A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Charlotte vs. Chattanooga for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Charlotte or Chattanooga?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Charlotte and Chattanooga can help you decide which place is right for you.

Charlotte

Charlotte is a evolving, up-and-coming, and growing city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a bustling, outdoorsy, and thriving city. It's also popular because of the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Charlotte and Chattanooga: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Charlotte or Chattanooga?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Charlotte than Chattanooga. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Charlotte is very popular for its big city activities, while Chattanooga attracts visitors for its hiking. Chattanooga is more touristy than Charlotte and is popular for it's hikes, railways, and nearby natural areas. Charlotte is famous for its banking industry and growing Uptown area. It is also well known for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

How is Charlotte different from Chattanooga?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Chattanooga and Charlotte. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Charlotte or Chattanooga?

Charlotte
Chattanooga

You'll find a number of nice museums and attractions in both Chattanooga and Charlotte.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Charlotte. The Mint Museum is a popular place to visit, as is the Gantt Center for African American Arts. Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and sports enthusiasts will enjoy a stop at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Chattanooga is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. It's a thriving city and there are a number of museums to explore. The Hunter Museum of American Art is great for art enthusiasts. There's also the Creative Discovery Museum, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, and the 6th Cavalry Museum, as well as several smaller museums that you can visit.


Is the Food Better in Charlotte or Chattanooga? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Charlotte
Chattanooga

Local dishes at restaurants are fun to try in both Charlotte and Chattanooga.

Charlotte is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The food scene continues to grow and change around town. You'll find the latest trendy restaurant changes regularly, but dishes often include upscale southern faire or classic American. There are also many international restaurants, particularly Mexican, Thai, and Chinese.

Chattanooga offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are a growing number of restaurants that range from local dives to fine dining. Fried food is common, but you'll also find Mexican and classic hamburgers. Popular dishes that are local to the area include catfish, southern barbecue, and hush puppies.

Is Charlotte or Chattanooga Better for Nightlife?

Charlotte
Chattanooga

The vibe at night is nice in both Charlotte and Chattanooga.

If you're looking for night time activities Charlotte has a few options to choose from. Head Uptown for some of the best nightlife. The city has many bars and clubs that keep things fun late into the night.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Chattanooga. You'll find plenty of bars and clubs around town. There are also a number of comedy and improv clubs that are fun to check out.

Is Charlotte or Chattanooga Better for Hiking?

Charlotte
Chattanooga

Chattanooga is great for hiking. However, Charlotte is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors go to Chattanooga for the hiking trails. It's proximity to the mountains means that you don't have to go far to find good hiking. Within a half hour of town there are more than 50 trailheads. Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain are both hiking destinations. Several trails have swimming spots and many pass through nice forests or head to impressive viewpoints.

Charlotte is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Charlotte or Chattanooga?

Charlotte
Chattanooga

If you're looking to go shopping, Charlotte and Chattanooga both offer plenty of nice spots.

Charlotte has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. Shopping malls such as SouthPark Mall or Carolina Place offer all of the standard retailers. Concord Mills is another favorite mall in the area. Aside from the malls, there is no shortage of shopping centers around town.

Chattanooga is a great destination for shopping. Head downtown for local shops or to the larger malls if you want mainstream stores. Many visitors enjoy antiquing while they're in town, but there are also farmer's markets and thrift stores.

Is Charlotte or Chattanooga Better for Families?

Charlotte
Chattanooga

You'll find nice kid-friendly activities in either Charlotte or Chattanooga.

Charlotte offers lots of family activities. There are a number of museums for kids, with one of the best being Discovery Place. It has many hands-on science based exhibits that kids will love. Another unique experience is a visit to the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Carowinds Amusement Park is also in the area as are many great parks, playgrounds, and natural areas.

Chattanooga is a family-friendly place to visit. Many people enjoy a visit to the Tennessee Aquarium, which has a touch tank and a butterfly exhibit, among other things. Near downtown, Coolidge Park is a great place for kids to get their energy out. There's also the popular Lookout Mountain Incline Railway as well as many hiking trails in the area.

Is Charlotte or Chattanooga Better for Couples?

Charlotte
Chattanooga

Both Charlotte and Chattanooga are nice destinations to visit as a couple.

Charlotte is a good city for couples to visit. There are a number of date night activities around town, particularly Uptown. You can see a show or concert at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center or hit up one of the trendy bars or restaurants. There are also sporting events and other festivals that are fun to experience.

Chattanooga is a nice destination for couples. Many couples enjoy staying at a local inn and then dining in a nice restaurant or visiting a winery. There's an eclectic art district to explore as well as horse drawn carriages and plenty of nearby hiking trails.


Is Charlotte or Chattanooga Better for Students?

Charlotte
Chattanooga

Charlotte is a popular place for students. However, Chattanooga is not popular with students.

