Why on earth would anyone want to move to Alabama?…well let me tell you about a place called Huntsville.
Considering a move to Huntsville? Unless you have ever been here you probably have misconceptions about Alabama and the amazing people who live here. No, we do not all own cows and horses or speak with a thick accent. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I mean who doesn’t love Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama?) I’m sorry to tell you Huntsville is actually one of the nation’s most educated cities according to Wallet Hub. It was also ranked as the #7 Best Place to Live in U.S. by U.S. News and World Report. And Trulia has recently named Huntsville as the “Top place to live” in America’s new tech hubs.
Once you have finished reading this article you will know if moving to Huntsville, Alabama is a good choice for you. Also be sure to check out the affordability of Huntsville Homes For Sale. You’ll see that compared to most other booming U.S. cities, buying a home in Huntsville is still extremely affordable.
I have lived in Huntsville for over 12 years, and I’m not going anywhere. Living in Huntsville keeps getting better everyday and the city is growing at a very fast pace. It is now the second largest metro area in Alabama and if things continue at this rate it will be the state’s most populous city within a decade and the most amazing part about this city is Newsweek just ranked it as one of the Top 50 Least Stressed Cities in America.
There are so many reasons why I love living here, but I did my best to narrow it down to the top 13 reasons why you’ll love living in Huntsville. Enjoy!
Huntsville Population – 194,585
Metro Population – 455,458
Median Home Value – $159,800
Average Annual Salary – $52,960
1. Cost of Living
Homes for sale in Huntsville are some of the most affordable in the nation. You can find a starter home in a decent part of Huntsville for under $200,000! Don’t just take my word for it, Livability ranked Huntsville as the #1 most affordable place to live and Wallet Hub recently ranked Huntsville as one of the Best Cites for Renters.
If you are searching for a house near Downtown, check out homes in Blossomwood and Twickenham. If you are looking for a little more space and some green grass check out homes in Hampton Cove. You will quickly find that homes in Huntsville are priced very reasonably for the high quality of life with a low cost of living.
I dare you to Google “jobs coming to Huntsville, Alabama”…you will see companies such as Facebook, Google, Toyota, Mazda, LG, multiple rocket manufacturers and even the FBI. Google and Facebook are spending over 1 BILLION dollars to bring data centers near Huntsville. The FBI just announced it is moving many of its operations to Redstone Arsenal, which will ultimately bring over 4,000 jobs to the area. When the brand new Toyota-Mazda plant opens in Limestone County it will bring an estimated 4,000 more jobs. Aerojet Rocketdyne is expanding and bringing over 700 jobs to Huntsville. If you don’t believe me, check out a few recent articles on Huntsville.
Here’s where startups should look next – Inc. Magazine
Huntsville No. 2 of Up-and-Coming Tech Hotspots – Livability
Huntsville ranked #2: Best Places for Tech Jobs – Nerd Wallet
One of the Top Mid-Sized Cities to Make a Living – Money Geek
3. Location, Location, Location
Huntsville is located in North Alabama and is situated close to multiple major cities. It is 1.5 hours from Nashville and Birmingham as well as a little over 3 hours from Atlanta, Memphis and Knoxville. One of my favorite parts about living in Alabama is the close proximity to one of the best kept secrets in the U.S….the Gulf Coast Beaches! Huntsville is only 5.5 hrs from Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Destin, and (my personal favorite) Rosemary Beach (Checkout 30afor more info.) Check out this post from Tripadvisor, which has two beaches that are a short drive away listed in the Top 10 Beaches in the U.S.
4. The People
Huntsville is a melting pot of people from many different walks of life. With the high tech industry that dominates our local economy, highly educated people are moving to Huntsville from all over the United States and the World. Wallethub recently ranked Huntsville among the Top 25 Most Educated Cities in America and Forbes Magazine had Huntsville as one of The World’s Smartest Cities. Huntsville also continues to be ranked as the smartest city in Alabama by multiple publications as well.
If you are looking for great food there is no need to drive to Birmingham or Nashville, we have plenty of great options here in town. We have every type of food you can imagine from your typical southern dishes to some of the best sushi I have ever had.
There are so many great restaurants here that it would be impossible to mention them all, so here are my five favorite.
If you would like to learn more Check out the 12 Essential places to eat in Huntsville.
6. Space Exploration
I know it is hard to believe but the New Age of Aerospace is here in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville has a famous history when it comes to Space Exploration. Back in the 1960s the Rocket City played a huge part in building the Saturn V rockets which helped the astronauts reach the moon. Flash forward to today– NASA, Blue Origin, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Boeing all call Huntsville home and employ thousands of engineers. We have over 3,900 aerospace engineers employed in this city, which is more than any other metropolitan area in the U.S. Nerd Wallet currently ranks Huntsville as the nation’s top engineering city.
