The CVB offers a full and detailed listing of activities
to fill your weekend in the Chattanooga area.
Our campus is situated in a great location as you'll see when you click below to learn more about the natural wonders, museums, recreation areas, restaurants, theatres, and other nearby attractions. Remember, too, that even though they're not included in this listing, you can find lots more fun things to do should you decide to go to nearby Knoxville, Atlanta, Gatlinburg, or Nashville!
Art 'til Dark is an outdoor art show on the North Shore that takes place on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month (March through Thanksgiving). Double check the website before planning as they break for other large art festivals in town.
On Market Street in Dayton, Art Crafters provides custom-framing, original art, art supplies, art classes and workshops for all ages. They are also an arts center hosting studio space and display space for local artists and offering space for meetings and venues for shows for arts groups in our community.
Bluff View Art District is an historic neighborhood filled with restaurants, a coffee house, art gallery, historic Bed & Breakfast, and plenty of gardens, plazas and courtyards where you can relax and rejuvenate. It is one of the best places in Chattanooga to take a walk--the nearby walking bridge goes to Coolidge Park and the North Shore.
Perched on an 80-foot bluff on the edge of the Tennessee River, the Hunter Museum of American Art offers stunning views of the river and the surrounding mountains. This panorama is equaled only by the exceptional collection of American art recognized as one of the country's finest. Tip: The museum is open for free on the first Sunday of each month, noon - 5pm.
On Market Street in Dayton, Paint the Town offers not only pottery to purchase, but pottery to paint! As a great date or afternoon with friends, you can choose and then paint your own piece of pottery on site. 423.285.5121 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Located on the North Shore across from Coolidge Park, Winder Binder helps to coordinate many of the art festivals around town and has its own fantastic gallery.
Books & Libraries
Map and Information
A North Shore bookstore with a good selection of used books. A great place to hop into if the weather is getting bad while you are at Coolidge Park.
Perhaps not the place to borrow a book from, but if you are doing research on anything local, it's the place to go. The main library has five floors, with a large archive and a large selection of subject organized newspaper clippings.
Located in downtown Dayton, across from the Post Office and Harmony House Coffee, the Dayton Public Library offers library cards to Bryan students. So if you want to do some light reading to offset all the heavy studying, it is a great place to stop by. Also it has a great selection of one-day loan DVDs. 423.775.8406
Tip: Once you have your library card, you can use the free R.E.A.D.S service to download free audio books and digital books.
The Dayton Coffee Shop is located in downtown Dayton on 2nd Avenue. It offers not just coffee, but great meals as well.
Hours and Directions
The highest rated coffee shop in Chattanooga, located just two blocks from the Tennessee Aquarium.
Few coffee shops can match the coffee of the on-site roasted Harmony House coffees. Located just across from the Dayton Public Library, Harmony House Coffee is likely one of the most popular coffee shops in town. Their coffees are often featured on campus. Harmony House is one of the many places in Dayton with free Wifi as well.
Hours and Directions
Inside a beautiful French stucco in the Chattanooga Arts District, you will discover the culinary treasure of Rembrandt's Coffee House. This European style café has a great selection of fresh coffees, breads, chocolates and pastries. If you are looking for a full meal, try one of their delicious sandwiches, paninis or salads. For breakfast, snacks or an after-dinner treat, their Danishes, pastries and desserts cannot be beat. Don't forget to take a loaf of bread or a bag of coffee home with you! Enjoy indoor or garden terrace seating. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Tickets and Showtimes
Opened in November 2009 and located in downtown Chattanooga, this theater is just down the street from the Tennessee Aquarium. With plush lounge chairs, gourmet appetizers, a VIP auditorium, two 60-foot screens, and the latest 3-D and digital equipment, it also claims to be an environmental first. Using recycled materials in construction and environmentally friendly amenities to reduce energy consumption, the building is designed to catch rain on the roof for toilets and landscaping, use low-energy lighting, and make electricity with solar panels.
