Moving to Huntsville

Prepare to embark on a fascinating exploration of your potential new home: Huntsville, Alabama. Steeped in rich history, yet buzzing with a thriving tech scene, Huntsville seamlessly blends the charms of southern hospitality with the innovations of an advanced city. Our comprehensive guide unravels the allure of this dynamic city, lovingly nicknamed the 'Rocket City' for its remarkable contributions to space exploration. Whether you're career flocking, star gazing or simply craving a change, Huntsville promises an enviable lifestyle. Dive in, and let us illuminate every nook and corner of what could be the launching pad to your next exciting chapter.

Moving to Huntsville, AL landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Huntsville

1. Ready for a rocket-powered new start?

If so, you should have Huntsville, Alabama in your sights. Known as "Rocket City", Huntsville is home to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Wedged between the Appalachian mountains and the Tennessee River, this southern belle isn't just for space enthusiasts, but also for nature lovers, art aficionados, foodies, and of course anyone on the lookout for southern charm.

2. Outdoor adventures in the heart of Dixie

You don't have to be a space geek to enjoy moving to Huntsville; the city offers ample outdoor fun. The city's Monte Sano State Park is a hiker, biker, and camper paradise. With over 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of biking trails, you'll have plenty of ground to cover. Huntsville Botanical Garden and Big Spring International Park are other great options for those who love to immerse themselves in nature.

3. Brace yourself for the local biscuit love

Be prepared to eat biscuits, lots and lots of biscuits. They are a Southern staple and Huntsville has perfected the art. Whether they're packed with jam, slathered with gravy, or served as a side, you'll quickly grow to love their flaky goodness. Don't forget to check out Alabama's Southern Biscuit Festival to get your biscuit fix! And when you tire of biscuits (as if!), the local BBQ is mouthwatering. Tennessee River catfish is another local delight.

4. Low cost of living, high quality of life

Impressively, the cost of living in Huntsville is below the national average. This means your dollar goes a little further here. Plus, you'll enjoy a low crime rate and an array of high-performing public and private schools. You're not only moving into an affordable city, but also one that's safe and focused on education.

5. Also known as...Watercress Capital of the World?

Hold on, wasn't Huntsville all about rockets? Well, yes. But before it was Rocket City USA, it was the Watercress Capital of the World. That's right, this city used to be the primary producer of the peppery salad green. Huntsville's rich soil and abundant springs made it perfect for growing this watery plant. While it's now more known for rockets than watercress, this quirky tidbit is still a point of pride locally, with some restaurants still highlighting this leafy green in their menus!

6. An out-of-this-world arts scene

Fun fact: Huntsville has the largest privately owned arts facility in the United States. Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment is a massive former cotton mill converted into an arts facility. It boasts 148 working studios, six galleries, a theater, and many other creative businesses. In addition to that, Downtown Huntsville's art scene bursts with murals, sculpture installations, and a museum. So, ready to blast off to this vibrant, quirky, and downright delightful city? Huntsville awaits!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Huntsville

Pros of Living in Huntsville

Plethora of Job Opportunities in Tech and Engineering

Huntsville is often referred to as the "Rocket City" for its deep historical connections to U.S. space missions and currently hosts a high concentration of tech and engineering jobs. For instance, it's home to the Cummings Research Park, one of the world's leading science and technology business parks, and the Marshall Space Flight Center.

High Quality of Life

Huntsville residents often boast of their high quality of life. The city offers a mix of natural beauty, cultural events, sports, and recreational activities. The U.S. News & World Report named Huntsville one of the best places to live in the U.S. for its quality schools, low crime rates, and reasonable cost of living.

Affordable Housing

Despite its growing popularity, the cost of housing in Huntsville remains reasonable compared to many other areas of the country. Residents can often find comfortable and spacious homes without breaking the bank.

Rich History and Cultural Scene

Huntsville is steeped in history and offers a vibrant and diverse cultural scene. Attractions and activities include the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville Botanical Gardens, multiple art and history museums, and the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.

