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What is There to Do in Chattanooga, Tennessee?

Alligators can be seen in the River Journey at Chattanooga's Tennessee Aquarium.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 March 2014
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Chattanooga is Tennessee's fourth largest city and there are many great things to do here. Visiting the Tennessee Aquarium, with its saltwater and freshwater displays, is a popular thing to do. The Rock City Gardens, the shopping districts, the Walnut Street Bridge and Coolidge Park also offer many interesting things to do in Chattanooga.

The saltwater displays at the Tennessee Aquarium are in one building and the freshwater displays are in another building. The freshwater River Journey lets you experience environments such as lakes, swamps and forests that are alive with otters, turtles, salamanders, herons and alligators. The saltwater Ocean Journey features sharks, macaws, spider crabs, a giant octopus and a butterfly garden.

Rock City Gardens is only a few minutes outside of downtown Chattanooga and is on the top of Lookout Mountain. You can see ancient rock formations and amazing vistas that let you view seven states. Rock City Gardens also has a suspension bridge, waterfall and more than 400 different plants native to the area.

If great shopping and eating options are on your list of favorite things to do, Chattanooga won't disappoint. Chattanooga's Frazier Avenue, Northshore District and the River Street Shopping District offer many different types of shops and eateries to explore. Located on the popular Tennessee Riverfront, the River Street shopping district is right beside Coolidge Park between the Market Street and Walnut Street bridges.

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The Walnut Street Bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge in the world and, at more than 100 years old, it is both the oldest and biggest truss bridge left in the southern United States. It connects Chattanooga's Northshore District with its downtown section and has a lime stone climbing wall. The Walnut Street Bridge was repaired and refurbished in 1993 thanks to protests by locals against its scheduled demolition.

Coolidge Park can be reached by the Walnut Street Bridge. Some fun things to do in Coolidge Park include riding on the carousel and cooling off in the interactive fountain. The carousel's animal pieces were all hand carved in Chattanooga and the fountain features water-spraying animal figures that children can climb on.

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