A space shuttle, external tank and two rocket boosters on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Enjoying live music and a festive atmosphere at Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment
Hole No. 5 at Hampton Cove Golf Course in Owens Cross Roads
Learning about the past at Burritt on the Mountain, a museum and historic park
Damson Aquatic Garden at the Huntsville Botanical Garden
Waterfall flowing down a cave system at Stephens Gap
Shady street full of historic charm
Nighttime view of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Historical views at Alabama’s oldest surviving railroad depot
Exterior of the Weeden House Museum in the Twickenham Historic District
- Major Airports:
- Huntsville (HSV)
A high-tech city with a historical legacy and international appeal
Where Art and Science Meet
There’s something awe-inspiring about being greeted by a 36-story tall Saturn V moon rocket when gazing out into Huntsville’s horizon. That’s just one of the many incredible sights at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, the visitor center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Explore the largest spaceflight museum in the world to see more than 1,500 artifacts including Explorer I, a prototype of the first U.S. satellite, and a rare “full stack,” a massive space shuttle, external tank and two rocket boosters.
Art lovers shouldn’t feel left out, though. The Huntsville Museum of Art beckons visitors to admire a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits, including the unique Sellars Collection of Art by American Women. Huntsville also hosts the Panoply Arts Festival, an annual weekend celebrating the arts, music and more downtown. Art aficionados will especially love Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment, a former textile mill providing artists with public studio spaces. Visitors can check out galleries, watch live performances and even take creative classes including painting, sculpting and hula hooping.
The Great Outdoors
Huntsville’s location in the expansive Tennessee Valley makes day tripping for mountain adventures easy. Venture up Monte Sano Mountain, home to Monte Sano State Park, to enjoy the tranquil Japanese garden, or to hike trails blanketed with azaleas in the spring and colorful leaves in the fall. On nearby Round Top Mountain, blend your outdoor explorations with history at Burritt on the Mountain, featuring a historic mansion, open-air exhibits and nature trails.
Around town, tour historic antebellum homes and their gardens, or stroll through the gorgeous blooms at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. Whether you crave a leisurely walk or a romantic picnic, Big Spring Park is a lakefront gem nestled downtown.
Fun Food & Drink
Unique culinary experiences abound. Dine in an old jail cell at Main Street Café, housed in a restored city hall and jail in Madison, a 15-minute drive from Huntsville. Or, savor Southern comfort food at G’s Country Kitchen or Blue Plate Cafe, both eateries serving up meat-and-threes (a traditional dish featuring one meat with three sides – yum!).
To quench your thirst, hop over to one of Huntsville’s breweries, Straight to Ale, for a Monkeynaut IPA, or check out Campus No. 85, a landmark brewing, dining and entertainment complex in the city’s urban core. There’s even some unassuming speakeasies tucked away in Rocket City. Pro tip: Stalk Vintage Cigar Lounge’s social media platforms for the password to a super-secret speakeasy.
Huntsville’s nickname is the "Rocket City" because space technology has been developed here since the 1950s.
The Huntsville Botanical Garden is home to the nation’s largest open-air butterfly house.
Huntsville was ranked the fourth most optimistic city in the USA by Gallup.