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!
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!
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
The view from The Roof at Redmont Hotel in Downtown Birmingham. Photo: Brent Boyd
An amazing view just makes that drink or meal even better, right? The city lights and sounds make for an experience that you’ll remember and talk about for days and months. Check out some of our favorite rooftop bars in the Huntsville and Birmingham area:
Stella’s Elixir Lounge
Stella’s Elixir Lounge was voted Best Cocktail Bar in Huntsville! This sophisticated, fun, upbeat lounge is the perfect meeting place after work or date night destination. Gather around a cozy fire pit and sip on your face elixirs while catching up with friends.
Rhythm on Monroe
Rhythm on Monroe is the on-site restaurant at the Von Braun Center in downtown Huntsville. This trendy restaurant features locally sourced urban fare and local craft brews and wines. You’ll have an amazing view of Big Spring Park.
Pourhouse at Stovehouse
Pourhouse at Stovehouse comfortably swanky bar sits at the heart of the food garden at Stovehouse, a mixed-use development. The unique round bar is the first of its kind in Huntsville, serving cocktails, wine, and beer with a large screen, showing movies and sports daily. The first rooftop bar in Huntsville also offers a wrap-around patio with fans and heaters, making this outdoor seating area comfortable year-round.
The Martin Bar & Bistro
The Martin Bar & Bistro is an open-air bar overlooking Washington Street in downtown Huntsville. The entrance is located at ground level immediately south of the Clinton Street parking garage. Ascend the original Art Deco terrazzo staircase from the 1950s into the original projection room from the renowned Martin Theater. Design elements include 18-foot ceilings with exposed original beams, intimate seating, multiple TVs, a large island bar serving artisan cocktails and classic American food.
The Roof at the Redmont
The Roof at the Redmont Hotel (see opening photo) in downtown Birmingham offers the most stunning views both day and night of the sites of Downtown Birmingham. It also offers the most stunning sunset views. Available for events, The Roof is open seven days a week beginning at 4 pm.
Roots & Revelry
If dining under stars is your idea of a great night out, Roots & Revelry will not disappoint. They are located in the historic Thomas Jefferson Tower in downtown Birmingham and have been lauded for their inventive menu serving update American classics, specialty cocktails, and weekend brunch. Open Tuesday through Thursday for dinner, Friday and Saturday for brunch and dinner. In addition to rooftop dining, they have a beautiful dining room, also and can accommodate you regardless of weather conditions. Be sure to make reservations at opentable.com as this is one of the hottest spots in the Magic City.
Carrigan’s Public House
Located on historic Morris Avenue, Carrigan’s Public House is the place to experience the best of Birmingham’s food and craft cocktail scene. Each cocktail at Carrigan’s is hand-crafted and the beer selection includes plenty of locally brewed choices as well as favorites from all over the world. The menu features traditional pub food taken to a higher level with fresh ingredients and everything made in-house from scratch.
From the huge front patios on both the main and upper levels, you can see a bit of over-the-mountain Birmingham as well as the historic train yard and cobblestones of Morris Avenue. And when the sun goes down, Carrigan’s comes alive with locals enjoying great food and city nightlife. Open Monday through Saturday beginning at 4 pm.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
EXCURSIONS Guestbooks recommends these popular locations in Birmingham, Madison and Huntsville, Alabama as the best spots to celebrate National Margarita Day this Saturday, February 22nd. Please let them know that we sent you in their direction and enjoy!
Margaronas Cantina in Homewood, Alabama
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.
Baja California Cantina in Hoover, Alabama
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. All of their margaritas are made with fresh-squeezed lime juice.
Baja California Cantina and Grill is open seven days a week and conveniently located to all hotels in the Hoover,
Vestavia Hills and Bessemer areas. Catch live music performances by following them on Facebook.
Buenavista Mexican Cantina in Madison, Alabama
Buenavista Mexican Cantina has been a family-owned local restaurant chain and happily serving the North Alabama area for over 25 years. They started making our authentic bend of Mexican food in Scottsboro, Alabama. Now they have locations in Hampton Cove and Madison, Alabama.
Buenavista Mexican Cantinas oﬀer a very friendly and family atmosphere at each of their locations. They want everyone to feel like family as soon as they walk in the door.
