I was born and raised here, so of course, I am going to tell you this is the best city on planet Earth. It really is, though. I could not imagine living ANYWHERE else. Huntsville has grown tremendously over the past few years. From its street food gatherings to its college campuses, you really can not find another place better to visit or live.

One thing I especially love about this city is that even though you might be in the middle of the city, just a 20-minute drive in really any direction will take you right in the middle of the more country area.

If you currently live in Huntsville or are debating on visiting here soon, please, just so you can get the real experience, visit these 10 places:

1. Space and Rocket Center

Well, of course, I'm going to tell you that! Hence the name "The Rocket City". In all seriousness, though, this is one of the coolest places to take kids of all ages (and deep down we are all children at heart). They have thrilling attractions, space camps, fun learning activities, and so much history. I promise you that visiting here will really expand your knowledge and work your brain while you are having fun!

2. Huntsville Botanical Garden

This is another great place to take the kids, but it is also an amazing place to go on a stroll with your loved one. This beautiful, peaceful garden is a place you will need to visit while you are here in Huntsville. They have butterfly houses, as many flowers as you can think of, and beautiful art all over the place. Christmas attractions and the fall Scarecrow Trail bring the community together here at the garden.

3. Monte Sano State Park

Breathtaking views and gorgeous scenery are two reasons why this is an ideal place to visit while you are in the Rocket City. If you really need some one-on-one time with Mother Nature, then this is the place for you. You can take the family on a good, old-fashioned hiking trip, or even go camping "deep" in the woods.

4. Von Braun Center

Now, most people do visit Huntsville because their favorite event or favorite artist will be here at the Von Braun Civic Center. If you are planning your trip and have no clue what you are going to do, checking out the Von Braun Civic Center website, looking under the events tab, and see if there are any events you would like to go to while on your trip! You will not be sorry you went here!

5. Harmony Park Safari

Something you don't see really anywhere else is a drive through the zoo! Pack up the family and bring them here for this thrilling ride through the "jungles" of Huntsville! You will see zebras, buffalo, deer, and much more!

6. Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment

If you really need to unwind and relax this is the perfect spot! Events, classes, and the best sweet tea around are what keeps this place running. Be sure to stop by here and check out the amazing art all over the building and get a picture on the "indoor swing".

7. Big Spring Park

Think of a park, outdoors, pond, lots of ducks and trees and such, but you look around and the Von Braun Center is maybe 100 yards away. This park is what really sets off Huntsville. Street food gatherings, movies in the park, concerts, and more is the reason why this park brings together the Huntsville community every year! Oh and get this, during Christmas there is OUTDOOR ICE SKATING in the middle of the park! How cool is that?

8. Bridge Street Town Centre

I'm going to blow the minds of the people that live here already. It gets its name from the bridge that overlaps the pond. Get it now?

Okay, for real, though. This is one of the coolest malls you will ever go to. It honestly doesn't feel like a mall at all, though. Its openness and home feeling make this place one of the best places to shop in North Alabama. It has little businesses like Cafe 153 or it even has bigger businesses like Belk, but either way it will satisfy all your needs!

9. Ditto Landing

If you need a day on the boat, fishing by the water, or just a swim in the waters of Talucah Beach, Dittos got you covered. This is one beautiful place you will want to visit while you are here.

10. Huntsville Depot Roundhouse

You got to go here. You just have to. Huntsville'Ats rich history dates back to when all you could do was travel by train. Please come here and also just drive through downtown Huntsville in general because looking at those old buildings and thinking to yourself "Wow, this is what started it all" really makes you feel great about visiting the beautiful city of Huntsville, Alabama.