We know you love Nashville as much as we do (read: we’re obsessed), but sometimes you just need some space. Thankfully, we Nashvillians have countless exploration options within driving distance of our beloved city. Don’t worry, Nashville won’t get jealous if you leave for a weekend and will celebrate your return with a glass of whiskey and an acoustic ballad.
Chattanooga is one of our favorite cities in Tennessee for a weekend getaway. To get there, you will only be in the car a little over two hours, but you almost wish it was longer because the drive through the mountains is so beautiful (it’s not nicknamed Scenic City for nothing). Surprisingly, one of our favorite spots to visit is the Chattanooga Aquarium. Yes, yes it’s a bit touristy, but it’s fun. Each time we’ve visited, it’s never been crowded which makes for a relaxing day viewing the terrifying creatures that lurk in our rivers and oceans. You can spend the better part of an afternoon wandering through dimly lit rooms taking in the crazy wonder of jellyfish and sharks. They have penguins, which are pretty bad ass. My personal favorites are the otters because they’re adorable (like little river cats). Set your own pace as you wander through the two buildings (Sea Adventure and River Adventure). Before you leave, take time to enjoy the outdoor courtyard which is full of fountains and water features you can dip your feet into. Bonus points: The aquarium is located right next to the riverfront and a variety of dining options. Once you’re had your fill of the aquatic life, explore the area, grab a bite to eat and rent a bike to take in the river views.
The Chattanooga Aquarium is worth the visit. -Nashville Explorers Club
Photos by Josh Ness