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Seven things to do during the summer in southeast Tennessee — Lee Clarion

Summer is almost upon us, and as the academic year comes to a close, you may be wondering what to do with all your new-found free time. Fortunately, our little corner of Tennessee has tons of fun activities to offer. There’s lots to do and see, so I’ve compiled a collection of seven things you should definitely put on your summer 2022 bucket list.

Imagine looking past the beautiful treeline and seeing the reflective water beneath you as you stand over Chattanooga, also known as “the Scenic City.” There are many trails to hike in the southeast Tennessee region for both the seasoned hiker and for those just looking for a casual, easy stroll. So, grab your walking shoes and check out at least one of the following places: Sunset Rock on Lookout Mountain, Point Park, Signal Point on Signal Mountain or Rainbow Lake.

For a list of over 50 trails in the Greater Chattanooga area and more detailed directions, click here.

At the heart of Chattanooga, Coolidge Park is a beautiful place to have a picnic, hang out with friends or to enjoy a summer date night. Coolidge Park is also home of the Walnut Street Bridge, which offers a perfect view of the sunset and an iconic spot for photoshoots. If you enjoy being outside but hiking’s not your thing, Coolidge Park is for you!

Coolidge Park is located at 150 River St., Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Another summer must-do in our area is white water rafting on the Ocoee River! The Ocoee is a prime location for white water rafting— even the 1996 Summer Olympic river events were hosted here! There are plenty of rafting companies to choose from, so pick the one that fits your schedule and head down to the river! 

Located at the Tennessee Pavilion near the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Market is a must on Sundays. The Chattanooga Market is open every Sunday between April and December from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each Sunday has a different theme, such as “Flower Festival,” “Mother’s Day” or “Red, White & Blueberries.” The Market has so much to offer, from second-hand clothing to produce to handmade goods. Visiting the Market is also a fantastic opportunity to support local vendors and businesses! 

For more information about the Chattanooga Market and to see each Sunday’s theme, click here.

Don’t miss out on the music scene in Chattanooga! If you’ve never been to a local band’s concert, this summer is the perfect time. Going to a local band’s concert connects you to the culture of your city in a really intimate and exciting way. Chattanooga is home to many local artists and has many hidden-gem venues and restaurants. So, grab a friend and support our city’s up-and-coming artists. Some of my favorites are Lilac Line, Oweda, the Cosmic Twelve, Good Grief and Adjective Trio.
To find a schedule of what’s happening in Chattanooga each weekend, click here for a full list.

All Lee students are well aware of the quintessential sunset spot, Chilhowee Mountain. It’s almost a rite of passage to go during your freshman year. Drive up to Chilhowee with a few friends and a camera and grab some cute summer Instagram pictures and photos for your scrapbook. Bonus: it’s free!

Speaking of Chilhowee, a lesser-known nature gem is Benton Falls, which is located just past the Chilhowee Mountain overlook. This is one of my personal favorite nature spots to visit, and it’s dog-friendly! To get to Benton Falls, you have to hike a little over a mile, but the falls are gorgeous once you make it. Be sure to wear a swimsuit, because after your hike you’ll definitely want to jump in the nice cool water at the bottom of the falls.

Southeast Tennessee is full of beauty, day and night, both indoors and outdoors. The city is full of life every day of the week, so if you’re spending your summer here, you’ll have plenty of exploring to do. Have fun, and make some memories!

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