Main Content

Top 10 Scenic Drives in Chattanooga, TN You Must Experience

Chattanooga, Tennessee, has no shortage of natural beauty, from the temperate forests that fill the Cumberland Plateau to the Tennessee River that divides the city. It’s the perfect place to roll down your windows and enjoy a picturesque drive while listening to your favorite music! In this article, we’ll show you the top 10 scenic drives that promise breathtaking experiences and unforgettable views.

Discover the Beauty of Chattanooga, TN on a Scenic Drive

Nestled among the curved peaks of the Appalachian Mountains and the Tennessee River, Chattanooga beckons travelers and locals alike with its myriad scenic drives. Here’s how to make the most of your road trip.

Planning Your Scenic Adventure

Before setting off, it’s essential to plan your route. Decide which spots you want to prioritize and organize them in an order that makes sense. That way, you can savor each location without feeling rushed.

top 10 scenic drives in chattanooga

Must-Have Gear and Essentials for Your Scenic Drive

  1. Stay Nourished: Always pack a variety of snacks and water.
  2. Stay Connected: Ensure your phone is charged and use GPS or a map for navigation.
  3. Capture the Beauty: Bring a camera or smartphone for memorable shots.
  4. Stay Fueled: Fill up your gas tank or charge your EV before heading out.

The Best Times of Year for a Scenic Drive in Chattanooga, TN

  • Fall: Brilliant warm hues of autumn leaves are visible from nearly every road as the days grow shorter.
  • Winter: The waterfalls that line the Cumberland Plateau often freeze over in the winter, creating icicles and sheets of ice with mesmerizing shapes.
  • Spring: As trees and plants begin to bloom, the valley takes on a vivid green hue that’s lush and energizing. You’ll also see vivid colors on our flowering crepe myrtles and spot wildlife in their natural habitat.
  • Summer: Drive across the shimmering waters of rivers and lakes. Watch locals enjoy the weather in sailboats, kayaks and paddleboards.

How to Stay Safe During Your Scenic Drive

  1. Adhere to road laws, wear seat belts and stick to the speed limit. Tennessee is a hands-free driving state, so it’s essential to control your phone with your voice if possible or pull over when you need to type in directions.
  2. Be vigilant of road signs that warn you to slow down for sharp turns, especially on winding or hilly paths.
  3. If you plan to document the journey, invite a passenger to ride with you and let them handle the photography.

Lookout Mountain Scenic Highway: A Breathtaking Journey to the Clouds

Nestled at Chattanooga's doorstep, this route offers panoramic views as you ascend toward the clouds. Stop by the historic Point Park and Rock City, see hang-gliders take flight, watch the day end at Sunset Rock, test-drive the World’s Fastest Community-Wide Internet or visit Clumpies Ice Cream Co. for a treat.

Click here for directions

Lover’s leap at Rock City on Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN

Tennessee River Gorge: Serenity and Spectacular Vistas on Wheels

A tranquil drive alongside the Tennessee River is the perfect way to relax. See if you can spot herons, turtles and other local wildlife. You can even rent a cabin on one of the forested islands or go on a canoeing or kayaking adventure.

Click here for directions

View of the Tennessee River Gorge from Snoopers Rock

Raccoon Mountain Caverns Loop: Underground Wonders and Mountain Majesty

There’s no shortage of beautiful views at Raccoon Mountain. Sign up for a tour of over 5.5 miles of geologically active caverns. Or, pack a tent and marshmallows and stay at the peaceful camping grounds.

Click here for directions

raccoon mountain caverns chattanooga

Sequatchie Valley Scenic Byway: Rolling Hills and Charming Countryside

This drive showcases 70 miles of rolling valleys lined with tree-covered mountains. Play golf (or disc golf!), browse a variety of antique shops, and stop by the Deep Draw Yak Ranch to befriend the yaks!

Click here for directions

scenic drive sequatchie valley

Missionary Ridge: History and Panoramic Views Collide

Immerse yourself in Civil War history while soaking in panoramic views and craftsman architecture. Don’t forget to find your next read at Allgood's Used Books & Coffee shop or take a 65-minute tour-guided train ride!

Click here for directions

scenic drive missionary ridge

Signal Mountain Road: A Quaint Escape with Unmatched Outlooks

Don’t miss this beautiful drive with serene beauty and unparalleled views. The road is lined with towering geological formations and mini “waterfalls” that trickle down the rocks. Go hiking at Signal Point or Rainbow Lake and stop by Fairmount Orchard to pick up locally-made apple cider that will delight your taste buds.

Click here for directions

scenic drive signal mountain

Riverwalk Drive: Riverside Serenity and Urban Elegance

Experience the elegant blend of nature and urban charm. Visit Ross’s Landing and pay respects to the last site of Chattanooga’s original Cherokee inhabitants. The park has a variety of amenities, including a playground, a picnic area, and a walking trail.

Click here for directions

scenic drive chattanooga tn

Prentice Cooper State Forest: Wilderness Adventure and Scenic Seclusion

Unveil Chattanooga’s wilderness through this route. Prentice Cooper State Forest is a beautiful place to drive through, offering stunning scenery and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as hiking trails, fishing spots, and camping areas within the forest.

Click here for directions

scenic drive prentice cooper

Suck Creek Road: A Scenic Drive for the Adventurous Spirit

Suck Creek Road is perfect for those seeking a thrilling ride with picture-perfect surroundings. The road winds through the mountains, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside. There are also several opportunities for hiking and biking along the way. For those who are looking for a more challenging experience, there are several off-road trails that can be explored. Suck Creek Cycle is a great place to rent bikes or get information about the area's many biking trails.

Click here for directions

scenic drive suck creek rd

Sunset Rock Overlook: An Epitome of Chattanooga's Natural Beauty

Gaze at the sunset and experience nature's spectacle. Sunset Rock is the perfect destination for a quick low-effort hike that pays off with stunning views. It’s also a prime destination for rock climbers. Afterward, stop by Lupi’s Pizza for a delicious local meal.

Click here for directions

best scenic drives chattanooga

Become Connected with Chattanooga, TN on a Scenic Drive

Journeying through Chattanooga's scenic routes offers an opportunity to bond with this enchanting area. And while you’re here, discover why people call Chattanooga “Gig City” by connecting to the World’s Fastest Community-Wide Internet!

Embark on your scenic adventure and let Chattanooga captivate your heart!

Did you enjoy this article?
7 article likes