As Alabama’s biggest city, Huntsville regularly plays host to all kinds of new people, from job interviewees scoping out the area to families dropping off their kids at Space Camp and everything in between.
Often, these visitors need recommendations. Where should we eat? Where should we stay? How do we get the best idea of what Huntsville is like in just 24 hours?
Visitors, you’re in luck—we’ve rounded up all the recommendations you’ll need while you’re visiting town. Read on to start planning your trip.
Where to stay
Whether you’re looking for a luxury hotel experience or a one-of-a-kind Airbnb, you’ll be able to find it here.
We’ve already rounded up nine Airbnbs you should check out, from mountain retreats to stays situated right in the middle of town. If you’re looking for a hotel experience, try one of these:
- At the Huntsville Marriott at the Space and Rocket Center, stay in the shadow of the rocket
- The AC Marriott Huntsville is right in the center of Downtown, just a short walk from the Von Braun Center and Big Spring Park
- For a main street feel, try the Hampton Inn at the Village of Providence—Taco Mama is right downstairs
My recommendation: Since I live in the area, I can’t say I’ve had much Huntsville hotel experience. However, if I were planning a trip (staycation, anyone?), I’d probably try to book a room at 106 Jefferson, a new boutique hotel downtown. The hotel has an in-house restaurant, Revivalist, and a rooftop bar, Baker & Able, named after the two monkeys that flew to space in 1959.
Where to eat
Huntsville’s restaurant scene has gotten serious upgrades in the last several years. I regularly add new spots to my “must-try” list as I research them for Hville Blast guides and stories.
If you’re looking for a specific type of food or drink, here’s what we’ve already rounded up for you:
- Authentic Tacos: 13 spots in Huntsville that are serving up authentic tacos
- Barbecue: 15 of the most delicious barbecue spots in Huntsville
- Breweries: 11 Huntsville breweries + our recommendations
- Burgers: Our guide to 11 of the best
- Coffee: 15 Huntsville coffee shops + Madison’s 5 local coffee shops
- Italian food: 5 amazing spots
- Meat-and-3s: 9 meat and threes that’ll satisfy your craving
- Pizza: 7 Huntsville-area pizza places
- Rooftop bars: 9 best rooftop bars in Huntsville
- Sushi: 9 Huntsville sushi spots
But, of course, those lists aren’t exhaustive, and we’re adding more guides all the time.
My recommendation: Ale’s Kitchen at Straight to Ale/Campus No. 805 is a go-to spot for my husband and me. It offers a laid back atmosphere with plenty of after-dinner entertainment to choose from—try axe throwing, or walk down the road to Pints & Pixels for an old-school game night. For something a little more formal, we love Commerce Kitchen downtown. I’ve had their brunch and dinner, and both are phenomenal.
Straight to Ale address: 2610 Clinton Ave W, Huntsville, AL 35805
Hours: Sunday 11AM-8PM; Monday-Thursday 11AM-10PM; Friday-Saturday 11AM-11PM
Commerce Kitchen address: 300 Franklin St SE, Huntsville, AL 35801
Hours: Sunday 10:30AM-3PM, 4PM-8PM; Monday-Friday 11AM-10PM; Saturday 10:30AM-3PM, 4PM-10PM
What to see
Huntsville offers a range of attractions for all types, whether your interested in science and tech, nature, the arts or history. Here are some spots you should put on your list:
- Burritt on the Mountain, a living history museum and park with an unbelievable view
- Huntsville Botanical Garden, a year-round beauty with a butterfly house and gorgeous grounds
- Huntsville Museum of Art, with rotating exhibits worth seeing
- Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment, a home to hundreds of artists whose studios are open for the public, plus unique eats and drinks
My recommendation (indoors): There’s just nothing like the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, especially if you want a full picture of how Huntsville became the Rocket City. Make sure to check out the historical exhibit in the Davidson Center that details Huntsville’s transition from a textile manufacturing town to the engineering hub that it is today. Also, take the opportunity to bask in the glory of the Saturn V—it really is unbelievable up close.
My recommendation (outdoors): Head to Monte Sano State Park and take a moment to appreciate the lookout at the top of the mountain. There are also several trails available for all levels of hikers. It’s beautiful, quiet and serene—a welcome retreat from the busyness of the city.
What recommendations would you add to this list? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for the Hville Blast newsletter so you don’t miss a thing.