8 Fun & Easy Chattanooga Day Trips
While the Scenic City has so much to offer, there’s plenty more to explore around Chattanooga and the downtown Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel. No matter your reason for visiting Chattanooga, these nearby destinations will have something for everyone to enjoy and are the perfect Chattanooga day trips.
From famous distilleries to scenic parks and historic museums, follow our handy guide for easy and fun day trips, all less than a two-hour drive away from Chattanooga. Read on to learn more:
Distance from Chattanooga Choo Choo: 71 miles; 1-hour drive
Home to America’s largest underground lake, Sweetwater, Tennessee will inspire and amaze all visitors with several attractions and points of interest. The Lost Sea Adventure is home to enormous caverns and the world’s second-largest underground lake. A short drive away to Madisonville, TN will bring you to Tsali Notch Vineyard which specializes in wines and products produced from grapes indigenous to the southeastern United States. Or catch up on your education on everything dairy at Sweetwater Valley Farm, home to dozens of artisan cheeses, tours, and an interactive museum.
The Lost Sea Adventure
Where: 140 Lost Sea Road
Contact: (423) 337-6616
Tsali Notch Vineyard
Where: 140 Harrison Road, Madisonville, Tennessee
Contact: (423) 506-9895
Sweetwater Valley Farm
Where: 17988 W Lee Highway, Philadelphia, Tennessee
Contact: (865) 458-9192
Distance from Chattanooga Choo Choo: 90 miles; 1.5-hour drive
You’ll find distilleries that have mastered the craft of whiskey making in Lynchburg. Located an hour-and-a-half drive’s west of Chattanooga, Lynchburg, Tennessee is home to the world-famous Jack Daniels Distillery and Cascade Hollow Distilling Co., home of George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey. Each distillery offers tastings and tours.
Jack Daniels Distillery
Where: 280 Lynchburg Highway
Contact: (931) 759-6357
Cascade Hollow Distilling Company
Where: 1950 Cascade Hollow Road, Tullahoma, Tennessee
Contact: (931) 408-2410
University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee
Distance from Chattanooga Choo Choo: 52 miles; 50-minute drive
Established in 1857, the University of the South is famous for its Gothic-style architecture. The 13,000-acre campus, called the Domain, sits atop the Cumberland Plateau, a scenic portion of the Appalachian Plateau of the Appalachian Mountains, and overlooks the Tennessee Valley. The campus was dubbed one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States by Travel + Leisure.
Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville, Georgia
Distance from Chattanooga Choo Choo: 66 miles; 1-hour drive
Situated on 3,000 acres of Georgia wilderness, the Barnsley Resort offers several experiences and things to do for visitors. Tour the original villa built by Godfrey Barnsley for his wife, Julia, go hiking, biking, or play a round of golf, enjoy some retail therapy, or grab a bite to eat at one of the on-site restaurants. The property also boasts its own museum that includes Barnsley family belongings and Civil War-era artifacts.
Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn, Georgia
Distance from Chattanooga Choo Choo: 26 miles; 30-minute drive
Heralded as one of the most scenic parks in Georgia, Cloudland Canyon State Park is home to 3,538 acres of massive canyons, serene landscapes, waterfalls, wildlife, and more. Located just over 30 minutes southwest of Chattanooga, Cloudland Canyon State Park has 64 miles of hiking trails, 30 miles of biking trails, disc golf, horseback riding, and picnic shelters.
Distance from Chattanooga Choo Choo : 78 miles; 1.25-hour drive
Head southeast to Cartersville, Georgia, where you’ll discover science, history, and much more. Visit the Tellus Science Museum, a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, that includes a large fossil exhibit, mineral gallery, an observatory facility, and a digital planetarium. The Booth Western Art Museum is Georgia’s second-largest art museum and is dedicated to all things western United States. Other popular attractions include the Etowah Indian Mounds and Red Top Mountain State Park.
Tellus Science Museum
Where: 100 Tellus Drive
Contact: (770) 606-5700
Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site
Where: 813 Indian Mound Road SE
Contact: (770) 387-3747
Booth Western Art Museum
Where: 501 North Museum Drive
Contact: (770) 387-1300
Red Top Mountain State Park
Where: 50 Lodge Road SE
Contact: (770) 975-4226
Blue Ridge, Georgia
Distance from Chattanooga Choo Choo: 82 miles; 1-hour 40-minute drive
Blue Ridge, Georgia, located east of Chattanooga, is a mountain town with an abundance of outdoor recreation, shopping, dining, and family-friendly attractions. Some popular activities include the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, Aska Mining Company, orchards, and several breweries and wineries. Blue Ridge is also well-known for its cascading waterfalls including Benton Falls, Helton Creek Falls, and Amicalola Falls.
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Where: 241 Depot Street
Contact: (877) 413-8724
Aska Mining Company
Where: 8346 Aska Road
Contact: (706) 258-4854
Where: 8660 Blue Ridge Drive
Contact: (706) 632-3411
Grumpy Old Men Brewing
Where: 1315 East Main Street
Contact: (706) 946-2739
Distance from Chattanooga: 102 miles; 1-hour 40-minute drive
Learn about rocket ships, local critters, and military history all in Huntsville, Alabama. Located west of Chattanooga, Huntsville boasts several attractions that can’t be missed, including the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, home to daily shows, featured exhibits, simulators, and more. Stop by the Huntsville Botanical Garden for a peaceful stroll amongst the flora, butterflies, and other small critters.
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Where: One Tranquility Base
Huntsville Botanical Garden
Where: 4747 Bob Wallace Avenue SW
Contact: (256) 830-4447
U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum
Where: 2060 Airport Road SW
Contact: (256) 883-3737