About the Chattanooga Region

As the fourth largest city in Tennessee, with a population of over 155,000, Chattanooga is located only two hours away from other large cities in the area such as Atlanta and Nashville. Chattanooga lies at the boundary between the Cumberland Plateau, rich in cliffs and waterfalls, and the ruggedly exquisite Appalachian Mountains. Properly nicknamed the "Scenic City," Chattanooga combines optimum tourist attractions, sporting events, unique culture, and bountiful historic prospects with top-notch education, healthcare and natural features in a glorious amalgamation making this charming city a gem of the South.

An Overview of the Chattanooga Region

The geography of the Chattanooga region is the most obvious feature composing the land in and around the city. Three of the most significant natural elements of the region include the Tennessee River, the man-made Chickamauga Lake, created by the Tennessee Valley Authority dam and the Great Smoky Mountains. Tourist attractions and sporting events within this beautifully scenic area are plentiful and prove downright delightful for tourists and residents alike.

Such entertainment attractions, historic and cultural venues include the Hunter Museum of Art, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Trail-of-Tears route, Tennessee Aquarium, IMAX 3D theatre, Ruby Falls and the incline railway. Sporting events of the region embrace the national softball championships, NCAA Division I-AA national football championship matches, Chattanooga Lookout's (an AA Southern League baseball team) games, and major league sporting events featuring professional state teams like the Tennessee Titans.

The areas of education and healthcare are of immense value within the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County. The Hamilton School District, which is funded by the government, is an educational system that places a high value on quality as well as quantity. Available are options for maximizing learning benefits throughout the region. The district features a large number of elementary, middle and high schools, in addition to offering a number of prestigious college and university campuses. Notable schools within the area include Notre Dame High School, Chattanooga School for Arts and Sciences, and Tennessee Temple University. Healthcare in Chattanooga is also a major source of focus for the entire state of Tennessee. The city of Chattanooga works in association with a large and highly sophisticated state healthcare organizational scheme. This scheme is composed of three main hospital systems that include the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority (which operates Erlanger Hospital, the state's principal trauma center), Tri Star Healthcare, and Catholic Health Initiatives.

The economy of the Chattanooga region is comprised of an amalgamation of service and production industries ranging in size and market weight. The Chatanooga are is home to various retail, manufacturing and healthcare companies including Olan Mills, U.S. Express Inc., Miller Industries, AT&T, Cigna and Blue Cross. Chattanooga also embraces a constructive affordable housing strategy; innovative public-private ventures, and has successfully applied a resident recommendation process for use in determining extensive regional goals.

An Overview of the Lookout Mountain Region, Georgia

Emerging high above the city of Chattanooga, is the plateau summit of Lookout Mountain. At 2,392ft, Lookout Mountain is a predominant point along the border of Tennessee and Georgia and Alabama. Located only 50 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee; Lookout Mountain encompasses a population of only about 2,000, but where it lacks in size, it makes up for with its distinctive southern flair and colorful history including the region area of three different states.

Counties of the area include Catoosa, Walker and Whitfield Counties in Georgia. Cities in Georgia include Chickamauga, Dalton, Ft. Oglethorpe, La Fayette, and Lookout Mountain, Georgia. In nearby Alabama is the small city of Bridgeport.

Lookout Mountain area offers a variety of options for seniors, especially with the recent development of upscale second home communities, catering to residents of nearby Atlanta, Georgia, Nashville, and Knoxville Tennessee, along with Birmingham and Huntsville Alabama. Developers have seen the value of the delightful Lookout Mountain properties and are building accordingly to the needs of homebuyers. Lookout Mountain is a peaceful getaway from the rigors of city life.

Climate of the Region

Chattanooga, Tennessee's climate is varied and is responsive to distinct weather seasons and patterns. Very hot and muggy summers are common in the city; July and August are the warmest, while wet and frigid conditions prevail throughout the winter. When speaking of intense weather and low-temperature conditions in the Chattanooga region, the month of January often finds it way into discussion, rating as the overall coldest month of the year. Thunderstorms and severe weather conditions commonly abound in the summer season as well, contributing to the 54 inches of precipitation Chattanooga incurs annually. Although the scenic state frequently sees heavy precipitation in the form of spring and summer rain, snow rarely falls in the city. Generally, about once a year, a considerable amount of snow drops where the elevations are higher in the Northwest portion of the expanse of land that surrounds the city.