Excellent Education Opportunities

Huntsville has a strong educational system, including public, private, and charter schools. Additionally, the city is close to several higher education institutions, such as Alabama A&M University and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Cons of Living in Huntsville

Weather Can Be Unpredictable

Huntsville experiences a wide range of weather conditions, including hot, humid summers and occasionally cold winters. Violent storms, including tornadoes, can also occur, particularly in the spring.

Public Transportation is Limited

While Huntsville has some public transportation options, they may not be as extensive or reliable as those in larger cities. Many residents find owning a vehicle necessary for getting around.

Limited Nightlife

Though Huntsville has a fair amount of restaurants, bars, and events, its nightlife may not be as lively or varied as what might be expected in larger, more metropolitan areas.

May Feel Too Small for Some

While some may enjoy Huntsville's quiet charm, others may find it too small or lacking in amenities, businesses, and activities compared to larger cities.

Geographically Isolated

Despite its many natural attractions, Huntsville is somewhat geographically isolated. The nearest large city, Birmingham, is about a two-hour drive, and reaching the beach or mountains requires a road trip.

Modern day picture of Huntsville, AL highlighting pros and cons of living in Huntsville, AL

Is Huntsville a Good Place to Live?

Huntsville, AL is a great place to live because it combines the charm of southern hospitality with the innovation of a high-tech city. With its rich history, superb education system, diverse food scene, and thriving job market particularly in aerospace and defense, it's surely an appealing destination. Not to mention, its family-friendly environments and breathtaking outdoor activities make Huntsville a lovely home sweet home.

What Is Huntsville Famous For?

Space and Rocket City

No discussion about Huntsville would be complete without mention of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. This major tourist attraction offers an in-depth look into America's space exploration history. It's a dream destination for science aficionados, aspiring astronauts, and anyone fascinated by the cosmos!

Historic Huntsville Depot

Step back in time at the Huntsville Depot. It's one of the oldest surviving railroad structures in the country, featuring fascinating exhibits that chronicle Huntsville's past and a collection of antique trains. Chug along into history!

Monte Sano State Park

Needing some fresh air and some splendid vistas? Then a visit to Monte Sano State Park is a must. With miles of picturesque trails for hiking and biking and gorgeous scenic overlooks, it serves as a veritable oasis in the middle of urban Huntsville.

Local Craft Beer Scene

For all the craft beer enthusiasts out there, Huntsville won't disappoint! This vivacious city has a blossoming craft beer scene with breweries, like Straight to Ale and Yellowhammer Brewing, gaining national recognition. It's truly a 'hoppy' experience for the palate - pun totally intended!

Capital building of Huntsville, AL in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Huntsville, AL, the property tax rate as of 2023 is around 0.57%, which is considerably lower than the national median of 1.03%. This means homeowners in Huntsville pay less in property taxes compared to most other parts of the US.

Sales Tax

As of 2023, Huntsville, AL has a sales tax rate of 9.00%, with the state tax rate being 4.00% and the city tax being 5.00%. While sales tax varies greatly around the US, Huntsville's rate is on the higher end compared to the national median of around 7.00%.

Income Tax

In Alabama including Huntsville in 2023, the state income tax rates range from 2.00% to 5.00%, depending on the individual's taxable income. Although a lower income tax rate of 2.00% could potentially benefit lower-income individuals, when compared to the range of income tax rates in other states, Alabama is within the average range.

Housing Market

The Huntsville, AL housing market continues to attract buyers and renters due to its relative affordability. As of 2021, the median home price is around $244,500, lower than the US average of $295,000. Renters can also find favorable conditions, with the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment at around $850, significantly cheaper than the national average of $1,175. However, it's important to note that Huntsville's housing market is competitive due to robust economic growth and population influx, reflecting a steady increase in house prices. Research thoroughly and act decisively to secure the best deals.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Huntsville, AL is significantly lower than many other American cities. Key factors like affordable housing, reasonable utility costs, and inexpensive healthcare contribute to the lower cost. Consumables and services like groceries, transportation, and entertainment are also relatively cheaper. Compared to other cities, Huntsville lets residents enjoy a comfortable lifestyle on a modest budget. However, income levels are also comparably lower, balancing the overall advantage. Consequently, Huntsville offers an attractive mix of affordability and quality of life.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Huntsville, AL, enjoys a moderate subtropical climate with four distinctive seasons. Summers are typically hot, with high temperatures often exceeding 90deg F, while winters are generally mild with temperatures averaging in the mid-40s. Although the city experiences rainfall throughout the year, the wettest month is usually December. Spring arrives beautifully with cherry blossoms, but it's also tornado season, which extends into early Summer as well. In terms of natural disasters, Huntsville is susceptible to tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and occasional floods. Despite these challenges, Huntsville provides a climate well suited for outdoorsy activities, from picnics in sunny summer to nature walks amidst fall foliage.