Tickets and Showtimes
One of the newer theaters in town, and they did a great job with it. It has the latest in technology working to give you a great experience, but watch out as the current price is $9 for a show after 6 pm. Catch a show between 4:30 and 6:00 pm and you can get in for under $6.
Tickets and Showtimes
Six-stories tall. The IMAX is a part of the Tennessee Aquarium, and across the road from it. A truly massive experience and most of the films are in 3D. Not for those with motion sickness; but remember if you do get motion sick, just close your eyes, you are not really moving.
Tickets and Showtimes
If you want to stay out of Chattanooga traffic, the best theater to go to is down US-60 east in Cleveland. You will likely run into a few Lee University Students taking in a show as well.
Tickets and Showtimes
One of the newest theaters in town and likely the most advanced. Rave runs their films with DLP - Digital Projection as well as digital sound systems. With stadium seating in every auditorium, you never have to worry about that tall person in front of you. A true theater experience; and the Rave is the only theater in town with REAL D 3D.
Tickets and Showtimes
The best place to watch that one you missed without breaking the bank. Tickets are just $3, although you will have to wait about two months after a release, or go see your favorite again! Tip: Wednesday shows cost only $1.
Chattanooga had its part to play in the Civil War, and the best place to understand that important part is at the Battles for Chattanooga Museum. If you do not get enough here, just outside the door is the Point Park Battlefield so you can walk the land where so many men died fighting for what they believed.
Learn about Chattanooga History. Located around the corner from the Tennessee Aquarium, it's a nice place to pop in if you're just wandering around.
A children's museum that makes college kids want to go. If you have young family or friends in town, this is one amazing place to go. Exhibits have age ranges from toddlers to 10 year-olds. With over 14 permanent exhibits and other special exhibits, there is plenty to keep even the most active child engaged.
One of the more unique small museums in Chattanooga, the Dragon Dreams Museum is eight halls of dragons. Dragons of every shape and size; dragons on anything and everything, and of course the gift shop is the best place to pick up something for your dragon-loving friends.
Located in Mercer Hall is the Henning Museum of Natural History. Not much need be said as you can just walk right over to it and take a look around for yourself; however, watch out for the lifesize T-Rex head!
Every now and again everyone is going to have to call for a tow, but what if you were needing a tow 80 years ago? Well you will just have to visit the International Towing Museum to find out what would have come to pick you up! Enjoy restored antique wreckers and equipment, industry related displays of collectible toys, tools, unique equipment, and pictorial histories of manufacturers who pioneered this worldwide industry. Oh, and can you guess where the first wrecker was manufactured? A hint: the city's name starts with Chat...
Located inside the Northgate Mall, the National Medal of Honor Museum of Military History will teach you about the extraordinary sacrifices of those who went above and beyond the call of duty to preserve the cause of freedom.
It is hard to miss the historic Rhea County Court house in downtown Dayton, but you might miss the museum in the basement that covers the whole story of the Scopes Trial and a lot of local history as well.
Say "Cheese!" but not for the camera but rather to find out how cheese is made! Sweetwater Valley Farm is a real farm, so you will be looking at the real thing. You can also purchase cheese in their on-site store.
Not only is there the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, but the museum also has train outings where you can hop aboard a train. Some rides are as long as 6 hours including stops, so take some time to look at the trains, but then get on one!
Natural Wonders and Parks
Situated on the shores of scenic Chickamauga Lake not far from the city of Chattanooga is 353-acre Booker T. Washington State Park. The site has places for boating, fishing, camping, picnicking, and swimming.
The Bryan College Arboretum began in May 2010 with the labeling of 32 tree species on the central part of the campus. Bryan College established the arboretum to identify, preserve and add to its already wide variety of trees. The labels convey botanical, horticultural and ecological facts.
The Chattanooga Nature Center is the place for nature lovers. They have a 1400-foot boardwalk, a massive tree house, native gardens and more. There is an admission, but why not take a walk instead of just watching a movie? Next door is the Reflection Riding, and if you pay to get into the Nature Center, then the admission here is covered.
