Village Tavern Scratch Kitchen-Craft Bar

Excerpted from EXCURSIONS by EXCURSIONS BY CITYVISION

Village Tavern Scratch Kitchen-Craft Bar stands out for its passion and perfection of classicAmerican cuisine. Be it for business lunches, gatherings or date night, Village Tavern is the place for all occasions. They are committed to providing the highest quality food, wine and service at an affordable price, while creating unforgettable dining experiences with exceptional hospitality.

Every day has something special to offer with deals like HALF-PRICE WINE Wednesday, offering more than 60 wines by the glass on an award-winning wine list at half price, so you can enjoy a glass of your favorite wine or try something new.

In addition to daily drink specials, check out the best happy hour and bar bites available Monday through Friday from 4 p.m., until 7 p.m. Serving lunch and dinner seven days a week, and brunch on the weekends.

Village Tavern is the neighborhood gathering place for all. Outdoor dining available when weather permits.

  • 101 Summit Blvd., Birmingham, AL
  • 205.970.1640
  • villagetavern.com
  • @VillagéTavernBirmingham
  • @VillageTavern
  • Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.Sunday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Sunday Brunch 10 a.m. -3 p.m.
  • Happy Hour available Monday – Friday 4 – 7 p.m.

Chef Spotlight: Chef Tukky Phornroekngam with Phuket Thai Restaurant and Sushi

from EXCURSIONS GUESTBOOK HUNTSVILLE, MADISON & DECATUR 10th Anniversary Edition by EXCURSIONS BY CITYVISION

If you’re in the mood for absolutely authentic Thai dishes, Phuket will not disappoint. Head Chef Tukky Phornroekngam is a masterful Thai Cuisine Chef, certified by no less than the government of Thailand. How’s that for authentic?

Far from her homeland, Chef Tukky has made a name for herself in the states, having been voted one of the Best Chefs in the Tennessee Valley in 2009. She says it’s her familiarity and artistry with exotic ingredients that make her such a successful chef.

“I love to use kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, Thai basil leaves and any herbs that are essential to Thai cuisine,” Chef Tukky says. Though it’s hard to nail down a favorite, Tukky says it’s a toss-up between what she would order for dinner at Phuket. “Our grilled ribeyes are delicious, and any of the curry dishes are great,” says Chef Tukky, who has one more piece of advice for diners.

“I love having a Lychee Martini or a Thai Tea Martini with my meal,” she says.”You’ll be surprised how well they compliment the Thai dishes.”

Moe’s Original Bar B Que

The Perfect Combination of Great Barbeque and Nightly Fun in the Heart of Downtown Decatur

from EXCURSIONS GUESTBOOK HUNTSVILLE, MADISON & DECATUR 10th Anniversary Edition by EXCURSIONS BY CITYVISION

Ryan Helsley was already a devotee to the Moe’s Original Bar B Que brand when he got the chance to purchase the Decatur location of the restaurant. He had managed locations in Tuscaloosa and Auburn and had been a co-owner at a location in Panama City, FL, but Huntsville was home for his wife and Decatur is near her family. The fact that he could move his family closer to their extended family and still stay with the brand he loved made it the perfect choice.

So in 2015, Ryan and his family moved to Decatur and began operating the Moe’s Original Bar B Que in the heart of the downtown arts and entertainment district.Ryan said he loves the culture, family and “bulletproof concept” the Moe’s brand offers.

“There’s a reason I started with Moe’s in 2010 and decided to make a career out of it,” Ryan said. The restaurant is much more than barbeque though, offering a full bar, late-night hours and live music two or three days a week. The location in the entertainment district makes Moe’s a frequent stop for late-night visitors looking for a place to grab food and a nightcap after a show at the historic Princess Theatre or other location nearby. Last year, Ryan also opened a second Moe’s location in Priceville, just seven miles away from his original Decatur location.

While slow-smoked pulled pork barbeque topped in a house-made, sweet and tangy BBQ sauce is what Moe’s has always been known for, Ryan says the jumbo smoked wings are a constant fan favorite. The wings are served with celery and a creamy Alabama-style white BBQ sauce for dipping.

Ryan also said the fried catfish and fried shrimp sandwich are popular for those looking for something different. The sandwich features golden brown fried shrimp served on a toasted bun with creamy tartar sauce and cool, crisp marinated slaw and pickles.

There are also daily specials and events that make Moe’s Original Bar B Que a great location for family-friendly fun or a night out on the town.

