Historical Sites and Landmarks in Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga stands out as one of the most stunning and unique tourist attractions in the United States. This thriving city in southeastern Tennessee is a rich mix of natural beauty, entertainment, culture, and history. Chattanooga’s beautiful scenery draws in thousands of visitors each year, but many overlook the important historical significance that the city represents.
The Origin of Chattanooga
Chattanooga is home to the famous “Lookout Mountain” and “Rock City,” sites that expose visitors to old and massive rock formations that define the landscape.
These formations would give birth to Chattanooga’s name. John Ross, a Chief of the Cherokee Indians, founded a port on the river in 1815 and named it Ross’s Landing. It was later renamed Chattanooga, which translates to “rock rising to a point.”
Chattanooga and the Civil War
With such unique features dating back hundreds of millions of years ago, it is no surprise that Chattanooga is rich in Civil War History. Chattanooga is located along the Tennessee River, which gave it a strategic advantage in 1893.
During the battles Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, Union and Confederate troops fought for this prime location and access of Chattanooga’s railway. Union forces successfully pushed Confederate troops back into Georgia and secured the city.
These historical battle sites mark a huge Union victory, ordered by President Abraham Lincoln and overseen by Major General Ulysses S. Grant, who would be promoted to general in chief of all Federal forces as a result.
Chattanooga visitors can experience the historical significance of the city at the Buttonwillow Civil War Dinner Theater. This stunning venue offers a dramatic portrayal of the Civil War era, while attendees get to enjoy authentic 19th century recipes.
A Train Ride to the Past
Chattanooga Choo Choo is a popular destination location in downtown Chattanooga. This historical property transformed from an old train station into a premier hotel in 1972. Instead of a traditional hotel room, guests can stay inside of Pullman Train Cars dating back to the 1930’s.
In addition the distinct character of this hotel, there are many on-site attractions to keep guests entertained. For more history, head over to the Songbirds Guitar Museum to see a timeless guitar collection and learn about influencers in the music industry.
If you want to pair some sightseeing in with your historical journey, travel on the Incline Railway. This 100-year-old railway system is one of the steepest worldwide and takes you to Lookout Mountain, where more Civil War history is waiting. It was opened in 1865 and declared a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark in 1991.
These historical sites, along with the natural beauty of the environment, make visiting Chattanooga a no-brainer. Whether you want to learn, explore, or relax, this city is full of top-rated attractions to quench your thirst.