Huntsville has long been celebrated as America’s Space and Rocket City. With a large NASA and Missile Defense Agency presence along with private companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Northrup Grumman, the moniker fits Huntsville extremely well. In recent years, though, more and more people have begun to re-discover Downtown Huntsville as a defining feature of the city.
Overlooked by Monte Sano Mountain and miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, Downtown Huntsville and the immediate surrounding area is an amazing outdoor destination in a city center setting. Residents and guests to downtown can access the miles of Monte Sano trails just minutes from the city center as well as Monte State Park—one of the few state parks adjacent to a downtown setting. In addition to Monte Sano, the Downtown Huntsville outdoor lifestyle offers Big Spring Park—a linear park that comfortably winds throughout Downtown from the Historic Square to the Von Braun Center Convention and Entertainment complex.
Big Spring Park is also home to the Huntsville Museum of Art and many of the region’s most popular and eclectic events such as the regular Street Food Gatherings filled with food trucks and other artisan food makers, the Grotto Lights Concert Series, Panoply Arts Festival, Retro Winter Games and the Human Foosball Tournament.
Just steps away, the Historic Square and Historic Depot host other unique events including the Rocket City Brewfest, Downtown Open Pop Up Putt Putt tournament, and the Downtown Pop Up Park Experience.
All of these events support the Downtown Huntsville philosophy of offering “eclectic yet approachable” events that appeal to all ages in different ways.
Downtown Huntsville’s dynamic revitalization isn’t limited to unique events though. In fact, over $300 million dollars of new private development has either opened or begun planning and construction stages including the new Downtown Publix, hundreds of new lofts, award-winning dining, and several of the region’s 8 local craft breweries, including a brewery row which will include one of the country’s first multi-brewery, entertainment facilities.
In addition to large and dynamic developments, Downtown Huntsville also emphasizes small and micro scale redevelopment such as the IDA award-winning Clinton Row retail shops—a former ground floor storage facility where the storage units were converted into 10x10 square foot retail incubators. Here you’ll find everything from start-up jewelry makers to fashion design, locally-made beauty products, and artist venues.
In a city filled with amazing technology ventures such as the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Downtown Huntsville is also staking claim as an innovation hub led by Curse, Inc.--a leading gaming support company which recently relocated its headquarters from Downtown San Francisco to the center of the Rocket City. Other growing, innovation companies include Appleton Learning, API Digital, and Zero Point Frontiers.
Another important part of the Downtown revitalization strategy focuses on live events at a variety of unique venues. The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Broadway Theater League, Huntsville Ballet, Theatre Huntsville, Fantasy Playhouse and other cultural resources all perform in the city center. Downtown is also home to a Division 1 hockey team, minor league hockey team, and indoor football team as well as regional concerts ranging from Cirque du Soleil to Elton John.
While Downtown Huntsville aggressively looks to the future, it also celebrates its past with historic residential districts such as Twickenham, Old Town, and Five Points that complement the downtown lofts by offering everything from Victorian mansions to funky bungalows. This mix of loft living and single family homes also support some of the best scoring public schools in the state.
The result of all these important features coming together is a Downtown that is revitalizing itself with a unique mix of innovative businesses, dynamic redevelopment, eclectic events and historic charm.
To learn more, please visit DowntownHuntsville.org or on our wide variety of social media channels.