Charlotte is popular with students. There are a number of smaller colleges in town, but the biggest university is the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Chattanooga is not popular with students.

Is Charlotte or Chattanooga Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Charlotte
Chattanooga

Chattanooga is great for times when you don't have a car. Also, Charlotte is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its public transit.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Chattanooga. The city has a convenient and free electric shuttle service. It travels through the downtown and has stops at many points of interest such as the Chattanooga Choo Choo and the Tennessee Aquarium.

Charlotte has a few public transit options. There's a light rail system as well as buses that travel around town.

Is Charlotte or Chattanooga a more walkable city?

Charlotte
Chattanooga

Chattanooga is great for its ease of walking around. Also, Charlotte is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its walkability.

Chattanooga is a very walkable destination. The city has put a lot of effort into improving its walkability. In particular, the downtown is nice to explore on foot.

Charlotte is somewhat walkable. The Uptown area is the most walkable part of the city.


For even more information, also check out Is Charlotte Worth Visiting? and Is Chattanooga Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Chattanooga or Charlotte?

How long in Charlotte or Chattanooga?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Charlotte and Chattanooga. In our opinion, Chattanooga has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Chattanooga than Charlotte. In general, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Charlotte, and 2-3 days is enough time in Chattanooga.

Families should spend more time in Chattanooga than Charlotte. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Chattanooga, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Chattanooga than Charlotte. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Chattanooga that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Chattanooga than Charlotte if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Chattanooga.


  • How many days in Charlotte or Chattanooga? Ideal Length of Stay
    Charlotte 1-3 
    Chattanooga 2-3

One day in Charlotte or Chattanooga?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the up-and-coming city of Charlotte. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Chattanooga. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Charlotte or Chattanooga?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the evolving destination of Charlotte. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the outdoorsy destination of Chattanooga. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Charlotte or Chattanooga?

The up-and-coming city of Charlotte offers shopping and museums. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the outdoorsy city of Chattanooga. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Charlotte or Chattanooga?

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Charlotte. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Chattanooga is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City, The Best 2-Week Tours from New York City, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage.


Which place is cheaper, Chattanooga or Charlotte?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Charlotte is $191, while the average daily cost in Chattanooga is $182. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Charlotte and Chattanooga in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Charlotte $118
    Chattanooga $92
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Charlotte $236
    Chattanooga $184
Compare Hotels in Charlotte and Chattanooga

Looking for a hotel in Charlotte or Chattanooga? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Charlotte


Hotels in Chattanooga


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Charlotte Hotel Prices and Chattanooga Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Charlotte $33
    Chattanooga $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Charlotte

Also for Charlotte, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Arrival Transfer: Charlotte Douglas Airport CLT to Charlotte in Business Car: $135
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) to Charlotte City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $138
  • Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT): 1-Way Transfer to Charlotte: $99
  • Charlotte Round Trip Chauffeur Driven Airport Transfer by Sedan: $150
  • One Way Private Transfer to/from Airport: $72
  • Private Departure Transfer to Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT): $54

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Chattanooga

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Chattanooga:


  • Chattanooga Zoo (for 2)
    $16

Is it cheaper to fly into Charlotte or Chattanooga?

Prices for flights to both Chattanooga and Charlotte change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Charlotte $46
    Chattanooga $59
Typical Food Prices in Charlotte

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Charlotte:


  • Pizza at Airport
    $4.03
  • Cracker Barrel Lunch (family of 4)
    $29

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Chattanooga

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Chattanooga.

  • MLK Walking Art History & Food Tour: $65
  • ChattaBrunch Food Tour: $119
  • ChattaBrunch Food Tour: $119
  • Historic Southside Food Tour in Chattanooga: $129
  • Downtown Chattanooga Food Tour: $139
  • Downtown Food Tour with 3-4 Tastings: $139

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Charlotte $43
    Chattanooga $52

Tours and Activities in Charlotte

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Charlotte.

  • Charlotte Ghost Walking Tour: Smartphone Audio & GPS Tour: $6.50
  • Charlotte Ghost Walking Tour - Smartphone guided audio/gps Tour at your own pace: $6.75
  • Carolina Panthers Football Game Ticket at Bank of America Stadium: $9.53
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Charlotte by 3Quest Challenge: $10
  • Uncover History with the Uptown Charlotte In-App Audio Tour: $11
  • Discover NoDa's Charms: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $11
  • Self-Guided City Highlights Audio Tour: $12
  • Uptown A Self-Guided Audio Tour to the Heart of Queen City: $12
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience in Gastonia NC: $15
  • UPTOWN FUNK: 1 Hour Guided City Walking Tour in Charlotte: $15
  • Uptown Funk: 1 Hour Guided Walking Tour of Charlotte: $15
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Charlotte by Zombie Scavengers: $20

