By Alexandra Richardson, Staff Writer
A bustling city filled with arts and entertainment, culture, community, food and nature is located in Southeastern Tennessee. Chattanooga, nicknamed the Scenic City, lies on the Tennessee River between the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau.
Chattanooga is surrounded by big cities, including Nashville, Knoxville, Atlanta, Ga., and Birmingham, Ala.
According to Forbes magazine, Chattanooga is ranked eighth out of America’s 100 largest metro areas for the best “Bang For Your Buck” city.
The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel downtown combines fun with history. Visitors can spend a night in an actual train car and enjoy an array of restaurants and shopping, swimming pools, gardens and a working model railroad.
Chattanooga also is a place for those who love nature.
The city is well-known for its aquarium and landscape. At the Tennessee Aquarium, guests not only can see creatures that swim, fly and crawl but also explore the grounds around the aquarium.
Hikers will enjoy natural areas such as America’s highest underground waterfall, Ruby Falls or possibly Rock City, which is a group of massive rock formations atop Lookout Mountain, with breathtaking views of Chattanooga.
Another way to view Chattanooga’s landscape is by using the Incline Railway, one of the steepest passenger railways in the world.
“I’ve been living in Chattanooga for a few years and I’ve noticed a lot of people come to Chattanooga to go mountain biking, camping, caving, fishing, hiking and even skydiving,” said Ken Tozer, Chattanooga resident and graduate of Chattanooga State Community College.
Chattanooga is home to a number of college students, many of whom attend The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
“I really love being outdoors when I’m home in Chattanooga. Coolidge Park is a very popular place for students, said Corey Wilson, sophomore mathematics major. “I enjoy heading down there in the afternoons to throw a disc or just walk around with friends.”
Chattanooga also is home to many museums and theaters, including the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and the Tivoli Theatre, which is now home to the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera.
Many restaurants exist in Chattanooga, so finding a place to eat is never a problem. Downtown has quite a few places to offer, from local to chain restaurants.
“My favorite places to eat downtown are Sugar’s Ribs and the Boathouse,” Tozer said. “There are also more well-known places, such as Genghis Grill and Mellow Mushroom that I love.”
Restaurants can be found in Coolidge Park as well.
Actually my favorite local restaurants are in Coolidge Park. One of these is The Good Dog, a locally owned hot dog restaurant that just opened up in the last few years,” Wilson said. “Another is River Street Deli, which is very popular amongst college students.”
Plenty of churches thrive in Chattanooga.
“A lot of churches in Chattanooga are Gospel-centered, Christ-preaching churches,” Wilson said “I go to Stuart Heights Baptist Church, and I love my church family and always look forward to seeing them when I am home.”