Spring Break in Chattanooga


photo credit: Robin Dance

Whether you are planning a staycation or coming from another place, Chattanooga is a fantastic place to visit for Spring Break. Often by late March to April, it’s warm enough for just a jacket (and occasionally short sleeves!). Our downtown is chock full of interesting places to explore. We have the river, the mountains, caves, fountains, carousels, and more! Even if you think you know the area, maybe there are a few places you’ve yet to explore.

(I have lived here for six years and never been to Ruby Falls. Is that a sin?)

Spring Break Safari

photo credit: Chattanooga CVB

Check Out the Spring Break Safari

For the last several years, several attractions have come together to provide a great adventure in the “Spring Break Safari.” This year, you can participate in the Safari anytime between March 14 and April 19. You can either download a guide or pick one up at any of the participating locations; then, use the guide to explore new places, find the answers to questions, and snap some pictures of your family at the locations. Share these pictures with an attendant and get a prize at each location!

The participating places are:

  • Bluff View Art District
  • Chattanooga Choo-Choo
  • Chattanooga Zoo
  • Creative Discovery Museum
  • Hunter Museum
  • North Shore
  • Riverfront
  • Rock City
  • Ruby Falls
  • Southern Belle Riverboat
  • Southside
  • Tennessee Aquarium
  • Tennessee Valley Railroad

Photo credit: Chattanooga CMB

Photo credit: Chattanooga CVB

Where to Stay?

Downtown has tons of hotels, including the historic Chattanooga Choo-Choo, which is very near to the Main Street area. Within easy walking distance from there, you can visit Niedlov’s for pastries and coffee, Bluegrass Grill for a breakfast to die for, or Alleia for a knock-your-socks-off Italian dinner (if your kids are older/teens).

I love the location of the Courtyard by Marriott, which is next door to the Creative Discovery Museum and down the street from the Aquarium, with AT&T Field, where Chattanooga’s minor-league baseball team plays, in its backyard. For lunch, walk toward the river and you will find The Blue Plate, a kid-friendly diner-type restaurant with excellent burgers, chips, and fried green tomatoes, as well as other Southern favorites. It’s not far to Big River Grille, either, a local favorite with American favorites with a twist — like my favorite Hazelnut-Crusted Chicken with sun-dried cherry sauce.

Some other great downtown hotels include:

photo credit: Chattanooga CVB

Photo credit: Chattanooga CVB

Exploring the Great Outdoors

Weather permitting, the months of March and April are usually the best time to find an outdoor spot to enjoy in Chattanooga. Here are some ideas for getting fresh air while taking it what the Scenic City has to offer.

  • Stroll or bike along the Riverwalk. The ten-mile long concrete path goes all the way from the Chickamauga Dam to downtown Chattanooga, near Ross’s Landing. Pick a stretch and take a walk. The section at 4301 Amnicola Highway also has a big playground, picnic shelters with grills, and plenty of greenspace for running around. (Just a note that if you brought your family pet along with you, no dogs are allowed on most parts of the Riverwalk.)
  • Take in a Lookouts game. The minor-league baseball team will play home games April 12-16. Tickets are $3-9 and can be purchased online or at the field.
  • Check out a local playground. Chattanooga is filled with wonderful play structures, including many at Vandergriff Park in Hixson, the Pumpkin Patch on Signal Mountain, and Riverview Park near downtown. A listing of all local park facilities can be seen on the Chattanooga government site.
  • Of course, many of the attractions on the Spring Break Safari are outdoors as well: exploring neighborhoods, Rock City, the zoo, and more.

And if the weather is bad?

Chattanooga Events from March 14 to April 19

In short, there is enough in Chattanooga to keep you busy, well-fed, active, and entertained for weeks. Enjoy your Spring Break in the Scenic City!

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3 Responses to Spring Break in Chattanooga

  1. Meredith March 2, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

    Great post! We still haven’t done Chattanooga for Spring break!

    • Jessie Weaver
      Jessie Weaver March 7, 2016 at 7:52 am #

      Thanks, Meredith! I am sure your family would love it!

  2. Jennifer Young March 3, 2016 at 9:58 am #

    I love this!!! I’m seriously considering visiting for a few days.