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Great Places to Live: Chattanooga, TN

Are you looking to find a new location to build your timber frame house? Check out what Chattanooga, TN has to offer.

The Southeast has become a hot market for timber frame houses—one look at Chattanooga, TN and it’s not hard to see why. This revitalized metropolis has everything from outdoor adventures (think whitewater rafting and hang-gliding) to inventive dining (the blue cheese chips at The Blue Plate give junk food a whole new dimension) to a thriving art scene (the Hunter Art Museum just opened a new $20-million wing designed by Frank Gehry).

See images below to see some of our favorite spots in Chattanooga!

Chattanooga, TN 1 It's hard to believe that less than two decades ago, downtown Chattanooga, TN was practically abandoned. Today, its tree-lined streets see plenty of visitors, who pack into the state-of-the-art aquarium, stroll along the Tennessee River and watch the world go by from outdoor patios like this one at the uniquely shaped Pickle Barrel restaurant and bar. Chattanooga, TN 2 One of the first revitalization projects in downtown Chattanooga, TN was the Chattanooga Choo-Choo hotel, which was installed in the city’s former train station in 1971. While most of the hotel’s rooms are scattered in concrete buildings around the property, a lucky few guests can sleep in actual train cars like this one. Chattanooga, TN 3 Chattanooga, TN is a city that embraces art—so much so that they can’t keep it confined to the walls of a museum. Public art displays (such as this wooden sculpture in the shadow of the Tennessee Aquarium) can be found on nearly every street corner in downtown Chattanooga, TN. Chattanooga, TN 4 Bordered by mountains and adjacent to some of the country’s most beautiful rivers, Chattanooga, TN is known for its outdoor splendor. And you don’t have to go very far out of the city to find it. The Chattanooga Nature Center (above) is just a few miles from downtown and offers plenty of trails to hike and creeks to canoe. Chattanooga, TN 5 Anyone who’s ever spotted one of the iconic “See Rock City” barns while tooling down the highway is probably aware that Chattanooga, TN has its fair share of kitschy attractions like Rock City Gardens and Ruby Falls (above). But their undeniable natural beauty saves them from being classified as tourist traps and makes them worth a visit. Chattanooga, TN 6 On Sundays between April and December, the place to be downtown is the Chattanooga, TN Market. In addition to browsing the fresh produce, herbs, flowers and crafts, you can grab lunch from a local vendor, dance up a storm to live music, and even let your kids test their agility on the rock-climbing wall. Chattanooga, TN 7 An admirable innovation in historic preservation of Chattanooga, TN, the one-block Bluff View Arts District was the brainchild of a local doctor, who saved the historic area from obscurity by turning it into a cultural mecca brimming with galleries, restaurants and inns. A bocce terrace adjacent to the Bluff View Inn provides one of the city’s best views over the Tennessee River. Chattanooga, TN 8 Located across the river from downtown Chattanooga, TN (and accessible by the Walnut Street Bridge, the longest pedestrian bridge in the country), the neighborhood of Coolidge Park, with its hip mix of boutiques and eateries (like the coffee shop above) is the perfect place to while away an afternoon.