Welcome to Chattanooga, TN!
Chattanooga is more than the little choo choo that could. This small Tennessee town, once most known for the adorable Glenn Miller song has undergone a recent renaissance and chugged along into the 21st century! Okay, I’ll stop with the train references now. What was once a sleepy sourthern town has transformed in to a funky little hub filled with fantastic local food, a massive collection of distilleries and breweries and awe-inspiring nature mere minutes away. Be prepared to take in interesting graffiti and gorgeous glass artists in between your hiking and climbing and exploring. All aboard!!
Here is a playlist to help you get into the spirit of your destination!
One last thing...
Here's Whym's top ten things to know about Chattanooga, TN
Tennessee isn’t all cowboy boots & pink Cadillacs. Rather, if you head to the Tennessee-Georgia line, you’ll find yourself in a small little city surrounded by nature & bustling with breweries, food, history & more. Tucked between the mountains & the river, this little town is considered a best-kept secret in this part of the country. In fact, Lonely Planet named it the “Best in the U.S.” & “10 Best Destinations You Need to See.”
Finding Your Way
Chattanooga is a smaller city with highly walkable parts of town. They do have CARTA which is the public bus system that provides free electric shuttle service in the downtown area & free wifi on certain “smart buses.” Bike Chattanooga is also incredibly popular with a bike-sharing program with over 300 bicycles & 33 docking stations. Your best bet neighborhood to neighborhood is grabbing a Lyft, & once you’re there, foot or bike has got you covered.
Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA) is a small regional airport located 5 miles east of downtown. A Lyft to the center of town will cost about $17-20 & only take about 20 minutes. The closest major airports are Atlanta & Nashville which are approximately 2 hours away.
Nestled between the Appalachian Mountains & the Tennessee River, this city has reinvented itself many times. Originally occupied by the Muskegan & Cherokee tribes, it joined the U.S. in 1838. The name “Chattanooga” comes from the Native American tribes, derived from “chato” meaning rock & nuga meaning dwelling. Its convenient location on the river made it a boom town “where cotton meets corn.” It later served as a hub for the Confederates during the Civil War and was a key training camp during WWI. By the 1930s, it became known as the “Dynamo of Dixie” inspiring Glenn Miller’s song “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” the first gold record ever.
Why Am I Here?
Chattanooga is a small city on the rise. Sophisticated urbanites are moving here & upping the game with new eateries, impressive bars & high tech jobs all combined with Southern hospitality. Nicknamed the “Scenic City,” there is no shortage of world-class climbing, hiking loops, kayaking & mountain biking trails right outside of the city.
Chattanooga has four distinct seasons with mild winters, rarely going below freezing, & summers that are hot & humid. July is the hottest & wettest month with temperatures that can reach 90° & 11 days of some rain. Spring & fall provide comfortable temperatures for exploring the city.
You haven’t eaten until you’ve ordered a “Meat & Three” in the south. Across the Mason-Dixon line, ordering that in any proper southern restaurant for a hearty meal of one meat & three sides. Some of the most famous meat & three combos are catfish or barbecue with fried pickles, sweet potato fries, & cornbread. And of course, Chattanooga is home of the Moon Pie, a dessert that you have to eat while here!
Food is the most popular souvenir in this town. Aside from the Moon Pies we mentioned, look for locally made artisan chocolate bars & hot chocolate, Hoff sauce hot sauces, Hearth & Pantry jellies, & Southern Spooning chocolate sauce. And of course, choo-choos are always fun!
Casual clothes are acceptable everywhere but the fanciest restaurants. Layers are a good idea as mornings start off cool but quickly warm up. Comfortable walking shoes are key perfect for walking, biking, & hiking.
Chattanooga has taken on the nickname “Gig City” because they have the fastest internet in the Western Hemisphere. They are also the first city in the world to have their own font “Chatype.” Also for the right price, you can stay in the famous Choo-choo!