Chattanooga, TN Living Guide

If you’re thinking about living in or even just visiting Chattanooga, Tennessee, you probably want to know what the city is all about. What is it like to live in Chattanooga? What do insiders do, where do they work and what are the characteristics of the city? These are some of the questions we’ll explore in this guide to life in the Tennessee city of Chattanooga.

Life in Chattanooga

As of 2013, Chattanooga had over 173,000 residents, which is 11.5 percent more than it had in 2000. This makes it one of the most populated cities of the state. Chattanooga is surrounded by the Southern cities of Nashville; Memphis; Atlanta, Georgia; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

The cost of living in this city is lower than the national average. You’ll find it easy to get around, as the city has Interstate highways I-24, I-59 and I-75. You can also hop on a bus or train, and the downtown has a free shuttle. If you plan to travel by plane, you have the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport with service by Delta, US Airways and other carriers.

Natural and Not-So-Natural Attractions

Chattanooga has the official nickname of Scenic City, since it offers so much natural beauty. Even though it's a large city, it's a place where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You have the Appalachian Mountains, the Cumberland Plateau, the Tennessee River and other natural wonders to see.

This city has a lot of natural attractions you can visit and explore. Enjoy the beauty of the ridges of Lookout Mountain, and experience the energy of the river from the Tennessee Riverwalk. Ruby Falls surprises with a waterfall located underground within the caves. At Rock City, you’ll find impressive rock formations, as well as beautiful gardens. From this vantage point, you can experience amazing views of different states. The city also focuses on nature in everyday life. It has had the distinction of being a Tree City USA for decades, which means that the city follows guidelines on taking care of its trees. What does that mean for tourists and residents? You’ll see trees incorporated into public areas, providing more of a natural environment even in built-up spaces. People are very active in the city, which offers opportunities for bass fishing, hiking, canoeing, mountain climbing and many other outdoor activities.

For other types of attractions in Chattanooga, check out the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, the Creative Discovery Museum for children, the Tennessee Aquarium and the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park. See college football, soccer and special events at Finley Stadium. Like many Southern cities, Chattanooga offers history, including civil war sites you can visit. The Walnut Street Bridge provides beauty and history, as it has been around since 1890.

If you have an interest in the arts, this city features the Tivoli Theatre, a gorgeous theatre from the 1920s that holds music, dance and other cultural events. Even just walking around the city, you’ll experience Public Art Chattanooga, which puts art on display in public areas. Chattanooga also offers galleries and a variety of art events, such as the Cinema at the Edge Independent Film Festival and the 4 Bridges Arts Festival.

Moving Forward

Although Chattanooga has a rich history, the city has brought itself forward with the installation of a fiber-optic network that provides high-speed Internet to the citizens and businesses of the area, with speeds 50 times faster than the home service average for the rest of the nation. The advent of this top-notch Internet service has brought change and growth to the city. Entrepreneurs, tech industry workers and innovators, and others have come to the city, and old factories have transformed into office space, apartments and other types of commercial space.

Chattanooga has also focused on moving forward in other ways during the recent past. It has overcome its 1969 status as the most polluted city in the country through a focus on cleaning the air. It has created educational, cultural and recreational spaces for the community through a focus on the arts and with an aquarium. The city has also made an effort to renew its downtown and riverfront, and has encouraged citizen involvement in helping the city move forward with a new vision of its future.

Working in Chattanooga

Volkswagen brought an engineering and planning center to Chattanooga, which is expected to be the central hub for these company activities in North America. This is good news for workers, since the center needs around 130 specialized employees by 2017. Aside from that, Chattanooga has plenty of industries to work in. The city’s most common industries for work include health care, education, accommodation and food services, finance and insurance, and construction. Construction is at the top for men, while health care is at the top for women. Also, the city provides a place to hold business events at the Chattanooga Convention and Trade Center.

Education Within the City Limits

When it’s time to send the kids to school, Chattanooga offers close to 50 public schools and about 30 private schools, with a mix of elementary, middle and high schools. Also, you don’t have to leave the city to get a college education. Within the limits, you’ll find the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Nonetheless, residents have options in extending their education, as the city also includes the Chattanooga State Community College, Tennessee Temple University and a variety of technical and specialty colleges.

If Chattanooga has showed up on your radar, it's time to check it out and see everything it has to offer. Even if you just plan to visit, the city features an abundance of natural and other attractions for you and your family to experience. But it's also a great place to live, with a low cost of living, many industries to work in and other awesome features. This Southern city has steady roots in the past with a strong vision for the future. Come check it out!

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