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Museums in Chattanooga

Chattanooga has an incredibly rich history that is showcased in museums throughout the area. From the Hunter Museum of American Art to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, pay a visit to these various spots to learn all there is to know about the Scenic City.

NOOGAtoday | Creative Discovery Museum

Bring the kiddos for a day of play at the Creative Discovery Museum.

Photo by Creative Discovery Museum via Chattanooga Tourism Co.

Table of Contents

Museums are the cultural hubs of Chattanooga. Whether you’re looking to learn something new about the Scenic City or plotting a way to spend your Saturday afternoon, here are 11 museums to visit in our city.

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Did you know the Space Medal of Honor is the only medal with a diamond inside it?

Photo by NOOGAtoday

History

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, 4119 Cromwell Rd. | $0-$10
Journey back to a time when railway travel was a way of life at one of the oldest + largest operating historic railroads in the southeast.

Don’t miss: The museum also offers a ton of train rides like historical tours, dinners, and holiday-themed rides.

The Coker Museum, 1309 Chestnut St. | $0-$12
See the personal collection of Corky Coker featuring vintage cars, motorcycles, trucks, buses, and more.

Don’t miss: Make sure to keep up with the museum on Instagram for vintage car shows + more fun events.

Battles for Chattanooga Museum, 1110 E. Brow Rd., Lookout Mountain | $0-$7.95
This museum, located at the entrance of Point Park, details the area’s Civil War battle sites.

Don’t miss: Make sure to take a walk through Point Park after your museum visit to check out the site of the famous Battle Above the Clouds.

International Towing & Recovery Museum, 3315 Broad St. | $0-$10
Learn about the history of the towing and recovery industry + check out the artifacts on display.

Don’t miss: Each year the museum recognizes individuals who have made substantial contributions in its field during the Hall of Fame ceremony. You can check out the portraits of the inductees on the museum’s walls.

Classic Arcade Pinball Museum, 409 Broad St. | $16-$20
Check out the huge collection of pinball + arcade machines. Museum admission allows unlimited free play on all operating games.

Don’t miss: The “come-and-go” wristbands allow you to leave the museum and return so you can play the games throughout the entire day.

National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, 2 W. Aquarium Way | $0-$16.95
Did you know the first Medal of Honor was awarded in Chattanooga? Learn about the highest military honor of valor + its recipients.

Don’t miss: The museum recently added the Congressional Space Medal of Honor exhibit, highlighting Challenger Commander Dick Scobee’s story.

NOOGAtoday | Houston Museum

View hundreds of beautiful pieces from the Victorian Era through the Depression Era at the Houston Museum of Decorative Arts.

Photo by NOOGAtoday

Arts

Hunter Museum of American Art, 10 Bluff View Ave. | $0-$20
View the Hunter’s collection of American Art from the 1700s through the present day.

Don’t miss: Check out the calendar of events full of art-inspired happenings.

Houston Museum of Decorative Arts, 201 High St. | $5-$10
See the personal collection of Anna Safely Houston, who collected thousands of rare + antique decorative art pieces. Bonus: Check out our tour of the space.

Don’t miss: Can’t make it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art? The Houston Museum of pieces of its own, like this Edgefield Pottery face jug, that has been featured in the MET.

NOOGAtoday | UnEarthed Creative Discovery Museum

The museum’s newest exhibit “UnEarthed” is now open to the public.

Photo provided by Creative Discovery Museum

Kids

Creative Discovery Museum, 321 Chestnut St. | $0-$16.95
Bring the kiddos to enjoy immersive, hands-on art, science, and music exhibits.

Don’t miss: The museum’s newest “UnEarthed” natural science exhibit featuring the “dino dig” where guests can uncover buried fossils.

NOOGAtoday | Bessie Smith

Make sure to check out the Tennessee Music Pathway signs outside the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.

Photo provided by Chattanooga Tourism Co.

Music

Bessie Smith Cultural Center and Chattanooga African American Museum, 200 E. MLK Blvd. | $0-$10
Learn about Chattanooga’s many Black music legends like Bessie Smith and The Impressions + celebrate the local African American history and culture.

Don’t miss: Check out the museum’s Facebook page for information on educational and health series, lectures, movie screenings, and other happenings.

Songbirds Guitar & Pop Culture Museum, 35 Station St. | $0-$15
Marvel at the extensive collection of vintage + rare electric guitars while learning about Chattanooga’s local music history.

Don’t miss: There are tons of interactive portions for kids and adults alike throughout the museum, so you can create some music of your own.

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

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