Chattanooga, Tennessee - Best Place to Live in America

Is Chattanooga the Best Place to Live in America?

In October of 2011, readers of Outside Magazine overwhelmingly voted Chattanooga, Tennessee their ultimate dream town. The following year, the New York Times ranked the city #25 in The 45 Places to Go in 2012, a list that included such notable tourist destinations as London, Jordan, and Antarctica. However, Chattanooga’s current status as top tourist destination and darling of the outdoor lifestyle crowd was not always so. In 1969, Walter Cronkite declared it the “Dirtiest City in America” on his evening broadcast.

Cronkite’s statement was a wake up call for Chattanooga, which had long enjoyed prosperity as one of the top industrial and manufacturing cities in America. The Chattanooga/Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau was quickly established, but just as the smog began to clear the recession of the 1970’s and 80’s dealt a second blow. In the face of severe job layoffs, deteriorating infrastructure and social tensions, the Chamber of Commerce and Chattanooga Planning Commission created Chattanooga Venture, a non-profit organization tasked with bringing together citizens to clean up their city on all fronts. The organization held a series of public forums where residents were asked to dream about the way they wanted their city to be.

Chattanooga's Riverfront, with Tennessee Aquarium and seven fountains at the base of The Passage, America’s largest public art project celebrating Cherokee history and commemorating the Trail of Tears

Chattanooga’s Riverfront, with Tennessee Aquarium and seven fountains at the base of The Passage, America’s largest public art project celebrating Cherokee history and commemorating the Trail of Tears

More than 1,000 residents participated in the four-month process, which resulted in the adoption of 40 goals for the city to achieve by the year 2000, including the revitalization of Chattanooga’s derelict downtown; creation of a distribution and transportation center to capitalize on the city’s prime location at the intersection of Interstates 75, 59 and 24; and solving problems with air, water and noise pollution. Today, many of those goals have been accomplished. The city and county have developed five miles of greenway which begins along the downtown Riverwalk and winds through several parks and the historic Bluff View Art District. Riverwalk is a world class tourist destination, offering the acclaimed Tennessee Aquarium and Tennessee Riverpark, where visitors can take rides on authentic paddle wheel steamboats.

While the accolades racked up by Chattanooga of late may astound some, my only surprise is that it took folks so long to fall in love with this city on the banks of the Tennessee River. I first rolled into town by chance  seven years ago, just as the nine-day Riverbend Festival was wrapping up. I strolled around the downtown amidst cleanup crews, rode the free zero-emission electric buses through the business district, and walked across the river on the 120-year-old Walnut Street Bridge, which was converted for pedestrian use when it was no longer appropriate for car traffic. On the North Shore I found a handful of Yoga studios and cafes, along with the unmistakeable energy of a neighborhood poised to become Chattanooga’s newest arts enclave.

Walnut Street Bridge, converted for pedestrian use when it was no longer appropriate for car traffic, provides easy access to the North Shore from downtown Chattanooga

Walnut Street Bridge, converted for pedestrian use when it was no longer appropriate for car traffic, provides easy access to the North Shore from downtown Chattanooga

Over the years, Chattanooga has stayed on my horizon. During trips between Chicago and Atlanta it always seemed the perfect stopping point for dinner and I usually made my way to the turn-of-the-century warehouse district on the north side of the river, where old red-brick textile mills had morphed into local boutiques, artisanal shops, and restaurants. I never failed to be impressed, so when the Chattanooga Area Convention & Visitors Bureau invited me to get to know their city a little better this past April, I jumped at the chance.

Tangerinas, one of many cute local shops and galleries in Chattanooga's North Shore neighborhood

Tangerinas, one of many cute local shops and galleries in Chattanooga’s North Shore neighborhood

Just as I had suspected, the North Shore had become a prime location for local entrepreneurs and artists, a number of whom had begun life in the INCubator, a 125,000 square foot former ceramic manufacturing facility that now offers office or manufacturing space to start-up businesses at highly competitive lease rates. As a result, rather than being filled with ubiquitous franchises or national chain stores, merchants of the North Shore are overwhelmingly local. Shops fronting Coolidge Park offer everything from original art in galleries, to hand-painted furniture and decor at Tangerinas, and even natural hand-crafted sodas featuring flavors such as lavender mint, strawberry jalapeno, apple pie, orange basil and hibiscus lemon in the old-fashioned soda fountain at Pure Sodaworks.

