JUNE 14 - 16 in Chattanooga, Tennessee
A City Made Better by its People
Chattanooga is a true network of makers. Through community-led revitalization and determined public officials, Chattanooga transformed itself from an old steel and rail town into a fabulous city that has been recognized in national media as one of the nation’s best destination towns in America. Even one of the oldest carousels left in the United States was revived by a local team of makers who carved new animals for its empty turntable. We built new roads, designed new public spaces, created sustainable places for start-ups to grow, and organized interactive art experiences. By 2007, Chattanooga’s municipal power company, EPB, laid fiber optic cable when they replaced their power grid, providing citizens up to 10 Gbps ubiquitous fiber in a 600 square mile radius. Making the utility grid smarter paved the way for Chattanooga to be nationally recognized as the first mid-sized city to designate an Innovation District. In essence, the citizens of Chattanooga collaborated to make a city we could be proud of and other mid-size cities visit for inspiration.
When you visit, be prepared to experience a city full of activities, energy, and a vibrant local economy. The Tennessee River runs right through downtown and the weather is ideal for outdoor activities such as caving, paddleboard, rock climbing, kayaking and festivals. If you arrive a little early or plan your stay later, you can take in a lot of what Chattanooga has to offer including Taking on the Ocoee River, home to the Olympic water course which is about an hour from downtown (Rapids open to the public June 13-17th and 20th-24th). We have compiled a special list of maker related activities to help you plan the perfect MakeCation here.
What to Expect:
Beautiful mountain vistas and lush valleys
Upper 80s for daytime temps, lower 70s for nighttime temps
A delightfully walkable downtown
Tons of family friendly activities
Fantastic hiking, kayaking, paddleboard and even a climbing gym in the middle of downtown
Lots of live music, arts and culture
Delicious, locally grown food including plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free
Flavors to satisfy any taste from Barbeque and Boudin to Peru and Thailand
How do I Get There?
With nonstop flights to 9 cities & connecting flight in several major hubs, your trip has never been easier to book. Skip the long lines and enjoy fast boarding and easy check-in. Direct flight destinations include: Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Orlando, Tampa, New York City, and Washington, D.C.. Direct flight carriers include: Delta, American Airlines, Allegiant, and United. Click here to see the most up-to-date information from our carriers.
We are centrally located between four major cities (Nashville, Knoxville, Birmingham, and Atlanta), which not only allows easy access to Chattanooga from a variety of transportation modes, but we are also fondly known by our neighbor cities as a pleasant escape. Should you choose to fly into Atlanta or Nashville, you can rent a car or take the Groome Shuttle which is available for a fee.
A map with all the details and listed activities is available at the bottom of this page. To see all the sections, please toggle the icon inn the upper-left corner.
Create Your Own MakeCation
While Chattanooga has a lot to do and see, we have provided a list of activities that particularly delight the maker in all of us. For a list all things Chattanooga has to offer, you can click here to view and download the Chattanooga Visitor’s Guide.
Creative Discovery Museum - Consistently ranked one of the nation’s top children’s museums. Their facility boasts a children’s makerspace, an art studio, a puppet lab with performance space, and a teaching kitchen on the second floor.
Coolidge Park - This is where the community of Chattanooga came together to create one of their first intentional placemaking projects. Play in the water fountains or ride one of the hand-carved menagerie animals created by Bud Ellis and a team of local woodcrafters. The park is perfect for picnics, walking, and you can even try your hand at rock climbing underneath the bridge. The Walnut Street Bridge connects Coolidge Park and Northshore to downtown and the Hunter Museum of American Art.
Chattanooga Public Library - One of the first libraries in the nation to create a community for everyone, The 4th Floor Maker space has 12,000 square feet of equipment and gear to make just about anything. The second floor has a sound studio where patrons can learn how to mix music, record podcasts and cut songs. They also have a lot of cool offering for tweens and teens including video games, arduinos, and crafts.
Sweet & Savory - Committed to creating an environment that is the perfect place to have for fun, learn something new, and experience the time of your life. Heather and Jeff Pennypacker bring their 40plus combined years in culinary arts to provide
hands-on cooking classes for adults and kids.
Ignis Glass -Their studio is open to the public so that you and your family can have the chance to blow your own heirloom glass ornament or paperweight. With the help of our professional artists, you can select your colors, assist with working the piece, and actually trap your own breath in glass. Cost starts at $43 per design (3 styles to choose from), ($5 discount for groups of 10 or more).
Scenic City Clay Arts - A community driven, non-profit, ceramic studio space in Chattanooga. Wheels, slab rollers, hand tools, glaze, clay, and firing are available to members and students taking their classes, workshops or summer programs.
Townsend Atelier - Townsend Atelier offers art classes and workshops throughout the year. We have a wide variety of art instruction for the beginner and for the professional artist. Taught by professional artists and art educators, we offer instruction in painting, drawing, sculpture, print making, mixed media, and a weekly open figure drawing studio.
