwalk Resurgence: A Statement of Celebration by Albert Paley For comments or advertising information contact: Todd Smith (Cell): 423-593-0179 tsmith@explorechatt.com or visit the website: www.explorechattmagazine.com Explore Chattanooga Magazine has made every effort to ensure that listings and information are accurate and assumes no liability for errors or omissions. Published by Explore Chattanooga Media PO Box 21806 Chattanooga, TN 37424 Copyright ©2023 All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the publisher. Explore Chattanooga Magazine is published 3 times per year (Spring/Mar-May, Summer/June-Aug, Fall/ Sept-Oct), with a holiday guide in December. For editorial inquiries email: contact@explorechatt.com

J ust recently Chattanooga was named by Forbes Advisor in Forbes Magazine as one of the top destinations in the world to visit in 2023. One of 50 worldwide, and only 11 other U.S. destinations earned this distinction. Chattanooga was the only Tennessee city on the Forbes list. Barbara King, a Forbes Advisor contributor said, “Chattanooga effortlessly blends outdoor activities, art, history and a vibrant restaurant scene” to make it Tennessee’s top travel destination. Spring is the time we finally get out and experience all the great outdoor activities the Chattanooga region has to offer. One amazing place to explore is the Tennessee Riverwalk. It’s a great place to walk, jog, bike or even hopping on an e-scooter or e-bike. Hiking to one of the spectacular overlooks should also be high on your list. First-class events abound during the spring season so be sure and see what’s going on in town while you’re here. Be sure and use this Explore Chattanooga Magazine, the Explore Chattanooga Area Pad Map and the Free Coupon Map to find all of those wonderful places that make Chattanooga one of the Top 50 destinations in the world. Be sure and share your favorite places, adventures and dining experiences on social media and share it with us. We’re glad you are here, and hope you have a wonderful visit. Now get out and Explore!

Todd Smith Owner/Publisher Explore Chattanooga Media

@explorechatt @explore.chatt

Spring 2023



Coming in April!


Plans! Plans!


�arc� 11 -12, & 18-19 Music · Food · Fun

Lookout Mountain

©Explore Chattanooga Media 2022

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F ollow the rainbow to the 15th annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration, Shamrock City, Saturdays and Sundays March 11, 12, 18 and 19! This gorgeously green event is unlike any other, featuring a taste of Irish culture with live music, food, drinks and, of course, the emerald-flowing waters of High Falls. Rock City’s 90th anniversary celebration continues, offering fun for all ages at Chattanooga’s most beloved Irish festival with themed activities daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dance along to Celtic choruses throughout the gardens! Listen to live band performances by Chattanooga’s own Olta and The Molly Maguires at the Pot of Gold Pavilion, as well as the harmonic sounds from local harpist Rachel Payne and euphonist Cassie Case. While looking for the seven states seen from Lover’s Leap, enjoy Scottish tunes from bagpipers with The Chattanooga Pipe Band. Emerald Isle entrées are on the menu, including Irish stew and Reubens along with refreshing beverages at Café 7, Big Rock Grill and the pavil ion starting at 11 a.m. Other food favorites include mashed potatoes with bratwursts, pretzels with beer cheese dip and mint chocolate swirl fudge from the Fudge Kitchen. Greet a Suffolk sheep and a Scottish highland cow on Legacy Lane! Bagby’s Critter Corral roams the path each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Have a laugh as artist Dennis Hart draws caricatures of guests near the pavilion from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Be sure to wear green or purchase Irish flare onsite! Shamrock City’s annual community partner is the Chattanooga district of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. MDA is fighting to free individuals and the families who love them from the harmful effects of muscular dystrophy, ALS and related life-threatening diseases. Rock City sells Shamrocks for $1 or $5 to help raise needed funds to support services for local families with MD. Visit www.seerockcity.com/shamrock for more info on the schedule of activities and performances. March 11, 12, 18 & 19 • Saturday and Sunday • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Spring 2023

Look for additional information about the upcoming EarthDayz – A naturally fun outdoor event. Rock City partners with Orange Grove Center for the 14th year of this award-winning outdoor event as Rock City goes greener! Stay tuned for details! Enjoy lunch with a view at Café 7. Leashed pets welcome. www.seerockcity.com/earthdayz April 15-16; April 22-23 • Saturday and Sunday • 8:30a.m. – 5:00p.m.

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ADVENTURE SPORTS INNOVATION 191 River St., Chattanooga, TN 37405 423-591-5654 | AdventureSportsInnovation.com Explore differently! Located in the North Shore district next to Coolidge Park, Adventure Sports Innovation (ASI), offers an adventure for everyone! ASI curates the latest inventions and innovations in adventure sports and outdoor activities, providing individuals and groups with fun things to do all year long. They offer a wide range of adventures like guided ChattaScooter and “Little Vehicle” tours around town, off-road driving on electric ATVs (Swincar), and unique rental gear and training for outdoor activities like e- scooters, e-unicycles, hoverboards, e-longboards, racing pontoon water bikes, and more. For inside fun, ASI also offers virtual reality simulators for hang gliding, rollercoaster riding and tightrope walking. ASI also offers a large selection of e-scooters and e-bikes for sale, along with local repair service for battery-powered personal transportation devices. Check the website for hours and details. Located on top of Lookout Mountain across from Point Park Battlefield. A 3-dimensional presentation of Chattanooga’s Civil War history featuring theater-seating and audio tape presentation. Hear the sounds of battle as you learn about Lookout Mountain’s ‘Battle Above the Clouds’ and Sherman’s assault on Missionary Ridge before his famous ‘March to the Sea’. On display are weapons, guns, equipment, and other Civil War artifacts. Bookstore and gift shop. CHARLES H. COOLIDGE NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR HERITAGE CENTER 2 W. Aquarium Way, Ste. 104, Chattanooga, TN 37402 (423) 877-2525 | www.mohhc.org Chattanooga is where our nation’s rst and highest military award for valor was presented. Chattanooga’s newest, award-winning attraction showcases the powerful stories of how ordinary people accomplished the extraordinary. Spending just an hour or two here will inspire you and your family with the values demonstrated by Medal of Honor recipients - patriotism, citizenship, courage, integrity, sacri ce and commitment. BATTLES FOR CHATTANOOGA 1110 E. Brow Rd., Lookout Mountain, TN 37350 (423) 821-2812 www.battlesforchattanooga.com

