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July 22, 2019

Chattanooga Tennessee Travel Guide

Chattanooga Tennessee Travel Guide | Affordable by Amanda

At the end of June, my boyfriend Brian and I took an Allegiant flight directly out of St. Pete Clearwater Airport and landed in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The flight took off at 6:30 am which meant the two of us had to wake up at 4:30 am in time for our Uber. Although the flight time was not particularly convenient for us night owls we made it the airport in time to catch our 1-hour flight. The flight was so quick and as soon as we touched down in Chattanooga we proceeded to grab our rental car and head straight to our adorable Airbnb home to recharge.

Chattanooga Tennessee Travel Guide Affordable by Amanda

Chattanooga Tennessee Travel Guide | Affordable by Amanda

The trip definitely gave us some happy memories as a couple! I am so glad Brian and I were able to experience traveling to Chattanooga together. This also marked our first official trip together as a couple and we didn't argue or have any major issues throughout our time in Chatt. The two of us took the trip at a slow pace and made sure to spend time with Brian's friends while he showed me around his hometown. Our five days in Chattanooga also gave me plenty of content to include within this travel guide. We explored everything from Signal Mountain down to the dark caves where we witnessed the beautiful Ruby Falls. Keep reading to find out exactly how you should plan your next visit to the quaint town of Chattanooga, Tennessee!

What To Do

Tennessee Aquarium 

The main reason why we traveled to Chattanooga in June was for the Deep Brew Sea event held at the Tennessee Aquarium. Back in January, Brian booked our flights and tickets to this event so far in advance because his friends told him that it would likely sell out in a matter of days. The event DID sell out and we were grateful to have tickets in our hands on the day of the event! The Deep Brew Sea event gathered local Tennessee breweries and restaurants throughout the aquarium where guests could sample the best beers and ales around. We also had the chance to taste Clumpies Ice Cream Co. which later tempted me to stop by the brick and mortar location of Clumpies for another last minute taste.

With foamy beers in our hands, Brian and I weaved our way in and out of the Aquarium looking at sharks, turtles, stingrays, and even a huge octopus with his friends. I highly recommend spending an afternoon inside the Aquarium (especially if you plan on visiting Chattanooga in the middle of summer!) for a nice stroll and peek at some exotic creatures of the wild rivers and oceans. The prices for the Tennessee Aquarium run $35 for adults and $21 for kids. Come to see the penguins swimming and your entire trip will be made like Brian's was!

Ruby Falls + Rock City

Before heading back to Florida, Brian and I took a car ride up to Lookout Mountain. Underneath this mountain, you will find a 145ft waterfall called Ruby Falls. The only way to see it is to take an elevator down 26-stories which equates 1,100 feet underground. Along the way, you'll stop by cavern formations and learn the history of the caves.

A tour guide will provide you with facts about the cave and how Leo Lambert discovered the falls by slowly crawling through a 2 ft wide opening for nearly 7 hours. The highlight of the hour-long tour is the end when you finally witness the falling water complete with a captivating light and music show. I was in awe of this site for sure and took plenty of photos to remember the cave journey to the falls. This natural wonder is open to the public from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm and inside the cave feels cool and refreshing on a warm day. After Ruby Falls, take a 10-minute car ride up the mountain over to Rock City where you can spend another few hours walking through gardens, learning about birds of prey, and listening to live music. After a dire need to replenish my thirst at Starbucks, we walked through Rock City until we saw Walter Rocks on the edge of the mountain overlooking the rest of Chattanooga.

Chattanooga Choo Choo

Your trip to Chattanooga is not complete without seeing the old train tracks on Market Street. Inside the historic Terminal Station, you will find Frothy Monkey, an on-site coffee shop as well as gift shops for visitors. The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel also hosts guests for a one-of-a-kind overnight stay in an old train car. Relive the past while you enjoy a full night's rest inside an old train car! The Pullman train cars were transformed into a spacious and relaxing "hotel" rooms for nightly rentals. The Choo Choo is also located on Station Street which is great to visit at night for a beer over at Backstage Bar or pour-your-own-beer inside a train car at the American Draft beer hall.

Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel | Chattanooga Tennessee Travel Guide | Affordable by Amanda

Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel | Chattanooga Tennessee Travel Guide | Affordable by Amanda


Looking for some exercise and an excuse to stare at a pretty waterfall? Well, then take a hike! On one of our five days in Chattanooga, we took an afternoon hike on Falling Water Falls Trail. You can easily accomplish this hike in 20 minutes and bring your dog along for the walk, too. The short hike takes you to the end of the rock outcrop where you need to be careful not to step too close to the edge. Parking can be difficult near this trail because the lot is not very big. You need to use caution when looking for a spot and luckily for us we waited about 10 minutes until someone left. Falling Water Falls has peaceful creeks and if you wear your bathing suit you can enjoy a quick dip. Chattanooga has a lot of outdoor activities to enjoy so don't forget to pack a good pair of sneakers!


