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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: erockrph on February 26, 2021, 06:20:49 pm

Title: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: erockrph on February 26, 2021, 06:20:49 pm
Barring a COVID cancelation, we're planning sending our son to Space Camp in Huntsville this summer.  Since my wife and I will be flying him down and back, we're planning on making it into a vacation for the two of us while he's in camp for the week.

We're trying to figure out a spot within a few hours drive to base ourselves out of that has enough to do for 5 days or so. Options we are considering are Nashville (although we're not country fans), the Smokeys, and just staying in Huntsville, although we're open to other ideas that we haven't considered. I think our limit would be anything much more than a 3 hour drive or so.

I know there are several of you who are familiar with the area. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: majorvices on February 26, 2021, 06:44:31 pm
Nashville has a lot going for it not just "country". It's close enough to Huntsville to spend a day there if you stay in Hsv. The Smokies are great if you like to actually go hiking and camping and such. Other than that it is a tourist trap (though people love it).

Huntsville has a bunch of breweries, bars, restaurants, etc. Downtown is nice, there are museums and restaurants and parks, Monte Sano State Park has good hiking. Space & Rocket is worth a visit. Stove House and Lowe Mill are very cool(Stove House is still being built but is going to be very nice), Campus 805 is where Yellowhammer and Straight to Ale are (two opposing breweries).

I live here so can't fathom vacationing here but there are a lot of things to do.
Title: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: BrewBama on February 26, 2021, 09:08:45 pm
When you know when you’ll hit town give a shout out and maybe Kieth, Tommy, and I can come have a pizza and a pint with you.

I agree Nashville has plenty more that country music. Nashville, Birmingham, Chattanooga are all a day trip away. They distill Jack Daniels about an hour from here. That’s a fun tour.

A bit further out you hit Atlanta, Helen GA, Knoxville or Memphis TN, Tunica MS.  If you like the beach head south to Mobile/Gulf Shores area. These are all ~3-6 hrs so it’s a destination from here.


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Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: majorvices on February 26, 2021, 09:29:11 pm
The gulf coast beaches are unbelievably beautiful. As a kid growing up on the East I thought the Atlantic was what it was like to be at the ocean. I couldn't believe how stunningly beautiful the beaches on the Alabama gulf were. 6 hours from Huntsville though.

And Yes! Jack Daniels is a fun tour. I don't drink JD much but you will want to buy a bottle and drink it when you tour the facility. Beautiful drive too (and stop in Fayetteville for a SlawBurger)

If you do come to Huntspatch I will meet you with Dwayne and Tommy for sure.
Title: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: tommymorris on February 27, 2021, 02:04:01 am
1. Space Camp is awesome. Congratulations to your son!

2. I definitely am down for a beer and dinner or lunch. Just say when.

3. I love hiking. Huntsville, Chattanooga, and Gatlinburg are great for hiking. Huntsville has Monte Sano State Park and many Land Trust of North Alabama parks. They are all great.  To be perfectly honest, I pulled up a list of tourist attractions for Huntsville and while everything on it is great those attractions are great for a family that lives in the area and visitors, none of those are worthy of planning your vacation around; except space camp of course.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g30620-Activities-Huntsville_Alabama.html

I live in Huntsville so our trails are my hangouts and I love them but they aren’t the Smokey Mountains. That’s Gatlinburg and Smokey Mountain National Park is next level. Not too far from Gatlinburg you could also hit Asheville, NC which is home to a lot of good breweries including Sierra Nevada. Asheville has a lot more to offer than beer.

Chattanooga is a great town for a day trip from Huntsville. Lots to do. They have a great aquarium, lots of cool restaurants, some cool attractions, and their downtown is right on the Tennessee River.

You already know about Nashville.

The Gulf Coast is 5.5-7 hours south of Huntsville depending on traffic and where you are going. Gulf Coast beaches are white sand and the water is usually clear and emerald green. Destin, Florida is the best place to go. Beaches in or near Destin: 30-A is upscale and very nice, Crystal Beach and Miramar Beach are a bit more affordable but also excellent.

