January 08 2016

You Should Move to Chattanooga.


Maybe you want to work in tech. Maybe you want to be an entrepreneur. So your first thought is move to a big city- maybe Silicon Valley or New York City. Yeah?

Well, before you do that, we have a better idea. Move to Chattanooga.


Chattanooga, Tennessee. Just listen! Before you say “no”, check it. Chattanooga may not be as large as Silicon Valley or NYC, and it may not have quite the sex appeal. Although, I don’t know. Look at these sandals:

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 10.46.29 AM

Everyone has Chacos in Chattanooga. It’s an unfortunate truth. photo credit: http://theodysseyonline.com/uva/the-chacos-debate/41570

But it has arguably more important things going for it.

1) It’s effing gorgeous.

Look at this bridge. Look at it!


Photo credit: Adobe Stock

Look at this waterfall!


Photo credit: Adobe Stock

 Look at this cannon thing!


Photo credit: Adobe Stock

It wasn’t too long ago that Chattanooga was- for lack of a better word- disgusting. In 1969, Walter Cronkite dubbed it the “dirtiest city in America.” It smelled terrible and the air pollution was heinous.

Now? We are glorious. Outdoor Magazine has named Chattanooga the “Best Town Ever” twice in the past four years. Instead of choking on air pollution and grime, everyone is outside paddle boarding and hiking and sitting in hammocks and giving high fives.

Chattanooga offers a beautiful landscape for wonderful hiking, climbing, camping, rowing, other river stuff, sitting and staring at things, etc. Being able to escape your busy life with a day in the great outdoors is an excellent reason to move to the Scenic City.

2) Cost of Living:

To rent a space in NYC or Silicon Valley, you already need to be a millionaire or have the ability to survive without spending money on anything else ever. You will accrue massive debt just feeding yourself. And if you have kids, hopefully they are small and can stand being slightly malnourished because you can’t afford for them to be healthy and happy. Basically, you’ll be broke is what I’m saying.

If you aren’t in the mood to be broke, then Chattanooga is a great option.

3) Internet:

Chattanooga was the first city in the world (quite possibly the universe) to offer city-wide 10 gig internet. That’s right. Chattanooga’s decision to offer this to its community was a tremendous step towards promoting innovation, particularly in tech.

Speaking of tech…

4) Opportunities!

Not to be completely narcissistic, but we are here. Lamp Post Group is committed to making Chattanooga the best place ever. That’s right. The best PLACE ever. We invest in startups and Chattanooga real estate in order to promote innovation and opportunity in downtown Chattanooga. But, we aren’t the only ones here working towards that cause.

  • Causeway, is a local nonprofit working to solve Chattanooga’s biggest problems, and it just got national attention for its One Table event.
  • TechTown recently made its home here in Chattanooga. You have kids? Do you love them? Cool. Then you may want to get them involved in the incredible TechTown events.
  •  You and your kids should also partake in some A.I.R. Labs classes. They are teaching kids and adults the skills they need to thrive in this age of technology.
  • And for startups and entrepreneurs, CO.Lab is a nonprofit startup accelerator that can help move you forward hash out business plans.
  • Oh and interested in co-working spaces? Check out Society of Work!

On top of these great organizations, we are the first mid-sized city to create a district dedicated to the promotion and advancement of innovative workplaces. Our Innovation District continues to grow and offer more housing, workplaces, restaurants, coffee shops and hangouts for the community to collaborate and come up with the next great idea.

5) Food:

Are you a juice person? We has juice.

Are you a coffee snob? We has coffee.

Are you a taco aficionado? We has those.

Are you a burger lover? We has those, too!

We also have amazing breakfast food. Southern breakfasts are so much better than non-Southern breakfasts. Eat a biscuit. Eat one biscuit. It will change your life.

6) We aren’t a big city.

So we aren’t the “Big City”. We don’t have a fashion week. We don’t have a bunch of famous people walking around. There are lots of perks associated with not being a big city, though.

  1. Traffic- Yeah, we get a bit of rush hour traffic. Like a 10 minute delay around downtown… Yeah. If you’ve been to Austin or LA or Atlanta, our traffic is, more or less, adorable.
  2. Manners- Not to say that there are no douchebags in Chattanooga, but there are significantly fewer douchebags. The douchebag to non-douchebag ratio is far more reasonable. (How many times am I allowed to say “douchebag” in one blog post? None? Oops. My b.) Unlike those big cities, there aren’t 30 million of us crowded and fighting for resources and attention. There are enough of both to go around.

7) We are a “Big Enough City”.

We aren’t a small town, but we are close to small towns if you’re into that kind of thing. We aren’t a big city, but we are only about 2 hours from Atlanta and Nashville. If you want to make a day out of shopping or going to see a major music event, you can have a day trip to either of those cities (Or hey! Check out Chattanooga’s Track 29. Yeah! We have cool music stuff too!), and then come back to your friendly and fun mid-sized Chattanooga.

So come on over, y’all! Let’s be neighbors!

This post was written by Katlyn Whittenburg, the Social Media Manager at Lamp Post Group. Stay up to date on what we are doing! Follow us on:

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  • Rachael Bouissey

    Sold! There’s a mass exodus of Californians going to wherever sounds cool because our quality of life is tanking and we’re no longer welcome in Portland. Apologies in advance, we are coming. Currently I’m in Alabama figuring out where to go next. After spending some time researching Chattanooga it sounds fantastic. I’ll be taking a road trip soon and Chattanooga will be my first stop! Ready or not! 😀

    • DeenaE

      Did you make it? Former Californian here moved to Tulsa for 2 years now in Atlanta not sure we want to call Atlants home. Visited Chattanoogaa and are considering it a possibility, love to hear if you made it and your impressions of Chattanoogaa.

      • Rachael Bouissey

        I actually did make it. I spent three days there and explored the city and surrounding area as much as I could. I’m poor so I stayed at a lovely hostel called En Root House; I highly recommend it. I thought it was a really beautiful city. I found out that it used to be insanely polluted but you wouldn’t know it now. I went on the river walk and randomly found myself talking to a nice older guy who told me how his father would come home with his white shirt gray from the soot in the air on the walk home. From the people I stayed with, the shops I went to, and the places I ate, I got the impression that Chattanooga is a fairly open minded place. I really felt like people were relaxed and friendly.

        It seems small though. It has a small town vibe, imo. I really crave a big city so I don’t think Chattanooga will be the one for me.

        • DeenaE

          I know it’s difficult to find a good thriving community when the city gets to big. I did finally visit Chattanooga and it’s beautiful! We live in Atlanta and even though it’s a gorgeous city it’s to big for me. Between the traffic and everyone being a transplant myself included it lacks any feel of a community. It does not feel like the south but more or less that of LA. And I never liked LA. Chattanooga is a bit small and that worries me, but if it was about double the size I think it would be the perfect city. I was looking at Birmingham, Charlotte and Charleston SC. Have you made it to any of those cities and pros/cons. Hope you find your new city soon 🙂

  • Daniel Jones

    I plan to move after I graduate. Not sure how long afterwards but what I want is to pursue my career in the medical field there in Chattanooga. If any locals have suggestions I am open.