When you think of a romantic weekend getaway, there are a number of cities that come to mind. Though Chattanooga might not be at the top of your list, it should be! Right on the Tennessee River and with a budding culinary scene, Scenic City has something for all couples. So what are you waiting for? Get ready for a romantic getaway!
Things to do in Chattanooga for a romantic weekend away
Eat, Sip, Walk: A Culinary Date Night
What better way to get to know a city that a culinary tour? Head downtown and do a self-guided tour so you can hop from one place to another as you eat and sip your way through the city. You can enjoy appetizers on at the popular Easy Bistro or Bluewater Grille. Both restaurants have front porch seating and great custom cocktails. If you are looking for fresh seafood, they are also great options! When you are ready for dinner, you’ve got some options too.
If you’re in the mood for one of the best steaks in town head over to Hennen’s. But if you are in the mood for a more gastro-pub international menu you’ll want to find yourself under the wisteria-draped back porch of Back Inn Cafe. You can end your night on a sweet note with coffee and dessert at Rembrandt’s Coffeehouse, an adorable Frech cottage where the in-house pastry chef is known for their artisan chocolates. You can enjoy your treats on the patio or take them to go as you explore the city’s public art scene.
Check Out the Art and History Scene
See how the Bluff View Arts District got its name! Start your day at The Hunter Museum of American Art with a view unlike any other in town. As you stroll through three buildings perched on 80-foot cliffs above the river that house the collection, you will see works from artists like Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, and Thomas Cole. You can continue your art journey with a visit to the River Gallery Sculpture Garden, nationally acclaimed and recognized by the Smithsonian in its Archive of American Gardens. The garden is maintained by Master Gardeners (#DreamJob) so you can expect perfectly manicured shrubberies (!) to frame the sculptures. Once you’ve gotten your fix of other people’s art, stop by the River Gallery to add some art to your personal collection! The small cottage is filled with paintings, sculptures, pottery, and jewelry from regional and national artists.
There are a number of great places to grab lunch or dinner in the arts district too, so if you want to make a day of it you can!
Chattanooga is full of great outdoor spaces and parks. Pack a picnic and spend the day at Coolidge Park or Renaissance Park. Right up the road from downtown Chattanooga is the beautiful and majestic Lookout Mountain where you can easily spend a whole day exploring. If you are looking to get a hike in and packed walking shoes, check out Glen Falls Trail on Lookout Mountain.
We hope it doesn’t rain on your romantic getaway, but if it does you can visit High Point Climbing and Fitness on Broad Street in downtown Chattanooga. As one of the nation’s largest climbing facilities, High Point can accommodate any level climber so no need to worry about experience levels.
Visit the Aquarium
The Tennessee Aquarium is a Chattanooga’s must-see. Many will tell you that a trip to Scenic City isn’t the same without a visit to the aquarium! With a saltwater building and a freshwater building, you’ll see penguins, sea otters, giant sturgeon and even encounter some butterflies in the butterfly garden. Consider doing a backstage pass to see the behind-the-scenes operations of the world’s largest freshwater aquarium and the chance to feed the otters. You’ll also see firsthand why Chattanooga is a great family vacation destination.
Board a River Cruise
Looking for a slower pace? Why not hop on the Southern Belle Riverboat and take in some gorgeous panoramic views of the riverfront? While on board the vintage steamboat you’ll learn about the Tennessee River’s history and the legends that are whispered about along her waterways.
There is nothing better to do in a historic and old city than to go on a ghost tour! Learn about the history of the city and some of its more colorful spirited residents. Just make sure you check the weather before hand! No one wants to be scared and wet.
Chatanooga’s Southside neighborhood is a fun date night destination option. Like any good arts up and coming neighborhood, Southside was once the urban center of Chattanooga. It came to be known for its big abandoned buildings and empty warehouses but that isn’t what the scene looks like today. The neighborhood you see today is revitalized! Art, culture, entertainment, and good food that have given Chattanooga a cool rap have filled the has-been area.
Southside is an eclectic mixture of art, food, and people. If you’re looking for a cool and trendy (but didn’t try too hard) kinda hang out, head to Clyde’s for BBQ and ping pong. Southside Social is another great spot! The boutique bowling alley has pool tables, skee ball, ping pong, shuffleboard, bocce ball, and more games to keep your date night fun and lively with some friendly competition! And did we mention it has three bars AND a cigar bar?
You can walk along Main Street for a more casual night. There are a number of shops, galleries, and great public art pieces along the way. Art on Main Street exhibits a collection of sculptures and murals that showcases the local talent and creativity of the city alongside art galleries and studios. Make sure you stop by the HART Gallery which exhibits works crafted by members of the city’s homeless population. The gallery gives these special artists a place to sell their work.
Music lovers looking for intimate settings for entertainment will love Southside’s venues. Track29, one of Chattanooga’s favorite venues has had Chris Stapleton and Grace Potter as guests but if you’re looking for laughs The Comedy Catch is a local favorite. And for the craft brew fans out there a tour at Chattanooga Brewing Company is always a great option too!
Southside is a dining destination in the city. If you’re wanting to settle in for a nice dinner, Alleia is where you want to go! For regional flavors look to Bluegrass Grill and Blue Orleans. Looking for more international flavors? Conga Latin Food and La Altena won’t disappoint!
Other options include Easy Bistro & Bar, Beast + Barrel, St. John’s, 212 Market, Flying Squirrel, Slick’s Burgers, Terminal Brewhouse, and Tremont Tavern to name a few. For drinks and a nightcap, STIR is the way to go!