We try to spend most of our time in Middle Tennessee, but occasionally we get the urge to venture a little further. Recently we spent a day in Chattanooga, TN.  There is a lot to do in this city, and only being there for one day we didn’t get to really do much of it at all.  We did scout out locations for our next visit and start planning a return trip.  If you have the time it is worth taking a Chattanooga day trip! Please note: This post may contain affiliate links.

Chattanooga Day Trip


Chattanooga Day TripChattanooga Day Trip Fall Leaves

Mid-October is really the perfect time for a long drive.  The air is cool and the leaves are starting to hit their peak colors.  We set out from middle Tennessee to Chattanooga at a pretty leisurely pace. Along the way, we took a few opportunities to stop and check out the scenery as we headed over Monteagle mountain (I always recommend stopping in Sewanee whenever you have a chance).




We arrived in Chattanooga knowing we didn’t have a lot of time so we scouted out  some places for a future visit (more on that later).  After riding around for a while we went to meet some friends for dinner.  We ate at the Terminal Brewhouse since they had some unique craft beer options.  The Terminal has a wide selection of food to choose from with some hilarious menu names (My favorites were “Chuck Norris Cole Slaw” and “Salmon Elliot”). I ate the burger with mushrooms and Swiss, and my wife had the “Eat a Peach”.  Both of these were really good, I want to go back and try some of their other offerings some time. They had six different beers that they brew available. I had the Belgian White and my friend had the Maibock.  I’m not a craft beer connoisseur so I won’t attempt to go into a lengthy description of the flavors, but if you are a beer drinker this place is definitely worth checking out.

Chattanooga Day Trip Terminal Brewhouse

And A Show

Chattanooga Day Trip Track 29

After Dinner we explored around the Chattanooga Choo-Choo hotel a little bit before walking back to Track 29 for the concert we were there to see. Rusted Root was playing, they are a favorite from my youth so we couldn’t miss this show.  You might recognize their song “Send me on my Way“.  We got there and there was no line so we got right in!  The venue was pretty empty so we were able to score a table to sit through the opening act.  I didn’t sit for long though, the opening band, SIMO, great.  They had me out of my chair by the second song.  Bonus: they are a Nashville band so I will definitely be seeing them again!

Chattanooga Day Trip Rusted Root


Rusted Root played a solid set full of their best stuff from the 90’s and 00’s.  The also busted out a fun cover of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” and David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel”.  The venue never really got crowded and we were able to get all the way to the front row with little effort. I was really impressed with the performance, and on the way out, my friends met the singer of the band. He was incredibly gracious.  He let them grab a picture with him and stayed and talked with them for a few minutes.


Next Time

It’s amazing how fast an evening flies by when you are having a good time with friends.  Our Chattanooga day trip was over and it was time to head back to the correct time zone.  We had a great time and left with some good ideas of what to get into next time we take a trip that direction.

We have been to Ruby Falls, Rock City, the Tennessee Aquarium, and the Southern Belle before (and Likely will again).  If you haven’t they are are worth visiting.  Our next trip to Chattanooga we want check out places we haven’t been before.  So instead of a Chattanooga day trip, it will be a full weekend (or longer if we can pull it off).  We plan to visit the following places:

The Hunter Museum of American Art – This museum focuses on American artists from Colonial until present day and have works from Winslow Homer, Andy Warhol, Robert Henri, and more.


Lake Winnepesauka – This amusement park is actually just across the state line in Rossville, GA.  The park has over 35 rides and has been around for over 85 years!  With roller coasters, thrill rides like the 14-story free fall, and kid rides there is something for everyone in the family.


Raccoon Mountain Caverns – This cave system has over 5 miles of underground passageways and is considered to be the most geologically active in the South. Two types of tours are offered here, The Crystal Palace Tour or the Wild Tour.


Chattanooga Day Trip

We had a blast even though we didn’t have very much time in Scenic City.  We did come away with a short list of things we haven’t done there before to try next  time.  What are your favorite things to do in Chattanooga?  Where are your favorite Day trips?  Tell us in the comments.

Chattanooga Tennessee midtntravel.com

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