Southern Stays is a series in which we will review a property, whether it be a hostel, hotel or other form of accommodation. To suggest a property please leave a comment or email us.
When I was growing up, there wasn’t much to see in Atlanta, as this was before the Georgia Aquarium and other major attractions arrived, so we drove around two hours away to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. Since then the city has become known for much more than these attractions, being named Outside magazine’s Best Place to Live. In between the environmentally-friendly government to the beautiful outdoors to the understandably low cost of living, it’s easy to agree with them.
It was these sort of forward-thinking residents that opened The Crash Pad Chattanooga in Chattanooga’s Southside back in 2011 as a haven for hikers, climbers and travelers passing through. You can tell that this place was created by travelers, as it has all the important details. Design played an important role also, as it was the first hostel to become LEED platinum certified, as they used sustainable and recycled local building materials.
The layout reminded me of Sweet Peas Hostel in Asheville, as there is one long hallway with partial walls separating rooms of bunk beds. Private rooms are adjacent and have their own doors. Bunk beds include locked storage, privacy curtains, shelves, fans, reading lamps, hooks and plenty of plugs for you to charge your electronics. Rooms also include linens and towels and entry into the hostel and rooms is via keycard. Dorm rooms start at $27, while private rooms start at $70. There’s also the Super Queen option for groups and families that has a double bed and bunk that costs $95 per night.
The hostel has all sorts of amenities to keep travelers happy, including free WiFi throughout the property, as well as computers for public use and a book exchange. There’s a communal kitchen, which is where there’s free breakfast every morning. It includes farm fresh eggs, Niedlov’s bread and Greyfriar’s coffee, all from local sources. The hostel is located within walking distance of the cool restaurants and bars of the Southside and is within walking distance of the free shuttle to the Tennessee Aquarium and the bike rentals from Bike Chattanooga.
The staff are always on hand to answer any questions, whether it be the best place to find Thai food in town or the best spot for beginners to try their hand at rock climbing. There’s always events going on in town and the Crash Pad also hosts film screenings and beer tastings.
Their sister restaurant next door, The Flying Squirrel, has an emphasis on beer and small bites and offers guests a 15% discount off their checks. Dozens of other restaurants nearby also offer discounts, including Urban Stack, Bluegrass Grill, Mojo Burrito and Brewhaus, among many others. All you have to do is flash your keycard. Ask for a list at the front desk before you venture out.
For More Information
The hostel is located at 29 Johnson Street, Chattanooga, TN 37408. From I-75 north, take I-24 west towards Chattanooga/Nashville. Take the Market Street exit. Merge onto South Market Street before turning right onto East Main Street. Take the first left onto Rossville Avenue past the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and take the first right onto Johnson Street. The hostel will be on your left.
If you’re arriving by Megabus, you’ll be dropped off at the Eastgate Mall complex, a few minutes outside of town. From there, you can catch the Route 4 CARTA bus into town and get off at the Tennessee Aquarium. From there, catch the free shuttle to the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Take the first left past the hotel, which will loop around and turn into Rossville. You will see the hostel on your left.
Greyhound buses drop off at 960 Airport Road, right next to Chattanooga Airport. From here, you’ll catch the Route 19 CARTA bus into town to the final stop at 10th and Market streets. Walk down Market towards 11th until you get to the Chattanooga Choo Choo on your left. Follow the above directions from there.
Free parking is available in a lot next to the hostel. Check in is at 4 pm and check out is at 11 am. Call (+1) 423-648-8393 or see their website to make a booking.
I received one night in the dorms for two people at the Crash Pad, but all opinions are my own.