What's New in Chattanooga, TN: 2017-2018

Chattanooga is continuously evolving and growing, so you’ll always find new events, music venues, attractions, hotels, and restaurants popping up all over the city. Whether you’ve been here before, or you’re planning your first trip, it’s never been a more exciting time to visit Chattanooga!

ATTRACTIONS

LemurLemur Forest exhibit coming to Tennessee Aquarium: Red-ruffed and Ring-tailed Lemurs will get to play in their lush rainforest setting under the Aquarium’s glass peaks on the top floor of the Ocean Journey building. Found only on the island of Madagascar, these captivating creatures are one of the most endangered groups of mammals on the planet. (Opened March 1, 2017)
 

Songbirds Guitar MuseumSongbirds Guitars Museum opens with never-before-seen pieces: The brand new Songbirds Guitars museum features an unparalleled collection of more than 400 rare vintage instruments like no other on Earth. Exhibits will be refreshed periodically inviting guests back time and again to enjoy new chapters in guitar history. This dynamic space will set the standard for experiencing the living legacy of the instrument, and create an atmosphere for everyone—guitar lovers and music enthusiasts. (Opens March 10, 2017)

Ruby Falls ExpansionRuby Falls investing $20 million on expansion: The multi-year, multi-phase expansion at Ruby Falls on Lookout Mountain includes: modernizing the historic attraction, adding an outdoor observation area and new entrance lobby; upgrading ticketing, expanded restrooms, and much more. Ruby Falls is home to America’s deepest commercial cave and largest underground waterfall open for public viewing, featuring a 145-foot waterfall located 1,120 feet beneath the surface of Lookout Mountain. (2017-2018)

Wayne-O-RamaWayne-O-Rama Funhouse Exhibit creation of Wayne White: Wayne-O-Rama takes guests on a trip through the Scenic City’s history via the work of Wayne White, Emmy-winning artist and Chattanooga native. This exhibition is a massive, interactive funhouse that playfully and vividly recreates scenes and pays tribute to notable figures from centuries of Chattanooga’s rich history with incredible interactive sculptures, giant puppets, and immersive sound design. (Open Nov. 2016-Sept. 2017)

Tennessee RiverwalkNew $16 million, 3-mile Tennessee Riverpark extension: Chattanooga’s Riverpark has been recognized as one of the best in the nation by CNN, Thrillist, and more. The new 3-mile extension runs along the Tennessee River to the base of Lookout Mountain on Broad Street and leads people along the city’s industrial heritage. The expansion includes: Riverpark Amphitheater at Blue Goose Hollow (site of Bessie Smith’s first home and where she began singing for coins as a young girl), Chattanooga Bike Share station, landscaped trail and green spaces, new vistas of the Tennessee River, pavilion, restrooms, public art, and more. (Opened Aug. 2016)

Chattanooga Choo ChooChattanooga Choo Choo ongoing $20 million renovation: The Choo Choo’s renovations and additions include: Songbirds Guitar Museum (March 2017); Frothy Monkey coffee bar (April 2017); Hush Bar (2016); Revelry Room music venue (2015); STIR restaurant (2015); relocation of The Comedy Catch (2015); Back Stage Bar (2015); upgrades to Building 1 and the lobby; and conversion of Buildings 2 & 3 into apartments; and Station Street was renovated and includes patio access to The Comedy Catch, Back Stage Bar, STIR, The Terminal Brewhouse, and the Revelry Room. (2015-2017)

TNACITennessee Aquarium opens new state-of-the-art conservation institute: The new 14,000-square-foot state-of-the-art riverfront facility sits on the Baylor School campus and serves as the only freshwater science center in the Southeast. This biological field station houses propagation systems for reintroduction programs, fully-equipped labs for researchers, a spacious teaching lab, and enables the Tennessee Aquarium to focus on the research and restoration of freshwater animals and their habitats throughout the region. (Opened Oct. 2016)

Sculpture FieldsSculpture Fields at Montague Park features works by John Henry, Peter Lundberg & more: The new 33-acre park, located in the Southside District, features more than 30 world-renowned, large-scale sculptures, walking paths, green spaces, Commemorative Forest, and more. The project incorporates a historically industrial neighborhood into the city’s cultural mix. Future additions include a Visitors Center, classrooms, restrooms, amphitheater, children's play area, and approximately 50 more sculptures. (Opened April 2016)


 

Accessible Escape Experience3 Escape Experience Challenges in Chattanooga: An escape room game will challenge everyone to work together and create new memories in an action-packed environment. It’s loads of fun, and Chattanooga has some of the best escape experiences in the Southeast with a variety of rooms offered by three different companies: Escape Experience (Southside), Escape Mission (Northshore), and Quest2Escape (Riverfront / City Center).

