Destination Guides

Exploring Alabama: 48 hours in Huntsville

Rebecca Harley

18th March 2024

Skyline of Huntsville, Alabama

Experience that famous Southern hospitality and charm with the excitement and buzz of fast-paced city life in Huntsville, Alabama.

World-renowned for its connection with science and space travel – and for being the city where the first American satellite was launched from in 1958 – Huntsville also boasts an impressive art scene, with excellent galleries and live performances.

For nature lovers and adventurers, Huntsville also has many scenic outdoor spots thanks to its impressive location in the sprawling Tennessee Valley. Visitors can enjoy hiking and mountain climbing, as well as wandering through botanical gardens and parks.

How to spend two days in huntsville

Day one in huntsville

If you like to start your day with a caffeine hit, then we suggest visiting one of the 11 locations on the Downtown Huntsville Craft Coffee Trail. Then pop into Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment and watch some of the 200 artists at work in their studios. You can also take a walk through the seven art galleries and community garden. The artwork here is for sale, so you might find yourself a unique memento from your trip.

In the afternoon, enjoy a stroll through Big Spring International Park. The park hosts a series of events throughout the year, including festivals and concerts – so it’s worth checking the schedule ahead of your visit to see if there is something you’d like to see while in Huntsville.

If you are still in a creative mood, then visit the Huntsville Museum of Art which sits within the grounds of Big Spring International Park. The museum holds a permanent collection of over 3,200 objects, with 400 pieces by American artists including Andy Warhol.

As evening approaches, it’s likely that you’ll be thinking about dinner. 1892 East Restaurant & Tavern offers great dishes using locally sourced ingredients, and the restaurant has a good choice of vegetarian options as well.

For nighttime entertainment, such as live music, we recommend visiting the Von Braun Center, the Orion Amphitheater, or one of the city’s entertainment complexes, such as Stovehouse.

City scape

Day two in huntsville

Spend the morning discovering why Huntsville is such a technological powerhouse at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Get hands on with the interactive exhibits – including simulators – and see rockets and other artifacts up close. You’ll even get to find out about the world-class educational programme that is training the next generation of astronauts.

Unwind this afternoon on one of the many walking trails that have been designed as part of a community initiative. There are a few different ones to choose from, including the Downtown Huntsville Craft Beer Trail or the Downtown Huntsville Craft Cocktail Trail. If you’d prefer to keep a clear head, the Alabama Antique Trail or Downtown Huntsville Secret Art Walk are fantastic alternatives. If you are feeling more energetic, put on your walking boots and head along Monte Sano State Park’s Hiking Trail.

Huntsville is a cultural melting pot, with over 100 languages and dialects being spoken in the city, so take tonight to enjoy some international cuisine. Try Ol’ Heidelberg Restaurant, which has been serving up delicious German cuisine since 1972, or if you fancy Chinese food, then Ding How II comes highly recommended.

To discover more about Huntsville and Alabama, browse our range of holidays to the Deep South.

Image of U.S. Space & Rocket Center courtesy of Alabama Tourism

Image of U.S. Space & Rocket Center courtesy of Alabama Tourism

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