Are you looking for the best things to do in Huntsville, Alabama? We’ve got ’em right here, with a comprehensive list that covers everything for every kind of traveler. Want good food? We found it! Educational entertainment? We got it! Outdoor adventure? It’s here, too!
Huntsville is a charming city with many unexpected experiences to delight the curious tourist. It also makes our list as one of the best cities for foodies in the South! When you visit Huntsville you’ll find a city focused on community, history, and innovation. The city boasts plenty of museums to invite visitors to learn about Huntsville’s history, but these museums are all interactive – you become part of the story, too. These immersive experiences make Huntsville a great place to visit with kids, but there’s fun for adults here, as well!
Read on to find our favorite picks for the top things to do in Hunstville!
15 Best Things To Do In Huntsville Alabama You Shouldn’t Miss
U.S. Space and Rocket Center
If you are interested in all things out of this world, then the U.S. Space and Rocket Center should be at the top of your list for fun Huntsville tourist attractions. With a state-of-the-art Planetarium, and space activities galore, it’s no wonder a trip here is known as one of the best things to do in Huntsville with kids!
You’ll want to plan a full day to make the most of your time at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center – there is so much to do! Guests can check out the Science of Guinness World Records, where you can look behind the scenes at the most scientific world records. Planetarium shows also run throughout the day, with seasonal offerings like Autumn Skies making a visit both entertaining and educational.
Guests can also step into the astronaut’s role by participating in experiences like the Discovery Shuttle Experience, where you can ride a shuttle “launch,” or Apollo 11 Virtual Reality, to see the moon landing from the perspective of those who lived it.
Open seven days a week, ticket prices vary depending on the activities you wish to participate in. When you visit the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, you’ll get to step into space without ever leaving planet Earth!
Monte Sano State Park
If you’re looking for one of the most peaceful places to go in Hunstville, a stop at Monte Sano State Park is a must-do. Monte Sano in Spanish means “Mountain of Health” – the area has been a destination for fresh air and tranquility since the 1800s. The park is serene with spectacular mountain views, and an excellent location to enjoy Huntsville’s natural beauty.
The park boasts 22 miles of scenic hiking and biking trails to fully enjoy the outdoors. Various trails exist to accommodate guests who want either rigorous or effortless journeys through the park. Visitors can enjoy a disc golf course and a playground for the kids. Also located within the park are the Civilian Conservation Museum, the North Alabama Japanese Garden, and the Wehner von Braun Planetarium.
To extend your stay in the park, look into renting one of their historic cabins, built in the 1930s, or plan to camp at one of their many campsites. The park is open daily during daylight hours. Step into the beautiful surroundings at Monte Sano State Park, one of the best things to do in Huntsville, Alabama!
Huntsville Botanical Gardens
To experience the magic of Huntsville no matter the season you’re there, make sure to stop over at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens, one of the best things to do in Huntsville with kids! Their ever-changing seasonal attractions will ensure that you always see something new when you visit.
At 112 acres, the Huntsville Botanical Garden features a variety of ecosystems to explore. From meadows to woodlands and aquatic habitats to carefully curated gardens, you can view it all! You can journey through the Four Seasons Garden, the Children’s Garden, the Lewis Birding Trail, the Damson Aquatic Garden, and more!
Make sure to check their website before your visit to see what events and programs they’re offering while you’re there. Past events have included Uncaged: Birds, Nature & You, and Galaxy of Lights. The garden is open seven days a week and ticket prices vary. The Huntsville Botanical Gardens are always a highlight when you’re looking for what to do in Huntsville.
Make sure to check out our list of the best cities and small towns in Alabama for inspiration on where to visit next!
Dinner at 1892 East
For a seasonal menu that prioritizes local ingredients, dine at 1892 East, a restaurant that puts community at the forefront of every meal. Eating here is definitely one of the tastiest things to do in Huntsville, Alabama!
The menu here changes with every season, so you’re guaranteed to try your new favorite dish whenever you visit. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner past favorite meals have included the Tomato Frittata for brunch, the Chicken Pot Pie for lunch, and the Espresso Brisket for dinner. Vegetarian options are always available, and a children’s menu will cater to the little ones in your group.
Located in the historic Five Points neighborhood, you’re sure to have a wonderful meal at 1892 East. But don’t stop there! Check out our list for more of the best restaurants in Huntsville to try on your visit!
Burritt on the Mountain
To step into the history of Huntsville’s past, make sure to visit Burritt on the Mountain, one of the most iconic activities in Huntsville. Situated atop Round Top Mountain sits the unique home of Dr. William Henry Burritt. Built in 1938, the original house burned to the ground the day Dr. Burritt moved in and was rebuilt. The house is known for its eccentric design and is a treasured landmark in the area.
