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

Should you visit Clearwater or Chattanooga?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Clearwater and Chattanooga. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Clearwater

Clearwater is a outdoorsy, adventure-filled, and relaxing coastal city. Other popular activities here include scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and shopping.

Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a outdoorsy, thriving, and bustling city. It's also known for food, hiking, and shopping.

Clearwater and Chattanooga: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
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


Is there more to do in Clearwater or Chattanooga?

Visitors will generally find more to do in Clearwater than Chattanooga. While Chattanooga is larger than Clearwater, Clearwater has more sights, attractions, and activities for tourists. Clearwater is better known for its museums, food, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and beaches, while Chattanooga is more popular for its hiking. Clearwater is more touristy than Chattanooga and is known for its beautiful white sand beaches, laid back atmosphere, and watersports. Also, Clearwater is famous for Clearwater Beach. Chattanooga is well known for it's hikes, railways, and nearby natural areas.

How is Clearwater different from Chattanooga?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Clearwater
Chattanooga

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

Clearwater offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Perhaps most well known is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, but there are also a surprising number of museums nearby such as the Dalí Museum, the impressive Chihuly Glass Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts.

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 Clearwater or Chattanooga? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Clearwater
Chattanooga

Clearwater is a great destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Chattanooga is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Dining out in Clearwater is an experience not to be missed. Head to the waterfront for some of the best seafood. Unfortunately this is also where you'll find the highest prices. Shrimp, crab, and a fresh catch of the day are common on many menus.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Chattanooga. 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 Clearwater or Chattanooga Better for Nightlife?

Clearwater
Chattanooga

Evening events are notable in both Clearwater and Chattanooga.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Clearwater. You'll find laid back beach clubs, glitzy wine bars, and relaxed bars where you can spend a nice night out.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe 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 Clearwater or Chattanooga Better for Resorts?

Clearwater
Chattanooga

Clearwater is a great destination for its resorts. However, Chattanooga is not a resort destination.

Clearwater is known as a popular and fun resort destination. You'll find a number of nice resorts along the coastline. Some of the most popular are the Sandpearl Resort, the Opal Sands Resort, and the Clearwater Beach Marriott.

Chattanooga is not a resort destination.


Is Clearwater or Chattanooga Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Clearwater
Chattanooga

Clearwater is a popular place for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Chattanooga is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Clearwater has a few good snorkeling spots. There's both snorkeling and diving nearby. Some of the best dive spots are within and hour of the shore and you'll find diving shops that offer trips.

Chattanooga is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Clearwater or Chattanooga Better for Beaches?

Clearwater
Chattanooga

Clearwater is an unbeatable place for the beach. However, Chattanooga is not a beach destination.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Clearwater. Clearwater Beach is on many lists as one of the best beaches in America. It's the most popular beach in the area and it spreads out over 2.5 miles. Sand Key Beach is another popular destination as is the pristine Caladesi Island State Park.

Chattanooga is not a beach destination.

Is Clearwater or Chattanooga Better for Hiking?

Clearwater
Chattanooga

Chattanooga is notable for the nearby hiking options. However, Clearwater is not a hiking destination.

Chattanooga is a popular spot for hiking. 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.

Clearwater is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Clearwater or Chattanooga?

Clearwater
Chattanooga

Both Clearwater and Chattanooga are notable shopping destinations.

Clearwater is a great destination for shopping. You'll find all of the standard shopping options in the area such as malls, shopping centers, and outlets. Westfield Countryside Mall is a popular destination as is the Cleveland Street District.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Chattanooga. 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 Clearwater or Chattanooga Better for Families?

Clearwater
Chattanooga

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

Clearwater is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. Check out the playground and activities around Pier 60. Less crowded and family-friendly Sand Key Park is another favorite spot and the playgrounds at New Coachman Park and Crest Lake Park are also fun. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is another popular attraction for visitors with kids.

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 Clearwater or Chattanooga Better for Couples?

Clearwater
Chattanooga

Clearwater is a great destination for couples. Also, Chattanooga is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

Couples visit Clearwater frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. There are beautiful parks and beaches as well as romantic activities like sunset cruises and dolphin spotting tours. Couples will also enjoy dining on local seafood and shopping at the local venues.