CHATTANOOGA GHOST TOURS 57 E. Fifth Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402 (423) 800-5998 | chattanoogaghosttours.com Named one of the TOP TEN ghost tours in the US by TripAdvisor AND USA Today, one of the top six scariest ghost tours by Sherman Travel, and one of the top ten most popular US ghost tours by Good Morning America, Chattanooga’s original haunted tour has been chilling guests with tales of the city’s restless dead since 2007. The 1st paranormal hunt in the WORLD to offer the chance to TALK to spirits with the Ovilus, & on ultimate hunts SEE ghosts with the SLS Ghost Viewer. Visit the website for more info and tour reservations. CHATTANOOGA HELICOPTER TOURS 932 Jubilee Drive, Chattanooga, TN 37421 (931) 510-5245 | chattanoogaheli.com Chattanooga Helicopter Tours is a family-owned and operating business offering service in aerial tours and vacation highlights of the Chattanooga area. CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS 201 Power Alley, Chattanooga, TN 37402 (423) 267-2208 | milb.com/chattanooga The Chattanooga Lookouts have been the Scenic City’s hometown team since 1885. The Lookouts provide affordable family entertainment at 70 home games every season! Come see baseball’s top prospects at AT&T Field, located in the heart of downtown Chattanooga. CHATTANOOGA RIVERBOAT CO. SOUTHERN BELLE 151 Riverfront Pkwy., Pier 2, Chattanooga, TN 37402 (423) 266-4488 | chattanoogariverboat.com This 450 passenger excursion vessel was built in 1985 at Serodino Shipyard in Hales Bar, Tennessee to operate on the Tennessee River in-and-around the Chattanooga area. Nestled between the Oligiati & Market Street Bridges, the Southern Belle cruises daily & offers sightseeing & lunch with live narration & pilot house tours or sunset & dinner cruises nightly providing music, dancing, & a delicious dinner to please every palate. She cruises the beautiful & historic Tennessee River to serve visitors, area residents, & group functions ranging from weddings to conventions. This is an experience you won’t want to miss!

The perfect place to start your Civil War journey!

Civil War Digital Diorama Battles Show

Civil War Relic and Weapon Collection Bookstore & Gift Shop

Open year-round. Check website for hours. 1110 East Brow Road Lookout Mountain, TN 423.821.2812 battlesforchattanooga.com

Spring 2023


CHATTANOOGA SKYDIVING COMPANY 300 Airport Road, Jasper, TN 37347 (855) 776-5867 www.chattanoogaskydivingcompany.com

committed to engaging and inspiring our community to better understand and preserve wildlife by creating meaningful connections between people and animals. Get face to face with a chimpanzee or jaguar, ride a camel or check out some rare and venomous reptiles. Come by and see why everyone is calling the AZA-accredited Chattanooga Zoo “the Best Little Zoo in America”. Only a mere two miles from downtown, the Chattanooga Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

What a view! Climb to an altitude overlooking the Scenic City’s best sights, such as the Tennessee River Gorge, Lookout Mountain, and the Sequatchie Valley! The Silvia family has been teaching people to jump from airplanes since 1960. Whether you want to experience one skydive or learn to skydive with our “A” license in a week program, come join in!

CLASSIC ARCADE PINBALL MUSEUM 409 Broad St., Chattanooga, TN 37402 (423) 541-4097 www.chattanoogapinballmuseum.com

CHATTANOOGA TROLLEY TOURS 1400 Market St. Chattanooga, TN 37402 423-226-8687 www.sceniccitytours.com

An interactive all-you-can-play museum dedicated to the nostalgia, history, and science behind the fascinating games of pinball and arcade. Guests have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of exhibits, including pinball machines spanning from the 1940’s to today. Visitors also have unlimited access to play each pinball game, as well as access to several classic arcades. Pinball players, young and old, will be introduced to the history of pinball, the science behind the games, learn about the engineering that goes into the design of playfields, and explore the many colorful artistic masterpieces that lie behind the backglasses, the artists who created them, and the inspiration behind the content.

Fun guided city tours on a trolley bus originating at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Features history, landmarks, arts and culture. Reservations required. Book tickets online at the website. A great way to see Chattanooga!

CHATTANOOGA ZOO 301 N. Holtzclaw Ave., Chattanooga, TN 37404 (423) 697-1322 | www.chattzoo.org

With over 500 animals exhibited, representing over 200 different species, many of which are endangered, the Chattanooga Zoo is

401 Broad St., Near 4th & Broad. (423) 265-2565 ignisglass.com Hours: Fri. 10am - 4pm Sat. 11am - 7pm Sun. 12pm - 5pm Closed Mon. - Thurs.