Matt Rogers displays his natural hand-crafted line of Pure Sodaworks, located on Chattanooga's North Shore

Matt Rogers displays his natural hand-crafted line of Pure Sodaworks, located on Chattanooga’s North Shore

But I soon learned that Chattanooga offered so much more than what I had seen on the North Shore. From my lovely penthouse hotel room at the Bluff View Inn, I walked across the glass bridge connecting the Bluff View Arts District with the downtown Riverfront. At the Tennessee Aquarium, the largest fresh-water aquarium in the world, I followed the journey of a single drop of water flowing from the Appalachian Mountains down the Tennessee River to the Gulf of Mexico.

Niedlov's Bakery, located on Main Street in Chattanooga's Southside neighborhood, supplies artisan bread to a number of downtown restaurants

Niedlov’s Bakery, located on Main Street in Chattanooga’s Southside neighborhood, supplies artisan bread to a number of downtown restaurants

Another day took me to the Southside District on Main Street, an up and coming neighborhood on the southern edge of downtown. Here I met John Sweet of Niedlov’s Bakery, who makes the artisan breads that are served in many of downtown Chattanooga’s eateries. I spent two lovely mornings there, gulping down fantastic coffee and swooning over their “everything” bagels, which are covered top and bottom, making them, in my opinion, the best everything bagels in the entire world. After an obligatory stop at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo and a tour of the Crash Pad, a great new hostel that caters to rock climbers and other outdoor enthusiasts, I drove a few blocks to The Hot Chocolatier, where owner Wendy Buckner begged forgiveness for not being able to meet with me as scheduled, since leaving the pot of chocolate she was stirring meant she would lose her temper. I grinned, realizing she was talking about tempering the chocolate, and told her to take her time as I slid into one of her grand wooden booths with another cup of coffee. My patience was rewarded when Wendy slid in across from me a short while later and shared the remarkable story of how she launched her gourmet pastry and desert business, not to mention the box of chocolate covered cherries she insisted I take upon departing.

The Hot Chcolatier, in Chattanooga's Southside neighborhood, makes gourmet pastries, desserts, and chocolates

The Hot Chcolatier, in Chattanooga’s Southside neighborhood, makes gourmet pastries, desserts, and chocolates

I couldn’t leave Chattanooga without riding Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, the steepest passenger railway in the world. At the top I headed for Point Park, site of the famous Civil War “Battle Above the Clouds” and the perfect place from which to view Tennessee River’s Moccasin Bend. On the other side of the mountain I spent a few hours trying to find my way around Rock City Gardens with a poorly designed trail map. Though it was a bit hokey for my taste, with statues of elves scattered amongst the rocks and fake crystals attached to cavern walls, I was finally rewarded with a spectacular view of seven states from Lover’s Leap, a mammoth rock outcropping with sheer drop-offs to the valley below.

Lover's Leap, a monolithic rock outcropping at Rock City Gardens, offers views to seven States

Lover’s Leap, a monolithic rock outcropping at Rock City Gardens, offers views to seven States

Of course, I returned to my old stomping ground, Manufacturer’s Road in the North Shore, to see what had occurred since my last visit. Developments that had been empty lots with sales trailers now offered upscale condos and an intriguing collection of small shops and services, again mostly local in nature, were now anchored by a Whole Foods Market.

So, back to my question: Why are more people are not raving about Chattanooga? I don’t have an answer but I suspect that it won’t stay the same for much longer. With thriving local shops and businesses, a strong music and arts culture, unrivaled outdoor amenities, excellent tourist sights, and a government and populace committed to sustainable development, Chattanooga is certainly has to be included on any list of the best place to live in America, and a wonderful place to vacation.

Disclosure: I was a guest of the Chattanooga Area Convention & Visitors Bureau during my stay in Chattanooga. However, the receipt and acceptance of complimentary items or services will never influence the content, topics, or posts in this blog. I write the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.





Is Chattanooga the Best Place to Live in America?

226 Comments on “Is Chattanooga the Best Place to Live in America?

  1. A huge thank you to everyone who read my article and left a comment. Though opinions differ, it seems that the consensus agree with me that Chattanooga is a very special city, and I look forward to going back again and again.

  2. Having lived there for three years, I can say its a great place to visit and a horrible place to live. The attractions are lovely and its surrounded by fantastic camping snd outdoor activities, but slightly off the beaten path always count your change.

