Moving to Chattanooga
Are you contemplating a shift to the Scenic City? If so, Chattanooga, TN, known for its gorgeous mountain vistas, dynamic arts scene, and Southern hospitality, could be your idyllic destination. As you plan your relocation adventure, our comprehensive Chattanooga relocation guide will serve as your invaluable ally. From navigating historic neighborhoods to exploring culinary delights, it's all about getting you acquainted with the charm and allure of this vibrant city. So, buckle up! A captivating and delightful journey awaits you in enchanting Chattanooga.
What to Know Before Moving to Chattanooga
1. The Scenery Will Steal Your Heart
Prepare to be wowed! Chattanooga is nestled between the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau and the views are nothing short of breathtaking. The city is surrounded by mountains and ridges which offer a unique topography, making it an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. Whether you're exploring the lush trails of Lookout Mountain, wandering along the Tennessee River, or enjoying the downtown cityscape, you'll have plenty of Instagram-worthy moments.
2. This Town Is For The Adventurous
No seriously, only the truly adventurous will fully thrive here. Chattanooga is known as one of the top destinations for outdoor activities in the U.S. From rock climbing to white-water rafting, cave exploring or hiking, this city has it all. And if water is more your style, there's paddleboarding, fishing, or sailing. So, tie those hiking boots tight and let the Tennessee wilderness take you on the adventure of a lifetime.
3. It's an Eco-Friendly Haven
Chattanooga earns major green points for its forward-thinking eco-friendly initiatives. Known as the first city in the U.S to have a completed fiber-optic network, it is also one of the top solar-powered cities in the south. The city has a free, electric shuttle system reducing carbon emissions downtown and features numerous parks, greenways, and bike lanes that promote a healthier lifestyle for all.
4. Rock City Isn't Actually a City
Yep, you heard it right! Rock City isn't a city at all but one of Chattanooga's top attractions on Lookout Mountain. It might sound anticlimactic, but trust us, it's far from it. Rock City is home to ancient rock formations, picturesque gardens, and the famous "See Seven States" panoramic view. Guided tours, lantern tours and even bird shows await at this iconic locale.
5. The Ice Cream Is Out of this World
No, we're not exaggerating. Chattanooga is home to the world's first patented "space ice cream." In 1987, a local inventor created a unique formula he called "freeze drying," transforming regular ice cream into a delicious treat that could be enjoyed in space. Thus, "MoonPie" was born. So, get ready to taste this iconic delicacy that astronauts couldn't resist.
6. The "Chattanooga Choo Choo" Isn't Just a Song
If you thought the "Chattanooga Choo Choo" was just a catchy tune from the 40s, think again! Chattanooga pays homage to its railroad history at the iconic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. This retired terminal station is now a unique hotel complex featuring historical elements like the famous Engine 29, a track where visitors can learn about the history of the city--and yes, even take a ride on a miniature train.
So there you have it, a little taste of what Chattanooga has to offer. With its captivating nature, adventure-filled life, eco-friendly initiatives, epic history, tasty ice cream, and iconic railway station, there's no doubt that you'd enjoy a move to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Get ready for an unforgettable journey!
Pros and Cons of Living in Chattanooga
Pros of Living in Chattanooga
Outdoor Recreation Opportunities
Chattanooga is known for its stunning natural landscapes, with numerous mountains, rivers, and trails providing ample recreational options. Residents can engage in a range of activities, from hiking and biking to water sports and climbing, making this region a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
While it maintains its small-town charm, Chattanooga is rich in arts and culture. The city is home to world-class museums, art galleries, and music venues, among others, offering a rich array of cultural experiences. Its annual cultural events like the Riverbend Festival are well-known attractions.
Quality of Life
Chattanooga consistently ranks high in terms of quality of life. This is due to a combination of factors, such as reasonable cost of living, strong sense of community, good healthcare facilities, and plenty of opportunities for leisure and recreation.
The city hosts a well-established education system. It is home to a number of high-performing schools and offers post-secondary education through institutions like the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, providing necessary educational resources to its residents.
Friendly and Welcoming Community
The people of Chattanooga are known for their friendly demeanor and welcoming nature. The community spirit is strong here, and newcomers often feel at home straight away - a fundamental quality for those considering a move to the city.
