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EXCURSIONS

SM

HUNTSVILLE MADISON DECATUR

DINING  SHOPPING  ATTRACTIONS  NIGHT LIFE RECREATION  OUTDOORS  AND MUCH MORE EXCURSIONSGO.COM

HOTEL GUEST DIRECTORY

HOTEL PROPERTY

PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE


Make the Visitor Center your first stop. While you’re there, pick up attraction discounts, grab the free All-Star Sports Pass and spark your creative side with the Art Pass. Don’t forget to take your #RocketCitySelfie and follow it up with visits to the local attractions!

Huntsville Museum of Art

Huntsville Botanical Garden

EarlyWorks Children’s Museum

Burritt on the Mountain

Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment

U.S. Space & Rocket Center

huntsville.org

HuntsvilleCVB

Smart, southern and oh so charming. Visit Huntsville.

@Go2HuntsvilleAL

VisitHuntsvilleAL

ALABAMA

500 Church Street NW, Suite One, Huntsville, AL 35801 | 800-SPACE-4-U | Hours: Monday - Saturday 9am-5pm Sunday noon-5pm


F i r s t thing s F ir s t: peru se th e dessert m enu. en j o y L iF e ’ s mom en ts - Bi g an d sm aL L . s aV o r t he r o c k e t ci ty on e Bi te at a ti m e.

WE HAVE RECENTLY MOVED. PLEASE JOIN US AT OUR NEW TWICKENHAM PLACE RESTAURANT.

720 Gallatin Street At Twickenham Place For menus & additional information, visit RuthsChris.net


Where Ever ybody Knows Your Game!

burgers

rooftop patio

craft beers

chili

pinball machines new & old

full bar

50+ Vintage Arcade Games including 15 Pinball Machines vintage arcade games

fantastic food by

115 Clinton Ave East, 3rd Floor, Huntsville, AL 35801

(right above U.G. White)

(256) 970-4844 pintsandpixels.pub @pintspixels

All ages are welcome, however persons under the age of 16 MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian. All ages are welcome, however persons under the age of 16 MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian. (256) 970-4844

pintsandpixels.pub @pintspixels


Experience the best of Huntsville in a comfortable, yet elegant atmosphere located in the beautiful Village of Providence. Our culinary team offers award-winning entrée selections as well as daily features to enhance your experience at Grille 29. Our Grouper Oscar has been featured in the 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die and our Jumbo Scallops stuffed with Lump Crab, Filet “29”, and Sesame Seared Tuna Mignon are crowd favorites! You will begin your dinner journey on a high note with our Firecracker Shrimp or Gorgonzola Fondue. But save room for dessert! The Grille 29 hand-made desserts are not to be missed — our guest favorites include the Raspberry Truffle Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle, and Chocolate Soufflé. For the past 6 years, Grille 29 has been voted Best Restaurant in the Taste of Huntsville. Come in for Lunch or Dinner, visit our lounge, or ask about our Banquet Room for meetings. Grille 29 is the place to dine in Huntsville for a memorable and enjoyable taste adventure!

445 Providence Main St. Village of Providence Huntsville

256-489-9470 | grille29.com Facebook.com/Grille29

@Grille29


L E T T E R F R O M T H E E D I TO R & P U B L I S H E R

Thank you for reading EXCURSIONS! We are very pleased to publish our sixth annual edition of EXCURSIONS for Huntsville, Madison and, for the first time, Decatur! EXCURSIONS is truly a collaboration of many talented, civic-minded people, business owners and organizations, and I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to our advertisers and sponsors, Mayor Battle of Huntsville and his staff, Judy Ryals and Jennifer Moore and their staff at the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mayor Paul Finley and Mary Beth Broeren of the City of Madison, Pam Honeycutt and her staff at the Madison Chamber of Commerce, Melinda Dunn and her staff at the Decatur/Morgan Co. Convention & Visitor Bureau, Mayor Tab Bowling of Decatur, the talented writers and photographers from the Huntsville area and, especially, my team of talented and dedicated folks in Birmingham and Madison who work to create the best products possible for our clients and our readers. The greater Huntsville area continues to grow and change at a rapid pace and we are honored to be your guide to exploring Huntsville, Madison and Decatur.

In Huntsville, several downtown-focused organizations joined forces as one entity: Downtown Huntsville, Inc. They are doing exciting and innovative things to bring more folks to the city center to work, play, live and visit. The same thing is happening in Madison and Decatur with their historic downtowns. New life is being breathed into these areas by entrepreneurs bringing unique shopping and dining opportunities. A very special thank you goes to Cristina Lynn, a resident of Madison and prolific songwriter and singer. Be sure to read Jenny Adams’ article about her. We would also like to thank you for picking up our book to learn about the Huntsville, Madison and Decatur areas. I hope that you will pay particular attention to those who are advertising in this edition and mention EXCURSIONS when you visit them. It is they who make this useful tool possible and available to you. We also want to thank our hotel partners for placing EXCURSIONS in their guest rooms for you to find. Safe travels and many returns,

Brent Boyd editor and publisher p r e s i d e n t, c i t y v i s i o n , i n c .

EDITOR & PUBLISHER

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Brent Boyd

Jenny Adams Kimberly Ballard

brent@cityvision.tv BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Myra Sawyer

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

COPY EDITOR

Brent Boyd Jeff Schreier

Rachel Davis

EXCURSIONS Hotel Guest Directories are published annually by CityVision, Inc. 4415 3rd Ave. S, Birmingham, AL 35222 205.595.0809 Copyright 2016-17 by CityVision, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion, whole or part, of this publication may be reprinted or distributed without express written permission. For information regarding advertising or to purchase a copy of this book (supplies are limited), please email the publisher or view our website at www.cityvision.tv.

4 EXCURSIONS

Go EXCURSIONS Mobile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

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@ e xc u r s i o n s byci t y v i s i o n


DESTINATIONS

Visit North Alabama. You'll never forget the experience.

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Take a Trip to Alabama’s Majestic Appalachian Mountains!

800.648.5381 • www.NorthAlabama.org Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association

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P R E S I D E N T S’L E T T E R S WELCOME TO HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA! On behalf of the Board and staff of the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, it is my honor and a pleasure to welcome you to our community. Whatever brings you to the heart of the Tennessee Valley, I encourage you to enjoy the rich diversity of attractions and outstanding dining options as well as the wide variety of activities available during your stay. World-class shopping and delectable dining sure to please any palate are easily accessible from all major lodging providers. Bridge Street Town Centre and Parkway Place Mall each offer shoppers some of the very finest “Space to Splurge.” Visit the unique retail offerings in Five Points, Downtown Huntsville and Madison, at area attractions and in the Huntsville/Madison County Visitor Center®. You’re sure to find the perfect gift or keepsake for that special someone! Find “Space at Our Table” at one of over 500 restaurants. You can easily match menus to your mood. Southern specialties include barbecue, grits and sweet tea. Try a beer from one of nine local craft breweries, if you’re so inclined. Visit one of the many upscale dining venues featuring some of the best-known chefs in the region or explore our everexpanding food truck offerings.

Get out and experience our “Space to Play” from the top attractions in the state, all within minutes of your room! The U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Burritt on the Mountain, Huntsville Botanical Garden, Huntsville Museum of Art, EarlyWorks Museum Complex, Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment and so many more attractions offer visitors memorable experiences. You’ll find a wealth of outdoor venues like the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Hampton Cove, Ditto Landing Marina and Monte Sano State Park. Be sure to see what’s going on at the Von Braun Center. There are plenty of places you can enjoy a hike, bike, walk or run. Check out one of the trails or nature preserves of the Land Trust of North Alabama. Looking to unwind? Just relax and enjoy the scenery. Let us assist you in planning your free time. Watch the Visitor Channel on the television in your room or visit our website at Huntsville.org. Call us at 256-533-5723 or better yet, stop in the Huntsville/Madison County Visitor Center®. It’s located in downtown Huntsville at 500 Church Street NW and open seven days a week for your convenience. Ask us about our money-saving coupons for attractions, sports, and arts and entertainment. Once again, welcome to our community. We’ve Got Space and we’re happy you’re in it!

Judy S. Ryals p r e s i d e n t /c e o

h u n t svil l e /m adison cou n t y conven tion & visitor s bu r e au

A TASTE OF DECATUR AND MORGAN COUNTY’S HISTORY AND CULTURE AWAIT YOU! Nestled on the banks of the Tennessee River, Decatur, Alabama is a vibrant city that offers a variety of family friendly activities to enjoy throughout the year that celebrate our unique history, culture and natural resources! A visit to Decatur is an adventure for the senses as you thrill to the sight of hot-air balloons as they fly through the sky, smell the savory scent of world-famous barbecue, splash in the waters of America’s first wave pool, taste delectable chocolates made by hand or hear stories that tell of a proud past and a city of survivors! Decatur’s rich history and culture is found in our historic downtown that abounds with interesting museums, fabulous dining and wonderful shopping! The adjacent historic residential districts and beautiful parks add to the air of grace and charm to discover! Unique historic sites and museums offer fascinating insight into the stories that shaped and define our past. Shop one of the many stores that features an appealing mix of art, antiques, home decorative objects, “Made in Alabama” gifts, upscale 6 EXCURSIONS

clothing and more. As you stroll your way through our historic districts that boost one of the largest collections of 19th and early 20th century architecture, you will work up an appetite that you can satisfy at one of the many local eateries! Whether your taste is for down-home or innovative farm-to-fork cuisine, Decatur has a restaurant that will satisfy your taste buds! If you love the outdoors, Decatur, Alabama has so much to offer! From beautiful park settings to the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, you will reawaken your sense of adventure! Spend some time on the water and catch one of the big bass or catfish that have made Wheeler Lake a popular destination for tournaments and recreational anglers. Create a memory with a visit to a town that provides a unique, authentic and delicious experience! The Decatur Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau is happy to help you plan your visit to the area and encourages you to stop by our Visitors Center at 719 6th Avenue SE, call 800-524-6181 or explore our website at decaturcvb.org for more information.

Melinda M. Dunn p r e s i d e n t /c e o

dec at u r /morgan cou n t y conven tion & visitor s bu r e au


M AYO R S’ W E LCO M E S

WELCOME TO HUNTSVILLE, a city of rockets and defense, bio-tech and computer science, arts and parks —a smart city on the move. Huntsville is home to the second-largest research park in the United States with a concentration of high-tech workers. Named the “Rocket City” for its close history with U.S. space missions, Huntsville has played a vital role in developing space technology since the 1950s. It is one of the most recognized cities in the Southeast that is consistently named as a best place to live and work by a variety of national publications. We offer an exceptionally high quality of life experience through our museums, educational facilities and cultural and recreational activities. All of these opportunities, when coupled with the area’s affordable housing and low cost of living, provide a unique environment for families to prosper. While you are in our city, I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy the many sights and attractions Huntsville offers— the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, the Huntsville Museum of Art, Early Works, the Botanical Garden and many more. I would also like to invite you to visit Parkway Place Mall and the Bridge Street Town Centre to explore some of our best shopping and dining options. As mayor, I welcome you to our city and invite you to discover the many great things Huntsville has to offer.

PHOTO:

Sincerely,

Tommy Battle

m ay o r — c i t y o f h u n t s v i l l e

Go EXCURSIONS Mobile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

WELCOME TO THE CITY OF MADISON—A city of historic charm where progress meets preservation and residents and visitors alike can enjoy fabulous food and fun entertainment. Along with my wife Julie and our three boys Tyler, Tanner and Kyle, we are proud to call Madison home! Located only a few miles west of Huntsville and just north of Huntsville International Airport, our more than 47,000 residents enjoy the multiple opportunities Madison has to offer. Nationally recognized schools, superior health care services, family-friendly venues and welcoming neighbors make Madison a safe and nurturing place to call home. While you are in town, take the time to walk, jog or bike the Bradford or Indian Creek Greenways whose natural settings provide miles of relaxation and recreation away from the trappings of urban life. Go back in time walking the rose-lined streets of our Madison Station Historic Downtown. Main Street’s restaurants, brew pub, boutiques and shops provide varied and eclectic shopping and dining experiences. And you don’t want to miss our annual Madison Street Festival the first weekend in October! Whether you are in town for a day, a weekend or a lifetime, we know you will quickly discover that Madison truly is a unique place to live, learn and grow.

WELCOME TO THE CITY OF DECATUR—Decatur’s richly storied past of opportunity, prosperity, diversity and determination has shaped the city that we are today—a Grand City on a Charming Scale. From families whose ancestors first settled this fertile river valley to newcomers who move to the area because of our progressive business environment, our city’s welcoming spirit and sense of community are what make Decatur home to a diverse group of people. Our awardwinning schools and family-friendly, safe neighborhoods make Decatur a great place to raise a family. Outdoor recreation is a year-round staple in Decatur. Folks take advantage of our location on the Tennessee River for boating, water skiing and fishing from the first warm days of Spring through those late, lazy Fall days when the sun on the water beckons. Festivals throughout the year bring our citizens and neighbors from around the region together to celebrate with music, balloons, food and fun. With a rich heritage and dynamic future, Decatur will continue to pursue the economic prosperity, cultural diversity, and community spirit that make this – a Grand City on a Charming Scale. Sincerely,

Sincerely,

Paul Finley

m ay o r — c i t y o f m a d i s o n

Tab Bowling

m ay o r — c i t y o f d e c at u r

EXCURSIONS 7


CON TEN TS

ON THE COVER:

Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial

ON THIS PAGE:

Iconic red Japanese bridge and cherry trees, given to Huntsville by Japanese Major General Mikio Kimata

Huntsville 9 Welcome to Huntsville Enjoy your visit to The Rocket City. 10 Huntsville History

From Big Spring to big dreams

14 13 Things To Do Downtown Huntsville’s thriving downtown area is brimming with sights, sounds and tastes for you to experience. Take a walk and take it all in.

24 Downtown Huntsville Map Find your way around Downtown Huntsville.

26 U.S. Space & Rocket Center Consistently ranked as Alabama’s No. 1 tourist attraction!

28 Explore Huntsville’s Main Attractions

From shopping to museums to nature preserves, Huntsville has the perfect agenda for every traveler.

31 Huntsville Botanical Garden

Offers year-round family fun

34 Wide Open Spaces

From awe-inspiring mountain vistas to echoing caverns, the Huntsville area offers a wealth of outdoor escapes.

36 Out on the Town

From enriching plays and theater to rockin’ live music, there are good times to be had in Huntsville and Madison.

40 Treat Yourself

Madison 54 Taste the Flavors of Madison From old-fashioned candy shops

to upscale bistros and down-home hangouts, Madison restaurants satisfy any appetite.

Decatur

photography by JEFF SCHREIER

70 Discover Decatur

Referred to as The River City by locals, few cities in the south enjoy a connection to the Tennessee River like this one.

56 Meet Cristina Lynn

72 Decatur—A Brief History of The River City

60 Explore Madison

76 Adventures Await

Madison’s renowned singer-songwriter shares her story. Where progress meets preservation. Henry David Thoreau wrote: “Let me live where I will, on this side is the city, on that the wilderness.” Not too many years ago this applied to the City of Madison.

66 Madison Chamber of Commerce Welcomes You See how the chamber helps to make Madison a great place to live, work, play and do business.

68 Map of the City of Madison

A quick reference map to help you get your bearings.

Decatur’s rich history explained by John Allison, Morgan County Archivist. From golf courses to museums and historical sites, Decatur/Morgan County has the perfect agenda for every traveler.