Explore the Tennessee River on paddleboards! Right along the river, you can easily find a few paddleboard companies to rent boards from for a few hours. Simply look up a local recreation company who can assist you for the day to book the perfect paddleboard trip along the Tennessee River. You'll find yourself paddling underneath the bridges and sightseeing along the way. We didn't have time to paddleboard the river on this trip, but when we come back for another visit I am planning on scheduling a paddleboard excursion!

Where to Eat

Rembrandt's Coffee House

I am a serious breakfast person. Brian is not a serious breakfast person. The two of us learned how to compromise on a few mornings during our trip by either waking up super early (thanks, 6:30 am flight!) and driving over to a quaint coffee shop for breakfast, or by waking up later and holding off until lunch. On one occasion, I knew I wanted to explore Rembrandt's Coffee House thanks to Hunter Premo posting about it on her Instagram page. I ordered an iced chai tea latte and nibbled on french toast as the morning light peered over the European style cafe. Seriously, I felt like I was somewhere in Italy!

Rembrandts Coffee House Chattanooga Tennessee Travel Guide | Affordable by Amanda

Rembrandts Coffee House Chattanooga Tennessee Travel Guide | Affordable by Amanda

Rembrandts Coffee House Chattanooga Tennessee Travel Guide | Affordable by Amanda

The Daily Ration

While writing this out I can picture my warm and crunchy chicken biscuit and side of home fries all over again! Brian's friends recommended that we all sit down and enjoy brunch together at The Daily Ration. I am so happy we had the chance to dine at this eclectic spot that was once an old gas station! The set up inside the restaurant is modern while the outside seating has enough space for everyone to relax with their pups.

Located in the heart of Riverview Neighboorhood in North Chattanooga serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, make sure to add The Daily Ration to your food list. We all munched on various weekend brunch picks and sipped on mimosas. The spicy chicken biscuit stood out to me because I love chicken biscuits and the restaurant was able to make the chicken a classic without the spiciness. The biscuit came out with honey already drizzled on it which also made my tastebuds water. Omelets, hash bowls, pancakes, and avocado toast are just a sliver of what The Daily Ration offers.


My German days hit me all over again once I stepped into Brewhaus! This authentic German restaurant overlooks the Tennessee River with an outside deck and indoor benches. The pub was our first stop before we walked across the bridge to the aquarium and you can bet that I ordered my favorite German cuisine, currywurst, for dinner that night! The casual restaurant offers beer by the liter and huge German pretzels as an appetizer. I was impressed by their version of currywurst and would recommend checking this place out while in Chattanooga for a quick bite.

Taco Mamacita 

Chattanooga has a wide assortment of Mexican restaurants if you find yourself in the mood for a taco or quesadilla. Taco Mamacita, with its delicious Peruvian chicken, has a budget-friendly deal including 2 tacos and a side for $9.99. I opted out of the taco deal and chose the brisket rancheros which all ended up in my belly. I recommend checking out Taco Mamacita for lunch.

Other restaurant mentions include: Big River Grille, Stir, and Alleia.

Where to Stay


The downtown Chattanooga area has cute hotels that allow you to walk outside and take on the city by foot. However, Brian and I opted for the Airbnb route this time. We shared a guest house not too far from downtown and it felt nice to return home after a long day of exploring to what felt like our "home". The space had a queen-sized bed, full kitchen, and vintage clawfoot bathtub which treated us well for our five-day adventure. Sometimes you need to take a break from the hustle and bustle of a hotel stay and choose a quieter option like we did with our cute Airbnb.

Chattanooga Tennessee Travel Guide

The Dwell Hotel

I need to shout-out this beyond charming hotel, even though I didn't have the chance to walk inside it, because it would make for such a special trip to Chattanooga if you stayed at The Dwell Hotel. The mid-century modern decor and assortment of restaurants within the walls of this boutique hotel will have you wishing you could live there full-time! Each one of the 16 unique hotel rooms has a different theme to it.

The Palm Springs room looks like Lilly Pulitzer decorated it herself with the hot pink wallpaper. Brian and I want to return back to Chattanooga next year and a stay at The Dwell Hotel is on my must-do list! My friend and fellow blogger Louella Reese captured her stay at The Dwell Hotel in this blog post if you want to read more about her travels to Chattanooga, too.

Our trip was full of good eats, great conversations with old friends (and new ones for me!), and amazing natural wonders (Ruby Falls!).

I recommend a trip to Chattanooga for couples, families, and even for solo adventurers out there. 


  1. Love you! This is so well written even though I know what all we did and Chattanooga as well lol, I still loved reading it! P.S.: You forgot to include ICHIBAN for best places to eat ����


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