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Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options. You may be concerned about house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location—it all can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we’ve researched the best neighborhoods in Chattanooga for you.
Our team has lived in many of these neighborhoods and knows them well. And we’ve created in-depth guides with insider scoops on close-by, popular Chatt destinations. Soon, you’ll be living like a local. (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—your friendly Chattanooga movers).
A Little About Living in Chattanooga
Small but mighty, Chattanooga boasts of natural beauty, a thriving arts scene, and a business climate ripe for start-ups. The city is nestled up against the base of Lookout Mountain and winds along the Tennessee River. This mountain town has hit culinary heights with places like Main Street Meats, Alleia, Brewhaus, Back Inn Cafe, and The Flying Squirrel.
Although Chattanooga sits just two hours from Nashville and Atlanta, it still shines bright. In fact, Chattanooga has become so alluring that it’s recently had a huge influx of residents from all around the country. A favorite spot among outdoorsy folk, Chattanooga has also caught the eye of urban entrepreneurs. Chattanooga’s been dubbed “Gig City” since it became home to the fastest Internet service in the U.S.
Its growing job market and urban amenities don’t stifle Chattanooga’s small-town spirit, which can still be felt, seen, and tasted at farmers markets, local restaurants, and homegrown startups belonging to long-term Chattanoogans. (At Bellhop, we’re one of them!) Below, we’ll dive in and give you our insiders’ scoop on the 5 best neighborhoods to live in Chattanooga.
This densely forested mountain town overlooks the beautiful Tennessee River Gorge and the city of Chattanooga. Home to a community of about 8,400 residents, this town draws people who want to be surrounded by natural beauty.
While Signal Mountain sits just 10-miles from downtown Chattanooga, the town itself is home to shops, restaurants, an athletic club, a country club, and a golf course. You’ll also find practical necessities like health care services, banks, service stations, and grocery stores on the mountain, making it both comfortable but also convenient, making it our first choice in the list of best neighborhoods in Chattanooga.
What’s Happening in Signal Mountain
Home to winding wooded lanes, trails, streams, and panorama views that stretch for miles, Signal Mountain draws people out of downtown and into nature. Hiking along Signal’s many beautiful trails is a great way to experience its best.
Check out Signal Point, Edward’s Point, Rainbow Lake, and Mushroom Rock. Each one rewards its hikers with beautiful mountain-top views of the river or final destinations at waterfalls and pristine creeks.
Residents are less than a 14-minute drive fromo downtown Chattanooga. If they want a break from hiking in the mountains, Signal Mountain locals can easily pop down to Coolidge Park, grab a coffee at Mean Mug, or enjoy an upscale dinner at the Back Inn Cafe.
Schools near Signal Mountain
Signal Mountain is home to several highly-rated schools, including Thrasher Elementary School, Nolan Elementary School, Signal Mountain Middle High School, Signal Mountain Christian School. Residents have also enrolled their kids in nearby schools like Lookout Valley Elementary School, Baylor School, Belvoir Christian Academy, and Normal Park Museum Magnet Upper School among others.
Homes on Signal Mountain
Signal Mountain housing varies from smaller single-family homes at around $225K to towering houses complete with stone exteriors and turrets selling for over $1-million. Regardless of the size and price, the homes on Signal Mountain are beautiful. The lots are lush with tidy landscaping and numerous old trees.
Lookout Mountain rises 2,000 feet above sea level and overlooks the city below. Just minutes from downtown Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain sits just over the Georgia border. Locals can commute downtown for a day’s work, coffee, dinner, or weekends out and return to charming family-friendly neighborhoods in the evenings. The drive up the mountain alone outshines mountain views at the end of a long hike in many other areas of the country, making it one of the most scenic neighborhoods in Chattanooga.
What’s Happening in Lookout Mountain
Lookout Mountain is home to three well-known attractions: Ruby Falls, the nation’s tallest and deepest underground waterfall; Rock City, which sits 1700 feet above sea level next to a 100-foot waterfall, and the Incline Railway, the world’s steepest passenger railway, operating since 1895.
You’ll also find a few local spots to enjoy an evening out, like Cafe on the Corner, Rock City’s Big Rock Grill, and Rock City’s Cafe. Nearby, locals can golf on mountain peaks or enjoy miles of valley views from the bluff-side pool at the Lookout Mountain Club. In just 15-minutes, Lookout Mountain locals can also access all the amenities of downtown Chattanooga.
Schools near Lookout Mountain
A few of Lookout Mountains’ great school options include Lookout Mountain Elementary School and Lookout Valley Elementary, Middle, and High School among others.
Homes on Lookout Mountain
Stunning houses set into the mountain sit on lots with leafy landscaping and tall hardwood trees. You’ll find many 4-bedroom homes, some with brick exteriors, some with an old-world Tudor design. We also love the quaint cottages in family-friendly Fairyland, a small community on Lookout Mountain.
Highly popular among families and young professionals, North Shore is at the frontline of Chattanooga’s renaissance. Over the last 5 years, new apartment buildings and condos have added their mark to the waterside skyline. As the name suggests, North Shore sits against the northern shoreline of the Tennessee River. Its blend of hip and historical gives North Shore its unique charm.
