Hi everyone! Katie here. May is National Travel & Tourism Month, so I’m sharing my top six tourist spots in Madison County.
1. Big Spring Park/Downtown
Fittingly, our first stop is the Big Spring, which is where Huntsville founder John Hunt settled in 1805. There is no shortage of things to do in Big Spring International Park — from feeding the ducks, to watching a movie, to listening to live music, there’s something for everyone. I also love how close everything is! The Huntsville Museum of Art borders the park, and the historic downtown square is just up the stairs! Speaking of the square, there are so many things to see downtown. There are shops, restaurants, cafes, museums, and one of my favorite stops: Harrison Brothers Hardware Store. Harrison Brothers has been on the square since 1897 and is one of the best places in town for souvenirs. If you pay in cash, you’ll get a treat; you’ll get to see the antique cash register in action.
2. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center
If you’re coming to the Rocket City, you have to stop by the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Whether you’re taking in the newest exhibit, gazing up at the National Historic Landmark Saturn V Rocket, riding Space Shot, or watching a movie in the IMAX theater, you’ll definitely enjoy learning about the history of the U.S. space program. Plus, this is the home of Space Camp! Make sure to check out this video about my experience at Space Camp.
3. Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment
Lowe Mill is a former textile mill in Huntsville that has been converted to house 132 working artist studios, 6 galleries, a theater, concert venues, and much more. It is the nation’s largest privately-owned arts facility, and you’re welcome to visit any studio and ask the artist questions about their work! If you’re looking for something to do on any day of the week, Lowe Mill has you covered. Swing dancing? Check. Yoga? Check. Stand up comedy? Check. You’ll find it all!
4. A Hike on the Land Trust
The Land Trust of North Alabama has preserved almost 6,000 acres, many of which have lovely hiking trails. There are hikes for different skill levels and interests, but you’ll always find something cool. The hike I went on in this video ended up at the Natural Well in Monte Sano State Park, which was amazing! I couldn’t believe how deep the well was. A pebble I tossed in fell for almost 5 whole seconds!
5. The Huntsville Botanical Garden
This time of year is perfect for garden days, and you’ll find something for the whole family at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. Kids can go wild in the Children’s Garden, chefs can take in the aromas of the herb garden, and amateur horticulturalists can visit the demonstration vegetable garden for inspiration. If you’re visiting in the Spring, you must see the Purdy Butterfly house, the largest open-air butterfly house in the nation. See how many turtles you can find in the ponds inside! Not visiting in the Spring? No problem! There are tons of annual events at the Botanical Garden, such as the Fall Scarecrow Trail and the Winter Galaxy of Lights.
6. A Local Brewery
The beer scene in Madison County has exploded over the past few years. There are eight (going on nine!) local breweries, each with their own signature tastes and styles. In this video, I show you one of my favorites — Yellowhammer Brewery. Yellowhammer is located at the soon-to-open Campus No. 805, a craft brewery and entertainment venue. I’ve had almost every beer they offer and have yet to find one I wouldn’t order again. Also located within the brewery is Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza. We ordered a few salads, a soft pretzel, and their Infamous Tommy G Pizza. It was probably too much food, but everything was so good that we had to finish it!
What do you think of my top picks for tourists to Madison County? If you think I’ve missed anything, leave a comment below!
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Katie Wright is a southerner, an explorer, a student, and an old lady at heart. She was born and raised in the south, but abandoned her homeland during her early twenties for the allure of places such as New Zealand and Northern England. After completing her studies, she returned to the sweet sunny south and is now an archaeologist by day and a blogger/vlogger by night. Other hobbies include baking, crocheting, researching local history (like I said… old lady), and putting things in her online shopping cart and then never buying them.