  • MOE’S ORIGINAL BAR B QUE
  • 202 Moulton Street E, Decatur, AL 256.353.6284 (Open Late)
  • 3524 Deere Road, Priceville, AL 256.686.1462 (Closes 8 pm)
  • 200 Main St W, Hartselle, AL 35640 256.502.8092
  • moesoriginalbbq.com
  • @mobdecatur

Vulcan Park and Museum

Excerpted from EXCURSIONS by EXCURSIONS BY CITYVISION

A trip to Vulcan Park and Museum is a must for every visitor to the Birmingham region – in fact, it’s the best place to get started. In addition to seeing the iconic colossal statue, visitors gain an understanding of the region’s history and culture, and can learn more about other cultural, recreational and entertainment offerings at an onsite Visitor Information Center managed by the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Vulcan is the world’s largest cast iron statue and is considered one of the most memorable works of civic art in the United States. Created by Italian artist Giuseppe Moretti, Vulcan was cast from local iron to represent the state of Alabama at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Vulcan has overlooked Alabama’s largest city from atop Red Mountain since a 1930s WPA project created his permanent home and namesake park.

After decades of exposure to the elements, by the 90s, the 50-ton statue was in desperate need of repair. Recognizing Vulcan’s importance to the region’s history and persona, community leaders formed Vulcan Park Foundation, a nonprofit organization which oversaw a $16 million project that returned the statue to his 1904 grandeur. The meticulous restoration of Vulcan and his 124′ sandstone pedestal, completed in 2004, received numerous awards including the highest honor awarded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Embracing the personality of the community Vulcan symbolizes, the park grounds and museum offer a dynamic edu-taining experience. Standing for Birmingham Alabama’s rich industrial history, the diverse cultures that settled and built the community, and the story of Vulcan are recounted in both indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Vulcan’s park grounds and observation tower offer breathtaking views of downtown and the surrounding areas – a great introduction to Birmingham, day or night.

Visit Vulcan and learn the fascinating history that has made him the iconic symbol of our city and why he has stood for Birmingham for more than a century and counting.

  • 1701 Valley View Drive
  • Birmingham, AL 35209
  • visitvulcan.com
  • @visitvulcan
  • Museum and The Anvil Hours: Monday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Observation Tower Hours: Monday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Main Attractions

from ‘EXCURSIONS GUESTBOOK HUNTSVILLE, MADISON & DECATUR 10th Anniversary…’Wide Open Spaces

From shopping to museums to nature preserves, Huntsville has the perfect agenda for every traveler.

Alabama Constitution Village

Discover the newly renovated Alabama Constitution Village.

Constitution Village is a unique and unforgettable journey into Alabama’s past. Come see villagers busy with their daily tasks, seemingly unaware that nearly two centuries have come and gone. Hear the whir of the spinning wheel, smell the enticing aroma of freshly baked bread being prepared over an open fire and turn the great wheel lathe in the cabinetmaker’s shop. Admission charged. See website for hours. {109 Gates Avenue, 256.564.8100; earlyworks.com}

Big Spring International Park

Located in downtown Huntsville, this iconic park serves as the center of the city. Named after an underground spring that John Hunt, Huntsville’s founder, built a cabin next to in 1805, it’s now surrounded by museums, hotels and more. The park plays host to major area events, like the Panoply Arts Festival and local concerts, and showcases gifts bestowed upon the city by other countries, including the “Red Bridge” and 60 cherry trees from Japan. Free Admission. {Located adjacent to downtown Huntsville}

Bridge Street Town Centre

The Carousel at Bridge Street Town Centre is a favorite for all.

Bridge Street Town Centre is the premier retail and entertainment center in North Alabama. Featuring over 70 upscale shops and restaurants, including favorites like J. Crew, The Apple Store and Anthropology. The center also includes the 14-screen Monaco Pictures Theater, a 10-acre lake with gondola boats and watercraft rentals, a beautiful carousel, fountains and lots of open green spaces. Free admission. {Located at the corner of Old Madison Pike and Research Park Blvd.; 256.327.8400; see their ad inside back cover; bridgestreethuntsville.com}

Burritt on the Mountain

Explore the past at Burritt on the Mountain.

Also known as the “Jewel on the Mountain,” this living museum is seated atop RoundTop Mountain and features entertainment for all ages. At the 19th-century farm, children can pet barnyard animals, while adults can wander the 14-rooms of the unique X-shaped 1930s mansion. Visitors can explore the winding nature trails, visit authentic exhibits and even attend concerts and plays. Admission charged. See website for hours. {3101 Burritt Drive, Huntsville; 256.536.2882}

Ditto Landing

Visit the newly renovated Ditto Landing.

