What’s New in Chattanooga

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!

Songbirds Vault
 

ATTRACTIONS

Songbirds Guitars Museum opens with rare and vintage pieces:
Songbirds Guitar Museum offers a unique rock & roll experience with an unparalleled permanent and rotating collection of more than 500 rare vintage instruments. Each display features instruments that made the music as well as the stories and artists that brought them to life.  The main exhibits are self-guided and the All Access Tours include a guided tour through the main exhibits and access to the Green Room and the Vault, where some of the most exclusive guitars in the world are displayed (require advance registration). The museum also offers regular live music, educational workshops, and can be booked for special events. (Opened March 10, 2017)

Station Street opens as Chattanooga’s newest entertainment destination:
Station Street, formerly a low-traffic alleyway along the side of the Chattanooga Choo Choo, is now pedestrian-friendly with an entertainment focus. The paved and landscaped street offers patio access to a broad range of entertainment options including Songbirds Guitar Museum, The Comedy Catch, Terminal Brewhouse, STIR, Backstage Bar, Hush, Revelry Room, Frothy Monkey, Regan’s Place, and more in the works. The street is now used as an outdoor festival space and recently became the 11th street nationwide to allow on-street consumption of alcohol (only from businesses adjacent to the street). The North end of the street connects to businesses along Market Street including Blue Orleans, Tennessee Stillhouse, and the Hot Chocolatier. The South end includes The Crash Pad, Flying Squirrel, Alleia, Main Street Meats, and additional businesses along Main Street.
 
Station Street

Lemur Forest Exhibit opens at the Tennessee Aquarium:
Red-ruffed and Ring-tailed Lemurs are playing 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. The exhibit provides an opportunity to better understand their story of survival and what’s being done to save them from extinction. Additional upgrades on this floor include renovations of the Stingray Bay touch tank and a dramatic new wall of tropical plants featuring Orchids and Nepenthes (pitcher plants), from the ceiling to the floor, and water gently cascading into a small, plant-filled pool. (Opened March 1, 2017)
 
Gray Line of Tennessee starts The Chattanooga Hop On/Off trolley tour:
The Chattanooga Hop takes visitors on a 75 minute tour and stops at 12 iconic attractions and points of interest. Guests can hop aboard/off the classic red & green trolley at any of the 12 stops. Tours start and end at the Chattanooga Choo Choo and run daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online, on board the trolley, or at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. The pass includes unlimited hop on/hop off privileges at all stops plus the second day FREE. (Launched March 2017)

Tennessee Aquarium opens new exhibit featuring holographic technology:
From virtual reality immersive learning, the region’s first IMAX with Laser projection system, to the only tweeting electric eel in the world, the Tennessee Aquarium continues to be a leader with technology. The new exhibit – Tiny, But Mighty Important – features never-seen-before holographic technology focusing on the role humans play in water quality and the importance of animals such as shiners, darters, and minnows. Guests can watch a short presentation appearing to float in mid-air that illustrates the devastating impact that silt and erosion can have on freshwater ecosystems. By telling the story of freshwater life in such a novel fashion, the exhibit will effectively show guests that even small species can be hugely important. (Opened Nov. 2017)
 
TN Aqua Holographic
 
Miller Park undergoing $8.5 million renovation:
Miller Park, located in downtown’s Innovation District, will undergo major  renovations that include elevating the park to street level, a larger open lawn, amphitheater with stage for entertainment, climbable rock outcropping, shaded area, more trees, garden walk, and an enclosed pavilion with restrooms, warming pantry for food, and a moveable glass partition. Additional $5 million improvements to the area around Miller Park include: connecting Miller Plaza, adding trees to the median on MLK Blvd., making the area more pedestrian friendly, redesigning traffic and pedestrian flow on Patten Parkway, and more. (Summer 2018)
 
Ruby Falls investing $20 million on expansion:
The multi-year, multi-phase expansion will enhance the visitor experience. Phase I and II highlights include: modernizing the historic attraction; adding an outdoor observation area where guests can relax and enjoy spectacular views; new entrance lobby; improved ticketing experience; expanded retail; renovated & expanded restrooms and office space; and additional parking. Ruby Falls is home to America’s deepest commercial cave and tallest underground waterfall open for public viewing, featuring a 145-foot waterfall located 1,120 feet beneath the surface of Lookout Mountain. (Opening Spring 2018)
 
Additional New Attractions:
 
Alimentari
 

CULINARY

Restaurants Opening Soon
  • Spring 2018/Scottie’s on the River will be a $2.3 million, 250-seat (with patio seating overlooking the Tennessee River), high-end steak, seafood, and oyster restaurant adjacent to the SpringHill Suites by Marriott/Downtown Cameron Harbor. (Riverfront District)
 
