Welcome to the liveliest city in Tennessee. Known as “The Scenic City,” Chattanooga runs along the glorious Tennessee river and is home to an unbelievable number of beautiful attractions. Marine life, zoo animals, cavern waterfalls, and even up-mountain train rides make up the best outdoor tourist spots in Chattanooga. Of course, with impressive indoor attractions, including historic theaters and museums, vacationers who prefer air-conditioning to wind conditioning are bound to have just as much fun as their sun-kissed counterparts.
The only difficulty that comes from vacationing in Chattanooga is trying to remember how to spell the city’s name when you’re texting your friends to brag about how much fun you’re having. This is a city for everyone and anyone. Chattanooga manages to balance the nightlife and attractions of a larger city with the down-to-earth culture and quality eats of a small Tennessee town. Whether you’re looking for a rocking experience or a rocked-to-sleep experience, Stay Alfred is here to help you find the best travel apartment and tourist spots in all Chattanooga.
We here at Stay Alfred understand that there’s a lot that goes into deciding where to stay in a new city. The luggage has been found, the airplane tickets bought, the plant watered, yet one question still hangs overhead: where are you going to stay? Fortunately, we’ll have that question answered by the end of this article.
The way we see it, there’s no need for travelers like you to go through the exhausting process of comparing a hundred different hotels, each with the same basic offerings. Not when you can enjoy a full apartment – complete with a washer and dryer and a kitchen – just steps away from the best of downtown Chattanooga.
Downtown Chattanooga Delights
The Scenic City has become a tourist hotspot of late, and downtown is the reason. With easy access to museums, parks, a plethora of mouth-watering restaurants, and the renowned Tennessee Aquarium, it’s no surprise more and more people are looking to stay in downtown Chattanooga.
Many attractions in Downtown Chattanooga are simply too good to pass up. Chief among those is the Chattanooga Zoo. What started in 1937 as two humble 4x6 cages showcasing Rhesus monkeys has evolved into a 13-acre park with an exceptional range of exotic animals saved in recent conservation efforts. The zoo is a non-profit organization that uses visitor funds and donations for wildlife rehabilitation, meaning you get to see some wild animals and do some good for them at the same time.
If you have grass allergies or a healthy fear of any cat that can fit your head in its jaws, you might prefer the sea life swimming around Tennessee Aquarium. Rated the best aquarium in America for overall visitor satisfaction, the Tennessee Aquarium is easily one of the most popular attractions in all of Tennessee. Situated along the banks of the Tennessee River, the facility hosts 12,000 animals spanning approximately 800 species. It’s complete with an IMAX theater, a ton of age-variant educational events, and even a chance to dream alongside sharks and stingrays with Sleep in the Deep!
For anyone who’s staying in Chattanooga with kids, the Creative Discovery Museum is a great place to spend the day. This children’s museum houses art, music, a rooftop exhibit, field sciences, and a water-themed play area. If your kids are too wound up for a day at the museum, check out Coolidge Park. A restored carousel and an interactive play-fountain make the park fun for youngsters, and the wide-open spaces make it fun for anyone with a hacky sack.
For anyone who’s staying in Chattanooga without kids, it’s our pleasure to recommend the Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery. In addition to having a name that sounds like it was invented by Dr. Seuss, this hip distillery offers award-winning bourbon, artisanal cocktails, and 1-hour guided tours featuring tasting flights. See what we mean about the Scenic City having something for everyone?
Meet Stay Alfred at Market City Center
Now that you’ve gotten a taste of what Downtown Chattanooga is all about, it’s time to get down to brass tacks. Where are you going to retire after a day of exploration, adventure, and fine dining? What travel apartment can offer ten-story views and spacious private rooms? The answer is Stay Alfred at Market City Center. Most travel apartments have some amenities, but Stay Alfred at Market City Center takes it to the next level. The roomy outdoor rooftop terrace on the fourth floor offers a lovely view of the Scenic City, while a resident lounge is available for indoor relaxation. Never fear, athletes – our state-of-the-art fitness center has three treadmills, a full weight set, medicine balls, and a half-dozen bicycles. Need to refuel? The inhouse restaurant, Bantam and Biddy, offers traditional Southern fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day!
The best part of vacationing with Stay Alfred at Market City Center? You’re within a mile of some of the best attractions in Tennessee. The Tivoli Theatre, known as the “Jewel of the South,” is a historic venue in Downtown Chattanooga that hosts everything from live music performances to Broadway shows. Even if you’re not staying in Chattanooga while a show you’d like to see is playing, the Tivoli’s intricate design and fascinating architecture make this gorgeous building worth the visit. Or, you can check out the nearby Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium, which was built by the architect of the Tivoli and stands as a memorial to the men and women who have lost their lives in the United States Armed Forces.
But hey, maybe your crew is more into places of quiet solitude than crowded performance venues. That’s great! Any motorheads in your group will love the Coker Tire Museum, which hosts a fine collection of refurbished vintage cars and motorcycles for your viewing pleasure. For those introverts who are more into being outside than in museums, we suggest walking to Miller Park. Renovated just last year, this centrally located park has a nice area for leisure and picnicking, along with play areas for youngsters. Check out the park’s upcoming events to see if there’s anything happening during your stay in the Scenic City!
Let’s get to the meat of this section. Which of the dozens of inviting restaurants within walking distance of Stay Alfred at Market City Center should you try? The truth is, with so many outstanding options, your best bet is to stroll around downtown and see what catches your eye. That said, you have got to try Sticky Fingers Ribhouse. This ribhouse has been endorsed by Golf Magazine, Reader’s Digest, and former President George W. Bush himself. That’s right – the President from Texas talked about how good the Southern-style barbecue at Sticky Fingers Ribhouse is.
Naturally, you’ll be wanting to wash down that barbecue sauce with something a little stronger. As with restaurants, there are so many bodacious bars in Downtown Chattanooga that we don’t want to limit your exploratory fun. So we’ll keep it simple – for live music, head down to The Honest Pint. For tons of games and a socializing atmosphere, you’ll want Hair of the Dog Pub. Both are super close to Stay Alfred at Market City Center, so no need to worry about getting an Uber!
Cheery Chattanooga Attractions
At this point, you’re all caught up on where to stay in Downtown Chattanooga, and you know about the cool city-based attractions. But don’t finalize your schedule just yet, because we’ve saved the very best of Chattanooga for last. Remember how we said that Chattanooga is known for its stunning outdoor attractions? You wouldn’t want to miss these spectacles.
Conveniently enough, all of Chattanooga’s hottest attractions can be accessed on Lookout Mountain. With nearly 2,400 feet of elevation from base to summit, coupled with incredible waterfalls and plant life, it’s no surprise Lookout Mountain is a popular spot to visit. The fact that the mountain is a part of American Civil War history, and that an Incline Railway can take you from bottom to top and vice versa, are just bonuses. Oh, and that’s not all. At the top of Lookout Mountain are the famous Tennessee Rock City Gardens, which show off a stunning view of the mountain from the top of an enormous waterfall. You want to know what’s really nuts? Rock City Gardens has only the second-best waterfall on Lookout Mountain. Tucked away deep inside of Lookout is Ruby Falls. Only discovered in 1982, Ruby Falls is the tallest and deepest underground waterfall in America. You won’t believe the colors that are reflected around Ruby Falls until you see them for yourself. Get your gang a cavern exploration ticket and your group can spend an entire day wandering over, around, and through Lookout Mountain.
Congrats! Now you have everything you need to book the perfect vacation in Downtown Chattanooga. All that’s left is those last-minute decisions about what to take with you and what to leave behind. No worries on that front – Stay Alfred has prepped this packing list for your convenience.