Chattanooga listed among top travel destinations in the world for 2023 by Forbes magazine

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / The Incline starts up the mountain after departing St. Elmo station in 2020. The historic rail line up Lookout Mountain was cited by Forbes, which identified Chattanooga as one of the best travel destinations for 2023.

Chattanooga has been named one of the best places to travel in the world in 2023 by Forbes magazine.

The financial magazine, which reaches more than 140 million people worldwide, selected Chattanooga among the 50 best places to visit around the globe.

Barbara King, a Forbes Advisor contributor, said "Chattanooga effortlessly blends outdoor activities, art, history and a vibrant restaurant scene" to make it Tennessee's top travel destination.

"Nashville may have country music and Memphis is home to Elvis, but Chattanooga exudes a natural beauty that makes it a Tennessee gem," King said.

Forbes highlights the Incline Railway up Lookout Mountain, Civil War sites, the 16.1-mile Riverwalk and the huge contemporary sculptures in Montague Park.

Chattanooga, which bills itself as the Scenic City, was the only Tennessee city on the Forbes list and one of only 11 U.S. destinations recommended by Forbes in its list of the best places to visit this year.

Forbes said the list was prepared to "help inspire your travel list but also to assist you in narrowing down the options."

The destinations range from quick weekend getaway options, to trekking out to some of the most remote parts of the Earth.

In the South, Athens, Georgia, was also on the Forbes list as a college town with a host of family-friendly attractions; the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Georgia was touted for its "pristine beauty and solitude in the wetlands," and Marathon, Florida, was highlighted for its world-class fishing and water sports adventures.

Across the globe, the Forbes list includes such worldwide destinations as Botswana, the Canary Islands, Spain and Izmir, Turkey.

The Forbes recognition of Chattanooga this year comes as two network television shows are also highlighting Chattanooga as a travel destination. The Discovery Channel aired a 30-minute segment Saturday on "RV There Yet?" featuring Kevin and Patrice McCabe camping at Harrison Bay State Park. This spring, PBS plans to air "Samantha Brown's Places to Love" about Chattanooga.

Contact Dave Flessner at or 423-757-6340.