Best BBQ in Huntsville and Decatur

Barbecue is always in season, and we’ve got some fantastic restaurants in the Huntsville and Decatur area that are known for their scrumptious barbecue. Check them out and let us know where your favorite place to get barbecue is!

Bark & Barrel

Bold Alabama Barbecue with a foodie twist. Bark & Barrel serves up house-smoked wings, turkey, BBQ, homemade chips, great sides, and yes, even smoked chocolate chip cookies. Did we mention they have specials like their coveted Brisket French Dip?! Follow on Facebook for daily specials. Or, just show up because whatever you order will be perfection!

Bark & Barrel at Stovehouse in Huntsville is a foodie destination.

Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q

Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ pork, beef, chicken, ribs, stuffed potatoes, and homemade pies are amazing, and they have some really good smoked wings, too! They have been the Memphis in May Grand Champion and state Champion in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee. There’s two locations to serve you in Decatur: 6th Avenue and Danville Road.

Big Bob Gibson’s has the best wings around!

Boarhog’s BBQ

Boarhog’s BBQ on Highway 72 in Huntsville is home to some memorable barbecue! They serve up “true-blue classic Southern barbeque with all the fixins!”

Photo by Boarhog’s Barbecue.

Greenbrier Restaurant

Known as “hushpuppy heaven,” Greenbrier Restaurant in Madison has delicious barbecue, fried catfish, and those delicious hushpuppies that you cannot get enough of.

Delicious hushpuppies at Greenbrier.

Moe’s Original Bar B Que in Decatur & Priceville

Moe’s Original Bar B Que serves up an award-winning, all things Southern, BBQ experience. Our fast casual eatery and catering company 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. Large party takeout orders and full service catering with delivery are also available. 

Moe’s Original Bar B Que nachos are delicious!

New Market BBQ

New Market BBQ is a locally-owned Mom & Pop restaurant established in 1995. They dry rub their meats with their signature BBQ rub and then wood-smoke them in old-fashioned brick pits with hickory and pecan wood.
Step back in time and enjoy a delicious meal on their screened-in porch or enjoy a picnic under the pavilion. Enjoy the flavors that made this BBQ destination a“Taste of Huntsville” Winner. Savor the flavor of the smoked mac ‘n cheese that made the “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die” list. Visit this weekend destination BBQ Joint and enjoy the famous homemade-from-scratch sides and desserts!

Visit New Market BBQ for delicious hickory and pecan smoked barbeque.

Favorite Places to Get Upscale Mexican Cuisine

You’ve probably heard people on social media saying, “I don’t know the meaning to happiness, but I’ve never been sad at a Mexican restaurant.” We totally agree. Check out these amazing restaurants to get some of the area’s best upscale Mexican cuisine.

Rosie’s Cantina

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 in an atmosphere filled with unique works of art, antiques from Old Mexico and upbeat music. Enjoy lunch or dinner indoors and out year round or relax fountain side beneath beautiful 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.

Buenavista Mexican Cantina

At Buenavista Mexican Cantina, their belief is that good food is finding that perfect balance between the way something looks and how it tastes. Their menus offer traditional Mexican fare like fajitas, burritos, quesadillas along with Buenavista specialties like Mexican Lasagna made with your choice of chicken or steak, and Cocktel De Camaron, which is Buenavista’s take on shrimp cocktail.

Josie’s Cafe

Josie’s is a café serving dishes originating in America, Italy, France and Spain. Adding flavor and style to Second Avenue.

5 Point Public House and Oyster Bar

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.

Baja California Cantina

With outstanding reviews and consistently high praise from customers, Baja California Cantina and Grill in Hoover should be on the top of your list for the best Tex-Mex cuisine, delicious drinks with your favorite spirits and impeccable service.

Margaronas Cantina

Visit Margaronas Cantina in Homewood, Alabama. Serving traditional and authentic Mexican dishes, Margaronas Cantina has quickly become a stand-out among locals. The modern atmosphere pays tribute to Mexico with a heightened level of comfort and sophistication. Enjoy dining inside or out on the covered patio. The full bar offers the finest tequilas and all of your other favorite spirits. The owners and staff will greet you at the door and ensure your experience is the very best in Birmingham.

