Are you looking for some fun and exciting things to do in Huntsville, AL? Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, a culture vulture, or a thrill seeker, you will find something to suit your taste in this charming city. Huntsville is known as the “Rocket City” for its role in the US space program, but it also has a rich heritage, a vibrant arts scene, and a plethora of outdoor activities to offer.
In this blog post, we will show you 16 of the best and unforgettable things to do in Huntsville, AL that will make your trip memorable and enjoyable. So, buckle up and get ready to explore the wonders of Huntsville!
Best Time to Visit Huntsville, AL
The best time to visit Huntsville, AL, depends on your preferences. With a humid subtropical climate, summers are hot, and winters are mild. Temperatures range from 39°F in January to 81°F in July. Most rainfall occurs in spring and summer.
Fall and spring are pleasant, with beautiful foliage. Winter hosts festive events and indoor attractions. Summer, while hot, offers outdoor concerts, festivals, and water activities. For those planning things to do in Huntsville, AL, consider the weather and events during your preferred season.
How to get to Huntsville, AL
- Huntsville International Airport (HSV) is 15 miles southwest of downtown.
- Flights to major US cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Houston, and Washington DC.
- Options: Rent a car, take a taxi, or use a shuttle service.
- Easily accessible at the intersection of Interstate 565 and US Highway 72.
- Driving distance from Nashville (110 miles), Birmingham (100 miles), Chattanooga (100 miles), and Atlanta (190 miles).
- Greyhound offers service to Huntsville from cities like Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville, and Memphis.
- Bus station: 1120 7th Ave SW.
- Use public transportation, taxi, or ride-sharing from the bus station.
- No direct train service.
- Take Amtrak to Birmingham or Nashville, then a bus or car to Huntsville.
- Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum’s North Alabama Railroad offers scenic rides from April to December.
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Here is the List of Things to Do in Huntsville, AL
Now that you know how to get to Huntsville, AL, let’s see what you can do there. Here are 16 of the best and unforgettable things to do in Huntsville, AL, that will make your trip worthwhile.
1. Huntsville Botanical Garden
Explore the beauty of Huntsville, AL, at the Huntsville Botanical Garden, a 112-acre haven of nature and culture. Enjoy themed gardens like the butterfly house, aquatic garden, and more. Seasonal delights include Galaxy of Lights in winter, Scarecrow Trail in fall, and Purdy Butterfly House in summer.
The garden hosts events, workshops, and concerts, making it a must-see attraction for those seeking relaxing things to do in Huntsville, AL.
2. Big Spring International Park
One of the delightful things to do in Huntsville AL that will delight your senses is to visit Big Spring International Park, a 12-acre park in Huntsville, AL, surrounding the city’s birthplace, spring. Enjoy scenic views, walking trails, and a playground.
Explore the Red Bridge, Friendship Fountain, and the Huntsville Museum of Art. The park features international gifts like the Japanese tea house, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and a light beacon from Norway. Don’t miss the beauty of cherry blossoms in spring at this delightful spot.
3. US Veterans Memorial Museum
US Veterans Memorial Museum, This museum pays tribute to the service and sacrifice of US veterans from all branches and eras. Explore a diverse collection of artifacts, uniforms, weapons, and military vehicles like tanks, jeeps, helicopters, and motorcycles. Engaging exhibits, including the Medal of Honor, POW/MIA, and Women in Service, share the compelling stories of veterans.
Additionally, the museum hosts events such as the Veterans Day Parade, Memorial Day Ceremony, and Flag Day Ceremony. Don’t miss this insightful journey into military history when exploring things to do in Huntsville, AL.
4. Huntsville Museum of Art
If you are a fan of art and culture, one of the things to do in Huntsville, AL that will impress you is to visit the Huntsville Museum of Art, a museum that showcases a variety of artworks from different periods and regions. The museum features permanent collections, such as American art, European art, Asian art, and African art.
You can also see temporary exhibitions, such as the Rembrandt exhibition, the Picasso exhibition, and the Warhol exhibition. The museum also offers educational programs, such as lectures, workshops, and tours. The museum is located in the Big Spring International Park, so you can easily combine it with a visit to the park.
