Author Topic: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area  (Read 293 times)

Offline erockrph

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Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
« 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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Offline majorvices

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Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
« Reply #1 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.

Offline BrewBama

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Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
« Reply #2 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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« Last Edit: February 26, 2021, 09:21:14 PM by BrewBama »
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Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
« Reply #3 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.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 03:42:11 AM by majorvices »

Online tommymorris

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Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
« Reply #4 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 ;)
« Last Edit: February 27, 2021, 12:30:25 PM by tommymorris »

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Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
« Reply #5 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.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
« Reply #6 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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Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
« Reply #7 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.

Offline Drewch

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Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
« Reply #8 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.
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Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2021, 03:39:14 PM »
I'm so glad you didn't say "Honest Coffee" because their coffee honestly sucks. ;)

Online tommymorris

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Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2021, 04:06:20 PM »
I'm so glad you didn't say "Honest Coffee" because their coffee honestly sucks. ;)

Offline Drewch

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Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2021, 12:06:03 AM »
I'm so glad you didn't say "Honest Coffee" because their coffee honestly sucks. ;)

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Online pete b

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Re: Vacation ideas in the Huntsville, AL area
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2021, 12:38:27 AM »
At least they don’t lie about it.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.