1. The Fruit of the Spirit
Also known as being served roast and corned beef, hot pepper jack and provolone cheeses, onions, tomatoes, mayo, and mustard, dripping with Deli Rose sauce and pressed together in an onion roll by a bunch of hippies at the Yellow Deli. Served with a side of Joy’s Special Chili and cream cheese pie drizzled with honey.
2. Pancakes from Aretha Frankenstein’s
The only plausible explanation for their goodness is that they’re crafted by the hands of breakfast deities.
3. Debating religion
Voted America’s Most Bible-Minded City in 2014, the topic of religion is bound to come up at some point, no matter your religious preference.
4. Long Island Iced Tea from Lamar’s
And the Advil you’re gonna need the next morning.
5. Crazy fast internet
Oh, your video’s still downloading? Cool. We had it 25 minutes ago.
6. Fresh air
Mountain biking on Raccoon Mountain, hiking the 35 miles of trails on Prentice Cooper, paddling around Moccasin Bend, running the 16-mile long Chattanooga Riverwalk, hang gliding off Lookout Mountain, rock climbing at Sunset Rock, refreshing yourself in a chilled blue hole, or just relaxing at Coolidge Park — if you’re not spending the majority of your time outside in Chattanooga, you’re really messing it up.
7. Your watch and GPS
Wait, which state and timezone am I in again?
8. Time traveling in St. Elmo
And driving past vintage bungalows lining the shaded streets.
Finally! We can say we’re recognized as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.
Screw off, Bronze.
10. Local food and businesses
River City Apparel, Sluggo’s, Knitting Mill Antiques, Clumpies Ice Cream, All Things Groovy, Tangerinas, River Street Deli, Purple Daisy, the Terminal, Blue Skies, Champy’s, Bea’s, — there’s really no excuse for not shopping local.
11. Scenic views…everywhere
Whether you’re on Sunset Rock, box sledding down the hill at Renaissance Park, or hiking in your own backyard, you’re bound to find the Tennessee River snaking its way through rolling mountains and gorges no matter where you are.
12. River Bend
…but only to people watch the rednecks with Bud Lite stained white tank tops stretched over their guts and farmer’s tans.
13. Clean energy
Once considered the dirtiest city in America, Chattanooga now prides itself in the Tennessee Valley Authority, which provides flood control and electricity at prices below the national average and aims to be one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost, clean energy by 2020.
14. The VW plant
And all the German accents there.
15. Any sort of recognition
Best Outdoor City, Best Place to Live, Gig City, one of The 45 Places to Go in 2012, Best Town Ever, No. 1 City for Flu Activity, whatever. Keep ‘em coming!