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HIGH POINT ZIP ADVENTURE AT RUBY FALLS 1720 S. Scenic Hwy., Chattanooga, TN 37409 (423) 821-2544 | www.rubyfalls.com

CREATIVE DISCOVERY MUSEUM 321 Chestnut Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402 (423) 756-2738 | www.cdmfun.org

Get your adrenaline pumping at Ruby Falls as you soar through the treetops on Lookout Mountain! High Point ZIP Adventure features over 700 feet of rushing ziplines with breathtaking views of the Tennessee Valley and a 40 foot climbing tower with multiple routes of varying difficulty.

Whether within the walls in Chattanooga or across the nation through its outreach programs, Creative Discovery Museum (CDM) is a leader in engaging the senses, inspiring exploration and igniting children’s passion for learning through play.

HUNTER MUSEUM OF ART 10 Bluff View, Chattanooga, TN 37403 (423) 267-0968 | www.huntermuseum.org

ESCAPE EXPERIENCE CHATTANOOGA 1800 Rossville Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37408

(423) 551-3306 | www.escapeexperience.com/chattanooga The Escape Experience is an entertainment activity located in Downtown Chattanooga’s Southside Historic District - just a few blocks from the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Each escape room scenario is a real-life interactive adventure designed for team building groups, friends, family, or co-workers.

Built on a ninety-foot limestone bluff overlooking the Tennessee River and comprised of a 1905 classical revival mansion, a low-slung 1970s building and a 2005 contemporary structure, the Hunter Museum of American Art showcases 100 years of architecture and houses the finest collection of American art in the Southeast. The collection of the Hunter Museum spans the history of American art from the colonial period to the present day, and covers a wide variety of media including painting, sculpture, contemporary studio glass, and crafts.

HIGH POINT CLIMBING AND FITNESS DOWNTOWN 219 Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402 (423) 602-7625 | www.highpointclimbing.com

The premier rock climbing facility features climbing indoors and outdoors. Climb walls up to 60 feet tall! High Point has over 28,000 Sq. Ft. of climbing surface making it one of the nation’s largest gyms. High Point caters to individuals who are beginners all the way to advance climbers.

iGNiS GLASS STUDIO 401 Broad Street., Chattanooga, TN 37402 (423) 265-2565 | www.ignisglass.com

iGNiS offers the opportunity to have a hands-on glass blowing experience. The studio is open to the public so that you and your family can have the chance to blow your own heirloom glass ornament or paperweight. With

the help of professional artists, you may choose colors, assist with working the piece, and actually trap your own breath in glass. IMAX 3D WITH LASER 201 Chestnut Street, Chattanooga, TN (800) 262-0695 | tnaqua.org/imax Travel to new places, dive into new worlds at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater. Experience unrivaled brightness, clarity and color on the giant screen. Few theaters use this game changing projection system — this is one of them. INTERNATIONAL TOWING MUSEUM 3315 Broad Street., Chattanooga, TN 37408 (423) 267-3132 | internationaltowingmuseum.org The International Towing Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to the towing industry. Opened in 1995, there are 24 antique and classic tow trucks from 1916 – 2001 on display along with memorabilia from the towing industry. Chattanooga, Tennessee was the chosen site for the museum as Ernest Holmes, Co. built the first wreckers there in the early 1900’s. Hattie’s on Holmes Gift Shop provides something for everyone with a delightful assortment of gifts, collectibles, and toys.

Explore Chattanooga Differently!

• “Little Vehicles” Guided City Tour • Swincar (electric ATV) Backcountry Tours • ChattaScooter Art Tour • ChattaScooter Rental Program • e-Scooter & e-Bike Rentals, Sales & Repairs • Inside family fun on VR Simulators

191 River St., Chattanooga, TN 37405 423-591-5654 AdventureSportsInnovation.com

Spring 2023

Spotlight | WHAT TO SEE

D ue to the unique geology here in the southeast, there are an amazing number of underground caves, especially in Tennessee. The reason why so many caves have formed is the prevalence of limestone, which was formed as calcium deposits when the region was once under the bottom of a sea. Exposed to the elements over the millennia, the limestone sediment eroded and eventually formed caves. One of these caves sits at the base of a mountain just west of Chattanooga. Located just minutes from downtown, Raccoon Mountain Caverns is one of several commercial caves in the region and is considered to be the largest naturally preserved cavern in the southeastern United States. In addition to the tour of the devel oped portion of the cave which has marveled visitors for decades, Raccoon Mountain Caverns also offers special “wild cave” tours for the more adventurous. There are two different Wild Cave Expeditions through the deeper, undeveloped areas at Raccoon Mountain Caverns. Known as the “get muddy” tours, The Canyon Crawl is a 2-hour expedi tion and there is a 3.5-hour version called Waterfall Dome. “This is the most natural cave in the area. These wild cave tours Beyond? Ready to go Wild Cave Expeditions at Raccoon Mountain Caverns

are really a one-of-a-kind experience,” says Rachel Jimerson, Wild Cave Lead. “The rooms and features that guests get to experience are simply amazing.” Both tours require some physical exertion such as crawling, climbing, sliding, and squeezing. Participants are required to wear gloves, knee pads, and helmets – all of which are provided to the explorer. “We have people on the Wild Cave Expeditions that are more thrill-seekers, and others that aren’t as daring,” says Ms. Jimerson. “We make sure everyone has a great time, and there are alternate op tions for guests who may be a bit uncomfortable with a tight squeeze.” There are minimum age, height, and weight requirements, so be sure to refer to the checklist when you book your tour. Reservations are required. To book your Wild Cave Tour call 423-821-9403 ext. #1 Tours times start at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday through Monday Raccoon Mountain Caverns and Campground is located just 15 minutes from downtown Chattanooga, just off Exit 174 on I-24. 319 West Hills Dr., Chattanooga, TN 37419 423-821-9403 raccoonmountain.com