82 Shop Decatur

From the most popular national stores to local boutiques, art galleries and antique stores, Decatur has what you need to get your shopping fix.

86 Out and About in Decatur

From farm-to-table fine dining and upscale bistros in historic downtown to down-home hangouts on the river, Decatur delivers on flavor and atmosphere.

90 Maps of Downtown Decatur and Surrounding Areas Easily locate Decatur Favorites and attractions.

On the Cover:

Huntsville Botanical Garden’s Damson Aquatic Garden. Photography by Jeff Schreier

From the most popular national stores to local boutiques and salons, Huntsville has what you need to treat yourself well. From award-winning fine dining and upscale bistros to down-home hangouts, Huntsville area restaurants are guaranteed to please.

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Meet Cristina Lynn, page 56.

Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTO:

42 Dine Huntsville


Welcome to Huntsville Huntsville grew rapidly as a leader in technological developments. This continued growth inspires local entrepreneurs and restaurateurs to set up shop here. Huntsville leads the region in craft brewers, awardwinning restaurants, first-class shopping, an active and growing downtown and a thriving arts and cultural community. The folks who live here are just plain nice, too.

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Enjoy your visit to The Rocket City.

Go EXCURSIONS Mobile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

EXCURSIONS 9


HUNTSVILLE

From Big Spring to Big Dreams B Y K I M B E R LY BA L L A R D P H O T O G R A P H S C O U RT E S Y O F T H E H U N T S V I L L E - M A D I S O N C O U N T Y L I B R A RY A RC H I V E S

Visitors have been drawn to the vistas from Monte Sano ridge for more than a century.


T

ucked in the rolling foothills of North Alabama, the city of Huntsville is a hidden oasis of culture, innovation and progress. Known best as the cradle of the American space program, this “Rocket City” has blasted off, amazing visitors and residents alike with its surprising pedigree of events and attractions. But like most places, Huntsville’s origins are much more humble. The story begins more than 200 years ago. Absent were the towering projectiles of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, missing was the sprawling luxury retail jungle of Bridge Street. Back then, Huntsville was all fields, trees and foothills. That is, until Tennessee frontiersman John Hunt scaled Monte Sano Ridge and changed everything. The rumor of a freshwater spring lured Hunt from his home to explore the North Alabama wilderness. Amid the Chickasaw Indians who hunted along the banks, Hunt built a two-bedroom log cabin for his family on a bluff overlooking the spring he discovered. The word spread, and by 1808, around three hundred settlers lived near “Big Spring,” where locals transported their cotton crops down the Indian Creek Canal to the Tennessee River.

H U N T S V I L L E H I S TO RY Captivated by dreams of space travel since his youth, von Braun brought powerful passion and vision to the American space program.

Huntsville Springs to Life

As cotton production picked up, the settlement grew. In 1807, Wyatt Bishop established the town’s first school. The next year, Stephen Neal stepped up as the first sheriff and married the town’s first couple, James McGuire and Elizabeth Ghormley. Soon after, John Bunch’s Old Tavern opened as the city’s first watering hole, and by 1810, the town’s first murder trial had taken place and Eli Newman had been hanged at the edge of town. With Hunt’s Big Spring booming, the city’s founder headed back to Tennessee to sell his family’s land to pay his settlement registration fees. While he was gone, three profit-minded pioneers bought up his spring-front property and the surrounding area. One of these men, LeRoy Pope, renamed the town Twickenham after the English hometown of his famous ancestor, the poet Alexander Pope. But in 1811, Hunt’s land around Big Spring was reinstated and Huntsville was given its permanent name. LeRoy Pope may have lost the name game, but Twickenham lives on as the name of Huntsville’s antebellum district — the largest in Alabama—famous for its Federal, Italianate and Neo-Classical architecture. With land disputes resolved, Huntsville was free to grow in peace. By 1812, a city Go EXCURSIONS Mobile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

newspaper, the Madison Gazette, had been established. Near the end of that decade, the growing city was named Alabama’s first capital, albeit only temporarily, when state lawmakers gathered in a local cabinetmaking shop to draft the state’s first constitution. By 1823, Huntsville had developed a public water system, thanks in part to its famous spring. With its infrastructure taking shape, the city took its first steps toward industry.

Huntsville Faces War and the Great Depression

The influx of cotton farmers to the area soon drew the railroad industry’s attention to Huntsville. By the mid-1800s, the Memphis and Charleston Railroad had been constructed through Huntsville, becoming the first railway to link the Atlantic

seacoast with the lower Mississippi River. Partly because of its strategic location (and perhaps its charm), Huntsville never saw battle during the Civil War. Union forces, led by Brigadier General Ormsby M. Mitchel, moved in quickly in 1862 to cut the Confederate supply lines. Mitchel decided to stay a while, using the Huntsville railroad depot to incarcerate Confederate soldiers. Federal officers occupied Oaklawn Plantation on Meridian Street, while renegade Confederate soldiers hid out in the Mayhew home, located on Eustis Avenue. Having avoided the destruction suffered by many southern cities in the war, the thankful townspeople found their lives getting back to normal fairly quickly. But tough times were still ahead. Following the depresEXCURSIONS 11


H U N T S V I L L E H I S TO RY

sion and throughout the 1930s, Huntsville faced its first true economic downturn since its founding. Struggling against waning industry, Huntsville survived only on cotton production and its fleeting fame as the watercress capital of the world. But things were to turn around in 1941, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared “a state of unlimited emergency” and the Chemical Warfare Service began searching for an artillery manufacturing facility. The State of Alabama ceded 160 acres of cotton fields to the War Department to build Huntsville Arsenal, which went on to employ nearly 20,000 people. By 1943, the redesignated Redstone Arsenal had expanded to 475 acres.

became part of the infamous “Operation Paperclip,” a mission in which the Third Reich’s most brilliant scientists were drafted by the United States. After the war, von Braun found himself and his colleagues transplanted to the isolated cotton fields of North Alabama, where, over the next four years, they would invent rocket science. In September 1954, von Braun presented his first thesis proposing the use of the Redstone military missile, which he would be instrumental in developing, as

From Warfare to Wonder

However, it seemed that this success would be short-lived. In 1949, WWII was over, and the U.S. Army hung a “for sale” sign on Redstone Arsenal’s doors. What were they to do with this secluded outpost? At the last possible moment—on July 1, 1949—a new prospect appeared on the horizon. That prospect centered around a German scientist, Wernher von Braun, who had grown up in the shadows of Nazi Germany but had maintained a fascination for space travel and rocketry. Von Braun 12 EXCURSIONS

The harsh realities of World War II brought a new industry to Huntsville—the industry of war. Huntsville Arsenal (later Redstone Arsenal) opened to meet the needs of the American military, employing many female workers.

the prototype for a vehicular rocket that could launch satellites into space. Over the next few years, numerous military missiles were successfully built, tested and launched using von Braun’s thesis. On January 31, 1958, Huntsville earned the nickname “The Rocket City” after the Explorer I became the first U.S. satellite to orbit the earth. The front page of The Huntsville Times read: “Jupiter C Puts Up Moon: Eisenhower Officially Announces Huntsville Satellite Circles Globe,” and the world turned its eyes to Huntsville. Soon after that momentous event, standing on the steps of Huntsville’s new Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), President Eisenhower proclaimed the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). With von Braun as MSFC’s first director, rocketry moved from the defense sector into civilian space exploration. Not only did MSFC receive 1,900 acres of undeveloped land and buildings, but several thousand U.S. Army engineers, scientists and administrators were assigned a slate of challenging space exploration projects. Success came quickly for the growing center, and, barely a year later, the Mercury-Redstone rocket boosted America’s first astronaut, Alan Shepard, into suborbital

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The rumor of a freshwater spring lured John Hunt to explore the north Alabama wilderness. By 1808, three hundred settlers lived around “Big Spring.”


H U N T S V I L L E H I S TO RY

Industry brought progress, resulting in the opening of the first Huntsville Airport in the 1930s.

flight. Then, in 1969, the largest of the Saturn family of rockets built and tested at MSFC propelled American astronauts to their most-anticipated destination—the moon. A visiting magazine writer, who witnessed the testing of those massive Saturn V rockets, penned these evocative words: “One leaves the observation bunker with a weakness in the knees that is just short of collapse...It was total flame, total sound total power!” That sentiment was echoed by many local residents, who said they could hear and feel launches up to 100 miles away. After the close of the Apollo program, Huntsville experienced an exodus of big business throughout the 1970s. Ultimately, it would be the U.S. Army, and not the space program, that would prevail. Such military innovations as the TOW missiles and the biomedical research from the HudsonAlpha Institute set Huntsville on a more diverse path to technological excellence.

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The Moon, Mars and Beyond

Today, more than 7,000 government and civilian contractors work at Marshall Space Flight Center. But most visitors are more interested in the Space & Rocket Center’s Rocket Park, with its massive and impressive Saturn V missile. Go EXCURSIONS Mobile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center contains the most comprehensive flight hardware museum in the world. It also features the Spacedome IMAX Theater and its renowned Space Camp, where, every year, thousands of students come from around the world to experience space education at its finest. But, dominating it all, hovering 10 feet above the floor, the 476-foot-long, 90-foot-wide, 63-foot-high Saturn V rocket floats like a leviathan above the new Davidson Center facility. Redstone Arsenal is one of the Department of Defense’s most strategic technological assets, employing over 30,000 people and managing over $25 billion in annual federal spending—over half of the army’s total annual weapons procurement budget.

Leading Alabama into the Future

Thanks in part to the aerospace and defense industries, Huntsville has one of the most diverse cultures, per capita, in the country. Today, a mixture of nearly 300 international, high-technology and aerospace/defense agencies, plus 50 Fortune 500 companies, reside in the Cummings Research Park, the country’s second largest research and development park. The area has been recognized by Forbes

magazine as one of the ten smartest cities in the world, BusinessWeek’s second-best recovering job market and one of Fortune Small Business’s top midsize cities to launch and grow a business. Two hundred years after its discovery, John Hunt’s Big Spring is still at the center of downtown life. Buffered on all sides by a beautiful public park, the lagoon is surrounded by fine hotels and such distinguished civic buildings as the public library and the Von Braun Center. Lined with park benches and accented by its distinct Red Bridge (a gift from Japan), Big Spring Park is landscaped with cherry blossom trees, a gazebo and eternal flame, around which the city gathers for festivals, like the Panoply Arts Festival and many local concerts. It’s fair to say that modern-day Huntsville, with its towering rockets, luxury shopping facilities, manicured parks and decadent dining options, would be hardly recognizable to its grizzled frontiersman founder. But, if you ask its residents and many visitors, they’d say that’s just fine. Supported by a culture of innovation, the Rocket City is poised to lead the state, and the rest of the South, into the next century. ❖

EXCURSIONS 13


13 Things To Do in Downtown Huntsville Huntsville’s thriving downtown area is brimming with sights, sounds and tastes for you to experience. Take a walk and take it all in…

A. M. Booth’s Lumberyard is one of the unique venues in Downtown Huntsville. photograph courtesy of DOWNTOWN HUNTSVILLE, INC.

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D O W N TO W N H U N T S V I L L E

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DOWNTOWN FAVORITE

Below the Radar Brewhouse 220 Holmes Avenue NE 256.469.6617; btrbrew.com

@BelowTheRadarBrewingCo

Voted Huntsville’s Best Burger Below the Radar is Huntsville’s first micro-brewhouse situated in the historic Huntsville Times building in the recently established “Downtown Entertainment District.” Named one of the best bourbon bars in America, Below the Radar is a great place to have lunch or meet after work for socializing with friends and co-workers. Below the Radar is known for its one-of-a-kind variety of micro-brews, extensive wine list and liquor drinks and its inventive array of food by their in-house chef. Enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday night to make it a night to remember. Below the Radar is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch and has 32 rotating draft beers from all over the world on tap including four craft brews made in-house. They also offer an extensive selection of bottle beers, focusing on seasonal and limited-production brews. See Below the Radar’s mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com to view their Facebook feed, get driving directions, tap to call, go to their website and more.

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For craft beer fans, Huntsville has become a popular destination for your favorite ales, stouts and more. Even better, many of the top craft beer establishments are concentrated in the Downtown Huntsville area. That’s why we’ve created the Downtown Huntsville Craft Beer Trail which includes nine unique downtown destinations. These include breweries at Straight to Ale, Yellowhammer, Salty Nut, Below the Radar, Mad Malts and Green Bus Brewing as well as craft beer stores such as Old Town Beer Exchange, Liquor Express and Craft Beer Store and Church Street Wine Shoppe. Guests on the trail can pick up a trail card at any of the nine establishments. From there, you can get your trail card stamped at each stop. Once you complete all nine, you can redeem your trail card for free trail swag. In other words, the Downtown Huntsville Craft Beer Trail rewards you for tasting all the great local craft beers in the city center.

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Experience City Center Nightlife

Whether you’re looking to grab a drink and chill to some tunes or shake what your momma gave ya, you can find just the right spot in Downtown Huntsville. Live bands are a mainstay at many bars and clubs, including Humphrey’s Bar & Grill, the Furniture Factory and Voodoo Lounge, where you can also grab a bite to eat. Or, you can rock out at such local favorites as Sammy T’s Music Hall and FUBAR. Don’t miss Amendment XXI and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, downtown favorites, for a handcrafted cocktail and an appetizer. See our downtown map on pages 24-25 for locations.

Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTOS: (BOTTOM) RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE; (TOP) DOWNTOWN HUNTSVILLE, INC.

Huntsville, Alabama

Craft Beer Trail


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PHOTOS: (TOP) JEFF SCHREIER; (CENTER) VON BRAUN CENTER

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Out at the Von | Rock Braun Center

Whether you’re in the mood for a rowdy sports event, a rockin’ concert or a traveling Broadway show, the Von Braun Center is your go-to entertainment venue. On any given night, there’s something spectacular happening at Huntsville’s premier multipurpose complex. No matter what type of event you’ve arrived to watch, make your first stop at the Downtown Huntsville Inc. Local Spot. This local-only craft beer bar is open before and during arena events to make sure your refreshment needs are covered in addition to over 30 different craft beers located throughout the main

concourse. Then it’s time for the show! Sports aficionados will find no shortage of cheering opportunities—the Von Braun Center is the home of the Huntsville Havoc and UA Huntsville Chargers hockey teams. Families will love being entertained at events like the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice. For the DIY in each of you, check out the Building, Home & Remodeling Show, the Tennessee Valley Hunting & Fishing Expo or the Fall Home & Garden Show. If you’re craving entertainment that’s a bit more cultured, the Von Braun Center has the hottest tickets in town. The Broadway Theatre

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League, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and the Huntsville Ballet Company all call the Von Braun Center home, as do Theatre Huntsville and the Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s always something to do at the Von Braun Center—top-billing concerts, A-list comedians, family entertainment extravaganzas and so much more. Check them out on the web at vonbrauncenter.com. See the Von Braun Center’s mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com to view their live Facebook feed, get directions, tap to call and more.

