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Introducing Chattanooga

Named ‘the dirtiest city in America’ in the 1960s, Chattanooga was shamed into cleaning up rampant industrial pollution and focusing on downtown revitalization. Today, the riverside city has a leafy, pedestrian-friendly downtown, miles of waterfront walking trails and free electric buses.

Originally the terminus of the Western and Atlantic Railroad, the city was once a major transport hub throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, hence the ‘Chattanooga Choo-Choo, ’ which was originally a reference to the Cincinnati Southern Railroad’s passenger service from Cincinnati to Chattanooga and later the title of a 1941 Glen Miller song.

Most of Chattanooga’s main sites are within a few blocks of the visitor center (423-756-8687, 800-322-3344; www.chattanoogafun.com; 2 Broad St; 8:30am-5:30pm) at the corner of 2nd and Broad Sts. The Bluff View Art District at High and E 2nd Sts has upscale shops and restaurants overlooking the river.