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8 Things Everyone From Chattanooga Takes for Granted

by Andrew Baker Jul 21, 2016

We can stream our favorite shows at the speed of light.

Yeah, we boast about “Gig City” and how we have some of the fastest internet in the country, but do we appreciate it? When was the last time you had to buffer? When you finish downloading that entire season of Game of Thrones in about 10 minutes, take a second to reflect on the fact that the national average internet speed is only 12.8 megabytes per second. So, while you’re watching Arya be a badass, remember that someone out there is still using dial up.

We can pay our rent and still have money left over for groceries.

I was blown away to find out that my friend who moved up to Connecticut was paying $875 for a room in a house. That’s $875 for one room in a house that she shared with four other people. When I got my first apartment in Chattanooga back in 2014, I paid $675 for a massive, 1200ft² duplex with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. While some places downtown and on the riverfront do charge a ridiculously high price, the average rent in Chattanooga is still only $800.

We can be anywhere in roughly 20 minutes.

Chattanooga is not a tiny city, but the luxury of having I-75 and I-20 running straight down the middle means that you can be anywhere in the city in roughly 20 minutes. As long as you avoid the 4:00-5:30 rush hour bonanza, you can make it from Hamilton Place Mall in the northern part of the city to the Tennessee Aquarium on the opposite end of town in exactly 20 minutes.

Our “rush hour” only adds an average of 14 minutes to your drive time.

That’s amazing considering that other cities like Nashville, Atlanta, and Knoxville add a minimum of an hour to your drive time during their rush hours. Say what you want about our traffic, but if I had to choose, I’d rather be stuck in traffic at Moccasin Bend and be able to look out over the Tennessee River.

We are lodged between mountains.

We need to have someone remind us that there are other cities in America that aren’t nestled comfortably in a valley between towering mountains. Some people aren’t lucky enough to have unlimited access to the great outdoors and almost any outdoor sport within an hour drive of their house. Want to go skydiving? It’s a 40-minute drive toThe Chattanooga Skydiving Company. Little Rock City is about half an hour from downtown and has some of the best bouldering in North America. We’ve got everything from hang gliding to white water rafting and paddle boarding in our backyards.

We don’t have to choke on smog.

Being wedged in a valley of the Appalachian and surrounded by dense forest gives us access to fresh, pollution free air. It took a few years of living in the smog capital of the world (looking at you, China) and the subsequent medical problems caused by all the pollution for me to truly appreciate our clean, crisp air.

We don’t have to drive for hours on end to get to a “big” city.

Since we’re at the intersection of 3 major interstates, we have fast access to Atlanta and Nashville. You can drive from downtown Chattanooga to either city’s downtown area in just under 2 hours. This makes those weekend shopping trips, major concert events, or Nashville hot chicken cravings easily doable. Not to mention, for football fans, Knoxville’s Neyland Stadium is only an hour and half drive north on I-75.

Everyone is super nice, even if it’s only when you first meet them.

If you’re coming to Chattanooga, expect for people to smile and wave as you drive past, for strangers to strike up conversations at the gas pump, and for most people to go out of their way to help you with their southern hospitality.

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