Nicknamed the Scenic City, Chattanooga is known for its numerous outdoor recreation opportunities, sprawling city parks, and quaint southern charm. It has also developed into a world-class tourist destination known for its restaurants, arts, and culture. Chattanooga is home to numerous neighborhoods and suburbs full of vacation rentals, so it’s easy to find an area to fit your family’s needs.
1. Downtown Chattanooga
If you want to be in the heart of the city’s arts and culture, this is the place to stay. Most of Chattanooga’s numerous festivals, such as the Three Sisters Bluegrass Festival, are located here, as is the Chattanooga Market, a popular open-air arts and crafts market held every Sunday in the spring, summer and fall. In the evening, you can walk to numerous restaurants and nightclubs, or stroll down to one of the many parks and catch a public concert.
2. Missionary Ridge
For a more sedate pace without sacrificing convenient access to the city, look for vacation rentals in Missionary Ridge. Named for the large ridge that runs along it, this area was also a site of a famous Civil War battle. Numerous small monuments dot the neighborhood, so it’s a fun place to explore and get a sense of history. The area tends to be fairly upscale, with a mix of historic and modern homes and plenty of open space.
3. Highland Park
Filled with nice, middle-class family homes and quiet residential streets, Highland Park lies just two miles away from downtown Chattanooga. Most homes in this area were built prior to 1930, so don’t be surprised to find a charming Queen Anne bungalow or Craftsman cottage vacation rental. This neighborhood has a friendly, family-oriented atmosphere, with plenty of parks and walking paths.
4. East Ridge, Tennessee
This charming suburb of Chattanooga offers easy access to modern conveniences while still having a small-town Southern feel. It is located right on the Georgia state line, so it is a great place to stay if you plan on exploring outside of Tennessee. However, it’s still close enough to Chattanooga for you to take advantage of the city’s attractions. East Ridge also has its own antique district if you want to pick up a few old-fashioned souvenirs, and the spacious Camp Jordan Park and Arena facility offer a fishing pond, disc golf, and other activities.
5. Ferger Place
Originally designed as a planned, gated community in 1910, this Chattanooga neighborhood retains its old-fashioned feel. Unlike some other areas, which feature a mix of old and new homes, Ferger Place is entirely made up of well-maintained historic buildings. Broad sidewalks and tree-lined streets make it easy to take a stroll after dinner, or you can sit on the front porch of your vacation rental and watch the world go by.
6. Tiftonia/Lookout Valley
Separated from downtown Chattanooga by the Tennessee River, this neighborhood features a diverse mix of vacation rentals ranging from small, quaint-looking cottages to sprawling brick homes. Most have large, spacious yards and plenty of old-growth trees to create a sense of privacy, but you’re still just a few minutes away from plenty of shopping and dining, as well as Interstate 24. It’s also close to Moccasin Bend Archaeological District, which offers hiking and education for the whole family.
7. Lupton City
Despite its name, Lupton City is a small, charming neighborhood within the Chattanooga city limits. It started out as a mill town, and that working-class character is still reflected in the quaint cottages. However, it has become a popular choice for middle-class residents and offers a golf course, several parks, and a family-friendly atmosphere.
8. Saint Elmo
Although it was formally founded in 1885, this historic neighborhood dates back to pre-Columbian times, when it was located at the crossing of two major Native American routes. This character is reflected in everything from the homes to the businesses located in the neighborhood, many of which cultivate an old-fashioned feel. Saint Elmo is just a short ride away from downtown Chattanooga along a popular designated bike route.
9. Fort Wood
If you want a historic vacation rental but prefer plenty of room to spread out, check out Fort Wood. Once one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Chattanooga, this area primarily features large two-story homes and broad, quiet streets. It’s close to downtown for convenience but is also near the Chattanooga Zoo and other family-friendly attractions. Fort Wood has a close-knit community, including a longstanding tradition of having a monthly neighborhood cocktail party.
10. Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
This charming, visitor-friendly town lies right on the border of Tennessee and Georgia, so you may also find Lookout Mountain vacation rentals with a Georgia address. Several notable attractions are located in and around Lookout Mountain, including Incline Railway, a mile-long ride believed to be the steepest passenger railroad in the United States, and Rock City, a spectacular natural park that also offers entertainment and special events. The town itself has an amiable, old-fashioned feel.
11. Chickamauga, Georgia
Chickamauga may be the quintessential town. With about 3,000 residents, it has a small-town atmosphere and spread-out, rural feel despite its proximity to Chattanooga. Most homes are older cottages and bungalows, and the main business district is dotted with an eclectic mix of antique boutiques, farm suppliers, and locally owned cafes. The Walker County Regional Heritage and Model Train Museum offers an unusual mix of historical items from the area, and Crawfish Spring is a popular picnic and fishing destination.
12. Signal Mountain, Tennessee
With easy access to portions of the Cumberland Trail as well as other popular hiking and biking routes, Signal Mountain is a great place to look for vacation rentals if don’t want to go very far to explore the natural beauty of the area. This community has a casual atmosphere and several places to dine and shop, as well as live music and theater.