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

Should you visit Chattanooga or Norfolk?

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

Should I visit Chattanooga or Norfolk? 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 outdoorsy, thriving, and bustling city. It's also known for hiking, shopping, and museums.

Norfolk

Norfolk is a authentic, blue collar, and maritime city. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Chattanooga and Norfolk: 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
  • 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 Norfolk?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Chattanooga than Norfolk. While Norfolk is larger than Chattanooga, Chattanooga has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Chattanooga is more touristy than Norfolk and is known for it's hikes, railways, and nearby natural areas. Also, Chattanooga is famous for Rock City. Norfolk is well known for its naval base and military presence.

How is Chattanooga different from Norfolk?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Chattanooga
Norfolk

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

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.

Norfolk is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. There are some interesting museums in town like the Chrysler Museum, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, and the Norfolk Police and Fire Museum. You should also check out the Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin.


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

Chattanooga
Norfolk

Dining out at restaurants in both Chattanooga and Norfolk 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 Norfolk. You'll find a decent collection of restaurants in the downtown area. Food options include local seafood, brunch, casual eateries, and fine dining.

Is Chattanooga or Norfolk Better for Nightlife?

Chattanooga
Norfolk

It's hard to distinguish whether Chattanooga or Norfolk has a better nightlife scene.

Chattanooga has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. 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.

If you're looking for night time activities Norfolk has a few options to choose from. Downtown is where you'll find the most busy nightlife venues. The city has great breweries, and the live music scene has taken off. There are also lounges, dance clubs, and wine bars to choose from.

Is Chattanooga or Norfolk Better for Hiking?

Chattanooga
Norfolk

Chattanooga is a great destination for its hiking experiences. However, Norfolk 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.

Norfolk is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Chattanooga or Norfolk?

Chattanooga
Norfolk

Shopping is a popular activity in both Norfolk 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 Norfolk. There's a mix of shopping malls, local boutiques, farmer's markets, and shopping centers around town.

Is Chattanooga or Norfolk Better for Families?

Chattanooga
Norfolk

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Chattanooga or Norfolk.

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.

Norfolk offers lots of family activities. The Norfolk Zoo is always a hit with kids. You should also visit the USS Wisconsin which offers tours, as well as the Douglas MacArthur Memorial Museum.

Is Chattanooga or Norfolk Better for Couples?

Chattanooga
Norfolk

Chattanooga is a popular place for romance. However, Norfolk is a city with minimal options for its romantic activities.

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.

Most people don't think of Norfolk as a couple's destination. There are some nice hotels and several great parks and outdoor activities.


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

Chattanooga
Norfolk

Chattanooga is a great destination for its public transit. However, Norfolk is a city with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

Many visitors rely on the effecient and affordable public transportation 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.

Public transit is mostly limited in Norfolk. While there are buses, ferries, and even lightrail in the area, you really want to have a car to get around.

Is Chattanooga or Norfolk a more walkable city?

Chattanooga
Norfolk

Chattanooga is a great destination for its walkability. Also, Norfolk is still popular, but not quite as popular for its high level of walkability.

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

Norfolk is a somewhat walkable place. Downtown is the most walkable part of the city.

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

Should I spend more time in Norfolk or Chattanooga?

How long in Chattanooga or Norfolk?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Chattanooga or Norfolk to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Chattanooga than Norfolk because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Chattanooga, and 1-2 days is enough time in Norfolk.

Families should spend more time in Chattanooga than Norfolk. 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 Norfolk. 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 Norfolk 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 Norfolk? Ideal Length of Stay
    Chattanooga 2-3 
    Norfolk 1-2

One day in Chattanooga or Norfolk?

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 nightlife and food when visiting the blue collar city of Norfolk. 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 Norfolk?

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 food and shopping when visiting the blue collar destination of Norfolk. 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 Norfolk?

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 blue collar city of Norfolk 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.

A week in Chattanooga or Norfolk?

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 museums and nightlife when visiting Norfolk. 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 Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America, and The Best Historical Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Norfolk 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 Norfolk is $166. 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 Norfolk in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Chattanooga $92
    Norfolk $84
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Chattanooga $184
    Norfolk $168
Compare Hotels in Chattanooga and Norfolk

Looking for a hotel in Chattanooga or Norfolk? 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 Norfolk


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 Norfolk Hotel Prices.

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Norfolk

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Norfolk:

  • Bamville Transportation (Private & Airport Transfers): $275

Is it cheaper to fly into Chattanooga or Norfolk?

