So you’re traveling for spring break, but don’t want to go too far. Or maybe you’re road-tripping and looking for fun cities to visit along the way. Or maybe long distances don’t bother you and you’re looking to explore a city you’ve never visited before. Have you considered Chattanooga, Tennessee? It’s one of the fastest-growing cities below the Mason-Dixon Line, and it’s absolutely worth a visit. Consider this your official guide to spring break in Chattanooga, Tenn.
When I moved to Tennessee in July, I spent a couple weeks exploring the area, especially downtown, and figuring out where everything is. I was familiar with the general area, as my family used to visit several times a year when we lived in Georgia. But that had been eight years or more; most of my memories were foggy.
The agency I work for is headquartered in New York City. The Tennessee office is its newest satellite office, so a lot of people I work with moved down from New York and the surrounding area. In their first few weeks down here, I asked all of the obligatory touristy questions: Did you go to the top of the Empire State Building? Is the State of Liberty really that green? Do people really get coffee at Central Perk? What’s Central Park like?
I was shocked when they said they hadn’t actually done many of the popular tourist activities.
I’m writing today to say that it’s perfectly okay to be a tourist in your own city.
For this post, I’m taking a nod from the New York Times’ “36 Hours” travel series. I like their account of 36 hours in Chattanooga, but there’s so much more to this city than what that article shared.
Even though I’ve only lived in Chattanooga for three and a half months, I’ve completely fallen in love with this city. I’m still a “new Noogan” by many people’s standards, but there’s no timeline or rule that says, “you have to live here for x amount of time before you’re allowed to say you love it here.” That’d be pretty lame, anyway.