The Non-Outdoorsy Travel Guide to Chattanooga, Tennessee

By Brittni • Updated on 02/14/2024

The Dwell Hotel, Chattanooga

Last week, I drove up to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a girls trip, and spent a few days at the famed Dwell Hotel (that photo above is the lobby photo that everyone just HAS to take – including me). It was my April trip for the 12 trips in 12 months series.

Chattanooga is only a two hour drive from Atlanta, so it was super easy to get to and all the more enticing to explore the city for the better part of the week. 

I’m not totally sure when I’ll be back there again and we definitely didn’t do anything in the ‘I’m an outdoorsy person‘ vein – which I think Chattanooga is known for. Ha!

BUT I am so glad that I went and wanted to share a handful of places we visited along the way.

Pink velvet sectional with palm print wallpaper

Chattanooga Tennessee Travel Guide

First things first, let me get this out of the way and say…this is the non-outdoorsy version of a Chattanooga travel guide.

Of course, we were outside plenty.

But what I mean is, Chattanooga has lots of beautiful places to hike and be in nature. And this trip was decidedly not that.

That said, we hit up A LOT of places while we there – some good and some not so good. So stick around for all the details, if you’re planning a trip to Chattanooga anytime soon.

Where to Stay in Chattanooga

The Dwell Hotel

I can’t think of a better place to stay if you’re visiting Chattanooga than the Dwell Hotel.

It’s photo-worthy, mid-century charm is enough on it’s own, but when combine with Matilda Midnight (the hotel bar) and Terra Mae (the hotel restaurant), there is almost no reason to even leave. 

Each room has a different them (and different wallpaper), there’s a flaming room, a tropical room, etc, etc. It’s really fun!

Quick note… We visited another hotel while we were in Chattanooga for a spa thing that was supposed to be the next coolest option to our hotel and I can honestly say that there is no competition in that department.

If you’re visiting Chattanooga, you’re going to want to stay at The Dwell Hotel.

Terra Mae: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Where to Eat and Drink in Chattanooga

Matilda Midnight 

This mid-century style bar is tucked away on the first floor of The Dwell Hotel. And it’s a must-visit.

Order the nachos and ‘The Lovers’ cocktail.

Milk and Honey

Everyone with a recommendation included this gelato spot, so of course we had to go and check it out.

The oreo cheesecake gelato is my fave. And they also serve breakfast and lunch, if gelato isn’t your thing.

Public House 

This is attached to Warehouse Row, so it’d be an easy spot to stop by and have a drink or a meal.

Terra Mae

We ate breakfast here everyday and had dinner here once too. It’s the hotel restaurant, but I’m pretty sure it’s open to the public.

Highly recommend giving this one a try. It’s another good photo op too, especially if you go on off hours.

Flying Squirrel

We really wanted to try this place, but it didn’t end up being in the cards. I’ve heard great things though!

Maple Street Biscuits

Their biscuits and gravy and sweet potato fries are my fave!

Tupelo Honey Cafe

This one is also in Warehouse Row, so it’s an easy spot to stop for some southern food.

We didn’t go to this Tupelo while we were there, but I’ve been to the one in Asheville (my Asheville travel guide) and it was delicious.

So, I’d recommend it, if you’ve never been.

Wildflower Tea Shop

This place was cute and the people were so kind. I ordered the flowering jasmine tea and it was really good.

Winding Sidewalk in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Things to Do in Chattanooga

Warehouse Row

It’s literally right around the corner from the hotel, so it’s a super quick walk. And they have little shops, a spa, and a couple of restaurants too.

There’s also a shuttle that picks people up right in front of Warehouse Row, that can take you to other parts of the city.

We didn’t use it, but it was recommended to us over an over again, so we probably should have. Sounds pretty convenient.

The Woodhouse Day Spa

This spa is inside Warehouse Row (second floor) and I highly recommend it.

The style is a bit more shabby chic than my typical vibe BUT everyone was super kind and the massages are amazing.

Plus, you can stay and hang out as long as you want afterwards, in the relaxation room, and drink tea under a faux fur blanket. It was pretty baller.

The relaxation room feature was one that we didn’t realize was crucial until we visited a different spa later that day. For the sake of things, let’s call this second spa Spa XYZ – it had good reviews and we wanted to keep the spa train going, so we thought we would give ita try.

