Chattanooga Family Travel Guide

Things to do in Chattanooga with Kids | Things to do in Tennessee 

If you are from the midwest & travel down south to Florida chances are you have driven by or through Chattanooga! It's rarely the actual final trip destination.  I wasn't sure it was the best idea to make an entire family trip around one attraction, Ruby Falls, but boy was I wrong. While planning I was pleasantly surprised by all that Chattanooga has to offer for families. We were thrilled that when we arrived the entire town was insanely family-friendly. Also, if you have pets it's crazy pet-friendly. We saw doggies (& one cat) at our hotel, restaurants, just out & about in general! We didn't even scratch the surface on all that there is to do but here are some of the top things to do with your family in Chattanooga! I hope this will entice you to add it to your next travel destination instead of the usual pass-through! While an unlikely family travel destination & it made one for the books!

Where to stay in Chattanooga?

The Read House

If you are new here, when we travel with our kids we love to find places to stay that have history to them. Collectively as a family, we are total history buffs so if we can, instead of staying at a chain hotel we like to find something that is more unique or with history! The kicker is it has to be family-friendly! Boy did we find that at the Read House! It perfectly marries the luxury hotel experience while being family-friendly! Which is no small feat! PS click below to hear about some spooky fun at the The Read House!


1. Ruby Falls
Of Course, this made #1! The whole reason for our trip to Chattanooga was to go to Ruby Falls! Ruby Falls is a 145-foot underground waterfall located 1,120 feet below inside Lookout Mountain. Making it the largest underground waterfall in the US open to the public. Ruby Falls did not disappoint in the anticipation we had for it! The cavern walk to the waterfall was as awesome as the waterfall itself. We fell in love with the story of Leo Lambert the man who found Ruby Falls & his love story with his wife Ruby, who he named the falls after!

2. Rock City
This is for sure one of our favorites of our trip to Chattanooga! 

Where to eat in Chattanooga?

I'll never claim to be a food blogger. But, our families sure are huge foodies. One of my favorite parts of planning our trips is looking for places to eat! There were so many to choose & so many on our list we were able to make it to for one reason or another {hours online were different than actual hours ect} I digress here are some places we ate that we loved & enjoyed!

3. Ruby Sunshine
This is a must Breakfast/Brunch stop! The menu has such unique items & it was so delicious!! Make sure you get on the virtual waitlist on their website HERE because the wait can be insane. 

4. Scotties on the River
This place has a great location on the river! Fun atmosphere & had great seafood options! I got a crabcake sandwich & it was so good! 

5. Puckett's Grocery Store
This has great southern BBQ options. Was once a grocery store years & years ago now a restaurant. They have live music & a great overall atmosphere! I HIGHLY recommend the brisket nachos. We did this one as a lunch stop!


7. Downtown

Not too many cities can you just hang out downtown & have things to do for free & feel safe! We spent a few hours just doing things downtown! There is a water feature that is stairs, that goes down the river. As well as one next to the aquarium! So many areas for kids to play & explore! If you go during the summer, bringing a swimsuit or dry clothes is a good idea!

8. The Incline Railway
A short train ride up to the top of Lookout Mountain, the Incline Railway is the Worlds Steepest Incline. The train car itself is at an incline which makes it really unique! It is kinda bizarre to look down at just high & steep you are in the train going up! The ride itself is so cool but getting up to the top makes it even better! The view is amazing! Make sure you reserve your tickets ahead of time!


Every local will tell you to stop at Clumpies for Ice Cream! Stop after your ride on the Incline. It's located right next to the ticket booth!