Bluff View Art District

#3 in Best Things To Do in Chattanooga
Bluff View Art District picture
Courtesy of the Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau

Key Info

411 E 2nd Street

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Cafes, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.8scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Those who find themselves beat after traversing the city's many natural attractions should consider taking a stroll through the charming Bluff View Art District. Situated atop a bluff overlooking the Tennessee River and downtown Chattanooga, this district is barely a neighborhood, it stretches across just 1½ blocks. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in character. Lush vines hug buildings, public works of art are carefully strewn along the waterfront and some of Chattanooga's most popular sustainable eateries, including Rembrandt's Coffee House and Tony's Pasta Shop & Trattoria, call this area home.

The small district also boasts three art institutions: The Houston Museum of Decorative Arts, The River Gallery and the Hunter Museum of American Art. The Houston Museum of Decorative Arts features a collection of Victorian art glass and antiques, while the River Gallery focuses on visual art, showcasing many different mediums from paintings to ceramics and even jewelry from local and national artists. The River Gallery also has a stunning sculpture garden, which is currently listed in the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Gardens. The Hunter Museum of American Art is the biggest of the family, sprawling across three buildings, each of which displays art that matches the architecture's style. For example, the Colonial-style mansion houses art from the colonial period, while two other modern buildings feature more contemporary works. The Hunter Museum of American Art has featured the likes of Monet and permanently houses work from Andy Warhol.

Recent visitors to Bluff View Art District found the tiny neighborhood to be lovely, with many recommending a visit to the River Gallery sculpture garden and Rembrandt's Coffee House for some dessert. Many others loved that so many interesting places, especially the museums, were within short walking distance of one another. Some travelers, however, complained that there wasn't too much to do aside from eat and visit museums, but were keen to point out that the views from atop the river were impressive.

The Bluff View Art District is 1 mile northeast of downtown Chattanooga, and easily reachable on foot or bike. For those with a car, the district offers free parking lots and street parking. 

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Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park1 of 6
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Type
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#1 Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park

Along with natural attractions and a notable role in history of the rail industry, Chattanooga is very well-known for being a Civil War battleground. The Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park is the oldest and largest of America's Civil War parks, encompassing land north and south of the Tennessee-Georgia border. During the Civil War, Chattanooga was considered to be an attractive area for its railroads and location, earning the title of the "Gateway of the Deep South." In 1843, battles broke out in various areas in Chickamauga and Chattanooga, with both the Union and Confederate troops experiencing victories and losses.

The park is headquartered at Chickamauga, Georgia, which is about 9 miles south of downtown Chattanooga. Visitors looking to stay in Tennessee are still within reach of many important war sites, including Orchard's Knob, the Chattanooga National Cemetery, Signal Point, Lookout Mountain and various areas along the Missionary Ridge. Those with a tight itinerary (and who already have plans to visit either Ruby Falls, Rock City or ride the Incline Railway), should visit Point Park, the site of the "Battle Above the Clouds" and the Battles for Chattanooga Museum at Lookout Mountain.

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David Brossard/Flickr
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