Even though I’ve lived in Alabama my entire life, there are still hidden gems that I come across from time to time. One of those gems is Huntsville, Alabama.
Though I’ve visited Huntsville several times, it’s usually been for school field trips, travel sports, or conferences. This time was different. This time, I visited the city purely on leisure, and I was pleasantly surprised by all the city had to offer.
The Huntsville/Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau helped me plan the perfect weekend trip that allowed me to see some of the best of Huntsville and I couldn’t wait to get home to share about it here on my blog.
Keep reading to “hear” all about my adventures in Huntsville, Alabama.
OUR WEEKEND IN HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA
I live near Birmingham, so the drive to Huntsville was a breeze. We hopped on I-65 and headed north and a couple of hours later, we were approaching the city. We had just enough time to have a spectacular car concert, which made the drive seem much faster.
FIRST STOP: US SPACE & ROCKET CENTER
First on our agenda was the US Space & Rocket Center.
This was my first time visiting the Space & Rocket Center without having to chaperone a group of students and boy was it different. Due to COVID, there were a limited number of people inside the museum, which made it easier for me to view and appreciate the exhibits. I was able to stop and read the information on the displays and that was really nice. I learned so many things about astronaut life.
NEXT UP: BRIDGE STREET TOWN CENTRE
After a few hours at the museum, we headed over to Bridge Street Town Centre to do some shopping. Bridge Street is a premier area for shopping, dining, and playing. Some of our favorite shops like Belk, H&M, Sephora, White House Black Market, Chicos, and Kendra Scott are located at Bridge Street. There were also some restaurants, hotels, and a movie theatre located on the property, making it a one-stop shop!
After shopping for a while, we checked into our hotel. Though there were several hotels near the US Space & Rocket Center and Bridge Street Town Centre, we chose to stay at a hotel downtown. We stayed at Homewood Suites by Hilton Downtown Huntsville. This was our second time staying at this hotel. We chose this hotel because it was close to our evening events and we knew that the hotel was nice and safe. It is also close to a grocery store and some restaurants, making it a convenient (and cost effective) choice. Plus, I’m a Hilton Honors member so anytime I need a hotel, I always start my search with Hilton Properties.
Here is a quick video tour of our suite:
You might also like this: Tips for Traveling Safely During a Pandemic
NEXT STOP: PANOPLY ARTS FESTIVAL
On Friday evening, we attended the Panoply Arts Festival. Panoply is a three-day celebration of the arts, which started in May of 1982! It is an outdoor festival that includes musical performances, art exhibits, food trucks, and other fun activities. I had never heard of the event prior to attending this year, but after attending, I can’t see how I’d never heard of it. It was our first time attending, but it certainly won’t be our last. It’s a huge event. Because of the pandemic, this year’s event was a “scaled” back event, but I didn’t feel the least bit slighted because there was still so much to do and see! I can only imagine this event in full force!
We were especially thrilled to see that there were artists from all over Alabama with exhibits at Panoply. We even saw artists from our hometown with beautiful art on display! If you’re going to Panoply, don’t forget your lawn chair. We sat on the lawn of the Huntsville Museum of Art and enjoyed two bands that had people moving and grooving. It was so fun!
We intentionally didn’t go to dinner before going to Panoply because we knew there would be food trucks there. And boy, were there food trucks! Several local restaurants were on site selling everything from funnel cakes, to barbecue sandwiches, to seafood mac and cheese. You heard me correctly, seafood mac and cheese! My daughter had the seafood mac and she raved about how delicious it was. We also had sno cones, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and loaded cheese fries. Don’t judge. We don’t count calories on getaways!
FINAL STOP: HUNTSVILLE BOTANICAL GARDEN
On Saturday, we visited the Huntsville Botanical Garden. Wow! What a treat. The Huntsville Botanical Garden was so impressive. The grounds were beautifully manicured and well-kept and we really enjoyed walking around sightseeing. Even though I don’t have little ones, my favorite area was the Children’s Garden, which included an open-air butterfly house. I read that the butterfly house at the Huntsville Botanical Garden is the largest one in the nation!
We were very happy with our weekend trip to Huntsville, Alabama. We only visited a few of the many attractions that Huntsville has to offer. This was definitely a fun trip and we will plan to return in the future for another adventurous getaway!