For overnight, over the weekend, or week-long vacation, Ditto Landing is a camper’s paradise. Nestled in the shaded comfort of densely wooded lots, the campground is cool, peaceful and just a moment’s walk from an abundance of fun-filled activities. It serves as the gateway to Wheeler reservoir, which has more than 60,000 acres of adventurous playground. There are ample facilities for boats of all sizes. See website for hours. {293 Ditto Landing Road, Huntsville; 256.882.1057}.

Dublin Memorial Park

Located in Madison, this park features 66 acres of recreational activities. The Dublin Memorial Park Facility includes an outdoor swimming pool with baby and diving pools. Indoor facilities include a double-court gymnasium equipped for basketball and volleyball, an upstairs walking

track and a 25-yard heated indoor swimming pool. Other outdoor activity areas include a walking trail, five soccer fields, a community-built playground and seven tennis courts. See website for hours. Free admission. {8324 Old Madison Pike, Madison; 256.772.9300}

EarlyWorks Children’s Museum

Children love exploring the past at EarlyWorks Family of Museums.

EarlyWorks was designed for children—go ahead…touch, climb, pull, explore! Hear stories from the Talking Tree, play a tune on the giant-sized instruments at the Alabama bandstand and try your hand at building in the Kidstruction Zone. Explore a 46-foot Keelboat, trade your wares at the general store and try on clothing from the 1800s in the federal house. Preschoolers will enjoy exploring Biscuit’s Backyard, a touch-and-learn area that includes a garden, grocery store and even karaoke. See website for hours. Admission charged. {404 Madison Street in Huntsville; 256.564.8107; earlyworks.com}

Harrison Brothers Hardware

Shop for souvenirs at Harrison Brothers Hardware.

Better than a museum, Harrison Brothers is a living 19th-century landmark sitting serenely in the midst of downtown Huntsville. When you’re searching for that perfect souvenir to take home, Harrison Brothers is the place to visit. This shopper’s delight is filled with treasures, like a stack of antique biscuit jars brimming with old-fashioned candies, cotton throws, colorful tins, marbles by the scoop, cast iron cookware and oak rocking chairs. See website for hours. Free admission. {124 South Side Square in Huntsville; 256.536.3631; harrisonbrothershardware.com}

Historic Huntsville Depot

Meet Andy at the Historic Huntsville Depot.

Hear the rattle of the tracks and the engineer’s whistle as you experience life on the rails in 1860. Discover Civil War graffiti and listen as Andy, the robotic ticket agent, tells of Alabama’s railway history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Depot was an active passenger station until 1968. The original depot building now stands as a symbol of Huntsville’s transportation history and city growth. See website for hours. Admission charged. {320 Church Street, Huntsville; 256.564.8100}

Huntsville Botanical Garden

The Huntsville Botanical Garden also offers a beautiful setting for private events.

Open year-round, the Huntsville Botanical Garden has 112 acres to explore, learn, and discover the beauty and wonder of plants. From grassy meadows to woodland paths, aquatic habitats to stunning floral collections, the Garden invites guests of all ages to make memories together in nature.

At the Garden, you can admire collections of native plants or stroll along nature trails. You can play in the Children’s Garden or find a moment of serenity in the cool shade of the trees. With additional exhibits and events throughout the year, the Garden is a place of beauty, education, and celebration for all in every season.

In this dynamic young garden, you’ll find inviting woodland paths, stunning floral collections and exhibits to delight visitors of all ages. Paths meander through the shady woodlands of the Dogwood Trail and the lush fern glade, while native wildflowers quietly populate the Nature Trail. The daylily and herb gardens rival or surpass those of older, more mature botanical gardens. The demonstration vegetable garden showcases varieties of produce and inspires home gardeners. With new exhibits every season, there’s always something blooming at the gardens! See website for hours. {4747 Bob Wallace Avenue in Huntsville; 256.830.4447; hsvbg.org}

Spring, summer, fall, or winter – the Garden is an oasis of natural beauty in every season!
4747 Bob Wallace Avenue, Huntsville, AL 35805 256.830.4447 hsvbg.org @HuntsvilleBotanicalGarden @hsvgarden

Huntsville Madison County Veterans Memorial

Huntsville Madison County Veterans Memorial honors our fallen heroes.

