North Chattanooga offers a nice mix of retail, restaurants and amenities. Signal Mountain is very close to town as well and offers shopping though dining is a bit more limited but Signal has the best sense of community. Several areas are close to downtown and in fact the general rule of thumb is, "you can get anywhere, from anywhere in 20 minutes". Very easy town to navigate.
You can access several weekly newspapers at: http://community.timesfreepress.com
Are schools a consideration? Feel free to write with any questions you may have: firstname.lastname@example.org
Another option to consider might be just across the state line into Georgia. A thought that is close to both dining and is a more upscale community would be the Windstone Golf Community. There are more options available if you would be interested in more acreage and privacy, just let me know.
I would have to agree with Debbie and Terry when they say that the security systems should not deter you. Alot of homeowners and buyers in our area see securtiy systems as more of an amenity than for security reasons. If traffic is something that is important than properties in the county would be a good start as they offer less traffic. One area that comes to mind with alot of what you are looking for is Ooltewah but we have others as well. You get alot of mountain views and very close to the lake where you can get a lake view with the right property.
Well, I am excited for you and your husband. Chattanooga is a great place to live and has alot to offer. I am partial as I have lived here all my life and married to a Chattanooga Firefighter. Is this going to be your first relocation? If I can be of any assistance please contact me via the website listed below.
I can see how seeing security systems listed may give you the impression that there is a safety issue, but don't let that deter you. Chattanooga, is like many other cities, and is a safe place. Many homes list security system as a desirable option. We have lived here for many years and are raising our family ( two teenage daughters) with no major concerns. There are a mumber of options with lake of mountain views and a few with BOTH! If you'd like to get a little more specific please feel free to contact us at the website below.
We have several areas that would fit what you are looking for. East Brainerd, Ooltewah, Signal Mtn., and North Chattanooga come to mind. All these areas would be 10-30 minutes from downtown if you have to take in commute time. Chattanooga has a tremendous amount of things to offer. Call with questions or check out the website.