Downtown Huntsville and Historic Districts are the most diverse and culturally rich areas of Huntsville, Alabama. It marks the birthplace of Huntsville itself and boasts a variety of businesses, shops, parks, museums, hospitals, and medical facilities.
The heart of Downtown Huntsville is jam-packed with park space, museums, restaurants, boutiques—even two retro gift shops reminiscent of the old-fashioned general stores of yesteryear! Parades, block parties, historic tours, and cultural events are common sights on the weekends, and evenings typically bring people strolling along the district’s many storefronts after a meal. After dark, Downtown Huntsville reveals a lively music scene, with buskers and professional musicians alike performing among a variety of bars and nightclubs.
Huntsville began in 1805 when John Hunt, a Revolutionary War veteran, first settled in the land around Big Spring. Leroy Pope later purchased the land and called it Twickenham. However, within a few years, the name was changed to Huntsville in honor of John Hunt.
Downtown Huntsville is housed in the beautiful and historic Huntsville East area. There are a variety of restaurants and coffee shops that dot it's streets and surrounding areas to tantalize its' patrons. Some of the offerings include Cotton Row Restaurant, Papou's Greek Restaurant, and Kaffeeklatsc.
For only encompassing a mere corner of the city, Huntsville East is brimming with museums, parks, and miles of green space. Huntsville East is home to the oldest hardware store in Alabama. Harrison Brothers Hardware Store is a museum and operating hardware store. Other museums include the Huntsville Museum of Art, the Weeden House, and Huntsville Depot Museum. For the kids, there are some fabulous hands on experiences at Early Works Children's Museum, Constitution Village, and Burritt Museum.
There are a myriad of activities to enjoy at one of the many parks in Huntsville East, as well. Enjoy a brisk hike or exhilarating bike ride on one of the many trails located in Monte Sano State Park. Don't forget to take time to enjoy some of its' spectacular views of the city. There is Big Spring International Park located in Downtown Huntsville across from the Von Braun Civic Center where many a Broadway show and A-list entertainers have performed and Lydia Gold Skate Park for those who like to skateboard or rollerblade.
Surrounding Downtown are the city’s oldest historic districts — Twickenham, Old Town, and Five Points. All three are stunning in their architectural diversity. Spend a day walking through these neighborhoods and you’ll struggle to find two homes that look alike. Each district has its own character and flavor. Massive oaks and pecan trees line the streets of Twickenham, shading the stately facades of Federal, Queen Anne, and Greek Revival homes from the 19th century. Some of its structures even have roots in the 1700s. Old Town features some of the finest examples of early 20th century Art Deco and Craftsman style homes in the South. And Five Points, lined with authentic cottages and California bungalows, buzzes with Huntsville’s eclectic art scene. Live in one of these neighborhoods and all the conveniences and pleasures of Main Street life are a short walk from your front door!
Venturing out into the Blossomwood area there is an interesting mix of older and more modern style homes that range from smaller ranch styles to custom built masterpieces that compliment each other beautifully. Because of Blossomwood's convenient location, some people are purchasing these older homes and renovating and upgrading them to suit their needs.
Finally, located atop Monte Sano Mountain is the small sleeper community of Monte Sano. Perched atop this favorite lookout for Huntsville city, Monte Sano feels more like it's own small town.
The schools in Huntsville East's area are part of the Huntsville City School system. There are 3 elementary schools including Blossomwood Elementary School, Chapman and Huntsville middle school, and Huntsville and Lee High School's in the Huntsville East area.