What’s Happening in North Shore
North Shore encompasses both Stringers Ridge Park and Coolidge Park. The latter is one of the most popular spots in the city—a stunning park along the river with views of Lookout Mountain and the city skyline. Coolidge Park butts up against the Walnut Street Bridge, a pedestrian-only bridge where lots of locals and visitors walk, bike, and occasionally propose to a significant other.
North Shore’s downtown area runs mainly along Frazier Ave. and Cherokee Blvd. Here, you’ll find long-standing Northshore classics like Julie Darling Donuts, Toto Sushi & Grill, Brewhaus, and Sluggo’s.
Schools in North Shore
North Shore families have access to several great schools, including East Brainerd Elementary, Normal Park Museum Magnet Upper School, CSLA, McCallie School, Boyd Buchanan School, and Chattanooga Christian School among others.
Homes in North Shore
Chock full of condos, Northshore’s housing caters to young professionals and small families. Here, residents can catch colorful views of the sunset over the river from their second-floor windows. As you move further north from the river, you’ll find plenty of charming single-family homes of all sizes, many of which sell in the $300-thousands.
The prestigious Riverview blends convenience to downtown with comfortable professional and family living. North Chattanooga is by far one of the most sought-after areas, with its charming refurbished homes, access to everything in Chatt, cozy streets, and parks. Most residents of Riverview are also within walking distance to Coolidge Park and the shops on North Shore.
What’s Happening in Riverview
This growing residential area is home to a sprawling waterfront golf and country club. The local Riverview Park features a playground, picnic pavilion, and tennis courts. Riverview’s neighborhood restaurants, gourmet bakery, and market make locals leave their cars behind and do their shopping, dining, and outings on foot. There are laid-back spots for drinks along Hixson Pike. And a few trendy boutiques sell clothing and home goods.
Schools in Riverview
Riverview sits close to many of Chattanooga’s best schools, including Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences, Belvoir Christian Academy, McCallie School, Boyd Buchanan School, Baylor School, and Ridgedale School of Fine Arts among others.
Homes in Riverview
From $225K to $2.5-million, Riverview homes range far and wide. Here, you’ll find charming historic homes with large pillars on the corners of front porches. Down the road, massive homes with decorative windows, stately landscaping, and even front-yard fountains sell to large families. In between, well-kept mid-sized homes with pools in the backyard and nearby parks sell for somewhere in the middle.
Ten years ago, St. Elmo was the affordable spot in the city where college graduates could cram in with roommates and find cheap rent. Today, it’s one of the most popular places for families to live, and prices have moved up. Snug tight against the bottom of Lookout Mountain, St. Elmo residents enjoy beautiful views of their hilly environment.
St. Elmo’s architecture is its most notable quality. The area sings with historic charm, and no two houses look the same. Along the edge of the neighborhood, Chattanooga has added a paved bike path that stretches all the way to the other side of Chattanooga, around downtown, and through to North Shore.
What’s Happening in St.Elmo
St. Elmo is just a 10-minute drive away from the center of downtown Chattanooga. But we love how locals in St. Elmo can walk along the neighborhood’s bike path to their own little downtown area.
Here, you’ll find long-standing local favorites like Sawasdi, where two sisters who moved to the U.S. years ago hand-cook and serve mouthwatering Thai classics. One of Chattanooga’s most popular and quirky restaurants, Mojo Burrito, has a location right at the edge of St. Elmo and serves fresh and flavorful burritos and tacos.
The Purple Daisy might not look like much from its exterior, but so is the case with all of the best BBQ shacks. The very casual Mr. T’s Pizza & Ice Cream shop has been around for years. It’s neighboring restaurant across the street,1885 Grill, serves anything from house-made stone-ground grits to coastal fresh catches.
Newer additions to the neighborhood include the Naughty Cat Cafe—where visitors can snack on baked goods, sip on a coffee, and stroke one of the many cats lounging around on the couches. Visitors are bound to stop by the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, right on the edge of St. Elmo.
Schools in St. Elmo
Sitting between Lookout Mountain and downtown Chattanooga, St. Elmo families have access to great schools all around them. These include Lookout Valley Elementary, Normal Park Museum Magnet Upper School, Chattanooga Christian School, Calvin Davidson Elementary, Belvoir Christian Academy, and McCallie School among others.
Homes in St. Elmo
The homes in St. Elmo couldn’t be more charming. Out of any neighborhood in Chattanooga, St. Elmo’s homes have the most character. Full of early 20th-century historic homes, this neighborhood is as far from cookie-cutter as you can get.
Most houses here wear a decorative brick or wood siding exterior. While they come in all different colors, shapes, and sizes, nearly all of St. Elmo’s homes have wide and roomy front porches.
There you have it: the 5 best neighborhoods in Chattanooga!
We hope this was guide to the best neighborhoods in Chattanooga was helpful! If you decide to take the plunge soon, Bellhop offers last minute moving services in Chattanooga! As we said, we coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Chattanooga, and we would love to help.
Lastly, if you’re interested in any nearby cities with a good reputation, Atlanta, Birmingham, Knoxville, and Nashville are a few that should be high on your radar. Feel free to give us a call if you decide to make the move!