Thursday, 21 February 2013 00:00

6 Fun Chattanooga Spring Activities (5 of which are FREE!)

blog11aThe mountains surrounding Chattanooga burst with spring blossoms and with near-perfect temperatures, sunny and warm with bright blue skies. This area is one of the most diverse in the world when it comes to spring flowers, and the scenery bursting with green is unparalleled. We've put together a few ways you can explore the best views the city and surrounding area has to offer.

Explore By Foot:

1.  StoneFort Inn is conveniently located in between Chattanooga's famous Riverfront area and the newly revitalized Southside District. The best way to experience both is by walking.  To the north, the Riverfront, Bluff View Arts District, and NorthShore Arts District feature such great attractions as the Aquarium Plaza, The Passage, Bluff View Sculpture Gardens, Coolidge Park, Renaissance Park, and Frazier Avenue galleries.  The Southside District is a new hub of galleries, shops, restaurants, and other attractions that has grown in the past five years into one of the hippest destinations in town. After spending all winter cooped up, spring in Chattanooga offers the perfect weather for getting out and stretching  your legs.

2.  Chattanooga is surrounded by dozens of nearby trails for hiking, biking, riding, and ATVs  totaling over 416 miles. Five of the best are included in Nooga.com's Field Excursions article , including the North Chickamauga Pocket Wilderness Area.  The Pocket is lauded by both visitors and researchers for its biodiversity, and overflows in spring with phlox, trillium, chickweed, larkspur, Dutchman's breeches and Jack-in-the-pulpit.

blog11b3.  Chattanooga has earned quite the reputation as an outdoor enthusiast's mecca. Outdoor Magazine, Blue Ridge Outdoors, and National Geographic Adventurer have all declared Chattanooga "the regional climbing capital" and "best outdoor city." Whether it's your first time bouldering, an intermediate crag, or part of an ongoing passion, the areas offers plenty of opportunities for all skill levels . The South Eastern Climber's Coalition recommends some great climbs near Chattanooga. Sunset Rock on Lookout Mountain remains a local favorite with beautiful views!

Explore By Car:

4.  It's hard to beat the Pie In the Sky driving trail mapped by Tennessee Trails and Byways. It offers drivers plenty of options, whether they want to stick close to Chattanooga wander as far as Crossville. The trail map includes interesting attractions along the way and takes you through some of the prettiest countryside and natural wonders in the area. It even includes a selection of songs that will pair perfectly with your day on the road.

5. Tennessee Trails and Byways has also mapped a beautiful drive that wanders along the Georgia boarder and on up the plateau just north of Chattanooga. It takes you through some beautiful mountain country into the edges of the Smokey Mountains, and past plenty of scenic lakes and rivers. With attractions along the way, and a built in playlist for your drive, the Tanasi Trail is both entertain and educational—it's designed to follow early Native American footpaths, railroads, and settler's routes.

Explore By Bike (not necessarily free):

6.  Chattanooga grows more and more bike friendly each year! There is no shortage of both street and mountain routes to take you all over town. You can check out some of the cycling options at Trimble Outdoor's site. Bike Chattanooga has also made a huge splash this year with a downtown bike share program. Bike Chattanooga's now-famous blue bicycles are a great way to get around downtown or to cruise the scenic Riverwalk that winds alongside the Tennessee River from Ross's Landing by the Tennessee Aquarium through beautiful wetlands and parks to the Chickamauga Dam.

blog11cSpring Events: