Huntsville is a city in the Appalachian of north Alabama and is sometimes referred to as the Rocket City. It is also the city with the highest population in the state and a major regional economic centre. If you have plans to move to Huntsville, we’re here to help!
It’s a great city to live in with lots of things to offer. Still, as with any modern city, there will always be a good and bad side to consider when moving to Huntsville.
This article is going to help you navigate the relocation. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of living in Huntsville, Alabama, the best neighbourhoods, must-try food, the job market, and places to go if you need rest and recreation.
1. Make A More Informed Decision By Looking Into The Pros And Cons Of Living In Huntsville, Alabama
Every city has its merits, but it will also have some issues. The same holds for Huntsville. If you are considering moving to Huntsville, Al., it is in your best interest to dig deeper and see what about the city could work for you and what might be a place of concern.
Very Low Cost Of Living
The cost of living is considerably low. Compared to other major cities in the rest of the country, utilities are reasonably average but notably lower in housing costs. Without rent, a person can live comfortably with around 1,000 USD, while a family of four will need 4,000 USD.
These figures cover food, transportation, utilities, and more. However, the cost of living varies depending on your career, average salary, and the real estate market in the area.
Huntsville has all the amenities of a major urban city. It has a lot of shopping establishments, restaurants, a thriving nightlife, and major industries for job opportunities. However, it is also close to nature, so you’ll find untouched woodland and areas to hike, camp, and enjoy wildlife.
High-Quality Job Opportunities
The job market in Huntsville is excellent, and the city has one of the higher average salaries in the region. Industries like Aerospace, defence, manufacturing, and biotechnology are just some of the leading employers in the city.
The Weather Might Get Intense
Summers can get humid in Huntsville, as well as high precipitation and, on occasion, powerful winds that have touched down and become full-blown tornadoes.
Allergens Can Get A Bit Much
Tree pollen allergens are widespread in Huntsville. If you suffer from these, take the medication with you, note the seasons when the pollen count goes high, and make arrangements to stay indoors.
2. Choosing Which Neighbourhood To Stay In Will Be Half The Battle
Choosing which neighbourhood to stay in is important when relocating to a new city. Are you looking for something similar to your old city? Do you want to be closer to the city centre or prefer a quieter suburb? Do you often eat out at restaurants, have plans to party, and look for the best night out spots?
Here are some of the best areas you should consider living in when moving to Huntsville.
Downtown Huntsville is the heart of the city and is perfect if you want to stay as close to the action as possible. You might find yourself paying a premium price, but it’s ideal for those who want the active urban lifestyle looking for hip bars and new restaurants.
Medical District is a neighbourhood that’s very close to the city centre. It’s an excellent intersection of the medical community and healthy living, as well as the amenities of a fully functional urban space.
Twickenham Square is just a neighbour next to the medical district. It offers many of the same amenities but has a very compact space. Perfect for those who like to live in lofts and apartments just a stroll away from cute boutiques, trendy coffee shops, and great restaurants.
Five Points is a neighbourhood farther away from downtown Huntsville that is perfect for those who wish to live in a more subdued setting. In Five Points, houses w/ different designs will line the streets with spacious lawns and front yards while services and amenities are not too far away.
3. Take Note Of Your Current Expenses And Compare It To Huntsville’s Cost Of Living
When moving to a new city, one of the first things you need to do is to research the cost of living and how it compares to your current expenses. According to a recent study, the cost of living in Huntsville is cheaper by 30% than the national average. If you budget your finances accordingly, living comfortably in Huntsville will be easy.
The median home price is 270,000 USD, depending on location and how close it is to the city centre. If you are looking for a one-bedroom apartment, it can go anywhere between 750 to 1,300 USD.
Discounting the cost of rental properties, a single person will only need about 950 USD to live comfortably and cover basic utilities, food, and transportation. For a family of three, this would go up to 3,400 USD.
4. Conduct Research Before You Dive Into The Local Job Market And Find Industries That Offer The Best Opportunities
Of course, to afford your new lifestyle, you will need a job in the city. If you are looking for better opportunities or want to go into industries with the best job opportunities, try to see job postings under the categories below.
Military and Aerospace engineering are some of the best industries you can get into in Huntsville. Currently, the Marshall Space Flight Center of NASA and Redstone Arsenal of the US Military are two of the largest employers in the area.
Boeing, SAIC, and Toyota are also providers of great opportunities for those in Engineering, Information Technology, Software Development, and research.
Another cutting-edge sector that has a lot of opportunities in Biotechnology. Over 25 biotechnology firms have recently set up camp in Huntsville due to its Biotech Initiative with the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in its centre.
5. You’ll Need To Buckle Up For The Windy Season
Alabama can be found on the Dixie Alley. This region has some of the most active tornado areas in the country. You will need to familiarise yourself with the warning systems, the months when the weather can get dangerous, and other safety precautions.
Though Huntsville might not be a hotbed for tornadoes, it has seen a few instances over the years. In 2022, one struck just after New Year’s day. Another one hit in November of 2016.
The windiest seasons come from March through May, and a secondary windy season arrives from November to December.
6. Get To Know The City Better By Using Public Transportation
Once you’re new to a city, getting around is one of the most apparent problems. You’ll need to find your way through busy streets, discover secret corners, and find out where the better grocery store or coffee shop is. One of the best ways to remedy this is to use public transport and go on a so-called newbie city tour.
The Orbit Public Transit System runs throughout the city on 11 routes. It covers 175 miles every hour and will be your best bet to get to know the major roads. The system operates daily, serving 6 am to 9 pm on weekdays, and 7 am to 7 pm on weekends.
Taxis and ride-sharing applications are prevalent in Huntsville in case public transit is unavailable.
If you want to get in a little exercise between your errands, you’ll be pleased to know that starting in 2020, Huntsville has made active plans to create more bike lanes, including a 70-mile trail for walking and biking.
7. Be Sure To Head Downtown And Try The Delicious Food
Once you’ve found your way around town, looking for famous food joints is the next best thing to do. Alabama is part of the barbecue belt, so you’re sure to find a fair few fantastic barbecue restaurants in Huntsville. But if you explore Huntsville a little bit more, you’ll soon discover that there’s a lot for you to taste and enjoy.
Here’s a list of some of the top table staples in Huntsville.
Green Fried Tomatoes aren’t technically the main dish and are usually just served as sides for barbecues or salads. However, the slightly sour flavour and crispy exterior make it a favourite.
Pulled Pork Barbecue are slow cooked over wood and contains such a distinct flavour due to the time it takes to cook, the marinate, and the wood used.
The Lane Cake, also known as the Alabama prize cake, is a bourbon-laced cake famous in the southern USA.
Food Truck Burgers in Huntsville are a crowd favourite. Food trucks are popping up everywhere, each with its own unique twist, so try to visit a few and see which mix you like best.
8. Huntsville Has A Few Quirks Of Its Own With These Fun Activities You Should Look Into
Another fun thing to explore in a new city is activities that outsiders might consider unconventional but have a strong local following. If you want to look into some activities in Huntsville that are a little out there, try these!
Axe Throwing has found its way in Huntsville. A couple of establishments provide the service; just sign the waiver, and be extra careful!
Retro Arcade Gaming is perfect for those who grew up in the 90s, and early 2000s before all of the online games took over. Several bars and diners have a few machines to make you feel like a kid.
Get creative and pose with Street Art that can be found all over the city. There’s so much art to see, from the Cosmic Christ mural to a sculpture trail.
Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment is the largest privately owned arts facility in the southern United States. Today, a former textile mill houses many artists from just as many disciplines. It holds adult and kids’ classes, an outdoor market, and even concerts in one of its performance venues.
9. If You Love Beer, The Local Craft Beer Industry Is Thriving
If you’re a beer connoisseur, local craft beer might be more your speed than popular mass-produced brands. In Huntsville, a few have established their products as local favourites.
If this sounds appealing, you might try your luck with “Downtown Huntsville Craft Beer Trail”. To participate, you’ll need to get two cards: one for the bottle shops and another for the breweries. Go to each stop, enjoy a stein (or two!) and get your card signed.
Continue on the trail, gather all stamps and get memorabilia afterwards. This might not be something you can do every weekend, but setting it up as a way to gather friends or meet new people is an excellent idea.
10. Don’t Forget To Have Fun Once In A While And Visit Tourist Spots For Some R&R
Setting aside time for some well-deserved rest and recreation is essential for a healthy lifestyle. While in Huntsville, you won’t have to look far since there are so many wonderful places that you can go to relax with your friends and family and just enjoy what life in the south has to offer.
The US Space and Rocket Center is an excellent choice, especially if you have kids. This education centre is why Huntsville is nicknamed Rocket City. Filled with space exhibits about the space race, rocket and shuttle parks, and a Space Camp, lovers of space, rocket science, and space exploration will have found their heaven.
Burritt on the Mountain is a quick way to travel back in time. An open museum, the area is filled with buildings from the 1800s and made to look like an old community. From farmhouses, barns, cabins, and churches, stepping into the Burritt will give you a glimpse of what life was like years ago.
