Spotlight on Madison County: Culture & Recreation

A concert at MidCity.

U.S. Space & Rocket Center
The number one paid tourist attraction in the state is home to more than 1,500 artifacts from America’s achievements in space exploration. It’s the world’s largest hands-on space technology museum and home to the Space Camp programs. The Intuitive Planetarium gives a glimpse into the galaxy in breathtaking 8k high resolution. The center is the official visitor information center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the official museum for the U.S. Army.

Huntsville Botanical Garden
The city’s botanical garden offers festivals, events, educational programs and more than 100 acres of beautiful gardens. The site includes a guest center, nature center, the open-air Purdy Butterfly House, a children’s garden and garden railway, plus a garden of hope for cancer patients.

Huntsville Botanical Garden.

Huntsville Museum of Art
Founded in 1970, its permanent collection includes nearly 3,000 objects, including the Sellars Collection, the largest collection of art by American women primarily focused on 19th and 20th century. Offering all types of programs and classes, it also hosts many traveling exhibits.

Madison County Greenways & Nature Trails
Scenic walkways extend from downtown into nearby suburban area with opportunities for fitness, wellness and family fun.

Land Trust of North Alabama
The state’s first land trust is dedicated to preserving natural lands, water resources and wildlife habitat in 10 North Alabama counties. Volunteers maintain more than 70 miles of public trails on seven nature preserves. The flagship preserve — the 1,107-acre Monte Sano Nature Preserve — is among the largest urban nature preserves in the U.S. 

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Burritt on the Mountain.

Alabama Constitution Hall Historic Park & Museum
Alabama’s rich history comes alive in these eight reconstructed federal style buildings in downtown Huntsville, including the site where 44 delegates gathered to forge Alabama’s path to statehood more than 200 years ago.

Historic Huntsville Depot
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the depot was the local passenger house and the corporate offices for the eastern division of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad.

Monte Sano State Park

Harrison Brothers Hardware Store
A living 19th century landmark, Harrison Brothers sits on the courthouse square in downtown Huntsville. It’s called a hardware store but it’s much more, with old-fashioned tools and housewares, books, pottery and art.

Bridge Street Town Centre
One of the top shopping and entertainment destinations in the region is Bridge Street Town Centre, with more than 80 retail establishments, restaurants and movie theaters.

Toyota Field, home to the Rocket City Trash Pandas.

Burritt on the Mountain
Huntsville’s first museum is often described as a “jewel on the mountain.” Dr. William Henry Burritt’s eclectic mansion is the centerpiece, surrounded by farm buildings and animals, creating a beautiful site for concerts, plays and exhibits.

EarlyWorks Children’s History Museum
EarlyWorks is the South’s largest hands-on history museum, featuring a 46-foot keelboat, a general story, a talking tree, oversized musical instruments and more.

Veterans Memorial Museum.

Weeden House Museum
The historic Weeden House Museum was home to 19th century artist and poet Maria “Howard” Weeden. The museum is the only residence in the Twickenham Historic District open to the public.

North Alabama Railroad Museum
This museum, located east of Huntsville in Chase, reflects a love of trains and a desire to preserve railroad history. Tour on your own or with a guide. Rides are offered in the museum’s vintage train. More than 30 pieces of major rolling stock have been preserved including both freight and passenger equipment and three historic locomotives. 

Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment
This center, located in historic Lowe Mill, supports a diverse creative community. It is home to more than 200 artists and 148 studios, making it the largest privately owned arts facility in the nation. Open to the public Wednesday through Saturday afternoons, it offers programs, classes, concerts and other entertainment events.

Veterans Memorial Museum
Operated by the Alabama Center of Military History Inc., this museum is dedicated to promoting the accomplishments of American military members with an emphasis on World War I and subsequent conflicts. It is home to more than 30 historical military vehicles, as well as tableaus, artifacts and other memorabilia dating back to the Revolutionary War.

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail — Hampton Cove
This popular golf trail’s Huntsville site is a 54-hole facility with terrain that drastically changes. It includes the Highlands Course, the River Course and the Short Course. There also are several other private and public courses in the area.

Monte Sano State Park
Spanish for “Mountain of Health,” Monte Sano rises 1,600 feet above sea level and has attracted visitors since the mid-1820s. The park’s lodge offers a variety of meeting space and cabins are available for rent.

Harrison Brothers Hardware Store

Harmony Park Safari
This nature preserve features free-ranging exotic animals. Remain in your car on a two-mile route to see zebras, antelope, buffalo, a camel, ostriches and crocodiles. 

Craft Breweries
Madison County is home to 10 craft breweries, more than any other location in the state. Many of the breweries feature a restaurant and a tap room.

Stovehouse during restaurant week 2020.

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