It’s the only city to have ever won Outside Magazine’s Best Town Ever award... twice.
And if that isn't enough, the cost of living in Chattanooga remains below the national average.
With all these perks, it's no surprise that the city is growing. Remote workers and digital nomads are seeking out our city alongside job-hunters.
If you’re planning to move to Chattanooga, here is some local insight that will help you transition.
1. Best Neighborhoods in Chattanooga with Trail Access
Interested in moving to Chattanooga because of the vibrant outdoor scene? You may be interested in living in a neighborhood with trail access. If so, here’s where to look:
Multiple neighborhood trailheads lead to the Stringer’s Ridge Trails. These trails have great views of downtown and are suitable for hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers of all skill levels.
In Collegedale you'll find within walking distance:
The Wolftever Creek Greenway for biking, walking, and running.
The Goliath Wall for rock climbing
The Biology Trails for hiking, mountain biking, and trail running.
A gated community with its own private Lookout Valley Trail System.
2. The Humidity is Real
Southern humidity is no myth. You’ll feel it most during the months of June-September. If your new home has a basement or crawlspace, we recommend investing in a quality dehumidifier. With a climate like this, it’s best to act on the defensive to prevent mold growth.
3. Don’t Even Call Comcast or AT&T
Chattanooga has 2 primary monikers: Scenic City and Gig City. The Gig City title was inspired by a local energy company. EPB introduced city-wide fiber optics in 2010. This gave Chattanooga some of the fastest internet speeds in the world. And aside from their internet bragging rights… their customer service is amazing.
You can say goodbye to hour-long customer service queues. There's no need to take a day off work, waiting for someone to arrive to set up your internet “between the hours of 7 am-9 pm”.
EPB is such a great company that I’ve overheard Chattanooga natives say things like:
“I wouldn’t mind trying living in Colorado or Montana for a few years… but they don’t have EPB.”
4. Chattanooga Job Hunting Resources
Remote workers and digital nomads can skip this section! But if you’re needing to get a new job to relocate to Chattanooga, read on. A few large companies dominate the local workforce in Chattanooga. These companies also usually have a large hiring list at any given time. If you have your heart set on Chattanooga but need to find a job to move, check out these companies:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee
CHI Memorial Hospital
Chattanooga is also a major logistics hub. Many of which will hire recruits with no experience and help them build a solid career. If this sounds appealing to you, check out:
5. Meeting New People
Making new friends as an adult is always difficult. But it’s not impossible... especially in a place with Southern hospitality roots.
Check out the Chattanooga Meetups site. They’ve got something for everybody… from board games to SUP boarding to line dancing. There’s even a specified “Chattanewbies” group.
Join the adult Kickball league. These guys really know how to have fun! Games can get pretty competitive, but somebody always brings beer.
Volunteer. There are all sorts of amazing non-profits around town. Find one that matches your values, and you’re guaranteed to find a community of like-minded people
Try a Farmshare. Crabtree Farms is a great place for this. Get your hands dirty, meet some new people, and score a weekly box of free veggies.
6. Brace Yourself For Chattanooga Parking
As a whole, the downtown parking situation isn’t bad. It’s not usually hard to find a spot. Even on the busiest days, you’ll be able to find a place at the Chesnut Street Garage.
But here’s the trick with downtown parking… you need to download not one, but two different parking apps.
Yeah, I know… it’s a little frustrating. But it’s best to go ahead and get the apps set up. You don't want to worry about setting up an account when you’re late for dinner plans or (god forbid) a job interview.
Here are the apps you'll need to get:
7. Make Weekend Reservations
Only recently has Chattanooga become a “reservation required” kind of city. We welcome the Chattanewcomers with open arms. But one side effect has been longer wait times at Chattanooga’s best eateries. If you’re planning on having a weekend dinner downtown, you’ll need to make a reservation or face the possibility of grabbing a Wendy’s burger instead.
8. Go Out on Rainy Days
In this city, there exists something I like to call “The Sunday Afternoon Effect”.
There is a community-wide appreciation for beautiful days. And it shows.
Chattanooga on a beautiful, sunny, 70-degree Sunday afternoon is a bustling metropolis. Downtown is filled with dog walkers, rollerbladers, buskers, bikers, and brunchers. All the local trails are saturated with back-pack-clad nature lovers. There is uplifting energy about the place.
On rainy days, these same sites are deserted. They're almost unrecognizable.
It’s worthwhile to put on your rain jacket, grab a mug of hot tea, and explore the same places with new eyes. On rainy days, clouds hang low adding dimension to our mountains and ridges. Mushrooms poke their heads out of the moss. Fog moves in and out. It’s a different kind of beauty.
9. You’re So Close To Other Awesome Places
A surprising perk of this city is that you’re so close to other amazing places.
Chattanooga to Nashville, TN 2 hrs
Chattanooga to Atlanta, GA 1.5 hrs
Chattanooga to Asheville, NC 4 hrs
Chattanooga to Knoxville, TN 1.5 hrs
Chattanooga to Savanna, GA 5 hrs
Chattanooga to The Great Smoky Mountains 2 hrs
Hellooo weekend getaways! And don’t forget about the perk of airfare ticket comparison. Chattanooga has an airport, of course. But if you’re a budget traveler, the opportunity to cost-compare tickets out of Chattanooga/ Atlanta/ Nashville is valuable. You can always take advantage of the Groome shuttle to get you to-and-from the airports.
10. No Tennessee Income Tax
Tennessee is one of only 9 states in America that has no income tax. If you’re moving here from out-of-state you’ll immediately feel the benefit of this on your paychecks.
Pop the confetti!
But when house hunting, you should note that several Chattanooga suburbs are located in North Georgia (ie. Lookout Mountain, Flinstone, Chickamauga, Ringgold, and Rising Fawn). George is an income tax state. Property taxes tend to be a bit higher in Georgia too. Run the numbers before finding your dream house.
Pack Your Bags!
Once you’ve made your move… shoot us a DM! We love showing off our town and meeting new people.