In recent years, Chattanooga, Tennessee’s 4th largest city, has been undergoing a transformation. Straddling the Tennessee River and just across the border from Georgia, through the middle of the 20th century, it suffered from the pollution of industrialization and the subsequent deterioration of the post-industrial age. Racial tensions and socioeconomic issues plagued the city, but by the end of the 1980s it was well on its way to the city that it is today. Chattanooga has since become a great success story, having undergone huge redevelopment and revitalization projects that have beautified its waterfront and expanded development into rundown areas. It now has its own typeface (the first city to ever do so), was the first city in the country to provide its citizens with gigabit internet speeds, and has won 3 national awards for outstanding livability. So, if you are headed to Tennessee or the South in general, be sure to check out this gem of a city.
Where to Stay
Well, you’ve reached Gig City and now it is time to find a place. Sure, you could opt for a hotel, but they can be expensive, impersonal, and downright boring. Chattanooga has a wide variety of rental properties available, from apartments, to bed and breakfasts, to fully furnished and friendly private rooms. These options offer a much more local and personal experience. Get to know some of the citizens of this charming city by living with and among them. Apartment rentals offer you the chance to save some money, not only on the accommodation, but on eating, as you always have the option to self-cater instead of eating out for every meal. Apartment rentals in Chattanooga all you to save money while at the same time getting much more out of the city than if you were to simply rent a cookie-cutter hotel room. Try Wimdu and travel like a local!
- Chattanooga has some of America’s fastest internet speeds, giving it the nickname “Gig City”.
- Famous actor Samuel L. Jackson grew up in Chattanooga.
- Chattanooga is home to one of the world’s longest pedestrian bridges at 2,376 feet.
- The Chattanooga area is home to more species of trees and wildflowers than anywhere else on earth, other than central China.
- Thrill-seekers should know that the world’s highest overland bungee jump is in Chattanooga.
- Chattanooga was a major centre of battle during the Civil War.
Things to See and Do
Chattanooga is a charming and laid back city nestled among some stunning natural scenery. In town, head over to the Tennessee Aquarium, the world’s largest freshwater aquarium. Focusing on freshwater ecosystems in Tennessee and around the world, it features over 12,000 different animal species and is one of the city’s top landmarks and tourist destinations. One of America’s top collections of American art is housed in the Hunter Museum of American Art, which sits on a large bluff overlooking the river and the mountains. Bring the family to the Creative Discovery Museum for some interactive fun. For a real Southern experience, why not enjoy a delicious meal on the Southern Belle Riverboat, a classic paddlewheel boat that cruises along the Tennessee River. Walk across the Walnut Street Bridge to the North Shore District, an up-and-coming area with a wonderful park and some shopping as well.Just outside Chattanooga are some stunning examples of the region’s natural beauty. Lookout Mountain thrusts out of the ground and visitors can head to the top for some unbelievable views of the surroundings. Rock City is located there, where you can wander some beautiful paths past strange rock formations and lovely flora. One of the most unique and jaw-dropping features of this area is Ruby Falls. Descend into the stone caverns, which lead to an underground waterfall that truly has to be seen to be believed.
Several airlines offer nonstop service to Chattanooga from a number of major American cities. For those travellers so inclined, it is also possible to reach the city by boat along the Tennessee River.Once in the city, cars are a great way to get around, and are especially helpful if you are looking to explore the surrounding area. That said, the city is relatively small and serviced by a great fleet of buses. While in the downtown area, there are 2 electric lines than run daily along routes with some of the main sights. What’s better? These 2 lines are completely free of charge! As for the rest of the city, transit is quite easy and a car is really not needed.