The best way to tour Chattanooga is by boat, sailing up and down the Tennessee River. During such tours, there are loads of things to see and do.
What should I expect on a Chattanooga boat tour?
When you catch a cruise or hire a private boat, you can enjoy a tour of the Tennessee Riverpark. Next, you can enjoy a day at the Chickamauga Dam Lock System, followed by time at the Chickamauga Lake. The Tennessee River also gets you to the Bluffview Art District.
We spoke with tour guides, locals, and experts in Chattanooga to gather reliable information. The goal was to compile the best things to see and do on a Chattanooga boat tour.
What Can You See and Do During a Boat Tour in Chattanooga?
Explore the Tennessee Riverpark
Taking a boat tour in Chattanooga can be loads of fun. This can be a solo trip with family or friends. First on your stop will be the amazing Tennessee Riverpark.
You can’t miss the Tennessee Riverpark when sailing down the Tennessee River. This is an amazing place to be and includes 150 acres of land. The Riverpark has loads of fantastic spots worth exploring, like naturalized spots full of flora and fauna.
Get off the boat, and walk the 13-mile greenway at the Tennessee Riverpark. This family-friendly area starts at the Chickamauga Dam and stretches south to St. Elmo. Walking the entire greenway is memorable, but you can also skate, bike or jog.
The Tennessee Riverpark also includes playgrounds and picnic spots. Families and friends can gather for a wonderful experience before continuing down the Tennessee River. There are also rental shelters available and fishing piers.
Other amenities available to visitors include bike rentals, parking, kayak launch, boat ramps, grills, and restrooms. The Riverpark is open every day from dawn to dusk, and there’s a ranger station. It’s best to have your pet on a leash if you want to bring them from the boat.
Ride through the Chickamauga Dam Lock System
Book a Chattanooga boat tour and enjoy amazing sightseeing at the Chickamauga Dam Lock. This is the best way to learn the history of the lock system. And the best part is you can leave the boat and enjoy kayaking through the lock system.
The Chickamauga Dam on the Tennessee River was set up in the 1930s as a hydroelectric dam. It’s under the Tennessee Valley Authority and features amazing infrastructure. Its name comes from the detached Cherokee branch, which had a chief village north of the dam.
Once you reach the dam, you can get on a kayak or paddle boat and sail through the 120 ft lock system. The massive gates are impressive, and they close behind you once you pass through. And the best part is you can have a tour boat guide to ensure safe passage.
Watch as the water empties from the lock, allowing you to descend to the lock’s depth. The lock master must ensure that emptying the water is slow and safe. This will be a paddle boarding or kayaking adventure to remember.
Ride the Chattanooga Cycleboats
A wonderful way to enjoy sightseeing and a tour of the Tennessee River is when riding on a relaxing Chattanooga Cycleboat. These Cycleboats have become a popular attraction in the area and were established by Captain Nate Wilson.
The Chattanooga Cycleboats offer visitors a unique experience and a chance to enjoy true bonding. Each charter lasts 2 hours from start to finish. Locals and tourists flock to the charters to learn more about Chattanooga’s history.
Adults and kids are welcome for this fun experience, and you can also plan for this to be a group event. Carry your meals, drinks, and music systems for the best time. It takes a group effort to cycle up and down the river watching amazing scenery.
Spend Time at Lake Chickamauga
Chattanooga is a beautiful place to visit when touring Tennessee. And one of the most impressive ways to explore this lovely location is on the water. So plan to catch a Chattanooga tour and find yourself on Lake Chickamauga.
This lake is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Chattanooga. It has 810 miles of shoreline to explore, so you’ll have loads of fun on a boat. Lake Chickamauga harbors lots of marine life, and there’s a marina to dock your vessel.
Get to the shore, arrange a picnic, then head off for a swim. Make sure someone is looking out if you want to swim in the lake. This is also a perfect place to practice those fishing skills and teach young ones how to fish. It’s one of the best places in the area for bass fishing.
Hiking trails will also lead you and your loved ones to Fall Creek Falls. You can enjoy other activities at Lake Chickamauga, including horseback riding, wakeboarding, kayaking, and water skiing.
Tour the Bluffview Art District
Chattanooga boat tours are impressive because they get you to amazing destinations. Another excellent place worth visiting is the Bluffview Art District.
The Bluffview Art District is easy to access via water since it overlooks the Tennessee River. You can take a fascinating view of the Tennessee Valley. And it’s at the Bluffview Art District where you can enjoy many tasty treats like whiskey chocolates.
This place is home to the creative minds of Chattanooga, who specialize in all things art. This ranges from food to deco and many other unique treasures. You can walk into many different shops to view handmade items on display.
And make sure not to miss touring the Hunter Museum of American Art. This is an amazing place to be, carrying so much unique American art. The museum is well-known for its amazing exhibits, both permanent and temporary.
Learn the History of the Tennessee River Gorge
Chattanooga is also home to the historic Tennessee River Gorge. And this is another amazing sight you can see when enjoying a Chattanooga boat tour. The Tennessee River Gorge is an amazing place to be and covers 27000 acres.
The Tennessee River carved the gorge through the Cumberland Mountains, creating diverse land formations. This area has diverse flora, including trees, grasses, flowers, and ferns. It also has loads of amazing fauna for viewing.
- Getting to the Tennessee Riverpark on a Chattanooga boat tour is easy.
- You can get on a kayak or paddle boat and sail through the 120 ft lock system.
- Lake Chickamauga is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Chattanooga.
- The Bluffview Art District is home to the Hunter Museum of American Art.