Huntsville, the Huntsvegas, is rich in history, culture, art and nature. The Rocket City's past coexists beautifully and easily with the present day world. The city boasts museums, space center, art galleries, botanical garden, amusement parks, historic mansion and more. Explore the picturesque countryside, step back in time by visiting any of the historical centers in the city, take in the natural beauty by visiting one of Huntsville’s many gardens and parks, explore the art, or indulge in outdoor fun and adventure. The city has lots to offer that is sure to please everyone.
Image By Larry Wilbourn [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
History of Huntsville
Huntsville is rich in history! The history is entwined with the space program of America.
Huntsville was the first incorporated town in Alabama. The city was first settled in 1805 by John Hunt who lived near a spring and named it Hunt’s Spring. Later, LeRoy Pope came to the area and changed the name of the community from Hunt’s Spring to Twickenham. Residents of the area changed the name to Huntsville.
In 1811, Huntsville was incorporated as a town and it was the first incorporated town in Alabama. In 1816, the first courthouse was built. In 1819, Huntsville was the first capital of Alabama, which later changed to Cahawab in 1820 and then Montgomery in 1846. Huntsville became a major cotton trading center before Civil War, thus attracting traders, pioneer families, merchants and speculators. Soon, the town became the center of state politics. It was of strategic importance during Civil War. In 1855, the Memphis and Charleston railroad was constructed through Huntsville. Huntsville served as a small city until 1940. During the outset of WWII, Huntsville was selected as the sites for military manufacturing plants. In 1941, a center for America Rocket R&D- Redstone Arsenal was set up here. This brought a new technology-based economy in Huntsville. In 1960, Huntsville entered into space exploration technology with the NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center at the Redstone Arsenal. Today, the city is home to the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command.
Important Locations in Huntsville
Huntsville is home to cultural, historical, architectural and recreational attractions. There is history, culture, art and space to explore, incredible nature to take in, and outdoor activities to enjoy. The Rocket City has so much to offer for all ages and interests.
U.S. Space and Rocket Center
: Check out the hands-on interactive space-related exhibits, artifacts of US space program and space travel simulator at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center
. It includes a Rocket park, Space dome and NASA’s Educator Resource Center.
Huntsville Botanical Garden
: Huntsville Botanical Garden
features a butterfly house, a nature center and a children’s area. Walk through the beautiful flowers and plants and experience the nature.
Alabama Constitution Village:
Take a trip back in time to the 1800s at the Alabama Constitution Village
. It is a part of the Early Works Family of Museums and depicts what life was in Alabama in 1819. It features a break maker, cabinetmaker and several other period craftsman. It is a journey into the past!
Huntsville Museum of Art
: Huntsville Museum of Art
features art, paintings and other exhibitions spanning centuries from international, national and local artists. It has several permanent and travelling exhibitions.
EarlyWorks Children's History Museum:
Kids can play, learn and explore at the EarlyWorks Children's History Museum
. It features hands-on history museum, a talking tree, instruments to play, a 46feet Keelboat, replica of grocery stores, water table to splash around, Biscuit’s Backyard and many other fun activities for kids.
Monte Sano State Park: Monte Sano State Park
features trails perfect for mountain biking and hiking. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can rent the cabins and relax, enjoy the scenic views of the city, and walk, hike or bike your way around.
North Alabama Railroad Museum:
Nestled in the historic depot, the North Alabama Railroad Museum
features the Alabama railroad history through several exhibits and vintage train cars. Take a vintage train ride and explore the museum.
Big Spring Park: Big Spring Park features waterside green spaces, walking paths and several waterfowls. Feed fish and ducks, go bird watching and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Big Spring Park is a sight to behold.
Twickenham Historic District: Twickenham Historic District is the largest antebellum district in Alabama. Take a tour of the Twickenham Historic District, marvel at the historic structure and architecture, and explore the history.
: Southern Adventures
is an amusement park with plenty of rides and slides for the whole family. It has a waterpark, bumper cars, arcade games, rides, water slides, go carts, rock climbing, batting cages, miniature golf and much more fun activities to do.
US Veterans Memorial Museum:
Learn about the history and achievements of the American military women and men at the US Veterans Memorial Museum
. It features 30 military vehicles from WWI to the present day, personal items, weapons, uniforms and other Veterans memorabilia.
Burritt on the Mountain: Burritt on the Mountain
features nineteenth century restored houses, historic mansions, barnyard and log cabins. It also has several acres of hiking trails and a historic park.
The Madison County Nature Trail
: The Madison County Nature Trail
is a 72 acres park on the top of Green Mountain offering stunning views of the city. It includes 1.5mile of walking trail, picnic pavilion, 16-acre lake and chapel. It is a perfect place to relax and take in the nature.
Weeden House Museum and Garden
: Know how life was in nineteenth century in Alabama through art and poetry by Ms. Weeden at the Weeden House Museum and Garden
To know in detail about the important locations in Huntsville, click here.
People and Culture of Huntsville
Huntsville is home to many cultures. It offers a variety of cultural amenities and activities. From museums and art galleries to festivals and theatre, there is something for Culture Vultures here. The city is constantly engaged in culture and arts of all sorts. The high-tech spirit blends with Southern charm and heritage, thus making it a livable city with high quality of life.
Time Zone and Phone Codes of Huntsville
Huntsville follows the Central Time Zone.
UTC-GMT Offset: Huntsville is GMT/UTC-6hours during Standard Time and GMT/UTC-5hours during Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time Usage: Huntsville used Daylight Saving Time
Time Zone Abbrv.: CST is abbreviated for Central Standard Time; CDT is abbreviated for Central Daylight Time
Huntsville Area Codes: 256 and 938
Best Time to Visit Huntsville
Huntsville offers a comfortable weather making it possible to visit any time of the year. However, the best time to visit Huntsville is spring with blooming flowers and plenty of greenery, and fall with cool breeze and pleasant weather for outdoor activities.
Also, the city hosts plenty of festivals and events from rodeos to sporting events to art exhibits, music and other cultural and historical events. Some of the popular festivals and events in Huntsville are:
Important Locations in Huntsville Map Guide