Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park

#1 in Best Things To Do in Chattanooga
Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park picture
David Brossard/Flickr

Key Info

3370 Lafayette Rd

Details

Monuments and Memorials, Museums, Recreation, Sightseeing, Tours Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.9scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

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.

Recent travelers were impressed by the preservation of the national park and appreciated the amount of information available to visitors, both laid throughout the park and within the visitors center. Some travelers recommended taking a tour with a park ranger, as their narration made the sites come alive. National park rangers offer a variety of free guided tours at Lookout Mountain battle sites and Chickamauga during the summer. The Chickamauga section of the park is free, but there is a $5 fee to enter Point Park for adults, while children younger than 16 can visit for free. The Chickamauga & Chattanooga national parks open at 6 a.m. and close at sunset year-round. The Chickamauga Battleground visitors center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Lookout Mountain Battleground visitors center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round. For more information, visit the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park website

See all Hotels in Chattanooga »

More Best Things To Do in Chattanooga

Tennessee Aquarium1 of 6
Bluff View Art District2 of 6
Type
Time to Spend
#2 Tennessee Aquarium

The Tennessee Aquarium is one of the world's largest freshwater aquariums, and easily Chattanooga's biggest attraction, contributing more than $100 million to the city's economy annually. And for good reason: The Tennessee Aquarium isn't your average fish tank. The aquarium aims to take visitors on a journey, and features eclectic animals that dwell above and below sea level. The theme of the journey is the migration of a raindrop as it makes its way from atop a mountain stream to the bottom of the ocean. Through the "River Journey" exhibit, visitors travel through the Appalachian Cove Forrest to the Tennessee River, meeting many friends along the way, including chirping birds, river otters, alligators, turtles and more. The Ocean Journey follows that same raindrop deep into the ocean, where penguins, jellyfish, sharks and colorful reef fish live. There is also a pool of stingrays, which visitors are allowed to touch, featured along the journey.

The aquarium offers more than two dozen animal programs complimentary to visitors. There are various Keeper Talks and the Secret Reef Dive Show, where divers answer questions from visitors within the tank. There is also the unique Butterfly Release show where patrons can help release new butterflies into the aquarium's Butterfly Garden. Recent travelers loved their visit at the aquarium, with many amazed by the amount of animals housed at the facility. Along with the animals, reviewers were also pleased with the knowledgeable staff members. Some travelers reported being able to spend more than one day at the aquarium, thanks to the fun atmosphere and a variety of things to see and do. Visitors also highly recommend a stop here if you're traveling with children. A few travelers even advised springing for the Backstage Pass, which allows guests to spend time with the keepers to get more up close and personal with the animals.   

Read more
Charles B. Rich/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Chattanooga »

Explore More of Chattanooga

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019

The Top Pyramids in Mexico to Visit

Add these ancient marvels to your Mexico vacation itinerary.

Lyn MettlerOctober 28, 2019

30 Top Babymoon Destinations, Trips and Ideas

From romantic beach getaways to big city adventures to glamping in the forest, these locales will inspire your babymoon planning.

Gwen PratesiOctober 15, 2019

15 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant

These tips will help pregnant women travel the world in comfort and style.

Holly JohnsonOctober 10, 2019

The Best Chicago Segway Tours

See all the top sights in the Windy City without breaking a sweat.

Marisa MéndezOctober 3, 2019