Huntsville, Alabama, attracts thousands of visitors each year interested in the history of the science and rocket programs. But there are plenty of things to do in Huntsville Alabama, in addition to the Space and Rocket Center.
Travelers can see pre-Civil War homes in the Twickenham Historic District, and native plants and birds in the Huntsville Botanical Garden. There are miles of hiking paths to be enjoyed without ever leaving Madison County. Art lovers can enjoy the Norman Rockwell and Hudson River School Landscapes at the Huntsville Museum of Art.
This is truly a destination for everyone. Let’s take a list of the top things to do when you are visiting Huntsville.
1) Visit The U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Huntsville is called the rocket city, and we would be negligent not to include the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. The Rocket Center is 68,000 square feet of research facilities, simulators, exhibits, a space shuttle experience, and the home of the world-famous inspirational Space Camp.
The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is located in Cummings Research Park, the second largest research center. Visitors can see an authentic Saturn V rocket and the skeleton of a Crew Space Transportation Module that’s responsible for taking crews to the International Space Station.
You’ll also explore the history of the space station node and one of the world’s largest collections of space and rocket memorabilia. In 1982 the center launched Space Camp, which has seen aspiring youth from all 50 US states and 150 countries.
2) Explore Cathedral Caverns State Park
One of the fun natural attractions in North Alabama is about half an hour’s drive from Huntsville in Woodville. Cathedral Caverns State Parks is home to an impressive cave with two miles of paved paths that are eight feet wide and wheelchair accessible.
Cathedral Caverns’ grand entrance is an impressive 126 feet wide. Licensed guides lead exciting tours into the cave daily that are approximately 1.5 miles long and last 90 minutes. The concrete paved walkways make the cave a great family activity for all ages.
The cave maintains a temperate of 60 degrees all year, making this an excellent attraction in the heat of summer. The state park includes 493 acres of land with five and a half miles of hiking trails.
3) Outdoor Things To Do In Huntsville Alabama
With over 200 days of sunshine each year, being out in nature is one of the best things to do in Huntsville AL. Some of the best parks and nature trails are within a 25-minute drive of downtown.
Monte Sano State Park
Monte Sano State Park is just 15 minutes from downtown Huntsville. In addition to 20 miles of walking trails, Monte Sano State Park also offers:
A disc golf course
The North Alabama Japanese Garden
A playground for kids
The Wernher Von Braun Planetarium
Big Spring International Park
Big Spring International Park is right in the downtown area and hosts fun events like the Panoply Arts Festival and Concerts in the Park. Big Spring Park is especially fun for kids to enjoy the ducks, geese, and koi fish. The red bridge and cherry trees you will see here were gifts from Japan to the city to be enjoyed at the Big Spring International Park.
Madison County Nature Trail
The Madison County Nature Trail is at Green Mountain in southeast Huntsville. The park is open daily and offers a picturesque setting for each season. Depending on when you are in the Huntsville area, at the Madison County Nature Trail, you can see:
Spring is blooming dogwoods and azaleas
Summer offers deep green trees and blooming wildflowers
Fall is a glorious array of trees showing colorful fall foliage
Winter is a peaceful time of rustling leaves covering the forest floor
4) Bridge Street Town Centre
Visit the Bridge Street Town Centre for food, entertainment, and some serious retail therapy! You’ll find more than 50 retail stores and over 25 restaurants to enjoy.
Bridge Street Town Centre offers entertainment like the Main Event Huntsville and Cinemark Bridge Street.
The exciting action at Main Event includes:
State-of-the-art laser tag
Mini escape rooms and more
At Cinemark Bridge Street, you’ll find 14 XD movie auditoriums with stadium-style seating, luxury loungers, food, and a full bar.
5) The Best Huntsville Museums
Whether you call yourself a museum person or not, these museums offer special things to do in Huntsville AL that are a great way to spend an afternoon.
North Alabama Railroad Museum highlights include a restored train station from 1937, vintage rail cars, and special events in the fall
The Weeden House Museum occupies the home of poet and artist Maria Howard Weeden. The house was built in 1819. The museum is filled with 19th-century furniture and artwork from before the Civil War
Veterans Memorial Museum is a Huntsville museum that is interesting for kids. You’ll find military equipment, artifacts, and memorabilia beginning with the American Revolutionary War through today
The Huntsville Museum of Art showcases traveling art and permanent exhibits, including an impressive selection of Norman Rockwell and Hudson River School Landscapes
Constitution Hall Park offers hands-on exhibits that are great for kids
The Huntsville Botanical Garden is a beautiful area spread across 118 acres
6) Civil Rights Landmarks
The struggle for justice and equality is a big part of the history of Huntsville and the story of the American deep south. Some of the top sites to see in Huntsville include:
The first public school to desegregate in the state of Alabama
Walk along the streets where the lunch counter sits ins happened
See where Martin Luther King, Jr. stood, spoke, and slept while he was in Huntsville
7) Civil War Landmarks
Explore the spaces where Civil War occupation took place. Understand the critical significance of Historic Huntsville Depot. Delve into the space of the former Greene Academy. Stroll through the historic districts and locate where Union Soldiers occupied family homes. Travel beyond Huntsville and learn precisely where Civil War conflicts occurred.
8) Experience Huntsville Through the Eyes of The Locals
With so many things to see and experience in Huntsville, it is best to head out with a local who can take you to the best sites and share the stories behind the scene.
Finding a great tour of Huntsville with a knowledgeable local guide used to be difficult. At one point, tours were only offered during select months of the year. Today, tours are year-round!
With Scenethat Tours on the scene now, some really fun excursions are available in Huntsville. Tours are available to see the pre-Civil War homes, historic sites, civil rights historical landmarks, and an exciting food scene.
Let us show you around our hometown. Go online or give us a call today. We look forward to meeting you!