What’s New in Chattanooga

Chattanooga is always changing.  If you haven't been here in years, there's tons to explore. But if you came just a couple year's ago, below is a list of some new things from the past two years.  So whether you’ve been here before or it’s your first time, you’ll find some great new ways to have fun, topping off an already impressive array of things to do.

2017 ANNIVERSARIES

Songbirds Guitar Museum

ATTRACTIONS

  • Songbirds Guitars Museum opens with rare and vintage pieces
    Songbirds Guitar Museum features an unparalleled permanent and rotating collection of more than 500 rare vintage instruments. The guitars are grouped by brand, time frame, and linear progression and include acoustic, electric, jazz, bass, mandolin, banjo, and mandocello models. The main exhibits are self-guided and include 350 instruments, interactive videos, a performance stage, and gift shop. The upgraded 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 (offered at certain times of the day and require advance registration). Each display features the guitars that made the music as well as the stories and artists that brought them to life. The museum also offers regular live music, educational workshops, and can be booked for special events. (Opened March 10, 2017)
     
  • 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)
     
  • Miller Park undergoing $8.5 million renovation
    Miller Park, located in the downtown 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. The additional $5 million improvements to the area surrounding Miller Park includes: 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. (July 2018)
     
  • Chattanooga Market opens General Store on Tennessee Aquarium plaza
    The well-known Chattanooga Market opened The General Store, a new location that provides local artists a place to showcase and sell their work on a daily basis. The building offers retail space for current market vendors selling “all things Chattanooga” including original art, pottery, artisan foods, Chattanooga-themed gifts, locally made snacks and drinks, and more. People will still need to purchase fresh produce at the Chattanooga Market on Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. General Store Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, Noon-5 p.m. (Opened June 2, 2017)  

Get_Chattanooga Hop

  • 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)
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  • 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 & 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 largest underground waterfall open for public viewing, featuring a 145-foot waterfall located 1,120 feet beneath the surface of Lookout Mountain. (2017-2018)

 

Additional New Attractions:

IRONMAN 70.3

EVENTS

  • Chattanooga 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)
     
  • New 10-week Levitt AMP Chattanooga Music Series begins fall of 2017
    The Levitt AMP Chattanooga Music Series is a free, 10-week concert series with a diverse lineup of local, regional, and national artists. The series will be held on the lawn of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center located in the MLK District, shining a light on its renowned musical heritage while reestablishing it as a thriving cultural destination. Patrons will get to enjoy local food vendors, special themes, and special activities for children. (Thursdays, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Aug. 24-Oct. 26, 2017)

Matilda Midnight

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.


Newly Opened Restaurants/ Tours

Dwell Hotel

ACCOMMODATIONS & MEETING VENUES

Accommodations Opening Soon

  • NEW/Fall 2018: Hampton Inn
  • NEW/Fall 2018: The Hilton Tru
  • NEW/Summer 2018: SpringHill Suites by Marriott
  • NEW/Spring 2018: Moxy Hotel
  • NEW/Winter 2017: Edwin Hotel
  • RENOVATION/Winter 2017: Read House Hotel
  • NEW/Fall 2017: Westin


Newly Opened Accommodations

MLK/Big 9 District

DISTRICTS

  • Chattanooga the first mid-sized city to establish an Innovation District
    The Innovation District of Chattanooga was created so the community could benefit from spaces specifically for workers and companies in the new knowledge economy. Located in the heart of downtown, the district is approximately a quarter mile radius from the intersection of MLK Blvd. and Georgia Avenue. This vibrant and walkable area contains Chattanooga’s main downtown public spaces and a host of coffee shops, eateries, pubs, parks, EPB, as well as access to the bike share program and free electric shuttle. Anchoring the district is the Edney Innovation Center, a 90,000 square foot, 10-story building that serves as a connecting point, support base, and catalyst for the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. The designation of the district builds upon numerous individuals and years of work including the MetroNet project in the late 1990s; re-tooling of the Enterprise Center; and EPB’s construction of the country’s most automated smart grid and powering the city with the world’s fastest internet at 10 Gig. More info here.

EPB Fiber Optics

TECHNOLOGY

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.