Photos courtesy of Rachel Jimerson

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Raccoon Mountain Caverns and Campground

Raccoon Mountain Caverns

Chattanooga’s top rated natural cave experience Walking tours open daily, rain or shine and always a pleasant 58 degrees

Gem Panning and Gift Shop on site Free parking RV, tent and cabin rentals on site


Wild Cave Tours Become a cave explorer at Raccoon Mountain Caverns, one of the most geologically active caverns in the South. Wild Cave Expeditions are our famous “get muddy” tours which visit the deeper, undeveloped sections of the cave. These tours require participants to wear gloves, pads, lights, and helmets — all of which are provided for your use. Wild Cave tours require physical exertion including crawling, climbing, sliding, and squeezing. Canyon Crawl Expedition Waterfall Dome Expedition 2.0 hours 3.5 hours Maximum 10 explorers Maximum 8 explorers Some restrictions apply to both wild cave excursions and the walking tours, so please call or visit raccoonmountain.com/wildcave for more information. Reservations are required for all Wild Cave Tours. Book yours today by calling 423-821-9403 ext. #1. Tours times start at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday thru Monday.

Raccoon Mountain Caverns and Campground Conveniently located close to downtown Chattanooga. Just 1.3 miles off I-24 Exit 174. 319 West Hills Dr. Chattanooga, TN 37419 423-821-9403 | RACCOONMOUNTAIN.COM

Spring 2023


LAKE WINNEPESAUKAH AMUSEMENT PARK 1730 Lakeview Dr., Rossville, GA 30741 (706) 866-5681 | www.lakewinnie.com

RIVER GORGE EXCURSIONS 21808 River Canyon Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37405 (423) 987-1711 | www.rivergorgeexcursions.com

Lake Winnepesaukah, the South’s favorite family amusement park, takes on a hauntingly surreal feel during Friday and Saturday evenings in October— WinnepeSPOOKah! It’s hair-raising, Halloween fun for boys & ghouls of all ages. Enjoy an atmos fear of haunted rides, eerie edibles, and screaming thrills throughout the SPOOKtacular Halloween event. Lake WinnepeSPOOKah scares up creepy delights and frightening fun, including the new Monster Parade, haunted train ride, as well as hourly magic shows, and Thriller parade. And don’t miss the lake illuminated by a mesmerizing choreographed light show. For more information, hours of operation and pricing visit LakeWinnie.com or call 1-877-LAKEWIN.

River Gorge Excursions is a Chattanooga Boat Rental and Tour company located along the scenic Tennessee River Gorge, just 15 minutes away from Downtown Chattanooga. We provide an eye-opening experience to the TN River on one of our pontoon boats that are available for rent or tour. Come out with family and friends and enjoy a fantastic day exploring and relaxing on the TN River Gorge and all the beauty that it has to offer.

ROCK CITY GARDENS 1400 Patten Rd., Lookout Mountain, GA 30750 (423) 820-2531 | www.seerockcity.com

Create Memories Worth Repeating At Rock City Gardens Take an unforgettable journey high atop Lookout Mountain! Enjoy the quiet woodland paths and gardens. Discover ancient rock formations. Explore the 400 species of plants, flowers, and shrubs. Each step is a discovery! Cast your wish upon the 140-foot high falls. Stand mightily upon world famous Lover’s Leap and wrap yourself in the magnificent view. Wind your way through massive rock boulders and caverns that bring you to Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village. Magical adventures await you! Be Adventurous! Free Parking. Group Rates Available. Rock City is a AAA-approved attraction.

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN INCLINE RAILWAY 3917 St. Elmo Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37409 (423) 821-4224 | ridetheincline.com

A ride unlike any other! The thrill of riding ‘America’s Most Amazing Mile’ has delighted guests for more than a century. As the Incline climbs historic Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga’s surrounding mountains and valleys come alive as the trolley-style railcars carry you cloud-high. The breathtaking 72.7 % grade of the track near the top gives the Incline the distinction of being the world’s steepest passenger railway.

PEDEGO ELECTRIC BIKES CHATTANOOGA 157 River Street, Chattanooga, TN 37405 (423) 653-8987 | pedegochattanooga.com Pedego Chattanooga is a locally-owned store where you’ll be treated like family. As the region’s foremost electric bike experts, they put their hearts into helping you find the perfect electric bike and get the most out of it for many years to come. If you are looking for a day filled with spectacular views, interesting places, and memories that will last a lifetime, you can rent an electric bike from Pedego! RACCOON MOUNTAIN CAVERNS & CAMPGROUND 319 West Hills Dr., Chattanooga, TN 37419 (423) 821-9403 | www.raccoonmountain.com Raccoon Mountain Caverns & Campground is home to Tennessee’s highest rated cave (TripAdvisor’s #1 ‘Thing To Do’ in Chattanooga!) and premier RV park & campground and is located just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Tour the nationally recognized cave system, pan for gemstones, or relax by a campfire while taking in the spectacular views of both Lookout Mountain and Raccoon Mountain. With onsite amenities for the whole family and just minutes from downtown Chattanooga and the Lookout Mountain attractions, your adventure awaits you!

