Posted by Matt Curtis on Friday, September 14th, 2018 at 1:01pm.
Relocating to the Rocket City
Huntsville, Alabama - affectionately known as the Rocket City - is a technological town with a large presence of both engineers and creatives. The area has started rapidly growing over recent years and a large percentage of the population has relocated to the area from different states. This has given an eclectic and diverse feel to the expanding region.
The Rocket City is made up of two main cities, Huntsville (population of 193,079) and Madison (population of 47,959), with a number of surrounding smaller cities that make up the greater Rocket City region. Harvest, Athens, Meridianville, Hampton Cove, and Athens are small cities surrounding the metro area.
What’s there to do?
One of the best parts of the Rocket City, are the numerous activities located in or near the region.
Rocket City was given its name because of the pivotal role that Huntsville played in the space race of the 1960s. The US Space and Rocket Center is located just off of I-565 in Huntsville and is home to US Space Camp that people from all over the world come to attend every year. The rocket center has a large rocket exhibit where visitors can learn about both past and future space travel, as well as a number of hands on exhibits throughout the museum.
Huntsville Botanical Gardens is a beautiful nature garden area, just west of the city center and a short drive from many of the suburban areas. They have seasonal events and great Children’s Garden area with water play areas during the summer - so be sure to bring a swimsuit or extra change of clothing for the kids! Stop by in the winter for their annual light show event.
Early Works and Alabama Constitution Village are located in downtown Huntsville and provide a great outlet to take children to learn more about US history. Early Works has a number of hands on exhibits that are perfectly kid sized and immerse the children in a experience of being in different time periods.
Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment is a creative center not far from downtown Huntsville. There are a variety of shops, classes and even shared workspace available.
Monte Sano is a mountain lookout area and natural park area that is great for hiking and camping. Burritt on the Mountain is also located on Monte Sano and has a petting zoo for children and includes historical learning activities for kids.
Areas to live
Each city throughout the Rocket City region has its own distinct feel and living style. Our blog will deep dive into each specific location in separate blogs, but in general you can find these living styles in these locations.
- Hampton Cove
Shopping & Entertainment
Since the Rocket City has been growing in size over the past decade, it has also brought a number of new stores to the area. There are two new large developments slated to open in coming years, Mid-City in Huntsville which already is host to a Top Golf recreation center, and Town Madison in Madison which will be completed in 2020 and be home to the new regional AAA baseball team.
There are already a number of great shopping, dining, and entertainment venues available throughout the region as well. Bridge Street shopping center is an upscale open air mall with shopping destinations such as Sephora, Kendra Scott, White House Black Market, and Apple, along with a number of restaurants and a movie theater.
Parkway Place is located off of Memorial Parkway in Huntsville and is a traditional indoor mall. It features stores like Build-a-Bear, Forever 21, Justice, and Dillard’s. The food court has a number of quick service food choices.
Growth in the area
Huntsville has grown immensely over the past decade and is expected to grow to be Alabama’s largest city in the next 5-10 years. It is within a close driving distance to Nashville, Atlanta, Chattanooga, and Birmingham, and there are numerous day trip destinations near to the Huntsville area that make it a great place for families. With plenty to do in the region and on the weekends in other metro areas, it makes it a desirable “home base”.
The weather is also a positive draw for many moving to the area, with the warmer temperatures of the southeastern United States allowing for outdoor activities nearly year round. During the winter there is typically 1-2 months of cold temperatures and in the summer there is 1-2 months of hot and humid temperatures, however the rest of the year tends to stay fairly comfortable and temperate.
Huntsville also has all four seasons, being in a unique position at the top of the southeastern United States. Here you can find leaves that change color in the fall, a brief winter period where you occasionally do get some snow, a vivid spring time where plants and flowers bloom, and a hot summer that is typical of the southeastern states.
All in all, the Huntsville area has all of the perks of a metropolitan city with the feel of small town charm in many areas. It has a lot to offer to families relocating to the area and is a welcoming city to those relocating, as much of the current population has relocated to the area from other locations over time.