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The first part of the name "Chattanooga" derives from the Muskogean word cvto /chắtȯ/ – 'rock'.
The latter may be derived from a regional suffix -nuga meaning dwelling or dwelling place.
The fourth-largest Tennessee city, it is the seat of Hamilton County.
Located in southeastern Tennessee in East Tennessee, on the Tennessee River, served by multiple railroads and Interstate highways, Chattanooga is a transit hub.
In 1839, the community of Ross's Landing incorporated as the city of Chattanooga.
Surrounded by mountains and ridges, the official nickname for Chattanooga is the Scenic City, reinforced by the city's reputation for outdoor activities.
Unofficial nicknames include River City, Chatt, Nooga, Chattown, and Gig City, referencing Chattanooga's claims that it has the fastest internet service in the Western Hemisphere.
Chattanooga lies 120 miles (190 km) northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, 120 miles (190 km) southwest of Knoxville, Tennessee, 135 miles (217 km) southeast of Nashville, Tennessee, 120 miles (190 km) northeast of Huntsville, Alabama, and 148 miles (238 km) northeast of Birmingham, Alabama.
The city, with downtown elevation of approximately 680 feet (210 m), lies at the transition between the ridge-and-valley portion of the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau.