15+ Best Things to Do in Huntsville, Alabama (2024) (2024)

Huntsville, Alabama offers an array of activities that cater to a variety of interests, from its rich space exploration history to cultural and natural attractions. Your journey to Huntsville could begin at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, where you can immerse yourself in the legacy of the space race and even attend a space camp for a hands-on experience. Nature enthusiasts can explore the Huntsville Botanical Garden, a haven of flora and fauna across a vast landscape that provides an ideal escape within the city.

For those drawn to cultural pursuits, Huntsville doesn’t disappoint. Stroll through the vibrant arts scene with stops at local galleries or take in a performance at one of the many theaters. The city’s historical districts offer a glimpse into the past with beautifully preserved architecture and storytelling that brings the heritage of Alabama to life. From art museums to adventure outings, Huntsville is a city that welcomes exploration and satisfies the curious traveler.

Arts and Culture

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Huntsville, Alabama, affectionately known as Rocket City, offers rich cultural experiences through its vibrant arts scene. Explore the Huntsville Museum of Art to discover a variety of exhibits, ranging from classical to contemporary artwork. Burritt on the Mountain provides a historic and educational glimpse into the past, coupled with a cultural appreciation for the arts through its events and displays.

Indulge in live music and entertainment at Broadway Theater League and the elegant Von Braun Center Concert Hall. Engage with interactive displays and educational programs at the EarlyWorks Children’s Museum, fostering a love for history among the younger audience.

Enjoy the serenity of the Huntsville Botanical Garden, where special events often intertwine with artistic expression. And don’t miss the historic Weeden House Museum, adding a dash of local history to your cultural exploration. Make the most of your visit by checking the local events calendar for performances, exhibits, and cultural festivals.

Historical Attractions

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Huntsville, steeped in rich history, offers an array of historical attractions worth your visit. At the Weeden House—the oldest Alabama house open to the public—immerse yourself in the life of 19th-century artist and poet Maria Howard Weeden. While exploring Alabama Constitution Hall Park, you walk the grounds where Alabama first became a state.

  • U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum: Here, discover a remarkable collection of artifacts from World War I to the present day, including rare military vehicles.
  • EarlyWorks Children’s Museum: Engage with interactive exhibits that bring Huntsville’s past to life, especially appealing for younger visitors.

Most sites provide guided tours, enriching your visit with detailed narratives of Huntsville’s storied past. These sites not only narrate the tales of Alabama and Huntsville but invite you to step into history, making them must-visit tourist attractions.

Outdoor Activities and Nature

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In Huntsville, AL, embrace a blend of outdoor adventure and serene landscapes. Monte Sano State Park, a highlight for hikers, offers expansive trails across a 2,140-acre area. Discover over 22 miles of paths suitable for various skill levels, punctuated with scenic overlooks.

For a pleasant walk, take the Madison County Nature Trail on Green Mountain, featuring a tranquil 72-acre park that’s perfect for all ages. At Hays Nature Preserve, you have options for both hiking and biking on extensive trails amidst diverse birdlife.

The city’s commitment to outdoor life is evident in its expanding network of biking paths. Explore the 73 miles of paved greenways, with designs to integrate an additional 40 miles, ensuring accessible outdoor experiences.

Whether you’re drawn to the adrenaline of outdoor sports or the quiet pursuit of fishing, the community in North Alabama offers a park or garden ready to fulfill your inclination towards nature.

Remember to respect the local flora and fauna, as Huntsville values the preservation of its natural beauty.

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Family and Interactive Experiences

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In Huntsville, enrich your family’s curiosity with a blend of education and fun. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center offers a hands-on journey through space history, with authentic rockets and interactive simulators. Engage with educational programs and explore the Intuitive Planetarium, where you can traverse the solar system.

At the EarlyWorks Children’s Museum, storytelling and imagination are encouraged with interactive exhibits that cater to young minds. Delight in Huntsville Botanical Garden where the Purdy Butterfly House is a must-see, immersing you in lush, colorful habitats with opportunities for hands-on exploration.

ExperienceHighlights

U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Educational tours, planetarium, simulators

EarlyWorks Children’s Museum

Interactive, child-centric exhibits

Huntsville Botanical Garden

Purdy Butterfly House, nature trails

Prioritize these sites for a dynamic, educational adventure tailored to the entire family.

Parks and Gardens

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In Huntsville, immerse yourself in natural beauty at Big Spring Park, where local events often take place amid serene duck ponds. Explore Burritt on the Mountain for a blend of historical charm and trails, and if biking is your passion, weave through lush landscapes at Madison County Nature Trail.

The Huntsville Botanical Garden is a fusion of nature’s artistry and educational experiences, housing diverse gardens that captivate your senses. Discover community spirit within Madison’s green spaces which not only offer tranquil havens but also proximity to vibrant restaurants.

Each park and garden offers a distinctive slice of Huntsville’s community and culture, with well-maintained trails inviting you to stroll, relax, and connect with the environment.

Wildlife and Conservation

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Immerse yourself in Huntsville’s diverse ecosystems, where conservation efforts meet the expanse of natural habitats. Monte Sano State Park, a haven of tranquility, offers you the chance to observe local wildlife in a pristine setting.

For a distinguished wildlife experience, Harmony Park Safari is a must-visit. Navigate your car through a unique drive-through safari and encounter zebras, camels, and buffalo. Feel the thrill as ostriches may approach your vehicle, expectant of treats.

At the Purdy Butterfly House, witness vibrant butterflies, a variety of plants, and possibly tortoises. This enclosed natural habitat enables intimate observation of delicate ecosystems.

In Alabama, conservation is not just a concept, but an interactive experience that allows you to connect with nature’s diverse creatures and the efforts to protect their futures.

Events and Festivals

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In Huntsville, Alabama, your cultural calendar brims with vibrant events and festivals year-round. Celebrate the arts at the Panoply Arts Festival in April, a kaleidoscope of creativity with over 100 artists and lively music performances. For music aficionados, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra offers captivating concerts, often housed at the esteemed Von Braun Center.

Madison hosts enriching events, integrating the community with culture and entertainment. Catch live performances at Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center that promise an enriching experience.

Indulge your astronomical curiosity with the Von Braun Astronomical Society in Alabama, a gateway to the stars, fostering a unique blend of science and wonder through their stargazing events. Whether you’re absorbed in a lively festival or savoring the harmonies of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, the region’s cultural heartbeat can’t be missed.

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Dining and Shopping

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In Huntsville, a diverse culinary scene beckons you to sample locally-owned restaurants, an authentic taste of North Alabama. At Tom Brown’s Restaurant, relish the fusion of Southern hospitality and fine dining, a stone’s throw away in Madison County. Punctuate your lunch options with the vibrant eats sprawled across the city, from the laid-back meat ‘n’ three to upscale dining experiences offering panoramic city views.

For shopping enthusiasts, Bridge Street Town Centre presents an outdoor paradise, blending retail with leisure. Stroll through a medley of stores or unwind at a movie theater. Huntsville’s U.S. Space and Rocket Center merges education and shopping, catering to both history buffs and souvenir seekers. For a touch of antiquity, the Railroad Station Antique Mall houses treasures aplenty, inviting an unforgettable dig into the past. Each market, shop, and mall in Huntsville offers a unique window into the community’s warm embrace.

Craft Breweries and Local Eats

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Huntsville, Alabama, known for its space explorations, also offers a rich craft beer scene blending innovation and southern hospitality.

Explore Yellowhammer Brewing for a taste of local tradition, or visit Straight to Ale, housed in an old middle school, to experience one of Alabama’s largest breweries with a diverse selection. Madison is home to Rocket Republic Brewing, where space-themed beers and energizing venues await.

Embrace Huntsville’s craft beer trail:

  • Green Bus Brewing for small-batch beers
  • Salty Nut Brewery, a quirky spot with unique flavors

Pair your pints with food trucks or gastropubs nearby, ensuring an eclectic dining experience. Walk the trails or drive around Huntsville and stop by these community-establishments, where the passion for local brewing creates unforgettable flavors and memories.

Science and Technology in Huntsville, AL

Huntsville, known as “Rocket City,” is a hub for space and technological wonders, particularly at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Here, you can explore a vast collection of rockets and space memorabilia that chart the course of space exploration history.

  • Exhibits: Witness the progression of rockets and technology that have made significant contributions to science.
  • Education: Engage with educational programs that offer learning experiences in science and technology fields.
  • Planetarium: Immerse yourself in celestial shows that expand your understanding of the universe.
  • Events: Participate in year-round events that celebrate the city’s innovation in space exploration.

Your visit to Huntsville is incomplete without delving into the city’s science and technology scene, where education and innovation come alive.

Arts and Performance Venues

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Huntsville, AL, serves up a vibrant arts scene that you shouldn’t miss. For Broadway shows and major performances, the Von Braun Center stands out as a premier concert hall and event space. This bustling entertainment hub regularly hosts Tony-winning productions and a variety of live music events.

If you’re seeking a more intimate venue, Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center is worth your attention. Nestled in the heart of Huntsville, it offers a rich calendar of events, from dance to comedy, catering to eclectic tastes.

For a dive into Huntsville’s local arts culture, Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment is a must-visit. It’s not only the largest private arts facility in the United States; it’s also a historic factory building reimagined into studios, galleries, and a theatre, pulsing with creativity from over 200 artists.

When in Huntsville, keep an eye out for local originals and current favorites performed across the city’s stages for a true taste of its diverse arts and entertainment offerings.

Accommodations and Lodging

When you travel to Huntsville, Alabama, you’ll find a broad selection of lodging options that cater to a variety of preferences and budgets. Madison County offers a diverse array of accommodations, from traditional hotels to unique cabins and bed & breakfasts.

  • Hotels: Expect full-service hotels with comfortable amenities and convenient access to local attractions like the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
  • Motels: If you’re on a road trip or looking for cost-effective stay choices, motels around Huntsville serve your basic needs well.
  • Bed & Breakfasts: Experience Southern hospitality with a personal touch for a memorable stay.
  • Cabins: For a more secluded retreat, select a cabin in nearby Monte Sano State Park, where nature’s beauty enhances your stay.
  • RV Parks & Campgrounds: Adventure-seekers traveling with their accommodations can find several well-equipped RV spots.

Your stay in Huntsville is not just a footnote to your travel; it’s a critical component of your overall experience, with each lodging option offering a different perspective on the region’s charm and character.

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These are the best things to do in the greater Huntsville area listed by outdoor activities, arts and museums, restaurants and nightlife.

15+ Best Things to Do in Huntsville, Alabama (2024) (2024)
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