This year, Tennessee high school students and their families will have the opportunity to explore the Scenic City as they make their way to Chattanooga for the annual BlueCross Bowl, the state football high school championships.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee established support for what became the BlueCross Bowl more than 20 years ago.
“We believe in dedication, teamwork and healthy activity, and we’re committed to continuing our support of the championships as they promote these values for young people throughout Tennessee,” said Robin Young, senior vice president of commercial operations and chief marketing officer for BlueCross.
Chattanooga winters are usually mild, so there will be plenty for visitors to do while they’re visiting the first weekend in December.
Here are 7 healthy activities to explore while visiting Chattanooga for the BlueCross Bowl.
1. Explore the Walnut Street Bridge and Coolidge Park.
The Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge offers one of the best views of Chattanooga. It joins the north and south sides of the Tennessee River and connects to shops, restaurants and many other amenities.
On the south side of the Walnut Street Bridge, you’ll see the Ed Johnson Memorial. Ed Johnson was the first African American awarded a stay of execution by the U.S. Supreme Court, and his story changed the course of justice in America.
On the north shore, you’ll find Coolidge Park. Its highlights include a 100-year-old restored carousel, pavilion and open space to explore the riverfront.
The Walnut Street Bridge is located at 1 Walnut Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403.
Coolidge Park is located at 150 River Street, Chattanooga, TN 37405.
2. Climb indoors or outside.
The High Point Climbing and Fitness indoor climbing facility offers bouldering, lead climbing, an outdoor wall that offers views of downtown Chattanooga and a Kid Zone. You can purchase a day pass or a 7-day pass that includes the gear you’ll need to climb.
Chattanooga is also a destination for outdoor rock climbing, and there are a variety of spots close to downtown where you can take part.
One option is Sunset Rock, located on the west brow of Lookout Mountain. It offers a long, linear cliff line that can be easily top-roped or led.
About 45 minutes outside of Chattanooga, you’ll find Foster Falls. It’s one of the most popular destinations in the Southeast and offers 179 routes at a variety of difficulty levels for climbers.
High Point Climbing and Fitness is located at 219 Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402.
3. Walk or bike the Chattanooga Riverwalk.
The Chattanooga Riverwalk spans 16.1 miles along the Tennessee river. The paved path offers bike rentals through Bike Chattanooga and passes by restaurants and areas like the Bluff View Art District along its route. The official trailheads have plenty of parking and there are multiple entry and exit points along the way.
4. Ride the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway.
Known as “America’s Most Amazing Mile,” the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway leaves from its station in St. Elmo and travels up Lookout Mountain. At its steepest, it has a 72.7% grade, making it one of the steepest passenger railways in the world.
At the top of the mountain, you’ll find a panoramic view of the Tennessee Valley and you’re just a short walk away from Point Park, a Civil War battlefield.
You can purchase tickets online in advance.
The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is located at 3917 St. Elmo Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37409.
5. Visit a famous Chattanooga attraction.
Consider a visit to The Chattanooga Zoo. The zoo is a 13-acre zoological park focused on wildlife rehabilitation and conservation efforts. It’s a non-profit organization that provides excellent animal care and educates thousands of children in the Chattanooga area each year.
Another great place to consider is The Tennessee Aquarium. The aquarium connects people with nature and empowers them to make informed decisions about wildlife.
You can also purchase tickets to see Rock City. This attraction features massive rock formations, gardens with over 400 native plant species, and panoramic views of the surrounding seven states. Visit at night to experience the Enchanted Garden of Lights, an award-winning Christmas lights display. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.
The Chattanooga Zoo is located at 301 N Holtzclaw Avenue, Chattanooga TN 37404.
The Tennessee Aquarium is located at 1 Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402.
Rock City is located at 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750.
6. Hike at Lula Lake.
The most-traveled path at Lula Lake is a 4.2-mile round trip hike from the parking lot to the 100-foot waterfall. You’ll pass Lula Lake and the upper falls, that feed into turquoise waters.
Lula Lake is only open the first and last weekend of each month and reservations are required. You can purchase passes online in advance of your visit.
Lula Lake is located at 5000 Luka Lake Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750.
7. Break at a local spot in Chattanooga’s Southside.
Just a short walk or drive from Finley Stadium is Chattanooga’s Southside neighborhood. Here you’ll find a variety of small businesses, coffee shops and restaurants, and the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also use tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the in the Member Wellness Center under the Managing Your Health tab.