OPEN DAILY Downtown Chattanooga mohhc.org 2 Aquarium Way Chattanooga, TN 37402

Desmond Doss

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Spotlight | WHAT TO DO

Ridges to Rivers


Spring 2023

T ennessee Aquarium’s newest gallery offers a multi-sensory adventure through Southern Appalachian streams Thanks to its vast, intricate network of creeks and streams twining together as they descend between ridges, Southern Appalachia is home to a stunning array of fishes, crayfishes, mollusks, and amphibi ans. But for many of the millions of people whose lives are spent within sight and earshot of what scientists describe as an “underwater rainfor est,” that aquatic abundance may as well be invisible. Just in time to welcome visitors arriving for spring break, the Tennessee Aquarium will celebrate the grand opening on March 1 of Ridges to Rivers. This all-new gallery was designed, from the ground up, to shine a spotlight on Southern Appalachia’s vibrant aquatic life, which often goes unseen except by the lucky few who have the oppor tunity to dip their heads into a stream. As they explore Ridges to Rivers’ dynamic, multisensory exhibits, guests will see, hear and touch — perhaps for the first time — some of the beautiful, often-charismatic species living in waterways they drive by, swim in, or even live next to. Ridges to Rivers offers guests the ex perience of what it’s like to put your head in a stream and see animals you had no idea were there.” As they enter the gallery, guests first encounter a massive, 22-foot long exhibit recreating the many habitats offered by mountain streams flowing into the Upper Tennessee River. With rapids rushing over and around rocks, along swift runs, and into deeper, placid pools, the exhibit’s diverse geography shows how a single stream can support an incredibly diverse array of species.

This single exhibit — the gallery’s largest — will display two dozen kinds of fish, from tiny, colorful Gilt Darters and Saffron Shiners to larger inhabitants such as Redear Sunfish and Rock Bass. “I’m looking forward to finding ways to encourage the fish to show off things like nest building or brightening up to their breeding col ors,” says Aquarist II Avery Millard. “I think the kinds of things you’ll have a chance to see in Ridges to Rivers will be pretty eye-opening. Those seeking a dry-clothes approximation of lying down in an Appalachian creek can take full advantage of the new gallery’s “pop up” exhibit. From within a hollow cylinder, guests can simulate what it’s like to get a scale-close, snorkelers-eye view of Golden Shiners, Creek Chubs, and shimmering sunfish without the need to strap on a mask. Nearby, a small exhibit packs a big punch with a vivid demonstration of how thunderstorms — a fact of life in the temperate rainforests of Southern Appalachia — impact streams. Thanks to clever, behind-the-scenes engineering, lucky guests at this exhibit may witness simulated squalls every quarter hour.“It’s one of those ‘surprise and delight’ moments,” says Senior Manager of Exhib it Services Jeff Worley, who designed the look and flow of the gallery. The newly renamed Sturgeon Bend exhibit is almost three times the size of the previous touch experience and features a more open design. This updated take on a true Aquarium classic will allow even more guests to make tactile connections with a fish that can live up to 150 years and that looks much as it did in the age of the dinosaurs. Learn more about some of the animals on display in Ridges to Rivers at tnaqua.org/exhibit/ridges-to-rivers

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Museum provides an interactive, historical experience that adds an extra dimension to your visit to Chattanooga’s popular attractions. Here you will find the only regularly scheduled, full-sized train ride in Tennessee. The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is so much more than entertainment, it’s your chance to experience the sights and sounds of yesteryear!

RUBY FALLS 1720 S. Scenic Hwy., Chattanooga, TN 37409 (423) 821-2544 | www.rubyfalls.com

Journey deep inside historic Lookout Mountain to see the tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public in the United States! Descend 260 feet by glass-front elevator to explore ancient formations along the cavern trail to see the thundering falls.

THE COKER MUSEUM 1309 Chestnut St., Chattanooga, TN 37402 (888) 795-7077 | cokermuseum.com

TENNESSEE AQUARIUM 1 Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402 (423) 265-0695 | tnaqua.org

Located in Chattanooga’s historic Southside District, the Coker Museum is next to the Chattanooga Convention Center and just a short walk from many of Chattanooga’s finest hotels. Housed in the famous Honest Charley’s Speed Shop building, the museum has been carefully curated with a collection of over 100 vintage cars, hot rods, motorcycles, trucks, buses and even 3 airplanes hanging overhead. The Coker Museum collection belongs to Corky Coker of world-renowned Coker Tire. You will also be able to view the working woodshop, fabrication area, paint booth, and machine shop. Event Space - The Coker Museum also serves as an event and wedding venue. With 13,000 sq. ft. of space, the mesmerizing display of antique vehicles and nostalgic setting with colorful neon signs, memorabilia and exposed brick walls create the perfect setting for an impressive event for up to four hundred attendees.

The mission of the Tennessee Aquarium is to connect people with nature and empower them to make informed decisions about water and wildlife. Within the two buildings, you’ll trace the path of water from the mountains to the sea. Come face-to-face with the fascinating native animals that live in our backyards and the amazing creatures that thrive in some of the most remote locations on Earth.

