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

Should you visit Tampa or Chattanooga?

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

Should I visit Tampa or Chattanooga? 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.

Tampa

Tampa is a easy-going, low-key, and laid-back city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. Other popular activities here include food and beaches.

Chattanooga

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

Tampa and Chattanooga: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with couples
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable


Is there more to do in Tampa or Chattanooga?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Tampa than Chattanooga. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Tampa is very popular for its scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and big city activities, while Chattanooga attracts visitors for its museums, nightlife, hiking, and shopping. Chattanooga is more touristy than Tampa and is popular for it's hikes, railways, and nearby natural areas. Tampa is famous for its amusement parks, wildlife parks, and popularity as a cruise ship port. It is also well known for Busch Gardens.

How is Tampa different from Chattanooga?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Tampa
Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a popular place for its museums and history. However, Tampa does not have museums and landmarks.

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.

Tampa does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Tampa
Chattanooga

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Tampa and Chattanooga can be difficult as they are each nice in their own way.

Tampa is becoming an appealing option for foodies. There are a surprising number of great local restaurants around town as well as a good food truck scene. Some favorite dishes include fresh caught seafood, Grouper sandwiches, and Cuban sandwiches.

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

Is Tampa or Chattanooga Better for Nightlife?

Tampa
Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a popular place for its evening party scene. However, Tampa is lacking in options for nightlife.

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.

Tampa is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. The city has some good nightclubs, sports bars, and other spots where locals enjoy spending the evening.

Is Tampa or Chattanooga Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Tampa
Chattanooga

Tampa is a city with a few options for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Chattanooga is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Tampa has a few snorkeling spots. While the water isn't always the clearest, there are some nice snorkeling and diving spots in the area. Options include Shell Key and Egmont Key, Crystal River, and Fort De Soto.

Chattanooga is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.


Is Tampa or Chattanooga Better for Beaches?

Tampa
Chattanooga

Tampa is a great destination for the beach. However, Chattanooga is not a beach destination.

Tampa is considered a top beach destination. Popular beaches near Tampa include Ben T. Davis Beach, Fred Howard Park, and Indian Rocks Beach.

Chattanooga is not a beach destination.

Is Tampa or Chattanooga Better for Hiking?

Tampa
Chattanooga

Chattanooga is an excellent place to visit for its hiking trails. However, Tampa 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.

Tampa is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Tampa or Chattanooga?

Tampa
Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a popular place for its shopping areas. However, Tampa is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Chattanooga has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. 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.

Tampa is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Tampa or Chattanooga Better for Families?

Tampa
Chattanooga

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

Tampa is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has a number of kid-oriented attractions including Busch Gardens Amusement Park, several kid-friendly museums, and a number of animal centers, aquariums, and wildlife rescue facilities.

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 Tampa or Chattanooga Better for Couples?

Tampa
Chattanooga

Chattanooga is a popular place for couples. However, Tampa is lacking in options for romance.

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.

Tampa is not the best destination for a couple to visit. The area does have great restaurants and some fun places to explore, but the downtown area has room for improvement and much of the city is suburban.

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

Tampa
Chattanooga

Chattanooga is an excellent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Tampa is lacking in options for its public transit.

The public transit in Chattanooga can get you to most 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 limited or non-existant in Tampa. There is the street car that runs from downtown Tampa to Ybor City and stops at 11 stations.


Is Tampa or Chattanooga a more walkable city?

Tampa
Chattanooga

Chattanooga is an excellent place to visit for its ease of walking around. However, Tampa is lacking in options for its walkability.

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

Tampa is generally not very walkable. While there are some neighborhoods that are considered walkable, you really need a car if you hope to explore Tampa in depth.

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

Should I spend more time in Chattanooga or Tampa?

How long in Tampa or Chattanooga?

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

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

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

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

One day in Tampa or Chattanooga?

Visitors enjoy the food when visiting the laid-back city of Tampa. It's also a great beach destination, too. 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.

In Chattanooga, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this bustling destination offers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Tampa or Chattanooga?

Visitors enjoy the food when visiting the laid-back destination of Tampa. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Chattanooga. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


Five days in Tampa or Chattanooga?

The laid-back city of Tampa offers food. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. 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.

Chattanooga is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Chattanooga. 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.

A week in Tampa or Chattanooga?

Many people enjoy the food when visiting Tampa. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people come for the beaches. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

You'll find food and shopping around the bustling destination of Chattanooga. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


Which place is cheaper, Chattanooga or Tampa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tampa is $179, 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 Tampa and Chattanooga in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tampa $85
    Chattanooga $92
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tampa $170
    Chattanooga $184
Compare Hotels in Tampa and Chattanooga

Looking for a hotel in Tampa 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 Tampa


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: Tampa Hotel Prices and Chattanooga Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tampa $69
    Chattanooga $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tampa

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

  • Tampa hotels to Tampa Bay Cruise Port - Departure Private Transfer : $50
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Tampa Airport TPA to Tampa City in Business Car: $72
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Tampa Airport TPA to Tampa City in Luxury SUV: $86
  • Departure Private Transfer: Tampa City to Tampa Airport TPA in Business Car: $72
  • Departure Private Transfer: Tampa City to Tampa Airport TPA in Luxury SUV: $86
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Tampa Airport (TPA): $36
  • Private Arrival Transfer In Tampa International Airport (TPA) : $35
  • Private Departure Transfer - to Tampa Airport (TPA): $32
  • Private One-way Tampa Airport Transfer To/From Tampa: $46
  • Private Transfer from TPA to Lakeland and Winter Haven: $157
  • Private Transfer from TPA to Tampa / St Petersburg / Clearwater Beach : $121
  • Private Transfer from Tampa Airport (TPA) to Clearwater Beach: $188

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 Tampa or Chattanooga?

