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:

Sweetwater, Tennessee

lost sea adventure caverns and lake

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

Lynchburg, Tennessee

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.

couple hiking

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.

Cartersville, Georgia

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

pouring beer from tap into beer glass

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

Mercier Orchards

Where: 8660 Blue Ridge Drive

Contact: (706) 632-3411

Grumpy Old Men Brewing

Where: 1315 East Main Street

Contact: (706) 946-2739


Huntsville, Alabama

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

Contact: 1-800-637-7223

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

Start planning your Chattanooga getaway with the Chattanooga Choo Choo today!

Pete DiMaio