Kid-Friendly Huntsville & Decatur

There’s a lot of fun to be had in the Huntsville and Decatur area for kids! Check out our list of cool attractions your kids are sure to love.

Burritt on the Mountain

Burritt on the Mountain — A Living Museum has been referred to as a “Jewel on the Mountain.” Start with Dr. William Henry Burritt’s eclectic mansion, add a historic park with restored 19th-century houses including barnyards and animals, and finally throw in the artistic side with concerts, plays and exhibits, and you have a delightful mixture of old and new for young and old!

In 1955, Dr. Burritt willed his mansion and surrounding 167 acres of land on Round-Top Mountain to the city of Huntsville (making it Huntsville’s first museum). Since that time, volunteers and community activists have brought original homes from the area to Burritt to be restored and utilized as an educational facility. Our interpreters are always busy demonstrating activities as one would see on a 19th-century farm. Blacksmithing, spinning, and cooking over an open hearth are just some of the skills employed in our historic park. In the Burritt Barnyard, visitors can get “up close and personal” with an animal that would have been used for work, wool, or even food for the farmers and their families.

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.

Huntsville Botanical Garden

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.

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 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!

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

5 September Events You Don’t Want to Miss

The weather is cooling down, and there are many fun events in Birmingham, Huntsville, and Decatur to help you welcome fall!

Sloss Furnace Fest

Furnace fest 2021 will be held at Sloss Furnace in Downtown Birmingham on September 24-26. You can buy tickets here: www.freshtix.com/events/furnacefest.

click for more information

Night Blooms at the Huntsville Botanical Garden

Night Blooms will lead you on a one-mile walking journey through the Garden in the evening. As you make your way through the Garden, you will discover vignettes of botanical lanterns integrated into the natural surroundings. Intricately designed and handmade by trained artisans, these lanterns bring plants and wildlife to life, reimagining the living things of the Garden as illuminated, technicolor, and larger than life. From poppies and orchids to turtles and spiders, Night Blooms will show you just how extraordinary a walk through the Garden can be. Through September 26.

click for more information

Peak Butterfly Season in the Purdy Butterfly House

The Purdy Butterfly House is a must-see in May through September! Peak Butterfly Season is the best time of year to visit the fluttering butterflies in the nation’s largest open-air butterfly house. This immersive habitat is home to over 1,000 brightly-colored native butterflies, as well as turtles, fish, and frogs. Come meet our winged friends while enjoying a stroll among the waterfalls, ponds, streams, and lush vegetation. The Purdy Butterfly House is open during regular Garden hours and is included with Garden admission. Through September 30.

click for more information

Drones: Is the Sky the Limit? at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Developed by subject experts from the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and produced by Imagine Exhibitions, Drones: Is The Sky The Limit? explores the modern phenomenon of drones, their uses throughout history and the exciting possibilities of the future role that drones will play in our society.

Over the last 75 years, drones have evolved from remote-controlled planes used for target practice into versatile and highly specialized aircraft. As these aircraft fill the skies, they raise concerns about airspace, privacy and ethics in modern warfare. But these concerns are eclipsed by excitement for their potential: someday drones will explore Mars, serve as pilotless flying taxis, and deliver packages and groceries to our front doors.

Drones: Is The Sky The Limit? features real drones, in-depth label paneling and rich audio-visual content. The exhibition also includes a drone racing video interactive and provides a birds-eye view of the aeronautics, engineering, science, technologies and innovations of one of the most intriguing topics dominating our current culture.

click for more information

Concerts by the River at Rhodes Ferry Park in Decatur

Concerts by the River will be September 13, 20, & 27 at Rhodes Ferry Park (Hwy 20 at Oak St) unless otherwise noted. All concerts are FREE and will begin at 6pm. There will be food trucks, so don’t forget to bring your chairs or blankets. Weather info, cancellations, or venue moves will be posted, or you can call (256) 341-4818.

click for more information

EXCURSIONSgo.com Sponsors Sidewalk Film Festival 2020! AUG 24-30! Tickets going fast!

All the info and links you need to experience the Festival!