5. Burritt On The Mountain
Discover the past with a visit to Burritt On The Mountain in Huntsville, AL. This historic site preserves the legacy of Dr. William Henry Burritt, a generous physician who donated his estate to the city. Explore the Burritt Mansion, a 14-room showcase of Dr. Burritt’s eclectic style, and the Historic Park, a living history museum depicting 19th-century life.
Enjoy nature trails, overlooks, barnyard animals, and events like Candlelight Christmas, Spring Farm Days, and Whimsical Woods. Immerse yourself in history at Burritt On The Mountain as part of your exploration of things to do in Huntsville, AL.
6. Weeden House Museum
Step into the past by visiting the Weeden House Museum, a historic gem in Huntsville, AL—one of the great things to do in Huntsville, AL. Built-in 1819, it was the home of Maria Howard Weeden, a renowned poet and painter celebrated for her portraits of African Americans. As the oldest house in Alabama, it beautifully showcases Federal and Greek Revival period architecture, furniture, and artifacts.
Explore Maria Weeden’s paintings and poems, delving into her fascinating life and work. Don’t miss the chance to attend events like the Victorian Tea, Ghost Walk, and Christmas Open House at this historical haven in Huntsville, AL.
7. Twickenham Historic District
If you want to see more of the historic charm of Huntsville, one of the things to do in Huntsville, AL that will satisfy you is to visit the Twickenham Historic District, a district that contains the largest concentration of antebellum homes in Alabama. The district was established in 1819, and it features over 200 homes that represent the styles of the Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, and Victorian periods.
You can take a self-guided walking tour or join a guided tour offered by the Huntsville Historic Preservation Commission. You can also see some of the landmarks, such as the Weeden House, the Leroy Pope Mansion, and the Helion Lodge.
8. Railroad Station Antique Mall
If you are a fan of antiques and collectibles, one of the things to do in Huntsville, AL that will delight you is to visit the Railroad Station Antique Mall, a three-story antique mall that occupies a historic train depot. The mall features over 50 vendors who sell a variety of items, such as furniture, jewelry, books, toys, art, and memorabilia.
You can find treasures from different eras and styles, such as Victorian, Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, and Retro. You can also enjoy the ambiance of the old train station, which has been restored and decorated with vintage signs, posters, and photos.
9. Huntsville Symphony Orchestra
If you love music and culture, attending a performance by the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra is a delightful thing. As the oldest continuously operating professional orchestra in Alabama, they offer a variety of concerts throughout the year—from classical to pop to family-friendly. Enjoy the timeless works of composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Gershwin, as well as contemporary pieces from artists like John Williams, Billy Joel, and The Beatles.
The orchestra often collaborates with guest artists, including singers, dancers, and actors. Performances take place at the Von Braun Center, a state-of-the-art venue with excellent acoustics and views. Immerse yourself in the magic of music and culture in Huntsville, AL, Another fantastic thing to do in Huntsville, AL.
10. Insanity Skate Park
One of the things to do in Huntsville, AL that will challenge you and your kids is to visit the Insanity Skate Park, a skate park that offers a variety of ramps, rails, featuring ramps, rails, and obstacles suitable for skaters of all skill levels.
You can bring your own skateboard, rollerblades, or scooter or rent one from the park. You can also take lessons, join a camp, or participate in a contest. The park also has a mini-golf course, a batting cage, a playground, and a snack bar. The Insanity Skate Park is a fun and active way to spend a day in Huntsville.
11. Monte Sano Mountain
For a nature-filled adventure in Huntsville, AL, consider visiting Monte Sano Mountain. Rising over 1,600 feet above, it provides breathtaking views and picturesque trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding through forests, meadows, and rock formations. Explore Monte Sano State Park, offering a campground, lodge, picnic area, and a Japanese garden.
The park also hosts engaging events like the Monte Sano Art Festival, the Monte Sano Dog Festival, and the Monte Sano Music Festival. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature with a visit to Monte Sano Mountain, a must-do among things to do in Huntsville, AL.
