With a name that’s fun to say, Chattanooga in Tennessee is a laid back, low-key place that isn’t for travelers who like to spend their time running around. This city takes the relaxed Southern lifestyle seriously, so it’s a great place to visit if you want to experience that type of culture. It also has amazing natural surroundings, as it’s set in the southeast of the state in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Chattanooga for your first time or on a return trip, you’ll find that accommodation there offers excellent value. In fact, you’ll probably get to stay in a nicer hotel than you would in just about any other city in the US. This is one of the charms of visiting this city!
So, if you’re ready to explore Chattanooga, then here’s where you should be looking for places to stay and explore.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Chattanooga?
- Where to stay in Chattanooga first time – Downtown
- Where to stay in Chattanooga on a budget – Riverfront
- Best neighborhood in Chattanooga for families – West Village
- Best area to stay in Chattanooga for nightlife – Southside Historic District
- The Coolest place to stay in Chattanooga – St Elmo
Where to Stay in Chattanooga
Rustic Downtown Apartment
- Free parking on premises
- Dedicated workspace
If you want to stay close to everything but still have all the comforts of home, this is the apartment for you. It’s a one-bedroom apartment with a fully stocked kitchen and bathroom. You’ll have the entire space to yourself during your stay and there are restaurants and shops all around for easy meals, shopping, and fun!
Best Condo Downtown
- Wifi, Dryer
- Pay TV
- Dedicated workspace
This modern apartment is located in the best neighborhood in Chattanooga for families and offers enough space for up to 6 guests. It’s in a 100-year-old building and right above a coffeehouse that serves delicious food all day long. There are 2 bedrooms, one with a private bathroom and jacuzzi, as well as a roof deck where you can take in the lovely views of the city.
Embassy Suites Chattanooga
- 1 swimming pool, Bar
- Family rooms
- This property has an ATM machine on site
Located close to sites like the Concord Golf Club and Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, this hotel is a good choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Chattanooga close to everything. It has large and comfortable rooms with all the amenities as well as a fitness and business center. A complimentary breakfast is also offered to guests every morning.
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Chattanooga.
Chattanooga Neighborhood Guide
Chattanooga is a relatively small city, and it has a bus system that will allow you to explore. However, the best and most convenient way to get around is to hire a car while you’re there. That will give you the freedom you’ll need to see all the best areas and neighborhoods.
If you’re looking for the best neighborhood in Chattanooga close to everything, look no further than the Downtown area. It offers all the modern conveniences, great hotel prices, and isn’t far from the natural landmarks you’ll most want to see.
The second area to consider is the Riverfront. This is a large area and offers a wide range of hotels, shops, and places to eat. So, if you’re looking to save some money, you’ll definitely find lots of options in this part of the city.
The West Village is the best neighborhood in Chattanooga for families as it offers a variety of food places to suit the pickiest tastes as well as some of the city’s most active attractions.
And then you have the Southside Historic District, where the history of the city comes alive. If you want to learn about the Civil War and other parts of the city’s history, this is where to do it.
The final area, and the coolest if you like the outdoors, is St Elmo. At the foot of Lookout Mountain, it’s another good choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Chattanooga for your first time.
Chattanooga’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
There are lots of great neighborhoods in Chattanooga, but here are some of the best for tourists.
Where to stay in Chattanooga first time
COOLEST thing to do in Downtown – Head down to the Tennessee Riverwalk and do some people watching.
BEST place to visit in Downtown – The Walnut Street Bridge.
Chattanooga’s Downtown area is obviously the heart of the city. And it’s a fairly busy city too, one of the busiest in Tennessee. But the best thing about the Downtown area is that it won’t take you long to escape from the concrete jungle and get out into nature. There are lots of amazing natural landmarks just a short drive from Downtown, which is why this is the best neighborhood in Chattanooga for your first time.
The Downtown area offers you the best of both worlds in this city. It offers hotels at every budget point, amazing food experiences, great shops, and the security of the city close to the rugged natural landscape.
- Take the kids to the Tennessee Aquarium.
- Visit the Hunter Museum of American Art.
- Have a drink at the Whiskey Thief or the Hair of the Dog Pub.
- Go for a walk along the river and stop at any site that looks interesting.
- Check out what’s on at the Tivoli Theater.
- Head out of the city to explore the natural attractions around the city.
Best Airbnb in Downtown
This cottage is exactly what it sounds like, a delightfully rustic cottage in the middle of the city. With a cute, farmhouse feel, it’s still close to Downtown and sites like the Hamilton Place Mall. The cottage has an open floor plan and a full kitchen, a small but functional bedroom, and a bathroom that’s fully stocked with toiletries that you can use during your stay.
Best High End Airbnb in Downtown
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Chattanooga for couples, have a look at this apartment. Cozy and inviting, it’s located in a local subdivision and offers complete privacy. The apartment has all the usual amenities including a fully equipped kitchen and is right in the center of the city, close to everything you’ll want to see and do.
Have some time? Get out of the city with these epic day trips from Chattanooga!
