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Journey Through Huntsville, Alabama: A Guide to Rocket City

Big Spring Park Huntsville Alabama by Richard Bitting lic CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

 

Looking for a thriving new destination to call home? A booming economy, job opportunities, close community and more, Huntsville, AL, is on the climb in every category. Come explore the best that this Southern city has to offer. Storage Sense is your community resource for support through life’s big transitions. If you are planning a move or visit to Rocket City soon, read through our guide to Huntsville to learn about the area and help you get acclimated to our city!


Table of Contents

I. Explore Huntsville History & Attractions

II. Discover Life in Huntsville


Top Sites to See & Things To Do In Huntsville, Alabama

Exploring the Stars & Beyond

If you’re captivated by the wonders of space and science, Huntsville, is your dream destination. As the home of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville celebrates its rich aerospace history and offers a wealth of STEM-related activities perfect for families and science enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in interactive exhibits and marvel at rockets and space memorabilia. The center is also home to Space Camp, an immersive program designed to inspire the next generation of astronauts, scientists, and engineers. It offers a unique experience for children and adults alike to engage in astronaut training, robotics, and other activities.

Huntsville became a resource for the U.S. space program, primarily due to the establishment of the Redstone Arsenal in 1941 and later the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in 1960. At MSFC, under the leadership of Dr. Wernher von Braun, a team of scientists and engineers developed the Saturn V rocket, which would eventually power the Apollo missions to the moon. This monumental achievement marked Huntsville as a key player in space exploration. 

Unique Shopping Finds and Antique Treasures

For those who love hunting for one-of-a-kind and vintage items, Huntsville’s shopping scene is a treasure trove. Firehouse Antiques & Collectibles and Packard’s Antiques in South Huntsville are must-visit stops for antique lovers looking for their next gem. Don’t forget to also check out Ginger and Pickles Antiques in Gurley for a quirky collection of anything and everything.

Huntsville is also home to several popular shopping centers and malls, so you always have access to a good shopping day. Parkway Place Mall on Memorial Parkway South features a wide range of stores from well-known national brands to local businesses. The Bridge Street Town Centre is another favorite that has a blend of high-end retailers, specialty stores, and dining options in an open-air shopping center.

Step into Northern Alabama’s Great Outdoors

If you are searching for regular opportunities to get outdoors, check out Huntsville’s extensive network of greenways and trails. These pathways meander through various parts of the city, providing residents and visitors with safe, scenic routes for walking, jogging, and cycling. The Aldridge Creek Greenway is one popular choice with a 5.5-mile trail that stretches along a picturesque creek. These areas supports a healthy lifestyle but also connect different parts of the city, making it easy to explore Huntsville’s diverse neighborhoods and attractions on foot or by bike.

East of the city is Monte Sano State Park—the adventurer’s top Huntsville destination. Located on Monte Sano Mountain, this park offers more than 2,140 acres of scenic wilderness, complete with hiking and biking trails, rustic cabins, and campgrounds. The park’s trails range from easy, family friendly walks to more challenging hikes, offering stunning views of the surrounding valleys and forests. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a picnic, explore the natural beauty on foot or bike, or simply relax in the great outdoors, you need to make this a stop during your trip.

Nature lovers will find even more beauty at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. Set across 118 acres, the beautifully maintained gardens offers a serene environment where you can wander through the vibrant floral displays and lush greenery. It’s an fun spot for family outings, romantic walks, or peaceful solo adventures amidst nature. The gardens also host various events throughout the year, making each visit a unique experience.

Try A Taste of Huntsville

When it comes to dining, Huntsville doesn’t disappoint. O’Bryan’s Steakhouse is renowned for its succulent steaks and warm ambiance, perfect for a hearty meal. 3rd Base Grill offers a laid-back atmosphere with a menu packed with comforting classics. For a unique dining experience, track down The Peppered Pig Food Truck. Known for its inventive and mouthwatering dishes, it’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

  1. Cotton Row Restaurant: Located in downtown Huntsville, Cotton Row lives in a historic building that dates back to 1821. This restaurant is renowned for its fine dining experience, offering a menu crafted by award-winning Chef James Boyce. The cuisine is American with a modern twist, focusing on fresh, local ingredients. It’s a perfect spot for a special occasion or a sophisticated night out.
  2. Commerce Kitchen: Another gem from Chef James Boyce, Commerce Kitchen offers a blend of traditional Southern comfort food with contemporary culinary techniques. Housed in a historic 1892 building, the restaurant’s ambiance reflects Huntsville’s charm. Favorites include shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and their signature burgers.
  3. Grille on Main: Located in the upscale Village of Providence, Grille on Main offers a menu of steak, seafood, and gourmet comfort food in an elegant yet comfortable setting. Their brunch, especially, is a local favorite, offering delightful dishes such as shrimp and grits and stuffed French toast.
  4. Phat Sammy’s: A unique addition to Huntsville’s dining scene, Phat Sammy’s is a tiki-inspired bar and restaurant that offers a fun, eclectic menu of Asian-Pacific-Island-inspired cuisine and inventive cocktails. The lively atmosphere and creative dishes make it a popular choice for a fun night out.
  5. The Bottle: An upscale dining establishment, The Bottle specializes in modern American cuisine with a Southern influence. The restaurant, situated on Washington Street, offers an elegant and intimate dining experience. The menu changes seasonally and features fresh, high-quality ingredients.

