• Outside Magazine, October 2011: Named Chattanooga "Best Town Ever" based on reader votes.
• New York Times, January 2012: Named Chattanooga one of 45 cities worldwide (and one of only four U.S. cities) to visit in 2012.
• Travel + Leisure magazine, October 2011: Named Chattanooga as one of the five "Next Great Escapes" and calls the city a "cultural find."
• Livability.com, September, 2011: Designated Chattanooga as having one of the Top 10 most-livable downtowns.
• Where to Retire magazine, February, 2012: Featured Chattanooga as one of the "8 Terrific Towns for History Lovers."
• National Geographic Adventure magazine: Chattanooga as one of the "Best Adventure Towns in the U.S. to Live + Play."
• Bicycling magazine: Named Chattanooga as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States, ranked 22 out of 50, for supporting a vibrant and diverse bike culture and having savvy bike shops.
• American Style Magazine: Readers ranked Chattanooga as the No. 2 midsize-city arts destination.
• RelocateAmerica.com: Ranked Chattanooga third among the Top 100 places to live in America, for the "rich culture, beautiful landscapes and business opportunities."
Through most of its history, Chattanooga was best known around the globe for its pivotal role in America's Civil War or its musical tribute from Glenn Miller's "Chattanooga Choo Choo" in the 1940s.
But in recent years, Choo Choo city has gotten on a new publicity track. Chattanooga's turnaround from a dirty industrial town to a cleaner, self-described "Scenic City" has gained environmental accolades from around the world. With its gigabit-per-second, citywide Internet links from EPB, Chattanooga also has been dubbed "Gig City" for the fastest web connections in the Western Hemisphere. Chattanooga also has been highlighted as among the best outdoor cities, an emerging new hip city and a tech center for computer geeks. Chattanooga's downtown has been visited by thousands of urban planners eager to duplicate the revitalization over the past two decades from the addition of the world's biggest freshwater aquarium, a $120 million 21st century waterfront upgrade, and new stadiums, theaters and restaurants.
"We've really had a constant drum beat of those kinds of positive stories and segments on television programs, and as a result of that, it builds up a positive brand recognition for Chattanooga," said J. Ed Marston, the director of marketing who works to promote the favorable PR for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.