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

Should you visit Chattanooga or Detroit?

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

Should I visit Chattanooga or Detroit? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a thriving, bustling, and outdoorsy city. Visitors also love the museums, nightlife, and food.

Detroit

Detroit is a overlooked , under-rated, and hardworking city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Other popular activities here include food, shopping, and museums.

Chattanooga and Detroit: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Chattanooga or Detroit?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Detroit than Chattanooga, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Detroit is more popular for its nightlife, music, and big city activities, while Chattanooga is known for its hiking. Chattanooga is more touristy than Detroit and is popular for it's hikes, railways, and nearby natural areas. Detroit is popular for its Motown music, blue collar atmosphere, and influential auto industry. It is also home to the Henry Ford Experience.

How is Chattanooga different from Detroit?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Chattanooga
Detroit

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Chattanooga or Detroit.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Chattanooga. 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.

Detroit is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. Popular museums around town include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the Michigan Science Center.


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

Chattanooga
Detroit

Dining out at restaurants in both Chattanooga and Detroit can be an enjoyable experience.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Chattanooga area. 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.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Detroit. There's a local flavor to the food with a number of classic dishes that are popular like square pizza, Coney dogs, and corned beef egg rolls.

Is Chattanooga or Detroit Better for Nightlife?

Chattanooga
Detroit

Detroit is a great destination for its evening party scene. Also, Chattanooga is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife.

The people in Detroit know how to have a good time. It's long history in music still influences the nightlife scene. You'll find bars, clubs, and other activities around town. Greektown and Midtown are both popular neighborhoods during the evening.

If you're looking for night time activities Chattanooga has a few options to choose from. 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 Chattanooga or Detroit Better for Music?

Chattanooga
Detroit

Detroit is an unbeatable place for its music scene. However, Chattanooga is not a live music destination.

In Detroit you'll find nightly musicians performing at a variety of venues. Few cities have such an influential music industry. It's home to Motown and is well known for its soul music, jazz, blues, and rap.

Chattanooga is not a live music destination.


Is Chattanooga or Detroit Better for Hiking?

Chattanooga
Detroit

Chattanooga is a very popular place for its hiking trails. However, Detroit is not a hiking destination.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Chattanooga. 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.

Detroit is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Chattanooga or Detroit?

Chattanooga
Detroit

Shopping is a popular activity in both Detroit and Chattanooga.

Many visitors go to Chattanooga to go 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.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Detroit. There are several shopping streets like Woodward Avenue. There are also outlet malls, shopping centers, and Eastern Market.

Is Chattanooga or Detroit Better for Families?

Chattanooga
Detroit

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Chattanooga or Detroit.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Chattanooga. 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.

Detroit offers lots of family activities. Head to the Detroit Zoo or check out one of the amusement parks in the area. Kids will enjoy a visit to Legoland and there's also the Sea Life Michigan Aquarium. You could also spend some time visiting the unique museums in the area.


Is Chattanooga or Detroit Better for Couples?

Chattanooga
Detroit

Chattanooga is a nice place to visit for its romantic activities. However, Detroit is lacking in good options for couples.

Chattanooga makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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.

Detroit is not always the best place to visit for a couple. It's not a city that usually brings to mind romance, but if you find yourself here for a couple of days, there's a RiverWalk area and some interesting local neighborhoods.

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

Chattanooga
Detroit

Chattanooga is a very popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Detroit is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Public transit in Chattanooga can get you to some places easily. 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.

Public transit is generally limited in Detroit. There's a streetcar and bus system, but the car is still king in Motor City.

Is Chattanooga or Detroit a more walkable city?

Chattanooga
Detroit

Chattanooga is a very popular place for its high level of walkability. Also, Detroit is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its ease of walking around.

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

Detroit is a somewhat walkable city. There are parts of downtown Detroit that are walkable, but most people need a car to get around.


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

Should I spend more time in Detroit or Chattanooga?

How long in Chattanooga or Detroit?

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Chattanooga than Detroit 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 Chattanooga or Detroit? Ideal Length of Stay
    Chattanooga 2-3 
    Detroit 1-3

One day in Chattanooga or Detroit?

In Chattanooga, you'll find nightlife and food. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the overlooked city of Detroit. Most people visit for the live music. 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.

A weekend in Chattanooga or Detroit?

In Chattanooga, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Chattanooga has to offer.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the overlooked destination of Detroit. 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.

Five days in Chattanooga or Detroit?

Chattanooga is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

The hardworking city of Detroit offers museums and nightlife. 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.


A week in Chattanooga or Detroit?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chattanooga. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Chattanooga. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

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


Which place is cheaper, Detroit or Chattanooga?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Chattanooga is $182, while the average daily cost in Detroit is $133. 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 Chattanooga and Detroit in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chattanooga $92
    Detroit $64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chattanooga $184
    Detroit $128
Compare Hotels in Chattanooga and Detroit

Looking for a hotel in Chattanooga or Detroit? 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 Chattanooga


Hotels in Detroit


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: Chattanooga Hotel Prices and Detroit Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chattanooga $35
    Detroit $37
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Chattanooga

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


  • Chattanooga Zoo (for 2)
    $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Detroit

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

  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Business Car: $100
  • Departure Private Transfer: Detroit to Detroit Airport DTW in Luxury SUV: $131
  • Detroit - Wayne County Airport One Way Transfer : $80
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Arrival Private Transfer: $95
  • Detroit Airport (DTW) to Detroit City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $190
  • Detroit City to Detroit Airport (DTW) - Departure Private Transfer: $95
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Private Departure Transfer - to Detroit Airport (DTW) by SUV: $90
  • Private Departure Transfer to Detroit Airport DTW: $61
  • Private Transfer from Detroit (DTW) Airport to Detroit City: $143
  • Private Transfer from Detroit City to Detroit (DTW) Airport: $143

Is it cheaper to fly into Chattanooga or Detroit?

