One of the most recognized cities in the Southeast, Huntsville is consistently earning accolades as one of the best places in the nation to live, work, and play. Technology, space, and defense play important roles in this area, driven by the U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, and Cummings Research Park. Huntsville is also home to several Fortune 500 companies and scores of large, mid-size, and small businesses for a diversified and healthy regional economy. Parks and recreation areas are highly developed, although the city lies in close proximity to premier getaways that include Monte Sano Mountain State Park. Ditto Landing at Wheeler Reservoir and the lakefront beauty of the Green Mountain Nature Trail are just two of the attractions in this lovely area at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Those who appreciate culture will find symphony, choral and musical concerts, ballet and dance, and other performing arts in venues from elegant to intimate. Art and history museums combine with fine galleries to showcase local, regional, and national talent and preserve the area's rich history. The Twickenham district preserves Alabama's largest collection of pre-Civil War homes, while the Huntsville Botanical Garden showcases aquatic and floral gardens. Shoppers will be able to fine unique treasures or name-brand merchandise in charming districts or fashionable malls. Around every corner, Huntsville reveals an exceptional quality of life and delightful surprises. The housing selection is as diverse as the population, blending magnificent older homes shaded by lovely trees with vibrant new construction in exclusive enclaves or neat subdivisions that offer a close-knit spirit. New residents will find in Huntsville a remarkable city that manages to honor the heritage of the gracious Old South with innovative high-tech ventures and the richness of cultural diversity.