Chattanooga! by Karen Rhodes
The fourth-largest city in Tennessee (with a population of about 150,000 people) may have a funny name (which, incidentally, means "rock" in Muskogee), but it also has quite a few things to offer the potential homebuyer or visitor.
Glenn Miller's swinging tune "Chattanooga Choo Choo" may be the first association that pops into mind when one thinks of Chattanooga, but the city has made heaps of progress since days of big band jazz. And although the railroad stills plays a role in commerce and industry (check out the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum!), it's now only one part of a substantially more modern and complex transportation system - including a free shuttle bus around the downtown area. Of course, it also doesn't hurt that Chattanooga is neatly situated near three major interstate highways: I-24, I-75 and I-59.
As the Romans said: "All roads lead to Chattanooga!"
Besides the usual assortment of fine elementary and high schools (one of which, the Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences, participates in an annual student-exchange program with high schools in Tono Japan), Chattanooga is also home to an 8500-student arm of the University of Tennessee known as the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, or UTC. Rounding out education opportunities are two more institutions of higher learning: the Chattanooga State Technical Community College and the Christian-oriented Tennessee Temple University.
For formal and informal students of all ages, Chattanooga also provides access to several different libraries - both public and university-attached.
Culture & Entertainment
Perhaps the most popular attraction in Chattanooga is the Tennessee Aquarium, the world's largest freshwater aquarium - which has recently expanded to include a saltwater section, too! Inside, all sorts of watery and educational exhibits are on display. Outside, the aquarium integrates with much of Chattanooga's other cultural attractions in the downtown area. For example, there's the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, for music lovers; and, for the visually-stimulated, the Hunter Museum of Art.
If sports are more to your liking, then you'll have a choice of three: ABA basketball (Chattanooga Steamers), indoor football (Tennessee River Sharks), and Minor League Baseball (Chattanooga Lookouts), Women's Professional Football (Chattanooga Locomotion). In addition, the National Softball Championship plays in Chattanooga every year.
If you're a thrill seeker, you can also try some hang-gliding!
Sights & Scenery
Nestled between the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau, Chattanooga boasts some truly spectacular natural scenery. Not only is this conducive to happy and healthy living, but it motivates outdoor activity (like hiking!), which is always a good thing. And, even if you're not athletically-able, you'll be hard pressed not to want to get out to some of the ridges that surround the city, and get your camera or easel out! Heck, simply looking out a window might make you smile.
Supplementing the beautiful terrain is the new and improved waterfront, and a well designed downtown that includes several wonderful bridges. At more than one-hundred years old, the standout is no doubt the Walnut Street Bridge - the second-longest pedestrian bridge in the United States.
They don't call it the "Scenic City" for nothing.
Say what, Motherf#!$er?!
Rounding out the boons of living in Chattanooga is the simple knowledge that Samuel L. Jackson grew up in the city. If that doesn't add a dash of cool to a place, then John Shaft wasn't the baddest mother -well, I'll shut my own mouth.
About the Author
Karen is a lifelong resident of Chattanooga and a successful REALTORŪ. Check out http://www.ChattanoogaRealEstateToday.com for more information on Chattanooga and it's surrounding areas.