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Iconic landmarks in Chattanooga

We’re giving you the 411 on the 423’s landmarks — from the Walnut Street Bridge to Coolidge Park. Learn about their history, fun facts, and just why Chattanoogans and visitors alike find them so iconic.

NOOGAtoday | Bridge

If one thing’s for sure, it’s that Chattanooga loves its bridges.

We’ve all been there: Someone’s trying to give you directions by describing 10 lefts, 20 rights, and a jumble of cardinal directions. Isn’t it easier to just point out a landmark?

That’s exactly what we’re doing. We have 10 of the most recognizable Chattanooga landmarks — from the Walnut Street Bridge to the Incline Railway. Not only are these local icons easy to remember, but they’ll also get you where you need to go in a jiffy.

Walnut Street Bridge
Address: 1 Walnut St.
Nearby: Coolidge Park, Maclellan Island, Hunter Museum of American Art

It’s one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world. The Walnut Street Bridge, built in 1890, connects downtown and North Chattanooga. It’s the state’s oldest non-military highway bridge still in use today.

The Incline Railway
Address: 3917 St. Elmo Ave.

Nearby: Naughty Cat Cafe, Goodman Coffee Roasters, Clumpies Ice Cream Co.

Noted as “America’s Most Amazing Mile,” The Incline Railway’s first ride departed in 1887. The incline still operates daily, taking trips from lower St. Elmo to Lookout Mountain.

Sculpture Fields at Montague Park
Address: 1800 Polk St.
Nearby: ClearStory Arts, Oddstory Brewing Co., Chattanooga National Cemetery

This 33-acre public park is filled with larger-than-life art sculptures from all over the world.

NOOGAtoday | Aquarium

See the aquarium’s glass peaks light up with different colors when the sun sets.

The Tennessee Aquarium
Address: 1 Broad St.
Nearby: Ross’s Landing, Chattanooga Green, Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant, National Medal of Honor Heritage Center

The aquarium’s two iconic buildings have glass peaks that stand out in the city’s skyline. Since its opening in 1992, the private, not-for-profit organization has played a significant role in the city’s economic development.

Lookout Mountain
Address: 1720 S. Scenic Hwy.
Nearby: Ruby Falls, Rock City, The Incline Railway

If you ever get confused about what mountain is which, remember Lookout Mountain has a distinctive point and slope. The landmark has endless historical significance, including a major Civil War battle. Fun fact: Johnny Cash even crooned about the natural feature.

The Passage
Address: 100 Riverfront Pkwy.
Nearby: Ross’s Landing, Tennessee Aquarium, Tennessee River

The Passage is a stairway waterfall that flows down toward the Tennessee River. It serves as a memorial to the Trail of Tears + a public art project celebrating Cherokee history and culture.

NOOGAtoday | Chattanooga Choo Choo sign

The iconic Choo Choo sign was installed in 1972.

Photo by NOOGAtoday

The Chattanooga Choo Choo/Terminal Station
Address: 92 Choo Choo Ave.
Nearby: Songbirds Guitar & Pop Culture Museum, Chattanooga Whiskey, TailGate Brewery

Terminal Station was the first train station to connect the north to the south, but as the years went on and railway services began to decline, the station was destined to be demolished in the early 1970s.

The station was saved by local businessmen who were inspired by the song “The Chattanooga Choo Choo.” It was then redeveloped and renamed The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel in 1973. Fun fact: The hotel is currently undergoing renovation + rebranding again.

Coolidge Park/Carousel
Address: 150 River St.
Nearby: Renaissance Park, Chattanooga Theatre Centre, Philip Grimes Outdoor Chattanooga Center

One of Chattanooga’s most beloved parks is located in the heart of NorthShore + along the Tennessee River. It’s known for its restored antique carousel that was originally built in 1894.

Rock City
Address: 1400 Patten Rd.
Nearby: Chanticlear Inn Bed & Breakfast, Lookout Mountain Club, Ruby Falls

This landmark is 1,700 ft above sea level and has a 100-ft waterfall that flows down Lookout Mountain. Barns with phrases such as “See Rock City” painted on the side used to serve as a major form of advertising, but they are more about history and nostalgia today.

Point Park
Address: 110 Point Park Blvd.
Nearby: Cravens House, Battles for Chattanooga Museum, Incline Gifts

Atop Lookout Mountain, Point Park is a part of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. It’s the site of the Civil War battle, commonly called “The Battle Above The Clouds.”

What did we miss? If you know a landmark that’s not on the list, let us know.

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