Chattanooga is where I was born and lived for over 20 years before moving just slightly south into Georgia! There was a distinct smell as you went around the river bend into the city! That’s gone now, thankfully! I’ve lived through the transformation of a once manufacturing city to what is now a tourist mecca!
Transformation – In October of 1969 Walter Cronkite announced to the nation on the nightly news that Chattanooga was the dirtiest city in America. Decades of industrial manufacturing had taken it’s toll on the city. During the recession of the ’70’s many of the manufacturing businesses were closed. But even before that, the leaders of the city were in the planning stages to change Chattanooga’s image and clean it up! Walter Cronkite’s announcement had been a wake up call!
Transportation – Your first thought when you hear the name “Chattanooga” may be the song – the Chattanooga Choo Choo. This catchy song was performed by the Glenn Miller Orchestra for the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade. Today you can visit the Chattanooga Choo Choo Historic Hotel and even spend the night in one of the Victorian Train Cars! There are restaurants, a comedy club and shopping all within the resort. Once you’re in Chattanooga you can get around by Horse Trams, the free electric shuttles, bicycles (visit bikechattanooga.com for details), and of course by walking! And if you want a unique way to visit Lookout Mountain you have to try the Incline! This neat railway will take you from the bottom to the top in no time with amazing views along the way and lots of history to explore at the top!
Tennessee Aquarium – There are actually two aquariums – the River Journey was the original aquarium which opened in 1992 and the Ocean Journey which opened in 2005. Plan to spend at least a day to see them both! The Tennessee Aquarium is the crowning jewel on Chattanooga’s riverfront! The Tennessee Aquarium also has an IMAX theatre and a sixty-five foot aluminum catamaran high speed tour boat called the River Gorge Explorer. The River Gorge Explorer offers tours of the Tennessee River gorge daily. Be sure to visit their website http://www.tnaqua.org/plan-your-visit/ticket-information/ to plan your visit and purchase tickets – combo tickets are offered also!
Top Notch Dining – You can find choices from chain restaurants to unique local favorites throughout Chattanooga! Local downtown favorites include Back Inn Cafe, Big River Grille and Brewing Works, Boathouse Rotisserie and Raw Bar, Community Pie, Food Works, The Foundry, Hennens, Taco Mamicita and The Terminal Brewhouse. There are actually too many to list, but needless to say, you’ll have no problem finding something to fit your mood in Chattanooga!
Tons of Recreational Activities – A big part of the revitalization and transformation of Chattanooga was the addition of so many recreational choices! One of my favorites is a walk on the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge. In 1978 the bridge was closed to auto traffic and wasn’t opened as a pedestrian bridge until 1993. It connects the downtown riverfront to the North Shore area. The North Shore is home to Coolidge Park where you will find a 100 year old restored carousel, interactive water sculptures and a large open recreational area. If climbing is your thing then you have to check out Highpoint Climbing and Fitness! Visit their website http://highpointclimbing.com/downtown/ to learn more! Chattanooga also boosts an 8 mile riverfront walking trail, the Chattanooga Riverwalk. You can find multiple places to hike, hang glide, or simply get out and enjoy nature all around the city of Chattanooga!
Tech Friendly – Chattanooga is also referred to as Gig City due to it’s 100% fiber optic network! Only in Chattanooga, Tennessee is 1 Gigabit-per-second Internet speed available to every home and business – over 150,000 of them – throughout the entire community. Urban or rural, business or residence, Internet speeds that are unsurpassed in the Western Hemisphere – from 50 Megabits-per-second all the way up to one gigabit-per-second are accessible here. So even if you only come for a visit, you’ll enjoy fast internet speeds on all your devices! From a more long term perspective, the fiber optic network will impact future growth in the Chattanooga area giving the city long term benefits in every aspect of life!
Chattanooga is surrounded by mountains, parks and so much history! I’ve focused mainly on the downtown area, but there are endless possibilities to make your trip exactly what fits you and your family! Let us know if you come for a visit! We’d love to know where you visited and what you loved!