Cons of Living in Chattanooga
While Chattanooga has a public transportation system, its coverage can be limited. Depending on where you live and work, you may rely heavily on personal transportation, which could be a challenge for those without a car.
Higher Utility Costs
Compared to other places, Chattanooga's utility costs can be relatively high. This can be attributed to weather conditions that require heavy use of heating and cooling systems. The higher expenses can be a bit of a shock to newcomers from regions with lower utility rates.
Limited Diversity in Job Market
Chattanooga's job market is not as diverse as in some larger cities. The main industries are manufacturing, healthcare, and education. If you're seeking employment in less-represented sectors, you may face some limitations.
Chattanooga can experience extremes of temperature, hot summers and cold winters, which may not be to everyone's liking. It's worth factoring the city's climate into your decision if you prefer more moderate, mild weather conditions.
Noise and Congestion
Although Chattanooga isn't a major metropolis, it's a busy city that can get crowded, particularly in the downtown area. Traffic congestion, alongside the typical noise of urban life, can be bothersome for those preferring quieter, less busy surroundings.
Is Chattanooga a Good Place to Live?
Chattanooga, TN is a great place to live because of its serene landscapes, vibrant arts scene, and lower cost of living. Not to mention, it's called the "Scenic City" due to its breathtaking riverfront and surrounding mountains which offer a plethora of outdoor activities. The city also boasts an innovative gigabit internet service, making it a digital hub for tech aficionados.
What Is Chattanooga Famous For?'
Chattanooga Choo Choo
Famously referenced in the chart-topping big band song by Glenn Miller from 1941, the "Chattanooga Choo Choo" is a popular symbol of this city. The terminal station that the song is about has since been converted into a hotel, making it possible for visitors to explore the train-themed spaces and even sleep in wonderfully restored passenger railway cars.
The Tennessee Aquarium
The Tennessee Aquarium is a dual adventure of both sea and sky. As one of the largest freshwater aquariums in the world, it's home to an awe-inspiring array of marine and terrestrial creatures, as well as a must-see attraction in the city. With a river journey building where you follow the path of a raindrop from high in the mountains to deep into the ocean, and an ocean journey building that gets you face to face with sharks, penguins and butterflies, it's an adventure for all ages.
Lookout Mountain is an easily recognized landmark that offers stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside. Its peak is accessible via the Incline Railway, known as "America's most amazing mile," which has been bringing visitors to the top since 1895. From high atop Lookout Mountain, you can see seven states, the Chattanooga valley and beautiful rock formations.
Just six miles from downtown Chattanooga, Rock City is a classic roadside attraction that has been wooing visitors since 1932. A walk along the Enchanted Trail will take you through wonders like Fairyland Caverns and down the Lover's Leap where you can see seven states on a clear day. A visit here is like stepping into a fairy tale blended with natural beauty and panoramic views.'
Overview of Tax Rates
As of 2023, the average property tax rate in Chattanooga, TN stands at about 2.769% per $100 assessed value, which is significantly higher than the state average of 2.377% but lower than the national average of around 3.33%.
The local sales tax rate in Chattanooga is 9.25% as of 2023. It is higher than the national average which is around 7.12% but comparable to most other locations in Tennessee.
Tennessee is one of the few states without a statewide income tax, making Chattanooga a more attractive spot for individuals and businesses in comparison to other parts of the US where income tax rates can reach as high as 13.3%.
