With the Tennessee River at its doorstep, the city of Chattanooga has a
multitude of splashy options for fun.
“The Tennessee River goes through downtown, into the heart of Chat-
tanooga,” said Brian Murphy, vice president of sales for the Chattanooga
CVB. “There are lakes and rivers in the surrounding area as well, so our
accessibility to water activities can’t be beat.”
Downtown activities for groups can include kayaking or stand-up
paddleboarding in the river. Outfits like Chattanooga Paddleboards and
L2Outside specialize in river trips downtown, are experienced with groups
and can even do a beginner’s learning class for those who have never even
seen a paddleboard. For teambuilding, groups can attempt dragon boat
racing. Each 45-foot canoe holds 20 paddle-wielding competitors who
must learn to work together to propel their boat forward. The team with the
best cooperation and speed wins. Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing arranges
events from teambuilding to group fundraising.
Boat tours are also a popular pick for groups. The Chattanooga Duck
tours are held aboard genuine WWII amphibious craft that run on land
and water, and feature historic tours that educate and entertain. The
Southern Belle Riverboat also offers tours for up to 450 guests, along with lunch
and dinner options. Meeting space is available onboard, and the riverboat
can accommodate up to 825 in a theater capacity.
Adrenaline junkies can get their fix aboard the Tennessee Aquarium’s
River Gorge Explorer, a high-tech boat built for speed; the craft’s four
jets enable the Explorer to reach up to 50 miles an hour and cover larger
distances within the tour’s two-hour time frame. Each tour is led by a
naturalist from the aquarium, and groups can explore the stunning beauty
of Tennessee’s river gorge while remaining in climate-controlled comfort.
Planners can combine the river trip with a tour of the Tennessee Aquarium; the site also is available for event rentals.
For more adventure, groups can take on white-water rafting just outside
the city, on the Ocoee River, with outfitters like the Nantahala Outdoor
From the thrill of Class IV rapids to the serenity of paddleboard yoga on the river, there’s reason for everyone to enjoy the rivers and lakes of east Tennessee.
Planners can guarantee out-of-the-ordinary
adventures, from world-class waterparks to the
majesty of rushing water in cave-bound rivers
RUBY FALLS, CHATTANOOGA
East Tennessee gushes
with water-soaked fun
BY BETH BARTLETT