In addition to the central mansion, the site also includes six authentic 19th-century homes, equipped with interpreters in period dress to answer questions about what life was like for Alabamians of that period. They are also on hand to demonstrate a working farm of the 1800s.
After you’ve explored the historic homes and barnyards, take a moment to walk the picturesque nature trails. The trails connect to Monte Sano State Park – visiting both in one day is a great idea! The park at Burritt on the Mountain is also renowned for its superb geocaching if you’re in the mood for a scavenger hunt!
Huntsville Museum of Art
Get a glimpse at local creativity at the Huntsville Museum of Art, one of the most fun things to do in Huntsville. The museum strives to enrich the local community through exhibits, educational programs, and activities that encourage the appreciation of all forms of art.
The museum’s permanent collection showcases artwork from around the country but particularly focuses on the work of artists from the southeast. Exhibitions in this collection include “American Studio Glass,” ” Buccellati: A Silver Menagerie,” and “Works by Regional Artists.”
Guests can also explore their own creativity in the Stender Interactive Gallery, which is intended for children and adults to immerse themselves in artistry. Patrons are invited to take a “Walk Through Time” to view important events in the history of art, and to make their own works of art in the “ArtLAB.”
The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays, and ticket prices vary. Make sure to check their website for the special events and exhibitions on view during your trip to Huntsville.
U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum
Dedicated to showcasing the accomplishments of American military veterans, the U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum is one of the best things to do in Huntsville for adults and teens. With a spotlight shown on veterans of World War I and the conflicts that came after, the U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum serves to tell the stories of the brave men and women who have fought for our country.
Visitors to the museum can view over 30 different military vehicles, including the oldest surviving jeep. Each American war is highlighted with artifacts, uniforms, and stories on display to guide each guest through life in conflict. One of the premier exhibits is the 8th Airforce Briefing Room, an exact replica of the briefing room of the 385th Bomb Group in Great Ashfield, England during World War II.
The U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, and ticket prices vary, though admission is free for all active-duty military. Special events are known to take place seasonally, so make sure to check their website during your visit!
Harmony Park Safari
To get a glimpse of wildlife from the safety and comfort of your car, check out Harmony Park Safari, especially if you’re looking for what to do in Huntsville during the summer! This federally licensed nature preserve allows guests to get up close and personal with animals you wouldn’t normally see in this neck of the woods.
Bring your binoculars on this two-mile drive to spot antelope, tortoises, zebras, camels, buffalo, ostriches, giraffes, and more! After you’ve driven the safari route, make sure to park to check out the reptiles in the Reptile House.
Harmony Park Safari is open seasonally from March through November and runs daily from 10:00 A.M. until sunset. Admissions are $10 per person, and tickets must be purchased at the gate. Get your wildlife on at Harmony Park Safari, one of the best things to do in Huntsville with kids!
Straight to Ale Taproom
Southern-born and southern brewed, Straight to Ale produces award-winning beer right in the heart of Huntsville, Alabama. If you’re looking for an easy afternoon, sampling delicious beer in the Biergarten, then a trip to Straight to Ale is the perfect place for you!
Operating since 2009, Straight to Ale brings the bold flavors of Huntsville right to your beer. Since then, Straight to Ale has been named the best brewer in Alabama, so you’re tasting excellence when you stop here. Try their year-round brews like the Monkeynaut IPA or Chill Pils Pilsner. Past seasonal favorites have included the Regal Beagle Brown Ale and the Juicy Bunny Pale Ale. Make sure to order some tasty food from their kitchen to accompany your beer flight.
Beer not your thing? Check out the on-site winery 3rd Circle Cellars! Here you can sample local wines and enjoy yummy appetizers during your tasting. Still not satisfied? Then stop next door into the distillery for the best in absinthe, gin, rum, and whisky. No matter what you try, you’ll be wowed by the drinks and flavors at Straight to Ale Taproom, one of the best things to do in Huntsville for adults.
Madison County Nature Trail at Green Mountain
For more of Huntsville’s beautiful natural landscape, make sure to visit Madison County Nature Trail at Green Mountain, one of the most picturesque things to do in Huntsville.
Situated along Green Mountain, the trail itself is a 1.5-mile jaunt along Sky Lake and is an easy walk, suitable for hikers of all skill levels. The park is 72 acres of untouched landscapes just minutes from the urban city center. Along the trail, hikers will pass a chapel, a covered bridge, and the oldest Champion Winged Elm tree in Alabama!