Tours and Activities in Chattanooga

Here are a few actual costs in Chattanooga for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • ChattaBOOga Ghost Walk Tour in Chattanooga: $23
  • Chattanooga "C-Block Prison Break" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $36
  • Chattanooga "Locker Room Lockdown: Mascot Rescue" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $34
  • Chattanooga "Secret Agent" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $34
  • Chattanooga "The Inheritance Mystery Room" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $36
  • Chattanooga "Vaccine: Search For The Zombie Cure" Escape Room Admission Ticket: $36
  • Chattanooga Ghosts of the Misty Mountains Walking Tour: $32
  • Chattanooga Guided Walking Tour: $23
  • A Spooky and Family-Friendly Walking Tour: $25
  • Adults-Only Haunted City Walking Tour: $35
  • City Trolley Tour with Coker Automotive Museum visit: $44
  • City Trolley Tour with Coker Museum visit: $44

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Charlotte $20
    Chattanooga $24

Sample the Local Flavors in Charlotte

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Charlotte:

  • Trolley Pub Tour of Charlotte: $31
  • Charlotte Brewery Crawl Tour: $48
  • Double Trolley Pub Tour with Drinks: $899


When comparing the travel costs between Charlotte and Chattanooga, we can see that Charlotte is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Charlotte Expensive? and Is Chattanooga Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Charlotte or Chattanooga?

Charlotte has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Chattanooga. When comparing the sizes of Charlotte and Chattanooga, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Charlotte or Chattanooga?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Charlotte or Chattanooga in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Charlotte as well as Chattanooga. Most visitors come to Charlotte for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Chattanooga because of the hiking and the family-friendly experiences.

Charlotte is around the same temperature as Chattanooga in the summer. The daily temperature in Charlotte averages around 81°F (27°C) in July, and Chattanooga fluctuates around 81°F (27°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chattanooga. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Charlotte this time of the year. In the summer, Charlotte often gets more sunshine than Chattanooga. Charlotte gets 289 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chattanooga receives 265 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Chattanooga. Charlotte receives a lot of rain in the summer. Charlotte usually gets less rain in July than Chattanooga. Charlotte gets 4.6 inches (116 mm) of rain, while Chattanooga receives 5.2 inches (131 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Charlotte 81°F (27°C) 
    Chattanooga 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Charlotte or Chattanooga in the Autumn?

Both Chattanooga and Charlotte are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The autumn months attract visitors to Charlotte because of the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene. Also, the hiking trails and the shopping scene are the main draw to Chattanooga this time of year.

In the autumn, Charlotte is around the same temperature as Chattanooga. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Charlotte in October average around 63°F (17°C), and Chattanooga averages at about 63°F (17°C).

It's quite sunny in Chattanooga. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Charlotte. Charlotte usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Chattanooga during autumn. Charlotte gets 223 hours of sunny skies, while Chattanooga receives 211 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Charlotte usually receives less rain than Chattanooga. Charlotte gets 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain, while Chattanooga receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Charlotte 63°F (17°C) 
    Chattanooga 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Charlotte or Chattanooga in the Winter?

Both Chattanooga and Charlotte during the winter are popular places to visit. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Charlotte this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Chattanooga for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Chattanooga. In January, Charlotte is generally a little warmer than Chattanooga. Daily temperatures in Charlotte average around 42°F (6°C), and Chattanooga fluctuates around 40°F (5°C).

In the winter, Charlotte often gets more sunshine than Chattanooga. Charlotte gets 173 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chattanooga receives 145 hours of full sun.

Chattanooga gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Charlotte usually gets less rain in January than Chattanooga. Charlotte gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Chattanooga receives 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Charlotte 42°F (6°C) 
    Chattanooga 40°F (5°C)

Should I visit Charlotte or Chattanooga in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Charlotte and Chattanooga. Many travelers come to Charlotte for the activities around the city.

Charlotte is around the same temperature as Chattanooga in the spring. The daily temperature in Charlotte averages around 63°F (17°C) in April, and Chattanooga fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chattanooga this time of the year. In Charlotte, it's very sunny this time of the year. Charlotte usually receives more sunshine than Chattanooga during spring. Charlotte gets 273 hours of sunny skies, while Chattanooga receives 243 hours of full sun in the spring.

Chattanooga receives a lot of rain in the spring. In April, Charlotte usually receives less rain than Chattanooga. Charlotte gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Chattanooga receives 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Charlotte 63°F (17°C) 
    Chattanooga 62°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for Chattanooga and Charlotte

Charlotte Chattanooga
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 42°F (6°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 40°F (5°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Feb 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm) 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 53°F (12°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm)
Apr 63°F (17°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 62°F (17°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm)
May 71°F (21°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Jun 78°F (25°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 78°F (25°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 81°F (27°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm)
Aug 80°F (27°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 80°F (27°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Sep 74°F (24°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Nov 54°F (12°C) 2.8 inches (70 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Dec 46°F (8°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (133 mm)