Best Budget hotel in Downtown
If you like quirky hotels that feel like a warm hug, you’ll love this hotel. Right in the heart of the city, it looks like an ordinary hotel from the outside. But on the inside, it’s warm, welcoming, and built to encourage guests to socialize. It also offers a fitness center, evening entertainment, laundry services, and a bar and lounge.
Best Luxury Hotel in Downtown
With a pool table, library, fitness center, and parking, this hotel is suitable for all types of travelers. It has a bar and restaurant if you want a relaxed meal close to home and is also so central that you will only have to walk a few steps to find something interesting to do.
Where to stay in Chattanooga on a budget
COOLEST thing to do in Riverfront – Set up for the evening in a bar with a view of the river and relax with a drink overlooking the water.
BEST place to visit in Riverfront – Visit the Creative Discovery Museum to keep the kids (and you) occupied.
The Riverfront area is just what it sounds like. It encompasses a large swath of the city close to the river. It’s also a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Chattanooga on a budget as it has a huge variety of choices when it comes to shops, hotels, and restaurants. No matter your budget, you’ll eat and sleep well on the Riverfront.
The Riverfront is also well connected to other interesting parts of the city like the Northshore and it’s a popular choice when the city holds events. So, make sure that you check out what’s on there while you’re in the city!
- Head over the Walnut Street Bridge to the Northshore.
- Just wander around the pedestrian-friendly neighborhood and see what you can find.
- Have a snack or a meal at places like Big River Grill, the Southern Belle Riverboat, or Buffalo Wild Wings.
- Lift your glass at the Style Bar.
- Take a leisurely walk along Ross’s Landing.
- Take in a game at the Chattanooga Lookouts stadium.
Best Airbnb in Riverfront
This apartment is a new, mid-century condo within walking distance of where all the best events are held in Chattanooga. Marathons and Ironmen events are close to this apartment and so are restaurants, bars, and shops. The apartment has big windows with great views and a full bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom.
Enjoy your stay in Chattanooga! Check out our guide for what to do in Chattanooga while you’re there!
Best High End Airbnb in Riverfront
With two bedrooms, a chef-inspired kitchen, access to parking, and laundry facilities this apartment is ideal for up to 4 guests. The building offers all the comforts of a hotel including a cocktail bar and lots of communal areas where you can work or get to know your fellow travelers. There’s even a ping pong table in the unit, just in case you need some entertainment late at night.
Best Budget hotel in Riverfront
With large, comfortable rooms, this hotel is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Chattanooga for families or a group of friends. It’s just moments from the Downtown area and offers a fitness and business center as well as laundry facilities, an indoor pool, and complimentary breakfast.
Best Luxury Hotel in Riverfront
Just a short distance from the Tivoli Theater and other local landmarks, this luxurious hotel offers a fitness center, cooking classes, a spa, aerobics, and massage. The staff also organize outdoor activities that you can join such as hiking tours and there are a bar and a restaurant on-site for those nights when you’re tired and don’t want to go far from home for a meal.
Best neighborhood in Chattanooga for families
COOLEST thing to do in West Village – Spend your Saturday exploring the West Village Market.
BEST place to visit in West Village – Go shopping at Antibes for just about anything you need or want.
West Village is the best neighborhood in Chattanooga for families because it’s close to everything. It’s a newly revitalized area that almost feels European and is located close to the Downtown area on Chestnut and Pine Streets. This location gives you easy access to everything as well as plenty of shops and restaurants in close proximity.
- Have a meal at Vitron et Sel, Community Pie for a retro feel, or Old Gilman Grill.
- Take the kids to a local park like Westside Park or Sheila M Jennings Park.
- Grab your friends and head down to party at Ale on 8th.
- Have a drink or two at Matilda Midnight or Easy Bistro and Bar.
- Teach the kids about African American history at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.
- See a show at the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera.
Best Budget Airbnb in West Village
Bright, light, and airy, this apartment is located in the best neighborhood in Chattanooga for families. It’s a historic apartment with lots of graceful, old touches and all the modern amenities you’ll need during your stay. Suitable for 2 guests, it’s close to everything.
Best High End Airbnb in West Village
Sleek and modern, this apartment is a home away from home. The bathroom is fully equipped and there are a chef’s kitchen and a large living area that you can use. The apartment is located in a building with lots of shared spaces that encourage others to congregate, so you can get on with making friends when you aren’t out exploring the city.
Best Budget hotel in West Village
Located in the best neighborhood to stay in Chattanooga if you are on a budget, this hotel is a reasonable price but still centrally located and comfortable. It has rooms in a variety of sizes to suit every travel group as well as a business center, bar, restaurant, and laundry facilities.
Best Luxury Hotel in West Village
Surrounded by restaurants, shops, museums, and the Tennessee Aquarium, this hotel is suitable for every type of traveler. Make sure that you visit the rooftop restaurant and bar for the best views in the city as well as delicious southern food and specialty drinks. Afterwards, retire to your spacious room and enjoy your private view of the mountains or the city.
Best area to stay in Chattanooga for nightlife
COOLEST thing to do in Southside Historic District – Explore Main Street for eclectic shops and interesting little coffeehouses.