Seasonal Calendar broadway theatre league

October - March huntsville ballet company

October - April huntsville havoc

October - March huntsville symphony orchestra

September - April ua huntsville chargers

October - January

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Shop Unique Boutiques

In the mood to do a little shopping? Then look no further than the Garage at Clinton Row. This one-of-a-kind shopping destination in historic Downtown Huntsville is home to some of the city’s most unique boutiques. From boho chic goods at Meraki Boutique and 5th Avenue inspired fashions at Elitaire Boutique to a full service men’s provisioner at Roosevelt & Co., these locally owned and operated shops are sure to have a unique selection of items you won’t find anywhere else. Best of all, after you’re done shopping you can head over to Frios gourmet popsicles and pick-up a tasty treat! See all the unique shopping that downtown has to offer by visiting: shopclintonrow.com.

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Explore Big Spring International Park

Without a doubt, Big Spring International Park is the epicenter of life and culture in Huntsville. Big Spring lured settlers here over 200 years ago, and the city has celebrated it ever since, growing up around this green space and preserving it for its citizens. Throughout the year, the park plays host to numerous events, including the Panoply Arts Festival and Grotto Lights Concerts. But you don’t have to wait for a major event to enjoy the park. Children will love the famously friendly ducks, geese and koi that call the lagoon home. Or, use the park as a starting point for your exploration of Huntsville. It’s bordered on all sides by some of the city’s most-visited landmarks, such as the Huntsville Museum of Art and the Von Braun Center. As you explore, be sure to take stock of the international gifts to the city, such as the lighthouse from Norway and the famous red bridge and cherry trees from Japan. Visitors can enjoy strolling the walking trail, stopping for a peaceful picnic or even surfing the web courtesy of free wi-fi.

Humphrey’s Bar + Grill 103 Washington Street NE 256.704.5555; humphreysdowntown.com

Humphrey’s Bar + Grill, now smoke-free, features an open-air, New Orleans-style patio that is a favorite hangout for locals and was rated one of the top three in Huntsville. Enjoy our creative craft cocktail list and extensive beer selections, as well as the best food and drink specials in the Rocket City. With a focus on buying local and organic, Humphrey’s menu selections

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include their smoked chicken wings with white Alabama barbecue sauce, Angus beef burgers and the best barbecue in town. From acoustic folk to rock-n-roll and down home blues, Humphrey’s is also the place to come to catch the best live music in town. So don’t forget your dancing shoes! See EXCURSIONSGO.com to view their Facebook feed, tap to call, go to their website, get directions and more.

Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTOS: DOWNTOWN HUNTSVILLE, INC.

DOWNTOWN FAVORITE


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Experience World Class Art and Performances

Looking for a cultured night out on the town? Head to the Von Braun Center (VBC) for a variety of performances by local, regional and national groups. Enjoy all that Huntsville performing arts has to offer by visiting the luxurious Mark C. Smith Concert Hall. Treat yourself to an evening with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and enjoy classical and modern performances led by maestro Gregory Vajda. For information, visit www.hso.org. The Huntsville Ballet Company also calls the VBC home. Visit huntsvilleballet.org for a schedule of performances by some of the country’s most talented dancers. The VBC hosts Broadway Theatre League shows, brought straight from NYC to the Rocket City. For a list of dates and shows, visit broadwaytheatreleague.org. Looking for local theater talent? The Von Braun Center Playhouse plays host to the Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater (letthemagicbegin.org) and Theatre Huntsville (yourseatiswaiting.org).

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Discover Eclectic Venues in Downtown Huntsville

PHOTOS: (TOP) HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU; (CENTER) DOWNTOWN HUNTSVILLE, INC.

Located just blocks north of the square, Park Place Plaza and A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard is one of Huntsville’s coolest shopping destinations and event venues. Be sure to step into A.M. Booth’s hundredyear-old lumberyard, offering the most original party space in the heart of “uptown” Huntsville. The large outdoor courtyard, surrounded by lounging nooks, covered bars and banquet areas, includes a raised covered stage that can easily host a band, DJ or banquet. (amboothslumberyard.com). From its landmark location in the heart of the city, Campus No. 805 has become the connecting point for the resurging West Huntsville neighborhoods and the treasured historic districts and the hundreds of exciting new loft residences in downtown. Newly transformed as the Stone Event Center, the refurbished school building offers a variety of multi-use space for private rental and has become a popular event venue for young professionals and the hospitality industry. The Stone Center building and the new 16,000 square foot Student Union has attracted a growing list of tenants to include craft breweries, restaurants, catering, bars, retail and entertainment venues. Campus No. 805 is proud to be part of the exciting rebirth of Huntsville’s urban core (campus805.com).

DOWNTOWN FAVORITE

The Bottle 101 Washington St. NE, Huntsville 256.704.5555; thebottledowntown.com

The Bottle, an upscale eatery that features southern cuisine with a French influence, specializes in steaks, chops and a variety of the freshest fish available. The changing seasonal menu includes raw oysters, jumbo lump Blue crab cakes, veal chops, lamb racks and Hereford Choice Beef. The Bottle—a name referencing the near mythic, long-

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shuttered Green Bottle Grill—invites guests to experience southern hospitality that will not soon be forgotten. See EXCURSIONSGO.com to view their live Facebook feed, tap to call, get directions, link to their website and more.

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Stop by the Visitor Center

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Need information about what to do during your stay in the Rocket City? Stop by the Visitor Center, located in the lobby of the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau in Downtown Huntsville. Pick up Attractions Passport coupons to use at area attractions. Sports fan? Pick up an All-Star Sports Pass which allows you to buy one ticket and get one FREE to the Dixie Derby Girls roller derby, Huntsville Havoc hockey, Rocket City Titans football and Rocket City United soccer. The Visitor Center is also the perfect place to pick up a Rocket City souvenir, or the Arts & Entertainment Pass. For more information about the Visitor Center and to see online listings of where to stay, shop, dine and play, call 800.SPACE.4.U or visit huntsville.org.

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PHOTOS: HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

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Scan the code to access their mobile profile at www.excursions.cityvision.tv to view their Facebook feed, find them on a map and more.

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Explore more at huntsville.org


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Grab a Bite to Eat

PHOTOS: (TOP) BRENT BOYD; (BOTTOM) DOWNTOWN HUNTSVILLE, INC.

One thing’s for sure—you won’t go hungry while you’re visiting Downtown Huntsville. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite, a leisurely dinner or fine dining, there are plenty of options to please your palate. For lunch or casual dinner, try Humphrey’s Bar and Grill; they have an inventive menu and live music on the patio. For an amazing fine dining experience, The Bottle is a downtown favorite. Meat lover? Be sure to stop in Ruth’s Chris Steak House for the city’s best steak. For something quaint and cozy, try A Cup of Everything for all-day breakfast, coffees and lunch. They are also open late serving wine and beer with live music and an art gallery upstairs. Downtown is also home to Cotton Row and Commerce Kitchen by celebrity chef James Boyce.

Three rooms of seating upstairs Art Gallery Upstairs

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Have a Blast at a Fun-Filled Festival

Looking for a fun event with local flair? Huntsville boasts a number of annual events. If you’re visiting Huntsville in the spring, don’t miss the Panoply Arts Festival, held in Big Spring Park the last weekend of April. Panoply celebrates music, dance, theater and visual arts, featuring local artists, musicians and actors. For more information visit artshuntsville.org. Are you a BBQ lover? The annual WhistleStop Weekend is the area’s premier music and BBQ festival, held in May on the grounds of the Huntsville Depot Museum. This festival features live entertainment on two stages, Space Camp Kid’s Zone, professional and amateur BBQ cooking competitions and the Alabama Cornnhole Competition. For more information, visit rocketcitybbq.com

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DOWNTOWN FAVORITE

Clinton Row

Clinton Row, presented by Redstone Federal Credit Union, is an innovative mixed-use space comprised of over 20 storage units repurposed into retail incubators and startup offices. Offering a wide variety of eclectic creations, Clinton Row provides a unique retail experience at the high visibility intersection of Clinton Avenue and Jefferson Street. Merchandise ranges from vintage records to men’s and women’s clothing to locally and regionally made art. The shops are located in the Quigley Entertainment District, allowing patrons to enjoy their favorite beverage as they browse Clinton Row’s offerings. In addition, Redstone Federal Credit Union’s first Downtown ATM is located at Clinton Row. Come out and shop local in Downtown Huntsville! Current businesses include: AWE Boutique, The Whateva Shop, Dress Up Again, Woodtech, Echo Records, 81 Home Gifts and Glam and more. See Clinton Row’s mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com to view their Facebook feed, get directions and more.

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Get Cultured

Located in the heart of Downtown Huntsville in Big Spring Park, the nationally accredited Huntsville Museum of Art fills its numerous galleries with a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, including prestigious traveling exhibits, the work of nationally and regionally acclaimed artists and exhibits from the museum’s own 3,000-piece permanent collection. After you take in the art, stop in the Museum Store for unique jewelry, pottery, glasswork and more. Then enjoy Italian fare for lunch or dinner at Pane e Vino Pizzeria. Museum hours: Sun, 1 - 4 pm; Tues, Wed, Fri and Sat, 11 am - 4 pm; Thurs, 11 am - 8 pm; closed Mon. Admission charged. Located at 300 Church Street in Downtown Huntsville. 256.535.4350; hsvmuseum.org Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTOS: HUNTSVILLE MUSEUM OF ART

100 North Jefferson Street 256.701.0818; find us on Facebook


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Explore Downtown Public Art

PHOTOS: (TOP) BRENT BOYD; (BOTTOM) HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU;

Be sure to take a walk and discover the downtown installments of the SPACES Biennial Sculpture Trail—a collaborative project developed in 2010 by Arts Huntsville, Inc., Alabama A&M University, Huntsville Museum of Art, Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment Center and UAH. Now featuring 36 total sculptures—32 works on temporary loan to SPACES and four permanent installations on the UAHuntsville campus—SPACES is designed to engage and enliven the Huntsville/Madison County community through a large-scale public art installation. SPACES Sculpture Trail features the work of 21 artists from 11 states across the eastern United States. Explore SPACES through walking, GPS and cell phone guided tours. See spacessculpturetrail.org or call 256.519.2787 for more information. Don’t miss the new secret art trail hidden throughout Downtown Huntsville.

in Time 13 |DueGo Back to its occupation

by Union troops during the Civil War (and the hard work of the Historic Huntsville Foundation), the city of Huntsville boasts more homes on the National Register of Historic Places than any other in Alabama. Located downtown, the Twickenham District is one of the South’s best-kept secrets, featuring the largest collection of antebellum homes in Alabama. In addition to these Southern beauties, the city also boasts some outstanding examples of early 20th century architecture. Two residences are open to the public year-round, the HumphreyRodgers House and the Weeden House, now a museum. Kids and adults alike will be impressed by the re-created world of the past at Alabama Constitution Village (shown above), where interpreters live the lives of early Huntsville settlers. And who doesn’t love trains? Stop by the Huntsville Depot Museum for a ride through railroad history. Can’t decide which one you want to visit? See all three and enjoy a discount. Call 256.564.8100 for more information. See the map on pages 24-25 for locations.

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DOWNTOWN FAVORITE

Ruth’s Chris Steak House 720 Gallatin Street at Twickenham Place 256.539.3930; ruthschris.net

Ruth’s Chris Steak House delights guests with their customaged, USDA Prime steaks, served with the signature sizzle. In addition to dinner service in the beautifully appointed dining room, the Twickenham Place restaurant offers a nightly happy hour in the bar/lounge and private dining accommodations for up to 50 guests. Reservations recommended. See their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com to view their Facebook feed, get directions, tap to call, go to their website to make a reservation and more.

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4 BANDITO BURRITO 3017 Governors Drive SW, 256.534.0866 5 BIG OH’S 121 North Side Square, 256.801.8773

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Randolph St SE 2 ATTITUDES SALON Randolph Ave SE u JEFFERSON STREET PUB 5 EARLYWORKS MUSEUM 604 Andrew Jackson Way NE 111 Jefferson Street N, 256.519.2997 404 Madison Street, 256.564.8100 256.534.7001 i JIMMY JOHN’S 6 HARRISON BROTHERS HARDWARE 3 BELOW THE RADAR BREWHOUSE 125 Northside Square, 256.534.9996 124 Southside Square, 256.536.3631 Wells Ave SE 220 Holmes Ave. NE, 256.469.6617 E dS o LITTLE PAUL’S BARBECUE 7 HUNTSVILLE te R MUSEUM OF ART a G 4 CLINTON ROW 815 Madison Street SE, 256.536.7227 300oChurch Street SW, 256.535.4350 l Tl 100 Jefferson Street N, 256.701.0818 p LONE GOOSE SALOON Highland Ave SE 8 HISTORIC HUNTSVILLE DEPOT 5 HUMPHREY’S BAR & GRILL 2620 Clinton Ave. W, 256.715.0705 320 Church Street NW, 256.564.8100 103 Washington Street NE, 256.704.5555 a MAD MALTS BREWING 9 HUNTSVILLE-MADISON COUNTY 6 PINTS & PIXELS VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK 109 Maple Ave. NW, 256.503.2233 115 Clinton Ave NE, 256.970.4844 200-298 Monroe Street NW Kingsbury Ave SE s MEI WEI ASIAN BISTRO RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE 7 309 Pelham Ave. SW, 256.288.0114 0 LOWE MILL ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 720 Gallatin Street, 256.539.3930 2211 Seminole Drive, 256.533.0399 d OLD TOWNE BEER EXCHANGE 8 THE BOTTLE 301 Holmes Ave NE, 256.270.7825 q MAPLE HILL CEMETERY 101 Washington Street, 256.704.5555 202 Maple Hill Drive, 256.539.5537 f OLD TOWNE COFFEE SHOP 9 VON BRAUN CENTER & PUB AT 511 Pratt Ave., 256.603.0308 w WEEDEN HOUSE MUSEUM PROPST ARENA (DHI LOCAL SPOT) 300 Gates Ave., 256.536.7718 700 Monroe Street, 256.533.1953   g PAPOU’S GREEK RESTAURANT 110 Southside Square, 256.534.5553 Stores, Salons, Spas Maple Hill St SE

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EXCURSIONS 25


No trip to Huntsville is complete without a visit to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center!

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untsville, Alabama, is the city that sent mankind to the moon. Working for the U.S. Army at Redstone Arsenal, Dr. Wernher von Braun and a team of German and American engineers developed the launch vehicle for Explorer I, America’s first satellite. Just a decade later, the world watched as 26 EXCURSIONS

the Huntsville-developed Saturn V rocket carried the men of Apollo 11 on their historic journey to the moon. To showcase the amazing technical accomplishments of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and Huntsville, the State of Alabama established the U.S. Space & Rocket Center as a public museum for space exploration, national defense and energy technology. Located off Interstate 565, the Rocket Center is the nation’s most complete collec-

tion of America’s space vehicles, with nearly 1,500 artifacts, interactive experiences and immersive simulators that provide an exhilarating experience for all who visit. A Saturn V moon rocket, the largest object in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution, is the centerpiece of a collection spanning more than half a century. From the Apollo 16 command module, to the launch console for Explorer I, to NASA’s next launch vehicle, the Space Launch System, Explore more at huntsville.org

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Consistently Ranked as Alabama’s No. 1 Tourist Attraction


Hours: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (daily) For more information: rocketcenter.com 1-800-63-SPACE (1-800-637-7223) Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @RocketCenterUSA

visitors learn the past and future of mankind’s greatest journey.

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The USSRC is the Official Visitor Center for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and is also a Smithsonian Affiliate museum.

