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One Night: Downtown Knoxville or Downtown Chattanooga?

Dundee, Michigan
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760 posts
10 reviews
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One Night: Downtown Knoxville or Downtown Chattanooga?

We will be passing through TN on our way back from a trip to FL and need a place to stay for one night to break up the trip. TN is roughly the halfway point, and we will be taking I-75. If we want to walk around and explore and find shopping, attractions, etc., which would be a better choice, downtown Knoxville, or downtown Chattanooga? I have heard good things about Chattanooga's downtown, but we have never really been in downtown Knoxville either. We would prefer one of these as opposed to just stopping at some exit along I-75 and getting a room, since interstate exits all seem like "Anywhere, U.S.A." and we would like to soak up some local culture and also choose a three star or better hotel which are not normally available along the highway. We will be there the last day of February, so if Chattanooga is ever so slightly warmer or less snowy, that would help too.


East Tennessee
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632 posts
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1. Re: One Night: Downtown Knoxville or Downtown Chattanooga?

If the issue is which downtown, then there really is no choice as Chattanooga has a superior downtown to most places including Knoxville. Select a hotel close to the river and you can walk pretty much anywhere that you would want to visit or dine.

Welcome to Tennessee!

Destination Expert
for Chattanooga, Blowing Rock, North Carolina Mountains
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7,677 posts
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2. Re: One Night: Downtown Knoxville or Downtown Chattanooga?

I agree with the previous post. Chattanooga's downtown area has developed into a most entertaining place to be. Both the north and south of the Tennessee Riverfront offers many options for dining and sightseeing. There is a comp shuttle that can take you across the bridge from one side to the other, if you choose not to walk.

Well located hotels are the Hilton Garden, Doubletree, Marriott Courtyard and Residence Inn, Hampton Inn and Suites. There is the Bluff View Arts District a few blocks away, overlooking the river.

www.chattanoogafun.com Is a good website for you to check out.

Chattanooga, TN
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343 posts
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3. Re: One Night: Downtown Knoxville or Downtown Chattanooga?

I've lived in both. Come to Chattanooga.

Get a room at the historic Read House which is in the central city, just off HWY 27. Once here, you can either use the CARTA free electric shuttle bus or simply walk the downtown area. Start at Sugar's Ribs for a cocktail and appitizer at the Tequila Bar then shuttle down toward the river to Easy Bistro for some local farmed/raised/caught dinner.

If you have time the next day, visit Warehouse Row for some window shopping.

Destination Expert
for Chattanooga
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589 posts
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4. Re: One Night: Downtown Knoxville or Downtown Chattanooga?

If you are not convinced yet, the above posters are spot on - knoxville downtown is great for those that live there but the hotels are not as good and the good restaurants are spread out. Market Square is ok, old city alright but will likely be overrun with 20,000 students if on a weekend. Chattanooga however is easy to get around the downtown area, much better hotels and some great restsurants. Definitely take the shuttle around. We are generally a little warmer than Knoxville but February can be quite chilly so dress warm and come enjoy

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5. Re: One Night: Downtown Knoxville or Downtown Chattanooga?

Hi! I've visited the downtown area for both cities and hands down my vote is for Downtown Chattanooga! You will definitely get a taste of local culture if you visit Downtown Chattanooga or pop over to the North Shore for awesome local shops and restaurants who use local farmers and produce! If you are looking for a hotel I personally recommend Holiday Inn Express Chattanooga Lookout Mountain. You'll get awesome views of Lookout Mountain, great price, and you'll still be close to the attractions without paying the high costs of Downtown hotels. Other great hotels in the area are Best Western Plus Arbour Inn & Suites East Ridge and Holiday Inn Express Chattanooga East Ridge. All of these are 3 star hotels. A few restaurants to try include Terra Nostra Tapas, Vaudeville Cafe if you are looking for dinner and a show, Chato Brassiere, or Back Inn Cafe. Also Aretha Frankestein's serves a killer breakfast!

6. Re: One Night: Downtown Knoxville or Downtown Chattanooga?

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