Southern Living magazine associate travel editor Alex Crevar said that Chattanooga is the kind of city that inspires and excites him.
“It’s one of those places that you come back from and you immediately want to start writing,” he said. “I fell in love with it. It has a really great energy. It is obviously moving forward in a tasteful, sophisticated and cool way.”
Crevar spent about five days in Chattanooga, during multiple visits, working on a “Chattanooga Weekend Planner,” for a regional issue of Southern Living. The article highlights Chattanooga attractions that visitors can experience in three days.
There were many other places that he wanted to include, but he settled on locations that seem to embody the “hipness” of Chattanooga, “for lack of a better term,” he said.
Physical proximity dictated some of the locations he included, and the amount of space allowed for the article also played a part in the need to limit choices, he said.
Crevar’s “Three Days in the ‘Noog'” begins Friday afternoon with a trip to Lookout Mountain, where visitors might stop by the Incline Railway or the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
New burger and bourbon restaurant Urban Stack is also featured in the regional issue.
The writer of this article, James T. Black, highlighted the best burger in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville.
Chattanooga resident Jesse Johnson said that he loves Urban Stack.
The only down-side is the price. One burger costs about the same as other restaurants charge for a burger and a couple side items, he said.
But the variety of options helps make up for that, he said.
He also likes the atmosphere and patio.
“I don’t know anywhere else where there is such a variety of burgers, not only toppings, but a variety of meats and buns, as well,” he said. “You can get any of their burgers made with their usual beef, chicken or Kobe beef. There are even a couple of turkey burgers and a lamb burger.”
Readers can vote for their favorite burger by clicking here.
The Saturday to-do list includes Rembrandt’s Coffee House in the art district, a trip to the Hunter Museum, Winder Binder Gallery and Bookstore, The Blue Plate, Tennessee Aquarium, Easy Bistro & Bar and the night ending at the Pickle Barrel.
“It reminds people, who may not have visited recently, that Chattanooga is a vibrant and fun multi-day destination,” Thom Benson, communications manager for the Tennessee Aquarium, said.
Crevar worked with local leaders, such as Candace Davis at the Chattanooga Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, as well as seeking out local residents to find out what locations they like most in the city.
Dave Santucci, vice president of marketing with the visitors bureau, said that this is the first time Southern Living has done a “major feature” on Chattanooga.
The magazine has a circulation of about 2.7 million readers in key markets and people trust Southern Living, Santucci said.
“The write-up of Chattanooga in Southern Living was incredible,” he said via email. “The writer did a great job capturing what makes Chattanooga great. We especially loved the line, ‘Today, it’s impossible not to have a city-crush on the ‘Noog and its reinvigorated, walkable neighborhoods.'”
The past few weeks have been good for Chattanooga publicity, he said.
Recently, Chattanooga has been featured in Outside Magazine, Travel and Leisure, The Today Show, and CNN.
Dozens of other media outlets also picked up on a video in which children say they prefer Chattanooga to Disney World.
“We have also been told that The Today Show will have the editor of Travel + Leisure as a guest and they will be featuring Chattanooga,” he said.
According to the state of Tennessee, in 2010, Hamilton County had $810 million in tourism expenditures.
More than three million people visit Chattanooga annually as a leisure or meeting destination, Santucci said.
Benson said he thinks the article did a good job showcasing all the city has to offer, from entertainment attractions to restaurants and lodging.
In the past few years, the Aquarium has averaged about 700,000 visitors a year, he said.