TENNESSEE VALLEY RAILROAD 4119 Cromwell Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37421 (423) 894-8028 | www.tvrail.com

Take a trip back in time to a slower-paced era when railroad travel was a way of life. Relive the romance of the rails when vintage trains provided an escape from the everyday routine. The Tennessee Valley Railroad



find your fun!

@explore.chatt (insta) @explorechatt (Facebook) explorechattmagazine.com

Spring 2023

BIG SAVINGS! Look for the FREE Explore Chattanooga Coupon Map at area hotels, campgrounds, welcome centers, info centers, airport and select shops and attractions.

Battles for Chattanooga Buddy’s bar-b-q Chattanooga Ghost Tours Chattanooga Helicopters Chattanooga Skydiving Co.

Clumpies Ice Cream Escape Experience iGNiS Glass Studio International Towing Museum Life Is Good Store Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding Look Out Winery & Pizza National Medal of Honor Heritage Center Pedego Electric Bikes Pinball Museum Raccoon Mountain Caverns Rock City Rodizio Grill Ruby Falls

The Ice Cream Show Walk-Ons Restaurant Xtreme Air Trampoline Park

OVER 35 Money Saving Coupons!

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Explore | WHAT TO DO

Explore Spring Events

steps to have a healthier heart and create amazing memories along the way. www.rubyfalls.comspecial-events/100-million-steps-in-march March 1 - June 30 RIVER


Visit River Gallery during the months of March and April to experience works by five artists: Pat Magers (Mar 1 - Apr 30), Sister Mary Grace Thul, OP (Mar 1 - Apr 30), Joe Hobbs (May 1 - Jun 30),

Opens March 1 RIDGES TO RIVERS — TENNESSEE AQUARIUM Did you know that the Southeastern U.S. has more animals living in its rivers and streams than any other temperate region in the world? In fact, more than a quarter of the Southeast’s freshwater

animals are found nowhere else on Earth. Take a look beneath the surface with the Tennessee Aquarium beginning March 1st. www.tnaqua.org March 1 - 31 100 MILLION STEPS IN MARCH — RUBY FALLS You can support the mission of the American Heart Association Go Red for Women in a big way by accepting the challenge to walk 100 million steps at Ruby Falls in March! Come get active by walking the cavern trail to the thundering underground waterfall. Take home a

The Perfect Cottage Hotel on The Mountain

complimentary special-edition souvenir recipe card. You can take

423-821-8619 2159 Old Wauhatchie Pike Chattanooga, TN 37409

Book Direct and Save!

Stay A tRiverViewInn.com

Spring 2023

Lynn Whipple (May 1 - Jun 30), and Maralyn Wilson (May 1 - Jun 30). The River Gallery is located in the Bluff View Art District. www.river-gallery.com/upcoming-exhibits

March 3 - 5 ERLANGER CHATTANOOGA MARATHON This 26.2 mile course will provide a great experience for the first-time or experienced marathon runner by providing a safe course with plenty of well stocked aid stations, great spectator support, and an amazing finish line experience. We are proud to showcase Chattanooga with this route that will surely be one to remember! Approximate elevation gain is 1200 feet. www.chattanoogamarathon.com/ event/marathon March 4 AMUSE UM 2023 — FULL STEAM AHEAD Creative Discovery Museum’s Full STEAM Ahead will be held March 4, 2023. Take a trip on the rails through time and experience Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math in the 19th Century. A variety of entertainment, activities, and a 50/50 raffle, along with decadent food and drinks, set the tone for this one-of-a-kind evening. Gear up in your best black, silver, and gold attire and enjoy the swanky vibe of the Gilded Age. www.cdmfun.org/amuseum


Open Daily 411 Broad St. Chattanooga, TN 37402 423-326-8297 ligchattanooga.com

The Life Is Good brand resonates with local store owners, Roy and Jacqui Gress who also believe in “Do what you love, Love what you do.” They look forward to sharing that message of optimism and hope with you.

Downtown Chattanooga Chattanooga Merchandise Local Good Vibes

Showcasing Chattanooga through its history, landscape, art, and culture.

Knowledgeable guides show you the city with expert historical insights of Chattanooga’s 200-year-old history, unique stories, fun trivia, along with highlights of landmarks & attractions. Tours begin at the Chattanooga Choo Choo located at 1400 Market St. Hop aboard the Chattanooga Trolley for a guided tour of the city!


Book Now! Purchase your tickets online at ScenicCityTours.com or call 423-226-8687.

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Explore Spring Events

March 10 - April 9 SPRING BREAK SAFARI During Spring Break Safari, the city is transformed into a place where kids rule! Hands-on adventures include a 14-site Scavenger Hunt (both outside/inside the attractions & districts) and experiences that turn kids into Musicians, Cave Explorers, RockQuest Adventurers, Zookeepers, Conductors, Rock Climbers, and more. www.visitchattanooga.com/spring/ spring-break March 11 - 19 SHAMROCK CITY — ROCK CITY GARDENS Looking for the luck of the Irish? Visit Rock City’s 15th annual Irish celebration and festival—Shamrock City! This premiere St. Patrick’s Day event features Irish food, specialty beer, Irish music, and fun for the whole family! You can even see the High Falls flowing green! Visit and see why the Southeast Tourism Society has consistently chosen Shamrock City as a Top 20 Event! www.seerockcity.com/events/ shamrock-city/

Look for the FREE Explore Chattanooga Coupon Map at area hotels, campgrounds, welcome centers, info centers, airport and select shops and attractions. OVER 35 Money Saving Coupons! BIG SAVINGS!

