Charlie Foster’s

Before you even walk through the door, you know you’re going to be transported to a wonderful place. The smell of the coffee and the kind people working at Charlie Foster’s enchants you.

Charlie Foster’s is a unique coffee shop, whose mission is to raise awareness around hiring people with special needs and gifts. They strive to be a model on inclusiveness.

They also brew a very fine cup of coffee! You can choose from your favorites: latte, cappucino, Americano, mocha, espresso, or cold brew. If tea is your thing, they offer different tea drinks, including Piper & Leaf Tea.

As for food, you’ll leave feeling full and ready for the day! Grab a burrito, bagel, avocado toast, flat bread, muffins, bowls, and so much more.

All of what you’ll experience at Charlie Foster’s leaves you feeling a little bit better about the world.

 Located at Stovehouse – 3414 Governors Drive Southwest, Huntsville, Alabama.

Top 5 Places to Visit Regardless of the Weather

Don’t let a rainy day or a cold weather day keep you stuck inside all day! We have put together a list of places to visit that are perfect on those days when the weather is less than desirable! Let us know which one is your favorite.

Carnegie Visual Arts Center

The Carnegie Visual Arts Center in Decatur, Alabama opened in 2003 and has provided educational and cultural opportunities to the community. The Carnegie was built in 1904 as the Carnegie Library of Decatur and was one of the 2,509 libraries built by millionaire philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, so the Carnegie has a rich, unique history.

Not only does the Carnegie have beautiful collections and exhibits that are on display throughout the center, but they also have numerous programs for adults and kids to encourage and inspire through the arts.

Visit the Carnegie to see beautiful, unique, and inspiring art. Their exhibits change periodically, so it’s a new place every time you visit.

Cook Museum of Natural Science

If you love learning about plants, animals, space, and so much more, you need to visit the Cook Museum of Natural Science in downtown Decatur! This state of the art museum was opened in 2019, and it has quickly become a favorite attraction in the state and beyond.

One of the most popular features of the Museum is the 15,000 gallon aquarium that is home to several different types of fish. There’s also a Coral Tank with beautiful corals, fish, and some small crabs. You’ll be mesmerized by the Jelly Fish Tank, too.

In addition to the fish in the aquarium, there are baby alligators, a variety of turtles, snakes, a chuckwalla, an endangered hellbender, and an eastern collared lizard on display. You can go inside a replica cave just like the ones you’ll find in north Alabama and see stalactites, stalagmites, bats, and other things you’re likely to find in a cave. There are also exhibits dedicated to space, weather, rocks & minerals, and a Holo Sands Table that is incredibly popular with kids and adults!

Another cool exhibit at the Museum is the “Big Tree” that is modeled after Alabama’s State Champion tulip poplar tree of the same name that you can find in the Sipsey Wilderness of Bankhead National Forest. You can even climb up in the tree to the second floor. There’s another replica tree there that has a cool bridge to cross to get the treehouse!

After your trip to the Museum, visit the awesome Museum Store for the perfect souvenir. The Museum Store is also a great place to go pick up a gift for friends and family or for yourself! And don’t forget to visit Nature’s Table for lunch, a delicious smoothie, or an acai bowl. The best part is that you don’t have to have a ticket to the Museum to enjoy the Museum Store or Nature’s Table; you can visit any time you want!

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!

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

Motorcycle Heaven exists, and you’ll find it in Birmingham, Alabama. Upon entering the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, you’ll understand why motorcycles and cars are considered art. The stunning five-story Barber Museum is home to the largest collection of motorcycles in the world according to Guinness World Records. With more than 1,600 motorcycles, 59 vintage Lotus cars, eclectic art, and a 2.38-mile racetrack, the Barber Museum is truly a motorsports paradise.

Located at the 880-acre Barber Motorsports Park, the 228,650-square-foot Barber Museum has motorcycle and car exhibits on each of its five floors. Floor-to-ceiling windows surround the building, which is anchored by an active restoration area that is visible to guests from each level.

The museum’s motorcycle collection spans more than a century’s worth of production, offering interesting views into the evolution of engineering. You’ll see examples of some of the oldest motorcycles in the world, such as a model of an 1867 Roper Steam Velocipede, as well as the museum’s oldest running motorcycle, the 1902 Steffey.