  3. If you come back, you must try Aretha Frankenstein’s pancakes. One pancake sits an inch high and covers the entire plate, even the rim.

  4. Have lived in or around Chattanooga my entire 57 years. Yes, it is a secret that we lifers refer to keep. If everyone knew how good we have it here, there would be no room in the inn. Chattanooga is in the middle of a lush green valley, which is in between other lush green valleys. We have mild winters and long sunny summers. Because of the Tennessee River and its many contributaries, my water bill averages $5/month. When Georgia was in a drought and searching for water sources, we never felt the effects. So, you see we have to keep this place a secret in order to keep out the riff raff.

    Speaking of riff raff, there is another little known side to the history of Chattanooga. Back when we were the most polluted city, we were also struggling with corruption in our leadership. Chattanooga was known as “little Chicago.” When I was a child I remember we had a sheriff known as James “Bookie” Turner. He even had the audacity to let people call him that in public! Just something you might want to look into.

    Thank you for the wonderful article. Don’t spread it around too much. We might need to keep our secret a little longer.

    • I’m 74. I was born in Atlanta, Ga. I’ve lived in Chattanooga since 1946.
      Hamilton County sheriff James “Bookie” Turner got the nickname “Bookie” from being a big book reader when he was young – not because he was a book-maker.

  5. I’m from Germany, Chattanooga was for three years the home for my family. I will never forget the warm welcome in my neighborhood. And I still dream about this wonderful time. I spent time everywhere in US but I call Chattanooga my home. When I get the chance to come back, I will tacke the chance.

    • We are still here and I totally agree! Chattanooga is a wonderful place!

  6. I would like to add, as a Chattanooga transplant from Nashville, that not only does this town keep us constantly entertained but also the community of people here is life changing. It is virtually impossible to go to an event here and not run into handfuls of friends. We are a united community that want nothing more than this city to thrive. There are so many organizations that offer support and grants to locals looking to improve this city and our lives. It’s everything from startup companies to just beautiful murals on buildings that truly make this city so great. And this would not be possible without our amazing community working together. To me, that speaks loudly for our city. Thank you for the wonderful review!

  7. I lived in Chattanooga for four decades before moving to another city for work several years ago. Chattanooga has changed for the better over the years and it’s still a great place to visit which I do a couple of times each year to visit family. However, what it offers in tourist amenities is not matched by the local culture itself.

    Chattanooga is still one of the most socially and economically stratified cities of its size. The local public schools in Chattanooga are inferior compared to where we live now. There also fewer university choices within a reasonable distance. And it’s ironic that you can’t catch an Amtrak train in a city that celebrates it’s choo-choo heritage.

    Is Chattanooga a great place to visit? Certainly. Is Chattanooga the best place to live? I’ve realized since moving away that there are other cities and regions that offer much more when raising a family.

  8. Chatt is a nice town and the surrounding areas are gorgeous…but it doesn’t compare with Denver and surrounding areas.

  9. It’s ok. But then again you’ve got the murders and stabbings almost every night.

  10. I enjoy Chattanooga very much, and lived there off and on for 8 years. I think the reason it might not be as popular as it should be because of the awful gang presence and crime rates.

  11. So glad this article was written! I live in Chattanooga (born and raised) and the changes that have taken place here in the last 20 years are immense. I don’t plan on leaving any time soon! Also, next time you’re in town, try the Terminal Brewhouse. It’s a local microbrewery with craft food. It’s right next to Niedlovs!

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  13. Born and raised in Chatt but live in Fl now. Love coming home to visit family enjoying the view of Lookout Mountain. Never really appreciated it before. Beautiful!

  14. Thank you for your favorable review. I grew up in Chattanooga, back when it was in its “dirtiest city in America” phase. The polution was so bad, I was constantly getting pneumonia and had to make frequent trips out of the area to avoid hospital stays. We couldn’t see the city for the smog when we drove around the freeway loop and there was no view from the mountains. All you saw was smog. As a young teenager I called the city “Chattanowhere” and longed to escape to prettier places. Now that I’ve been living in another (dirtier and more dangerous) city for 22 years, it amazes me to visit my hometown and see the changes that have occurred in the area. People are now impressed (and a little jealous) when I say I grew up there. Great job, Chattanooga!

