Unique views in Chattanooga, TN

Staying in locations for 30 days has afforded me the opportunity of restlessness, (ie finding unique stuff to do in the area). Of course, there are the typical touristy things to do in the area, and I have thoroughly enjoyed checking out those things (check out my post on that here). But as my stay progressed I have ventured out to find some really unique places and views around Chattanooga. I have fallen in love with the quaint city. It really has the vibe of city life but not all the congestion that is commensurate with big cities. 

Parking near downtown has not been a problem for me (although most is metered parking, you can use the park mobile app) it’s typically a couple bucks, so not a huge deal. There are a couple of lots I found that you had to have a four hour minimum which is weird, but you learn quickly to find an alternative. 

If you are visiting Chattanooga and are looking to find the uniqueness of the area here are some of my recommendations! (most of the sites are dog friendly, the restaurants listed are not dog friendly) I found a resource for local events and news that I subscribed to while I was in town to help me discover new things in the area. Check it out here.

Unique views in Chattanooga, TN

Sculpture Fields – This is a large park near Main Street is great for pups as well as offering HUGE sculptures throughout the park. And there are not huge crowds, as a matter of fact, when we visited it was mostly empty.

What exactly is it, you may ask:

A 33-acre International Sculpture Park

Free and open to the public for everyone to enjoy

A calming oasis in the heart of Chattanooga’s Southside

A 100% outdoor art museum, on a colossal scale

A fully reconstructed brownfield on the site of a former dump

Home to over 40 large-scale sculptures ((WOW!!))

A partner of local business, bringing fine art outside our gates

One of Tennessee’s leading cultural tourism attraction

A place to walk, run, and bicycle on over 1.5 miles of trail

Dog-friendly for responsible pet owners

An educational resource for students across the Southeast

a 501c3 Charity organization funded by the community, for the community

McCallie Rd Public Art
MLK Jr Blvd

Public Art – All throughout the city, artists have been commissioned to paint buildings.  As the story goes, Local artist Kevin Bate started this “world’s first drive-through gallery” in an effort to liven up the street with local art. The project recruited artists from across the city and paid them to create murals with very few creative restrictions and invited people from surrounding neighborhoods to help out, resulting in the unique art you can see today.  

I have been fascinated by these paintings and stopped multiple times on my journeys out to capture the beauty of art on random buildings. 

My favorites so far have been found on MLK, JR Blvd and McCallie Ave. Check out this article in Nooga Today that also has a map of where to find all the art throughout the city.

Sculpture gardens at Battery place – I happened upon this place when I was on the Riverwalk. It stays locked a lot of the time (you can still see in) I was so excited when I walked past and it was open. Tink and I took a little tour of the gardens. It overlooks the Tennessee River and it just quite lovely. “It features a formal garden area, meditation area, recycling mountain stream and nature walk. This tranquil outdoor gallery is the perfect place to pause for reflection or enlightenment.” For more information, check out this website

Chattanooga Riverwalk
Sunset from Chattanooga Riverwalk

Tennessee Riverwalk – Not much unique about riverwalks but I like the section that begins at the Rowing Center. It is large enough for runners, walkers, bikers AND our pets. I like this area because it doesn’t typically have a lot of traffic and I walk by a football field, lovely riverside homes and it takes me over the highway right into the Bluff View Art District. It is well lit, lots of dog stations, public restrooms and beautiful scenery. 

Chickamauga Gorge

Chickamauga Gorge – This hike is very close to town. There were lots of families on the trail  because there are places to stop and swim. As you climb higher you will note that it is very rocky (like you are walking exclusively on rocks, there is no solid dirt/ground) It is less than a mile but that is a pretty tough mile! Totally worth it though as this was a beautiful view and I loved being near the river so I didn’t feel like I might get lost in the woods!

Cloudland Canyon – When I went up the mountain it was pouring down rain so there were not a lot of folks up there. It is a very well maintained park with well defined trails. It is just breathtaking!! 

The Refindery – this funky shop has been begging me to stop in since I first saw it. Usually Tink was with me so that wasn’t an option. Finally, I arrived. What a great shop! It has local retailers all in one location. Everything antique, funky and fun is what I found in the Refindery. I had so much fun just walking through the aisles to discover fun decor. 

Pruitts grocery on Signal Mountain – I love the history of this place AND that is has “community hub” where you can order your picnic and head outside to their porch or outdoor picnic tables to enjoy your meal. They have some unique homemade items and the staff is super friendly. According to local lore, “Pruett’s Market started way back in 1953 when AC Pruett was on his way to the Chattanooga Market from Big Ridge, NC. He was carrying a load of cabbage to sell there, when his truck broke down on East 3rd Street in downtown Chattanooga. He decided to sell his cabbage right there – out of the bed of his truck! And from there Pruett’s Food Town was born. The family grocery business continues on today with A.C.’s Grandson, Chuck Pruett, who purchased it in 2015. Since then, Pruett’s has undergone several remodels and evolved into what it is today: The Grocery Store of the Community.”

Places to eat:

Feed Tavern – This place is super easy to find on Main Street. It’s very laid back and the food is DELISH!! “Locally owned neighborhood restaurant offers a seasonal menu of inventive farm fresh cuisine cooked simply and deliciously in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Specializing in farm to table favorites with a unique twist, they serve lunch and dinner along with weekend brunch. My recommendation is to try the Mama’s Fix (drink) and the brussel sprouts + artichoke dip!

Boathouse – right on the river, this place has wonderful dinners and the staff and patrons are super friendly. There are a lot of regulars, so you know it’s good! The view of sunset from the porch or bar is spectacular. 

Together Cafe – this cafe is off the beaten path but very popular among the locals. I worked out of the cafe on several occasions. The chai tea latte is yummy. The seating is comfortable and easy to plug in to work. The thing I like most about this place is their mission! “Our Mission is to Raise Awareness for Survivors of Human Trafficking. A portion of each sale benefits organizations and non-profits that are working to help restore survivors and victims of human and sex trafficking.” Pretty great, right?!

Mean Mug Cafe – there are several locations for Mean Mug and a couple of them are dog friendly! The local coffee shop scene in Chattanooga is really great. Mean Mug is part of that scene. Good place to get work done and have a lovely cup of coffee.