Living in Huntsville: What You Need to Know When You Move to the City

The Job Market Is Booming

Lots of expansion means job opportunities. Huntsville is becoming one of the top neighborhoods for young professionals and entrepreneurs. The Huntsville area is undergoing a huge economic boom, evident in its widespread development projects, including new buildings and infrastructure enhancements. This growth is largely fueled by Huntsville’s strong presence in key industries such as aerospace, defense, biotechnology, and information technology. The city is home to the Redstone Arsenal, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and a multitude of tech startups and established companies, creating a diverse range of employment opportunities. In 2023, Huntsville’s impressive economic performance and job creation led to its recognition as one of the top five best job markets in the United States, making it an increasingly popular destination for those seeking career growth and new opportunities.

Our Popular Neighborhoods Invite You to Settle In

Even with housing developments on the rise, the small-town southern charm has not left Huntsville. The city is experiencing a unique blend of growth and preservation. Despite its rapid development and economic boom, Huntsville retains its welcoming and friendly atmosphere, which is particularly evident in its residential areas.

One of the most appealing aspects of Huntsville’s housing market is its affordability. The average cost of a home in Huntsville is notably less than the national average, making it an attractive option for families, professionals, and retirees alike. This affordability doesn’t come at the expense of quality or variety, as the city boasts a range of housing options to suit different preferences and lifestyles.

Hampton Cove is a picturesque neighborhood, known for its natural surroundings and family friendly atmosphere. Nestled at the base of Monte Sano Mountain, residents of Hampton Cove enjoy breathtaking views, extensive green spaces, and a series of lakes that add to the area’s tranquil charm. The neighborhood is designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind, featuring multiple walking trails, golf courses, and parks. Its well-planned layout includes a mix of residential options from single-family homes to townhouses, catering to a diverse range of residents. Hampton Cove also boasts excellent schools, making it a popular choice for families.

Five Points Historic District is a vibrant neighborhood that exhibits a unique blend of old-world charm and modern convenience. With colorful bungalows and Victorian-era homes, this area has a distinctive architectural character. Five Points is located near downtown Huntsville, making it an ideal location for those who enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life along with easy access to local shops, cafes, and cultural attractions. Its lively streets, local events, and friendly community vibe make Five Points a desirable place for young professionals and artists.

Another area to show off the city’s rich history, the Twickenham Historic District stands out as a crown jewel. It has beautifully preserved antebellum homes and tree-lined streets, and it’s also listed as one of Huntsville’s must-see attractions, appealing to both history buffs and architecture admirers.

The Village of Providence represents a more modern, upscale living experience. This planned community is known for its blend of residential and commercial spaces, creating a vibrant and convenient environment where residents can live, work, and play. The neighborhood features a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments, all within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and other amenities.

Technically a city itself, Madison is a rapidly growing suburb of Huntsville, known for its excellent schools and family oriented neighborhoods. Enjoy the peaceful suburban feel with all the conveniences of city living. Madison features a variety of housing options, from spacious family homes to modern apartments, suitable for a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. Take advantage of numerous greenspaces like Dublin Park and Palmer Park, and recreational facilities. Its close proximity to major employment hubs and easy access to Huntsville’s city center make Madison an attractive choice for professionals and families alike.

Storage Sense Is Huntsville’s #1 Self Storage Solution

Why is Storage Sense the area’s top choice for reliable space and storage expertise? We offer multiple storage facilities in Huntsville, AL, to serve area residents, including renters, students, homeowners, and businesses. With locations close to Alabama A&M University, up near Mt. Carmel, and south toward Owens Cross Roads, Storage Sense has a solution close to you!

Locate the Storage Sense facility that will be most convenient for you; then check out the storage units that are currently available online. You can browse our selection and navigate our resources to find your ideal fit. If you are unsure about the amount of space you should be renting for your load, our storage calculator can give you a quick point of reference. We also created two other tools for you—our FAQ and collection of expert tips—to help guide you through the rental process and provide insight into our different self storage options. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office to talk to one of our professionals. We are here to make your storage experience easy!

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Katie Mest

Katie Mest

About the Author: Katie Mest is a Content Marketing Specialist at Storage Asset Management in York, PA. She specializes in writing about the self storage industry, including storage tips and helpful resources. Outside of work, Katie enjoys spending time exploring the outdoors and snuggling in with a crochet project and her cat, Billie.