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.

Visit North Alabama

North Alabama is a beautiful place with so many exciting things to do, and Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association is an organization whose mission is to promote the region to everyone from locals to international visitors. AMLA, known on social media as Visit North Alabama, has created many trails to help visitors find their favorite thing (or things) to do!

North Alabama Waterfall Trail

North Alabama is called the “land of a thousand waterfalls,” and when you visit, you’ll know why. Because of the Tennessee River and its tributaries, waterfalls can be found all over the region, and Bankhead National Forest is home to the majority of these majestic falls throughout the forest. The Singin’ River Trio of waterfalls in the Shoals area can be found nestled deep in Cane Creek Canyon, Spring Park, and at TVA’s Wilson Dam. On the northeast side of the region, you’ll find two of the most visited waterfalls in our region: DeSoto Falls and Little River Falls. Both of these waterfalls are quite breathtaking when they’re at full flow. Noccalula Falls in Gadsden is gorgeous and steeped in rich Native American history. There’s also a trail you can hike that takes you behind this iconic waterfall.

North Alabama Craft Beer Trail

Go on a spirited adventure to visit the craft breweries in north Alabama! Craft breweries began popping up all over several years ago, and north Alabama is home to many award-winning family owned and operated breweries that are perfecting their craft. From Florence to Gadsden, these Alabama makers offer dozens of beers and wines unique to north Alabama. When you download or request a hard copy of the Craft Beer Trail and Wine Trail brochures and complete the passport in each, you’ll receive a free gift from AMLA. 

North Alabama Wine Trail

When you think Alabama, chances are wine isn’t the first thing to come to mind, but North Alabama is home to a wide variety of wineries. North Alabama’s wineries are close enough to each other that you can visit several in a day and experience them all over a long weekend. They include Jules J. Berta in Albertville, Wills Creek Vineyards in Attalla, Maraella Winery in Hokes Bluff, White Oak Vineyards in Anniston, Fruithurst Winery in Fruithurst, and High Country Cellars in Heflin.

Every vineyard hosts wine tastings and has bottles available for purchase. Whether you’re packing a picnic and spending the day with that special someone, kicking back with good friends and even better wine, or developing your palate to impress your friends back home with new wine knowledge, there’s a world of adventure around every vine in North Alabama.

North Alabama Mural Trail

Discover North Alabama’s heritage, beauty, and love of the arts through more than 125 murals across 16 counties. Read about the artist and stories behind the murals and be sure to keep your cameras ready as every mural boasts a completely unique design and creative vision. Be sure to also tag #NorthALMurals in your selfies and pictures! Plus if you check-in at 25 sites, AMLA will send you a prize for participating.

North Alabama Agriculture Trail

Agriculture is so important to the north Alabama region, and AMLA celebrates that rich agricultural heritage that has sustained and will sustain us all for generations. The Agriculture Adventures Trail is a new trail that highlights the businesses, farms, or organizations that has an agriculturally-related product for sale or is an educational, entertainment, historical, cultural, or recreational activity conducted on a farm that allows or invites members of the general public to observe, participate in, or enjoy that activity. 

So if fun is what you’re looking for, you’ll find it all over north Alabama…and AMLA can help you!

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.

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.

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!

There are also exhibits dedicated to space, weather, rocks & minerals, and a Holo Sands Table that is incredibly popular with kids and adults!

The Museum also has fun and educational homeschool classes, events, programs, and camps that kids love to attend to learn more about natural science.

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!

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.

Carnegie Visual Arts Center

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

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.

One fundraiser the Carnegie has each year is the Carnegie Carnival that takes place during the Mardi Gras season. They have several events leading up the the big event – the Mardi Gras parade along Second Avenue! You’ll see elaborate floats and get lots of beads.

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

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!

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.