Atlanta, GA...kind of cool but nothing really drawing you in
Knoxville, TN...good for lunch or Football game in the fall
Tuscaloosa, AL...Great football
Auburn, AL...are you lost?
New Orleans...probably too far from Space Camp
Tim Ford, TN...rent a lake house
Guntersville, AL...rent a lake house
Mentone, AL...stay the night in a B&B, day trip to the Little River Canyon, and have dinner at the Wildflower Cafe. Great day.

PS. The cafeteria at Space Camp has a sign that says Get More Space at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. I hear there is an amazing professor there named Tommy Morris ;)
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: majorvices on February 27, 2021, 12:20:58 pm
Great suggestions Tommy - and you need to come hiking with me sometime at my house. It's a hidden gem and kind of like the "little smokies". I live out "behind" Madison County Lake, 30 min from Huntsville.
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: erockrph on February 27, 2021, 03:03:28 pm
Thanks for all the ideas, guys! We already ruled out NOLA and the Gulf Coast as being a bit too far (my wife's arthritis puts about a 3 hour cap on car rides). My inlaws live outside of PCB, so that is probably where we would have ended up if the drive was in range.

We might fly into Atlanta a day early to see the aquarium (the whale sharks have been on our family bucket list for a while). The rest of your ideas will really be helpful to map out the rest of our time in the area. I will definitely reach out when I'm headed down (early July) to see if we can meet up!

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Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: majorvices on February 27, 2021, 03:33:28 pm
Thanks for all the ideas, guys! We already ruled out NOLA and the Gulf Coast as being a bit too far (my wife's arthritis puts about a 3 hour cap on car rides). My inlaws live outside of PCB, so that is probably where we would have ended up if the drive was in range.

We might fly into Atlanta a day early to see the aquarium (the whale sharks have been on our family bucket list for a while). The rest of your ideas will really be helpful to map out the rest of our time in the area. I will definitely reach out when I'm headed down (early July) to see if we can meet up!

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The Aquarium in ATL is worth it. Very cool aquarium. If you like Aquariums Chattanooga Aquarium is worth the visit too (I think it is a little better ... maybe ... that ATL) and Chatty is 90 min from Huntsville.

I really liked Max Lagers brewpub when I was in ATL years ago for the food and the beer - it's been many years though but last I checked it was still there with good ratings.
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: Drewch on March 18, 2021, 02:53:22 pm
If you're doing the HSV brewery scene, don't forget XEO in Decatur, and (a little farther out) Goat Island in Cullman.

If you like coffee, hit up Grounded in Madison or any of the plethora of cafes on the Downtown Huntsville Coffee Trail.  Piper and Leaf is good if you like teas.

If you're nerdy enough for it, I remember the HSV Art Museum being pretty decent.  Ditto the Botanic Garden  There's also the Cook's bug museum in Decatur.  Birmingham Museum of Art is quite good, too, and cheap.

If you go as far as ATL, look into getting the City Pass.  It wound up being a good deal for my family the last time we were there.  If the tasting room is open again by the time you're going, the Coke Museum is actually pretty interesting.  ATL and Chattanooga aquariums (aquaria?) are about tied in my book, but ATL does have the whale sharks that TN doesn't.  If you like trains, check out the Tennessee Valley Railroad museum in Chattanooga.

At the far edge of your 3-hour limit, Montgomery has a number of sites of historic importance to the Civil Rights movement.
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: majorvices on March 19, 2021, 03:39:14 pm
I'm so glad you didn't say "Honest Coffee" because their coffee honestly sucks. ;)
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: tommymorris on March 19, 2021, 04:06:20 pm
I'm so glad you didn't say "Honest Coffee" because their coffee honestly sucks. ;)
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: Drewch on March 20, 2021, 12:06:03 am
I'm so glad you didn't say "Honest Coffee" because their coffee honestly sucks. ;)

🥸
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: pete b on March 20, 2021, 12:38:27 am
At least they don’t lie about it.
Title: Just back from Huntsville, AL
Post by: Ron756 on July 10, 2021, 06:24:12 pm
My wife and I just got back home from spending the 4th in Huntsville with our son.  Didn't get the chance to try all the different brewpubs / tap rooms but I did bring a selection home to try. 
We did make it to Yellowhammer.  Pizza was good at the attached brick oven place, but we were there for the beer.  By far the 1819 was my favorite.
Looking forward to our next trip and trying some of the other local places.

One thing I could not find in Huntsville was a homebrew shop, is there one and I missed it or is it missing in the market?
thanks,
Ron
Title: Re: Just back from Huntsville, AL
Post by: majorvices on July 10, 2021, 06:33:22 pm
My wife and I just got back home from spending the 4th in Huntsville with our son.  Didn't get the chance to try all the different brewpubs / tap rooms but I did bring a selection home to try. 
We did make it to Yellowhammer.  Pizza was good at the attached brick oven place, but we were there for the beer.  By far the 1819 was my favorite.
Looking forward to our next trip and trying some of the other local places.

One thing I could not find in Huntsville was a homebrew shop, is there one and I missed it or is it missing in the market?
thanks,
Ron

Glad you enjoyed the beer, that's my recipe. I'm still a shareholder but have almost nothing to do with the company but I know they didn't change that recipe because it has won a bunch of awards.

The pizza is way overpriced, but, yeah.It's not bad. As a transplanted yankee I have had lots and lots better.

Huntsville has had homebrew shops off and on over the last 25 years (even when homebrewing was illegal) but the only place to get supplies now is Pearly Gates, which is really a health food store with some homebrew stuff -- and while they have some stuff it's not much.
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: tommymorris on July 10, 2021, 06:37:40 pm
My wife and I just got back home from spending the 4th in Huntsville with our son.  Didn't get the chance to try all the different brewpubs / tap rooms but I did bring a selection home to try. 
We did make it to Yellowhammer.  Pizza was good at the attached brick oven place, but we were there for the beer.  By far the 1819 was my favorite.
Looking forward to our next trip and trying some of the other local places.

One thing I could not find in Huntsville was a homebrew shop, is there one and I missed it or is it missing in the market?
thanks,
Ron
There is not really a homebrew shop. We have a health food store that has a selection of homebrew items. But, it’s not a full service homebrewing store.

Glad you liked Huntsville.

One place I like is the Biergarten at the US Space and Rocket Center on Thursday nights. It’s unfortunately closed this year due to Covid related staffing issues. It’s German food and German beer in a museum with the Saturn V rocket hanging from the ceiling.
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: majorvices on July 10, 2021, 11:44:33 pm
fwiw the best beers in Huntsville right now are probably at Chandler's Ford (aka Beezr -- it's a little confusing). He is brewing some very good lagers, horizontal lagering tanks, decoction capable brewhouse, spunding for natural carbonation. And it is a compact and well thought out suystem. Pub sized. A homebrewer's dream system, for sure maybe on 1/4th scale.

That said, I had a isovaleric-cheesy-hop bomb hazy terrible beer there a week ago so, not saying it is perfect. (I didn't order the hazy -- someone at the table did. And it was undrinkable).
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: Ron756 on July 14, 2021, 01:25:33 am
Thanks.  I also enjoyed the weissen on tap.  We will have to try the Biergarten next trip. 
I retire from the Navy in about 14 months and Huntsville is one the short list of places to move to, and only a 3 hour drive to Auburn Games - Warm Eagle!

Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: tommymorris on July 14, 2021, 02:18:38 am
Warm Eagle!
Their gonna kick you outta the club. “Warm” Eagle?!

Huntsville is a great place for vets. Lots of great jobs that leverage that experience.
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: majorvices on July 14, 2021, 10:32:32 am
Thanks.  I also enjoyed the weissen on tap.  We will have to try the Biergarten next trip. 
I retire from the Navy in about 14 months and Huntsville is one the short list of places to move to, and only a 3 hour drive to Auburn Games - Warm Eagle!

https://www.al.com/news/2021/07/how-good-of-a-place-is-huntsville-to-live-best-in-central-time-zone-report-says.html

Rolled Tide!  ;)
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: Ron756 on July 17, 2021, 09:17:25 pm
Wow, totally missed my typo - War Eagle!!!

