Living in Chattanooga?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Living in Chattanooga?

    Hi folks,

    I've been hearing a lot about Chattanooga as an up and coming town. My Californian-born girlfriend has realized that she has a very low tolerance for cold.

    I'm an outdoor personality as well, and would much prefer to ride year round than worry about skiis and snowboards.

    So what's living in Chattanooga like?

    Does it have a farmers market house?
    Does it have a vibrant downtown with reasons to spend an evening walking around?
    Whats the average drive for decent mtb? Does 15 minutes get you to most trails?

    Thanks for any info!

  2. #2
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    Others will be able to answer better than me as I don't live there, but I've spent a lot of time there over the years. It has a very active outdoor community - biking, whitewater boating, climbing, hang gliding, etc. I would say that it definitely has a vibrant downtown. Brew pubs, other restaurants, aquarium, river side parks, IMAX theater, and many other cool things. When we go we stay in a hotel downtown and then rarely get back in the car - unless it's to go biking, kayaking, or exploring in the mountains. If you like history there are very cool Civil War sites in the city and the outskirts (Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mtn, Chickamauga, etc.).

    In my opinion it's a great town and would be a great place to live. Depending on where you're coming from the southeast can be a bit of a culture shock, but I'm from there and like it. I'm sure locals will be able to answer your other questions and also point out any possible pitfalls to living there.

  3. #3
    The Voice of Reason
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    outside magazine did an article on it several months ago and gave it high marks. it gets cold but i don't think it's cold enough for winter sports. every time i've been up there it's been in the fall and it's always been cold and rainy. they seem to be pretty progressive when it comes to mountain biking. one of the imba trail care crews was from there and they had big plans.
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  4. #4
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    yes you are 15 mins from miles and miles of mtb trails and over hundreds of miles of hiking trail too, great downtown eats,pubs,brewhouses,river,parks, in june we have THE RIVERBEND.. like 7 nites of conserts, beer , food, thousands of people cramed in a small place have fun....

    the winter is mild here, this year no snow... it got below 32 for about a week but its like 50 this week and in the 70's last week, winters are 30's in mornings and 40's at noon or so

    in chattanooga your only few hrs away from smoky mnts. N.C.
    an hr or so from white water rafting
    new sky diving center only 30 mins away
    and we have a very large farmers market like 9 months out of the year.. opens up in about 4 more weeks...

    lots of restarants has all local grown food fresh not frozen

    any questions post up

  5. #5
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    Outdoor wise, you won't be disappointed living in Chattanooga. Tanasi trail system is nearby, (great for whitewater rafting too it where the 1996 Olympic was held for the whitewater. ) I've heard great things about Volkwagon trail system, Racoons Mountain, and you're few hours away from backpacking in the Smoky Mountain, 3 hours from Oak Mountain in Alabama, (I've heard good things about this place too), and you could also make weekend trips to North Carolina at a place like Tsali. I went to visit University of Tennessee at Chattanooga but decided it wasn't the college for me and have no regret, but I'm sure the city life is pretty vibrant and alive, I just never visited the bars and night life. Lookout Mountain, the incline railroad, civil war memorials, and an aquarium are all found in the city too.

    I've rode at Tanasi and can vouch for it, but I haven't rode the rest. I'm just mentioning because it what I heard from people I ride with that they're fun places to ride. Personally, I couldn't live in Chattanooga. But to be fair, I couldn't live in large cities unless I had too. I'm a small town guy. I think you should make a visit to Chattanooga and explore the city itself, but you will not be disappointed about the outdoors. I'm not sure if I classified Chattanooga as up and coming town, because I've drive through it all the time and from outside I don't think much has change. Just my observation, I could be wrong.

    Edited: Also, from Chattanooga you could drive to Knoxville and Morristown for some mountain biking if you get tired of Chattanooga area. Knoxville about 2 hours at most. Add another 30 miles to get to Morristown. If you got the cash for gas, the weekend trips are endless from Chattanooga. You just have to check out the city yourself and see if it right for you.
    Last edited by Panther Creek.; 03-09-2012 at 11:40 AM.

