The high-tech city of Huntsville, which sprawls at the foot of a mountain in north Alabama, is equally at home in the 19th century or the 21st. Huntsville’s attractions reflect the heritage of Alabama’s first English-speaking city, the strife of the American Civil War, and the accomplishments of America’s rocket scientists. Huntsville is nicknamed the “Rocket City” for its close history with U.S. space missions.
Look into humanity’s journey into space and stand under the awe-inspiring Saturn V Rocket at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. The center houses the most extensive collection of space artifacts in the world. Feel the anticipation Dr. Wernher von Braun and his team must have felt as they prepared to put the first man on the moon, and peer inside NASA’s most recent mission to the moon with Artemis I. See a piece of the moon, catch an interactive presentation in the Intuitive Planetarium, or enroll in adult Space Camp.
In downtown, step back to 1819 at the oldest house in the state open to the public at The Weeden House Museum and Garden, which served as the living quarters for officers during the Civil War. Tag along with a local expert on a guided tour to learn about the city’s past and see the largest concentration of antebellum homes in Alabama. Immerse yourself in the life of early 1800s Alabamians and see where the first state constitution was signed at Alabama Constitution Hall Park.
Overlooking the city, Burritt on the Mountain offers the best view of the valley and natural beauty of Round Top Mountain. Learn about its ecology, revisit the lives of 1800s farmers, and tour the eccentric Burritt Mansion.
Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment, one of the country’s largest, privately owned arts facilities, is a historic textile mill turned workspace for 200-plus local artists, makers, and small businesses. You are sure to find a unique item to take home. Plus, there’s the Downtown Secret Art Trail, Spaces Sculpture Trail, and the Huntsville Museum of Art.
Huntsville’s diverse culinary scene guarantees you’ll find something that sends your taste buds out of this world! Encounter everything from award-winning restaurants to food truck rallies to mom-and-pop eateries. Follow the Craft Beer Trail or get fancy on the Craft Cocktail Trail.
There is much more to experience, enjoy, and explore in Huntsville, like the botanical garden and the city’s growing music scene with the addition of The Orion Amphitheater. For more information, go to huntsville.org and make plans to visit soon.
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Credit: Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau