Nestled in the picturesque Appalachian Mountains, Chattanooga, Tennessee, has captured the hearts of both residents and visitors alike with its stunning natural beauty, thriving arts scene, and variety of outdoor activities. If you find yourself contemplating a move to this charming city, you might be wondering, “Is Chattanooga a good place to live?”
Like any destination, the “Gig City” has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll discuss 10 pros and cons you should consider before making Chattanooga your new home. Whether you’re looking for a house or apartments in Chattanooga, TN let’s explore the area and see what this Tennessee gem has to offer.
5 pros of living in Chattanooga
1. Thriving arts and culture scene
Despite being a mid-sized city, Chattanooga boasts a thriving arts and culture scene that’s anything but ordinary. From the Hunter Museum of American Art, housed in a striking cliffside building, to the Songbirds Guitar Museum showcasing rare and iconic guitars, and the Tivoli Theatre hosting captivating performances, there’s always something exciting to experience. Local art galleries, theaters, and annual events like the 4 Bridges Arts Festival truly make this city perfect for creative souls and culture enthusiasts.
2. Start-up haven
Chattanooga has embraced a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit and become a hotspot for start-ups and small businesses. The city’s Electric Power Board (EPB) has not only brought gigabit-speed internet to the community but has also fostered innovation, earning Chattanooga the title of “Gig City.” The EPB’s efforts have resulted in a supportive environment for tech companies, creative ventures, and forward-thinking entrepreneurs. Living in Chattanooga offers an excellent opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and be a part of an innovative community.
3. Outdoor oasis
Chattanooga is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts, and it’s no wonder it has earned the nickname “The Scenic City.” Surrounded by the stunning Appalachian Mountains and bordered by the Tennessee River, residents enjoy easy access to a plethora of outdoor activities. Whether you’re into hiking the majestic trails of Lookout Mountain, exploring the ancient rock formations of Ruby Falls, kayaking along the river, or biking through the scenic Riverwalk, Chattanooga’s natural beauty will keep you constantly inspired and energized.
4. Festivals galore
When it comes to celebrating, Chattanoogans know how to do it with flair. The city hosts an array of lively festivals and events throughout the year that appeal to all interests. Whether you’re joining the Riverbend Festival for live music and local cuisine, exploring the Chattanooga Film Festival’s cinematic wonders, or getting your fill of arts and crafts at the 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival, there’s always something to keep you entertained and connected with the community.
5. Low cost of living
Unlike bustling metropolitan areas where expenses can quickly skyrocket, Chattanooga offers a more wallet-friendly lifestyle without compromising on quality. Housing costs are notably reasonable with an average median sale price of $352,0000, compared to the national average of $425,600. Additionally, the cost of living in Chattanooga is 7% lower than the national average. These lower costs can make it easier for many people to find a comfortable place to call home without breaking the bank.
5 cons of living in Chattanooga
1. Heat and humidity combo
While the warm seasons are filled with outdoor adventures, the summers in Chattanooga can be quite intense, with high humidity levels averaging 71% for the month of September. The combination of heat and humidity might feel overwhelming for some, making the outdoors less enjoyable during the peak of summer. Be prepared to stay hydrated and find ways to beat the heat, whether it’s by enjoying water-based activities or seeking refuge in air-conditioned spaces.
2. Limited public transportation
With a Transit Score of 47, Chattanooga’s public transportation system is still in its growing phase and isn’t as extensive or convenient as larger metropolitan areas. While the city does have a bus system, it may not cover all neighborhoods comprehensively, and the frequency of routes might not be as frequent as you’d like. This could make it challenging for those who rely solely on public transportation for their daily commute or getting around the city.
3. Flood risk
Being bordered by the beautiful Tennessee River also means that certain parts of Chattanooga are susceptible to flooding, especially during heavy rain or severe weather events. While the city takes measures to mitigate the impact, it’s crucial for residents to be aware of flood zones and have a contingency plan in place.
4. Limited job market
While Chattanooga’s entrepreneurial spirit fosters start-ups and small businesses, the job market might not be as diverse or robust as in larger cities. Finding specific specialized roles or niche industries may require more effort or commuting to nearby cities for work opportunities.
5. Limited nightlife options
Chattanooga offers a vibrant arts and culture scene. However, some residents may find the nightlife and entertainment options somewhat limited. The city has a selection of restaurants, bars, and live music venues, but those seeking an extensive and bustling nightlife might feel the need to venture outside the city for more variety.
Is Chattanooga a good place to live? Final thoughts
Chattanooga is a great place to live for many people. If you intend to move here, remember that summers can get hot and sticky, and the lack of extensive public transportation might be a hassle. However, if you’re a nature lover or an art enthusiast, you might just fall in love with this city’s charm and friendly vibe. If you’re house-hunting in Tennessee, be sure to add Chattanooga to your list of places to check out.