Each summer thousands of children and their parents from all over the world flock to Huntsville to attend Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. There are camps for all ages and all different types of interests. These camps are an amazing opportunity for kids to be exposed to national science and math standards that are framed with an exciting, immersive experience unlike any other summer opportunity.
7. Convenient Airport
One of my favorite things about living in Huntsville is how easily accessible and convenient Huntsville International Airport is. American, Delta, United and Frontier offer the most flights out of the Rocket City and each year more and more flights/routes are added! Currently offering non-stop services to many destinations such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, and Washington D.C. Lines are always short and shockingly….people who work at the airport are friendly!?
8. Amazing Views
Huntsville is located in the Tennessee Valley which has some of the most amazing views you can imagine. The city is surrounded by mountains and rolling hills and has homes available with these views as well as many free walking and hiking trails. Some of the must see views/areas are
For a neighborhood with amazing views of the Valley check out the neighborhood tour of Jones Valley.
9. Traffic…or Lack there of
Being a city of Engineers, what would you expect besides a well planned out traffic system with easily accessible highways and roads. The city and mayor have made the infrastructure in Huntsville a high priority. Mayor Tommy Battle recently said, “This growth is the reason we put together the $250 million Restore Our Roads plan for our major corridors, and the reason why we are further investing another $147 million in our internal road network to improve connectivity. We’ve invested $250 million in new schools, capital funds into new parks, museums, greenways – everything you see is part of our capital plan is to accommodate growth we knew was coming.” Along with well kept roads, Huntsville is also full of smart and safe drivers. All State Insurance released their 2018 Best Driver’s Report and Huntsville was ranked as the 4th safest driving city in the U.S.
If you’re considering moving to Huntsville, you’ll obviously want to think about the Huntsville City schools your children, or future children, will be attending. Forbes recently ranked Huntsville as one of the Top 25 most educated cities in America. Thanks to the educational demands of the aerospace and engineering jobs that dominate our cities economy, a little over 38% of its citizens have a bachelor’s degree. As you would guess the school system here is one of the premier school districts in the state of Alabama. Our school system has 64 Pre-K programs, 21 elementary schools, 4 middle schools and 2 junior highs, 6 high schools.
A couple of well known Universities include the University of Alabama in Huntsville which is one of the top public universities in the U.S. and Alabama A&M University. The area also has Oakwood University and one of the more popular community colleges in the state, Calhoun Community College.
Huntsville is located in the basin of the Tennessee river which is known as the Tennessee Valley. This Valley has some of the most beautiful rolling mountains and hills that you will ever see which boast great walking, hiking, and biking trails. When you want to escape the city or suburban life for an afternoon, you do not have to go far to get into the mountains and away from it all.
Thanks to the Land Trust of North Alabama, there are more than 70 miles of free public trails which enable you to relax, get some exercise, and connect with nature. Expedia ranked Huntsville as the state’s best destination for nature lovers. My personal favorite mountain is Monte Sano which is only two miles away from downtown Huntsville. For the most beautiful view in all of Huntsville be sure to visit Burritt on the Mountain (pictured above) which is located on Monte Sano (every Wednesday, May through October, they host cocktails with a view).
12. Huntsville is Hip
The craft beer scene in Huntsville has exploded in the last few years. Thanks to the new Campus 805 we have two of the coolest breweries you could ever visit in Yellowhammer and Straight to Ale. Also in the city limits we have Salty Nut, Green Bus, Innerspace and Mad Malts breweries as well as Rocket City Republic and Old Bear Brewing in Madison. Along with the craft beer scene, the coffee shops in Huntsville are something the city has really embraced. The new Honest Coffee in downtown Huntsville along with Olde Town Coffee Shoppe or Alchemy Lounge at Lowe Mill Arts Studio are the places you need to be on a weekday morning in Huntsville. These breweries and coffee shops are just a few of the reasons why Business Insider ranked Huntsville one of the top 20 places everyone under 30 wants to move.
Maybe the hippest place in all of Huntsville is Lowe Mill. Lowe Mill is the largest privately owned arts facility in the U.S. This building is an old factory building that has been restored and has 148 working studios for over 200 artists and makers, 6 galleries, a theatre, and performance venues. This facility provides Huntsville with a place to see and do unique things right here in town.
When moving to Alabama the first thing you must decide is whether you are going to cheer for Alabama or Auburn. (I would recommending cheering for the Crimson Tide) Here in Huntsville we have collegiate Division I and II sports with the Alabama A&M Bulldogs and the UAH Chargers. We also have a very popular minor league hockey team called the Huntsville Havoc. Recently Major League Baseball announced a new minor league baseball team called the Rocket City Trash Pandas which will begin play this year in a brand new stadium here in town.
If you’re moving to Huntsville and love the NFL or NHL, don’t fret, Nashville is about an hour and a half away and home to the Tennessee Titans football team and the Nashville Predatorshockey team. Another team that I am really really excited about is the announcement of a new soccer team in Nashville that will begin play in the MLS in 2019!