Typical weather in Huntsville, AL

Economy & Job Market


Aerospace and Defense

Information Technology

Advanced Manufacturing


Automotive Manufacturing

The vibrant metropolis that is Huntsville, Alabama is a captivating mix of towering rockets and white picket dreams, where tech-savvy professionals sip their morning brew while looking out to cotton fields bathed in golden sunshine. The city is a bustling hub of the aerospace and defense industry, thanks to a long-standing partnership with NASA, and proudly claims the nickname "Rocket City". However, Huntsville's economy is by no means confined to the stars and the skies. It has diversely flourished into advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, and automotive industries as well. This charming city also boasts a thriving information technology sector, making it an enticing destination for tech enthusiasts, biologists, and engineers alike.

If you're ready to trade the hustle and bustle of a big city for captivating Southern charm, don't worry, Huntsville's job market is ready for you. With an unemployment rate considerably below the national average, this city is continuously seeking innovative minds to contribute to its industries. In fact, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Huntsville one of the best places in the country for jobs. While aerospace and defense continue to fuel the job market, thriving sectors like IT, automotive manufacturing, and biotech offer an impressive array of opportunities. So pack up your dreams and your work boots - Huntsville is waiting with open arms and a hot plate of fried green tomatoes!


Traffic and Transportation

Whether you're racing rockets or just your everyday commute, getting around in Huntsville, AL is a breeze! With an average commute time of just 18-20 minutes, you're rarely stuck in traffic. Why, you could listen to "Sweet Home Alabama" about 4 times in the time it takes to get where you're going! Looking for public transportation? Huntsville got you covered. Meet "Shuttle Bus", a system of buses that cruise around the city, or try "Handi-Ride", a door-to-door paratransit service. Need to fly? The Huntsville International Airport (HSV) is happy to provide. With 10 nonstop destinations and connections worldwide, you'll be jet-set in no time! Travel by road or sky, Huntsville just makes it easy and fun.

What is the traffic like in Huntsville, AL?

Best Neighborhoods in Huntsville

1. Downtown Huntsville

If you're looking for a vibrant and energetic place to call home, then Downtown Huntsville is the perfect choice. This bustling area is rich with history and culture, accompanied by an array of amenities. Restaurants, shops, art museums, and entertainment venues are scattered throughout the neighborhood, meaning you are never far from something exciting to do. Enjoy walks through Big Spring International Park or admire the architecture of the historic homes and buildings. Downtown Huntsville combines the modern with the traditional in a perfect blend of excitement and charm.

2. Hampton Cove

Located at the foothills of Monte Sano Mountain, Hampton Cove offers serene living surrounded by natural beauty. Prized for its well-planned subdivisions and outdoor recreational activities, this area is coveted by those who appreciate tranquility and family-friendly living. Play golf in the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, stroll at Hays Nature Preserve or enjoy picnics in Cove Park. Hampton Cove features top-rated schools, making it a great location for families with children.

3. Blossomwood

Blossomwood is ideal for those who enjoy leisurely strolls among historic homes and lush greenery. Nestled near Huntsville Hospital and Huntsville High School, this neighborhood provides a serene setting without sacrificing proximity to downtown. Besides hosting the annual Whistlestop Festival, it's home to the Huntsville Botanical Garden, which blooms with thematic gardens and a butterfly house. Whether you like the idea of living in a mid-century modern home or a grand colonial, you'll find it in Blossomwood.

4. Five Points

Five Points is an eclectic, trendy, and historic neighborhood that welcomes inclusivity. This area is walkable, bicycle-friendly, and has a bohemian vibe with its local artist scene and funky boutiques. With a mix of unique shops, art galleries, and celebrated local food joints, Five Points showcases a unique characteristic that makes it so distinctive. Plus, with a lively social calendar full of community events and festivals, there's always something happening on the streets of Five Points.

