4 Best Sights in Huntsville, Alabama

U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Fodor's choice

Experience missions to the moon and beyond at this collection of rockets, space memorabilia, and simulators that mimic rocket launches and gravity forces. Train like an astronaut at the U.S. Space Camp and Space Academy or like a military jet pilot at Aviation Challenge. The center runs a bus tour of NASA labs and shuttle test sites. The Spacedome Theater shows IMAX movies.

Von Braun Astronomical Society

Fodor's choice

The planetarium might take you back to grade-school field trips, but learning about stars never gets old. Clear night skies over the city's plateaus come to life during astronomy programs presented by society members and guest speakers. The facility, located on a mountain in Monte Sano State Park includes two telescope-equipped observatories, an astronomical library, and a solar telescope.

Huntsville Botanical Garden

Dogwood lanes, fields of flowers, kitchen gardens, and a miniature train winding through a small-scale European village delight all ages. Maintained by volunteers, the garden includes a 9,000-square-foot natural-stone-and-steel-beam nature center that houses what's billed as the nation’s largest open-air butterfly house. Tadpoles, frogs, birds, turtles, and other creatures populate nearby Little Smith Lake. The garden is especially lovely when festooned with lights at holiday time.

Recommended Fodor's Video

The EarlyWorks Family of Museums

A hands-on history complex of three properties traces Alabama’s history from statehood to the Civil War and railroad eras. Craftspeople in period dress demonstrate skills such as woodworking, printing, and weaving at Alabama Constitution Village, the site of Alabama's 1819 constitutional convention. At EarlyWorks Children's Museum, hear stories from a talking tree, wear 1800s-style clothing, and examine a 46-foot keelboat. A few blocks from the village, the Huntsville Depot and Museum gives a glimpse of railroad life in the early 1800s.