Best Places to Live

Chattanooga, TN

Population: 174,483
Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau

Located along the southern Tennessee border, Chattanooga is nestled among the curves of the gorgeous Tennessee River. From mountain biking to whitewater rafting, there are dozens of ways to play outdoors in the outdoorsy, active city. But if you’re looking for a more low-key lifestyle in retirement, Chattanooga offers that, too.

The 13-mile Riverwalk, for instance, is a relaxing way to enjoy an afternoon on foot or on a bike. There’s also the serene Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center, where you can stroll along 14 miles of trails (while enjoying views of more than 140 species of trees) or rent a canoe for an afternoon paddle on Lookout Creek.

There are many lush golf courses to choose from in Chattanooga as well, including two municipal courses, Brainerd Golf Course and Brown Acres Golf Course. The city also has an impressive tennis complex with 26 hard courts and a 6,000-square-feet clubhouse, if you prefer to stay nimble and fit with a more fast-paced sport.

Plus, property taxes are relatively low in Chattanooga, where you can also find reasonably affordable housing — the median home value in Chattanooga is around $150,000, with homeowners paying an average of $1,200 per month in mortgage costs. And you won’t run out of cultural enrichment here, either, with places like the Hunter Museum of American Art and the beautiful River Gallery Sculpture Garden to visit regularly.

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