Known as a great place for work and play, Chattanooga is a mid-sized city that’s small enough to feel intimate, yet large enough to boast high-profile employers, cultural centers and entertainment venues. “Scenic City,” as Chattanooga is aptly called, is justifiably famous for its riverboat-dotted waterfront, as well as the mountains both encircling and even crossing through the area. Those setting out on the hunt for perfect apartments in Chattanooga will find a rich banquet of neighborhoods, architecture and budgets from which to choose.
Named after the famous Native American earthen structure at the mouth of the Citgo Creek, “Chattanooga” is believed to mean “rock-dwelling place” in Muskogee. After the Muskogee occupation, the Cherokee tribe lived in the area, until the U.S. Army moved them in the infamous “Trail of Tears”campaign in the 1830s. The incorporated area then grew quickly, based on its proximity to the Tennessee River. This crucial water access provided access for trading and fertile farmland -- and later, power for utilities. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), established in 1933, was a crucial part in both protecting the city from flooding and for providing electricity to much of the Southeastern U.S.
Although a four-season area, Chattanooga is located in the subtropical zone, meaning mild winters and extended summers. The winter season brings fairly substantial rainfall, as do a few weeks in mid-summer. On average, you’ll see summer days in 80-degree Fahrenheit range, although of course hotter ones do occur. Even in the colder months, the temperatures seldom fall below freezing, and snowfall is rare.
Getting Around Chattanooga
You don’t have to take the “Chattanooga Choo Choo” to get around in the city. Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority maintains several busses and shuttles throughout the city. You’ll even find a bicycle-sharing service, known as Bike Chattanooga. Pedestrians with apartments in Chattanooga appreciate the city’s “Very Walkable” Walk Score, especially in the downtown and riverfront areas. The rating is also due to walker-friendly directional signs, wide sidewalks and a pedestrian bridge connecting the downtown to the Northshore section.
Commuting in Chattanooga
For drivers, the city’s extensive highway and surface road system makes it easy to either travel within the city, or to commute to and from Chattanooga. Major highways include I-24, I-59. I-75. A series of sophisticated tunnels and bridges help commuters traverse the rivers and mountains in the area, extending the city’s reputation as the “gateway to the Deep South.”
No matter where you fall politically, the Chattanooga Times Free Press has got you covered. The daily paper prides itself on covering all sides of the issues, as well as delivering local and global news. For arts and leisure, consider the Chattanooga News Chronicle, an African-American weekly newspaper, or the arts-based weekly, Chattanooga Pulse. In terms of airwaves, all of the major television networks have local affiliates in Chattanooga. The city also boasts more than three dozen radio stations, offering urban, gospel, country, Christian and pop music, along with several talk and news radio stations.
Steeped in history while keeping an eye toward a diverse, eco-friendly future, Chattanooga offers a rich selection of neighborhoods for those planning to move to the area. Chattanooga apartments, for example, are available in ultra-modern riverview developments, in older buildings surrounded by Civil War monuments, or in sustainably-minded urban neighborhoods -- as well as in a variety of other downtown and greater Chattanooga areas.
One of the South’s best-known landmarks, Lookout Mountain happens to house three of greater Chattanooga’s other famous attractions. Rock City features fantastical gardens, rock formations and swinging bridges, Ruby Falls is a natural “indoor” cave waterfall measuring a breathtaking 145 feet in height, and the Incline Railway, which climbs the mountain, is billed as the steepest passenger railway in the world.Other notable landmarks in the area include the Chickamauga dam and reservoir, as well as historic Missionary Ridge, site of the famous Civil War battle. Chattanooga National Cemetery is located in the heart of the city.
Things to do in Chattanooga
Along with the fun to be had at Lookout Mountain, visitors and apartment dwellers alike can enjoy one of the many riverboat cruises that explore the city waterfront and the stunning Tennessee River Gorge. Other well-known attractions include the world-famous Tennessee Aquarium and the Chattanooga Zoo. The city also boasts a wealth of museums, including those dedicated to kids’ activities, trains and art.
Not surprisingly, Tennessee’s rich musical heritage is celebrated with festivals throughout the year. Many of these music events take place along the Tennessee River, including the 3 Sisters bluegrass festival in the fall, the five-stage, multi-day Riverbend festival in the summer, and and July’s Riverfront Nights -- a series of concerts every Saturday evening.
Chattanooga Vacation spots
Just over the border in Georgia, the family-friendly lakeside amusement park known as Lake Winnepesaukah beckons. When you’ve just got to get to the ocean, pack the car for an overnight trip to Tybee Island, GA or Hilton Head, SC. Of course, other swimming beaches are much closer to Chattanooga, including state parks in and around the Cumberland Mountains area, as well as at Rock Island State Park.
Where to move in Chattanooga
If one of your dream apartments in Chattanooga centers around a historical building, check out neighborhoods such as St. Elmo, Ferger or Fort Wood, near the University of Tennessee. Apartments are also available in the desirable Riverfront District, a pedestrian-friendly location made even more special by a recent multi-million dollar redevelopment that includes a 13-mile Riverwalk. For those who want to be where the action -- and the city jobs are -- the City Center offers a wealth of condos and apartments. You’ll also find plenty of parks, libraries, shopping and fine dining. If you’re looking for apartments among the artsy, fashion-forward set, consider the Northshore district. But if sustainable living and a diverse, vibrant population are top priorities, check out Chattanooga apartments available in the Southside area.