See & Do
Since the Aquarium opened in 1992, it has participated in conservation and research programs that help to keep the balance of biodiversity throughout the Southeast area. From sharks to seahorses, crabs to cuttlefish, toads to turtles—the Tennessee Aquarium is a world of underwater wonder. Where else can you experience the Rivers of the World, Delta Swamp, and Penguin’s Rock all under one roof? Come prepared to pet stingrays and sturgeons, enjoy the diving antics of penguins (like the little guy shown right), and leave with a whole new respect—and love—for the creatures of the deep.
Houston Museum of Decorative Arts
According to city lore, there was no one quite like Anna Safley Houston. The eccentric antiques dealer amassed an amazing personal collection of Victorian antiques, including the largest assemblage of glass pitchers in the world. She also “collected” husbands—nine in all. Though her later years were spent in poverty, she steadfastly refused to sell any of her treasures. Instead she donated the collection to the city of Chattanooga, and they are now displayed in a spacious Victorian home in the Bluff View Art District. Annie’s enormous assortment of cranberry glass fills the shelving above the front hall staircase and artfully spills into other rooms as well.
Hunter Museum of American Art
Winslow Homer, Thomas Hart Benton, and Mary Cassatt are just a few of the artists whose works grace the galleries at Hunter Museum of American Art. With a focus on American art that spans from the Colonial period to the present, the museum is housed in a historic Classic Revival-style mansion with a modern addition that overlooks the Tennessee River below. The mansion retains its original grandeur—hand-carved woodwork, gleaming sconces and chandeliers, and details inherent to the time period in which it was built, such as egg-and-dart molding and acanthus leaf motifs—while the 2005 addition offers sleek, cutting-edge architecture.