  6. #6
    anj
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    Plus..... Lynskey Performance Frames has a plant in the 'Noog'

  7. #7
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    There are 4 trail systems within 20 minutes of Chattanooga. 5-points, Raccoon, Enterprise South, and Booker T state park, and also Stringers Ridge Downtown, There is no shortage of trails here! Close to 80 miles of singletrack. Tanasi, Chilhowee, and the Pinhoti are an hour away, another 100 miles of trail or so. Lots to do and see around here.
    Too wet to ride!

  8. #8
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    I moved to Chattanooga a few months ago and have loved it! Winter was extremely mild compared to the mid-west I had previously lived in. A few things that have stuck out to me about Chattanooga

    -Extremely diverse and progressive
    -Excellent miles and miles of mountain biking
    -Short drive to a ton of country road biking roads
    -Tons of water sports
    -Rock climbing
    -Southern hospitality

  9. #9
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    Chattanooga always kind of reminds me of Austin....it has the same kind of atmosphere...really enjoyed Raccoon Mountain trails...

  10. #10
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    I love chattanooga. Plenty of trails to ride and lots of bike shops.

  11. #11
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    Great place to live. Plenty of affordable housing and a healthy real estate market.

    The people here are great, very religious and kid oriented, but extremely welcoming. We made more friends here in our first year of living than in 4 years of living in two other cities combined. Job market is solid with a thriving middle class. Fairly diverse demographics.

    Food here is solid and has grown a lot in the last six years (all that I can speak for).

    The local mtn community is VERY active, building new trail at a crazy rate. We have more available land to work than we have hands to do it.

    There are only two three other towns I would live in in the south, charlottesville, va, Asheville,nc, and Boone, nc. They are only southern by geography though and Chattanooga is the best of the bunch. We have the most diverse outdoors scene, way more livable, much better city and the best people.
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  12. #12
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    It's really not that great here...

    The 80 miles of mtn biking we have locally are just too buff and flowy.
    The dozen or so road routes we have from downtown really have too much climbing.
    The hiking and running trails we have really are being too well maintained.
    Too many bike shops.
    Local beer scene getting too crowded and tasty.

    I'd look elsewhere.

    I hear great things about Asheville. I think they have bongo drums downtown and everything.

    LP

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanpope View Post
    It's really not that great here...

    The 80 miles of mtn biking we have locally are just too buff and flowy.
    The dozen or so road routes we have from downtown really have too much climbing.
    The hiking and running trails we have really are being too well maintained.
    Too many bike shops.
    Local beer scene getting too crowded and tasty.

    I'd look elsewhere.

    I hear great things about Asheville. I think they have bongo drums downtown and everything.

    LP



    That's funny stuff!

  14. #14
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    Love Chattanooga, too... don't forget it has more caving + climbing than pretty much anywhere else on the East Coast. I'd give it high marks for affordability (versus Asheville or somewhere out West) as well.

  15. #15
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    is there ANYTHING that sucks about it?
    I'm never gonna be a Rock Star

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megashnauzer View Post
    is there ANYTHING that sucks about it?
    Traffic is a bit sucky and their is a few bugs but overall this city is amazing!!! It's where southern hospitality meets the great outdoors.

  17. #17
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    what about commuting by bike? is it easy to get around on a bike?
    I'm never gonna be a Rock Star

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megashnauzer View Post
    what about commuting by bike? is it easy to get around on a bike?
    I have only lived here for about 4 months and can only speak on my part of the hood. I live near Hamilton Mall and can easily get to the grocery store and a couple of other places. I don't see a lot of people commuting in this area but I have down town.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megashnauzer View Post
    what about commuting by bike? is it easy to get around on a bike?
    Really depends on where in chattanooga you live. If downtown then you will have no problem getting around. Even if you live in the city but want to visit outside areas jump on the city bus with your bike and explore.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megashnauzer View Post
    is there ANYTHING that sucks about it?
    It is a small southern town. Not tiny, but small. Not cold or high enough for winter Sports. Beautiful place though.

