of a city this size." — Dr. Bobby Moore
Huntsville features cultural, educational, and recreation opportunities that belie its small size of approximately half a million residents. As a result, the city offers the best of both worlds — the uncrowded atmosphere of a small city and the variety and vitality of a growing area.
Madison County, of which Huntsville is the county seat, is in the foothills of the Appalachians just north of the Tennessee River. The oldest English-speaking settlement in the state, Huntsville is an urban regional center with cultural, educational and commercial opportunities that attract participants from throughout northern Alabama and southern Tennessee.
Redstone Arsenal (with its heavy concentration on research and development for army missile and space programs), Marshall Space Flight Center (the NASA base responsible for the first U.S. satellite and much research and development for subsequent space projects) and a growing number of high-technology companies are located in Huntsville. These activities have drawn scientists, engineers and technicians from all over the United States and many foreign countries. The Huntsville metropolitan area is the state's third largest, serving over half a million people in Madison, Limestone and surrounding counties.
Educational opportunities are excellent from preschool through Ph.D. levels, with two universities and one college in Huntsville and others nearby. All art forms are represented in the thriving arts community, including dance, theater, visual arts, media arts and literature.
Yet, Huntsville is a very livable size. Dr. Fredric Burg, associate dean for the Huntsville campus, calls Huntsville the "10-minute city" because, "You can go anywhere around town in ten minutes or less, even during so-called 'rush hour,' which is very minimal compared to most cities."
See Huntsville City Map