The riverside path parallels the Tennessee River from the Chickamauga Dam on Highway 153 to Ross’s Landing Park beyond the Tennessee Aquarium in Downtown Chattanooga. The trail length stretches for about 10 miles and is part of the Tennessee Riverpark System featuring the Tennessee Riverpark, Coolidge Park, Renaissance Park, Ross’s Landing, and the Walnut Street Bridge.
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Go swimming, play volleyball, enjoy the view at this nearby state park.
Delightful downtown park on Chattanooga's Northshore waterfront. Coolidge Park features a beautifully restored 100 year old carousel, a pavilion, an interactive play fountain, and lots of open space.
Dayton has two walking tracks, one at the Delaware Avenue complex 0.9 miles long and the track at Point Park with is a total of 1.9 miles, and the iconic suspension foot bridge. Do note that these are walking tracks, so bikes, blades, and boards are not allowed.
A paradise of more than 20,000 acres sprawled across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau, Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of the most scenic and spectacular outdoor recreation areas in America. Laced with cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams, and lush stands of virgin hardwood timber, the park beckons those who enjoy nature at her finest. While Fall Creek Falls, at 256 feet, is the highest waterfall in the eastern United States, other waterfalls in the park are Piney and Cane Creek Falls and Cane Creek Cascades.
One of the several state parks near Bryan. Harrison Bay is 1,200 acres with 40 miles of Chickamauga Lake. They have a 4.5 mile bike loop as well as camping and fishing. Next door is the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay Golf Course , designed by Jack Nicklaus.
Laurel-Snow Natural Area is better known on campus by its older name, "Pocket Wilderness." The area is the most visited nature area by Bryan students, for its beauty, as well as the location and free admission. The area is to be connected to the Cumberland Trail, but for now it is just 2,259-acres of wilderness with trails. There is the Laurel Falls and Snow Falls, as well as Buzzard Point and Confederate Point. Click here for trail map. The area also contains the remains of the Dayton Coal & Iron Co., and more can be learned about that at the Scopes Trial Museum.
Some of the best wild areas in the state. These were set aside by the Bowater to help preserve the land. The closest one is Laurel-Snow which has been taken over by the Tennessee Division of Natural Areas.
Whether you want a tour or to get muddy caving, Raccoon Mountain is the place to go. They have a 45-minute tour and 1-3 hour caving exploration. If the cave is not for you, perhaps you will go panning for gems. Go-Karts are also on site with a 630-foot track and officially licensed NASKarts. A great day on the mountain.
The park encompasses 263-acres of narrow valleys formerly used as cotton and pasture land. There are also forested ridges that average 200 feet or more above the valley floor. The site contains a natural landmark, the Blue Hole Spring, which arises from beneath a limestone ledge to form a deep pool that flows into Mill Creek, a tributary of the Conasauga and Coosa River system. The spring was used by the Cherokee for their water supply during council meetings.
300 acres of magnificent landscape that you can drive in your car along a 3 mile loop, or get up close with twelve miles of various hiking trails. The cost is by car load, so find a group and take a hike through the beautifully handled area!
There are many events happening in the area for nature lovers. The Tennessee Overhill Association covers most of them. Check out all the fun from reenactments to food fights.
Dayton has a wide selection of fast food just minutes away from campus. There are also several sit-down restaurants in town, including Gondolier Italian Restaurant and Pizza and Fehn's 1891 House . Take a look at a complete listing of Dayton restaurants .
Chattanooga has every shape and size of restaurant that you could want. Trip advisor lists over 500. They all cannot be listed here, so head over to the tripadvisor.com list of Chattanooga Restaurants and enjoy lots of great meals all over town.
Head off down US-60 to Cleveland to see this smaller mall and miss the Hixson traffic. Although a smaller mall Bradley Square Mall still has Sears, JCPenney, Belk, and over 60 other stores for you to browse without the bustle of Chattanooga. Four malls within an hour's drive of Bryan shows just how well located Dayton is for shoppers.
Often overlooked with Chattanooga so close, but Cleveland has a great number of stores that you can see without all the stop lights of TN-153. Including a mall and most of your large chain stores, an entire new shopping center has recently opened on the east end of town with a Books-a-Million, Kohls, Circuit City, Ross, and more.