Rock City - “See 7 States” & explore the massive rock formations atop Lookout Mountain. Developed by the inventor of miniature golf.
Lake Winnie - Ride the original log flume ride and one of the oldest, wooden roller-coasters still in operation at this amusement park.
Songbirds - Explore their collection of rare, vintage guitars like no other on Earth. Experience American history in a new and unique environment through the Songbirds Guitars extensive anthology of permanent and revolving exhibits on the campus of the world-famous Chattanooga Choo Choo. Songbirds is part of our Saturday evening reception at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo
Hunter Museum of American Art - Offering stunning views of the river and the surrounding mountains. This panorama is equaled only by the exceptional collection of American art inside, recognized as one of the country's finest. They also offer classes and workshops over the summer.
Honest Charley - If you are into custom and vintage cars, this space is for you. Founded by stock car racer Charles Card in the 40’s and owned by Coker Tire since 1998, Honest Charley is known for building and restoring custom hot rods and motorcycles. They have been featured on cable TV shows such as American Pickers and Car Wars. Tours will be available this summer.
Chatt*Lab - Chattanooga’s member driven maker space. Welding classes, woodworking, programming and 3D printing. Chatt*Lab is part of the pre-conference tours on Friday.
Montague Sculpture Park - A 33 acre public park populated with sculptures from all over the world. Located on Chattanooga’s Southside, it is also the largest sculpture park in the Southeast and beckons visitors from near and far.
High Point Climbing and Fitness - Scale new heights with 30,000 sq. ft. of rock wall at the 9th largest climbing gym in the U.S. They also have a children’s gym and a bouldering section.
Outdoor Chattanooga - Located in Coolidge Park, Outdoor Chattanooga is the hub for everything outdoors to explore in our region. They even have an adaptive cycling program to accommodate people with different abilities.
Raccoon Mountain Wild Cave Tours - A great way to explore this cave behind the scenes. WARNING: Prepare to have fun and bring a change of clothes.
Ocoee River Rafting - If rafting an Olympic rafting course is on your bucket list, then you will want to block some extra time to ride these rapids which are less than an hour away. There are several outfitters to meet your needs.
Lookout Mountain Hangliding - With more flyable days per year plus exceptional training and scenic launch/landing zones make this glider park one of the best in the country. Tandem rides and lessons are available.
Adventure Sports Innovation - Bringing to market the latest inventions and innovations for outdoor experiences and VR. Equipment to rent and experience first-hand.
Making Things Work
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum - Train travel was a huge part of Chattanooga’s history and you will find a great collection of locomotives engines to explore. Bring history to life aboard a vintage steam-powered train. Ask about their blacksmith shop.
Tennessee Aquarium - Enjoy a remarkable journey from the mountains to the sea as you explore above and below the surface in the Aquarium’s two buildings. You can also go behind the scenes to see how the aquarium works in their backstage tour.
Raccoon Mountain - Scorned at the outset as a scheme worthy of Rube Goldberg, TVA’s pumped-storage generating plant inside Raccoon Mountain became one of the engineering wonders of the Tennessee Valley. Their Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from April through October.
For More Information
Events and destination info: https://www.chattanoogafun.com/
Local daily paper events section: https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/chattanooganow/
Alt-weekly paper: http://www.chattanoogapulse.com/
Online news: https://noogatoday.6amcity.com/
Accommodations in Chattanooga
Below is a comprehensive list of hotels. The hotels that are boldened in black have links to discount room blocks with us. You can also view their proximity to the convention center by clicking on the Google Map.
Chattanooga Choo Choo (Pet Friendly) -Contact their on-site reservations department at 423.266.5000 and ask for the “NomCon 2019” rate.
How do I get around?
If you stay in the downtown area near the convention center, you’ll be able to walk to most destinations.
NOMCON is working to arrange some transportation for key events not within walking distance from the convention center.
The first citywide bike share system in the South lives in Chattanooga with 300 bikes at 30 locations throughout the city.
The city is extremely walkable with most activities and lodging occurring within a 5 block radius of the convention center
Uber and Lyft both operate in Chattanooga.
CARTA’s free electric shuttle covers all of Downtown and connects to the Northshore. The downtown shuttle runs weekdays from 6:30am to 11pm, 9:30am to 11pm on Saturdays, and 9:30am to 8:30pm on Sundays. (excluding major holidays)
Car rentals are also available in Chattanooga from a variety of carriers.
ChattyWagon is also available with free, electric rides. Just download the app and you are good to go.
Where to Grab a Bite
Chattanooga is home to a wide variety of food and night life. We have included a few of our favorites below that are easy to access from downtown. To see a complete list, please visit https://www.chattanoogafun.com/restaurants/. For a complete selection of vegan restaurants, please visit: http://www.chattavegan.com/
Flying Squirrel (Children allowed only for Sunday brunch)
Main Street Meats
Feed Table and Tavern
Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free Faves