5. Jones Valley

Jones Valley is a family-oriented neighborhood with a high-quality lifestyle. This community offers fantastic shopping options, restaurants, and top-rated schools. The many green spaces like Jones Valley Park, and close proximity to hiking trails on Monte Sano Mountain and Rainbow Mountain provide numerous outdoor activities for residents. Comfortable, safe, and well-serviced, Jones Valley is the place to be for those who appreciate suburban living with all the city amenities on their doorstep.

In conclusion, Huntsville offers a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own unique personality, amenities, and benefits. Whether you want city vibes in Downtown Huntsville, serene suburbs in Hampton Cove, historic charm in Blossomwood, eclectic cool in Five Points, or family-friendly Jones Valley, Huntsville has a neighborhood for all tastes. As the city ever evolves, each area maintains its distinct character while seamlessly blending into the Huntsville community. A move to any of these will give you a warm welcome to your new Huntsville home.

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Things to Do

Ready to discover the charm of the Deep South? Welcome to Huntsville, Alabama! An unassuming city that overflows with Southern charm, delicious food, tech-savvy locals, and loads of history. It can be daunting to explore as a newbie, but this guide will have you living like a local in no time! So put on your most comfortable walking shoes, fuel up your trusted car, and go on a mini-adventure as we present the top 7 things to do in Huntsville. From the obvious to the obscure, we've got you covered, y'all!

1. Indulge In Space Exploration at U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Here's one for the books, or rather, the stars! As home to the largest space museum, Huntsville also carries the nickname "Rocket City." Marvel at the exhibits like the Saturn V Moon Rocket, feel like an astronaut in simulators, or step in an actual Space Shuttle at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

2. Stroll Through the Huntsville Botanical Garden

Desire a quiet moment amidst Mother Nature? Visit the Huntsville Botanical Garden! This beautiful 112-acre park boasts different gardens, a Butterfly House, and even magical special events during the holidays.

3. Experience Frontier Life at Burritt on the Mountain

Overlook the city from Burritt on the Mountain, which plays a double role as a museum and a park. Discover historical buildings from the 19th century, visit farm animals, or simply enjoy hiking in the 167 acres property. Appreciate the city's natural beauty from this unique vantage point.

4. Saunter Around Downtown Huntsville and Big Spring Park

Mosey along the heart of Huntsville and uncover a wealth of entertainment, dining, and historical gems. Don't forget to relax at Big Spring Park, home to fascinating wildlife and terrific water views!

5. Visit Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment

Head off the beaten path and discover one of Huntsville's secret gems: the Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment! This restored factory houses over 150 working studios for artists and makers, six galleries, and even a theatre. You might just stumble upon the perfect, unique keepsake from your move!

6. Hike to the Walls of Jericho

All right, this is for the adventure seeker. It may be a little bit away from the city, but the Walls of Jericho trail is definitely worth the drive. This 7-mile round trip hike is a real hidden gem, showcasing a beautiful natural amphitheater and waterfalls.

7. Get Geeky at the Huntsville Madison County Public Library

Why visit the library, you ask? Well, this isn't your ordinary district library. Besides its impressive collection of books, the library provides access to a variety of tools you wouldn't usually find -- like 3D printers! Definitely a must-visit for any tech-enthusiast.

Whether it's your very first move or you're a seasoned transplant, Huntsville is full of surprises sure to amaze you. The city overflows with a rich history, a fun arts scene, and out-of-this-world heavens exploration. Go on, dive on into the Deep South charm of Huntsville -- enjoy your new journey!

Things to do in Huntsville, AL?

Find Movers for Your Huntsville Relocation

Now that you're armed with all this valuable information about relocating to Huntsville, AL, it's time to take the next step. Great Guys Moving is committed to simplifying your move by linking you to licensed and insured movers known for their excellent service and competitive rates. Don't allowed the stress of organizing a move stand between you and your new life in Huntsville. Act now by connecting with Great Guys Moving and secure your free moving quote. Let us make your journey to Huntsville as hassle-free and satisfying as possible.

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