Covering a very large area, Chattanooga has one of the best downtowns in the United States. The area is clean and safe and there are great places all over to pop in, and others to sit down and take a rest!
Downtown Dayton has a great small town downtown. Take a walk down the street and poke your head into any one of the great shops and get to know what is just down the hill from Bryan. You will find Jewelry stores and Outdoor Outfitters; Simply Sunshine, and Jacob Myers Deli. More than enough to have a great afternoon. Tip: During the Christmas Season the shops are all open late and they line the street with candles and more.
Currently undergoing renovation the Eastgate Town Center is working on regaining its image of the premiere mall in Chattanooga. Perhaps the best reason to go to this area is not the mall, but the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Shop, where if the "Hot Doughnut" sign is on, you can get a free Doughnut off the conveyor belt. There are also a variety of other retailers in the area.
Most of the retail that you cannot find in Dayton is available in Hixson, which is south on US-27 and all along TN-153. You will find Office Depot, Best Buy, Target, Home Depot, and much, much more. Tip: After a hot day shopping, stop in at Clumpie's Ice Cream next to Best Buy; Bed, Bath, and Beyond; and Target.
The largest mall in Tennessee is only 55 minutes away. Hamilton Place has over 200 stores and 30 eateries. This is the only place to go when you must have access to everything and anything.
Featuring Belk, Belk Home Store, JCPenney, Sears and over 100 specialty stores, Northgate Mall offers a terrific shopping experience! Enjoy dinner at great restaurants like Chili's, Outback Steakhouse, Applebee's, Logan's Roadhouse, and Shane's Rib Shack. Don't forget the big movie theater next door, the Northgate 14.
The North Shore combines the small town main street with big city style. A great place for a date or just a fun evening on the town, the North Shore has a little something for everyone.
Sports & Active Recreation
Chattanooga is home to the Lookouts, the Minor League team of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Get a seat at the AT&T Field and watch the action.
The Ocoee River is the site for the 1996 Olympics whitewater and one of the most popular class IV rivers in America. The famous "Table Saw" rapid has been known to throw quite a few into the water, so don't forget to to hold on to your paddle!
Whether you're an expert scuba diver or you've never seen the ocean before, Choo Choo Diving & Aquatic Center has a program that will challenge and excite you. In fact, learning to dive is as much fun as diving itself!
A large wooded field as well as speedball fields make this a great place to play paintball for fun or competitively.
ZIPstream's self-directed courses for children, youth, and adults allow participants to move through a series of fun, exciting, and progressively challenging tree to tree activities. With multiple elements included in a single course, participants can decide how far they go. All courses are graded by color coded diamonds, progressing from Green, to Blue, to Red, to Black. At each level the challenges become both higher and more difficult as participants progress through the diamond paths. Ruby Falls ZIPstream Aerial Adventure includes 30 highwire challenge elements including ladders, nets, walkways, bridges, tunnels, and zip lines all set into three distinct courses.
Opened in spring of 2009, a massive climbing gym with lessons, gear rental, and membership options so that you can go climb anytime. There is even a 20-foot wall for young children to try out before moving on to the larger ones. Go climb a rock!
There are few places where hang gliding is enjoyed as much as off of Lookout Mountain. Although pricey anywhere the prices in Chattanooga for rental and lessons are lower than many places around the country. Enjoy gliding like a bird, but don't forget the camera!
The Chattanooga Theatre Centre has 16 productions a year, including 7 on the MainStage and 4 on the Circle. If you think the best shows are always live, then you will want to check out what is on stage at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre.
The Cumberland County Playhouse is the only major non-profit professional performing arts resource in rural Tennessee, and one of the 10 largest professional theaters in rural America. It serves more than 145,000 visitors annually with two indoor and two outdoor states, young audience productions, a comprehensive dance program, a concert series and touring shows.
Dinner with fun! Once inside our doors, you will meet and talk with the play’s crazy characters -- then, witness a crime that you must help solve! Enjoy unlimited Italian food, beverages and dessert and laugh along with our zany detective as he interrogates the suspects with your clues. It’s family fun -- appropriate for all ages.