Prices for flights to both Detroit and Chattanooga 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
    Chattanooga $59
    Detroit $44

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
  • Historic Southside Food Tour in Chattanooga: $99
  • ChattaBrunch Food Tour: $99
  • Downtown Chattanooga Food Tour: $119

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Detroit

For Detroit, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Fresh Mediterranean Inspired Cooking Class in a Unique Detroit Home: $104

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chattanooga $52
    Detroit $21

Tours and Activities in Chattanooga

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

  • 2 Virtual Reality Simulator Bundle for Outdoor Experiences: $27
  • 2-Hour Paddleboard Adventure to Nickajack Bat Cave: $75
  • ChattaBOOga Ghost Walk Tour in Chattanooga: $25
  • 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 Guided Walking Tour: $23
  • A Spooky and Family-Friendly Walking Tour: $25
  • Adults-Only Haunted City Walking Tour: $35
  • City Trolley Tour with Coker Museum visit: $44

Tours and Activities in Detroit

For Detroit, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Spirit and History Self Guided Audio Tour: $6.50
  • Self Guided "Detroit's Spirit and History" Solo Walking Tour: $6.75
  • Detroit Tigers Baseball Game Ticket at Comerica Park: $8.02
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Ann Arbor by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Ann Arbor by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Windsor by Wacky Walks: $11
  • Ann Arbor Scavenger Hunt: Ann Arbor Adventure: $12
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Ann Arbor, MI: $15
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Ann Arbor with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Detroit Pistons Basketball Game Ticket: $21
  • Detroit Pistons Basketball Game Ticket at Little Caesars Arena: $21

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


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chattanooga and Detroit, we can see that Chattanooga is more expensive. And not only is Detroit much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Detroit would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Detroit and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Chattanooga would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Chattanooga than you might in Detroit.

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


Which is Bigger, Chattanooga or Detroit?

Detroit has a larger population, and is about 6 times larger than the population of Chattanooga. When comparing the sizes of Chattanooga and Detroit, 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 Chattanooga or Detroit?

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 Chattanooga or Detroit in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Chattanooga as well as Detroit. Many travelers come to Chattanooga for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Detroit in the summer for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Chattanooga is generally a little warmer than Detroit. Daily temperatures in Chattanooga average around 81°F (27°C), and Detroit fluctuates around 74°F (24°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Detroit. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chattanooga this time of the year. In the summer, Chattanooga often gets less sunshine than Detroit. Chattanooga gets 265 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Detroit receives 319 hours of full sun.

Chattanooga receives a lot of rain in the summer. Chattanooga usually gets more rain in July than Detroit. Chattanooga gets 5.2 inches (131 mm) of rain, while Detroit receives 3.4 inches (85 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Chattanooga 81°F (27°C) 
    Detroit 74°F (24°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Detroit in the Autumn?

Both Detroit and Chattanooga are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Chattanooga in the autumn for the hiking trails and the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Detroit for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene during these months.

Chattanooga is a little warmer than Detroit in the autumn. The daily temperature in Chattanooga averages around 63°F (17°C) in October, and Detroit fluctuates around 54°F (12°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chattanooga. Chattanooga usually receives more sunshine than Detroit during autumn. Chattanooga gets 211 hours of sunny skies, while Detroit receives 172 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Chattanooga usually receives more rain than Detroit. Chattanooga gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Detroit receives 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Chattanooga 63°F (17°C) 
    Detroit 54°F (12°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Detroit in the Winter?

Both Detroit and Chattanooga during the winter are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Chattanooga for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Detroit because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Detroit can be very cold. Chattanooga can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Chattanooga is much warmer than Detroit. Typically, the winter temperatures in Chattanooga in January average around 40°F (5°C), and Detroit averages at about 25°F (-4°C).

In the winter, Chattanooga often gets more sunshine than Detroit. Chattanooga gets 145 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Detroit receives 120 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Chattanooga. Chattanooga usually gets more rain in January than Detroit. Chattanooga gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Detroit receives 2 inches (50 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Chattanooga 40°F (5°C) 
    Detroit 25°F (-4°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Detroit in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Chattanooga and Detroit. Furthermore, the activities around the city are the main draw to Detroit this time of year.

In April, Chattanooga is generally much warmer than Detroit. Daily temperatures in Chattanooga average around 62°F (17°C), and Detroit fluctuates around 49°F (9°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Detroit this time of the year. In Chattanooga, it's very sunny this time of the year. Chattanooga usually receives more sunshine than Detroit during spring. Chattanooga gets 243 hours of sunny skies, while Detroit receives 223 hours of full sun in the spring.

Chattanooga gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Chattanooga usually receives more rain than Detroit. Chattanooga gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Detroit receives 3.2 inches (80 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Chattanooga 62°F (17°C) 
    Detroit 49°F (9°C)

Typical Weather for Detroit and Chattanooga

Chattanooga Detroit
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 25°F (-4°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Feb 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm) 27°F (-3°C) 2.1 inches (54 mm)
Mar 53°F (12°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 37°F (3°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
Apr 62°F (17°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 49°F (9°C) 3.2 inches (80 mm)
May 70°F (21°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 60°F (16°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
Jun 78°F (25°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm)
Aug 80°F (27°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 73°F (23°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
Sep 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 65°F (19°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 54°F (12°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (133 mm) 31°F (-1°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)