The Center’s Rocket Park, which astronaut and former U.S. Senator John Glenn called “the finest rocket collection in the world,” includes 27 missiles and rockets. Shuttle Park, the home of the Pathfinder orbiter, is the only place in the world that visitors can see a full-stack configuration of the Space Shuttle. The newest permanent exhibition, International Space Station: Science on Orbit, provides an immersive experience of NASA’s current manned spacef light activities. Visitors can explore a model of the Payload Operation Integration Center, where NASA manages the experiments on the station, as well as two full modules of the ISS, interacting with digital displays and machines in order to learn about how astronauts live and work in space. The Center is also home to two state-

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of-the-art theaters that play the latest documentaries about space, science and more: the Spacedome IMAX® and the National Geographic Theater!

Camp missions include commercial and international space missions to the International Space Station, the moon and Mars.

Out-of-this-world camp programs available for ages 7 to 100!

The Rocket Center is also home to week long Space Camp®, Aviation Challenge® Camp and Space Camp® Robotics programs. These internationally-acclaimed educational programs immerse trainees in authentic astronaut and pilot training, allowing them to view mathematics, science and engineering as something more than just an academic exercise. Trainees in Space Camp experience simulators like the 1/6th gravity chair, build and launch rockets and conduct science experiments. Space

Aviation Challenge Camp is a military-themed training experience where young people gain an understanding of the basics of aerodynamics, f light physiology and wilderness survival. During this exciting week outdoors and in jet simulators, they train like fighter pilots and develop lifelong leadership and teamwork skills. At Space Camp Robotics, trainees learn to use robotic technologies to create engineering solutions for real-world problems. Trainees work as a team to build and test their own designs in air, land and sea challenges. The week culminates in a contest as trainees test the robots they spent the week developing. Stay an hour or stay a week—there is something at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center for everyone in the family! ❖ EXCURSIONS 27


Explore Huntsville’s Main Attractions Alabama Constitution Village Constitution Village is a unique and unforgettable journey into Alabama’s past. Come see villagers busy with their daily tasks, seemingly unaware that nearly two centuries have come and gone. Hear the whir of the spinning wheel, smell the enticing aroma of freshly baked bread being prepared over an open fire and turn the great wheel lathe in the cabinetmaker’s shop. Hours: (March – Oct) Tues – Sat, 10 am – 4 pm; 28 EXCURSIONS

Closed Jan and Feb. Admission charged. {109 Gates Avenue, 256.564.8100; earlyworks.com}

Big Spring International Park Located in downtown Huntsville, this iconic park serves as the center of the city. Named after an underground spring that John Hunt, Huntsville’s founder, built a cabin next to in 1805, it’s now surrounded by museums, hotels and more. The park plays host to

major area events, like the Panoply Arts Festival and local concerts, and showcases gifts bestowed upon the city by other countries, including the “Red Bridge” and 60 cherry trees from Japan. Free Admission. {Located adjacent to downtown Huntsville}  Bridge Street Town Centre

Bridge Street Town Centre is the premiere retail and entertainment center in North Alabama. Featuring over 70 upscale shops and

restaurants, including favorites like J. Crew, The Apple Store and Anthropology. The center also includes the 14-screen Monaco Pictures Theater, a 10-acre lake with gondola boats and water craft rentals, a beautiful carousel, fountains and lots of open green spaces. Free admission. {Located at the corner of Old Madison Pike and Research Park Blvd.; 256.327.8400; see their ad back cover; bridgestreethuntsville.com}

Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTO: PHOTO: HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

From shopping to museums to nature preserves, Huntsville has the perfect agenda for every traveler.


H U N T S V I L L E AT T R AC T I O N S

Take home a piece of art from Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment

PHOTO: HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

 Burritt on the Mountain

Also known as the “Jewel on the Mountain,” this living museum is seated atop RoundTop Mountain and features entertainment for all ages. At the 19th-century farm, children can pet barnyard animals, while adults can wander the 14-rooms of the unique X-shaped 1930s mansion. Visitors can explore the winding nature trails, visit authentic exhibits and even attend concerts and plays. Summer hours: (April – Oct) Tues – Sat, 9 am – 5 pm; Sun, noon – 5 pm; Winter hours (Nov – March) Tues – Sat, 10 am – 4 pm; Sun, noon – 4 pm. Admission charged. {3101 Burritt Drive, Huntsville; 256.536.2882; see their ad on page 33}

Ditto Landing For overnight, over the weekend or week-long vacation, Ditto Landing is a camper’s paradise. Nestled in the shaded comfort of densely wooded lots, the campground is cool, peaceful

Kids are sure to enjoy the talking tree at EarlyWorks.

and just a moment’s walk from an abundance of funfilled activities. It serves as the gateway to Wheeler reservoir, which has more than 60,000 acres of adventurous playground. There are ample facilities for boats of all sizes. Hours: Mon – Fri, 8 am – 10 pm; Sat – Sun, 6 am – 10 pm. {293 Ditto Landing Road, Huntsville; 256.882.1057}.

Dublin Memorial Park Located in Madison, this park features 66 acres of recreational activities. The Dublin Memorial Park Facility includes an outdoor swimming pool with baby and diving pools. Indoor facilities include a double-court gymnasium equipped for basketball and volleyball, an upstairs walking track and a 25-yard heated indoor swimming pool. Other outdoor activity areas include a walking trail, five soccer fields, a community-built playground and seven tennis courts. Hours: Mon – Fri, 6 am – 9 pm; Sat, 8 am – 8 pm; Sun, 10 am – 6 pm. Free admission. {8324

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Old Madison Pike, Madison; 256.772.9300}

EarlyWorks Children’s Museum EarlyWorks was designed for children—go ahead...touch, climb, pull, explore! Hear stories from the Talking Tree, play a tune on the giant-sized instruments at the Alabama bandstand and try your hand at building in the Kidstruction Zone. Explore a 46-foot Keelboat, trade your wares at the general store and try on clothing from the 1800s in the federal house. Preschoolers will enjoy exploring Biscuit’s Backyard, a touch-andlearn area which includes a garden, grocery store and even karaoke. Hours: Tues – Sat, 9 am – 4 pm. Admission charged. {404 Madison Street in Huntsville; 256.564.8107; earlyworks.com}

century Huntsville. The dwellings include a collection of modest one- and two-story vernacular Victorian homes, a variety of bungalows, modest Cape Cods and more. {Roughly located between Humes and Wells Avenues and Grayson Street and Andrew Jackson Way}

Harmony Park Safari Don’t miss this exciting drive-thru safari experience. Buy two buckets of food and enjoy feeding the animals on this federally licensed nature preserve. Some of the exotic and endangered animals include zebras, antelope, buffalo, camels, ostriches, pythons and even crocodiles! Hours: Mar – Nov, 10 am – sunset. Admission charged. {431 Clouds Cove Road, Huntsville; 877.726.4625}

Five Points Historic District

Harrison Brothers Hardware

Huntsville’s newest Historic Preservation District showcases the evolution of middle-class housing in 20th

Better than a museum, Harrison Brothers is a living 19th century landmark sitting serenely in the midst EXCURSIONS 29


H U N T S V I L L E AT T R AC T I O N S of downtown Huntsville. When you’re searching for that perfect souvenir to take home, Harrison Brothers is the place to visit. This shopper’s delight is filled with treasures, like a stack of antique biscuit jars brimming with old-fashioned candies, cotton throws, colorful tins, marbles by the scoop, cast iron cookware and oak rocking chairs. Hours: Open Mon – Fri, 9 am – 5 pm; Sat, 10 am – 4 pm. Free admission. {124 South Side Square in Huntsville; 256.536.3631; harrisonbrothershardware.com}

Historic Huntsville Depot Hear the rattle of the tracks and the engineer’s whistle as you experience life on the rails in 1860. Discover Civil War graffiti and listen as Andy, the robotic ticket agent, tells of Alabama’s railway history.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Depot was an active passenger station until 1968. The original depot building now stands as a symbol of Huntsville’s transportation history and city growth. Hours: March – Dec, Tues – Sat, 10 am – 4 pm; Admission charged. {320 Church Street, Huntsville; 256.564.8100}  Huntsville Botanical

Garden

In this dynamic young garden you’ll find inviting woodland paths, stunning floral collections and exhibits to delight visitors of all ages. Paths meander through the shady woodlands of the Dogwood Trail and the lush fern glade, while native wildflowers quietly populate the Nature Trail. The daylily and herb gardens rival or surpass those of older, more mature botanical gardens.

The demonstration vegetable garden showcases varieties of produce and inspires home gardeners. With new exhibits every season, there’s always something blooming at the gardens! Hours: (May – Sept) Mon – Sat, 9 am – 6 pm; Thurs, 9 am – 8 pm; Sun, noon – 6 pm. (Oct – April) Mon – Sat, 9 am – 5 pm; Sun, noon – 5 pm. {4747 Bob Wallace Avenue in Huntsville; 256.830.4447; hsvbg.org}

Huntsville Museum of Art Nestled next to Huntsville’s famous Big Spring Park, the nationally accredited Museum of Art fills its seven galleries with a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, including prestigious traveling exhibits and the work of nationally and regionally acclaimed artists. Shop the Museum Store for unique jewelry, pottery and

glasswork by local artists, and enjoy Italian fare at the new café, Pane e Vino. Hours: Sun, 1 pm – 5 pm; Closed Mon; Tues, Wed, Fri and Sat, 10 am – 5 pm; Thurs, 10 am – 8 pm. Admission charged. {300 Church Street, S. in Huntsville; 256.535.4350; hsvmuseum.org}

Insanity Complex Located in Madison, Insanity Complex features an indoor roller skating rink, a 38,000 sq. ft. outdoor skate park for boarding and agressive inline skating with full service pro shop for skateboarding, protective gear and apparel. They also have mini golf, batting cages and a rock climbing wall. Fun for all ages, this is a great place to host parties and events. See website for school in-session; holidays and school breaks hours and

ARE YOU NINJA ENOUGH TO CONQUER… THE GUTTER RUN FLOATING BEAM SPIDER WALL ROPE FOREST ROCK WALL EURO WALL SILKS TRAPEZE NINJA COURSE DODGE BALL COURT FOAM PIT OF DEATH TRAMPOLINE BASKETBALL!

SHAKALAKA—THE ULTIMATE EXTREME AIR EXPERIENCE! ASK ABOUT CORPORATE AND TEAM-BUILDING EVENTS! 256.469.1212

www.shakalaka.us @shakalakahuntsville All who enter must sign a waiver. All participants under the age of 19 must have a waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian.

30 EXCURSIONS

Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTO:

4710 University Drive, Huntsville


Huntsville Botanical Garden

PHOTO:

Offers Year-Round Family Fun

THE GARDEN CELEBRATES every season with a festival for the entire family. In the dead of winter, Beaks & Barks brings dogs and their owners to the Garden for some cold-weather fun. Visitors may roam the many hiking paths, and enjoy a game of fetch in the 5 acre “leash-free zone.” The Garden is not only a great horticultural display for human and canine visitors; it also attracts large numbers and many species of birds. February brings birding enthusiasts out to the Garden to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count and enjoy the Lewis Birding Trail. In the spring, the Garden comes alive with thousands of spring flowers. Huntsville Blooms celebrates the coming of spring with Garden Chats, floral displays and the region’s largest plant sale. Visitors enjoy tulips, daffodils, trillium, azaleas and dogwoods as they tour the Garden’s 112 acres. The annual Spring Plant sale gets everyone ready for spring and summer by offering a wide variety of botanicals and advice from the experts! As summer approaches, the nation’s largest butterfly house opens on May 1st. Visitors enjoy over 3000 butterflies, dozens of turtles and a menagerie of other critters throughout the summer. The Purdy Butterfly House festival features family picnics, Wacky Wednesdays children’s activities and summer camps

that feature bugs, butterflies and all types of outdoor educational fun. Summer also provides bubbling rocks, misting rockets, dinosaur bones, the Pollywog Bog and other water features that provide children both an opportunity to splash around and to cool off in the heat of the summer. As summer fades, the popular Scarecrow Trail festival begins. Huntsville Botanical Garden offers year-round family fun. This fun festival features wild, wacky and wonderful scarecrows created by local families, church groups, schools and businesses. From September through October, visitors enjoy weekend hayrides and getting lost in the Sorghum Maze. Gardeners know that fall is the best time to plant shrubs, trees, grasses and perennials. The annual Fall Plant Sale features Blue Ribbon selections and native plants best suited for our region. November and December feature the area’s largest holiday light show—one of the Alabama Tourism Department’s top ten tourism events—the Galaxy of Lights. From mid-November through December, more than 125,000 visitors walk or drive through the Garden and enjoy customcreated animated light displays. This unique event is created and coordinated by more than 1000 volunteers to delight crowds filling the Garden nightly from 5:30 till 9 pm. The Garden has a gift shop, indoor

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and outdoor facility rental options and elementary and adult education programs. Stop by for a visit anytime because there is always something “growing on” at the Huntsville Botanical Garden.

Groups of 10 or more qualify for group rates: Adults $9; Children 3-18 $6 Less than 10: Adults $12; Children 3-18 $8 Group reservations should be made in advance by calling 256.830.4447, ext. 223 Located conveniently off Interstate 565 hsvbg.org 256.830.4447 Toll free 1.877.930.4447 See The Garden’s mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com to see their live Facebook feed, get directions, link to their website and more.

