The Best Things To Do In Huntsville This Year

Rocket City is a place ever on the rise.

Huntsville, Alabama

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Huntsville has many claims to fame, one of which is its space history. Rocket City, as it’s affectionately known, is home to the The U.S. Space & Rocket Center, a place that preserves and showcases the history of the space program and offers behind-the-scenes glimpses at the machines and stories that powered the 20th century’s race to space. This city in northern Alabama is on the rise in so many ways–not just space-age ones–so read on to find out about a few of the fun things to do in Huntsville on your next visit.

Shop, Dine, and Learn at Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment

Housed in a historic textile mill that's been renovated and reimagined, Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment is a hub for arts and creativity. It’s home to a huge concentration of galleries and studios for artists, some of which you can peek into to see the creative process at work, as well as places to shop, hear live music, and grab a bite to eat. Food and drink options include Pizzelle’s Confections, Happy Tummy Pizzas and Pies, Irons Distillery, Chef Will the Palate, Poftà Bunà International, and several more.

Grab a Pint at a Local Brewery

There’s a burgeoning brewing scene in Huntsville, and places like Green Bus Brewing, Yellowhammer Brewing, and Rocket Republic Brewing are leading the charge. Downtown Huntsville even has its own craft beer trail, and you can reference the handy map to find your way from location to location. 

Explore Interstellar Phenomena at The U.S. Space & Rocket Center

This city has its astronautical bonafides. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center, a Smithsonian affiliate, is one of the biggest draws to the city. It’s the visitors center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and it’s filled with galleries and displays explaining the stories and technologies behind the United States’ history of space flight. (It’s also home to Space Camp.) Virtual reality programs and simulators enliven a visit to this can’t-miss museum.

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL
Robbie Caponetto

Venture Outdoors at Monte Sano State Park

Once you’ve had your fill of extra-terrestrial exploration, embark on an adventure in nature. At Monte Sano State Park, which is located near Huntsville, you’ll find lodging options at campgrounds and Monte Sano Lodge. According to Alapark, “In the late 1800s, visitors from across the United States came for ‘the season’ to experience and enjoy Monte Sano’s fresh air, spectacular views and mineral springs.” The park stretches over 2,140 acres of vibrant foliage in fall, blooms in spring, and overlooks for taking in the northern Alabama scenery. 

See the Flowers at the Huntsville Botanical Garden 

The Huntsville Botanical Garden is fun to visit at any time of year, but when the flowers bloom in spring, it’s a sight to see. The botanical garden is a public green space covering 118 acres, including the Bush Azalea Trail, Purdy Butterfly House, and Damson Aquatic Garden. In addition to beautifully landscaped gardens, throughout the year there are special events, educational programs, and plant sales too.

Channel Your Creativity at the Huntsville Museum of Art 

Located in Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville, The Huntsville Museum of Art has fourteen galleries and a permanent collection of more than 3,200 objects. The collection spans the globe and many artistic periods but has a primary focus on 19th and 20th century American art. The works in the collection span media, with many contemporary wood, glass, metal, clay and fiber pieces added more recently. 

Dine in Downtown Huntsville 

Downtown Huntsville has a strong culinary scene, and bars and restaurants including The Martin Bar & Bistro, The Poppy and Parliament, Sea Salt, Domaine South, Purveyor, The Standard Social Market, Catacomb 435, The Bottle, Revivalist, La Esquina Cocina, MELT, Commerce Kitchen, and Cotton Row keep hungry (and thirsty) visitors coming back for more. 

There’s lots to do, both space-themed and otherwise, in this vibrant city. Shop, dine, and explore to your heart’s content, and you just might learn something new about Huntsville. 

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