No matter what season you visit, the wildlife here is known to put on a show from the blooming azaleas in springtime to the crisp bright red and orange leaves in the fall. Children and seniors can also fish in the area on the weekdays if you’re traveling with a large family.
The trail is open daily from dawn until dusk and admission is always free.
The Earlyworks Children’s Museum
For the little ones in your travel group, you can’t miss a day at The Earlyworks Children’s Museum, one of the most exciting things to do in Huntsville with kids!
This museum was designed with small humans in mind – when they visit Earlyworks they can touch, climb, laugh, talk, and explore. It’s all encouraged here. The museum is recommended specifically for kids aged two through nine, though others will find exhibits to enjoy, too.
At Earlyworks kids are treated to exhibits like Stories from the Talking Tree, where they’ll hear Alabamian folktales and stories about notable state residents like George Washington Carver. Children can also explore a historically accurate keelboat, build with translucent tiles on the light table, and learn about African American history.
The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays and ticket prices vary. Your tiny sidekick will definitely have a blast at Earlyworks!
Hays Nature Presesrve
To enjoy some of the best hiking in Huntsville, a visit to Hays Nature Preserve should be at the top of your to-do list. This site boasts over 10 miles of trails that follow the Flint River through the area, making it one of the top outdoor Huntsville tourist attractions.
Hikers who walk along the trails are treated to views of lakes, old fields, and a golf course! Parts of the hike are also included as a section of the North Alabama Birding Trail. Birders can expect to see Great Blue and Green Herons, Belted Kingfishers, and Eastern Bluebirds, among others, at Hays Nature Preserve.
Traveling with pets? They are welcomed here! Guests are even permitted to bring their own horses on specified sections of the trail. Biking is also allowed on the trail, though bikes are not rented on site.
Looking to explore the water? Fishing (with a permit) is allowed on the Flint River, and Hays Nature Preserve has a kayak launch for visitors wanting to explore off of dry land. Open daily from dawn until dusk, Hays Nature Preserve certainly makes our list for one of the best things to do near Huntsville, Alabama!
Huntsville Depot Museum
Train lovers can board a historic train at the Huntsville Depot Museum, one of the most fun things to do in Huntsville. The Huntsville Depot was an active passenger station until it closed in 1968, and now it’s operated as a museum, dedicated to showcasing the city’s history with transportation and growth over time.
The depot is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a fantastic place to bring older children and teens. While you tour the depot, you can spot graffiti left on the walls by Civil War-era soldiers and even become a train conductor yourself! In the Autohouse, visitors can glimpse a collection of vintage cars, including a vintage firetruck.
Small children will enjoy playing in Little Toots, a train-themed play area. Guided tours are available to fully immerse in the history of the depot and its importance to the city. The Huntsville Depot Museum is opened Tuesdays through Sundays and ticket prices vary.
Alabama Constitution Hall Park & Museum
Ever wondered what life was like in the past? Well, wonder no more! A visit to Alabama Constitution Hall Park & Museum will spotlight what life was like for citizens in Alabama in 1819. Guests will learn how Alabama was admitted as state and how citizens survived without our modern technologies. A trip here tops our list for one of the most educational things to do in Huntsville.
Guests can walk through the cabinet shop where the Alabama Constitution was signed, thus sealing its fate as a state in our country. Woodworking demonstrations are also on display here, using tools of the period. From there, visitors can view John Coffee’s land surveying office and learn about his life. Next, a blacksmith will show everyone the importance of a fully functioning blacksmith’s shop to the people of 1819.
Open Tuesdays through Sundays, ticket prices vary. Step back in time with the whole family at Alabama Constitution Hall Park & Museum!
Maple Hill Cemetery
Built in 1822, Maple Hill Cemetery is the oldest and largest cemetery in Huntsville. What began as a two-acre cemetery today encompasses over 100 acres with 80,000 burials on the site. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and several notable Alabamians call Maple Hill Cemetery their final resting place.
While several prominent Alabama politicians are buried here, including five governors of Alabama, the site is also notable for the burial of 187 unknown Confederate soldiers and an undetermined number of unidentified Union soldiers during the Civil War. Other notable burials include Konrad Dannenburg, a German-American rocket pioneer, Albert Erskine, president of Studebaker Motors, suffragist Priscilla Holmes Drake, and Major League Baseball Player Don Mincher.
Maple Hill Cemetery is a great place to learn about the history of Huntsville and the people who once called this city home.
With so much to do, it’s no wonder that Huntsville is a top destination in Alabama. Its rich history and dedication to science and community make this city a joy to explore. Fully immersive experiences make Huntsville accessible to travelers of all ages, and the food is in a class all its own. What are you waiting for? Grab your favorite folks and get to Huntsville for one of the best trips in the southeast!