History of the Region

Founded in 1816 by Joss Ross as a trading post for the Cherokee Indian tribe, the site was named Ross's Landing and later changed to Chattanooga after the forced relocation of the Cherokees in 1838. Chattanooga has major historic significance in relation to the struggles of Native American Indians faced by oppressive government control.

Almost thirty years later during the American Revolution, on November 23 of 1863, Ulysses S. Grant led Union soldiers into the Battle of Chattanooga III. Grant counterattacked Confederate forces and backed troops stationed at the site. Just one day after the Battle of Chattanooga the Battle of Lookout Mountain occurred near the city of Chattanooga.

After the Civil War and during the industrial Revolution, the region was established as a manufacturing center and railroad hub heavily contributing to the efficiency of early modernization. In the late 1800's several railroads and inclines were built, including Incline #1 and the Broad Gauge Railroad. Later replaced by Incline # 2, still in use, the Broad Gauge Railroad and Incline # 1 can be seen in the Chattanooga National Park along with other famous historic attractions such as The Point Hotel (the first hotel built on Lookout Mountain).

In the early 1900's, attractions such as the Natural Bridge (a geologically created stone arc), Rock City, Ruby Falls, Mystery Falls (an underground waterfall that plummets an incredible 300 feet), and the Lookout Inn were also some major sites of the region, many documenting particular Chattanooga memoirs in their subsistence and adding to the exceptionally singular traditions of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Attractions of the Area

There are an abundant number of distinctive attractions throughout the Chattanooga region, varying from the historic to the geological, intellectually stimulating to the purely entertaining. Some such attractions include:

Historical and cultural - The Railroad museum, tow truck museum and the preservation of the original inclines (railways) are several fascinating locales to put on your sightseeing "to do" list when you are in town. In short, these museums display notable U.S. relics of historical value because of their roles in the formation of such developments as the country's extensive railroad system, the advent of the tow truck and the progression of southern Tennessee's expansion as an emerging commercial city of America. Many Civil War battlefields are located in the area, along with the Hunter Museum of Art, which features the largest display of American artwork in the country. Another significant museum in Chattanooga is the African-American Museum, which is the summation and preservation of immensely valuable memorabilia pertaining to African ancestral roots and heritage, cultural aspects of being an African-American in modern times, the life, and role of slaves in Chattanooga before the Emancipation and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

Entertainment and Dining - More entertainment-focused options for enjoyment are the Tennessee Aquarium, sporting venues and an array of regionally singular dining choices. The Tennessee Aquarium is a well-known attraction in the city of Chattanooga, serving as the nation's largest freshwater aquarium. Promising countless educational benefits, enjoyable amusement and good, clean fun for families who visit, The Tennessee State Aquarium is a must-see attraction, especially for those who have never visited a large aquatic exhibit. Annual sporting events include the annual softball championships and Chattanooga Lookout's games. Fine dining options and restaurants in the region boast of an individual flavor and atmosphere that makes the most of their southern location and influence. Savory regional restaurants include, but are not limited to Aretha Frankenstein's (breakfast), Back In Café (lunch), Dinner on the Diner (dinner) and Rembrandt's Coffee House (snack).

Outdoor - Outdoor activities in the region include the Appalachian Trail, the Tennessee River Walk, Chickamauga Lake, Lookout Mountain, Christus Gardens and Ruby falls. The Tennessee River walk and the Greenway Belt walkway have been established within the last few years into a significantly extended pleasant trail system that offers more than five miles of scenic outdoor splendor. This trail system leads explorers along the tranquil Tennessee River, into the subdued, yet elegant art district and through several parks. The Tennessee River greenway system has become very popular among residents of the Volunteer State. The Appalachian Trail and Chickamauga Lake are also well-liked spots featuring some of the most diverse and assorted flora and fauna in the country because of their close proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains.

