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Chattanooga is among the best cities in America for travelers who love road trips.

Chattanooga ranked No. 3 in the top 10 list released today by Livability.com, which cited Chattanooga's access to outdoor recreation like rock climbing, the city's vibrant tech startup scene and its proximity to places like the Chattahoochee National Forest, Talladega National Forest, Coosa River and nearby cities such as Nashville, Asheville, Knoxville and Atlanta.

The 10 Best Home Base Cities for Road Trippers

Chattanooga was the only mid-South city on the list and one of only two Southern towns identified as a prime spot for road trippers. (Tallahassee, Florida was the only other Southern city on the list).

1. Twin Falls, Idaho

2. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

3. Chattanooga

4. Easton, Pennsylvania

5. Tallahassee, Florida

6. Tucson, Arizona

7. Lawrence, Kansas

8. Billings, Montana

9. Sacramento, California

10. Bismarck, North Dakota

The ratings of "The 10 Best Home Base Cities for Road Trippers" were based upon an affordable cost of living so you can save money for gas; a central location with easy access to other cities; "cute towns or stunning natural scenery," and quirky roadside attractions and things to do nearby.

Chattanooga is within a day's drive of nearly half the U.S. population and is among the top 5% cheapest cities for gas prices, according to GasBuddy.com. The Scenic City also offers a variety of attractions, including Ruby Falls, the tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public.

Winona Dimeo-Ediger, editor of Livability.com, said the cities identified as being the best for road trips "proves that avid road trippers don't have to live in a big, expensive city like San Francisco or Seattle to find an amazing community and quality job opportunities."

The editors of Livability.com previously rated Chattanooga as the fourth best city in the United States to retire in Chattanooga No. 68 among the top 100 Best Places to Live.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6340.

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