  15. I was born in Chattanooga 49 years ago yesterday. I was raised in the area (lived on Missionary Ridge for a while) and worked at Provident many years before I met my military husband & moved away. That was 25 years ago. The rest of my family still lives in the area. I return often for visits and I am amazed every time I return of the many wonderful changes the city has seen for the better over the years. I have lived all over the US and now reside in Virginia but Chattanooga will always be home. I always tell people that Chattanooga is the best place to live for several reasons. One is that it has the 4 seasons, spring, summer, winter and fall. It’s a days drive from anywhere you want to go (the beach, the mountains, the farmlands, the bigger cities, etc.) But my favorite thing about Chattanooga is the southern hospitality that abounds in the city.

  16. While downtown is a lot nicer than it used to be, there are certainly parts of Chattanooga that are not nice now. I lived there from ’49 to ’82 and hope to return one day.

  17. We just spent time in Chattanooga. We spent hours walking around the downtown area. It was wonderful. I am surprised that you did not mention the rental bicycles!

  18. I moved to Chattanooga in the Spring of 1970 and remember the pollution and smog. Coming over the Ridge Cut you could see (and smell and taste) the pollution in the air. I moved away in 1989 just as the downtown revitalization was gaining momentum. With my wife’s family in the are we would revisit every year or so. Over time the partnership between public and private investment really began to bear fruit.

    Let me be clear, without a very strong contribution by the local government for infrastructure and incentives it would have never happened. Chattanooga is a living and breathing testament to what “public works” can do and why it’s vitally important to have a strong tax base to fund development that helps everyone!

    My wife and I moved back after 23 years away just a little over a year ago. Chattanooga is a great place to live, to work, to play, to visit and deserves all the praise it’s been receiving for it’s willingness to act alike adults and do what’s best for the entire community.

    It has the same problems and issues and challenges of any city it’s size but it’s proven that it’s willing to step up, put it’s big boy/girl pants on and do what’s best for as many as possible and not just for the few.

    Congratulations to Chattanooga for it’s progressive attitude and it accomplishments. Way to go!!!

  19. Thanks so much for the awesome review of our city. When I come around the interstate and see downtown, I always think that I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else! And Mr. Smith is correct. You simply must come and visit the Market. We have a little bit of everything to offer there. Signal Mountain Farms has tons of organically grown fruit and vegetables for sale there not to mention all of the crafts and sweets! It ends in the fall, so hurry!

  20. Thank you for your wonderful article on our lovely city, Chattanooga. I would recommend that you would try out a unique place to stay during your next visit here. Our Cottages in the Clouds are vacation rentals up on Lookout Mountain on Scenic Highway and only 25 minutes from downtown Chattanooga. We consider our place a great get-away, not too far away.

  21. Moved here in `09 from on a job relocation from a Baltimore company who’s sister company was here, Arcade Marketing, position was “eliminated” (another story for another time) but we have made Chattanooga home & have no intentions of moveing back north,,,,THIS IS HOME!!!!

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  23. I’m 27 yrs old, was born, and still live in Chattanooga. I honestly can’t see myself anywhere but here. Next time you’re in town you should visit the Ocoee River. It’s not too far from Chattanooga, but it’s become the most visited whitewater rafting/kayaking site in the U.S. It never fails to deliver every visitor a great time…not to mention an adrenaline rush.

    • Also, I’m still discovering new things to see and do after living here for all these years. It’s too awesome of a city!

  24. I’ve lived in Chattanooga my whole life and there still are things in this city I’ve yet to do. It has a niche for every kind of person in the world. Lots of art, live music, waterside dining and activites, animal friendly parks, great places for dates and to live in general. I Love Chattanooga!

  25. I’ve lived here for the past 45 years and have seen thick smog to clear skies over the years but nothing like the transformation of urban living occurring now. Amazing!!!

  26. I’ve lived in Chattanooga two separate times in my life– the first during my college years and the second, in my late twenties. I now live in Asheville, NC, and while this town definitely has its charm, I still feel there’s no place quite as special as Chattanooga. There seems to be a little something for everyone no matter what your interest and I’ve appreciated that variety on many occasions.

  27. Thank you for the kind review. I’ve lived in Chattanooga all of my 55 years and I have always loved our city. If you missed the Largest Yarn Bomb Trolley in the world, hopefully you can get back soon enough for a visit to Glass St. to see it. The amazing Olga de Klein knitted and crocheted this beautiful wall art for our neighborhood known as East Chattanooga. . .a neighborhood with a proud past, strong future and better together. Thank you again.

