Amazing view of Chattanooga, TN
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Chattanooga, TN

It’s my birthday! Or at least it was on February 19th. My husband decided to take me out of town to celebrate for the weekend in Chattanooga, TN. I had a blast and cannot wait to share my experience and activities on my birthday weekend getaway to Chattanooga, TN.

History of Chattanooga, TN

Here is a quick history of Chattanooga before I dive into what I did for my birthday celebration!

Chattanooga is a city in southeastern Tennessee on the Tennessee River. It was founded in 1838 and quickly grew into a major industrial center thanks to its location at the intersection of several major transportation routes. During the Civil War, Chattanooga was a strategically important city and saw several major battles, culminating in the Battle of Chattanooga in 1863. 1

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After the war, the city continued to grow and prosper, becoming a major manufacturing center, including textiles, steel, and chemicals. In the 20th century, Chattanooga underwent a period of decline, but in recent years has experienced a renaissance, with significant investment in downtown revitalization, tourism, and outdoor recreation. 2

Today, Chattanooga is known for its scenic beauty, cultural attractions, and innovative business community.

Why Chattanooga?

Chattanooga, Tennessee is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the southern United States, with breathtaking scenery, a vibrant downtown area, and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. It is because of these outdoor activities that we decided to go here for my birthday weekend getaway.

One of the main draws of Chattanooga is its proximity to the mountains. The Appalachian Mountains surround the city, offering visitors access to endless hiking trails, scenic drives, and breathtaking views.

The Pickle Barrel in Chattanooga, TN downtown area.
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In addition to the mountains, Chattanooga also boasts a thriving downtown area. Visitors can enjoy a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as cultural attractions such as the Tennessee Aquarium and the Hunter Museum of American Art.

For families, Chattanooga is a fantastic destination. The city offers several child-friendly activities, including the Creative Discovery Museum and the Chattanooga Zoo. There are also several parks and playgrounds throughout the city.

I have recently been craving to be outdoors. To go on hikes, walks, etc. to be out in nature and breathe in that fresh, crisp air. And Chattanooga is a great place for that! It has all the outdoor activities you could ask for plus more. And you could not beat the views around this city.  Overall, Chattanooga is a fantastic vacation destination for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty and southern charm of the United States.

Market Street Bridge

Me on the bridge.
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It is a historic landmark of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Built in 1917, and was the first vertical lift bridge in the South. The bridge spans the Tennessee River and connects downtown Chattanooga with the North Shore neighborhood. It is a popular destination for pedestrians and cyclists who enjoy stunning views of the river and the surrounding mountains.3

2003 the bridge underwent a major renovation to restore its historic character and functionality4 Today, it is a pedestrian-friendly bridge with wide sidewalks and bike lanes. The bridge also has several viewing platforms that offer panoramic views of the river and the city skyline.

The Market Street Bridge is important to Chattanooga’s history and identity. It symbolizes the city’s connection to the river and its commitment to preserving its heritage.5 The bridge is also an important transportation link that connects people and communities on both sides of the river.

Overall, the Market Street Bridge was a must-see attraction for me on this getaway. It is a beautiful and historic landmark that offers a unique perspective on the city and its surroundings.

Ruby Falls

picture of the falls
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Ruby Falls is a popular tourist destination in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a stunning underground waterfall that is over 145 feet high and cascades down in a dramatic fashion. Visitors can explore the cave system that surrounds the waterfall through guided tours.

The cave system, known as Lookout Mountain Cave, was discovered in 1928 by Leo Lambert during a cave exploration trip. He named the waterfall after his wife, Ruby. The guided tour of the cave system includes a light and sound show that enhances the experience.6 The journey takes visitors through narrow passages and along winding paths, culminating in the breathtaking view of the Ruby Falls waterfall.

Picture of the backside of the cave
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The site also offers several other attractions, such as zip-lining, rock climbing, and a playground for children. Visitors can also enjoy the panoramic view of Chattanooga from the observation deck.

Ruby Falls is a unique and awe-inspiring attraction perfect for families, couples, and solo travelers. It is an excellent opportunity to explore the natural wonders of the area and learn about the history of the cave system. It was and will always be a place you have to see for yourself to experience the full beauty of the cave system.

Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

on the incline
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Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is one of the steepest passenger railways in the world, with a maximum grade of 72.7%. The railway was built in 1895 and has been in operation ever since, providing visitors with a unique and thrilling experience. 7

The railway is a great way to explore Lookout Mountain. The ride takes visitors to the top of the mountain where they can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

The railway is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike, and it has been featured in several movies and TV shows. It is also a popular spot for weddings and other special events.

Lookout Mountain Incline Railway was the perfect ending to this birthday weekend getaway with an amazing view of Chattanooga at the top of the mountain.


We wanted to go to Chattanooga, TN to get outdoors and be with nature. And I would like to say that we did exactly that, so my birthday vacation was a success! My husband and I’s overall experience in this beautiful city was amazing and breathtaking. It is a must-see on the to-do list for any outdoor person. 

What’s your birthday weekend getaway vacation spot? 

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  1. History of Chattanooga
  2. History of Chattanooga
  3. Market Street Bridge
  4. Market Street Bridge
  5. Market Street Bridge
  6. Ruby Falls
  7. Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

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