Are you looking for things to do at Coolidge Park in Chattanooga, TN?
Both locals and tourists love to spend time at Coolidge Park because it offers so many fun activities and it’s (mostly) FREE!
This spacious park offers a pavilion for party and wedding rentals, a carousel for families, a super fun splash pad for kids, year round events for celebrating holidays and special occasions, and so much more!
Continue reading below for all the reasons why you should definitely add Coolidge Park to your Chattanooga vacation itinerary!
Is Coolidge Park in Chattanooga open?
With so many travel restrictions in place, I know many people are wondering if Coolidge Park is open. Luckily the park is opened for visitors; although, you should always check their official website in case of a last minute change.
Since Coolidge Park offers such vast green spaces, it is really easy to socially distance yourself from others. There are several different lawn areas for your family to run and play games while not getting too close to strangers.
The multiple pathways for walking, jogging, and riding bikes help make it easy to keep your distance from others. My family brings our face masks with us in case we need to walk past someone else and aren’t able to social distance ourselves.
Directions to Coolidge Park
Coolidge Park sits right on the Tennessee River near downtown Chattanooga. If you are in the downtown area near the Tennessee Aquarium, you can easily walk across the Walnut Street Bridge to cross the river into Coolidge Park.
This pedestrian only bridge is a must do activity for those visiting the scenic city as it offers amazing views of the downtown area, Tennessee River, and surrounding mountains.
Since Coolidge Park sits on the other side of the river from downtown, you can easily stroll over the walking bridge to enjoy activities in the park before walking back to the downtown area attractions.
If you would rather drive to Coolidge Park, parking is super easy and convenient. There is a small lot and some parallel parking options near the restaurants and shops.
In addition, you will find a large public parking lot right at the edge of the park near the Chattanooga theater. If you choose to park in the public lot, note that you will see vestibules to purchase parking tickets for a few dollars.
You can enter the park from any side, but if you walk through the cobblestone entrance, you will see the Walter Pavilion. This building houses restrooms and event space for those looking to rent a room for weddings or birthday parties.
You can find more information about the Walter Pavilion here.
The building directly across from the Walter Pavilion houses the carousel. This is a huge hit for kids when traveling to Chattanooga and Coolidge Park.
The Chattanooga Zoo also has a carousel that my kids love to ride; although, it is currently being refurbished.
Along with riding bikes through the park, my kids rave about the “water park” in the middle of Coolidge Park.
This splash pad area is in the shape of a large circle with a huge fountain spraying up from the middle. Surrounding the main fountain are lots of medium and small sized fountains that are perfect for even small kids.
Along the outside of the splash pad circle, you will see large concrete animal statues that also spray water. If you are visiting Chattanooga during a cooler time of year when the fountains are not on, these animals are really fun climbing features for kids.
Parents can easily sit and watch the kiddos play in the splash pad area as there are shaded benches and steps nearby.
Restaurants Near Coolidge Park
Coolidge Park is near the North Shore side of Chattanooga, which is home to lots of really great restaurants. Visitors looking for a place with really great views of the Walnut Street Bridge should try Brewhaus where the elevated patio provides spectacular scenery.
If you are looking for sushi, Toto Sushi and Grill is a really great choice, and it’s an easy stroll from the park.
When you head down to the far end of the park near the other bridge and Manufacturer’s Blvd, you will find more dining options including Whole Foods Market.
I recommend trying Food Works (especially for brunch) or Edley’s BBQ if you are in this area. They are a bit farther than the other restaurants pictured above, but they are still really easy to access.
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Ice Cream and Desserts
If you are looking for some sweet treats after you dine near Coolidge Park, I recommend several different options.
Whole Foods Market provides all types of desserts including cake pops, cupcakes, ice cream, and so much more.
Near Whole Foods and Edley’s BBQ is Frios Gourmet Pops. These are healthy popsicles that you can order in all kinds of yummy and unique flavors. They even offer vegan and gluten free options!
In the public parking lot at Coolidge Park, you will also find a shaved ice stand. This is always a huge hit.
My family’s favorite option for treats in Coolidge Park is Clumpies Ice Cream. This is a super popular ice cream shop with a great selection of flavors. I highly recommend trying it if you haven’t had a chance in the past.
Final Review of Coolidge Park in Chattanooga
Coolidge Park offers so many fun things to do for families with kids of all ages. If you are visiting during warmer months, take advantage of the fountains in the splash pad before grabbing ice cream. If the weather is a bit cooler during your vacation, you can enjoy a leisurely bike ride and carousel ride.
Regardless of when you visit Coolidge Park, the beautiful views of the Walnut Street Bridge. downtown attractions, and Tennessee River make this a picture perfect stop on your Chattanooga vacation.
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What is your favorite thing to do at Coolidge Park in Chattanooga?
Comment below and share it with us!
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