Seven Affordable (or Free) Activities to Do in Chattanooga

downtown chattChattanooga is one of the fastest-growing cities in Tennessee and holds over 177,000 people, and being only 20 miles away from Southern, it brings a host of indoor and outdoor activities to explore and enjoy. However, it's common knowledge that many college kids do not have extensive funds to use wherever and whenever they want. If that sounds like you, this post is for you.

Check out seven awesome things you can do in Chattanooga that are affordable or, better yet, free!

  1. Walnut Street Bridge—Stroll, jog, or cycle on one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world. The Walnut Street Bridge hangs over the Tennessee River and offers a great view for miles in all direction. The fact that you can get delicious ice cream from Clumpies or The Ice Cream Show situated on opposite ends of the Bridge is a fantastic bonus.
    Cost: Free
  2. Chattanooga Market—Every Sunday, a collection of local farmers and artists set up shop in the First Tennessee Pavilion and showcase their products and produce. Whether you want a slice of homemade pie or purchase artwork for your room, the Chattanooga Market has it all.
    Cost: Admissions is free
  3. Chattanooga Lookouts/Chattanooga FC—If you enjoy watching baseball or soccer, catch a Lookouts or CFC game live. They are seasonal, but don’t let that stop you from cheering for the home team from the stands at least once.
    Cost: $4-$9
  4. Bike Chattanooga—Interested in seeing the touristy sights downtown but worried you wouldn't get (free) parking? Don’t worry. The City of Chattanooga provides an affordable public bicycle transit system. You can rent any one of its 338 bikes and exercise your leg muscles all over Chattanooga.
    Cost: $8 for 24 hours
  5. Hunter Museum of American Art—Snapchat a modern painting or take a blast from the past in the mansion section; either way, you will not get bored in this museum. Grab a friend or two for a photo shoot with the artwork, including the ever famous “wings."
    Cost: $15 (Free on the first Thursday of every month, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.)
  6. High Point Climbing and Fitness—Show your crush your rock climbing skills at High Point. This place has over 30,000 square feet of climbing facilities both indoors and outdoors with a range of difficulty levels.
    Cost: $16
  7. Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)—Rent a paddleboard from L2 Outside and glide through the Chattanooga River. Although this is the priciest in the list, this activity requires no prior training and is easy enough that the least athletic of your squad can join in as well.
    Cost: $20 for one hour or $30 for two hours

And if all of this adventuring makes you hungry, check out our blog on Chattanooga’s best dessert shops. Chattanooga has a little of everything for everybody, including college students. Don’t spend all your time holed up in your room when there are opportunities available. This list is just to get you started. Do you own exploring and have fun in Chattanooga. 


Pictured: The Walnut Street Bridge facing the Hunter Museum of American Art on a peaceful Friday.

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Shaina Rantung Story by Shaina Rantung Published: Last Edited:

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