EXCURSIONS 31


H U N T S V I L L E AT T R AC T I O N S

The U. S. Space & Rocket Center is the flagship attraction in Huntsville

Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment Located in historic Lowe Mill, supports a diverse creative community dedicated to the free expression of the arts in Huntsville. Our vision is to be a true arts destination and to grow Huntsville’s appreciation and interaction with the arts. {2211 Seminole Drive Huntsville, 256.533.0399; lowe mill.net}

Lydia Gold Skatepark Park consists of a 7,500 square foot street section, banks, quarterpipes, boxes, pads, stairs with rails and hubbas. Helmets are the only pad requirement. Park opens at dawn and closes at dusk; Free admission. {The skatepark is located at 200 Cleveland Street; lowemill.net}

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Madison County Lake Madison County Lake is a popular local destination for fishing. Facilities include concession stand, boat ramps and equipment rental. The 105-acre lake is filled with large-mouth bass, channel catfish and rainbow trout. Fishing license required. Hours: Normally open sunrise to sunset as follows: Feb 1 – Nov 23, open 6 days a week, closed on Wednesday; Nov 27 – Jan 31, open Fri, Sat and Sun. {2501 County Lake Road, Gurley 256.776.4905}

Monte Sano State Park Slip into your walking shoes and get ready to explore the beautiful North Alabama outdoors! Spread across more than 2,100 acres, historic Monte Sano State Park sits 1,900 feet above sea level and boasts some of the most beautiful views of the Huntsville area. Spanish for “Mountain of Health,” this park features cabins and camping facilities, as well

as 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of biking trails. Hours: 7 am – sundown. Admission charged. {5101 Nolen Road SE, Huntsville 256.534.3757}

Craftsman and Prairie School with homes dating from the late 1820s through the early 1900s. {Roughly bound by Dement and Lincoln Streets and Randolph and Walker Avenues}

North Alabama Railroad Museum

Southern Adventures

Located just east of Huntsville in the historic Chase community, this museum is a boon for train lovers. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, take a guided tour of more than 30 train cars, including locomotives, dining cars and sleeper cars. On Saturdays from March – Dec, you can even take an hour-long train ride and enjoy the local scenery. Admission charged. {694 Chase Road in Huntsville; 256.851.6276; northalabamarailroadmuseum.com}

This family-oriented water and amusement park offers entertainment for all ages. Attractions include two adventure golf courses, water park, go-kart track, carnival rides, climbing wall and more. Adventure park hours: Fri, 3 pm – 8 pm; Sat, 10 am – 8 pm; Sun, 1 pm – 6 pm; water park hours: Sat, 10 am – 7 pm; Sun, 1 pm – 6 pm. Admission charged. {2150 Leeman Ferry Road, Huntsville; 256.880.6599; southern-adventures.com}

Old Town Historic District

State Black Archives Research Center and Museum

The Old Town Historic District features homes in a variety of styles including Federal, Greek Revival, Queen Anne, American

Located in the historic James H. Wilson Building on the campus of Alabama Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTO: HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

also indoor venues and outdoor venues hours. Admission charged. {100 Skate Park Drive, Madison; 256.319.000; insanitycomplex.com}


A&M University just outside Huntsville, the center is a repository of AfricanAmerican history and culture, providing a dialogue between the present and past. Archival collections and featured exhibits span three floors of beautiful gallery areas. Hours: Mon – Fri, 9 am – 4 pm. Admission charged. {Located on the campus of Alabama A&M University in Normal, AL; 256.372.5846}

Twickenham Historic District Alabama’s largest antebellum district features Federal, Italianate, and Classical architecture, including the Weeden House Museum, Alabama’s oldest house open to public. Guided tours conducted. {109 Gates Avenue at Constitution Village in Huntsville}

PHOTO: BURRITT ON THE MOUNTAIN

 U.S. Space and Rocket Center

The world’s largest space attraction features dozens of interactive exhibits surrounding Apollo, Mercury and Space Shuttle spacecraft. The U. S. Space and Rocket Center is the only place in the world where you can stand under a “full stack”—the Space Shuttle, external tank, and two rocket boosters. Experience three times the force of gravity as you spin in the G-Force Accelerator, feel the powerful G forces of launch aboard the Space Shot and maneuver through space aboard the Mission to Mars. You can also stop for a show in the Spacedome Omnimax theater. Hours: 9 am – 5 pm, seven days a week. Admission charged. {One Tranquility Base in Huntsville; 1.800.63. SPACE; see their ad pages 26-27}

Veterans Memorial Museum Take a walk through American military history at this museum filled with

exhibits, memorabilia and more. The collection includes more than 30 military vehicles, including tanks, helicopters, motorcycles and boats. Dedicated to promoting and disseminating the accomplishments of American military men and women, the museum is popular among veterans and their families. Hours: Wed - Sat, 10 am - 5 pm. Admission charged—cash only. {2060A Airport Road in Huntsville; 256.883.3737; memorialmuseum.org}

Living history interpreter at Burritt on the Mountain

 Von Braun Center

The Von Braun Center is a multi-purpose entertainment venue that hosts major concerts, Broadway performances, ballets, symphonies and a full range of sporting events. The 10,000-seat Arena, 2,153-seat Concert Hall and 502-seat Playhouse Theatre can also be used as meeting areas for conferences or seminars. The Von Braun Center Arena is host to Huntsville Havoc SPHL Hockey, UAH Chargers Hockey, and Tennessee Valley Vipers Arena 2 Football. {700 Monroe Street, Huntsville; 256.533.1953; see their ad on page 17; vonbrauncenter.com}

Come Discover the Magic on the Mountain!

Weeden House Museum Alabama’s oldest open-tothe-public building is best known as the birthplace of 19th century poet and artist Maria Howard Weeden, whose poetry and paintings captured the essence of nineteenth-century Southern culture. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Weeden House is the only home in the Twickenham Historic District open as a museum. Call in advance to schedule a tour. Admission charged. {300 Gates Avenue, SE, Huntsville; 256.536.7718; weedenhousemuseum.com} ❖

Denotes our sponsors—see their mobile profiles at EXCURSIONSGO.com

l Dr. Burritt’s Mansion, the

region’s first “green” house, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

l A living history park that

features 19th century cabins and a barnyard

l 7 Nature Trails offering

scenic views of the museum’s 167 acres

3101 Burritt Drive • Huntsville, Alabama 35801 • 256.536.2882 www.burrittonthemountain.com OPEN: April~October: Tuesday - Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm & Sunday: noon - 5pm November~March: Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 4pm & Sunday: noon - 4pm

2016 quarter page ad.indd 1

9/12/2016 12:34:15 PM

EXCURSIONS 33


N AT U R A LW O N D E R S

Monte Sano State Park

Cathedral Caverns

Wide Open Spaces Major Outdoor Attractions NORTH ALABAMA BIRDING TRAIL Comprised of 50 sites throughout north Alabama, The North Alabama Birding Trail is not a “trail” in the traditional sense, but a series of mostly roadside stops throughout north Alabama selected for their bird-watching characteristics. While all of the sites can be accessed from a vehicle, many of the sites also have traditional walking trails associated with them; and a few sites contain extensive areas that are best explored by boat or canoe. Contact the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau for more information at 256.551.2230. 34 EXCURSIONS

MONTE SANO STATE PARK Monte Sano, Spanish for “Mountain of Health,” rises more than 1,600 feet above sea level. The mountain has attracted visitors since the mid 1820’s. Currently over 14 miles of hiking/biking trails service our state park and its patrons. The North Plateau Loop and South Plateau Loop trails offer stunning vistas of the Tennessee Valley, with mild trail elevation changes. For our more serious hikers and bikers we invite you to try our Mountain Mist and McKay Hollow trails. Call 256.534.3757 for more information. WADE MOUNTAIN PRESERVE Approximately 11 miles of trails on a combination of land trust and private land and

TVA easements. The trails are moderately technical single-track that ring the west and south sides of Wade Mountain. When followed in the correct order, the trails can provide nearly two hours of enjoyment, riding on undulating or descending singletrack (after one long climb). The trail can be ridden in two segments, one 8-mile figure-8 loop with the option of the more difficult 3-mile Land Trust Devil’s Racetrack trail at the beginning or end of the ride. The Devil’s Racetrack is a unique geological formation that surrounds the crest of Wade Mountain. It is connected to trails that encircle the south and west portions of Wade Mountain. Located on Spragins Hollow Road. For more information call 256.534.LAND. Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTOS: HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

From awe-inspiring mountain vistas to echoing caverns, the Huntsville area offers a wealth of outdoor escapes.


Three Caves

Three Caves Tour

PHOTOS: (OPPOSITE PAGE) JEFF SCHREIER; (THIS PAGE) HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

Ditto Landing

CATHEDRAL CAVERNS Located deep beneath Gunter’s Mountain in northeast Marshall County is a hidden treasure that offers breathtaking sights and chilly temperatures. Cathedral Caverns boasts one of the world’s largest stalagmites, frozen waterfalls, flowstone walls and stalagmite forests. The constant yearround temperature is 60 degrees F (16 C) in the 14-acre underground wonderland, designated as a Registered National Natural Landmark in 1972. Call 256.728.8193 for more information. THE LAND TRUST OF HUNTSVILLE Showcasing leisurely walks and challenging hikes, wildflower trails and natural springs, The Land Trust preserves beautiful places to experience the great Alabama outdoors. Maps are sold weekdays at 907 Franklin Street, and are available online at landtrust-hsv.org. Call 256.534.5263 for more information.

dren, while the lower course is a bit more adventurous. Call 256.682.1561 for more information.

playground. There are ample facilities for boats of all sizes. Call 256.882.1057 for more information.

DITTO LANDING Servicing Wheeler Reservoir, which has more than 60,000 acres of adventurous

NORTH ALABAMA CANOE & KAYAK Large variety of canoe and kayak rentals, a variety of river tours for groups of any size, shuttle service to all local waterways, guide service to all local waterways and daily information on water conditions. Call 256.529.0357 for more information.

Local Walking Trails ALDRIDGE CREEK GREENWAY

1100 Mountain Gap Road

ATWOOD LINEAR PARK GREENWAY

7500 Atwood Drive

BIG COVE CREEK GREENWAY

100 Old Hwy 431

GREEN MOUNTAIN NATURE TRAIL

5000 Nature Trail Road HAYS NATURE PRESERVE

7153 Hwy 431 S

INDIAN CREEK GREENWAY

Slaughter Road

Canoeing & Boating CHICKASAW CANOEING Featuring two courses on the Flint River; the upper course is great for small chil-

Go EXCURSIONS mobile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

LITTLE COVE ROAD GREENWAY

100 Old Hwy 431

WADE MOUNTAIN PRESERVE

Spragins Hollow Road

FLINT RIVER CANOE RENTALS The Flint River is a scenic Class 1, ideal for f loat trips. Reservations are recommended during prime season (April through Oct). Call 256.858.2280 for more information. MADISON COUNTY LAKE Madison County Lake is 15 miles northeast of Huntsville. The lake is a 105-acre, public fishing lake offering concessions, picnic facilities, grills, rentals and a bait shop. Fishing license and daily permit required. Madison County Lake is located at 2501 Country Lake Road in Gurley. For more information call 256.776.4905. ❖


Out on the Town From enriching plays and theater to rockin' live music, dance clubs and breweries, there are good times to be had in Huntsville and Madison.

36 EXCURSIONS

Explore more at huntsville.org


N I G H T L I F E E N T E R TA I N M E N T

Ars Nova School of the Arts

Flying Monkey Arts Center

This local conservatory for music and performing arts also produces musical theatre, opera and operetta for the local stage, ranging from "Macbeth" to "The Mikado," and "Hansel and Gretel." {7908 Charlotte Drive SW in Huntsville; 256.883.1105}

Located in the historic Lowe Mill, the center hosts a variety of events such as the traditional Cigar Box Guitar festival, the Sex Workers’ Art Show and many presentations of the Film Coop, in addition to other events. {2211 Seminole Drive SW in Huntsville; 256.489.7000}

Broadway Theatre League This organization brings Broadway’s best productions to Huntsville. "Rent," "Chicago," "Sweeney Todd," "Spamalot," "Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang," and extras, such as, "Happy Days" and "The Rat Pack," have been performed in the Von Braun Center. {700 Monroe Street Southwest in Huntsville; 256.518.6155}

Huntsville Community Chorus Association

Enjoy the musical maestros of the symphony.

Community Ballet Association The Community Ballet Association operates the Huntsville Ballet Company and Community Ballet School. In addition to the annual "Nutcracker" and Spring Repertory performances, the CBA works with touring companies to bring the best in dance to Huntsville. {800 Regal Drive in Huntsville; 256.539.0961}

Huntsville Symphony Orchestra The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra is the oldest continuously operating professional orchestra in the state of Alabama. The symphony, started in part by members of the German rocket team, offers classical, pops, chamber and young people’s concerts. The Symphony School currently has more than 100 students. {700 Monroe Street in Huntsville; 256.539.4818}

PHOTOS: (OPPOSITE) DREAMSTIME

Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theatre An all-volunteer organization, Fantasy Playhouse performs for the children of North Alabama both on stage and off. Fantasy Academy, the organization’s dance, music and art school, teaches children and adults each year. Fantasy Playhouse regularly produces three plays a year with an additional annual play, "A Christmas Carol," produced early each December. {3312 Long Ave SW, Huntsville; 256.539.6829} Go EXCURSIONS Mobile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

The state’s second-oldest performing arts organization produces both choral concerts and musical theater productions, ranging from "The Pirates of Penzance" to "Guys and Dolls" and "Jesus Christ Superstar." In addition, HCCA features its Madrigal Singers; “Glitz!” (a show choir); a Chamber Chorale as well as multiple programs for students of all ages, from pre-school through high school students. {3312 Long Avenue SW, Huntsville; 256.533.6606}

Huntsville Youth Orchestra

Attend a popular show.

The HYO is a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to “foster, promote and provide the support necessary for students from North Alabama to experience musical EXCURSIONS 37


N I G H T L I F E E N T E R TA I N M E N T

HAPPY HOUR AND BEYOND...

Merrimack Hall

These are some of our top picks for entertainment and libations in Huntsville and Madison.

HUNTSVILLE  BELOW THE RADAR 220 Holmes Ave NE 256.469.6617 (see ad page 22)

 HUMPHREY’S BAR & GRILL 109 Washington Street, Huntsville 256.704.5555 (see ad page 24)

AMENDMENT XXI

Independent Musical Productions Founded in 1993, this local group presents at least one annual main production such as "Ragtime," "Civil War," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "Into The Woods" and "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." In addition, musicals for children and outreach programs complete the season. {520 Green Cove Road SE, Huntsville, 256.337.9071}

Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center After nearly $3 million in renovations to their historic building, this facility now includes a 302-seat performance hall, a 3,000 square foot dance studio, and 38 EXCURSIONS

rehearsal and instructional spaces for musicians. Past productions and performers include "Menopause The Musical," "Dixie’s Tupperware Party," Billy Bob Thornton and The Boxmasters, Dionne Warwick, Lisa Loeb, Wade Robson, Claire Lynch and the Second City Comedy Troupe. {3320 Triana Blvd. SW, Huntsville; 256.534.6455}

Renaissance Theatre The Renaissance Theatre features two stages, the Main Stage (upstairs) and the Alpha Stage (downstairs), each with seating for about 85. Performances range from original works to old standards, and have included the regional premiere of "The Maltese Falcon" (April 2008), "Doubt," "A Parable," "Urinetown," "The Rocky Horror Show," "The Lion in Winter" and "Holy Ghosts," which took “Best Show” at the Southeastern Theatre Conference's Community Theatre Festival. {1214 Meridian Street, Huntsville; 256.536.3434}

Theatre Huntsville This nonprofit, all-volunteer arts organization presents six plays each season in the Von Braun Center Playhouse. It also produces the annual "Shakespeare on the Mountain” at an outdoor venue, such as Burritt on the Mountain. Presentations range from "The Foreigner" and "Noises Off" to "The Laramie Project" and "Angels in America" and even to the occasional musical ("Little Shop of Horrors", "Nunsense"). Call for a schedule of events. {1701 University Drive, Huntsville; 256.536.0807}. ❖

BANDITO SOUTHSIDE 11220 Memorial Pkwy SW #P1 256.489.3232

BAR LOUIE 365 The Bridge Street, Ste 100 256.327.8630

BLACK WATER HATTIE’S 10000 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.489.3333

CHIPS & SALSA CANTINA 10300 #10 Bailey Cove Road SE 256.880.1202

CHURCH STREET WINE SHOPPE 501 Church Street, Huntsville 256.970.4097

CLUB OZZ 1204 Posey Street NW 256.539.5970

COPPER TOP BAR AND GRILL 200 Oakwood Ave NE 256.536.1150

DEE’S DINER & BILLIARDS 2007-C N Memorial Pkwy 256.851.0603

END ZONE 1909 University Drive NW 256.536.2234 Plays showcase local talent.

