National Travel and Tourism Week has us thinking about road trips in north Alabama, so we put together some fun trips to take! Pick your area, and hit the road!
Birmingham Road Trip
Take a little road trip to Birmingham and visit some popular landmarks and eat some good food.
What kind of city builds a huge statue of a burly, bearded, bare-bottomed man to tower over its entire population? One that never forgets its roots. Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and forge, watches over all of Birmingham as a symbol of the city’s iron origins–and the ever-present spark of its indomitable spirit. Visit the Vulcan Park and Museum and learn all about Birmingham’s rich iron history.
Have you considered how exquisite a motorcycle is in its styling, mechanics, and capabilities? Their artistry is what Birmingham native George Barber saw when he began collecting motorcycles in 1988. Six years later, he established the Barber Museum as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Today, it is home to the largest collection of motorcycles in the world.
One of America’s last surviving peanut merchants, Alabama Peanut Co. roasts and boils peanuts in the heart of Alabama’s Magic City. Utilizing antique roasters that are original to the peanut business that has occupied the space on historic Morris Avenue since 1907, they barrel roast fresh peanuts daily and ship them out within hours of their perfect roast. Their roots are in the uniquely Southern art of boiling peanuts. They currently offer over fifteen flavors of boiled peanuts that are served up fresh daily.
For fresh Southeastern coastal oysters as well as sushi and more unusual items like alligator tacos, fried pork skins unique burgers, look no further than 5 Point Public House and Oyster Bar. The new South-side hot spot boasts an eclectic menu that is the brainchild of award-winning chef/owner George Reis. The foods aren’t the only attraction, with more than 30 craft beers, 20 beers on tap and cocktails offered to pair with the food. The restaurant also has something unique to Birmingham—eight keg-style wines on tap to be served with dinner or enjoyed in the pub-style atmosphere of the new gastropub. Decatur Road Trip
Decatur is a small town that has a lot going on! Check out the things we think make a great road trip in Decatur.
The Cook Museum of Natural Science, located in downtown Decatur, is a hands-on, immersive experience where guests can explore, interact with, and learn about nature.
Since 1983, the Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts has presented an array of outstanding cultural events, including award-winning artists, national tours of Broadway musicals, a wide variety of concerts from all musical genres, theatre for young audiences, performance training labs, and lecturer series. Local performing groups make their home on the Princess stage, presenting theatre for young audiences, choral concerts, orchestral performances, musicals and theatre. The Princess Theatre is located in Decatur’s Historic Downtown District and preserves one of the city’s most significant buildings. Our coffee bar is a friendly gathering place for students, locals, and visitors and serves as a small venue for community meetings and for intimate performances and for nurturing nascent artists.
There are many tales told of Simp McGhee, the infamous river boat captain of Decatur at the turn-of-the-century. His boisterous ways, unconventional operations and blustering manner made him a most picturesque legend of the Tennessee River. Nestled into a corner of historic Bank Street, just a stone’s throw from the Tennessee River, lies the heart of fine dining in Decatur. Simp McGhee’s exudes old-fashioned charm while offering fresh Cajun seafood and beef selections sure to please all palates. Enjoy live music and their rustic historical atmosphere while you dine or relax. You may also dine under the stars on their pet-friendly sidewalk café.
Founded in 1942, Tennessee Valley Pecan Company is a small town business that operates from the historic business district of Decatur, Alabama. Social or holiday occasions in the South have always called for the need to recognize and appreciate family, friends, co-workers, clients and business associates through gift-giving. Tennessee Valley Pecan Company helps fill that need by providing unique pecan gifts for holidays, social events and special occasions or just as a personal reward. Additionally, our pecans may also be bought as a staple for every Southern kitchen anywhere in the world. Huntsville Road Trip
Known as the Rocket City, Huntsville is a city that has taken off in the past few years! There’s art, music, culture, kid-friendly activities, craft breweries, and of course – rockets! Check out this out-of-the-world road trip.
Since opening its doors in 1970, nearly 16 million people have toured the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. The vast majority of those visitors have been from out of state or from foreign nations. Many of the more than 550,000 annual visitors are school students on field trips to their future. Dozens of interactive exhibits encourage visitor participation, prompting one official to note: “Here, everyone can be an astronaut for the day!” Home to Space Camp® and Aviation Challenge® Camp, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) is the most comprehensive U.S. manned spaceflight hardware museum in the world. Its large rocket and space hardware collection is valued in the tens of millions of dollars. From America’s first satellite, Explorer I, to next generation space vehicles like Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser, the museum showcases the past, present and future of human spaceflight. The USSRC is more than just artifacts! Experience the physics of astronaut training like never before in simulators like Space Shotand G-Force. Our Spacedome IMAX® Theater transports you to different worlds with amazing documentary films like Hubble, and live demonstrations in the Discovery Theater will have you seeing space science in a whole new light. There’s always something happening at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center!
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. On a visit to the Garden, you can stroll along the nature trails while admiring collections of Alabama’s native plants. If you visit with little ones, head to the Children’s Garden for play, pretend, and hands-on learning. From May through September, you won’t want to miss seeing over 1,000 brightly colored butterflies the nation’s largest open-air butterfly house. Finally, at the end of the day, you can find a moment of serenity in the cool shade of the trees, surrounded by the sounds of nature. The beautiful Guest Center features additional amenities to make your trip extra special, including recommendations for dining and a gift shop with a hand-picked selection of unique items for your own home and garden. With additional events, exhibits, and programs happening throughout the year, the Garden is a place of beauty, education, and celebration for all in every season.
Eat. Drink. Shop. Unwind! In the century-old building that was once all work and no play, the reimagined Stovehouse complex is now manufacturing leisure. The old factory is being transformed into a village of eclectic restaurants, gourmet cocktail & coffee bars, event & entertainment spaces, boutique shopping, offices, and more.
Bridge Street Town Centre is the premier mixed-use lifestyle center in Huntsville, Alabama. Featuring over 80 upscale shops and restaurants, the 232-room Westin Huntsville Hotel, a 150-room Element by Westin hotel, a 14-screen Cinemark movie theater, and a six-story office tower. The property also features a customer service center, carousel, fountains and lots of green open spaces.
Named the “Best Mexican Restaurant in Huntsville,” Rosie’s Cantina is a fun and festive atmosphere for casual family dining. Serving honest, handmade Tex-Mex favorites, as well as innovative house specialties, Rosie’s atmosphere, is filled with unique works of art, antiques from Old Mexico, and upbeat music. Relax by our beautiful fountain surrounded by Mexican architecture. A full-service bar features Rosie’s famous Margarita Menu, an extensive collection of Mexican beers, tequilas, select wines, and martinis. Our Mambo Taxi is legendary! Locally owned and operated since 1995, Rosie’s is a Huntsville tradition. Join us and experience “Flavors Fantasticos!”