In contrast to many U.S. cities, Chattanooga, TN boasts an affordable housing market. The median home price sits at around $185,500, markedly lower than the national average. Rent prices are also economical, averaging about $799 monthly, substantially below the U.S. average. The city boasts a healthy mix of urban and suburban living with home price trending upwards slowly, suggesting a steadily growing market. Prospective buyers and renters should consider Chattanooga as it offers cost-effective housing options combined with a high quality of life.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Chattanooga, TN is approximately 8% lower than the national average, making it an affordable choice compared to other U.S. cities. While categories like healthcare and utilities match the national average, the city notably shines in housing costs, which are 29% less than the national average. This makes Chattanooga an attractive place for those looking for affordability without sacrificing amenities of a metropolitan area. However, like all cities, costs can fluctuate based on personal lifestyle and neighborhood choices.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Chattanooga, TN, boasts a temperate climate characterized by four distinct seasons. Summers are typically warm and humid, with temperatures soaring to mid-80s. Winters are generally mild and rainy, with temperatures hovering around the mid-30s to 40s. Autumn and spring are the most comfortable and vibrant times, showcasing splendid foliage and blooming flowers. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year, with April traditionally being the wettest month. The city does occasionally suffer from natural disasters such as tornadoes and flooding. Chattanooga is part of the Tornado Alley, thus spring and fall seasons tend to bring severe storms. Moreover, given its location near the Tennessee River and numerous smaller waterways, the city sometimes experiences flooding after extensive rainfall or storm. Nevertheless, Chattanoogans' resilience and the city's preparation make it well equipped to handle such events.
Economy & Job Market
* Healthcare and Social Assistance
* Retail Trade
* Education Services
* Accommodation and Food Services
Take a step back in time and you'd find Chattanooga, TN, recognized for its bustling railroad system and vibrant manufacturing industry. Now, hop back onto our time-traveling train and you'll find that the beautiful 'Scenic City' hasn't lost its touch, but has developed a more diverse economic outlook. Today, Chattanooga's economy sways elegantly, like a symphony's crescendo, between both its heritage and contemporary industries. Healthcare and social assistance lead the charge as the biggest employers, with manufacturing, retail trade, education services, and accommodation and food services playing melodious chords in the background. From rebuilding lives through healthcare to molding the future through education - Chattanooga's economy is a dance of harmony between care, services, and production.
Oh, you're packed and ready to move to Chattanooga, TN? How exciting! You'll never have a dull moment in the city's job market. It thrums with opportunities and consistently boasts an employment rate that's on par or better than the national average. Now, when you pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit down to job-hunt, focus your efforts on the sectors that are the heart of Chattanooga's economy. Positions in healthcare, manufacturing, retail trade or education services should be your prime targets. Hospitality and food service jobs also abound, especially considering Chattanooga's flourishing tourism industry. So grab your resume, kick-start your job search, and let Chattanooga serenade you with its promising prospects and diverse opportunities!
Traffic and Transportation
Zip zap zoom! If you're a Chattanooga Choo Choo enthusiast then you'll dig what we've to say, because we're hopping aboard the traffic and transport express in Chattanooga, TN. Whether you're leisurely strolling along Riverfront Parkway or navigating bustling Interstate 24, Chattanooga's average commute time clocks in at just 22.4 minutes - a breezy spin compared to the national average!
Now, got wheels on your mind but not under your feet? Fret not! Chattanooga's top-notch public transportation system, CARTA, makes getting around a cinch, with over 150 buses and an eco-friendly electric shuttle service. That's right! The Scenic City is going green; even the main bus routes are available until 11:00 pm on weekdays. Talk about a smooth ride!
Not into ground travel? Look up! Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport is your ticket to cloud nine. Offering non-stop flights to major cities across the country, Chattanooga air travel is as user-friendly as it gets. There you go - commuting explained Chattanooga style!
Best Neighborhoods in Chattanooga
This hip, urban area located on the northern side of Chattanooga is a mecca for foodies, shoppers, and outdoor enthusiasts. The NorthShore neighborhood is packed with trendy restaurants offering a multicultural blend of cuisines, art galleries and boutique shops. For outdoor lovers, there's the renowned Coolidge Park with its beautiful views of the Tennessee River, scores of walking and biking trails, and a charming antique carousel for kids. If you are looking for a lively yet family-friendly neighborhood with a strong sense of community, NorthShore should be on your list.
2. Southside Historic District
Southside Historic District is a perfect blend of the past and present. Known for its loft-style apartments converted from old warehouses, this neighborhood is a hot spot for arts, music, and culinary delights. The area is known to host some of the biggest events in the city, including the monthly First Friday art crawl. There are also lots of places for leisurely strolls including the famous Sculpture Fields at Montague Park. Looking for a vibrant, artistic place with a bit of history? Consider Southside Historic District.
