Whether it’s the desire to live in a growing city or retire to a place where one can converse with the rivers and mountains, Chattanooga is a great place to live for all age demographics. People are moving around the country for many reasons, and when it comes to Chattanooga, folks are relocating for the ideal geographical location, reasonable home prices, the university lifestyle, pro-business culture, and the copious outdoor offerings. Once deemed as the “dirtiest city in America,” Chattanooga has since effectively been crowned as the Scenic City and has ranked No. 49 in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Places to Live in the U.S. – here’s why!
FOR ENTERTAINMENT ENTHUSIASTS
Chattanooga residents and visitors can drive roughly 20 minutes in any direction and come across something worth stopping for. There are plenty of small boutiques, specialty coffee shops, galleries, and restaurants to frequent, and several neighborhoods – such as Northshore, Southside, and the Bluff View Art District – serve as hubs for art enthusiasts. In addition to these areas, Chattanooga is home to its fair share of iconic attractions including the Tennessee Aquarium, Incline Railway, Ruby Falls, Rock City, Hunter Museum of American Art, and the Walnut Street Bridge, just to name a few. Running through the edge of downtown, locals enjoy strolling along the 16.1-mile Riverwalk that connects many of Chattanooga’s neighborhoods and provides easy access to various entertainment options.
FOR NIGHT OWLS
Those who sleep during the day and come alive at night have plenty of hidden gems to discover. Explore bars such as No Hard Feelings, Whiskey Thief, or Unknown Caller, or take a tour of Chattanooga’s breweries as you sip on a new favorite craft beer. For laughs, catch a show at longtime venue The Comedy Catch, conveniently located in the Chattanooga Choo Choo; further down Station Street, you can end your evening dancing at Regan’s Place or Westbound Bar.
FOR MUSIC CONNOISSEURS
Music admirers are discovering Chattanooga’s fun, welcoming community through access to theaters and music venues, as well as with several notable festivals throughout the year. Locals can listen to live music every Friday all summer long at Chattanooga’s Nightfall, every Saturday during the summer at Riverfront Nights, or snag tickets and attend popular music festivals such as Riverbend or Moon River. Both regional and national performers make regular stops at Scenic City venues including the Tivoli, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium, and The Signal. From local hot spots like WanderLinger Brewing Co. and Chattanooga Brewing Co., music fans can sip on their craft beer as the lyrics bounce off the walls.
FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR THE BEST BANG FOR THEIR BUCK
Entertainment options aside, the Scenic City is also a great place to live because of its affordability. As one of the most reasonably priced places to live in Tennessee, Chattanooga’s cost of living is 9% lower than the national average, with home prices fluctuating between $188,600 to $212,000 and median monthly rent being $827 to $1,200. In addition, there is no income or estate tax, which makes Chattanooga a great option for those looking to keep property and real estate costs low. For those new to the city, there are plenty of options when it comes to the type of homes and properties available. For those with a desire to wake up with a view, the Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain communities are a prime location. Southside and St. Elmo are charming neighborhoods close to city life, and several areas of town have offerings right on the water.
FOR RETIREES AND SENIOR CITIZENS
Between the development of the Retire Tennessee program, quality healthcare, affordability, and an elevated quality of life, Chattanooga has become the ideal destination for retirees to call home. In fact, U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Chattanooga No. 27 on its list of Best Places to Retire. The area’s major healthcare systems, including CHI Memorial, Erlanger Health System, and Parkridge Health System, offer a wide range of medical, surgical, and diagnostic services that cater to the senior population; these facilities are complemented by award-winning retirement communities that help make seniors’ golden years fulfilling and fun.
FOR THE DEGREE SEEKERS
Those wanting to further their education can take advantage of one of several colleges and universities that dot Chattanooga and the surrounding areas. In the heart of the city, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) is a public institution that offers more than 140 undergraduate majors and nearly 100 graduate programs. Off Amnicola Highway, Chattanooga State Community College provides students the opportunity to explore every interest, such as the culinary arts and drone technology. Private institutions just outside the city – including Cleveland’s Lee University, Lookout Mountain’s Covenant College, and Collegedale’s Southern Adventist University – offer even more opportunities for growth and learning.
FOR OUTDOOR ADMIRERS
There is no shortage of outdoor recreation in Chattanooga’s beautiful natural surroundings; from climbing and hiking to kayaking and paddle boarding, you’ll find activities for all ages and skill levels – not to mention stunning scenic views everywhere you turn! Nature enthusiasts can trek the six miles of underground cavern passageways at Raccoon Mountain, summit Sunset Rock on Lookout Mountain, or bike along the Tennessee River. Thrill-seekers will enjoy flying over the treetops on a 700-foot zip line at High Point Zip Adventure or taking the leap with Chattanooga Skydiving Company. For anyone who doesn’t like to work very hard to take in their surroundings, the view from Point Park can’t be beat.
From its affordable housing to its reputable educational institutions, world-class healthcare facilities, outdoor offerings, and attractions galore, it’s no wonder Chattanooga is turning tourists into residents year after year.