BEST place to visit in Southside Historic District – The Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery, for tastings.
The Southside Historic District is the best neighborhood in Chattanooga for nightlife as it offers easy access to clubs and bars. But it isn’t just parties. Some of the city’s best historic attractions are in this neighborhood, including the Chattanooga Choo Choo, the former Terminal Station. This landmark now contains a hotel, a comedy club, and a skating rink. It’s a great place to hang out!
The Southside Historic District is also very walkable and contains some of the city’s best restaurants and eateries. So, you can wander around looking at the sites and stop in just about anywhere when you get hungry.
- Go ice skating in the Chattanooga Choo Choo Station.
- Head down to Station Street and enjoy the trendy nightlife scene at places like the Westbound Bar, the Flying Squirrel Bar, or the Backstage Bar.
- Have a delicious cup of coffee at Mean Mug or Niedlov’s Café & Bakery.
- Laugh until your stomach hurts at the Comedy Catch at the Chattanooga Choo Choo.
- Have a snack at Urban Stack, the Terminal Brewhouse, or Southside Social.
Best Airbnb in Southside Historic District
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Chattanooga close to everything, you can’t look past this lovely apartment. It has a full kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and trendy but comfortable furnishings. There’s street parking available in case you have your own car and space for up to 2 guests.
Best High End Airbnb in Southside Historic District
Set in a 100-year-old restored building, this apartment is simply gorgeous, with warm and rustic touches that hark back to the old south. It’s also within walking distance of local shops and restaurants as well as transport options like shuttles and bikes. The apartment has original hardwood floors, high ceilings, and exposed brick as well as a fully equipped kitchen.
Best Budget hotel in Southside Historic District
If you like to socialize when you travel, then rest your head at the Crash Pad. Made with lots of social spaces in mind, it has rooms in a variety of sizes to suit almost all travel groups. It also has a business center, private and shared rooms, parking, and a complimentary breakfast.
Best Luxury Hotel in Southside Historic District
Full of warm, welcoming features, this hotel is the epitome of southern charm and hospitality. It’s close to everything and offers a full-service spa, restaurant and bar, fitness center, games room, and evening entertainment. The rooms are large and comfortable and just what you’d expect from this caliber of hotel.
The Coolest place to stay in Chattanooga
COOLEST thing to do in St Elmo – Go for a ride on the Incline Railway up Lookout Mountain.
BEST place to visit in St Elmo – Learn about the Civil War at the Battles for Chattanooga Museum.
If you really want to be out of the city but still have easy access to all its comforts, then look for a place to stay in St Elmo. It’s a historic area located at the base of Lookout Mountain, so offers endless access to all the outdoor activities and sites you could ever want to do or see. And best of all, it’s just a few minutes from the Downtown area, so it’s a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Chattanooga close to everything.
St Elmo may be small, but it’s also pleasingly historic and eclectic, with an interesting mix of shops and restaurants. And if you’re interested in the Civil War, you’ll also find lots of monuments and artifacts from the battles at the top of the mountain!
- Have a delicious meal at 1885 Grill, Mr T’s Pizza, or The Tap House.
- Hike through Point Park, 100 acres full of Civil War artifacts.
- Take the Incline Railway to the top of Lookout Mountain and enjoy the views.
- Check out Ruby Falls, the longest underground waterfall in the world.
- Take in the views at the Rock City Gardens.
- Get some culture at the Hunter Museum of American Art.
- Try some local hiking trails like the Guild Trail, which winds around the mountain.
- Take the kids to the Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center for child-friendly activities.
Best Airbnb in St Elmo
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Chattanooga on a budget, then this suite won’t break the bank. Attached to a private home, the guest suite has a private bedroom, bathroom, shower, and small kitchenette suitable for simple meals. It’s also at the foot of Lookout Mountain and ten minutes’ drive from the center of Chattanooga.
Best High-End Airbnb in St Elmo
Stay near the mountain in your own private retreat in this house made for up to 6 guests. With 2 bedrooms, it’s close to Lookout Mountain and Ruby Falls and has a front porch swing and spacious backyard that’s perfect for the kids. It’s also a short trip from the heart of the city so you can explore everything that Chattanooga has to offer.
Best Budget hotel in St Elmo
Located close to St Elmo and Lookout Mountain, this hotel is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Chattanooga on a budget. It’s clean and welcoming and has an indoor pool, complimentary breakfast, fitness center, and laundry facilities.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in St Elmo
Close to the Incline Railway and the city’s Downtown, this hotel is a good choice if you want to be in the middle of Chattanooga’s natural area. The rooms are large and comfortable and include all the amenities plus a fridge where you can keep snacks. And the hotel itself offers a delicious complimentary breakfast and fitness center, just in case you don’t get enough exercise clambering around the mountain.
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Chattanooga
You may never have heard of Chattanooga. But once you’ve been there, you’ll never forget it. Steeped in history and surrounded by natural beauty, this city is an ideal vacation spot for anyone who wants to get away from the big cities and still have plenty to do, see, and eat.
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