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

Clearwater
Chattanooga

Chattanooga is notable for its public transit. However, Clearwater is a mediocre coastal city 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 Clearwater. The Clearwater Jolley Trolley connects some of the area's highlights. There are also public buses that run several routes through town.

Is Clearwater or Chattanooga a more walkable city?

Clearwater
Chattanooga

Chattanooga is notable for its walkability. Also, Clearwater is not as famous, but is still a good coastal city to visit 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.

Clearwater is a somewhat walkable place. The waterfront and downtown areas are surprisingly walkable.

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

Should I spend more time in Chattanooga or Clearwater?

How long in Clearwater or Chattanooga?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Clearwater and Chattanooga. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Clearwater than in Chattanooga. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Clearwater, and 2-3 days is enough time in Chattanooga.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Clearwater than Chattanooga 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 Clearwater.


  • How many days in Clearwater or Chattanooga? Ideal Length of Stay
    Clearwater 3-5 
    Chattanooga 2-3

One day in Clearwater or Chattanooga?

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the beautiful coastal city of Clearwater. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Most people visit for the beaches. 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.

With museums and nightlife around the bustling city of Chattanooga, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Clearwater or Chattanooga?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the outdoorsy destination of Clearwater. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This coastal city offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

With nightlife and food around the destination of Chattanooga, there's plenty to do. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Five days in Clearwater or Chattanooga?

Visitors enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the relaxing coastal city of Clearwater. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Chattanooga, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Clearwater or Chattanooga?

Many people enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting Clearwater. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. Most people visit for the beaches. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Chattanooga is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


Which place is cheaper, Chattanooga or Clearwater?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Clearwater is $309, 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 Clearwater and Chattanooga in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Clearwater $141
    Chattanooga $92
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Clearwater $282
    Chattanooga $184
Compare Hotels in Clearwater and Chattanooga

Looking for a hotel in Clearwater 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 Clearwater


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: Clearwater Hotel Prices and Chattanooga Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Clearwater $221
    Chattanooga $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Clearwater

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Clearwater:

  • Clearwater Beach to St.Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) -Departure Private Transfer: $103
  • Clearwater Beach to Tampa Airport (TPA) - Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • From Orlando: Clearwater Beach Day with Transfers and Lunch: $100
  • Pete–Clearwater Airport to Clearwater Beach Round-Trip Transfer: $146
  • Private Airport Transfer to St. Petersburg or Clearwater Beach : $105
  • Private Transfer from Clearwater to Tampa Airport: $120
  • Private Transfer from St Petersburg Clearwater Airport to St Pete Beach: $70
  • St Petersburg to Tampa Airport (TPA) -Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to Clearwater Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $103
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to St. Petersburg - Arrival Private Transfer : $64
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to St. Petersburg - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $128
  • St. Petersburg to St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) - Departure Private Transfer: $64

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 Clearwater or Chattanooga?

Prices for flights to both Chattanooga and Clearwater 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
    Clearwater $46
    Chattanooga $59

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Clearwater

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

  • 2 Hours Beach Bites & Brews Food Tour in Gulfport, Florida: $69

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: $94
  • Historic Southside Food Tour in Chattanooga: $99
  • Downtown Chattanooga Food Tour: $119

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Clearwater -
    Chattanooga $52

Tours and Activities in Clearwater

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Clearwater are as follows:

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Clearwater by Operation City Quest: $10
  • St. Petersburg Jungle Prada Site History Tour: $14
  • The Coastal Sip 'n Roll: Jolley Trolley Beer Adventure: $25
  • Clearwater Daytime Yacht Sightseeing Cruise with Optional Dining : $27
  • Daytime Yacht Sightseeing Cruise with Optional Dining : $27
  • Two-hour Clearwater Area Trolley Sightseeing Tour: $28
  • Mega Bite Dolphin Tour Boat in Clearwater Beach: $28
  • Shark Teeth and Shells, Dolphin and Shelling Tour Boat Clearwater Beach : $28
  • 1-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Adventure Cruise from Madeira Beach: $28
  • Clearwater Sunset Celebration Cruise: $29
  • Tour with Dolphins and Sight Seeing: $29
  • Dolphin Quest - Sightseeing/Eco Cruise, John's Pass, Madeira Beach, FL : $29