Spring 2023

Explore | WHAT TO DO

Explore Spring Events

movement, hear live percussionists, and go on a virtual scavenger hunt all while enjoying the great outdoors with your family during Earthdayz! www.seerockcity.com/events/ earthdayz/ April 22 - 23

4 BRIDGES ARTS FESTIVAL An essential part of Chattanooga’s creative capital, 4 Bridges Arts Festival (4BAF) will return April 22-23, 2023. The 4 Bridges Arts Festival has cultivated and inspired an appreciation for the visual arts by bringing in artists from around the country to interact with our local community and display and sell their work. The highly-anticipated 4BAF is a juried art show that

March 17 - April 16 ROCK THE RIVERFRONT FEATURING LOS TROMPOS Los Trompos features eight larger-than-life, three dimensional spinning tops in a variety of colors and shapes. The colorful surfaces of each top are created in

part by fabric woven in a traditional Mexican style. The fabric is stretched over the modules to seat several people at once. Functioning as both artwork and rotating platform, each sculpture acts as a gathering place for relaxation, social interaction and entertainment. By working together to create momentum, visitors can spin the tops on their bases. Through interaction and collaboration, Los Trompos comes to life and gives new meaning to the art of play. www.rivercitycompany.com/rock April 15 - 23 EARTHDAYZ - ROCK CITY GARDENS Join us at Rock City Gardens during this naturally fun outdoor Earth Day celebration...EarthDayz! Be mesmerized when Vines and Trees come to life with methodical

History Comes Alive at the International Towing Museum!

Discover over 100 years of towing history — where it all began. Over 24 fully restored antique to contemporary wreckers and equipment on display, including a 1916 Holmes wrecker.

Open Daily: Mon.-Sun. 9am-5pm

Features a wonderful selection of gifts, memorabilia, collectibles and toys

3315 Broad St., Chattanooga, TN 37408 423-267-3132 www.internationaltowingmuseum.org

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Explore | WHAT TO DO

Explore Spring Events

lawn games, enjoy live entertainment, check out the exclusive pop-up gift shop and more! Join in for a train ride behind Thomas, departing every hour, rain or shine. Departure times begin at 9:00 AM through 6:30 PM eastern time each day of the event. www.tvrail.com/train-rides/day-out-with thomas-2023 April 26 RAIL & HOPS BREWERS FESTIVAL This curated event focuses on the artistry of brewing handcrafted beers from brewers that are local, regional, and beyond. Featuring live music, food vendors, art vendors, and more! www.railandhops.com April 29 - 30 NATIONAL CORNBREAD FESTIVAL Start making your plans to visit South Pittsburg, TN this spring! The wait is over and they’re ready to welcome you back to enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of the National Cornbread Festival. Located 30 miles west of Chattanooga, TN, this quaint southern town will host a celebration of cornbread, often considered the cornerstone of southern cuisine. There’s something for everyone! From Cornbread Alley to Cornbread Fondo – you can find something for every member of your family to enjoy! www.nationalcornbread.com Begins April 29 CHATTANOOGA MARKET /CHATTANOOGA RIVER MARKET The weekly open-air producer-only market features local food artisans and farms, fresh produce/meat/ cheese, live plants, local arts & crafts and much more. www.chattanoogamarket.com

attracts visual artists from across the country, and has been ranked in the top 30 fine art festivals in the country. www.avarts.org/about-4baf1t April 22 BATTLE BELOW THE CLOUDS — RUBY FALLS Amateur grillers and smokers compete for bragging rights as Chattanooga’s best backyard cooks at the 8th annual Ruby Falls Battle Below the Clouds BBQ Cook Off, benefiting Lana’s Love Foundation. Free admission for spectators.Enjoy live bluegrass music, BBQ, kid’s activities and giveaways.LIVE MUSIC by Lou Wamp and The Bluetastics and Barefoot Nellie & Company. This event raises funds for Lana’s Love Foundation, providing year-round fun activities for kids with cancer and their families. Team registration opens to previous competitors on Feb 28 and to the public on March 14th. www.rubyfalls.com/special-events/battle-below-the-clouds April 22 - 30 DAY OUT WITH THOMAS — TN VALLEY RAILROAD MUSEUM Day Out With Thomas™ is an annual event that offers children and their families the unique opportunity to take a ride with Thomas and enjoy a day of fun-filled Thomas & Friends™ themed activities. Let’s Get Colorful! Join Thomas the Tank Engine for a day full

of colorful adventures! All aboard an interactive train ride with Thomas to earn your Color Badge, say Hello to Sir Topham Hatt and get creative exploring the Color Corner. Mix it up in the Play Pod with