  21. #21
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    Chatty is awesome! I'm a little over an hour away in Knoxville, but if there was another town in TN I would live it would be Chatty...in fact I was there this weekend riding

  22. #22
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathetic_earthling View Post
    Chattanooga always kind of reminds me of Austin....
    Austin? Austin where? Is there an Austin, Georgia or and Austin, Alabama?

    Quote Originally Posted by koretex View Post
    Chatty is awesome! I'm a little over an hour away in Knoxville, but if there was another town in TN I would live it would be Chatty...in fact I was there this weekend riding
    I'd say Chattanooga would be my first choice of places to live in the southeast. Great riding and hiking, amazing for water sports, not tooo terribly cold in the winter. It just gets super hick and narrow-minded around the edges.

  23. #23
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    I'm moving to Cleveland end of May for the summer. Any of you from there?

  24. #24
    anj
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    i grew up in polk county... very near there. you must check out Brush Creek at the Ocoee/Tanasi trail complex. It's exccccccellent and not far from Cleveland at all.

  25. #25
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    Whoa. Epic in the backyard? I'm down.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megashnauzer View Post
    Is there anything that sucks about it? What about commuting by bike? is it easy to get around on a bike?
    1. Yes, Southern hospitality is over rated. Still racism is alive and well and it is other places. Don't get me started...

    2. People drive like idiots here...
    I moved here from N.M. and there is really no shoulders here on the streets, I don't understand it. There is also no bike lanes. Don't see too much bike riders probably because of that.

    3. THEY GET TORNADOES!!!! BAAAD ONES! I've been in a couple of these suckers and it is scarry! Especially if you're from the Southwest as I am and we don't get them in N.M.

    4. No mountains, just rolling hills. If your from Cali, you'll miss the mountains, being from N.M. I miss the mountains.

    So there is some negatives, yes, they are everywhere... Some positives though:

    Trails, yeah, you are literally surrounded by what ever you want. About a 15 minute drive. I would say ten minutes if you go to Volkswagon trails or Biology trails in Collegedale.

    It snows but usually it melts as it hits the ground, it does get down to about 25 degrees in the winter. I have seen it snow about a foot a couple of seasons ago, but it was quite fun because they don't normall get snow. Oh yeah, let me mention it is really Green here, I mean Green, so much lush greenery, it is amazing.

    Bike shops are really OUTSTANDING! I think of East Ridge Bikes (Giant, Santa Cruz, Haro), Scotts in Cleveland (Trek, Reliegh, Diamondback), Bear Creek in Dalton (Niner,Specialized, Stellar Custom Wheel builds), Suck Creek (Ibis, Yeti, Santa Cruz, Specialized, Jamis), and even the local Dick's (Diamondback Dealer) has a great mechanics that can help you with all your cycling needs! I must admit, some of the nicest Diamondbacks I have ever seen are at this Dick's. They seem to have all the good stuff Diamond back makes like the Sortie! So all the great brands are all here.

    So there you have my 2 cents, a good balanced 2 cents.
    Last edited by Rev. 14; 04-26-2012 at 03:29 PM.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelock View Post
    I'm moving to Cleveland end of May for the summer. Any of you from there?
    I live in Cleveland. Its pretty nice, much smaller and quieter then Chattanooga. The Chilhowee and Tanasi trail systems are excellent to ride but watch out for evil hikers. Its not far from Cleveland, take hwy64 (like 15 min) down towards cherokee national park. You cant miss it
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  28. #28
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    Evil hikers? As in Stephen King style evil hikers? Or just hikers on a MTB trail?

  29. #29
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    Evil hikers? I plan on riding Tanasi my first weekend in town. I also plan on commuting by bike 9mi. through Cleveland to work. Is that abnormally dangerous around there?

  30. #30
    anj
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    It is not abnormally dangerous... just the opposite i would say. You should be fine on your 9 mile commute thru Cleveland. And.... Brush Creek trail in Tanasi is incredible. So are most of the other trails in that complex.

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