Sweet On You

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

If you are like us, we are always craving a little something sweet. Whether it is chocolate, homemade candy, pie, or cake that is your favorite, we have a list of some of the best places to grab that sweet treat in Decatur!

Tennessee Valley Pecan Company

Tennessee Valley Pecan Company on historic Bank Street in downtown Decatur has delicious pecans, hands down, but they also offer those pecans as delectable treats covered in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, key lime pie, cinnamon sugar, and more. It’s really hard to choose a favorite, so they offer a variety tin with all the flavors! TVP also bakes the best pecan pies that are the perfect ending to any meal.

Morgan Price Candy Company

We had you at candy, right? Morgan Price Candy Company has been a fixture in Decatur for more than 20 years. What started out as a mail-order candy business in Mary Morgan’s home, quickly became a thriving store-front in 1991. You’ll find the best pralines, toffee, peanut brittle, cheese straws, and other delicious treats at Morgan Price.

Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que

Ok, so you know that Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que has delicious barbeque, but they also serve up an amazing banana pudding to finish off your meal. So the next time you’re at Moe’s make sure to save room for the banana pudding!

Simp McGhee’s

After you’ve dined at historic Simp McGhee’s on Bank Street and had you fill of their delicious Cajun recipes or a thick, juicy steak, their derby pie is the perfect sweet complement to your meal.

Josie’s Cafe

Since Josie’s Cafe specializes in Mediterranean and Italian inspired foods, you know their tiramisu is to die for! Pair it with a bold cup of coffee, and you’ve got yourself the perfect after dinner treat.

Mellow Mushroom

Think Mellow Mushroom just specializes in pizza? Think again. You’ll find several sweet treats on the menu at Mellow to cap off your meal, like Mary Jane’s Triple Chocolate Brownie, Time For A Sundae, and their Gourmet Cookie. They can even top it with all-natural vanilla bean ice cream, dark chocolate truffle sauce, house-made fresh whipped cream and an all-natural bing cherry.

Big Bob Gibson’s Bar B Q

Sure Big Bob Gibson’s is known for their award-winning barbecue, but they are equally known for their amazing homemade pies. Their pies are so sought-after that if you don’t get your order in early enough around a holiday, you’ll miss out! Their specialities are chocolate, peanut butter, lemon, pecan, and coconut. So, so, so good!

Photo courtesy of Big Bob Gibson’s.

Best Places to Hear Live Music in Huntsville

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

Huntsville has become a music mecca over the past few years! With the Von Braun Center, Mars Music Hall, The Orion Amphitheatre, Stovehouse, and many other cool venues in the Rocket City, you can take in live music just about any day of the week. Check out these favorite places to catch live music.

Von Braun Center

The Von Braun Center in downtown Huntsville is the host to a wide variety of musical acts, comedians, and other live entertainment. You can see some big names at the VBC! The VBC also has the Mark C. Smith Hall and Mars Music Hall that are smaller venues that make for a more intimate setting for artists and fans. The VBC also opened a new restaurant – Rhythm on Monroe – that features a roof-top bar that looks out onto downtown Huntsville.

Mars Music Hall

Mars Music Hall at the Von Braun Center opened in 2018 and has changed the landscape of music in downtown Huntsville. With the open-floor plan and balcony at Mars Music Hall, you get great acoustics and a more intimate concert and performance setting.

Stovehouse

Stovehouse is in a 100 year-old factory that has been transformed into a village of eclectic restaurants, gourmet cocktail & coffee bars, event & entertainment spaces, boutique shopping, offices, and more. You can hear live music all through the week at this eclectic new venue located on Governors Drive.

Photo courtesy of Stovehouse.

Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment

Concerts on the Dock at Lowe Mill are great places to hear local bands! You’ll hear an eclectic mix of music that includes: rock ‘n roll, folk/Americana, jazz, funk/r&b, and quirky cabaret pop. Check out their Fall Concert Series! Concerts are free, but there is a $5 parking fee.