  28. Thank you for your very kind report. I was born and have always lived in Chattanooga. visited many other cities but in my opinion none can compare. The natural beautiful, the friendliness make me proud to call it home!

  29. Please be my guest and visit the region’s largest producer-only public market, the Chattanooga Market. We host everything from farms to food trucks and all the crafts in between. As a matter of fact, we list the previous mentioned Niedlov’s & The Hot Choclatier as alumni!

    • The Chattanooga Market is on my list for the next visit, Paul. Unfortunately, when I was there in April, it was a week prior to the start of the market.

  30. Grew up in Chattanooga and left 15 yrs ago to go to college 90 miles away. Hubs and I take kids back home at least once a month but there never seems to be enough time to stay! We did take a retreat with about 20 couples from church there. Glad they were able to appreciate what we hold dear.

  31. Enjoyed this article. I’ve grown up and spent my whole life in Chattanooga and haven’t gotten tired of it yet. But, just FYI, it’s John “Sweet,” not John “Niedlov” who is the owner of Niedlov’s bakery. 🙂

    • Yikes! I knew that, Tim, but somehow the mistake got by me. Just made the correction;thanks for the heads up.

  32. Thanks so much for the lovely review of our city! Chattanooga is slowly but surely making headlines…for instance, my husband and I just spent Memorial Day downtown enjoying the Pro Cycling National Championships, which will be held here for at least the next two years. I love that you mentioned two of my favorite shops….The Hot Chocolatier and Niedlov’s Bakery, but I have to say that on your very next visit, you MUST try the burgers at Urban Stack on the Southside. They have a very good veggie burger, but the regular burgers are unbelievable! Plus, it’s a really cool space. I would recommend a donut from Julie Darling’s on the Northshore for dessert. Thanks again for loving our city…it’s definitely the best place to live!

  33. I live in Chattanooga, and I think the main reason it gets overlooked is because of it’s location relevant to the interstate. A lot of people just pass on by to go to the larger cities (Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham).

    • Ironically, the location relative to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville (and Knoxville) and the interstates is another selling point. While Chattanooga may not have “everything”, you can hop on one of those interstates and be in one of those larger cities in 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Easy driving for a “there and back” trip in a single day. Not to mention that it’s an easy drive to Smokey Mountain National Park.

  34. Thank you for the endorsement! I’ve been studying here at UT-Chattanooga campus.

    -If you want a more multifaceted approach to how this city works, start by taking a tour of the campus. The new state of the art library should be open by the fall semester!

    -Bluff View art district has a bike path behind it that leads to the Tennessee Riverpark. You can take that path all the way to the Chickamauga Dam. It can provide a very fascinating visual history of the epic undertaking of the riverfront cleanup.

    -Near the Crash Pad is a nifty architectural nonprofit called green|spaces. [Call ahead and] Ask for a tour of the brilliant interior design and get a better understanding of the green building designs of the city.

    Finally, I would like to make a clarifying point. The Whole Foods Market is anchored in the 2 North Shore shops. Warehouse Row is anchored by the upscale Public House.

    We are a passionate city, for sure. Hopefully it looks better your next time here!

    • Hi Clifton – thanks for pointing out the discrepancy with Whole Foods – I’ve made that change.

  35. Thank you so much for your great review of the town that stole my heart! I graduated last spring from UTC and keep attempting to weasel ways back! As much as I would love for the city to be the next travel Mecca, it is kind of nice to have the secret jewel of the South to disappear back to for a special weekend!

    • You’re welcome Andrew. Like you, I have mixed feelings. I want people to know how great Chattanooga is, but I’d hate to see it become over-touristed. Here’s hoping they can maintain a healthy balance.

  36. As a student of UTC and Chattanooga-area native, this brought a tear to my eye! I am so happy to hear that you enjoy Chattanooga as much as I do. Next time you’re here, you should check out a spot called Sunset Rock. The view will make your jaw drop. You should also check out a new little shop called Collective Clothing, if you enjoy vintage finds. Thanks again for the awesome review of our city!