ADDITIONAL NEW ATTRACTIONS:

 

CULINARY

RESTAURANTS OPENING SOON

  • Fall 2017/Scottie’s on the River will be a $2.3 million, 250-seat (with patio seating), high-end steak, seafood, and oyster restaurant adjacent to the SpringHill Suites by Marriott/Downtown Cameron Harbor.

 

NEWLY OPENED RESTAURANTS

 

EVENTS

IRONMANChattanooga first city on the planet to host four IRONMAN events: Chattanooga will host the 2017 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championships that will take place over two days: professional and age-group women will race on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, and the professional and age-group men will race on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. Hosting this event makes Chattanooga: 1 of 5 cities in North America to host both a full-distance IRONMAN and a 70.3 IRONMAN; 1 of 10 cities in the world to host both a full-distance IRONMAN and a 70.3 IRONMAN; and the ONLY city on the planet to host a full-distance IRONMAN, a 70.3 IRONMAN and the 70.3 IRONMAN World Championships (two events, two days). (Sept. 9-10, 2017)

Chattanooga MarathonChattanooga creates new sporting event - the Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee: The inaugural Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon took place in March of 2016. This year’s marathon weekend includes: Expo, Kids Fun Run, 5K, Team Relay, Half and Full marathons, Michelob Ultra Happy Hour experience, and live music on Friday night from 5-7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The never-competed-on courses feature scenic views throughout the Downtown, North Shore and St. Elmo areas. This event came together as a collaborative effort between government, civic and several other community organizations. (March 3-5, 2017)

Levitt AMPNew 10-week Levitt AMP Chattanooga Music Series begins fall of 2017: The Levitt AMP Chattanooga Music Series is a free, 10-week, Thursday-night concert series offering a diverse lineup of local, regional, and national artists. The series will be held on the front lawn of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center located in the historic Martin Luther King District, shining a light on its renowned musical heritage while reestablishing it as a thriving cultural destination. Patrons will also get to enjoy local food vendors, special themes, and special activities for children. The lineup is being scheduled by Jazzanooga and will be announced in early summer. (Thursdays, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Aug 24-Oct 26, 2017)

Noon TunesWeekly Noontunes free music series features local artists: Noontunes is a weekly, mid-day music performance in Miller Plaza that showcases local talent and offers a platform for artists to be seen and heard. Each performance is live streamed; recorded and aired on WUTC 88.1; and includes a host who discusses with the artist their background and song selection, providing insight and knowledge rarely gleaned from a standard show. For the inaugural 2016 season, Noontunes included Rick Rushing, Amber Fults, The Bohannons, Courtney Reid, Kofi Mawuko, and more. Free and open to the public. (Wednesdays, Noon-1 p.m., May 3-July 26, 2017)

Make Music Day ChattanoogaMake Music Day Chattanooga showcases local musicians: Make Music Day Chattanooga celebrates music by showcasing the city’s local talent. On Make Music Day, or Fêta De La Musique, musicians of all ages and levels will be performing live on streets, sidewalks, rooftops, venues and parks throughout the city. Make Music Day was started in France in 1982 and has grown to include more than 700 cities in 120 countries. Each city celebrates in whatever way best represents their culture. All events are free and open to the public. First event held in 2016. (June 21, 2017)


ACCOMMODATIONS & MEETING VENUES

ACCOMMODATIONS OPENING SOON

  • Fall 2018: Hilton Tru (downtown)
  • Fall 2018: Hampton Inn (Exit 1/East Ridge)
  • Summer 2018: SpringHill Suites by Marriott (Ooltewah, about 20 minutes from downtown)
  • Spring 2018: Moxy Hotel (downtown)
  • Winter 2017: Read House (renovation, downtown)
  • Fall 2017: Edwin Hotel (downtown)
  • Summer 2017: Westin (downtown)

 

NEWLY OPENED ACCOMMODATIONS

  • May 2016/Renovation: The Dwell Hotel boutique hotel (downtown)

 

TECHNOLOGY

10 Gigabyte InternetChattanooga implements world’s first 10 Gig Internet service: Chattanooga is known as the “Gig City” for being the first in the United States (Sept. 2010) to build a community-wide fiber-optic network capable of delivering 1 gigabit Internet speeds to every home and business in a 600 square-mile area. Chattanooga’s municipal utility, EPB Fiber Optics, is now offering the world’s first 10 gigabit Internet to the same service area (Oct. 2015). This pioneering new solution is the world’s most advanced ultra-broadband technology and is available in 3, 5 and 10 Gig options. EPB also constructed the Smart Grid, a next-generation electric system that includes communication capabilities designed to reduce the impact of power outages, improve response time and allow customers greater control of their electric power usage.