Below is a list of city and county breakdowns throughout the region of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Lookout Mountain, Georgia:


  • Bradley County, TN - Holding Cleveland as its county seat, Bradley County has a population of 92,264 and is home to Red Clay State Park. Known as the location of the last Cherokee Council meeting before the start of The Trail of Tears, Red Clay State park is a historically significant and distinctively beautiful location. Bradley County is also a socially developed area of Tennessee, incorporating a university, two hospitals, two community centers, a winery, and a country club.
  • Catoosa County, GA - With a population of 53,282 and Ringgold as its county seat, Catoosa County, Georgia has become synonymous with the national attention it received for displaying a large presentation of the Ten Commandments and the Lord's Prayer. Although the city has since taken the display down, many citizens around the country took notice of the bold move made by Catoosa County legislation.
  • Hamilton County, TN - Hamilton County has a large population of 309,510 and was named in tribute to Alexander Hamilton, George Washington's secretary of treasury. Hamilton County boasts of 17 golf courses, 49 parks, 55 swimming pools, and 200 public tennis courts. Fourteen Cultural facilities including the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Chattanooga Ballet, and the Bessie Smith Performance Hall also make Hamilton County their home.
  • Marion County, TN - Formed in 1817 and home to 27,000 residents, Marion County is an amazingly beautiful and well-run region of Tennessee that retains an uplifted heritage and old-fashioned spirit. Marion County features several historically appealing attractions, including many of the first coalmines in the state of Tennessee, Graceland, and the Belle Meade Plantation.
  • Walker County, GA - Walker County, Georgia encompasses a large populace of roughly 63,379 residents with 13.8% of these citizens over the age of 65. Near Walker County, numerous significant and entertaining sites are located, several of which include the Chickamauga and Chattanooga Military Park, the Rock City Gardens and the Gordon-Lee Mansion.

Cities include:

  • Cleveland, TN - Cleveland is the county seat of Bradley County and has a population of over 37,000. The location of numerous industries including foodstuffs, textiles and furniture. Cleveland has a large population of Christian church denominations in the area as well. It is still undecided how the city received its name, although many believe the city is named after Cleveland, England or Ohio, Benjamin Cleveland (Civil War soldier) or John Cleveland (early provincial colonist).
  • College Dale, TN - Home of the McKee Bakery, which makes the famous snack pastries "Little Debbie's," College Dale is charmingly attractive and opportunely positioned suburb of Chattanooga.
  • East Ridge, TN - With a population of over 20,000, East Ridge is a suburb that has currently reached its residential jurisdiction ceiling. Within the array of suburbs in Chattanooga's proximity, East Ridge has become a popular neighborhood community for singles and families in southern Tennessee.
  • Hixson, TN - An important community of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Hixson is surrounded by mountains, which border the majestic Tennessee River. Relaxed, yet pregnant with opportunity, the town of Hixson is a central neighborhood in the region of Chattanooga.
  • Lookout Mountain, GA - With a miniscule population of only 2,000, Lookout Mountain offers tours of the unique natural wonder, Ruby Falls, to all who care to venture underground to view the rare 145-foot spectacle. Famous for the first hotels in the region, which were originally built on Lookout Mountain itself, the town with the same name is a truly beautiful and fun locality in the Chattanooga region.
  • Ringgold, GA - Located in Catoosa County, Georgia, the city of Ringgold has a small population of only 2,500 and is home to the site of an important event in American Civil War history. The town of Ringgold is where the Great Locomotive Chase ended on April 12, 1862. In an attempt to disrupt the W&A rail lines and isolate Chattanooga from Atlanta, Federal Soldiers hijacked the General locomotive, while the passenger train was stopped for a lunch break, which signaled the opening of a historic railroad pursuit.
  • Soddy-Daisy, TN - Quickly developing into a bedroom community of Chattanooga, Soddy-Daisy has a population of about 11,550. As an area that provides quiet, non-industrial neighborhood housing, many in the Chattanooga region enjoy the locale of Soddy-Daisy for its calm, comfortable atmosphere that allows them to separate work and private life by commuting into the city for work.

Transportation of the Area

Frequently called the "gateway" to the Deep South, Chattanooga's elaborate transit network consists of various roads, airports, railways, and waterways. Primary highways in the region include I-24, I-75, US-27 and Tennessee State Route 153. The transportation system in Chattanooga also effectively carries travelers around the state through use of four main tunnels and seven bridges. Some historic bridges in the area include The John Ross Bridge, which was built in 1917 and cost over one million dollars to create, and the 115-year-old Walnut Street Bridge, informally designated as the "The Walking Bridge," serving as the oldest pedestrian walking bridge in the county.

Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority, or CARTA, is the municipally operated bus company, which serves as the main provider of public transportation in the city of Chattanooga. Employing 17 functional routes throughout the metropolitan area and offering a free electric downtown shuttle service for quick, convenient city maneuvering, CARTA is an extremely useful service in the Volunteer State.

Although Chattanooga has seen an important movement toward technological innovation and modern progression, the city still maintains close ties with two of the largest railway companies, Norfolk Southern (NS) and CSX, in the U.S. The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport is the principal airport of the region, which is served by various national airlines and provides service to many destinations within the continental U.S. and abroad.

Running North to South through Lookout Mountain and Walker County is U.S. Highway 27. State thoroughfares 136, 193, 151, 157 and 341 also operate in the region as well. The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport and the Lafayette Barwick Airport also serve residents with their travel needs with their quality service.

History of the Region

The area of Lookout Mountain was densely populated with a number of various Indian tribes, before the settling of the settlers in the late 1700's. These tribes including the Creeks, Cherokees and Chickamauga, lived in various groups around the top and base of the plateau. The name Chattanooga is a Creek Indian word for the mountain in the community of Lookout Mountain.

One of the last battles of the revolutionary war was fought in this area as well, occurring between English colonists and Cherokee Indians in 1782. The area of the region near the base of the mountain was one of the earliest areas settled in North Georgia as well as Tennessee. Early settlers were drawn from the Fort Loudon area towards the fertile lands of the valley. Living in near harmony for over 80 years were the pioneers and the Cherokees, up until tensions built and battles became deadly.

Near the northern edge of the region, now the city of Chattanooga, was the first of the two communities in the Lookout Mountain landscape, originally settled by the Cherokee Indian Chief John Ross, being subsequently dubbed "Ross's Landing" in his honor. After the forced relocation of the Indians in 1838 and the "Trail of Tears" passage in 1830, the area was renamed Chattanooga. After these events took place, iron was discovered in the mountain, beginning a revolutionary movement in the selection of America's technology and specialization advancement, in turn making many an entrepreneur wealthy. In 1832, the Georgia Land Lottery was held, transferring ownership rights to a number of settlers who had won Lookout Mountain property. Then, in 1840, the state of Tennessee sold the summit of the mountain to Colonel James Whiteside, who later constructed the Whiteside Pike, a road that lead to the top of the previously inaccessible mountain point. This road gave residents of the area admittance to the "full-of-potential" Lookout Mountain plateau.

Towards the end of the civil war, a battle ensued between General William S. Rosecrans of the Union army and General Braxton Bragg of the Confederacy. As Rosecrans lead the Cumberland Army through the Sands and Lookout Mountain passes, they stumbled upon Bragg's and his troops, who took advantage of Rosecrans's unfortunate mistake with an explosive offensive attack, eventually leading to the most devastating Union defeat in Civil War history.

In more recent times after the conclusion of the Civil War, the area of Lookout Mountain attracted many tourists, eventually turning the area into a tourism-sales and revenue-driven location of the Peach State. Commencing with the creation of a second Lookout Mountain road and incline railway, the first extravagant hotel built was the Point Hotel, as well as many others to come. The tourism of Lookout Mountain, which now defines the area, further expanded as the growth in automobile popularity increased.

Senior Services in Chattanooga & Lookout Mountain Region

Seniors Citizens programs in the area of Chattanooga are plentiful, with such programs as the Social Services Block Grant Program (SSBG), in connection with nine non-profit agencies, offering home healthcare services and adult day care services to those who qualify. The Alexan Brothers PACE Service is a mutually funded not-for-profit government aid program that provides an entire array of healthcare assistance, well-being education and preventative care benefits that are tailored specifically to seniors around the state at low cost. PACE offers such supports as nursing, personal care, physician services, transportation assistance, speech therapy, and many other vital utilities. Some PACE benefits are available in the privacy of the patient's home and several are offered 24-hours a day. The East Lake Senior Citizens Center is also another one of the centers in Hamilton County where seniors can find activities specifically suited for their individual lifestyles.

Other services in the area include a wide choice of senior oriented resources for all ages of senior living from active independent living to assist living and skilled nursing. The area also offers a wide array health at home services, senior centers, health and fitness clubs with programs for older adults, professional legal services, and many other local community resources. Use our Search Senior Services link to learn more about the variety of senior housing and senior support services located in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the surrounding vicinity.