Prices for flights to both Norfolk 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
    Norfolk $49

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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Norfolk

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

  • Norfolk Buffet Dinner Cruise : $89
  • Buffet Dinner Cruise: $89
  • Norfolk Mother's Day Signature Dinner Cruise: $141
  • Norfolk 4th of July Buffet Dinner Cruise: $182

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

Tours and Activities in Chattanooga

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

  • Downtown Audio Tour with VoiceMap App: $7.99
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • National Medal of Honor Heritage Museum Admission Ticket in Chattanooga: $14
  • ChattaBOOga Ghost Walk Tour in Chattanooga: $23
  • Guided Ghost Walking Tour: $23
  • Chattanooga Guided Walking Tour: $23
  • Murder & Mayhem Haunted History Walking Tour: $25
  • Original Local Award-Winning Walking Ghost 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
  • Scenic City Ghosts, Voodoo, Murder Mystery Tour: $25

Tours and Activities in Norfolk

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

  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Norfolk with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Skip the Line: Virginia Living Museum Admission Ticket: $22
  • Neon District Contemporary Art Walking Tour: $32
  • Norfolk's Combo Tickets - Virginia Zoo & Battleship Wisconsin: $37
  • Virginia Zoo & Battleship Wisconsin Combo Ticket: $38
  • Elizabeth River Buffet Lunch Cruise: $59
  • Electric Bike Rental Downtown Norfolk (self guided tour) : $60
  • Norfolk Buffet Brunch Cruise : $74
  • Elizabeth River Sunday Buffet Brunch Cruise: $74
  • Mother's Day Signature Brunch Cruise Norfolk: $119

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Chattanooga $24
    Norfolk $10

Sample the Local Flavors in Norfolk

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Norfolk:

  • Party Bike Pub Crawl in Downtown Norfolk: $30


When comparing the travel costs between Chattanooga and Norfolk, we can see that Chattanooga 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 Chattanooga Expensive? and Is Norfolk Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Chattanooga or Norfolk?

Norfolk has a larger population, and is about 51% larger than the population of Chattanooga. When comparing the sizes of Chattanooga and Norfolk, 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 Norfolk?

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 Norfolk in the Summer?

Both Norfolk and Chattanooga are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The summer months attract visitors to Chattanooga because of the hiking and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Norfolk this time of year.

In the summer, Chattanooga is around the same temperature as Norfolk. Typically, the summer temperatures in Chattanooga in July average around 81°F (27°C), and Norfolk averages at about 79°F (26°C).

It's quite sunny in Norfolk. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chattanooga. Chattanooga usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Norfolk during summer. Chattanooga gets 265 hours of sunny skies, while Norfolk receives 279 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Norfolk. It's quite rainy in Chattanooga. In July, Chattanooga usually receives less rain than Norfolk. Chattanooga gets 5.2 inches (131 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 5.7 inches (145 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Chattanooga 81°F (27°C) 
    Norfolk 79°F (26°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Norfolk in the Autumn?

Both Norfolk and Chattanooga during the autumn are popular places to visit. The hiking trails and the shopping scene are the main draw to Chattanooga this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Norfolk for the shopping scene.

In October, Chattanooga is generally around the same temperature as Norfolk. Daily temperatures in Chattanooga average around 63°F (17°C), and Norfolk fluctuates around 62°F (16°C).

In Norfolk, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Chattanooga. In the autumn, Chattanooga often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Norfolk. Chattanooga gets 211 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Norfolk receives 211 hours of full sun.

Chattanooga usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Norfolk. Chattanooga gets 3 inches (75 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Chattanooga 63°F (17°C) 
    Norfolk 62°F (16°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Norfolk in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Chattanooga and Norfolk. Many travelers come to Chattanooga for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Norfolk in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Norfolk can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Chattanooga. Chattanooga is a little warmer than Norfolk in the winter. The daily temperature in Chattanooga averages around 40°F (5°C) in January, and Norfolk fluctuates around 39°F (4°C).

Chattanooga usually receives less sunshine than Norfolk during winter. Chattanooga gets 145 hours of sunny skies, while Norfolk receives 168 hours of full sun in the winter.

Chattanooga gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Chattanooga usually receives more rain than Norfolk. Chattanooga gets 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Chattanooga 40°F (5°C) 
    Norfolk 39°F (4°C)

Should I visit Chattanooga or Norfolk in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Chattanooga as well as Norfolk.

In the spring, Chattanooga is a little warmer than Norfolk. Typically, the spring temperatures in Chattanooga in April average around 62°F (17°C), and Norfolk averages at about 58°F (14°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Norfolk. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chattanooga this time of the year. In the spring, Chattanooga often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Norfolk. Chattanooga gets 243 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Norfolk receives 253 hours of full sun.

Chattanooga receives a lot of rain in the spring. Chattanooga usually gets more rain in April than Norfolk. Chattanooga gets 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain, while Norfolk receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Chattanooga 62°F (17°C) 
    Norfolk 58°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Norfolk and Chattanooga

Chattanooga Norfolk
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 40°F (5°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 39°F (4°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Feb 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Mar 53°F (12°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 49°F (10°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Apr 62°F (17°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm) 58°F (14°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 70°F (21°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm)
Jun 78°F (25°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm) 79°F (26°C) 5.7 inches (145 mm)
Aug 80°F (27°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5.9 inches (150 mm)
Sep 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Oct 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 62°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (133 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)