FLYING MONKEY ARTS CENTER 2211 Seminole Drive 256.489.7000

Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTO: (TOP) MERRIMACK HALL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

education in an orchestral setting.” The organization has six separate ensembles: The Huntsville Youth Symphony, Sinfonia, Philharmonica, Concert Orchestra, Intermezzo Orchestra and Novice Strings. {6806 Cole Drive SE, Huntsville; 256.880.0622}

123 North Side Square 256.715.0131


FOCUS LIVE MARTINI BAR

SPORTS PAGE LOUNGE & DELI

2020 Country Club AVE NW 256.517.1106

9009-M Memorial Pkwy S 256.880.9471

FUBAR

THE BRICKHOUSE SPORTS CAFE

109 Washington Street SE 256.715.8042

7 Town Center Drive NW, 256.585.1599

FURNITURE FACTORY BAR & GRILL

THE NOOK

619 Meridian Street N #200 256.539.8001

3305 Bob Wallace Ave SW 256.489.0911

JEFFERSON STREET PUB

THE VOODOO LOUNGE

111 Jefferson Street 256.519.2997

110 South Side Square Huntsville, 256.539.0335

HOT SPOT BAR & GRILL

WEST END GRILL

1117 Jordan Lane 256.430.1777

6610 Old Madison Pike #106 256.722.8040

OLD TOWNE BEER EXCHANGE

MADISON

301 Holmes Ave. NE #150 256.270.7825

LEE ANN'S

PHOTO: (LEFT) MONACO PICTURES USA (RIGHT) PHOTO: JOSHUA RAINEY | DREAMSTIME.COM

415 Church Street NW #12 256.489.9300

MAGGIE MEYERS IRISH PUB 1009 Henderson Rd. 256.964.6216

MVP SPIRITS AND GRILL 11220 Memorial Pkwy, SW 256.489.0677

RUGGBY'S 4820 University Drive 256.895.0795

RUSH NIGHT CLUB 109 Northside Square 256.715.8981

SAMMY T’S MUSIC HALL 116 Washington Street 256.539.9974

SCENE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE 370 The Bridge Street 256.327.8347

BISON’S BAR & GRILL 8020 Madison Blvd. 256.772.4477

CORK & CRUST PIZZERIA & WINE BAR 12120 County LIne Road 256.801.9463

HALF TIME GRILL 8873 Hwy 72 W 256.430.0266 SIDELINES

7407 U.S. Highway 72 256.945.7806

VISIT OUR TAPROOMS Local breweries are energizing the craft beer industry with their own creative twists on brewing and offer up close and personal experiences in their taprooms.

HUNTSVILLE  BELOW THE RADAR

SALTY NUT BREWERY

BREWHOUSE

2406 Clinton Ave W 256.713.8877 saltynutbrewery.com

220 Holmes Ave NE 256.469.6617 brtbrew.com See their ad on page 24.

GREEN BUS BREWING

3200 Leeman Ferry Road straighttoale.com

206 Eustis Ave SE 256.990.2477

YELLOWHAMMER BREWING

THE STEM & STEIN

10871 County Line Road 256.325.3779 WISH YOU WERE BEER

7407 Hwy 72 W 256.325.9992

Denotes our sponsors—see their mobile profiles at EXCURSIONSGO.com

2600 Clinton Ave W 256.489.3510 yellowhammerbrewery.com

MAD MALTS BREWING 109 Maple Ave NW 256.503.2233 madmaltsbrewing.com

MADISON

THE STATION PUB AND GRILL

8694 Madison Blvd. 256.325.1333

STRAIGHT TO ALE

 ROCKET REPUBLIC BREWING

OLD BLACK BEAR BREWING CO.

289 Production Ave rocketrepublicbrewing.com See their ad on page 37.

212 Main Street 256.853.4639 oldblackbear.com ❖

BLUE PANTS BREWERY 500 Lanier Road bluepantsbrew.com

EXCURSIONS 39


S H O P P I N G &W E L L N E S S

Treat Yourself From the most popular national stores to local boutiques and salons, Huntsville has what you need to treat yourself well.

THE ANTIQUE MARKET

11595 Memorial Pkwy SW Huntsville 256.270.9636 ANTIQUES, ETC. APPRAISALS

7515 Sherwood Drive SE Huntsville 256.533.7647

ALEXANDER’S JEWELRY

2314 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.536.33391 BIRCH HILL ANTIQUES

5000 Whitesburg Drive Huntsville 256.881.1225

BLUE BIRD ANTIQUE MALL

9195 Hwy 431 Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763 256.725.4000

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FIREHOUSE ANTIQUES & INTERIORS MARKET

10095 Memorial Pkwy SW Huntsville 256.880.9111 GOLDEN GRIFFIN

104 Longwood Drive SE Huntsville 256.535.0882 HARTLEX ANTIQUES & INTERIORS

6515 University Drive NW, Huntsville 256.801.9168 INTERIORS BY CONSIGN

8506 Whitesburg Drive SE Huntsville 256.880.0909 LENNART’S, INC.

806 Wellman Ave. NE Huntsville 256.536.6789 LIMESTONE FLEA MARKET, INC.

30030 US Highway 72 Madison 256.233.5183

LINCOLN CENTER ANTIQUES

1214 Meridian Street N Huntsville 256.536.3117

RAILROAD STATION ANTIQUE MALL

315 Jefferson Street N Huntsville 256.533.6550 RIVENBANK AND ROPER

110 Main Street, Madison 256.772.4444

900 Bob Wallace Ave Suite 111, Huntsville 256.564.9800

MADISON SQUARE ANTIQUES

WHITE LILY ANTIQUES

MARY’S

WILLOWBROOK SHOPPE

MADISON STATION ANTIQUES

1017 Old Monrovia Road NW Huntsville 256.430.0909 505 Pratt Ave., Huntsville 256.658.4972

PACKARD’S ANTIQUE CENTER

11110 Memorial Pkwy SW Huntsville 256.881.1678

8512 Whitesburg Drive SE Huntsville 256.881.7707 7900 Bailey Cove Road SE Huntsville 256.270.7181 UNIVERSITY PICKERS

3024 University Drive NW, Huntsville 256.964.6862 ❖

POLLY’S ANTIQUES

5813 Criner Road SE, Huntsville 256.883.2032 PHOTO:

ALPHA ESTATE & AUCTION SALES

12315 Triana Blvd, Ste. C, Huntsville 256.536.3117

Explore more at huntsville.org


 Bridge Street Town Centre Bridge Street Town Centre is a premier mixed-use lifestyle center featuring more than 70 upscale shops and restaurants, the 210-room Westin Huntsville Hotel, a 14-screen Monaco Pictures and a six-story office tower. The property also features a customer service center, carousel, fountains and lots of green open spaces. Located at the corner of Old Madison Pike and Research Park Boulevard in the heart of Cummings Research Park. 256.327.8400 STORES INCLUDE: Belk, H&M, Versona, Barnes & Noble, Anthropologie, Ann Taylor Loft, Michael Kors, Kate Pandora, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Apple, White House/Black Market, Mountain High Outfitters and Vintage Wine & Cigars. View their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com to view their Facebook feed, get directions, go to their website and more. (See their ad inside back cover)

Madison Square Mall Enjoy the convenience of shopping indoors at this traditional shopping mall. Madison Square offers fashion, fun and food for everyone with four department stores, over 120 stores and eateries and 12 theater screens. Madison Square has the names you won’t find anywhere else in town. Located on University Drive at the intersection of Research Park Boulevard and Highway 72. 256.830.5407 STORES INCLUDE: JC Penney, Sears, Victoria’s Secret, Lunar Mini Golf, Lids, Hibbett Sports, Sephora, Lids, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sephora and White Barn.

Parkway Place Mall Measuring in at 650,000 square feet, Parkway Place is anchored by Dillard’s and Belk. This indoor retail mall offers shoppers of the Tennessee Valley more than 70 stores, including favorites like Ann Taylor and Hollister Co. The attached movie theater features 18 screens. Hours: Mon - Sat: 10 am - 9 pm; Sun: noon - 6 pm. Located at the intersection of U.S. 231 (Memorial Parkway) and Drake Avenue. 256.533.0700 STORES INCLUDE: Belk, Dillard’s, AÉROPOSTALE, Ann Taylor, Hollister, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, Men’s Warehouse, New York & Company, Sunglass Hut, Brookstone Denotes our sponsors—see their mobile profiles at EXCURSIONSGO.com

Jeanne Shrader with Addi

Attitudes

A Jeanne Shrader Salon 604 Andrew Jackson Way NE, Huntsville, AL 35801 256.534.7001 Attitudeshuntsville.com @attitudeshuntsville

Attitudes specializes in Great Lengths hair extensions and North Alabama’s only certified Eyelash extension specialist. Owned by New York trained, Nationally-acclaimed Stylist. Our goal is Wellness. We strive to provide an atmosphere which offers expertise, encouragement and a unique selection of services to enable you to achieve an enriched sense of well-being, body, mind, spirit and soul. As Charles Swindoll writes...“I Am convinced that life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you...We are in charge of our Attitudes.” We look forward to sharing our services and treatments with you • Specializing in Great Lengths Hair Extensions, Eyelash extensions and Editorial Hair and Makeup • Full service salon • Located in the heart of Five Points—just minutes from downtown Huntsville An

Salon

See their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com to view their Facebook feed, get driving directions, tap to call, go to their website and more.

EXCURSIONS 41


Dine Huntsville From award-winning fine dining and upscale bistros to down-home hangouts, Huntsville area restaurants are guaranteed to please.

42 EXCURSIONS

Explore more at huntsville.org


Sophisticated Sizzle Grille 29—Favorite Huntsville Restaurant ~quoted from Trip Advisor MOUTHWATERING DISHES, seasonal ingredients and warm hospitality come together seamlessly for Sunday brunch, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Located in the heart of the beautiful Village of Providence, Grille 29 sets the standard for fine dining in a casual atmosphere in Huntsville through its sophisticated sizzle. Grille 29 continues to be ranked in the top group of “Best Restaurants” on Trip Advisor. In addition to menu favorites such as Crab Cake Blend Stuffed Sea Scallops, the Filet 29 and the culinary team’s artfully designed nightly features, the Grouper Oscar has become a signature entrée and is on the list of “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.” Pan-seared and topped with jumbo lump crab meat, asparagus and hollandaise, this dish is worthy of all the raves it receives. Being in the Rocket City, Grille 29 embraced the space experience with the starry sky display over the bar. Over 1.3 miles of fiber optic lighting were used to make the constellations Go EXCURSIONS Mobile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

in the northern hemisphere and guests can catch a glimpse of a shooting star or comet over head as they enjoy their dinner. Grille 29 also boasts the largest saltwater aquarium in Northern Alabama, featuring exotic sea life—you are sure to find relaxation somewhere between the sea and stars at the bar. Your culinary journey will not be complete unless you experience dessert at Grille 29! Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle, Lemon Lava Cake and Trio of Crème Brulee are just a sampling of delectable desserts that you must try. Make Grille 29 your restaurant for meeting friends after work, celebrating a special occasion or enjoying a business luncheon. Your table is ready and waiting! ❖ 445 Providence Main Street NW, 256.489.9470; grille29.com

EXCURSIONS 43


A Certified Angus Beef filet served with a grilled prawn

One of Chef Chapman’s house-made desserts

Nick’s Ristorante A slice of northern Italy with a broad sense of service by JENNY ADAMS photography by BRENT BOYD

S

inatra’s best lyrics are floating through a microphone in the lounge. The lighting is dim in the larger dining room, where the woods are polished and gleaming. The steaks are sending clouds of charred perfume off hot plates. It’s another night at Nick’s. However, what’s become beloved in just a few short years by locals is often a refreshing discovery for those visiting from out of town. This steak house has a serious love of premium cuts and a philanthropic side for the men and women of our Armed Forces. Behind it all is owner Nick Mikus—a man who served in the Army around the globe for nearly five decades before settling down to serve up some of Huntsville’s most lauded cuisine. Nick opened his northern Italian

44 EXCURSIONS

steak house alongside his wife, Sherry, in 2010. In just five years, the restaurant has become a cornerstone in the community. It’s located off-the-beaten-path, and for Nick, he’d want it no other way. “The location is paramount to what we do. I want people to come and find us,” he says. “I want to be a hideaway, where you discover something remarkable and like finding your way back.” “This restaurant is something we talked about doing more than 40 years ago when our mom was still alive,” concurs Nick’s brother, general manager, Dave Mikus. “Inside the space, you feel like your walking in someone’s home. There are family photos on the wall and our bistro has leather sofas. We want guests to relax just like they would at home. I like to say

we’ve entertained as a family our whole lives and this is an extension of that.” You will definitely be welcomed by the family atmosphere and literal family ownership, but there are aspects of Nick’s you cannot find in most homes. The quality of steak on the menu is a serious component, and it sets the place apart in the Southeast. Nick’s is one of the only Certified Angus Beef operations in the state of Alabama, which means every single cut of meat is in the top 5-percent of all beef produced. Executive Chef Tom Chapman sources his 21-day aged cuts from three farms in the Midwest, and they are butchered and packaged specifically for the venue. “We have a spice blend that Nick and I worked to create,” says Chapman, who’s been in the kitchen nearly three years now, Explore more at huntsville.org


The cozy dining room dressed to impress

and studied in the field under a noted Italian chef before joining this team. “Our seasoning is seven ingredients: salt, pepper, garlic, smoked paprika, ground oregano, cinnamon and coffee grounds,” he says. “The coffee grounds add a robust flavor that we find complements a steak very well.” “Our most popular steak is the filet, and when you hear the term cuts like butter, it definitely applies,” Nick laughs. He loves sitting down to the New York Strip. “It’s my favorite,” he says, “because when I cut into a steak, I want to feel the heft of it. We also have a House Sirloin that’s the best deal going. It’s 12 ounces for under $30, and you can easily feed two people.” A man who comes from a long line of proud Italian heritage, and who still has family operating restaurants over in Italy, Nick serves a traditional menu one might find in Florence, Italy, including a mean, thin-pounded veal and a delicate, rich, mushroom risotto. “You won’t find the heavy dishes like lasagna on our menu,” Nick says, “because we stay true to the cuisine of Northern Italy. “We have a beautiful bar pizza on the bistro side of the restaurant that we do on the Go EXCURSIONS Mobile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

A specialty cocktail from the master mixologists at the bar.

grill, and the few pastas we do have are very light, with homemade sauce. Everything is created here, including all of our desserts.” While the vibe might be a throwback to the classic, Rat Pack-era and the food might be very traditional northern Italian, what surprises some new visitors is the restaurant’s dedication to the men and women of the American military. Nick is a veteran himself, having served more than four decades in the armed forces. A Vietnam veteran, he’s lived all over the map, from time in the Pacific to years in Europe. Nick’s Ristorante is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business. The sense of “family” here extends not just to the ownership and the staff, but to all those who have served our country and come in to sit and be served as a thank you. Nick opens the restaurant early to host events on certain days, whenever veterans groups need a place to gather. “We have a lot of regulars and within that, a lot of our customers are military,” he says. “We support Still Serving Veterans, Wounded Warriors and many other veterans groups.” Many restaurant owners could look

around the room and notice familiar faces. At Nick’s the clientele can see the devotion and near fanaticism some hold for his choice cuts of rib eye and super creamy risotto right on the bistro wall. The cheekily named Mafia Club was set up a few years ago, and it is, according to Nick, “about as good of a return on investment as you’re ever going to find.” Be sure to ask Nick or one of his team members about this tremendous offer. Nick explains, “people love bringing business groups or large parties in here. It takes the hassle out of splitting a check or the awkwardness of paying. You just tell your server that you have a Mafia Club membership. They take your name and number, and you just sign—no credit cards or cash required. It comes directly out of your account.” ❖ NICK’S RISTORANTE

10300 Bailey Cove Road SE Huntsville, AL 35803 256.489.8280 nicksristorante.com Reservations recommended

EXCURSIONS 45


DINEHUNTSVILLE

Rosie's Mexican Cantina

For a complete list of restaurants in Downtown Huntsville, see page 25. FUN & CASUAL  HUMPREY'S BAR & GRILL

103 Washington Street 256.704.5555  PHUKET

See their ad page 53. 475 Providence Main Street 256.489.1612  PINTS & PIXELS

See their ads on pages 2 & 48.

115 Clinton Ave. East, 3rd Floor (above the U.G. White Store) 256.970.4844

•7540-A Memorial Pkwy S 256.382.3232 ALABAMA SMOKEHOUSE

2612 Jordan Lane 256.715.8300

BAUMHOWER'S RESTAURANT

4250 Balmoral Drive SW 256.881.8878 BEAUREGARD’S

•1420 Paramount Drive 256.429.2600 •975 Airport Road 256.429.3600 BIG ED’S PIZZERIA

903 Memorial Pkwy N 256.489.3374

 ROSIE’S MEXICAN CANTINA

BIG SPRING CAFÉ

See their ad page 51. •6196 University Drive 256.922.1001

2906 Governors Drive 256.539.9994

Grille 29

FARM BURGER

BISTRO 6K

6000 Memorial Parkway 256.382.5108

930 Bob Wallace Ave SW 256.270.7392

LUCIANO

GIBSON’S BARBECUE

964 Aiport Road 256.880.9920

•3319 Memorial Pkwy S 256.881.4851 •8412 Whitesburg Drive 256.882.0841

CAFÉ 302

2700 Winchester Road 256.852.3442 CHARRITO'S BAR & GRILL

7 Town Center Drive NW 256.217.8868 CHOPCHOP FRESH SALADS

6125 University Dr NW 256.203.2839 DRAKE'S

4800 Whitesburg Drive, Ste. 14 256.517.8588 EARTH AND STONE WOOD FIRED PIZZA

HAPPY TUMMY

Inside Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment 2211 Seminole Drive 256.348.8132 HENRY'S MUSTANG CAFE

2500 Jordan Lane NW 256.517.1288 HILDEGARD'S GERMAN CUISINE

2357 Whitesburg Drive S 256.512.9776

2600 Clinton Ave W 256.489.9539

Tom Chapman EXECUTIVE CHEF, NICK’S RISTORANTE Executive Chef Tom Chapman has been at the helm of a tiny kitchen sending out serious steaks for a few years now. His mother was the first to instill a love of food, and he later lived abroad while in the service, cultivating a passion for international cuisine. “The first chef I trained under was Italian, and I’d say that’s my strength, he says. “My philosophy is to take elegant cuisine and make it approachable.” For Chapman, the steaks steal the show, but he’s also very proud of the seafood flown in bi-weekly. “If you’ve ever watched Deadliest Catch,” he laughs, “those are the Siberian King Crab legs we serve here. Each is around 16 inches long and the meat is so sweet, so tender. We sell a lot of them.” For our steaks, “we have a spice blend that Nick and I worked to create,” says Chapman. Adding, “our seasoning is seven ingredients: salt, pepper, garlic, smoked paprika, ground oregano, cinnamon and coffee grounds,” he says. “The coffee grounds add a robust flavor that we find compliments a steak very well.”

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Denotes our sponsors—see their mobile profiles at EXCURSIONSGO.com


FINE COCKTAILS. FINE CUISINE. FINE DINING.

Our seasonal menu offers a variety of dishes made with the finest locally sourced ingredients.

256-704-5555 | thebottledowntown.com 101 Washington Street, Downtown Huntsville MON - THU 5pm - 10pm FRI - SAT 5pm - 11pm | BAR OPENS at 4pm

DAILY SPECIALS. LIVE MUSIC. GOOD TIMES.

With daily food & drink specials and live music on the patio, there’s always something going on at Humphrey’s downtown.

256-704-5555 | humphreysdowntown.com 103 Washington Street, Downtown Huntsville MON - THU 11am - 12am | FRI 11am - 2am SAT 10am - 2am | SUN 10am - 12am EXCURSIONS 47


LITTLE ROSIE'S TAQUERIA

WEST END GRILL

4781 Whitesburg Drive 256.882.0014

6610 Old Madison Pike, #109 256.722.8040

MASON DIXON BAKERY & BISTRO

Pints & Pixels 115 Clinton Ave. East, 3rd Floor, Huntsville, AL 35801 (above the U.G. White Store) 256.970.4844 pintsandpixels.pub @pintspixels

Pints & Pixels

2358 Whitesburg Drive S 256.213.7545

FINE DINING

MIYAKO JAPANESE RESTAURANT

 GRILLE 29

10013 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.880.9879

See their ad on page 3 and read more about them on page 43. 445 Providence Main Street 256.489.9470

OL HEIDELBERG RESTAURANT

6125 University Drive NW 256.922.0556 ORIGINAL PUBLIC HOUSE

3310 Memorial Pkwy 256.469.3005 PAPA GYRO'S

4925 University Dr NW 256.489.9050 PHIL SANDOVAL'S MEXICAN RESTAURANTE

6125 Univeristy Drive NW 256.489.5711 PIEOLOGY PIZZERIA

365 The Bridge Street 256.801.8132 SCENE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE

370 The Bridge Street 256.327.8347 SCHNITZEL RANCH

Where Everybody Knows Your Game! Pints & Pixels is a bar/arcade featuring regional brewery offerings along with your favorite bottled beers and a stocked full bar for mixed drinks and wines. Step back in time to the 80s and 90s and visit this arcade showcasing more than 35 vintage video arcade games and a variety of pinball machines while you watch and listen to a time warp of music videos. Enjoy the interesting variety of chili, burgers, sandwiches, salads and desserts by Anaheim Chili while you enjoy the vintage atmosphere. HOURS OF OPERATION: Tues - Thu 11 am - 10 pm; Fri & Sat 11 am - 12 am Sun 11 am - 8 pm View their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

On the Menu Appetizers: Adobe Skirt Steak Skewer, Jalapeno Poppers, Buffalo Shrimp, Ghost Pepper Wild Wings Main: Several styles of Anaheim Chilis, Wings, Dogs, Burgers and Sandwiches Bar: 20+ Craft Beers On Tap, Dozens more in cans & bottles and Full Bar with Craft Cocktails

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1851 University Drive 256.535.0840 TACO MAMA

301 Pelham Ave SW, Ste C8 256.519.6262 TENDERS

• 800 Holmes Avenue 256.533.7599 • 527 Wynn Drive 256.721.3395

 NICK'S RISTORANTE

Read more on pages 46-47. 10300 Bailey Cove Road #1 256.489.8280  RUTH'S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE

See their ads pages 1 and 53. 720 Gallatin Street at Twickenham Place 256.539.3930  THE BOTTLE

See their ad page 47 101 Washington Street 256.704.5555 1892 EAST RESTAURANT & TAVERN

720 Pratt Ave NE 256.489.1242 CONNORS STEAK & SEAFOOD

345 The Bridge Street NW 256.327.8425 D&L BISTRO

7500 Memorial Pkwy SW, Ste. 124 256.881.7244 MEZZA LUNA

2724 Carl T Jones Drive SE 256.650.2514 THE MELTING POT

340 The Bridge Street, Ste. 202 256.327.8888

TERRANOVA’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT

1420 Paramount Drive, Ste. A 256.489.8883 THE BOOT PIZZERIA

11505 S Memorial Pkwy 256.489.1771 THE BRICKHOUSE

7 Town Center Drive NW 2356.585.1599 VINTAGE CIGAR LOUNGE

355 The Bridge Street 256.585.2345 WALTON'S SOUTHERN TABLE

LUNCH SPOTS ANAHEIM CHILI

2030 Cecil Ashburn Drive SE 256.489.5531 BETTY MAES RESTAURANT

1222 Grace Street NW 256.325.5189 BIG SPRING CAFE

2906 Governors Drive SW 256.539.9994

4901 Whitesburg Drive 256.203.2979

Denotes our sponsors—see their mobile profiles at EXCURSIONSGO.com


ATHENS • FLORENCE • GREENBRIER

THE 306 BARBECUE JOURNEY began in a driveway on the east side of Athens, Alabama in 2007. When three friends started cooking meats on a portable smoker for family and friends to enjoy during ballgames and special occasions, they had no idea how far this weekend hobby would evolve. Today, 306 Barbecue has three restaurants featuring fresh meat and delicious side items cooked daily on-site. We serve only the highest quality pork, beef, and chicken smoked to perfection with hickory wood. The result is melt-in-your-mouth, authentic, southern-style barbecue. Combine that with our excellent service and friendly staff and you’ll want to come back for more.

Join us in Athens for a family get together in our private dining area. Stop by our Greenbrier location and enjoy some fresh seafood from the gulf, live music and our full-service bar. Visit our location in downtown Florence, conveniently located next to the University of North Alabama campus. No matter which location you choose, you’re guaranteed to enjoy some great food prepared the old-fashioned way. The popularity of 306 continues to grow as word spreads about the three guys with a smoker who dish out some fine, southern food. We’ve come a long way from that driveway and we’re excited to share our story and our wonderful food. Once you experience 306 Barbecue, you’ll be ready to help spread the word.

PHOTO:

For additional information including menus, please visit 306bbq.com


DINEHUNTSVILLE

306 Barbecue New Market BBQ

Pints & Pixels

BLUE PLATE CAFÉ

NEW ORLEANS LUNCHBOX

WHICH WICH

CAFÉ 153

• 3210 Governor’s Drive 256.533.8808 • 7540 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.885.3550

4000 Holmes Ave NW 256.830.0081

2710 Carl T Jones Drive 256.882.9424

355 The Bridge Street, Ste. 121 256.251.5190

CHICKEN SALAD CHICK

975 Airport Rd SW 256.213.1067

STANILEO'S SUB VILLA

605 Jordan Lane 256.837.7220

114 Jordan Lane NW 256.533.7589

2501 Suite 5 Oakwood Avenue 256.533.3034

TOYBOX BISTRO

200 Oakwood Ave NE 256.585.3550 HOUSE OF KABOB

1212-A Sparkman Drive NW 256.489.9202 LYN’S GRACIOUS GOODNESS

2306 Whitesburg Drive S 256.533.2607

BREAKFAST & COFFEE HOUSES

511 Jordan Lane 256.513.8469

ANGEL'S ISLAND COFFEE

7538 South Memorial Pkwy 256.319.3424 ANOTHER BROKEN EGG CAFÉ

2722-D Carl Jones Drive 256.883.2915

VENICE PIZZA

6610 Old Madison Pike NW 256.270.8584 VIET HUONG VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT

930 Old Monrovia Road 256.890.0104

109 Gates Ave. 256.535.6564 EDITH ANN’S TASTE OF HOME

TIM'S CAJUN KITCHEN

G'S COUNTRY KITCHEN

GRANVILLE'S GOURMET RIBS AND BBQ

DOWNTOWN GROUNDS COFFEE

BEIGNET CAFE

2246 Winchester Road 256.929.4402 BLUE PLATE CAFÉ

• 3210 Governor’s Drive 256.533.8808 • 7540 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.885.3550

11243 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.489.0881 JAMO’S CAFÉ

413 Jordan Lane 256.837.7880 MERIDIAN STREET CAFE #2

7900 Bailey Cove Rd SE 256.883.9881 OLD TOWNE COFFEE SHOPPE

511 Pratt Ave 256.539.5399

Chef Sergio Artiga ROSIE’S MEXICAN CANTINA

Because of his love for simple, fresh ingredients, Chef Sergio considers Rosie’s combination fajitas one of his favorites. “Rosie’s fajitas are made from the finest ingredients, incredibly fresh,” Chef Sergio says. “We cut our own meats every morning, produce arrives daily and our tortillas are handmade and prepared to order. The flavors are extraordinary!” Never choosing to eat alone, Artiga enjoys dining with friends and family. “Meal time is the time for a cocktail, relaxing with great company and anticipating wonderful food,” says Chef Sergio. “Buen provencho!” Rosie’s Mexican Cantina serves honest handmade Tex Mex cuisine, prepared from scratch each day. Guests can experience traditional favorites such as chili rellenos, handmade tamales and Texas-style enchiladas along with house specialties unique to Rosie’s.

50 EXCURSIONS

Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTO: BRENT BOYD

Sergio Artiga’s love for food began in his mother’s kitchen in El Salvador. There he learned the simplicity of letting “food be food.” Freshness and proper preparation allow the flavor of the simplest ingredients to be the star of each dish.


Rosie’s Mexican Cantina 6196 University Drive NW, Huntsville, AL 256.922.1001 7540 Memorial Pkwy SW, Huntsville, AL 256.382.3232 rosiesmexicancantina.com

New Market BBQ 5601 Winchester Rd, New Market, AL 35761 256.379.5525 Menu.NewMarketBBQ.com @newmarketbbq

Just a short scenic drive from Huntsville! 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 oldfashioned 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! HOURS OF OPERATION: Fri - Sat 11 am - 7 pm; Sun 11 am - 4 pm View their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

A Few Items From Their Menu On the Pit: pork shoulders, Texas-style beef brisket, St. Louis-style spare ribs, whole chickens and turkey breasts Homemade Sides: smoked mac ‘n cheese, smoked baked beans, Brunswick stew, pinto beans and much more Homemade Desserts: pecan pie, pudding pies with meringue, banana pudding and more

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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!” Lunch Specials daily until 4 pm Dinner Specials Friday and Saturday HOURS OF OPERATION:

Mon - Thurs 11 am - 9:30 pm Fri - Sat 11 am - 10:30 pm See their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

A Few Items From Their Menu Appetizers Barbeque Chicken Nachos Shrimp Quesadillas Deluxe Queso w/spicy beef Chipotle con Queso

Specials of the House Famoso Shrimp Burrito Mexican Lasagna Texas Style Enchiladas Sizzling Fajitas

Desserts Rosie’s Fried Ice Cream Tres Leches

Drinks Famous Mambo Taxi Signature Margaritas “Skinny” Martinis

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DINEHUNTSVILLE

306 BBQ at Greenbriar

ATLANTA BREAD COMPANY

6275 University Drive 256.922.2253 BUFFALO WILD WINGS

5901 University Drive 256.890.8500 BONEFISH GRILL

4800 Whitesburg Drive 256.883.0643 CANTINA LAREDO

300 The Bridge Street 256.327.8580 CARRABBA’S ITALIAN GRILL

2801 Memorial Pkwy S 256.288.1333 CHEEBURGER CHEE BURGER

5000 Whitesburg Drive S 256.885.3700

DICKEY'S BARBECUE PIT

NOTHING BUT NOODLES

SALSARITA'S FRESH CANTINA

6886 Governors W 256.270.4425

• 4800 Whitesburg Drive 256.382.2999 • 6125 University Drive NW 256.382.2999

3002-A Memorial Parkway S 256.489.7257

DREAMLAND BBQ

3855 University Drive 256.539.7427 JASON’S DELI

4800 Whitesburg Drive 256.833.7300 LANDRY’S SEAFOOD HOUSE

5101 Governor’s House Drive 256.864.0000 MARCO'S PIZZA

2315 Bob Wallace 256.489.5059 MELLOW MUSHROOM

PANERA BREAD

Marriott Huntsville 256.830.2222 ext. 6163

• 6886 Governors West NW 256.971.1235 • 4800 Whitesburg Drive S 256.885.1552 • 8179 Hwy 72 256.721.7831

STEAK OUT

P.F. CHANG’S CHINA BISTRO

TAZIKI’S GREEK FARE

305 The Bridge Street 256.327.8320

4855 Whitesburg Drive 256.881.9155

ROMANO’S MACARONI GRILL

TEXAS DE BRAZIL

470 Providence Main Street 256.864.2727

5901-G University Drive NW 256.722.4770

MOE’S SOUTHWEST GRILL

SAGE GRILLE AT WESTIN HUNTSVILLE

975-C Airport Road 256.880.0113

SEASON'S RESTAURANT

2105 Whitesburg Drive S 256.539.1900 SURIN OF THAILAND

975 Airport Rd SW 256.213.9866

350 The Bridge Street 256.327.9113 ❖

The Westin Huntsville 256.428.5424

Chef Tukky Phornroekngam Phuket If you’re in the mood for absolutely authentic Thai dishes, Phuket will not disappoint. Head Chef Tukky Phornroekngam is a masterful Thai Cuisine Chef, certified by no less than the government of Thailand. How’s that for authentic? Far from her homeland, Chef Tukky has made a name for herself in the states, having been voted one of the Best Chefs in the Tennessee Valley in 2009. She says it’s her familiarity and artistry with exotic ingredients that make her such a successful chef. “I love to use kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, Thai basil leaves and any herbs that are essential to Thai cuisine,” Chef Tukky says. Though it’s hard to nail down a favorite, Tukky says it’s a toss-up between what she would order for dinner at Phuket. “Our grilled ribeyes are delicious, and any of the curry dishes are great,” says Chef Tukky, who has one more piece of advice for diners. “I love having a Lychee Martini or a Thai Tea Martini with my meal,” she says. “You’ll be surprised how well they compliment the Thai dishes.”