Spring 2023

Explore | WHAT TO DO

Explore Spring Events

Thru May IMAX 3D: SERENGETI — TENNESSEE AQUARIUM Life happened in the Serengeti on an unprecedented scale. It’s home to most of Africa’s most iconic animals, and hosts one of the world’s greatest natural events — the annual wildebeest Migration. Nature has orchestrated a perfect symphony in which every species has a very distinct role to play in a larger story -- the balance of an entire ecosystem. We’ll see it through the eyes of the youngest members of the animal cast as they imitate their parents, and learn about the mighty roles they’ll play. www.tnaqua.org/imax/serengeti-3d May 5 ARMED FORCES DAY PARADE The annual Armed Forces Day Parade, hosted by Chattanooga Area Veterans Council, features participants from military service units, area veterans’ groups, high school bands, patriotic organizations, and more. The parade will be held on May 5 at 10:30 am, and starts at the intersection of Market street and MLK Boulevard. www.chattareaveterans.com May 7 - 15 SOUTHERN BLOOMS FESTIVAL — ROCK CITY GARDENS

a little enchantment in your own yard. Specialty spring treats from food and retail locations around the garden will delight! www.seerockcity.com/events/southern-blooms-festival/ May 21 IRONMAN 70.3 CHATTANOOGA The 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga offers the perfect training opportunity for those getting ready for the fall IRONMAN. It begins with a point-to-point swim, transitions into a bike course, and then ends with a two loop run. www.ironman.com/im703-chattanooga June 2 - 4 RIVERBEND FESTIVAL This award-winning, three-day music festival features three stages and multiple bands representing various genres of music. Check their website for featured artists and activities. www.riverbendfestival.com June 6 NATIONAL DAY OF CAVES & KARST — RUBY FALLS In honor of the matchless educational and recreational opportunities found in irreplaceable caves and karst, Ruby Falls is celebrating the National Day of Caves and Karst on June 6. This special day raises awareness of the crucial roles both caves and karsts play in our lives and environment. Tennessee has over 10,000 known caves - more than any other state. Caves and karst are rich in natural resources, including the most productive groundwater on earth with 175 different minerals; some of which are found only in caves. www.rubyfalls.com/special-events/national-day-of caves-and-karst

See Rock City in full bloom at this flower-filled festival! Discover a living sculpture, revel in the old-timey music of Matt Downer, watch the kids create their own works of art, and buy a plant to start

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Medal of Honor Heritage Center



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Lake Winn Soakya

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Amazon.com Warehouse

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

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Helpful Info As you explore Chattanooga, we encourage you to stay informed about current health and safety measures. Please check websites of area businesses for the most up-to-date ticketing and operational adjustments to make your visit both safe and enjoyable.


nepesaukah/ Water Park

©Explore Chattanooga Media 2023

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North/South North Shore Shuttle Route Riverwalk








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Spring 2023

Explore | DINING

Ride The Electric Shuttle Bus It’s Free!

The Downtown Electric Shuttle is the easiest way to get around Downtown Chattanooga. It’s a FREE ride! Electric buses run daily* from Shuttle Park South at the Chattanooga Choo Choo to Shuttle Park North across from the Tennessee Aquarium with stops at every block in between. Convenient access to the attractions, convention center, shopping, hotels & employment sites in the Downtown area. All Shuttle buses are wheelchair accessible. Downtown Shuttle buses run between Shuttle Park South and Shuttle Park North about every 15 minutes, Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. until 11 p.m., and Sunday 9:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. The North Shore Shuttle runs from Shuttle Park North to Shuttle Park Northshore about every 15 minutes - Monday through Friday: 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Saturday: 10:00am 6:00pm. Not in service on Sundays. The St. Elmo/Incline Shuttle runs from Shuttle Park South to the Incline Railway and St. Elmo about every 15 minutes Monday through Sunday: 8:00am 8:30pm. * The Downtown Shuttle runs daily except New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Day. The Shuttle runs on a holiday schedule on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day & Labor Day. For more specific information see: https:// www.gocarta.org/routes-schedules.

1885 GRILL 3914 St. Elmo Ave., Chattanooga, TN 37409 (423) 485-3050 | 1885grill.com

1885 brings a grand and cabaret livelihood to St. Elmo. It not only provides beautiful coastal cuisine but, a meeting ground and common place for men and women from all walks of life. This restaurant bridges the gap between good food and good conversation and brings a setting for late nights and shared memories between friends, families, and passersby. 1885 is a wonderful centerpiece for the St. Elmo culture and community.

ALLEIA 25 E. Main St., Chattanooga, TN 37408 (423) 305-6990 | alleiarestaurant.com

Located in Southside, Alleia resides in the old Harrington Building and is the fulfillment of Chef Daniel Lindley’s dream of offering simple, Italian inspired cuisine. Lindley uses fresh ingredients

to create his unique interpretation of rustic Italian. BIG RIVER GRILLE & BREWING WORKS/DOWNTOWN 222 Broad St., Chattanooga, TN 37402 (423) 267-2739 | www.bigrivergrille.com

Located in downtown Chattanooga, across from the Tennessee Aquarium, IMAX Theatre, and a short walk from the Children’s Creative Discovery Museum, Big River Grille & Brewing Works features innovative cuisine, award-winning ales and lagers and a spacious outdoor patio. A billiard table gives customers a unique way to socialize with friends while enjoying appetizers and beverages. The restaurant features a working brewery, bar, and semi and -private dining areas for groups and parties accommodating up to 300 people. BOATHOUSE ROTISSERIE & RAW BAR Come for the View! Come back for the food! The vista is provided by the Signal and Lookout Mountains, reflecting off the Tennessee River. The Boathouse features a perfect environment and a well-rounded menu with interesting fresh ideas from the raw bar, the oyster pots and the wood fired rotisserie. Enjoy the view on the spectacular 2000 square foot deck with misters to escape the heat and heaters for wintertime comfort. The “foods from the Gulf” menu includes made to order Guacamole, El Scorcho Seafood Stew, Po-Boy sandwiches made with huge Shrimp, Rotisserie Chicken, and “you don’t have to go to Texas” Brisket. 1459 Riverside Dr., Chattanooga, TN 37406 (423) 622-0122 | boathousechattanooga.com

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