Just north in Spring City is the Tennessee Valley Theatre. If you want to see a quality production, but with a more local flair, this is the place to go. Often Bryan College students are involved, and it is a great dinner date when they run the dinner theatre on a Saturday night. They also often have traveling performers in as well, so check out the upcoming events. Tip: They often offer a discount for Bryan students, don't forget to ask for it!
Chattanooga is home to the Tivoli Theatre, a fabulous historic showplace known as the “Jewel of the South.” For over 85 years the grand old theatre has entertained Chattanoogans, offering everything from silent movies to Broadway blockbusters. It is also often home to the Bryan College Film Festival.
The icon of Chattanooga is the Chattanooga Choo Choo. It is likely you have heard the song, and might have even heard about the train (Which is now located here at the Choo Choo). Today the Chattanooga Choo Choo is a hotel and convention center. The train station here in Chattanooga closed in 1970, but in 1973 it was converted into a hotel. The station boasts the largest free standing brick arch and a massive dome. These features alone make it worth the stop and look, but there are also many shops and gardens to look at as well. Tip: Park your car at the Choo Choo and ride the free electric shuttle to visit almost any place in Chattanooga, without having to search for a parking place.
The DUKW or Duck is an amphibious vehicle developed for the Army and used extensively in World War II. Today, they show you the town of Chattanooga, from the streets and from the river.
Take a great Chattanooga cruise along the scenic Tennessee River while enjoying one of their fabulous dinner cruises, daily lunch cruises or daytime sightseeing cruise. Tip: The fall colors are one of the most amazing sights from the river. Take a trip in the Autumn.
The Chattanooga Zoo sits on 6 acres in the middle of Warner Park, just 2-miles from downtown Chattanooga. It features animals and information from all over the world, including Latin America, North America, Africa, and Asia. A great place for young and old.
Ride up to the top of Lookout Mountain on the Incline Railway, the steepest incline in the world (72.7%). Check out the ticket package that includes the Incline Railway, Ruby Falls, and Rock City.
Chattanooga's own amusement park, but don't expect a local to be able to pronounce the name. They have stuff for everyone, from the 1967 wooden coaster "The Cannon Ball" and the "Wild Lightnin'" to the train tour and other family rides.
Mayfield has the best dairy in the area, and quite possibly the best ice cream in the world, although no official studies have been done worldwide. This is a real tour of the real plant, not some pretend tour like some places. Stop by the ice cream parlor for a cone afterwards, and check out some of the new flavor possibilities. Tip: The tour is free, and the ice cream cheap, a great place for a family or a date when you haven't gotten that work study check in yet.
Perhaps the most barn painted slogan the world around, "See Rock City." Rock City is not just one thing, it is a city of attractions and things to see. From the top you can see seven states, unless the waterfall is making too much mist. Check out the deer in deer park with your dear, or take a swing or the "Swing-a-Long" bridge. Don't forget to pick up a bird house with "See Rock City" on it.
You have seen waterfalls, but have you ever seen one underground? Ruby Falls is a sight to see, along with the other sights in the caverns. Tip: For the best experience try to go after there has been a fair amount of rain, so that the waterfall is stronger.
The Tennessee River is one of the most diverse in the nation. See what lives near Bryan College in the rivers up close and personal. Then head over to the second building where you can get a look at even more animals, including penguins and butterflies. Tip: For large families, a yearly pass might be cheaper than individual one-time passes, and then you can go back for free.
Various Other Fun
A 12-acre corn maze makes this one of the biggest in Tennessee. You will also get a hayride, petting zoo, and more. You might also want to try out the corn cannon or the pumpkin slingshot. There are a lot of corn mazes in Tennessee, but this is the closest big one to Bryan, so keep an eye out on your trips for fun.
Information and Directions
This apple orchard and retail shop with crafts, apples, and pies is open from Aug. - Nov. Tours of the packing house are given by request. Students often go here to stock their rooms with apples in the fall to stay healthy.