3. St. Elmo
If you want a charming, small-town vibe within the city, head over to St. Elmo. It's a quaint spot at the foot of Lookout Mountain with adorable Victorian houses and tree-lined streets. The neighborhood features a variety of small breweries, coffee shops, and classic southern restaurants. The popular tourist spot, the Incline Railway, is also located in this neighborhood. For individuals and families who enjoy an older, more relaxed neighborhood with an ample amount of history, the charming lanes of St. Elmo are hard to resist.
4. Downtown Chattanooga
For those who thrive in urban environments, Downtown Chattanooga has a lot to offer. As the business hub of the city, it boasts numerous job opportunities. Plus, the cultural attractions here are top-tier; from the Tennessee Aquarium, Hunter Museum of American Art to the vibrant Riverfront Parkway - there's no shortage of things to explore. Living here means you are at the heart of it all, with ample dining, shopping, and entertainment options at your doorstep.
5. Signal Mountain
For individuals and families who are looking for a more suburban vibe, Signal Mountain is a wonderful place to consider. Known for its breathtaking scenic views, generous open spaces, and outstanding schools, this neighborhood offers a peaceful retreat from city life while still remaining a short drive from downtown Chattanooga. It's perfect for lovers of the great outdoors, with miles of hiking and biking trails to explore.
Chattanooga, TN is packed with diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique vibe and charm. Whether you crave for urban excitement, a cozy historical neighborhood, a vibrant art scene, or simply a serene suburban setting, Chattanooga has something for everyone. So explore these five wonderful neighborhoods and you're sure to find a slice of this beautiful city that feels like home.
Things to Do
Congratulations on your big move to Chattanooga, TN! Known for its scenic beauty, outdoor activities, and rich history, this city nestled in Southeastern Tennessee has plenty to offer its newcomers. Here's a list of seven exciting and somewhat hidden charms of Chattanooga that will make you fall in love with your new hometown.
1. Explore the Chattanooga Choo Choo
Famous for the song of the same name, the Chattanooga Choo Choo is now a fantastic hotel complex featuring restaurants, entertainment venues, and retail shops. You can even choose to spend the night in one of the restored sleeper cars for a unique lodging experience.
2. Discover the Creative Discovery Museum
Great for families, the Creative Discovery Museum is a wonderland of hands-on exhibits that encourage children to explore and learn. From RiverPlay, which lets kids captain their own tugboat, to the Rooftop Fun Factory, there's something to stimulate every little imagination.
3. Visit Lookout Mountain
No trip to Chattanooga is complete without visiting Lookout Mountain. Don't just stop at the Incline Railway and Rock City, venture to the lesser-known Guild Trail. It's an amazing historical hike with remnants of the old Broad Gauge Railroad and mining operations.
4. Wander through the Tennessee Riverpark
This 13-mile greenway along the Tennessee River offers stunning views, playgrounds, fishing piers, and picnic areas. It's a perfect place for outdoor lovers to jog, bike, or simply enjoy a relaxing riverside stroll.
5. Visit the Raccoon Mountain Reservoir
An off-the-beaten-path attraction is the Raccoon Mountain Reservoir, a pumped-storage hydroelectric underground power station. Tours are available, but even if you don't venture inside, the outside area offers fantastic hiking trails with breathtaking views of the Tennessee Valley.
6. Dine at Aretha Frankensteins
This quirky eatery, Aretha Frankensteins, is a must-visit for its famous pancakes and funky atmosphere. Tucked away in a neighborhood on the North Shore, it's a favorite of locals and certainly a unique Chattanooga experience.
7. Immerse Yourself in the Bessie Smith Cultural Center
Dive into the rich African American history in Chattanooga at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. Housing the Chattanooga African American Museum, the center is filled with exhibits showcasing the cultural and historical significance of African Americans in the local community.
With such a dynamic mix of nature, history, and culture, Chattanooga, TN is a city that is sure to captivate you from day one. Whether you're hiking along the scenic trails, exciting your senses at a unique museum, or indulging in some delicious local cuisine, you're bound to find something that speaks to you in your new city. Welcome to the best of Southern living!
Find Movers for Your Chattanooga Relocation
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