May - August
Chattanooga hums with excitement in the summer months, despite the fact that this is the Deep South and one can cut the humidity with a knife. The many air-conditioned attractions in the Downtown district, coupled with the abundance of water fountains and features in the park system, make for plenty of opportunities to cool down. Summertime represents that notorious "summer vacation" period for school-aged children. With Chattanooga's convenient driving distance from several major cities and with its child-friendly attractions, it sees some serious traffic. Be prepared to sweat if you plan to walk between attractions, and sweat you will.
December - April
Although this is in the southern reaches of our country, Chattanooga can get plenty cold in winter. Average temperatures in December and January hover around freezing. Snow is not as likely as it is in the northern states, but it can still happen, and southern road crews are not always adequately prepared. After a snow, roads can be sloppy, and drivers aren't so sure of how to handle this strange white powder. Crowds do dwindle during these cooler months, though, and since many of the Downtown attractions are indoors, it can be a good time to remove the crowd factor. Watching for coupons and special winter pricing for area attractions might keep more green in your wallet, too.
September - November
In autumn, the hills surrounding Chattanooga explode with colorful fall foliage. Daytime temperatures can still reach the 80s, but humidity drops. With summer crowds a thing of the past, this is the time to pop in for a visit. Don't restrict yourself to a visit to the Downtown during this time of year, though. Rafting, mountain biking, hiking and paddling are ideal ways to explore the colorful forest and parks of the Chattanooga area. If a less-active vacation is on tap, a visit to Rock City will get you out of the Downtown area and into a stony wonderland.