Huntsville, AL is one of the most desirable cities in Alabama. Nicknamed “Rocket City” for its deep and frequent involvement with NASA’s space programs over the years, Huntsville remains a huge tech center to this day.
Find out everything you need to know about moving to Huntsville, AL today with these 25 things:
#1 Discover History at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center
Huntsville is called Rocket City for a reason: the city was a major hub of aerospace and engineering technological advancements during the Space Race, and it continues to be a major tech center in the south to this day. Discover the city’s scientifically rich past with a visit to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center museum.
#2 Enjoy Art Festivals
Science and art both receive attention in Huntsville. Discover traveling exhibits of various mediums and cultures at the Huntsville Museum of Art. Or, check out the Panoply Art Festival for regular celebrations of the arts, including workshops, performances, and presentations.
#3 Being a Rocket Scientist Isn’t a Big Deal Here
In most parts of the world, telling someone you’re a rocket scientist would cause heads to turn. In Huntsville, it’s no big deal. Don’t try to impress your new friends by telling them you’re a rocket scientist.
#4 We Work for the Gov & Enjoy It
Aerospace and military technology are big businesses here, and everybody works hard to keep their great government jobs. A majority of the residents work for the government or work for companies that contract work with the government. And most people are satisfied with their employment.
#5 Get Ready for Southern Friendliness Mixed with Cosmopolitan Excitement
Huntsville AL has a unique culture. The city is undeniably in the south, but it has the cosmopolitan excitement of a big city. The unique mix of exciting nightlife and friendly southern hospitality make Huntsville one of the cultural centers of Alabama.
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#6 We Like Our Craft Beer
It’s not all fun and rocket ships in Huntsville: the city is also crazy about craft beer. Some of the best craft breweries in town include Straight to Ale (the city’s favorite – try the Belgian Dubbel), Yellowhammer Brewing, Blue Pants Brewery, Rocket Republic Brewing Co., and Salty Nut Brewery.
#7 Huntsville Takes Craft Beer Extra Seriously One Day a Year
Every year, Rocket City Brewfest takes over the city and introduces the surrounding areas to some of the best craft beers the city has to offer. You should probably take May 9th off work next year to make sure you can properly celebrate.
#8 Huntsville is a Hockey Town
Huntsville loves its local sports teams. The Southern Professional Hockey League’s (SPHL’s) Huntsville Havoc play their home games at the Von Braun Center downtown to a packed house. Keep an eye out for 2-for-1 beer nights on Thursdays.
#9 And It’s an Indoor Football Town
Never followed indoor football before? Moving to Huntsville gives you a great excuse to start. The Professional Indoor Football League’s Alabama Hammers won the league championship in 2013 and play in front of big crowds all summer at the (thankfully) air-conditioned Von Braun Center downtown.
#10 It’s not Earthquakes, It’s Rocket Tests
Earthquakes are extremely rare in Huntsville. But during a rocket test, it’s easy to think otherwise. Your windows might rattle and dishes can even fall out of cabinets, but it’s just local aerospace companies doing a rocket test launch. You’ll get used to it.
#11 Get the Big Pizza at Big Ed’s
The aptly-named Big Ed’s is famous for its Big 8 pizza. Eight delicious toppings (pepperoni, onions, ham, pork sausage, green peppers, fresh mushrooms, black olives, and green olives) on a fresh-baked crust makes it feel like you’re eating two meals in one pizza.
#12 It’s Easy to Get Fresh, Local Food
Buying local is easy in Huntsville. Farmer’s markets take place throughout the city all year long and give you instant access to affordable seasonal food. Check out Madison County, Three Rivers, Terry Heights, Ayer’s, and The Green Street farmers markets and you’ll never need a grocery store again.