Newly Opened Restaurants/ Tours
 
Westin Hotel Guest Room
 

ACCOMMODATIONS & MEETING VENUES

Accommodations Opening Soon
  • NEW/Fall 2018: Hampton Inn will be open off of I-75 at Exit 1/East Ridge near the new Bass Pro Shop. The hotel will include 88 guest rooms, outdoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness facility, business center, and more. The property will be a part of the 50-acre Jordan Crossing shopping center that is also expected to include retail and restaurants. Property by Chattanooga’s Vision Hospitality Group.
  • NEW/Spring 2018: Moxy Hotel, a boutique hotel with the social heart of a hostel, will open in the Southside District across from St. John’s Restaurant. The four-story property will include 102 rooms, free wifi, cushy beds, stylish design, vibrant communal spaces, modern services, in-room storage (big enough to fit a bicycle), and a bar. Moxy Hotels is Marriott International’s new millennial-focused brand that debuted in September 2014 with the opening of the Moxy Milan Italy. Property by Chattanooga’s 3H Group.
  • NEW/Spring 2018: Edwin Hotel will be an upscale, five-story boutique hotel downtown at the South end of Walnut Street Bridge. The hotel name celebrates Edwin Thacher who led the development of the iconic Walnut Street Bridge in 1891. The property will include 90 rooms, approximately 1,400 square feet of meeting space (that can be divided into two rooms), upscale décor, rooftop bar, local art, and a restaurant. Property by Chattanooga’s Vision Hospitality Group.
  • RENOVATION/Spring 2018: The historic Read House hotel, located downtown, is undergoing $20 million in major renovations. The renovations include upgrading the 242 guest rooms with new technology and bathroom furnishings, as well as transforming the lobby, ballroom, and restaurant to create a modern version of the hotel’s original grandeur. Portions of the hotel will be open and operational throughout the project. Property by Avocet Hospitality Group.
  • NEW/2020: The Tru by Hilton hotel will open next to the Doubletree on Chestnut Street. The new $17 million, seven-story property will include 114 rooms, four-zone lobby called the Hive, free breakfast bar, spacious bathrooms with walk-in showers, free wifi, 55” televisions , and more. The hotel is a mid-scale property providing a more simplified and spirited approach for business and leisure travelers. Property by Chattanooga’s Vision Hospitality Group. [vhghotels.com/portfolio/tru-by-hilton]
 
Newly Opened Accommodations
  • NEW/Dec. 2017: The new $15 million, 106-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott opened at Exit 11/Ooltewah, TN (about 20 minutes from downtown and 5 minutes from Volkswagen). The five-story hotel includes the Creekside Bar + Grill, swimming pool, fitness center, meeting rooms, complimentary internet, and 1,900 square feet of meeting space with in-house catering. Property by D&S Builders of Sevierville, Tenn.
  • NEW/Oct. 2017: The 10-story Westin Chattanooga opened in the heart of downtown with scenic views of Lookout and Signal Mountains. Hotel includes 260 luxury guest rooms, 15,000 square feet of versatile indoor event space, Alchemy skybar, Dorato Lobby Bar, fitness studio, and an outdoor heated pool. The hotel is part of an $88 million project that features pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets, festival & event space, Peet’s Coffee, Pinkberry, and Alimentari Cucina e Bar. Property by Chattanooga’s DeFoor Brothers Development.
  • NEW/March 2017: St. Francis Cottage Bed & Breakfast (Hamilton Place)
  • NEW/Jan. 2017: En Root House Hostel (renovated an existing space) (Near MLK District)
 
EPB Fiber Optics
 

TECHNOLOGY

Chattanooga 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.
 

DISTRICTS

Chattanooga the first mid-sized city to establish an Innovation District:
Chattanooga was the first mid-sized city to establish an Innovation District and remains one of the few cities of its size to have this type of dedicated area. Located in the heart of downtown, the District bisects three existing districts and aims to be the driver of Chattanooga’s creative, entrepreneurial 21st century economy. This dense and walkable area contains the city’s main downtown public spaces, tech startups, entertainment hotspots, coffee shops, eateries, pubs, parks, EPB, Tomorrow Building (micro-living apartments) as well as access to the bike share program and free electric shuttle. There are multiple anchors including Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Lamp Post Group, and the Edney Innovation Center. The Edney is a 90,000 square foot, 10-story building that serves as a catalyst for the local entrepreneurial ecosystem by offering innovative co-working office and event space, accelerator programs, and tech and business incubators. The designation of the district builds upon numerous individuals and years of work including EPB’s construction of the country’s most automated smart grid system and powering the city with the world’s fastest internet at 10 Gig. More info here.