Chattanooga: More than a Choo Choo

On the road again! Covid kept us home for a year+ but now we’re vaccinated and ready to roll — albeit a short car trip. Nick and Kim were working remotely from their Santa Monica home when they decided to move to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Why Chattanooga? Evidently, the city has become a magnet for young people. The area is known for its endless outdoor activities due to its proximity to the Appalachians and the Tennessee River. “Nooga” has a nice arts district, boasts super fast internet (nickname is “Gig City”) and it’s relatively affordable. The population is just under 200,000.

My previous experience with the city was driving through countless times on our way to Florida. I was excited to get a closer look and found it to be a fun, colorful city. Knowing this will surely be the first of many visits, we saved the big must-sees (i.e. Lookout Mountain, the Aquarium, Ruby Falls) for future trips and blog posts.

But first, the train

The Chattanooga Choo Choo was a major link between the northern and southern United States. It began operating in 1880 and was notable as the first train in the country to provide non-stop service. The original railroad station dates to 1909. It was also a famous Glen Miller song . . .

Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?
Track twenty nine, boy you can gimme a shine
I can afford to board a Chattanooga Choo Choo
I’ve got my fare and just a trifle to spare
You leave the Pennsylvania station ’bout a quarter to four
Read a magazine and then you’re in Baltimore
Dinner in the diner, nothing could be finer
Than to have your ham ‘n’ eggs in Carolina
When you hear the whistle blowin’ eight to the bar
Then you know that Tennessee is not very far
Shovel all the coal in, gotta keep it rollin’
Woo, woo, Chattanooga, there you are
There’s gonna be a certain party at the station
Satin and lace, I used to call funny face
She’s gonna cry until I tell her that I’ll never roam
.

Chattanooga

Hunter Museum

The highlight of the Arts District is the Hunter Museum, which features American Art from the 1700s through present day. Three buildings — the original 1905 mansion, a 1970’s Brutalist addition and the iconic zinc-clad 21st century waterfront building — and the outdoor sculpture gardens house the museum’s various collections and special exhibits.

Artsy Chattanooga

And the best part of Chattanooga?

Seeing Nick and Kim create their new life here!