#13 Huntsville’s Climate is Quite Warm
Huntsville is classified as having a humid, subtropical climate. The city has very hot and sticky summers along with mild winters. We’ll get bad thunderstorms an average of 60 days per year, with more frequent thunderstorms coming in the spring and summer. Spring thunderstorms can be particularly violent when they’re accompanied by large hail, high winds, and tornadoes.
#14 Choosing a Huntsville Neighborhood
Hampton Cove is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Huntsville, with its pristine location in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and its upscale homes, beautiful golf courses, and 538-acre Hays Nature Preserve. Those who are interested in a trendier neighborhood close to the heart of the action may consider the historic Five Points District, where you’ll find plenty of chic restaurants nestled next to art galleries and buildings with Cape Cod and Victorian-style architecture.
#15 Choosing a School (We Have Plenty)
There are 53 schools in Huntsville with approximately 23,000 enrolled students. The city is also home to 3 special education centers, 21 private schools, and four magnet schools where students can specialize in performing arts, engineering, law, and science. For post-secondary education, notable schools include University of Alabama at Huntsville, Alabama A&M University, and Oakwood University.
#16 Register Your Vehicle in 3 Days, So Hurry Up
After moving to Huntsville, AL you have three days to register your vehicle. To register your vehicle, you’ll need your car’s title, proof of insurance in the state, and proof of identity. All vehicles must be inspected before registration, although the DMV will do this for you on location at a cost of $23.
#17 Managing Living Expenses is Easier Than Other Places
Huntsville, AL is a relatively affordable city (prices here are 7% below the national average). Better yet, houses are 21% lower than the average American city. One bedroom apartments can be found for approximately $550 per month and two bedroom apartments for $578 per month. The average home price is $179,900. The only thing more expensive in Huntsville is utilities, which are 4% higher than the average American city.
#19 We Actually Have Some Public Transportation
The Department of Parking and Public transit operates a bus system called the Huntsville Shuttle that runs along 11 fixed routes close to major areas of downtown and shopping centers. There’s also a shuttle that takes visitors through major tourist attractions.
#20 Did We Mention It’s Sweaty in the Summer?
Huntsville is a two-season town, where winters are mild (50 degree days are normal) and summers are hot, humid, and sticky. It’s not unusual to see the thermostat push over 100 degrees in the summer here – so get ready to invest in good air conditioning.
#21 Airport Road is a Lie
Many tourists have fallen for the old Airport Road trick. Hey, the Huntsville airport must be down this road somewhere, right? Wrong. The old airport was located on Airport Road and we never bothered to change the name. Airport Road now takes you to John Hunt Park. If you want Huntsville International, you can go down Glenn Hearn Blvd.
#22 Pristine Wilderness is 15 Minutes Away
Huntsville might be an action packed aerospace capital, but pristine wilderness is just a short drive away. Nearby Monte Sano State Park has over 14 miles of hiking and biking trails as well as numerous overnight campgrounds that make it feel you’re far away from the city. Green Mountain is another popular destination.
#23 Get Ready for Space Themed Everything
You’d think “Huntsvillians” would be sick and tired of dealing with space and rockets everyday, right? Wrong! Most parties in Huntsville are space-themed - including the Galaxy Night 5K walk/run and the Galaxy of Lights outdoor Christmas lights display in the winter. You can also expect to see plenty of space-themed parties at clubs and bars around town.
#24 Impress Your Parents at Cotton Row
Cotton Row is Huntsville’s first stop for fine dining. Sure, it’s a little expensive. But it’s Huntsville’s best stop for exquisite food in an upscale atmosphere. Wine lovers are in for a real treat.
#25 Tornadoes Are a Real Threat Here
Brush up on your tornado safety before moving to Huntsville. You might hear tornado sirens in the spring and summer, and it’s important that you know where to go and what to do that happens.
Local Huntsville Moving Companies Make Moving to the Area Surprisingly Affordable
Considering moving to Huntsville AL or nearby areas? Lambert Relocation has been a family-owned local moving business for decades. Get a free quote by filling out the easy online quote request form below: