trips planned today
out of 5
Trustscore rating

Best things to do in Huntsville

Itinerary planner
+ Add destination
2 adults
- +
- +
- +
Where in the world: USA  /  Alabama  /  Huntsville

Top 15 things to do in Huntsville

1. U.S. Space and Rocket Center

See authentic rockets and artifacts, experience G-forces and weightlessness, and pose questions to NASA experts at U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Billed as "Earth's largest space museum," it opened in 1970, so everyone could have the opportunity to be an astronaut for a day. You can peruse exhibits, explore Space Shuttle engines, and watch dome screen and high-definition 3-D presentations. Various rides and simulators add to the fun.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about U.S. Space and Rocket Center

2. Huntsville Botanical Garden

Immerse yourself in the beauty of flowers, annual and perennial plants, and reconstructed ecosystems at Huntsville Botanical Garden. Covering 45 ha (112 acres), the center features a selection of themed gardens where you can see plants that range from Alabama natives to exotic species. The botanical garden is home to many birds, frogs, turtles, and other animals. One of the garden's main attractions is a large, open-air butterfly house. Many programs and facilities are aimed at kids, including a special garden that features different play areas and a splash pool. The garden has a restaurant as well as picnic areas. Most attractions are outdoors.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Huntsville Botanical Garden

3. U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum

The Alabama Center of Military History Inc., which operates The Veterans Memorial Museum, is a non-profit, tax exempt (501c3) educational institution for the purpose of historical preservation, public display, and public education. The Museum is dedicated to promoting and disseminating the accomplishments of American military men and women. Our emphasis is on participants of World War I and subsequent conflicts, whose survivors and families can use the Museum facilities to reminisce on their own experiences and those of parents, grandparents, and other close relatives. The Museum has been designated by the Alabama House of Representatives as the State of Alabama Veterans Memorial Museum.

The Museum opened in November of 2001. All of the displays have been prepared and are maintained by volunteers. We are grateful to members of the community who have shared with us mementoes of military service dating back into the 1800s.

The Museum displays more than 30 historical military vehicles from World War I to the present, as well as tableaus, artifacts, and other memorabilia dating back to the Revolutionary War. The 8th Air Force Historical Society sponsors a replica of the briefing room for the 385th Bomb Group, a B-17 unit conducting raids of Germany.

One of the gems of the Museum's collection is the 'Merci' 40 et 8 boxcar, a gift from the people of France to the people of Alabama in 1949.

Among the attractions at the Museum is a reference library. In addition to published material such as the Seventh Army After Action Report from World War II, the library offers written and oral reminiscences of Alabama veterans. In this vein, veterans and their families are invited to send written material or audio cassette tapes to the Museum for inclusion in the library, These submissions need not be formal. A narrative by the veteran, or an interview by a relative, will provide a lasting legacy of the contribution of Alabama service members to the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans.

The Museum participates in the President's 'Lessons in Liberty' Program. If you would like to have a Veteran speak at your school, please contact the Museum.

The Veterans' Memorial Museum welcomes the participation of military and veterans' groups and individuals in making the Museum a valued educational and memorial attraction in North Alabama. If you would like to volunteer exhibits, sponsorship, time, or funds, please contact us. We have a particular need for volunteers to sponsor vehicles and wall displays. Remember, we are an all-volunteer organization. We have no paid staff, receive no appropriated funds and depend completely on volunteer support. Any donations of your time, memorabilia, building improvements, or funds go directly toward making the Museum an asset to the City of Huntsville and the State of Alabama.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum
Plan your trip to Huntsville
  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.

4. Lotz House Museum, Franklin

Lotz House Museum tells the story of the talented Lotz family and their home during the American Civil War. A guide will take you through the remarkable house. Admire the intricate carpentry of Johann Lotz and the finest Civil War-era antiques collection in the South. The Lotz house was in the central area of the Battle of Franklin, one of the bloodiest of the war, and you can still see damage from the five hours of fighting. Look for the charred dent in the wooden floor from a cannonball that crashed through the roof. Following the battle, the house served as a hospital for wounded soldiers. Bloodstains are still visible on the floors and walls throughout the house. On your way out, stop by the gift shop, which features DVDs and books about the Civil War, as well as one-of-a-kind antiques and collectibles. .
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Lotz House Museum

5. Harmony Park Safari

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Harmony Park Safari

6. Walnut Street Bridge, Chattanooga

Take a walk across the centerpiece of Chattanooga's riverfront, Walnut Street Bridge, one of the world's longest pedestrian bridges. The 724 m (2,376 ft) camelback truss was built in 1890. One side will lead you to the modern, vibrant part of the city, and the other to the famed arts district. Considered to be an extremely old example of its type, the bridge is one of the United States' National Historic Places.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Walnut Street Bridge
Tours including Walnut Street Bridge:

8. Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga

Lookout Mountain contains three famous American attractions, even though the view of Chattanooga Valley alone makes visiting this historical mountain ridge worthwhile. This wide plateau has a significant place in history as the site of an alleged Revolutionary War battle and the 1863 Civil War Battle of Lookout Mountain. Now the mountain is used for recreational activities, including rock climbing. The site's most popular attractions are Incline Railway, Ruby Falls, and Rock City. Incline Railway is the steepest passenger railway in the world and has been operating since 1895. Ruby Falls is America's largest underground waterfall at 44m (145 ft), and Rock City features a large outdoor waterfall and Swing-A-Long bridge.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Lookout Mountain
Tours including Lookout Mountain:

9. Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga

To see how one of the largest aquariums in the world works, take a behind-the-scenes tour of Tennessee Aquarium. Tours offer a rare look at the filtering and food-preparation areas, with an additional stop at the aquarium's biggest habitat, a large tank filled with sand tiger and bonnethead sharks. Other highlights include an invertebrate gallery where you can see jellyfish, cuttlefish, giant octopuses, and spider crabs. Save some time for the "river journey" exhibit, which follows the path of a single raindrop from the Appalachian Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. The aquarium also offers self-guided tours of three living forest exhibits teeming with wildlife that can be viewed from above and below the water's surface.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Tennessee Aquarium
Tours including Tennessee Aquarium:

10. Monte Sano Nature Preserve

Monte Sano Nature Preserve is, at 1107acre, one of the largest urban nature preserves in the US and is located on Monte Sano Mountain in Huntsville, Alabama. The Land Trust of North Alabama manages the nature preserve and Land Trust volunteers have created 23+ miles of public trails. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the multi-use trails for hiking, biking, running, bird watching, environmental education, and general recreation. The trail system was honored in 2011 by the Department of the Interior as National Recreation Trails making them the first NRT trails in Madison County.
"Huntsville/Madison County's mountains form the final segment of the Great Appalachian chain and provide some of the southernmost habitats of broadleaf hardwoods such as the Sugar Maple. Monte Sano is home to several plant species important to the study of ecosystem stability referred to by scientists as "relics," because they provide clues to the climate of periods hundreds of thousands of years ago. Some of these species include the American Smoketree (Chittamwood), Morefield's Leather Flower, Price's Potato Bean, and Cumberland Rosinweed."
Special features of the Monte Sano Nature Preserve include a former limestone quarry known as Three Caves, an historic spring named Trough Springs which was the site of one of the last Alabama confrontations of the Civil War, and the remnants of the Monte Sano Railroad from the late 1800s. The Old Railroad Bed Trail is one of the first 500 Rails-to-Trails Conservancy projects.
Monte Sano Nature Preserve’s hiker parking lot on Bankhead ParkwayFrom University Drive and Memorial Parkway, follow Pratt Avenue East, through Five Points business district. Continue through Five Points on Pratt and continue straight as Pratt changes to Bankhead Parkway. Parking lot is 1/2mi past Toll Gate Road, on the right. The trailhead provides access to the Alms House, Bluff Line, Old Railroad Bed, and Toll Gate Trails.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Monte Sano Nature Preserve

11. Rock City, Lookout Mountain

Hike to the top of Lover’s Leap at Rock City for sprawling views across seven state lines. Perched on Lookout Mountain, the roadside attraction features a stunning mix of ancient rock formations and over 400 native plant species. Wind your way through the many caves and colorful gardens along the Enchanted Flagstone Trail, which features dramatic cliff-top views all the way to the 43 m (140 ft) High Falls of Lookout Mountain. Unwind after the long hike with an afternoon meal at the Big Rock Grill.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Rock City
Tours including Rock City:

12. Ruby Falls, Chattanooga

A thundering underground waterfall, Ruby Falls is fed by both natural rainwater and natural springs. Located at the end of the main passage of a deep mountain cave, the waterfall creates a pool in the cave floor and then continues to flow through underground passages until it finally empties into the Tennessee River. Enter the cave to see the 45 m (150 ft) waterfall and several types of geological formations, including stalactites and stalagmites. For an in-depth look at this underground world of water and limestone, join a guided tour of the cave, or check online for your chance to see the falls on an expedition using only lanterns to light the way.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Ruby Falls

14. Big Spring Park

Big Spring International Park (also known as Big Spring Park) is located in downtown Huntsville, Alabama. The park is built around its namesake "Big Spring", the original water source that the city of Huntsville was built around. The Huntsville Museum of Art and Von Braun Center are located in the park. The park is also notable as the venue for the Panoply Arts Festival, held the last full weekend in April, Big Spring Jam, an annual music festival held on the fourth weekend in September from 1993 to 2011, and The Battle of the Buffalo, a buffalo wings competition held by the University of Alabama in Huntsville Alpha Tau Omega fraternity to support cancer research.
Big Spring Park is the expected trail head of the future Singing River Trail of North Alabama. A 70-mile bicycling and walking trail, it will connect Huntsville to Madison, Decatur, and Athens with an extended path along the Tennessee River.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Big Spring Park

15. Burritt on the Mountain

Burritt on the Mountain is an open-air museum in Huntsville, Alabama. The museum grounds on Round Top Mountain, a plateau connected to Monte Sano Mountain, were the estate of local physician William Burritt, who willed his house and land to the city for use as a museum upon his death in 1955. A number of 19th-century rural structures have been added to Burritt's mansion, both in the interest of historical preservation and life re-enactment.

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Burritt on the Mountain