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
  • Guided Ghost Walking Tour: $23
  • Chattanooga Guided Walking Tour: $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
  • ChattaBOOga Ghost Walk Tour in Chattanooga: $25
  • Family-Friendly Ghost Tour in Chattanooga: $25
  • Ghosts of the Misty Mountains Walking Tour: $26
  • Walking Tour of Chattanooga : $26

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Clearwater -
    Chattanooga $24

Sample the Local Flavors in Clearwater

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Clearwater:

  • The Tour and Wine Tasting Experience at Aspirations Winery: $32


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Clearwater and Chattanooga, we can see that Clearwater 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 Clearwater would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Clearwater 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 Clearwater Expensive? and Is Chattanooga Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Clearwater or Chattanooga?

Chattanooga has a larger population, and is about 44% larger than the population of Clearwater. When comparing the sizes of Clearwater 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 Clearwater or Chattanooga?

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 Clearwater or Chattanooga in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Clearwater and Chattanooga. The beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Clearwater this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Chattanooga for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Clearwater is generally around the same temperature as Chattanooga. Daily temperatures in Clearwater average around 82°F (28°C), and Chattanooga fluctuates around 81°F (27°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chattanooga this time of the year. In Clearwater, it's very sunny this time of the year. Clearwater usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Chattanooga during summer. Clearwater gets 265 hours of sunny skies, while Chattanooga receives 265 hours of full sun in the summer.

Chattanooga receives a lot of rain in the summer. Clearwater gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Clearwater usually receives more rain than Chattanooga. Clearwater gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while Chattanooga receives 5.2 inches (131 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Clearwater 82°F (28°C) 
    Chattanooga 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Chattanooga in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Clearwater as well as Chattanooga. Many travelers come to Clearwater for the shopping scene. Also, many visitors come to Chattanooga in the autumn for the hiking trails and the shopping scene.

Clearwater is a little warmer than Chattanooga in the autumn. The daily temperature in Clearwater averages around 75°F (24°C) in October, and Chattanooga fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Chattanooga. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Clearwater this time of the year. In the autumn, Clearwater often gets more sunshine than Chattanooga. Clearwater gets 234 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chattanooga receives 211 hours of full sun.

Clearwater usually gets less rain in October than Chattanooga. Clearwater gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while Chattanooga receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year. Keep in mind that June to November is the hurricane season in Clearwater.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Clearwater 75°F (24°C) 
    Chattanooga 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Chattanooga in the Winter?

Both Chattanooga and Clearwater are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Clearwater in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Chattanooga for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Chattanooga can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Clearwater is much warmer than Chattanooga. Typically, the winter temperatures in Clearwater in January average around 60°F (15°C), and Chattanooga averages at about 40°F (5°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Clearwater. Clearwater usually receives more sunshine than Chattanooga during winter. Clearwater gets 200 hours of sunny skies, while Chattanooga receives 145 hours of full sun in the winter.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Chattanooga. In January, Clearwater usually receives less rain than Chattanooga. Clearwater gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while Chattanooga receives 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Clearwater 60°F (15°C) 
    Chattanooga 40°F (5°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Chattanooga in the Spring?

Both Chattanooga and Clearwater during the spring are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Clearwater for the beaches during these months.

In April, Clearwater is generally a little warmer than Chattanooga. Daily temperatures in Clearwater average around 71°F (22°C), and Chattanooga fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

In Chattanooga, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Clearwater. In the spring, Clearwater often gets more sunshine than Chattanooga. Clearwater gets 299 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chattanooga receives 243 hours of full sun.

Chattanooga gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Clearwater usually gets less rain in April than Chattanooga. Clearwater gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while Chattanooga receives 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, June to November in Clearwater is the hurricane season.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Clearwater 71°F (22°C) 
    Chattanooga 62°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for Chattanooga and Clearwater

Clearwater Chattanooga
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 40°F (5°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Feb 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 53°F (12°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 62°F (17°C) 4.4 inches (112 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm) 78°F (25°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm) 81°F (27°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm) 80°F (27°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 44°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (133 mm)