Huntsville Botanical Garden is great if you want just to spend the afternoon looking at pretty flowers and plants from all over the world.
Harmony Park Safari is a great next stop after spending time with some greenery. Go and get up close and personal with some animals in this park. You can spend days following the trails and go to restaurants that dot the course, while animals get right up to your car where you can feed them yourselves!
The Altitude Trampoline Park might be for the more limber folks or the highly energetic kids, but if you are up to it, it is an excellent time just to let loose and jump around.
Lake Guntersville State Park is a little over an hour away from Huntsville. It lies on the Tennessee River and is a great escape if you want a nature retreat.
11. Open Yourself Up To The Outdoors And Take A Hike
During the pandemic, when many people were unable to socialise, there was an increase in the interest in hiking. It allowed you to social distance, get fresh air, and work your body instead of just staying at home. It’s a great form of exercise, and now that restrictions are looser, it’s a great way to socialise.
Luckily, there are a lot of outdoor walking trails and hiking spots in Huntsville. So, the next time you’re shopping, pick up some new shoes and try to take to these trails.
The Madison County Nature Trail has a total loop of 2.4km and goes around Sky Lake. The trail also has a covered bridge and a log cabin that resembles old Huntsville life.
Monte Sano Nature Preserve and Monte Sano State Park are one of the largest urban preserves in the United States. It has a few trails you can follow, some even featuring caves.
Cathedral Caverns State Park is a “karst” cave with large stalagmites in Kennamer Cove, roughly half an hour from Huntsville. The cave has tours and areas for picnicking, perfect for an outdoor excursion.
Alum Hollow Trail is a short 3.5km trail that’s very popular for regular hikers that you can take regularly. It’s also friendly even to dogs, so you can expect a lot of people along the way.
12. Get In Touch With Locals By Joining Public Groups Or Hobby Communities
We know it can get tricky when moving to a new city and not knowing anyone. Whether you’re coming from a different city or a different country, the feeling of loneliness is universal.
That’s why many expat groups are available for you to join. The great thing about these groups is that they exist online and offline. So, if you feel a little shy, you can participate in online groups or forums in your local city.
If you think you want to dip your toes in actual activities, you are free to do so. You can join in on meet-ups for hobbyists, join local games, visit pubs that have trivia night, or, if you are into reading, join book clubs. You will be surprised by the number of activities available to join in if you just try and look!
13. Keep The Process Stress-Free By Regularly Updating A Relocation Checklist
A relocation checklist is a simple tool that will make your relocation stress-free if you stick to it.
First, you will need to identify all that needs to be done before your move.
Second, categorise and mark everything accordingly if they are urgent, when they are due, and their current status.
Third, monitor your progress regularly, and write in the date of when you accomplished them.
Finally, during your actual flight, double-check everything.
Items you can include are securing documents, purchasing packing materials, things to donate/sell, contacts of your real estate agent or employer, plane tickets, and more.
14. Work Smart And Engage Sanelo To Help With Your Relocation Process
Sanelo is an international moving company with years of experience helping people relocate. Engaging with Sanelo will ensure that the whole process runs smoothly.
You won’t have to deal with heavy luggage during travel and will be worry-free knowing that your belongings are covered by Sanelo’s shipment protection.
Conclusion On Moving To Huntsville
Looking at everything that Huntsville has to offer, moving to the city will be a great decision. It has lots of great opportunities for work. The location is great for both nature lovers and city dwellers.
The cost of living is very reasonable, and the housing market is very affordable. Plus, the city’s many modern amenities will make you want nothing.
All the bases are covered, and with the charm of rich history, fun activities, and many tourist spots, what are you waiting for? Book that ticket today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Moving/Relocating To Huntsville
Is Huntsville, Alabama, A Good Place To Live?
Yes. Huntsville has a very low cost of living, great employment opportunities, and well-positioned neighbourhoods. In a recent News & World Report survey, Huntsville is one of the best cities to live in Alabama.
Do People Like Living In Huntsville?
Yes. This can be seen with the large number of people moving to Huntsville. This move has also made the city more diverse over the years. The high quality of living coupled with a low cost has proven to make Huntsville an excellent choice for people.
What Is The Population Of Huntsville, Alabama?
In 2020, the total population of Huntsville’s metropolitan area was around 492,000. This makes for the second most populous metropolitan in Alabama, next to Birmingham.
Can I Engage With Sanelo To Help With My Move To Huntsville?
100%! Our team, with years of experience in handling local and international relocations, is ready to serve you. Contact us through email or phone call. We can then begin the discussion on how to prepare for your move.