Huntsville is a city in Alabama. It’s home to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, featuring the Saturn V rocket and space travel artifacts. Huntsville Botanical Garden has a butterfly house. Mountain trails, azaleas and stone cabins are the draws of Monte Sano State Park. Burritt on the Mountain includes the 1930s Burritt Mansion, nature trails and a historical park with farm animals and restored 19th-century buildings.
Huntsville is a year-round destination, with hot summers (Jun–Aug) and mild winters (Dec–Feb). A popular time to visit is Mar–Jul. Huntsville Botanical Garden’s Purdy Butterfly House is open May–Sep. Vendors at the weekly Greene Street Market (May–Oct) sell local food and artisan-made goods. Annual arts festivals include Panoply (Apr/May), with performances including indie bands, dance and classical music, plus an art market. The Monte Sano Art Festival (Sep) is a regional art show in Monte Sano State Park.
Huntsville’s quick growth was from wealth generated by the cotton and railroad industries. Many wealthy planters moved into the area from Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas. In 1819, Huntsville hosted a constitutional convention in Walker Allen’s large cabinetmaking shop. The 44 delegates meeting there wrote a constitution for the new state of Alabama. In accordance with the new state constitution, Huntsville became Alabama’s first capital when the state was admitted to the Union. This was a temporary designation for one legislative session only. The capital was moved to more central cities: to Cahawba, then to Tuscaloosa, and finally to Montgomery.[