    • You’re very welcome Erica. If I ever do decide to settle down back in the US, I suspect it will be Chattanooga for me

  37. I grew up in Chattanooga, but have lived in Charleston,SC for the last 15years. I have watched from a far as my home town redesigned its self. The new neighborhoods and art districts are popping up all over town. The focus on local good food has exploded, as have the wonderful local shops. I am always delighted to visit and would love to move back one day. I am so glad that the word is getting out there about all Chattanooga has to offer. Not only does it have amazing outdoor activities, but the entertainment scene and nightlife are growing and maturing. Thank you for your article highlighting my mountain home.

    • So glad you enjoyed my article on your hometown, Lindsay. The town fathers have really done a remarkable job of recreating Chattanooga, and pursuing it with sustainability in mind.

  38. I really recommend St. Elmo for your next stop it’s a quite little suburb just at the bottom of lookout mtn, you probably passed it on your way to the incline. There is a place called Mojo Burrito that will totally change your life 😀 and many more neat little shops to look in 😀

    • Hi Thomas. I was in St. Elmo for the Incline Railway and Rock City but sadly, had no time to check out the town. However it’s definitely on my list for next time!

  39. Great article! Despite being a fan of the new smart grid and the speedy fiber optic technology, I find it ironic and somewhat frustrating that EPB Fiber Optics continues to tout themselves as a technological leader yet refuses to broadcast NASA TV in High Definition despite NASA TV providing the stream at no extra charge to cable providers.

    • That is a great comment, now that I know that I can only get the NASA channel from 4 other providers, instead of changing providers, I will complain about it on a forum about Chattanooga

  40. We LOVE visiting Chattanooga! My wife and I in addition to our little ones go any chance we can (5 hour drive from us). Amazing rock climbing, cool town, great camping, and the best fresh water aquarium you will ever see! We agree with everything written in this article, if you have not been, go!

    • Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Jay, and happy to hear you feel the same way about Chattanooga that I do.

  41. Thank you for that wonderful review of our beautiful city! I am a transplant (been here 10+ years) and I love to spread the gospel of the Scenic City. Your itinerary sounds lovely!

    • You are so welcome Brooke. I’m afraid I have a bit of a crush on your adopted city 🙂

  42. I grew up there (Lookout Mountain) and miss it every day! It was a wonderful place to have lived…so much to do and so much history. It’s true that most people don’t appreciate something until they don’t have it.

    • Hi Glenn – it must have been an incredible place to grow up. The views alone from Lookout Mountain would be fantastic to wake up to every morning.

  43. The USA is such a vast expanse. I’ve been fortunate to visit a number of states but so far Tennessee has not made it onto the list. Until reading your article I knew very little of the city other than having heard my grandmother sing Chattanooga Choo Choo! I bet the view from the Lover’s Leap is pretty spectacular!

    • Hi Charli: It’s very strange how everyone seems to know the song, but few people know about Chattanooga. Hope you get there one day soon!

  44. This looks like a fabulous city to wander around in. I would have never known! Thanks for your great tour. I almost took a magnifying glass to check out the chocolate display even closer!

    • Hi Nancie: It mystifies me that Chattanooga seems so little known as a tourist destination, as it has so much to offer, especially the chocolate!

    • Ah, Christina, you must go. I’d be interested to hear how you think it compares to Asheville!

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  46. I don’t know if it is the best place to live in, but it looks amazing. Oh, and those chocolate and sweet products… they look yummy 🙂

    • LOL Lori – the chocolates were fantastic, as attested by my hips.

  47. Good to see a city receive the fruits of its labours, invigorating their city centre, cleaning up their less pleasant areas, encouraging artists, cultural activities and good food. Great story.

    • Thanks Mark. I’ve been watching Chattanooga’s progress for some years and it seems it will continue, even though they have met most of their original goals, because the city is holding new forums to see what the next steps will be.

    • Heather, I have to admit that the chocolate covered cherries were a big influence… 🙂

  48. I’ve been wondering the same thing about Chattanooga since I visited it three years ago–so obviously it grows slowly. However, there’s a bright side to that. In my mind, they have just the right mix of tourist attractions without the tacky side that so often comes along with over popularity. I’m thinking of nearby towns in Tennessee that started as attractions for outdoor enthusiasts but now cater to the folks who crave constant entertainment INDOORS. As I’ve told you before, I share your love of Chattanooga. Best city? I’d have to know it much better and I don’t want to be disloyal to my own town of Tucson, but it certainly is a great place.

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