12. Madison County Nature Trail
One of the relaxing things to do in Huntsville, AL, is to visit the Madison County Nature Trail. This 72-acre park offers a serene connection with nature, featuring a lake, a covered bridge, a pavilion, and a 1.5-mile trail. Enjoy fishing, boating, or kayaking on the stocked lake with bass, bream, and catfish.
Take a leisurely walk, jog, or bike around the trail, passing by the bridge, pavilion, and wildflowers. The park includes a playground, picnic area, and a gazebo, making Madison County Nature Trail a peaceful and scenic spot to enjoy the outdoors in Huntsville, AL.
13. Hays Nature Preserve
Discover nature at its best with a visit to Hays Nature Preserve, a 538-acre haven in Huntsville, AL—an excellent addition to things to do in Huntsville, AL. Protecting the habitat and wildlife of the Flint River, the preserve offers walking, biking, and horseback trails through riverbanks, wetlands, forests, and fields.
Encounter animals like deer, foxes, beavers, turtles, and birds. Enjoy additional features like a playground, butterfly house, and learning center. Hays Nature Preserve is not just a place to explore; it’s an opportunity to learn about and appreciate the natural environment. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Huntsville, AL, with this nature-focused adventure.
14. Historic Huntsville Depot
Explore the rich history of Huntsville, AL, by visiting the Historic Huntsville Depot. Built in 1860, this depot served as both a transportation hub and military site. It stands as one of the oldest surviving railroad buildings in the US, showcasing original architecture, equipment, and even graffiti. Dive into exhibits recounting the stories of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Industrial Revolution.
The depot also hosts engaging events such as Depot Days, the Halloween Bash, and Christmas at the Depot. Immerse yourself in Huntsville’s heritage with a visit to the Historic Huntsville Depot—a must-do among things to do in Huntsville AL.
15. US Space and Rocket Center
One of the things to do in Huntsville, AL by visiting the US Space and Rocket Center—a mind-blowing experience for both you and your kids. This museum and education center unfolds the fascinating history and triumphs of the US space program. Marvel at rockets, spacecraft, simulators, and iconic exhibits like the Saturn V, Apollo 16 capsule, Space Shuttle Pathfinder, and International Space Station.
Feel the excitement of space exploration with the G-force simulator, moonwalk simulator, and Mars climbing wall. Dive into special programs like Space Camp, Aviation Challenge, and Robotics Camp for an immersive space encounter. The US Space and Rocket Center promises awe-inspiring moments in Huntsville, AL.
16. Bridge Street Town Centre
Enjoy a day of fun in Huntsville, AL, with a visit to the Bridge Street Town Centre—an entertaining spot for you and your family. This shopping and entertainment complex has something for everyone. Explore over 70 stores like Apple, Barnes & Noble, H&M, and Sephora. Treat your taste buds at over 20 restaurants, including P.F. Chang’s, The Melting Pot, and Bravo.
Have a blast with attractions like the carousel, the train, the lake, and the movie theater. Bridge Street Town Centre is the perfect place to spend a day filled with shopping, dining, and entertainment in Huntsville, AL—a must on your list of things to do in Huntsville, AL.
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What historical sites can I visit in Huntsville?
You can explore the Historic Huntsville Depot and learn about the city’s railroad history.
Are there family-friendly attractions in Huntsville?
Yes, places like the Huntsville Botanical Garden and the US Space and Rocket Center offer family-friendly experiences.
What are some must-visit museums in Huntsville?
The US Space and Rocket Center and the US Veterans Memorial Museum are top choices.
Are there places for shopping in Huntsville?
Yes, Bridge Street Town Centre is a popular shopping and entertainment complex.
Is there a space camp in Huntsville?
Yes, the US Space and Rocket Center offers Space Camp programs.
Can I learn about Huntsville’s history through attractions?
Yes, the Weeden House Museum provides insights into the city’s past.
Can I enjoy water activities in Huntsville?
Yes, the Madison County Nature Trail offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and kayaking.