Locating the Drive-In

The Grand River Drive-In address is 1451 Grand River Pkwy, Leeds, AL 35094.
• From I-20 traveling east or west, Take Exit 140.
• From I-65 or I-59: Take 459 to I-20 Atlanta, On 459, exit to I-20 Atlanta and take Exit 140.
• At Exit 140, turn left at the exit onto Hwy-78 and cross under the bridge to reach the entrance of the venue. 
• Turn right on Grand River Parkway and follow it until it dead ends, and the drive-in is on the right.

Click here for Google Directions


Festival Map

The Grand River Drive-In offers 4 drive-in screens, a concession stand and grill, an off-leash dog park for the furry friends, a playground for the kiddos, a mini-golf course, and yard games. There will be four traffic lanes to enter the venue, and you will be directed to your screen by our staff. 

Gates will open tentatively at 6:30 pm each day. If you purchase tickets to two screenings at different screens, once the first film ends you will be able to navigate your vehicle to the next screen. If you happen to purchase tickets to two films at the same screen, you don’t need to move your car – you can just stay where you are parked after the first screening.

Each screen has a different capacity, the smallest being 78 cars and the largest being 177 cars! The lots at the Grand River drive-in are staged so that any car of any size can park anywhere and can get a clear view of the screen. This means that parking your vehicle will be easier than it was if you attended any of our pop-up drive-ins at The Summit. We do ask that if you plan to leave a screening early to park at the back so as not to disrupt other patrons.


What to Bring

• Everyone should bring an open mind and an adventurous spirit!
• A mask or cloth that covers your nose and mouth. Masks will be required any time you are outside your vehicle and when interacting with Sidewalk staff or volunteers from inside your vehicle
• Since this is a drive-in festival, you may want to consider the following items: camp chairs (we have limited-edition Sidewalk chairs for sale!), blankets, comfortable shoes (much of the venue is not paved), and a debit/credit card (some points of sale will be cashless due to COVID-19).
Please don’t bring: Outside food or drink, Bad attitudes, Weapons of any kind, Drugs


Audio + Car Etiquette

The speed limit within the venue is 5 mph. Once you arrive, our volunteers will provide you with the radio frequency for your screen. If your radio does not work unless your car is running or you plan to sit outside of your vehicle, we suggest you consider bringing a portable FM radio. 

After parking, we ask that you ensure that your headlights are not on to create a better viewing experience for those around you. 


Food + Drink

Since you’re unable to bring in outside food and drinks, concessions will be handled by the Grand River Drive-In. Their snack shack offers everything from the classic popcorn, candy, and nachos to a grill with burgers and hotdogs! They also offer a full bar so grab a beer and a burger and enjoy the film! 

Click here to view the menu


Audience Choice Balloting

We are moving our audience ballot process to a digital format. You will have information on the pass you receive upon entering the festival to access the digital ballot for the screening you are attending. Simply submit your vote and follow up at the end of the festival to see if your favorites win!


Did we answer all of your questions? 

If not, reach out! Email us at tickets@sidewalkfest.com or call our box office line at 205-413-3794. 


Help us spread the word!

Sidewalk needs your help to get the word out about this year’s festival on social media! It helps even more if you can personalize your posts by talking about a film you are particularly excited to see, but really anything helps! Here are a few captions you can copy and paste to share on the platform of your choice and an image you can use:

FACEBOOK: I’m going to the #sidewalkdrivein this August 24-30! Join me and check out some new independent films and some beloved classics, all from your car! Check out the online schedule here: sidewalkfest.com/schedule

TWITTER: I’m going to @sidewalkfilm ‘s #sidewalkdrivein 8/24-30. Check out the online schedule here: sidewalkfest/com/schedule

INSTAGRAM:  @sidewalkfilm is hosting a drive-in film festival! Join me at the #sidewalkdrivein August 24-30. You can find the full schedule at sidewalkfest.com/schedule

Follow us on TwitterFacebook + InstagramSign Up For Our Newsletter

Experience the Flavors of Italy in Decatur, Alabama

Francesco’s Italian Restaurant serves up authentic Italian dishes with southern charm and flare.

Known locally as “Home of the Pinwheels,” Francesco’s Italian Restaurant boasts an extensive menu filled with homemade, authentic Italian recipes. Chef Roy Frias has showed a passion to achieve the authentic Italian flavor in every dish. His sister, Lucy Frias, is the friendly face you will encounter when visiting this family-owned restaurant.