Unfortunately, it ended up basically being a glorified locker room that oh yeah, people can also give you a massage and do your nails in?! It was bizarre. I don’t want to call anyone out, so I won’t mention the name of that place.

But if you’re planning a trip there and want to know of a place to steer clear of, just email me and I’ll tell you privately. 

Back to the good stuff – I highly recommend checking out The Woodhouse Day Spa. It was the best spa in town. And if they had had availability for more add on services the day we were there, we would have stayed the whole time (and I wished we would have in hindsight).

Tennessee Aquarium

If we had more time, I would had loved to go inside the aquarium because it looked pretty cool, from the photos I saw.

But even without going inside, I would recommend it.

We were able to explore the outside of the building on our last day and take some pictures, etc. And there are some fun little areas for photos, and a great view of the Tennessee River.

Hunter Museum of American Art

This is another place we only visited from afar. I still feel good about recommending it, however, because even if you just walk by and take a few pictures from the bridge, which is what we did, it’s worth it.

The winding sidewalk and glass bottom bridge are both right there, and it’s on the river as well (within walking distance of the aquarium – so you can visit both in one day).

Mid-century inspired interior at The Dwell Hotel

Looking for Other Places in the US to Visit?

Here are some places that you might like…

Tropical vibes with yellow chairs and palm frond wallpaper

Places to go in Chattanooga, Tennessee

The Dwell Hotel, Chattanooga

Places to go in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Space-saving closet idea

Things to do in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Mid-century interior

Have you ever been to Chattanooga? If so, let me know if I missed anything.


23 comments | Click here to reply

Awesome post you have here, I remember we went to Chattanooga and it was a fun-filled adventure, my family and I had so much fun. Love the place! Thank you for sharing!


YES! These are some of my favorites and I’m going to send this blog post out to friends and clients who come into town. As a wedding photographer in the Chattanooga area, this is going to be so handy!!!


I live in Chattanooga and my sister is coming for a visit. unfortunately the Woodhouse has closed. Looking for another spa but you’ve scared me about the other one. Was it in a hotel?


Next time I go to Chattanooga, I’m going to go to some of these places you’ve written about. I’ve only been to Ruby Falls and Lookout Mountain. Time to branch out a little. Great post!


Great post Chattanooga is a wonderful City. I’m a business owner and real estate investor in the area.


Oh no!! Terra Mae has been closed! It’s not a private event space called The Solarium! Dang. Loved your suggestions though, definitely want to check out Matilda Midnight! <3


Could you share the name of spa that you DO NOT recommend?
Will be taking my mom, sister and niece to Chattanooga for a much need girls weekend. Your post and recommends are fantastic. Thanks so much. Janis

Janis Huegel

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Thanks Kathy! So glad to hear that.


As a resident of Chattanooga I would say you nailed this post. I loved it. I’ve been dying to stay at the Dwell Hotel and plan on doing a staycation there soon.

Kathy Brown

Wish you had a chance to go into the aquarium. I love aquariums and would have loved to see photos of the inside of it! I have not been to Chattanooga although I really want to go. I have a few cousins who recently moved near there!


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Thanks for the recs Tina. This is a great list!


Chattanooga was my home town for 5 years and you post brought back so many good memories! Here are a few of my favorite places:
Two Ten Jack at Warehouse Row, Revelator Coffee and the whole area around Main Street – Hot Chocolater, Niedlov’s Bakery, Velo Coffee Roasters and many more.


Thanks What Mum Loves.


Amazing photos! Thanks for sharing such an inspirational post! x

What Mum Loves

Thanks for adding recommendations, Oksana. Really appreciate it. 🙂


This is my home! So happy to see my city getting recognition! 🙂 I would def. add Alleia, Tony’s Pasta, Camphouse Coffee and Wired Coffee to the list!

Oksana |

My pleasure, Michelle. There wasn’t a ton to do in the city for the non-outdoorsy types aside from eating and drinking (and the spa), but it was a fun weekend.


This place looks amazing, I have to see it someday! Thanks for the tips!


Thanks Heidi.


Great post! These pics beckon travelers to visit Chattanooga. It’s a bit away from where I live, but now I can’t wait to plan a trip there!

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