Prices for flights to both Chattanooga and Tampa 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
    Tampa $53
    Chattanooga $59

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tampa

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

  • Cooking Class near Disney in Tampa Florida: $88
  • Ybor City Food Tour On Sundays: $89

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.
    Tampa $20
    Chattanooga $52

Tours and Activities in Tampa

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

  • Ybor City Immigrant influence Smart Phone guided App (GPS) walking tour: $6.50
  • Tampa Riverwalk: A Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.41
  • Tampa Riverwalk a Smartphone Audio Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Tampa by Crazy Dash: $10
  • Experience the season with a scavenger hunt in Tampa with Holly Jolly Hunt: $20
  • Tampa Terrors Ghost Tour: $26
  • Discover Tampa with Local Stories from a Virtual Tour: $30
  • The Official Downtown Tampa Ghost Tour: $30
  • Tampa Terrors Ghost Tour By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • Shared Ybor City Historic Walking Tour: $30
  • Downtown Tampa Historic Walking Tour: $30
  • Sunset and Night Cruises Tour: $30

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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tampa $26
    Chattanooga $24

Sample the Local Flavors in Tampa

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

  • Tampa Bar Hunt: Tampa Takeover Bar Crawl: $12
  • Tampa Terrors Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Tampa Bar Crawl on a 2023 Street Legal Golf Cart: $40
  • Ybor City Private Brewery Tour by Custom Golf Cart: $170
  • Tampa Heights Private Brewery Tour by Custom Golf Cart: $191


When comparing the travel costs between Tampa and Chattanooga, 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 Tampa Expensive? and Is Chattanooga Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Tampa or Chattanooga?

Tampa has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Chattanooga. When comparing the sizes of Tampa 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 Tampa or Chattanooga?

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

Should I visit Tampa or Chattanooga in the Summer?

Both Chattanooga and Tampa during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to Tampa because of the beaches, snorkeling, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the hiking and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Chattanooga this time of year.

Tampa is around the same temperature as Chattanooga in the summer. The daily temperature in Tampa averages around 82°F (28°C) in July, and Chattanooga fluctuates around 81°F (27°C).

In Chattanooga, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Tampa. In the summer, Tampa often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Chattanooga. Tampa gets 265 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chattanooga receives 265 hours of full sun.

Chattanooga gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Tampa. Tampa usually gets more rain in July than Chattanooga. Tampa gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while Chattanooga receives 5.2 inches (131 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Tampa or Chattanooga in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Tampa and Chattanooga. The city's sights and attractions are the main draw to Tampa this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Chattanooga for the hiking trails and the shopping scene.

In the autumn, Tampa is a little warmer than Chattanooga. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Tampa in October average around 75°F (24°C), and Chattanooga averages at about 63°F (17°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Chattanooga this time of the year. In Tampa, it's very sunny this time of the year. Tampa usually receives more sunshine than Chattanooga during autumn. Tampa gets 234 hours of sunny skies, while Chattanooga receives 211 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Tampa usually receives less rain than Chattanooga. Tampa gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while Chattanooga receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


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

Should I visit Tampa or Chattanooga in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Tampa as well as Chattanooga. Many travelers come to Tampa for the cuisine. Also, many visitors come to Chattanooga in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Chattanooga can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Tampa is generally much warmer than Chattanooga. Daily temperatures in Tampa average around 60°F (15°C), and Chattanooga fluctuates around 40°F (5°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Tampa this time of the year. In the winter, Tampa often gets more sunshine than Chattanooga. Tampa gets 200 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Chattanooga receives 145 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Chattanooga. Tampa usually gets less rain in January than Chattanooga. Tampa gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while Chattanooga receives 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Tampa or Chattanooga in the Spring?

Both Chattanooga and Tampa are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Tampa in the spring for the beaches and the activities around the city.

Tampa is a little warmer than Chattanooga in the spring. The daily temperature in Tampa averages around 71°F (22°C) in April, and Chattanooga fluctuates around 62°F (17°C).

It's quite sunny in Chattanooga. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Tampa. Tampa usually receives more sunshine than Chattanooga during spring. Tampa gets 299 hours of sunny skies, while Chattanooga receives 243 hours of full sun in the spring.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Chattanooga. In April, Tampa usually receives less rain than Chattanooga. Tampa gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while Chattanooga receives 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


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

Typical Weather for Chattanooga and Tampa

Tampa 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)