This memorial recognizes by name the Madison County veterans killed in action during all wars from WWI to the present and recognizes and honors Madison County veterans awarded the Medal of Honor. The mission of the memorial is to inspire visitors by instilling a sense of pride and respect for all veterans who have served in the armed forces of the United States of America, to provide an incentive to serve and to educate visitors, especially the young, about the sacrifices made by those that came before them and those who continue to guarantee our freedom by serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. {200 Monroe Street NW; 256.604.3896; hmcvm.org}

Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment

Located in historic Lowe Mill, supports a diverse creative community dedicated to the free expression of the arts in Huntsville. Our vision is to be a true arts destination and to grow Huntsville’s appreciation and interaction with the arts. {2211 Seminole Drive Huntsville, 256.533.0399; lowemill.art}

Monte Sano State Park

Get back to nature at Monte Sano State Park.

Slip into your walking shoes and get ready to explore beautiful North Alabama outdoors! Spread across more than 2,100 acres, historic Monte Sano State Park sits 1,900 feet above sea level and boasts some of the most beautiful views of the Huntsville area. Spanish for “Mountain of Health,” this park features cabins and camping facilities, as well as 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of biking trails. Hours: 7 am – sundown. Admission charged. {5101 Nolen Road SE, Huntsville 256.534.3757}

North Alabama Railroad Museum

Located just east of Huntsville in the historic Chase community, this museum is a boon for train lovers. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, take a guided tour of more than 30 train cars, including locomotives, dining cars and sleeper cars. On Saturdays from March – Dec, you can even take an hour-long train ride and enjoy the local scenery. Admission charged. {694 Chase Road in Huntsville; 256.851.6276; northalabamarailroadmuseum.com}

Old Town Historic District

The Old Town Historic District features homes in a variety of styles including Federal, Greek Revival, Queen Anne, American Craftsman and Prairie School with homes dating from the late 1820s through the early 1900s. {Roughly bound by Dement and Lincoln Streets and Randolph and Walker Avenues}

State Black Archives Research Center and Museum

Located in the historic James H. Wilson Building on the campus of Alabama A&M University just outside Huntsville, the center is a repository of African American history and culture, providing a dialogue between the present and past. Archival collections and featured exhibits span three floors of beautiful gallery areas. Admission charged. {Located on the campus of Alabama A&M University in Normal, AL; 256.372.5846}

Twickenham Historic District

Alabama’s largest collection of pre-Civil War homes features Federal, Italianate, Queen Anne, Bungalow and Classical architecture, including the Weeden House Museum, Alabama’s oldest house open to the public. Guided tours conducted. {109 Gates Avenue at Constitution Village in Huntsville}

U.S. Space and Rocket Center

The world’s largest space attraction features dozens of interactive exhibits surrounding Apollo, Mercury and Space Shuttle spacecraft. The U. S. Space and Rocket Center is the only place in the world where you can stand under a “full stack”—the Space Shuttle, external tank, and two rocket boosters. Experience three times the force of gravity as you spin in the G-Force Accelerator, feel the powerful G forces of launch aboard the Space Shot and maneuver through space aboard the Mission to Mars. You can also stop for a show in the Spacedome Omnimax theater. Hours: 9 am – 5 pm, seven days a week. Admission charged. {One Tranquility Base in Huntsville; 1.800.63.SPACE; rocketcenter.com}

Veterans Memorial Museum

Take a walk through American military history at this museum filled with exhibits, memorabilia and more. The collection includes more than 30 military vehicles, including tanks, helicopters, motorcycles and boats. Dedicated to promoting and disseminating the accomplishments of American military men and women, the museum is popular among veterans and their families. Cash only admission. {2060A Airport Road in Huntsville; 256.883.3737; memorialmuseum.org}

Von Braun Center

The Von Braun Center is a multi-purpose facility located in downtown Huntsville, Alabama and is home to Huntsville Havoc (a professional ice hockey team in the Southern Professional Hockey League), Broadway Theatre League, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and Arts Huntsville. The VBC offers multiple venues for presenting cultural, educational, entertainment, sporting and social events. Venue spaces include the Propst Arena, Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, Mars Music Hall, North Hall, South Hall, and East Hall. Additionally, the VBC has an on-site full-service restaurant and rooftop bar – Rhythm on Monroe. With over 170,000 square feet of flexible meeting space the VBC is able to accommodate events of all types and sizes. {700 Monroe Street, Huntsville; 256.533.1953; vonbrauncenter.com}

Weeden House Museum

Alabama’s oldest open-to-the-public building is best known as the birthplace of 19th-century poet and artist Maria Howard Weeden, whose poetry and paintings captured the essence of nineteenth-century Southern culture. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Weeden House is the only home in the Twickenham Historic District open as a museum. {300 Gates Avenue, SE, Huntsville; 256.536.7718; weedenhousemuseum.com} ❖