Chattanooga named DK Travel’s Best Alternative Fall Getaway
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – DK Eyewitness Travel recently named Chattanooga as one of the ten best locations for an alternative fall getaway. Chattanooga is the only city in Tennessee to make the list. No town in neighboring Georgia, Alabama or the Carolinas was picked this year.
“That combination of having great attractions, great restaurants and a destination that’s easy to get around,” said Thom Benson, director of external affairs at the Tennessee Aquarium. “I think people have more time to relax and have more elbow room when they visit.”
An “alternative” getaway offers visitors another option to the more crowded and expensive locations that are more popular during the fall, like Atlanta and Denver, without losing the season’s charm.
“I think it’s a fun little town,” visitor Louis Hamric said. “Not too much traffic and it’s nice and relaxing to get around. A lot of food and restaurants to see.”
Ann and John Cousins have been coming to Chattanooga from Great Britain for 20 years, and they keep coming back.
“There’s so many new buildings, so many old places that have been restored. So many attractions, and very friendly people,” Ann Cousins said.
According to the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chattanooga hosts about 3.5 million visitors who spend over a billion dollars each year, and the fall colors are one of the main attractions.
“Take a drive really anywhere in this area and you’re going to see some of the most scenic vistas anywhere in this country,” Bob Doak, president and CEO of the bureau said. “I do believe that the outdoor beauty combined with everything we have to do makes for a great destination that people just flock to.”
The DK editors list Chattanooga’s outdoor activities and entertainment options as the main points of interest for visitors looking for an alternative to the hustle and bustle of Atlanta this fall. The city also sits at a crossroads of interstates, making the area easily accessible for southern travelers.
“We have the interstates kind of all converging right here in one location,” Benson said. “We don’t tend to have lines of cars that you do at the Smokies sometimes when you go in the park, especially fall color, it really feels congested.”
And visitors agree.
“I would say that’s an accurate description,” Hamric said.
“You deserve [to be on the list]. What else can one say?” Cousins said.
The aquarium also sees a spike in visitors during the fall, and Benson says the popular autumn events like the river regata attact visitors to the city as well.
What’s your favorite part about Chattanooga in the fall? Leave your thoughts in the comments.