Growing up in the South, I was fortunate to visit some really amazing cities and places. One city that my family frequented was Chattanooga, Tennessee. When my family lived in Atlanta, we’d visit several times a year, and always loved those trips. We hadn’t visited Chattanooga (for longer than a day) in nearly 10 years. So when I was offered a job in the Scenic City back in June, I was happy to accept and move to this wonderful place.
Chattanooga has everything a big city has, but it doesn’t feel like a big, sprawling metropolitan environment, like New York or Washington, D.C. It’s just big enough for the people who want a taste of city life, but don’t want the hassle of living in a true city environment. Downtown is full of things to do and explore, and just a 10-15-minute drive outside of downtown is a suburban heaven for those who prefer that environment. Best of both worlds, easily!
Cost of living here is absolutely wonderful. Gas is cheap, there’s plenty of real estate, and taxes are low (except for sales tax). The suburban area where I live has everything from a shopping mall to a Middle Eastern kabob cafe, and everything in between. I love that I don’t have to drive far to get to my essentials.
Since my job is downtown, I spend a lot of time each week in that area. On the weekends, there’s always something happening downtown, so I like to check those out, too. I think my favorite thing about downtown Chattanooga is the food scene. Almost every time I’ve eaten out, I’ve eaten at a different restaurant. There’s a huge variety of cuisines offered, so broadening my food horizons hasn’t been a challenge at all. Tupelo Honey Cafe, Food Works, and Bitter Alibi are fantastic brunch spots (and brunch is a popular outing around here).
For fun nights out that won’t cost an arm and a leg, I’ve had great times at Public House, Chattanooga Brewing Company, and Clyde’s. Another favorite spot of mine is 212 Market, which is nice dining, but not fancy or formal. If you are feeling classy, Easy Bistro is your spot. And I can hardly end an evening out without stopping at the Cupcake Kitchen or the Moon Pie General Store. Since Moon Pies are Chattanooga originals, you won’t get them any fresher than the general store. It’s worth the visit.
When I’m not eating at any of Chattanooga’s wonderful restaurants, you’ll probably find me at the Tennessee Aquarium, or the Sunday farmer’s market. I remember visiting the aquarium when I was younger, and boy has it grown and changed since the early 2000s! It was recently voted one of the best aquariums in the nation, too.
While Chattanooga doesn’t have any professional sports teams, it is blessed with smaller clubs, like minor-league baseball and amateur soccer. Baseball fans can cheer on the Chattanooga Lookouts, the AA-affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. If soccer is more your taste, check out the Chattanooga FC, an amateur soccer club that made national waves this summer after their stellar season. When football season comes, University of Tennessee — Chattanooga is in town, and UT – Knoxville isn’t far up the road. In the heart of SEC country, there will be constant football from now until January.
Natives and locals affectionately call Chattanooga “The Scenic City,” and for good reason. The city is blessed with outdoor beauty: Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain, the Tennessee River and more. On a clear day, you can see seven states from “Rock City” at the top of Lookout Mountain: Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. My favorite view, though, is standing on the Market Street Bridge, looking toward the pedestrian bridge down the Tennessee River.
It’s just so pretty.
I can’t wait for my friends and family to start visiting me so I can show them everything this wonderful city has to offer. It’ll get in their hearts quickly.