Summer is fast-approaching! What could be better than spending opening weekend cruising the Tennessee River on a steamboat or zip lining high above the treetops? Start your summer off right with Memorial Day fun in Chattanooga!
Celebrate summer’s opening weekend properly by hitting the water. The easiest way to explore Tennessee’s Grand Canyon is to hop aboard a riverboat. Several companies offer trips leaving from downtown docks. The Tennessee River Gorge Explorer features a state-of-the-art catamaran designed to get you down the river…fast. Climb aboard the Southern Belle to experience the luxury of 1800s-era riverboats. BYOB and tour the river via Chattanooga Cycleboats pedal-power on the Tennessee River. To explore both downtown and the river, take a ride on the Chattanooga Ducks, a renovated WWII landing craft used in the D-Day invasion. Or maybe explore the Tennessee River Gorge on an inflatable raft propelled by an outboard motor. Southeastern Adventure Tours can book adventure tours for all ages.
Catch A Concert
Memorial weekend is loaded with live music! It all kicks off Friday night at Nightfall, a free music series, featuring a diverse schedule of quality musical entertainment with local openers and national headlining acts. Bring your kids, lawn chairs, pets and friends to enjoy great live music, food and an ice cold beverage in the outdoor social atmosphere of downtown’s Miller Plaza. Rock City's Summer Music Weekends are back! Enjoy toe-tapping music and southern cuisine at Cafe 7 overlooking beautiful panoramic views. Afterwards, head to some of downtown’s favorite music venues for concerts that get you closer to the stage.
Whitewater fun is less than an hour from Chattanooga. The Ocoee River is famous for its class III and IV rapids and the location of the 1996 Olympic whitewater events. Several outfitters offer cabin rentals should you decide to make it a weekend, and some can even coordinate fly fishing expeditions, rock climbing, caving and kayaking adventures.
Civil War & Chattanooga History
Learn more about the War Between the States and the battles that took place around Chattanooga. Hear the cannons roar with Artillery Demonstrations at Point Park, or Make your way to the Chickamauga Battlefield to visit the pyramids honoring the battle's and the circumstances leading to their deaths.
Rock City Raptors
Enjoy a seven-state view from Lover’s Leap with the iconic sounds of Appalachian music wafting through the air while the Birds of Prey bring you closer than ever with hawks, owls, and bald eagles flying and “walking” through the crowd.
What Memorial Day Weekend would be complete without a picnic in the park or a football game of two-hand touch? Coolidge Park is where the locals go to hang out or throw a Frisbee. The fountains are perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. Just across the river, play in the cascading waterfalls at The Passage near the Tennessee Aquarium.
Kayaking & Paddleboarding
Looking to explore the river at your own pace? Put a paddle in your hand and a smile on your face on a kayak or SUP board. River Canyon Kayak and L2 Outside equip you with your own personal vessel for river exploration. If you’re not sure you want to head out by yourself, opt for a guided tour or join a group.
Ruby Falls Zip Stream
Get your adrenaline pumping with ZIPstream Aerial Adventure at Ruby Falls. Make your way through the trees on over 700 feet of high ropes course elements. The three courses offer loads of excitement with their many ladders, nets, walkways, bridges, tunnels, and zip lines. If you’re not feeling up for an entire obstacle course, soar high above the ground on the Tower ZIPline.
Admit it – your holiday weekend wouldn’t be complete without a funnel cake and a roller coaster ride. Located just minutes from downtown, Lake Winnepesaukah is a one-stop shop for family fun. Take a ride on the Cannonball Roller Coaster, a classic wooden coaster from the ‘60s or take on the newest attraction, Twister. The park is a fit for any age with a good mix of kiddie, family, and thrill rides. End your day with a bang by staying for fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights.