The best things to do in Huntsville this year

Rocket City is a place that’s constantly on the rise.

Huntsville has many claims to fame, one of which is its space history. Rocket City, as it is affectionately known, is home to the US Space & Rocket Center, a place that preserves and showcases the history of the space program and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the machines and stories that propelled the 20th century race to the Space. This northern Alabama city is on the rise in many ways — not just in the space age — so read on to learn about some of the fun things to do on your next visit to Huntsville.

Shop, dine and learn at Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment

Housed in a historic textile mill that has been renovated and redesigned, Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment is a center for the arts and creativity. It’s home to a huge concentration of artists’ galleries and studios, 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 beverage options include Pizzelle’s Confections, Happy Tummy Pizzas and Pies, Irons Distillery, Chef Will the Palate, Poftà Bunà International and many more.

Grab a pint at a local brewery

Huntsville has a burgeoning brewery scene, and places like Green Bus Brewing, Yellowhammer Brewing, and Rocket Republic Brewing are leaders. Downtown Huntsville even has its own Craft Beer Trail, and you can consult the handy map to navigate from place to place.

Discover interstellar phenomena at the US Space & Rocket Center

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This city has its astronautical bonafides. The US Space & Rocket Center, a Smithsonian affiliate, is one of the city’s top attractions. It is the visitor center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and is filled with galleries and exhibits that explain the stories and technology behind the United States’ space history. (The Space Camp is also located here.) Virtual reality programs and simulators enliven a visit to this unmissable museum.

The story goes on

Robbie Caponetto

Venture outdoors at Monte Sano State Park

When you’ve had enough of extraterrestrial exploration, embark on an adventure in nature. Monte Sano State Park, located near Huntsville, has campground and Monte Sano Lodge accommodation options. According to Alapark, “At the end of the 19th century, visitors from the United States came for the ‘season’ to experience and enjoy the fresh air, spectacular views and mineral springs of Monte Sano.” vibrant foliage, blooms in spring and features views of the north Alabama countryside.

Check out the flowers at the Huntsville Botanical Garden

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

Unleash your creativity at the Huntsville Museum of Art

Located in Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville, the Huntsville Museum of Art features fourteen galleries and a permanent collection of more than 3,200 objects. The collection spans the globe and many artistic eras, but focuses primarily on 19th and 20th century American art. The works in the collection span a variety of mediums, with many contemporary wood, glass, metal, clay and fiber pieces being recent additions.

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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 is plenty to do in this vibrant city, both space and non-space related. Shop, eat and explore to your heart’s content and maybe learn something new about Huntsville.

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