The Orion Amphitheater

The Orion Amphitheater is a state-of-the-art, open air venue that opened in May 2022. Seating 8,000, this Greek-inspired amphitheater provides a more intimate performance than a larger, closed-in arena. So far, The Orion has hosted the likes of Dave Matthews Band, The Black Crowes, Chris Stapleton, and has many more world-famous acts on tap!

Downtown Huntsville

Whether you’re looking to grab a drink and chill to some tunes or dance into the night, you can find just the right spot in Downtown Huntsville. Live bands are a mainstay at many bars and clubs, including The Martin Bar & Bistro, Jefferson St. Pub, and Sidetracks where you can also grab a bite to eat. Or, you can rock out at such local favorites as Stella’s Elixir Lounge, Sammy T’s Music Hall and Whiskey Bottom Saloon.

Outdoor Dining in Decatur

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

Ah, the weather is cooling down to below scorching hot, so eating outdoors is about to become pleasant again! Check out these fun and delicious restaurants and make it a date to dine al fresco.

Simp McGhee’s

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.

Josie’s

Josie’s is a café that serves dishes originating in America, Italy, France and Spain. This Mediterranean restaurant adds flavor and style to Second Avenue in downtown Decatur.

Moe’s Original Bar B Que

Moe’s Original Bar B Que serves up an award-winning, all things Southern, BBQ experience. Their fast casual eatery offers Moe’s award-winning Bama-style BBQ offerings including pulled pork, ribs, wings, chicken and turkey in addition to catfish and a shrimp Moe-Boy sandwich, not to mention an array of Southern Sides prepared fresh daily. The full premium bar serves frozen concoctions including the famous Bushwacker and Moonshine Margarita, Southern-style cocktails, wine and plenty of craft beers on tap and will even stay open until midnight on Thursdays through Saturdays. Located in the Downtown Decatur Arts & Entertainment District next to the historic Princess Theatre, there is occasional live music on the weekends that ranges from Southern rock and blues with an emphasis on the Muscle Shoals and North Alabama music scene.

Mellow Mushroom

Who doesn’t love to eat a good pizza outdoors?! Mellow Mushroom on Second Avenue in downtown Decatur has a large, covered patio that’s perfect hanging out with friends over pizza and drinks. Mellow Mushroom is the originator of hand tossed, stone baked classic southern pizza, and they use the freshest ingredients in their pizzas. You’ll also find lots of beers on tap as well as hand-crafted drinks daily.

Nature’s Table at the Cook Museum

Nature’s Table at the Cook Museum is a great place to grab lunch! There’s a large, covered and uncovered patio area that makes lunch fun and enjoyable. Sit around on the couches or grab a table! Nature’s Table uses the freshest ingredients, so it’s a great option if you’re into nutrition and watching those calories. You can choose from wraps, sandwiches, protein bowls, and salads that are refreshing and filling. Their smoothies and acai bowls are a dream! Nature’s Table also has a kid’s menu that’s perfect for the littles, and the best part is that you don’t have to have a ticket to the Museum to enjoy the restaurant.

Alabama Center for the Arts

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

The Alabama Center for the Arts is a new state of the art facility that has added a lot of art and culture to downtown Decatur! Located just across the street on Second Avenue from the Princess Theatre, this 44,000-square-foot facility is the region’s premiere arts center and degree program.

It represents an investment of more than $8 million dollars from Athens State University, Calhoun Community College, the City of Decatur and Morgan County.

College courses taught at the facility will lead to Associate of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees with class offerings that include art appreciation, painting, drawing, computer graphics, sculpture, ceramics, and pottery as well as a teaching major, leading to licensure for art instructors.

Non-credit, community education courses are available to the public. Classes are programmed to reflect the interests of local citizens. Instructors include local talent as well as renowned masters.

U.S. Space & Rocket Center

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

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 Shot and 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!

