This is the time of year at the office that patients’ school uniforms are replaced with swimsuit coverups and their lips and tongues turn a nice cherry-slushie red. The sun is out and the humidity is up – it must be summer in the south!
Here in Chattanooga, we are fortunate to live in a city that ranks highly on many tourism lists…from mountains to hike, to rivers to swim, there is no shortage of ways to take advantage of our long days and hot weather. But sometimes even we locals can forget how much this town has to offer!
So our creative team at SCO, made of moms and millennials alike, thought we would put together a week-long agenda to help our patient families and friends make the most of these long hot days of summer in the Scenic City. Links to accompanying websites will outline hours, pricing and other details, and we tried to pair the days with outings that offer special pricing or amenities. Let’s go!
Stroll through the Chattanooga Market from 11am – 4pm to find local vendors’ work and crafts, and local farmers’ flowers and produce. Grab lunch from one of the several food trucks onsite or pack a picnic and head out to the North Chick Blue Hole for a short easy hike and to cool off in one of its several refreshing pools.
With rides and attractions for the entire family, Lake Winnepesaukah is recognized as one of America’s top ten family amusement parks for all ages. And on Monday Fundays, an adult (21 or older) receives a free Unlimited Rides Pass with the purchase of tickets for two children (16 or younger). Each ticket is good for both Lake Winnie and its on-property Soakya water park!
The Red Clay Resort offers a discounted rate early in the week, so jump in the car for the 40-min drive from downtown and get ready to relax in the spring-fed swimming pool with diving boards and all sorts of amenities to keep your family entertained all day long.
Spend the morning admiring the new lemurs exhibit at the Chattanooga Zoo (camel rides available Wed – Sun), then eat lunch by the playground or at the zoo’s new Wild Burger restaurant before walking over to the Warner Park Pool and Splash Pad after 12:30 to enjoy it’s huge obstacle course and fountains.
Take advantage of smaller weekday crowds at the Coolidge Park Fountain and Carousel (carousel opens at 11) and enjoy a blanket picnic or a sausage and frites from Good Dog. A cool-treat from Clumpies will complete your Northshore adventure, or give you an added boost for some window shopping along Frazier Avenue.
If weather isn’t cooperating, stay cool and dry while checking out the underwater creatures at the Tennessee Aquarium and taking in an educational film at the IMAX 3D Theater. Your tickets will earn you discounts at restaurants within walking distance, such as Big River Grille.
The FREE Nightfall concert series is held each Friday night of the summer – rain or shine – outdoors in Miller Plaza. Opening acts begin at 7:00 with a nationally touring headliner taking the stage at 8:00. Bring your kids, lawn chairs, pets and friends to enjoy great live music, food and drinks.
On the first and last weekend of each month through November, Lula Lake Land Trust is open to the public. Choose from varying degrees of hiking, but don’t miss taking in its beautiful waterfall. Once you’re back down from Lookout Mountain, stop by Southside Social for refreshments with a side of bowling and outdoor yard games (family-friendly open at 11 am, 21+ at 9 pm). And if you’re not willing to let the sun go down without you, every Saturday night, the whole family can enjoy Summer in the West Village. This outdoor street festival has live music from local bands, drinks, food trucks, laser light show, kids activities including Legos, art, face painting, balloon artist, hula hoops, jump ropes, and more…like Chattanooga’s one and only Pinkberry and Peet’s Coffee.
So there’s Seven Summer Days in the Scenic City for ya! Of course, there are a number of other can’t-miss places and event that we didn’t have room to cover, like visiting the Creative Discovery Museum, cheering on the home team at a Lookouts game, or cooling off at Ruby Falls. So send us your favorite places to enjoy this summer and we’ll include them next year!
And we do hope that SCO is at the top of your list of places to visit this summer! Remember to share your smile (cherry-slushie lips and all) with your friends and get spotted all over town to win big. Speaking of winning big, stayed tuned for our summer contest that you won’t want to miss! Spoiler alert: it’s pretty spectacular.