Downtown Huntsville: Love at first sight


Downtown Hville (1)

“Hey, I am the new girl!” I’ve been saying that a lot lately. I recently moved to the Rocket City to accept a new role as the Director of Communications for Downtown Huntsville, Inc. or DHI for short. DHI is the group responsible for the revitalization of Downtown Huntsville through unique events, interesting promotions, and dynamic new and redeveloped properties. As the self-described “new girl” in the Rocket City, I have a lot in common with visitors. I hope you’ll read on and join me as we discover downtown Huntsville together, and by the end of this blog I hope you’ll be as excited as I am about exploring Huntsville’s city center.


The new girl

Just how new am I? I moved to Huntsville in December of 2014. At the time of this writing, I have been in town for only a couple of months, and I am finally able to go to a lot of places without using my GPS! This is a big deal for me, because (I’ll be completely honest with you) I have absolutely no sense of direction! The good news? Huntsville is a breeze to navigate, even for us newbies.



I was nervous about moving to Huntsville, which is a much bigger city than I’m used to (I am a small town girl). I was anxious about learning how to get around the area, but it was so much easier than expected. Everything is laid out so simply. If you know a few of the main streets (like Church St., Jefferson St and Washington St. in downtown Huntsville) you can get anywhere quickly and easily. For a girl with no sense of direction, I learned my way around in a few short days!

I had been visiting a friend here for a few months before moving. When I first started to visit, I was brought to the downtown area. I loved it! I never knew Huntsville had such a great, lively and energetic downtown. I loved the vibe and the energy that permeates throughout the center of a city that put men on the moon. I loved that downtown was so walk-able. I loved the “uniqueness” of the area. It was, as they say, “love at first sight.” I started falling in love with Huntsville!


Favorite lunch spot?
Below the Radar (try the fish tacos or the cobb salad!)

Suggestion for Parking?
Park along the streets in the parallel parking spots or in the public parking decks like the Clinton Avenue Parking Deck

Top three prettiest Huntsville views?
Monte Sano Mountain overlooking the city
Big Spring International Park Tinsel Trail
Historic Homes in Downtown Huntsville


Park and walk. It’s worth it.

My advice to any visitor or newcomer to Downtown Huntsville is to park and WALK. Like I said before, the area is so walkable, and it will be much more enjoyable to stroll the sidewalks and check out every part of the downtown area. If you plan to come to an event in Downtown Huntsville, plan to come early, explore the area and find some of Downtown Huntsville’s best hidden secrets! You won’t regret it.

Katelyn with Huntsville Havoc mascot Chaos

Katelyn with the Huntsville Havoc mascot Chaos during Tinsel Trail 2014

Favorite thing about Huntsville?

Someone recently asked me, “What’s your favorite thing about Huntsville?” I told them that I love that I can have a fantastic meal, go for a run, grab a cup of coffee (A Cup of Everything), get a quick lunch (Sam & Greg’s), shop for unique finds (Harrison Brothers Hardware) and attend special events (Von Braun Center, etc.) all within walking distance of each other. The Downtown Huntsville area really does offer everything any visitor, new comer or resident could ever want. To me, Huntsville is the big city with a lot to offer and a small town feel. Huntsville has never made me feel overwhelmed. Huntsville made me feel like I was at home.


Downtown Hville


Which iHeartHsv blogger wrote this?

Image of Katelyn Sides

Katelyn Sides

Hi, my name is Katelyn Sides! I graduated from Auburn University last May, majoring in public relations and minoring in business. I went back to my hometown, Cullman, Ala., and took a job there after graduation. I then decided I wanted a city and not just any city; I wanted Huntsville. I love Huntsville and everything it has to offer! That is why I love my job as Director of Communications for Downtown Huntsville, Inc. In my free time, I like to go jogging around Big Spring International Park, play with my dog Ellie, spend some time downtown at local restaurants and shops, or go shop around Lowe Mill.

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