When I was 12 my family started taking day trips to Chattanooga,TN every few weeks. During college, I went every couple of months, and now that I am married and "great with child" (hopefully soon to be 'with great child) Chatt-town has become something of a refuge. It's a place to stop for a bite to eat on my way to Ft. Campbell. It is a weekend get-away and it is a place that I fantasize about picking up my family and moving to in the middle of the night.
Jenn and I invaded Chattanooga several times in the last few years. Once for a great date and a "first kiss" to end all first kisses. She had some very sexy shoes BTW. Another time we celebrated her birthday with a few days in the heart of the riverside district, and making the well-worth-your-while trek to the art district which is directly uphill from the aquarium.
One of the staples of our trips to the city is passing by the southwest corner of West 2nd and Broad streets where the 'guitar guy with a crown' plays for his ever changing pedestrian audience(and usually plays Pretty Woman when Jenn walks up - +2 points for this guy). We found out that he has his own CD that he will sell you. We are going to pick up a copy next time we make it up. Someday there will be a bronze statue of this guy on that very corner.
Now that I am going to be raising a son, I've been thinking alot about the things that I loved to do as a kid. Before the strike, I used to follow baseball religiously. You would have thought that Jesus was a pitcher instead of a carpenter if (upcoming rare double contraction) you'd've known me when I was 10-14. Chattanooga has a great little AA farm team for the Cincinnati reds called the "Lookouts". Tickets are always cheap and the players love to sign autographs for the kids. I got to meet Chipper Jones, Javi Lopez and Andrew Jones when they played an away game in Chattanooga as Greenville Braves. The lookouts have a new stadium. It's no-longer down by the farmers market (open on sundays - worth your time) but now sits behind the Hilton Garden Inn.
There is plenty of tourist-y stuff to do; Rock City, Ruby Falls, Incline Railway, TN Aquarium, but the city is far better than that. They have a long schedule of outdoor concerts at riverside park (which has its own carosel ($1)) plenty of music venues, old book stores and great eateries that don't get swamped by your typical Atlanta-Weekender crowd.
I definitely owe this place another weekend of my time very soon.