The secret is out: Chattanooga is a great place to live. This Southern city really does have it all – a healthy business climate, abundant outdoor pursuits, historic sites, buzz-worthy dining, leading healthcare systems … we could go on. If you’re looking for a place to put down roots, here are five reasons why Chattanooga should be at the top of your list.
1. Ample Employment Opportunities
With abundant resources and a stable economy, Chattanooga’s favorable business climate is one of the city’s biggest draws. Many sectors – from manufacturing to healthcare to logistics and beyond – continue to see growth and attract top talent from across the nation. Some of Chattanooga’s largest employers include BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Tennessee Valley Authority, Volkswagen, McKee Foods, and hospital systems Erlanger, CHI Memorial, and Parkridge. Thanks to these companies, among others, employment opportunities are on the rise, making Chattanooga a great choice for those hoping to make strides in their career.
2. Beautiful Scenery
Chattanooga’s nickname isn’t the Scenic City for no reason. Nestled between the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau, and situated along the Tennessee River, Chattanooga boasts stunning views everywhere you turn. While the scenery is fun to look at, it’s even more fun to explore. Locals regularly take advantage of the city’s hiking trails – more than 50 trailheads are located within 30 minutes of downtown – as well as its parks and greenways, including Enterprise South Nature Park, Chester Frost Park, and Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center. The 16-mile Tennessee Riverwalk, which snakes along the Tennessee River, has even been ranked among the nation’s best by Fodor’s Travel. For those who wish to enjoy the scenery from above, Chattanooga Skydiving Company and Lookout Mountain Flight Park offer paragliding, hang gliding, and skydiving.
3. A Vibrant Downtown
There’s always something exciting happening in downtown Chattanooga, where music festivals, sporting events, and electric nightlife are the norm. Riverbend, Riverfront Nights, the Nightfall Concert Series, and 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival are well-attended by music lovers every year, while events like IRONMAN and Head of the Hooch attract competitors and spectators from all over the country. The historic Tivoli Theatre is home to Broadway shows, musical performances, and films old and new, while AT&T Field is home to the Chattanooga Lookouts baseball team. Dining and shopping opportunities abound downtown, anchored by destinations West Village and Warehouse Row. Locals can enjoy some green space at Miller Park, Sculpture Fields, and the Chattanooga Riverwalk, and even more fun can be found at institutions such as High Point Climbing and Fitness, Civil Axe Throwing, and iGNiS Glass Studio.
4. World-Class Attractions
Chattanooga has its fair share of must-see attractions, many of which have received national recognition. Atop Lookout Mountain, Rock City and Ruby Falls inspire awe with natural wonders and sweeping vistas. Nearby, you’ll find the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park – the largest and oldest military park in the United States. In downtown Chattanooga, iconic attractions such as the Tennessee Aquarium, Bessie Smith Cultural Center, and Chattanooga Choo Choo keep visitors and locals returning again and again. Located in the charming Bluff View Art District, the Hunter Museum of American Art houses artwork spanning from the Colonial period to present day. For more family-friendly fun, you can’t miss the Chattanooga Zoo, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Creative Discovery Museum, and the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway.
5. Location, Location, Location
A prime location is just one more reason to settle down in Chattanooga. The city sits at the convergence of three major interstates – I-75, I-24, and I-59 – that lead to Southeastern destinations including Nashville, Atlanta, Knoxville, Huntsville, and Birmingham (all in about two hours or less). Offering nonstop flights to 10 U.S. cities, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport is another convenient way to travel and is located just five miles east of downtown. Nature enthusiasts will be glad to know that six state parks are located within an hour of Chattanooga, as are a vast network of caves waiting to be explored. Nationally recognized colleges and universities are also located in and around Chattanooga, providing learning opportunities for students of all ages.