There are Harley-Davidsons, Hondas and Indians on exhibit alongside less familiar makes, like Cannondale, Jawa and Laverda. The museum has rare motorcycles like the 1996 Britten V1000, which is one of only 10 ever built. There is an exhibit of motorcycles built by Eric Buell, a collection of scooters and a dirt bike exhibit that will make you feel moved. With such a diverse collection, you may see an example of the very first motorcycle you ever rode.

Read more: excursionsgo.com/blog/2022/01/13/motorcycle-heaven. (by: Kelly Stewart)

Vulcan Park & Museum

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.

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

Best Places to Ring in the New Year in North Alabama

2022 is coming to a close, and we’ve got the best places to ring in 2023 in north Alabama! Happy New Year!

Hopper’s Bar & Grill

Don’t miss the exciting New Year’s Eve party at Hopper’s Bar & Grill in the Holiday Inn in Huntsville! There will be three bands, a DJ, and a dinner buffet to ring in the new year.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Huntsville

Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Huntsville invites you to make plans to join them at their new “Home of Serious Steaks” at Twickenham Place. After 10 years of distinctive Huntsville dining, they’ve moved to a brand new location and designed a restaurant space where you can enjoy Happy Hour daily from 4-6:30 pm in our bar and lounge and dinner nightly from 5 PM on in our dining rooms. New Year’s Eve – 3-11 pm.

Photo: Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Stella’s Elixir Lounge

Stella’s Roaring Rooftop NYE Bash is Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022 | 6 pm – 2 am with live music with In the Mood Jazz Band: 6 – 9 pm and DJs Caleb and Dustin: 9 pm until 2 am.

Stovehouse

Stovehouse’s annual NYE party will be in The Electric Belle and The Royal on Saturday, December 31 from 9 pm – 1 am and will feature DJ Steve Metz of Metropolitan Disc Jockey Service! 21+ only. For more info/to reserve your tickets: https://stove.house/nye.

SideBar

Don’t miss SideBar’s New Year’s Eve Bar Crawl! Click SideBar for more info and passes!

Oasis Bar

Spend New Year’s Eve at Oasis Bar watching the CFP games! Opens at 2pm on Saturday, December 31.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse – Birmingham

Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Birmingham will be open from 3 pm-11 pm in order to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style! Ruth’s Chris is situated in the lobby of the Embassy Suites Hotel, conveniently located just off the Red Mountain Expressway between the Homewood and Mountain Brook neighborhoods.

Photo: Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Mom’s Basement 

Spend New Year’s Eve at Mom’s Basement in Avondale! Open from 7 pm-2 am.

‘Tis the Season to be Merry!

‘Tis the season for Christmas lights and fun! Nothing can get you in the Christmas spirit like checking out beautiful Christmas lights and attending fun holiday events! Check out these fun places and let us know what your favorite is.

Cruising with Santa – Rocket City Rover

Join Santa for a grown up Christmas crawl with Rocket City Rover in downtown Huntsville. Everyone becomes Santa’s bad little elves in December. Christmas trivia games, naughty Holiday jokes and of course “Christmas Spirits” to keep you in a festive mood.

FAMILY FRIENDLY RIDE on Sundays in December
Santa will put away his bad Santa alter-ego for this family friendly ride. He’ll be back to his jolly old elf self to delight children and their adults with carols, stops for sweet treats, Tinsel Trail photo ops, and kid’s trivia with prizes. No alcohol is allowed on this ride.

Galaxy of Lights at Huntsville Botanical Garden

The Huntsville Botanical Garden is a magical place during the holidays! Drive the Garden and see thousands of bright lights going on now through January 1.

Tinsel Trail

The Tinsel Trail is a display of live Christmas trees in Downtown Huntsville’s Big Spring Park. Over 300 trees will decorate the park for the holiday season. Join us in this festive Downtown tradition going on now through January 2!

Skating in the Park at Huntsville Museum of Art

Did you know you can ice skate in Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville? Located behind the Huntsville Museum of Art, you can lace up a pair of ice skates and glide across the ice.

