I’ve officially been a resident of Chattanooga for three weeks. It’s been a crazy, wild three weeks, and my apartment still isn’t completely put together, but it’s starting to feel like home. It’ll get there soon enough!
As I mentioned several posts ago, Chattanooga wasn’t totally unfamiliar to me. My family used to visit here when we lived in Atlanta, so I had some ideas of what life in Chattanooga would be like. But it’d been a long time since I’d spent more than a night in town, so I’ve been relearning everything.
Even though it isn’t a huge city, like Washington, DC or NYC, Chattanooga has a ton to offer. Exploring the city and its surrounding areas has definitely been a treat. Since I don’t live too far from downtown, going out to walk around and explore is convenient and was a great way to spend my free days before I started my job on the 13th.
My favorite downtown attraction so far is the Tennessee Aquarium. I love aquariums in general, and I had fond memories of visiting this one when I was younger. It’s since expanded into River Journey and Ocean Journey, with all kinds of awesome animals in each exhibit. As long as there are penguins, though, I’m a happy camper.
For sports, Chattanooga doesn’t have any professional teams (NFL, NBA, MLB, etc.), but it is blessed with smaller, minor-league and semi-professional sports, as well as University of Tennessee – Chattanooga. The Chattanooga Lookouts are an MiLB team that play during the summer. I haven’t made it to a game this summer, but I know they’re really popular among families. If you’re into soccer, Chattanooga is home to the Chattanooga FC, an amateur-professional soccer club. They play downtown and share a stadium with UTC. CFC games are so fun. I’ve been to two games with my coworkers, and we all had a ball both times. CFC just won the South Region championship of its league and will go on to the national semifinals next week!
I’m trying to be more outdoorsy and adventurous, and Chattanooga has tons of places for me to work on that. In the past few weeks, I’ve visited Foster Falls and Blue Hole parks. Foster Falls is about 45 minutes from town, and Blue Hole is about 25 minutes away, just north of the Chickamauga Dam. Both places have stunning waterfalls and streams, and plenty of swimming holes.
Chattanooga has an amazing food scene. There’s a huge variety of restaurants, cafes, sweets and everything in between. I recently became a Yelper, partly to keep track of everywhere I’ve been, but also to share my amazing experiences with the Yelp community. Some of my favorite spots so far are the Cupcake Kitchen, Tupelo Honey Cafe, Food Works and Easy Bistro. Tupelo Honey has a delicious brunch; if there’s one near you, make a plan to go ASAP. You’ll be so glad you did.
Chattanooga is a perfectly sized city: it’s not huge, but it has everything I need and want. If I really want a bigger city for a little while, I’m within 2 hours of Atlanta and Nashville.
I’ve done and seen a lot already, but there’s so much I have yet to explore, in and outside the city. Even though my family visited Rock City and Lookout Mountain many times in my younger years, I’d love to go back and experience the views from a different perspective. I’ll get there eventually!
What’s your favorite part about exploring a new city? Do you go for food or sights first? Are you a tourist in your own city?