After Rock City, we stopped in pet friendly Chattanooga. The visit was all too brief because the temps were in the high 80s, and there wasn’t a lick of shade on the streets. Our dogs don’t do well in that kind of heat. That being said, we did get a taste of the city and are happy to share what we learned with you.

Sniffing Around

The commerce afforded by the Tennessee River and the arrival of the railroad made Chattanooga a boom town in the 1850s. Back then, Chattanooga was known as the city “where cotton meets corn” because of its location between the mountain communities of Southern Appalachia and the cotton-growing states to the south. By the 1930s, Chattanooga was called the “Dynamo of Dixie,” later inspiring the 1941 Glenn Miller big-band swing song “Chattanooga Choo Choo“.

Chattanooga, TN
Tennessee Aquarium

What We Did

At the visitors center adjacent to the Tennessee Aquarium we secured a city map. Then we crossed the river on the Market Street Bridge to the dog friendly Renaissance Park. This area of Chattanooga is called North Shore, and is undergoing gentrification. Its dog friendly park is in a state of rebirth and, when finished, will be beautiful. During our visit, it was a work in progress.

Chattanooga, TN
Best view of Renaissance Park

On a recommendation, we stopped at The Bone Appetite Bakery, on Frazier Avenue. This small boutique offers gourmet dog treats and pet toys and accessories. We picked up some cookies and the Parks and Recreation Department’s Guideline for Pets in Downtown Chattanooga. The brochure clearly outlines the local ordinances as well as pet owners’ common sense duties and responsibilities. It also includes a map of the dog friendly parks and paths as well as areas where pets are not permitted. Unfortunately, the Tennessee Riverwalk – a place visitors would love to see, especially with their dogs – is not pet friendly.

Effective July 1, 2009, Tennessee removed its ban on non-service dogs at restaurants with outdoor dining areas. We stopped for lunch on Market Street at Cheeburger Cheeburger, a chain known for its all natural angus beef burgers. They offer more toppings than I imagined possible, including peanut butter! And, according to our server, there are over 400,000 possible milkshake combinations. And yes, it is pet friendly. Buster donned the official cheeburger hat to audition for a mascot position – no word yet on his screen test.

Chattanooga, TN
Can I haz cheeburger?

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Holiday Trav-L-Park on Mack Smith Road in Chattanooga. While there was nothing particularly picturesque about the campground, it was close to the city, well laid out, clean, and had all the amenities. There was also plenty of green space to exercise Ty and Buster. We wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again. If you’re looking for pet friendly hotels in Chattanooga, you’ll also find several good options.

Next Time

The next time we’re in town we want to see more of Chattanooga and get a better feel for its pet friendly offerings, including Riverfront Parkway, Miller Park, Play Wash Pint, and the Chattanooga Chew-Chew Off-leash Dog Park. We’ll be back!

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  • Worth noting that some of the key attractions are NOT pet friendly, including the river boat and duck trips, the incline railway, ruby falls (they have kennels you can lock your dog in), and the aquarium.

    • Thank you, Ian! It’s disappointing that so many of the attractions in Chattanooga are not pet friendly. But thank you for sharing. It may encourage people to choose a different destination with their pets. Waggin’ trails to you!

      • Also, the Bone Appetite bakery is long closed down (although there is a business of the same name in Nashville).

        Better news, the official Chattanooga Guide now has a * throughout on any attraction, restaurant, amenity etc. that is pet friendly. Which makes them very easy to find, if only it weren’t so hot.

        • Thanks, Ian! We’ll work on getting a copy of that and make sure the website is up to date.