Notable Artifacts

National Historic Landmark Saturn V Moon Rocket
Pathfinder – the world’s only full-stack space shuttle display
Apollo 16 Command Module
Skylab Orbital Workshop
Apollo 12 Moon Rock

Kathleen’s Fine Art and Interiors

Your source for locally-curated fine art, home accessories and other treasures

Kathleen’s Fine Art & Interiors is one of the most unique spaces in Decatur, featuring original art and home accessories that complement the art. Visitors can find anything they are looking for and often find things they weren’t looking for but were meant to have.

“Art speaks to the right person,” Kathy Clay, owner of Kathleen’s Fine Art andInteriors, said. Because of that, visitors never know what will speak to them as they peruse Kathy’s collection.

For the last 1l years, Kathy has served Decatur as a little-known treasure, deal-ing in one-of-a-kind art and unique accessories for the home. Kathleen’s has also become known for its special occasion flowers and decorations that are unlike anything most florists could put together. Flower art is just another creative outlet for Kathy and her partner, who enjoy helping buyers connect with the artists that speak to them.

“Art speaks to the right person”

There is no one type, style or genre of art in the shop, which boasts 3,000 square feet of space filled with art from a variety of artists who create pieces as different as they all are. Each artist has their own story about how they create, what inspires them and how they view their work and Kathy knows each story as well as her own.

“I love my artists, and I love to sell for them,” Kathy said. “I always tell them it is so important to do what you love when they are looking at what type of art to create. The right person will find the painting that’s meant for them.”

  • KATHLEEN’S FINE ART& INTERIORS
  • 211 2nd Avenue SE, Suite B, Decatur, Alabama 35601
  • 256.355.7616
  • Facebook & Instagram: @kathleensinteriors

Huntsville Botanical Garden

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

Spring, summer, fall, or winter – the Garden is an oasis of natural beauty in every season!

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.

ABHI Eatery + Bar

Located in Mountain Brook Village just minutes south of downtown Birmingham, ABHI Eatery + Bar is a locally-owned Asian Fusion restaurant created by Chef Abhi Sainju and his wife, Ainah. Chef Abhi gained experience in other locally-owned restaurants, honing his skills, and spending years developing the menu for ABHI which opened in February 2017.

photo by Brent Boyd

The food is inspired by Abhi’s upbringing in Nepal and his travels throughout the world exploring different techniques and flavors. Abhi first made his mark in Birmingham creating sushi with the freshest and most inventive ingredients available. His reputation as a perfectionist and inventiveness created a near-cult following of locals and visitors, alike.

photo by Brent Boyd

The menu at ABHI ranges from shareables like Momos (Abhi’s house-made dumplings—a house signature dish), beer battered eggplant, Kathmandu Fried Chicken (KFC) Lollipops, and sushi to noodle, ramen and curry bowls. The sheer number of bowls to choose from on the menu is mind-blowing and you will need to visit over and over again to try them all.

photo by Brent Boyd

The bar isn’t anything to overlook either. An award-winning bartender is constantly preparing unique concoctions to pair with various items on the menu. Craftily combining fresh fruit juices, nuts and spices to create the base for cocktails that are only available at ABHI.

photo by Brent Boyd

Chef Abhi’s eye for perfection, color and balance transcends the kitchen to the modern yet warm décor of the dining room and bar. Black cloth-covered tables are punctuated by bright orange napkins and warmly lit by candles. The marble-topped wooden bar is stocked with the highest quality spirits from all over the world. Visit ABHI today.

  • Business Hours:
  • Monday – 5:00 – 8:30 PM
  • Tuesday – 5:00 – 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday – 5:00 – 8:30 PM
  • Thursday – 5:00 – 8:30 PM
  • Friday – 5:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Saturday – 5:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Sunday – 5:00 – 8:30 PM

Josie’s Cafe

Born from Love of Travel, Rock ‘n Roll, Good Food, Fine Wines, and Great People

John Wheat traveled the world as an audio and video expert for decades – including a trip to Turino, Italy for the Olympics in 2006. It was there that John found his love for wines and Mediterranean food. For years, that meant seeking out new or interesting food options on his travels.

Then, in 2018, John saw the opportunity to bring some of his favorite foods home when a restaurant space that had housed other restaurants went up for sale. After adding his own flair to the space, John opened Josie’s as a Mediterranean restaurant with live music on weekends and a unique menu. The name is as uniquely chosen as the decor, with John’s wife, Christy, suggesting it after she heard the Steely Dans’ song “Josie” on the radio. “I looked it up and found that it was a French name that meant “May Jehovah increase” or, in other words, “an addition to your family.”

Since Christy already owned Decatur’s legendary restaurant, Simp McGhee’s, the new restaurant would be an addition to the family for the couple. The name is also variation of the female version of John. So Josie’s was born.

An instant favorite in the city, Josie’s is the trendy little sister to Simp’s, with dinner crowds from the restaurant often joining Josie’s regulars for a nightcap. Josie’s has recently revamped the menu, with the help of a new chef. Original menu favorites like the French onion soup and “Josie’s Pasta” (a penne pasta with veggies in a garlic cream sauce and shrimp or chicken added will remain on the menu, along with the Blanco pizza and Chicken Carbonara pizza with garlic cream sauce that have become favorites and the herb roasted salmon with orzo.

Open from early afternoon to late in the evening (and sometimes until early in the morning) Josie’s is a must-visit. The Sunday brunch is also a delicious treat.

“I used to be the guy from out of town who went into the restaurants. Now, I’m the guy who owns the restaurant and people from out of town come into my place,” John said with a laugh. 

  • JOSIE’S CAFE
  • 109 2nd Avenue NE, Decatur, AL 35601
  • 256.822.2229
  • @josies_downtown

8 Ways to Beat the Heat this Summer

Alabama Splash Adventure

Water slides, wave pool, lazy river, kid’s area…there’s so much fun to have at Alabama Splash Adventure this summer! Grab the kids and plan to spend the day beating the summer heat.

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

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 Vintage Motorsports Museum as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Today, it is home to the largest collection of motorcycles in the world.

Cook Museum of Natural Science

The Cook Museum of Natural Science, located in downtown Decatur, Alabama, is a hands-on, immersive experience where guests can explore, interact with, and learn about nature.

High Point Climbing

High Point Climbing and Fitness in Birmingham is located in the completely renovated Next Fitness facility on Highway 280. High Point Birmingham brings world class climbing to Alabama with 25,000 square feet of indoor climbing surface featuring up to 52+ feet of climbing. The facility is now completely open with the Kid Zone, Bouldering, Weight, Aerobic, Yoga Room, and Route Area! Climbing Clubs and Team can be joined at anytime.  Yoga is now offered five nights a week and is included with any Membership or Day Pass.Come have fun and get fit at High Point!

McWane Science Center

Fun and learning never end at McWane Science Center, a nonprofit, hands-on museum and IMAX® Dome Theater. Four floors of interactive exhibits celebrate science and wonder — from an amazing collection of dinosaurs to innovative environmental showcases, imaginative early childhood playgrounds, and an awe-inspiring aquarium. The energy and excitement of discovery spring to life through an extensive lineup of science demonstrations performed daily by talented educators. The adventure intensifies in the IMAX® Dome Theater, where wide-eyed visitors experience the sights and sounds of breathtaking films on a 5-story-tall screen surrounded by 3 tons of high-intensity speakers.

Point Mallard Park

The Point Mallard Waterpark is home to America’s First Wave Pool and so much more! There’s also Point Mallard Golf Course, Point Mallard Ice Complex, Point Mallard Camp Ground, and Strike Zone Batting Cages.

U.S. Space & Rocket Center

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 Shot and 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!

See an actual moon rock at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

Vulcan Park & Museum

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 at the Vulcan Park & Museum.

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