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

Should you visit Chattanooga or Houston?

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

Should I visit Chattanooga or Houston? 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. And you can't forget about the food, hiking, and shopping.

Houston

Houston is a one-of-a-kind, diverse, and sprawling city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. Other popular activities here include food, shopping, and museums.

Chattanooga and Houston: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
Things to Consider
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Chattanooga or Houston?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Houston than Chattanooga, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Houston is more popular for its museums, nightlife, music, and big city activities, while Chattanooga is known for its hiking. Chattanooga is more touristy than Houston and is known for it's hikes, railways, and nearby natural areas. Houston is popular for its sprawling size, its local Texas restaurants, and being the home to NASA. It is also home to The Space Center Houston.

How is Chattanooga different from Houston?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Houston 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 Houston?

Chattanooga
Houston

Houston is a great destination for its museums and landmarks. Also, Chattanooga is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

Houston offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Head to Houston's Museum District to explore 19 different museums in a walkable area. A highlight of a trip to the city is a visit to the Space Center, but other popular museums include the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Houston Children's Museum.

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 Chattanooga or Houston? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Chattanooga
Houston

Dining out at restaurants in both Chattanooga and Houston 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 Houston. The city is famous for its Texas barbecue, Mexican food, and a wide diversity of other different ethnic foods. It's a surprisingly diverse city and this is reflected in the restaurant selection around town.

Is Chattanooga or Houston Better for Nightlife?

Chattanooga
Houston

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

The people in Houston know how to have a good time. The nightlife is at its best on weekends when bars, dance clubs, and concert halls come to life. There are a diversity of venues around town including dance clubs, Honky Tonks, and cocktail bars. Some of the most active nightlife areas are Downtown, Midtown, Montrose, Washington Avenue, and Rice Village.

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 Houston Better for Music?

Chattanooga
Houston

Houston is a popular place for its music scene. However, Chattanooga is not a live music destination.

The music scene in Houston is active and vibrant. Popular music venues include Fitzgerald's, Walter's Downtown, and The Continental Club.

Chattanooga is not a live music destination.


Is Chattanooga or Houston Better for Hiking?

Chattanooga
Houston

Chattanooga is well known for its hiking experiences. However, Houston is not a hiking destination.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around 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.

Houston is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Chattanooga or Houston?

Chattanooga
Houston

Shopping is a popular activity in both Houston 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 Houston. There are a number of upscale malls and shopping centers that have brand names, chain stores, and the occasional local shop where you can pick up items.

Is Chattanooga or Houston Better for Families?

Chattanooga
Houston

Houston is a great destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Chattanooga is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

Houston is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. It is a large city with plenty of things that kids can enjoy including museums, theaters, a zoo, and even the Space Center. The Children's Museum of Houston is perfect for a rainy day. For science loving kids there's the Health Museum and the Museum of Natural Science. Houston also has a Six Flags nearby which the whole family can enjoy.

Chattanooga offers lots of family activities. 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 Chattanooga or Houston Better for Couples?

Chattanooga
Houston

With fun activities for couples, both Chattanooga and Houston make for a good place to visit.

Chattanooga is a good city for couples to visit. 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.

Houston is a nice destination for couples. There's a surprising diversity of restaurants around the city. There are also performing arts productions and many outdoor parks and gardens.

Is Chattanooga or Houston Better for Students?

Chattanooga
Houston

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

Houston is popular with students. It's a large city with a number of universities and a large student population.

Chattanooga is not popular with students.

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

Chattanooga
Houston

Chattanooga is well known for its public transit. However, Houston is not particularly known for times when you don't have a car.

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 mostly limited in Houston. The system includes buses and a limited light rail. Houston is known as a car-centric city and you really need a car to fully experience it.


Is Chattanooga or Houston a more walkable city?

Chattanooga
Houston

Chattanooga is well known for its high level of walkability. However, Houston is not particularly known 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.

Houston is generally not a very walkable city. The most walkable neighborhood is the historic Houston Heights, but most parts of the city aren't very walkable.

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

Should I spend more time in Houston or Chattanooga?

How long in Chattanooga or Houston?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Chattanooga and Houston. In our opinion, Houston has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Houston than Chattanooga. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

One day in Chattanooga or Houston?

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.

Houston is a diverse city where you can fill many days. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A weekend in Chattanooga or Houston?

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.

Houston is a sprawling big city where you can fill many days. 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 Houston?

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 southern city of Houston 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 Houston?

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 Houston. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Cruise Tours and Packages in United States of America, The Best Cultural Tours in United States of America, The Best Photography Tours in United States of America, and The Best Camping Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Houston 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 Houston is $262. 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 Houston in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chattanooga $92
    Houston $142
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chattanooga $184
    Houston $284
Compare Hotels in Chattanooga and Houston

Looking for a hotel in Chattanooga or Houston? 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 Houston


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 Houston Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Chattanooga $35
    Houston $72
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 Houston

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Houston:

  • William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) to Port of Galveston - Arrival Private Transfer: $167
  • Arrival Private Transfer: George Bush Airport IAH to Houston in Business Car: $107
  • Arrival Private Transfer: George Bush Airport IAH to Houston in Luxury SUV: $108
  • Departure Private Transfer: Houston to George Bush Airport IAH in Business Car: $105
  • Departure Private Transfer: Houston to George Bush Airport IAH in Luxury SUV: $108
  • Houston George Bush Airport (IAH): Transfer to Houston: $345
  • Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) to Houston - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $160
  • Round-Trip Shuttle Transfer to NASA Space Center: $62
  • Privat Transfer from Houston Airport (HOU) to Port of Galveston: $167
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Houston George Bush Airport (IAH): $51
  • Private Departure Transfer to Houston George Bush Airport IAH: $51
  • Private Hotel Transfer in Houston: $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Chattanooga or Houston?