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 oﬀers traditional Mexican fares 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.
Buenavista Mexican Cantinas have plenty of space both inside and out for your special event or corporate meeting. On-site catering is available from each of their locations.
Be sure to stop in during Happy Hour each from 3 until 6 p.m. Buenavista Mexican Cantinas oﬀer daily specials: Mondays are Kids Eat Free, Taco Tuesdays and Trivia night, and Margaritas Thursdays!
Rosie’s Mexican Cantina in Huntsville, Alabama
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.
Enjoy lunch or dinner indoors or 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. Join us and experience “Flavors Fantasticos!”
Huntsville, Ala. – The Von Braun Center (VBC) revealed the names, logos, and event lineup for the new music hall and restaurant in downtown Huntsville during a presentation inside the Propst Arena on the evening of Tuesday, October 29.
In a video presentation, updated renderings from the architectural firm, Matheny Goldmon, previewed Rhythm on Monroe – a full-service restaurant and rooftop bar. Rhythm, aptly named for the different types of musical performances hosted at the VBC on the corner of Clinton Avenue and Monroe Street, will serve locally-sourced ingredients and provide fresh urban fare. It will feature craft brews, a curated wine list, and handmade cocktails that guests will be able to enjoy while sitting near fire pits at the rooftop bar overlooking Big Spring Park. Watch video
“Rhythm will be the perfect spot for a pre-show dinner, after-show cocktails, or just a great dining spot without attending an event,” remarked Von Braun Center Executive Director Steve Maples. “The expansive open views on the rooftop bar will be a great place to watch the sun set over Downtown Huntsville!”
Rhythm on Monroe will open early 2020. Additional details and a new website are coming soon.
Changing the landscape of the music scene in Huntsville, the VBC’s newest venue Mars Music Hall will provide an open floor plan, with a balcony overlooking an oversized stage. With a 1,575-person capacity – this intimate setting will offer great acoustics for a variety of events ranging from concerts to comedy acts and everything in between.
“This is an exciting time, not only for the Von Braun Center but for the Tennessee Valley region,” continued Maples. “The City of Huntsville is developing at a rapid pace and is constantly attracting out-of-market visitors and enhancing the quality of life for local residents. Adding this size and type of music venue to the heart of the city is an important step in continuing that growth, and we could not have made this happen without the support of Mayor Tommy Battle and the City of Huntsville.”
Setting the tone for a strong lineup of acts, Jason Isbell will make Von Braun Center history by being the first performer on the Mars Music Hall stage on Friday, January 3, 2020. Also on queue for Mars are Black Jacket Symphony, Tig Notaro, Chris Janson, Graham Nash, Jo Dee Messina and many others. To see the full lineup of announced performances and to learn about purchasing tickets, visit marsmusichall.com.
The addition of these two new venues at the VBC is part of an ongoing expansion project, approved by the Huntsville City Council in June 2017, which will ultimately include a new ballroom and multi-purpose space; renovation of the existing North Hall; the addition of breakout meeting spaces and more. The groundbreaking for the music hall and restaurant took place on August 15, 2018.
About the Von Braun Center The Von Braun Center is a multi-purpose facility located in downtown Huntsville, Alabama. The VBC offers multiple venues for presenting cultural, educational, entertainment, sporting and social events. With over 170,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, the VBC is able to accommodate events of all sizes.
INITIAL LIST OF CONFIRMED SHOWS January 3 Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit January 4 The Black Jacket Symphony Presents: Nirvana and Pearljam January 17 Riley Green January 23 Billy Strings January 24 Machine Head January 25 Corey Smith January 26 An Evening with C.S. Lewis Starring David Payne January 31 JJ Grey & Mofro February 1 Tig Notaro February 8 Rumours: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute February 25 Queensrÿche with John 5 and Eve to Adam February 28 Chris Janson March 13 The Molly Ringwalds March 15 Chippendales March 25 An Intimate Evening of Songs and Stories with Graham Nash March 28 Jo Dee Messina April 14 Victor Wooten and the Wooten Brothers April 26 Yacht Rock Revue May 16 Kathleen Madigan
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
Relax in the Private Lounge
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 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!