Lonely Planet's Best in the U.S. 2018
› 1. California's Redwood Coast: "Lose all track of time (and cell signal)"
› 2. Boise, Idaho: "What cool looks like before the rest of the world has figured it out"
› 3. Chattanooga: "Meet the New South!"
› 4. Florida's Space Coast: "Get a taste of outer space on earth"
› 5. Cincinnati, Ohio: "A new chapter for the city's artistic icons"
› 6. Midcoast, Maine: "One word says it all: 'Ayuh'"
› 7. Richmond, Va.: "Flipped from humdrum to happening"
› 8. Kentucky Bourbon Country: "The state's distilling heritage runs deep"
› 9. Minneapolis, Minn.: "In the spotlight for this year's Super Bowl"
› 10. Southeastern Utah: "Quintessential Americana road-trip country"
Chattanooga's latest accolade lands the Scenic City high on Lonely Planet's Best in the U.S. list for 2018.
Lonely Planet, which calls itself a leading media company and the world's No. 1 travel guidebook brand, ranked Chattanooga No. 3, below California's Redwood Coast and Boise, Idaho, and above Florida's Space Coast, on its top travel destinations for the year.
"These are the places American travelers should know about in 2018," Lonely Planet U.S. magazine managing editor Alexander Howard said in a news release. "The U.S. is packed with timeless, well-known destinations, but if you're looking for something different to shake up your travel plans this year, this list will get you inspired. Some of them are cities on the rise, or that challenge our expectations, while others offer unique experiences you can't find anywhere else."
Magazine article author Kevin Raub wrote, "A revitalized downtown, centered on the makeover of the city's signature train station into a nightlife and entertainment destination, is rife with pilgrimage-worthy new Southern cuisine and thirst-quenching breweries. Meet the new South!"
Lonely Planet's community of travel experts — in-house editors, researchers on the road and locals on the ground — are the ones who decide on the most compelling destinations to visit in the year ahead, the company said in a news release.
Bob Doak, outgoing president and chief executive officer of the Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau, said it's "truly an honor that so many travel experts recommended Chattanooga for this designation."
The city also made some other Top 10 lists, Doak noted. The New York Times named Chattanooga among the 52 Places to Go in 2018. USA Today named Songbirds Guitar Museum as one of the Top 10 Best New Attractions in the country, and named the Tennessee Aquarium and Lookout Mountain in the Top 10 Best Tennessee Attractions list, he said.