It is highly gratifying that Chattanooga won a recent online vote in Outside magazine's "Best Town Ever" contest.
Chattanooga got more votes than picturesque cities such as Charleston, S.C.; Boulder, Colo.; Burlington, Vt.; Portland, Ore.; and Santa Fe, N.M. Chattanooga handily defeated second-place Tucson, Ariz.
Pleased as we are by Chattanooga's victory in the online vote, we cannot say we're really surprised. While Chattanooga's delightful atmosphere may be news to some people from distant parts of the United States, area residents and countless visitors have known about it for decades.
The magazine said the cities in its Best Town Ever contest are "dream cities that offer a balance of real culture, perfect scenery, a reasonable cost of living, and easy access to the outdoors."
That is a fitting description of Chattanooga. There are ample cultural opportunities here, from excellent museums to live concerts to local theater. The scenery, from Lookout and Signal mountains to our wonderfully developed riverfront, is beautiful. The cost of living is low. And "outdoors types" have quick access to the mountains, the water and numerous parks.
Chattanooga's win in Outside magazine's online voting for the Best Town Ever is only one component of the contest. In addition to the online voting, photos, testimonials and other signs of support for the competing cities will determine the overall winner. The winner will be announced in the magazine's October issue.
We may be biased, but with all due respect to the other fine cities in the contest, we think it would be perfectly sensible to name our city the Best Town Ever.
Good luck, Chattanooga!