HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville now has bragging rights as one of the coolest cities in America. That's according to a new study by relocation experts with MoveHub.
Places like Seattle and Portland are known as being hot spots for hipsters, but more and more cities, including Huntsville, are being recognized as some of the best spots in the country for people under 30 to live.
Cities were ranked based on a variety of factors that make them appealing to young people, like the number tattoo parlors, vegan stores, and microbreweries, as well as the cost of living.
"We were really excited to be among some fantastic cities and what we've seen in Huntsville through our quality of life offerings really speaks to being on that list," said Erin Koshut, Cummings Research Park director with the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
MoveHub found that Huntsville is a bustling city with plenty to do, including farmers' markets, coffee shops, and local breweries. They also noted that the city has lots of thrift shops, making it a great place for fashionistas and creatives.
"In Huntsville, we have 10 different breweries which is the largest craft brewery growth in the state of Alabama," Koshut said. "One of the interesting notes that they had in this particular ranking is that Huntsville has 9.3 thrift stores per 100,000 people. Then they talked about our many other qualities like our artisans and the really cool things there are to do and places like Lowe Mill."
Eliah McCutchen, 22, is a recent college graduate working as the media coordinator at Lowe Mill. He's lived in Huntsville since he was in first grade but left for college for four years in Birmingham and then came back. He's experiencing all of the new breweries and other places that have popped up in recent years, and he thinks it's great for bringing new people into the city and keeping current residents entertained.
"I think that the things Huntsville has brought in over the past few years are good for people who are looking for a new place to live or looking for a place to start a family or a career or people who have lived here their whole lives and are just looking for something new and fun to do on a Friday night," he said.
McCutchen said Huntsville has a unique combination of professions and personalities, including artists and scientists, that make it interesting and a great place for people his age.
"There's such a good arts community so if you're a creative person, Huntsville is the place to go. On the opposite spectrum of that, there's an awesome engineering program at UAH and we have the Space and Rocket Center so it's definitely a melting pot of all different kinds of personalities. No matter what you like, you're going to find a place to fit in Huntsville that you won't find anywhere else," he said.
The Chamber of Commerce states the new ranking will help attract more young professionals to the Rocket City. Huntsville has already seen growth in that demographic.
"This list says not only are we a great place for our low cost of living and our STEM job growth, but we're really hip too and here's why. This list really speaks to that and is a great tool in the toolbox for us as we recruit," Koshut said.
The top three cities on the U.S .Hipster Index were Cincinnati, Ohio, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Vancouver, Washington.
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