Their food has been popular to regular customers from all of North Alabama surrounding areas, like Cullman, Huntsville, Madison, and of course locals from Decatur.


They have been awarded the Certificate of Excellence by Tripadvisor 2014-2016.

A Few Items from the Menu

Combo Appetizer (mozzarella sticks, fried mushrooms and fried calamari)
Homemade Pasta Dishes: Ziti Campagnoli, Fettuccine Alla Primavera, Tortellini Bolognese
Steaks and Seafood: Ribeye Marsala, Steak Italiano, Shrimp Ravioli, Salmon Picata, Linguine with Clams (red or white wine sauce), Shrimp Diavolo
Desserts: Tiramisu, Cannoli, Italian Lemon Cream Cake

And so much more!

Open for Lunch and Dinner:
Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 10 pm
Sundays 10 am – 9 pm; Closed Mondays

Francesco’s Italian Restaurant
2613 Hwy 31 South, AL 35603
256.584.6773
francescositalianrestaurant.org

See their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

#excursionsgo #italianfood #visitnorthal #visitdecatural

Spring Arrives and This Huntsville Patio Heats Up

Spring arrives and the patio at Vintage Cigar Lounge heats up in Huntsville, Alabama.

Vintage Cigar Lounge is Bridge Street Town Centre’s hottest spot!

This Bridge Street Town Centre hot spot has been a local favorite since 2008. With over 2,500 different cigars to choose from, Vintage Cigar Lounge boasts a state-of-the-art walk-in humidor with knowledgeable Tobacconists on site to guide customers to new and exciting heights. With an immense collection of pipes and tobacco accessories to choose from, this is also a one stop shop for the tobacco lover in your life. Whether you are just stopping in to purchase cigars or planning to stay for a drink, there is a place for you at Vintage Cigar Lounge.

Find Your Favorite Cigars

Choose your favorite cigars from the climate-controlled humidor.
Choose your favorite cigars from the walk-in climate-controlled humidor.

Relax in the Private Lounge

The private two-story lounge provides comfortable seating and televisions.
The private two-story lounge provides comfortable seating and televisions.

One of the distinguishing features of this establishment is a private two-story lounge with televisions and plush seating throughout. This is where members enjoy a full service experience which can be accessed by guests for a modest fee. Smoking is far from the only indulgence to be had here. The bar’s award-winning cocktail program is the finest display of mixology Huntsville has to offer. This is also the place to be for any whiskey connoisseur, with over 150 different bourbons, scotch and rare finds to select from.

Enjoy Ample Seating Indoors or Out

The bar's award winning cocktail program is the finest display of mixology Huntsville has to offer.
The bar’s award winning cocktail program is the finest display of mixology Huntsville has to offer.

The outdoor seating is a comfortable place to gather and people-watch. With its’ well-executed concept, passionate staff and world-class offerings, this brilliantly appointed business is a true gem of both the bar and retail scenes of Huntsville. Open seven days a week, Vintage Cigar Lounge is ready to host you for any occasion whether it be a date night, business meeting or private event. Come indulge in the best!

www.vintage-cigarlounge.com

Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest promotions.

#excursionsgo #indulgeinthebest #littlehavanainalabama #visitnorthal #visithuntsvilleal #ihearthsv

8 Best Places to Ring in the New Year in North Alabama

12/31
Mars Masquerade
U.S. Space & Rocket Center – Huntsville
8:00pm
More Information

12/29, 12/30, & 12/31
New Year’s Weekend

The Bottle – Huntsville 
5:00pm
More Information

12/31
Celebration Holiday Surf and Turf Specials

Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Huntsville
More Information

12/31
The Retrovales Live

Humphrey’s Bar and Grill – Huntsville
6:00pm
More Information

12/31
New Year’s Eve At Below The Radar

Below the Radar Brewing Company – Huntsville
9:00pm – 12:00am
More Information

12/31
New Year’s Eve

Nick’s Ristorante – Huntsville
Seating times: 6 pm or 8:30 pm
More Information

12/31
Glow Up at Skating in the Park NYE!
Downtown Huntsville
9:30pm
More Information

12/31
Josie’s Inaugural New Year’s Eve Party
Josie’s – Downtown Decatur
9:00pm – 1:00am
More Information