Prices for flights to both Houston 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
    Houston $35

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 Houston

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

  • Seasonal Pizza From Scratch Experience in Houston: $55
  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $70
  • Astroville Food Tour of Downtown Houston with Tunnel Access: $70
  • The Heights Food Tour in Houston: $76
  • Downtown Houston Food Tour: $76
  • Houston Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $85
  • Houston Downtown: Secret Food Tours: $86
  • Howdy H-Town EADO Food Tour: $90
  • East Downtown Food Tour: $90
  • Houston Heights Culture and Food Tour: $95

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Chattanooga $52
    Houston $14

Tours and Activities in Chattanooga

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

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • National Medal of Honor Heritage Museum Admission Ticket in Chattanooga: $14
  • Scenic City Ghosts, Voodoo, Murder Mystery Tour: $21
  • Guided Ghost Walking Tour: $23
  • Chattanooga Guided Walking Tour: $23
  • ChattaBOOga Ghost Walk Tour in Chattanooga: $23
  • Original Local Award-Winning Walking Ghost Tour: $25
  • Murder & Mayhem Haunted History Walking Tour: $25
  • Ghost & Booze Tour of Chattanooga - 21+ Over: $25
  • A Spooky and Family-Friendly Walking Tour: $25
  • Family-Friendly Ghost Tour in Chattanooga: $25
  • Ghosts of Scenic City: Chattanooga Ghosts, Murder & Mystery Tour: $25

Tours and Activities in Houston

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

  • Sights of Downtown Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.26
  • Sights of Downtown Houston Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Houston Museum of Natural Sciences: Planetarium Ticket: $9.00
  • Downtown In App Audio Walking Tour: $9.00
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Houston by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Houston by Operation City Quest: $10
  • Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern History Tour: $12
  • Houston Botanic Garden Entry Ticket: $13
  • Sightseeing Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $14
  • Austin & Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • Children's Museum Houston Entry Ticket: $17
  • Houston Astros Baseball Game Ticket at Minute Maid Park: $18

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chattanooga $24
    Houston $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Houston

Also in Houston, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Brewery Pass with Beer Tastings: $50
  • Private Houston Brewery Tour by Cart: $57
  • 2-Hour Downtown Brewery Tour by Electric Cart: $70


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Chattanooga and Houston, we can see that Houston is more expensive. And not only is Chattanooga much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Chattanooga would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Chattanooga 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 Houston would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Houston than you might in Chattanooga.

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


Which is Bigger, Chattanooga or Houston?

Houston has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Chattanooga. When comparing the sizes of Chattanooga and Houston, 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 Houston?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Chattanooga or Houston in the Summer?

Both Houston and Chattanooga are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Chattanooga for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Houston because of the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Chattanooga is generally around the same temperature as Houston. Daily temperatures in Chattanooga average around 81°F (27°C), and Houston fluctuates around 84°F (29°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Houston. It's quite rainy in Chattanooga. In July, Chattanooga usually receives around the same amount of rain as Houston. Chattanooga gets 5.2 inches (131 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.8 inches (122 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Chattanooga 81°F (27°C) 
    Houston 84°F (29°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Houston in the Autumn?

Both Houston and Chattanooga during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Chattanooga because of the hiking trails and the shopping scene. Furthermore, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the music scene are the main draw to Houston this time of year.

Chattanooga is cooler than Houston in the autumn. The daily temperature in Chattanooga averages around 63°F (17°C) in October, and Houston fluctuates around 71°F (22°C).

Houston gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Chattanooga usually gets less rain in October than Houston. Chattanooga gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Chattanooga 63°F (17°C) 
    Houston 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Houston in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Chattanooga and Houston. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Chattanooga this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Houston for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

It's quite cold in Chattanooga in the winter. In the winter, Chattanooga is much colder than Houston. Typically, the winter temperatures in Chattanooga in January average around 40°F (5°C), and Houston averages at about 52°F (11°C).

Chattanooga gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Chattanooga usually receives more rain than Houston. Chattanooga gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.6 inches (91 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Chattanooga 40°F (5°C) 
    Houston 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Houston in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Chattanooga as well as Houston. Additionally, many visitors come to Houston in the spring for the activities around the city.

In April, Chattanooga is generally cooler than Houston. Daily temperatures in Chattanooga average around 62°F (17°C), and Houston fluctuates around 70°F (21°C).

Chattanooga receives a lot of rain in the spring. Chattanooga usually gets more rain in April than Houston. Chattanooga gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Houston receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Chattanooga 62°F (17°C) 
    Houston 70°F (21°C)

Typical Weather for Houston and Chattanooga

Chattanooga Houston
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Feb 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Mar 53°F (12°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Apr 62°F (17°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
May 70°F (21°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 76°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Jun 78°F (25°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm) 84°F (29°C) 4.8 inches (122 mm)
Aug 80°F (27°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 83°F (29°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Sep 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 80°F (27°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 71°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 63°F (17°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (133 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)