Thanks for the article.  Good read, now just need the housing prices to not explode too much before we get there.
Title: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: BrewBama on July 17, 2021, 10:40:34 pm
Too late. Real Estate is off the charts here. I know several agents who say even before they list they get offers. Good news is sub divisions are going up all over. (If you’re a sub division kinda guy)



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Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: majorvices on July 18, 2021, 02:22:04 pm
The best thing that has come out of this thread is that I am going tp say "Warm Eagle" to all of my AU fan friends from now on.
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: Ron756 on July 20, 2021, 10:23:25 pm
Neighborhood is likely where we will end up but I would have preferred 5-10 acres and some space for a barn to develop ideas, build and brew.
"Warm" Eagle
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: majorvices on July 22, 2021, 07:26:06 pm
Neighborhood is likely where we will end up but I would have preferred 5-10 acres and some space for a barn to develop ideas, build and brew.
"Warm" Eagle

FWIW I live on 7 acres. About 14 miles from Huntsville.
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: BrewBama on July 23, 2021, 12:00:58 am
Neighborhood is likely where we will end up but I would have preferred 5-10 acres and some space for a barn to develop ideas, build and brew.
"Warm" Eagle

FWIW I live on 7 acres. About 14 miles from Huntsville.
+1. I only own 2 but am surrounded by those with 50, 25, 14, 17, etc. My neighbors are great. Sight unseen.



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Title: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: tommymorris on July 23, 2021, 12:23:26 am
I live in a neighborhood close to downtown. My neighbors are also great. Sight unseen ;) I can see their houses but, I don’t see much them.
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: erockrph on July 27, 2021, 12:49:48 pm
So after being waitlisted, then being told that they were full and that they wouldn't be taking any more kids off the waitlist, we got a call on 2 weeks notice saying that they had openings for Space Camp. We had totally written off our trip a couple of months before, and suddenly had to plan something last minute. Long story short, we ended up staying in Nashville for the week and only ended up seeing the BK drive-thru in Huntsville on the way in/out of the city, and the Space and Rocket center. I was hoping to hit a brewery or two in the area, but our schedule was pretty tight. Of course, after my son's experience, I doubt that this will be my last trip to Huntsville. He's already talking about what program he wants to do next year.

I didn't hit any breweries in Nashville, but I had several local brews at the Flying Saucer (awesome beer bar if you're ever there). Bearded Iris and Southern Grist were especially memorable. Chief of Chiefs is one of the best NEIPA's that I've had outside of New England.

Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: majorvices on July 29, 2021, 10:37:17 pm
Flying Saucer is an awesome beer bar. It's been there for quite a long while. Bearded Iris is good if you really dig the hazy beers. One of their brewers first brewing job was under me at YH. Too bad you didn't have time to hit some Nashville breweries -- there are some good ones.
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: tommymorris on July 29, 2021, 11:00:00 pm
So after being waitlisted, then being told that they were full and that they wouldn't be taking any more kids off the waitlist, we got a call on 2 weeks notice saying that they had openings for Space Camp. We had totally written off our trip a couple of months before, and suddenly had to plan something last minute. Long story short, we ended up staying in Nashville for the week and only ended up seeing the BK drive-thru in Huntsville on the way in/out of the city, and the Space and Rocket center. I was hoping to hit a brewery or two in the area, but our schedule was pretty tight. Of course, after my son's experience, I doubt that this will be my last trip to Huntsville. He's already talking about what program he wants to do next year.

I didn't hit any breweries in Nashville, but I had several local brews at the Flying Saucer (awesome beer bar if you're ever there). Bearded Iris and Southern Grist were especially memorable. Chief of Chiefs is one of the best NEIPA's that I've had outside of New England.
Definitely Cyber Camp next year!
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: majorvices on July 29, 2021, 11:13:05 pm
Both my boys loved Space camp. My youngest went twice.
Title: Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
Post by: Ron756 on August 09, 2021, 12:40:31 am
Looks like our next trip will be over the Christmas holidays.
Plan to do a little house / job hunting in the area while we are down. 
Appreciate suggestions for areas to look at / or avoid.