Summer is fast-approaching, and 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! For a full list of events happening over the Memorial Day Weekend, click here.
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.
Ruby Falls ZIPStream Aerial Adventure
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.
Listen to Live Music
Memorial Day 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
Check out the Chattanooga Market
Consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation – including a top 10 nod from Frommer’s – this weekly farmers market is the real deal featuring producer-only products. That’s a fancy way of saying the person smiling behind the booth either helped make or grow what they’re selling, whether it’s a hand-blown glass bead necklace or a bushel of tomatoes picked that morning (usually within a 100 mile radius). This Memorial Day weekend, you can enjoy the Street Food Festival featuring over two dozen local and regional food trucks. The Chattanooga Market is open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. each Sunday and is a great place to enjoy live music as you stroll through the First Tennessee Pavilion.
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. 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.
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 battles and the circumstances leading to their deaths.
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.
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.
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 equips 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. If you want to try your hand at Stand Up Paddleboarding, stop by L2 Outside for rentals, lessons, and a SUP sunset paddle down the Tennessee River.