Photo courtesy of Skating in the Park.

Vulcan Park’s Magical Nights

Vulcan Park and Museum is transforming the park into a magical holiday experience. Go enjoy the holiday light experience along with food trucks, music, Santa, and so much more.

Bridge Street Town Centre

Ready to shop til you drop? 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.

Bridge Street offers a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Among them are Altar’d State, Anthropologie, Apple, Bar Louie, Barnes and Noble, Bath and Body Works, Bed Bath and Beyond, Belk, Cantina Laredo, Connors Steak & Seafood, DSW Shoes, Francesca’s, Gap, H&M, Mountain High Outfitters, P.F. Chang’s, Sephora, The Melting Pot, Victoria’s Secret, Cheesecake Factory, and other boutique shops.

There is also a lot of fun things for kids to do at Bridge Street! Take a ride on the carousel, ride the miniature train, or play in the splash pad in the summer time.

The center is located in Cummings Research Park at the intersection of Old Madison Pike, Interstate 565, and Research Park Boulevard (Alabama State Route 255).

Touronimo

Do you love doing fun things but don’t like planning the fun things? Then Touronimo is your go-to! Touronimo is a Huntsville-based company that curates private tours and exclusive experiences provided by and supporting local small businesses all over the Huntsville area.

Photo courtesy of Touronimo.

Touronimo has tours like the downtown Huntsville Mural Tour that guides you along to find Huntsville’s most vibrant and meaningful murals.

If you have a love for cooking, but don’t know where to begin or if you want to learn a new technique, Touronimo hosts private pasta-making classes.

Want to try Huntsville’s tastiest cocktails? There’s an Underground Cocktail Trail that leads to all the best concoctions in the Rocket City.

Let Touronimo take you on a Civil Rights History Walking Tour of downtown Huntsville. An experienced guide will tell you and your group about the important history that shaped the city and the state.

You can go on day trips to Arrington Vineyards in Tennessee, a helicopter tour, make a candle out of a Huntsville craft beer can, and so much more, so let Touronimo plan your next excursion.

Rocket City Rover

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

The Rocket City Rover is a new way to get around and have a blast in downtown Huntsville! The Rocket City Rover is a 14-person pedal-powered and motor-assisted party trolley, and it is the most unique and enjoyable way to explore downtown and Westside Huntsville.

This is perfect for you and your friends – and even make new friends – to visit Huntsville’s pubs, microbreweries, restaurants, attractions, historic sites, and more. You can design your own out-of-this-world experience or let them handle the details! 

The Rocket City Rover also hosts family-friendly tours that are perfect for kids. Follow them on social media for special events throughout the year. Sunday – Monday; Noon – 10 p.m.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Huntsville invites you to make plans to join them at their new “Home of Serious Steaks” at Twickenham Place. After 10 years of distinctive Huntsville dining, they’ve moved to a brand new location and designed a restaurant space where you can enjoy Happy Hour daily from 4-6:30pm in their bar and lounge and dinner nightly from 5pm on in their dining rooms.

They’ve also created a stunning room for your next private party for up to 50 guests – be it a business event or a more personal social celebration. AND – the entire restaurant is available for meetings and private events any hour of the day. Tell them EXCURSIONS sent you!

In addition to the food being delicious, Ruth’s Chris has a drink menu that complements every dish. They have an extensive beer list, award-winning wine list, and a unique cocktail list.

Photos courtesy of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

EXCURSIONS Hotel Guestbook 10th Anniversary Edition – Check it out before it’s gone!

Our 10th Anniversary edition hit hotel rooms in Madison and Morgan Counties in December of 2021 and it’s been one of our most popular publications to date!

EXCURSIONS is chocked full of local information, places to visit, restaurants, night spots, local attractions, and shopping venues. This is the first in-depth and detailed introduction hotel guests get when they check into their rooms. Placed annually and maintained in more than 5,700 local hotel rooms. EXCURSIONS is a trusted and proven resource for Huntsville, Madison and Decatur travelers.

Enjoy the read and get out and explore Huntsville, Madison and Decatur, Alabama!

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.