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PHOTO: (TOP RIGHT) COURTESY OF RUTH'S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE

FAMILIAR FAVORITES

Ruth's Chris Steak House


Phuket 475 Providence Main Street, Huntsville, AL 35806 256.489.1612 PhuketExperience.com @PhuketHSV

Ruth’s Chris Steak House 720 Gallitin Street, Huntsville, AL 35801 At Twickenham Place 256.539.3930 ruthschris.net @ruthschris.hsv

The Premiere Thai Restaurant in Huntsville Serving the best Thai cuisine in town, Phuket has made a name for itself with its tremendous menu that ranges from sushi, curry entrees, rice dishes and noodle bowls to pad Thai, satays, steaks, seafood and more. Stop by today and indulge in an affordable and irresistible lunch or dinner at Phuket and taste the difference for yourself! HOURS OF OPERATION: Mon - Fri 11 am - 2 pm Sun - Thurs 5 pm - 9 pm Fri - Sat 5 pm - 10 pm

Ruth’s Chris Steak House delights guests with their customaged, USDA Prime steaks, served with the signature sizzle. In addition to dinner service in the beautifully appointed dining room, the Twickenham Place restaurant offers a nightly happy hour in the bar/lounge and private dining accommodations for up to 50 guests. Reservations recommended Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015 Winner HOURS OF OPERATION: Dinner: Daily 4 pm - 10 pm

See their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

See their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

A Few Items From Their Menu

A Few Items From Their Menu

Appetizers: Phuket Lettuce Wrap, Fiery Grilled Beef Salad

Crab Stack: Colossal lump blue crab, avocado, mango and cucumber (pictured above)

Sushi: Snow Crab Roll, Rainbow Roll Entrees: Pad Thai Seafood, Grilled Rib Eye, Salmon Green Curry Gluten-Free Menu: Satay Chicken, Thai BBQ Chicken, Jungle Chicken Curry Vegetarian Menu: Tofu Lettuce Wraps, Mixed Vegetables Stir Fry, Drunken Noodle Tofu

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New York Strip: This USDA Prime cut has a full-bodied texture that is slightly firmer than a ribeye Creamed Spinach: A Ruth’s favorite, chopped spinach in a New Orleans cream sauce Ruth’s Chris Chopped Salad: A Ruth’s Chris original, tossed with lemon basil dressing and topped with crispy onions

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DINEMADISON

Taste the Flavors of Madison From old-fashioned candy shops to upscale bistros and down-home hangouts, Madison restaurants satisfy any appetite.

 306 BARBECUE AT GREENBRIAR

CRICKET’S

LA PLACITA RESTAURANT

SAFFRON INDIAN RESTAURANT

See their ads on pages 49 and 55. 15050 Alabama Hwy 20 256.306.4441 306bbq.com/greenbriar

3810 Sullivan Street 256.464.3777

401 Hughes Rd #4 256.464.3994

12090 County Line Road, Ste. J 256.233.1085

DAWG HOUSE PUB

LAWLER’S BARBECUE

SAM & GREG'S PIZZARIA & GELATERIA

8694 Madison Blvd, Ste. R 256.772.4449

•1079 Balch Road 256.217.1767 • 1047 Jeff Road NW 256.830.8200 • 544 Hughes Road 256.772.0590

364 Hughes Road 256.772.9888

LITTLE LIBBY’S CATFISH

8071 Hwy 72 W 256.721.0300

 SALLIE’S WHISTLE STOP SWEET SHOP

See their ad on page 63. 104 Main Street 256.325.8838

EDO JAPANESE RESTAURANT

ANOTHER BROKEN EGG CAFE

FULIN’S ASIAN CUISINE

7504 Hwy. 72 W, Ste. A1 256.430.5476

8141 Hwy 72 W 256.721.7005

BISHOP’S WESTSIDE PUB & GRILL

GROUNDED COFFEE

12110 County Line Road, Ste. A 256.325.1069 BISON’S BAR & GRILL

8020 Madison Blvd 256.772.4477 BRUEGGER’S BAGEL BAKERY

347 Hughes Road 256.258.0880

104 Intercom Drive 256.772.0360

12120 county LIne Road 256.258.9637 GUADALAJARA MEXICAN

8572 Madison Blvd 256.774.1401 HOT CHICKEN KITCHEN

1591 Hughes Road, Ste A 615.364.8262 HUNT CLUB SUBS N GRILL

BUENAVISTA MEXICAN CANTINA

8217 Hwy 72 W 256.837.8226 CASA BLANCA

7830 Hwy 72 W, Ste. 230 256.864.0360 CHUCK WAGON BBQ

8982 Madison Blvd 256.772.5179 CORK & CRUST PIZZERIA + WINE BAR

12120 County Line Road 256.801.9463

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10871 County Line Rd 256.542.3266 I LOVE SUSHI MADISON

8429 Hwy 72 256.325.8818 INDIA PALACE

7429 Hwy 72 W 256.325.5189 JUICE BAR MADISON

107 Brookridge Dive, Ste. E-1 256.325.43008

234 Lime Quarry Road 256.772.0191 MAD AL'S YOGURT & COFFEE

100 Skate Park Drive 256.77.5375 MADISON STATION BAR & GRILL

8694 Madison Blvd 256.325.1333 MAIN STREET CAFÉ

101 Main Street 256.461.8096 OLD BLACK BEAR BREWING COMPANY

208 Main Street 256.850.4639 PIE IN THE SKY

8141 Hwy 72 W 256.722.2112 RUBY TUESDAY

• 7814 Hwy 72 W 256.830.5050 • 110 Tom Thrasher Drive 256.461.8282

SMASHBURGER

8135 Hwy 72 W, Ste. C 256.726.0031 SMOKEY'S BBQ

SADY’S BISTRO

14 Main Street 256.325.1745 SAIGON VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT

8760 Madison Blvd 256.772.0202 SIDELINES PUB & GRUB

7407 Hwy 72 W 256.945.7806 THE STEM & STEIN

10871 County Line Road 256.325.3779 SAKURA JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE

12090 County Line Road 256.233.6955 TAZIKI'S MEDITERRANEAN CAFE

105 Brookridge Drive Ste. A 256.724.6554 WILD BILL’S BAR & GRILL

9076 Madison Blvd 256.772.8514 ❖

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MADISON FAVORITE 306 Barbecue at Greenbriar

JUST MINUTES FROM MADISON

15050 AL-20, Madison, AL 35756 256.306.4441 306bbq.com/greenbriar

Hard Dock

@306bbq

Barbecue, the 306 Way! Founded in 2011, 306 BBQ is family owned and operated, serving only the highest quality pork, beef and chicken. From ribs, pulled pork, smoked wings, turkey and steak...they have it all available for dine in and carry out. 306 Barbeque is a full service restaurant featuring fresh meat and delicious side items cooked daily on-site. Come in and enjoy the fine, southern food, for the melt in your mouth, authentic and slightly addictive southern style barbeque and delicious homemade sides and desserts. Located just off Interstate 565, take the Greenbrier exit. hOuRS OF OPeRAtION: Tues - Sat 10:30 am - 9 pm; Sun 10:30 am - 8 pm View their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

On the Menu Appetizers: Pop’s Fried Oysters, Loaded Nachoes, Smoked Sausage Platter, Wings entrees: Steak, Ribs, Chicken, Pulled Pork, Turkey, Ham, Seafood, Salads, Loaded Potatoes Desserts: Banana Pudding and Homemade Pies

Denotes our sponsors—see their mobile profiles at EXCURSIONSGO.com

3755 U.S. 31 North, Decatur, AL 35601 256.340.9234 facebook.com/harddock.decatur

River Walk Dining at Hard Dock – 365 Days a Year! For the river front dining experience any day of the year. Visit this local hangout for great food, service, family dining and entertainment. Enjoy great appetizers like shrimp, wings and crab balls. Daily happy hour specials along with delicious entrees, burgers and baskets. Bring the family for a relaxing dinner, or invite your friends to enjoy the river breeze in the warmer months and the river view all year at this river front café. hOuRS OF OPeRAtION: Tue - Thu 3 pm - 11 pm Fri - Sat 3 pm - 1:30 am; Sun 1 pm - 10 pm (Open all year round - call for seasonal hours) View their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

On the Menu Appetizers: Crab Balls, Wings, Peel & Eat Shrimp entrees: Salads, Shrimp Basket, Catfish Fillets, Burgers, Sandwiches, Tuna Filet, Grilled Shrimp Platter, ... kids Menu: $3.95 includes a drink

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Meet Cristina Lynn

Madison’s renowned singer-songwriter shares her story B Y J E N N Y A DA M S P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y B R E N T B OY D

“Patsy Cline was always on in our house growing up,” says singer songwriter, Cristina Lynn. “We listened to everything, from Willie Nelson to Hank Williams Sr. to Johnny Cash, but I would always go back to Patsy. The way she delivered, you would have thought she wrote every word of every song.” Cristina Lynn certainly won’t shy away from pulling out a favorite Patsy Cline cover on stage – favorites like Walking After Midnight or I Fall to Pieces are on her albums – but it’s her originals like the sultry Whiskey & Honey that have made her a name around the Tennessee River Valley region. She’s been a headliner at the Huntsville Concerts in the Park for nearly a decade, and has been invited back to the famous Bluebird Café in Nashville a number of times. For the future, Cristina Lynn is looking to weave her sound and her stories, ruminating on a way to merge her own struggles and life lessons with the power of music to help those around her. While this is still a dream incubating, her music is a force resonating with many in the area. TURN THE PAGE ➛

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Her History

Cristina Lynn was born in East Limestone County, just west of Madison where she lives now with her husband and their 15-year-old son. Her interest in music started early. She sang in the church pew, finding a particular soft spot for the harmonies and challenges of a cappella. She dabbled in the French horn and the trumpet in her younger years, but it was vocals that would become a life-long passion. She joined the FFA Quartet in high school, competing in what was the only all-female quartet at the Alabama State Competition, followed by the Sweet Adelines–a 23,000-member, global organization for barbershop harmony. Now 45, Cristina Lynn’s had careers as both a registered nurse and in sales, but music has always been a driving presence in her life. She’s written and co-written more than 90 songs, with three albums under her belt and a reasonably recent love for the guitar. “When I first picked up a guitar, oh my goodness, that was around 12 years ago,” she laughs. “I was an adult and I am self taught. While it may sound cliché, I can honestly say I’ve been a singer my entire life.” Her first solo album What’s Next published in 2007, with co-writer David Sheppard accompanying her on acoustic guitar for originals and covers. “I think I go back to the old country for inspiration, to the songs that tell a story,” Cristina says of her creation process. “Writing is not a fast process for me. I can be anywhere, at any time of day, but usually what happens is the lyrics and the melody just sort of come to me. I might write something down and make a quick recording. I listen to it and then I leave it alone. Then, if that thought or tag or title continues to come back to me, then I think this is something worth diving into further.”

Latest Endeavors

Her second and third album–From All Sides and Sinners & Saints—are both equally near and dear to her heart for different reasons. Sinners & Saints would find her guitar skills laid down on all the tracks, marking a goal milestone, and that title track also had a fun anecdotal story surrounding it. The lyrics make another appearance in Kimberly Lang’s Harlequin romance novels, The Downfall of a Good Girl and The Taming of a Wild Child. “We brought Nashville pickers in for From All Sides,” Cristina says. “When I sat down with David Vest, who produced it, I said, ‘If someday this were to make it to the major market racks, I want it to stand up and stand tall against any female country star. I want it to be an album that pulls from all sides of me, and I want it to speak to various people.’ It met all those requirements.” For Cristina, speaking to people and telling a meaningful story has become more important than ever. Faced with health issues around 2011, her personal journey back to vitality is one she feels inspired to share. “There was a long time where I was not taking care of myself,” she recalls. “I wasn’t sleeping right or eating right and my health just spiraled. I think there are so many out there facing the same issues. I was both an emergency room and workman’s comp RN in the past. I would like to somehow merge my medical knowledge and my musical knowledge to help others,” she says. “I’m playing with writing a blog, where I hope to share more. I’m not sure how I would exactly merge all these things, but it’s something I like thinking about and working on.” She’s worked for these last few years on her nutrition certifications and a personal fitness trainer certification, and she’s written a lot of ‘healing lyrics’ she hopes to share very soon. Through her song writing years, she’s written songs like I Miss You—a tribute to those serving overseas in the military—and “Makin’ It—a testament to the strength of single mothers. Great storytelling and a rich and powerful voice now are underscored with a desire to make music even more meaningful and inspiring. “When I write, I write in hopes that the lyrics will touch or prick a heart in such a way that it makes you stop and think about your walk in life,” says Cristina Lynn, who’s gearing up to take the stage at venues around Madison, as well as at Yellowhammer Brewing in Huntsville in fall of 2016. “If one of my songs brings a tear to your eye or makes you laugh, I’ve done my job,” she says. ❖

“When I write, I write in hopes that the lyrics will touch or prick a heart in such a way that it makes you stop and think about your walk in life.” –CRISTINA LYNN

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Where to find Cristina’s Albums ONLINE What’s Next available on iTunes From All Sides and Sinners & Saints at crystinalynn.com

Explore more at findmoremadison.com.


Cristina strumming her trusty Gibson guitar in Downtown Madison—one of her favorite places to eat, shop and exercise. Hair and make-up by Jeanne Shrader of Attitudes Salon

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Explore Madison

H

W H E R E P R O G R E S S M E E T S P R E S E R VAT I O N friendliness, graceful trees, recreational opportunities and excellent schools. With regularly scheduled festivals and events, Madison is a place to connect with others. During the first weekend in October, more than 20,000 citizens and visitors take pleasure in a truly southern tradition—Madison Street Festival—which offers numerous opportunities to shop the wares of eclectic artisans and vendors. The healthy business climate is augmented and maintained through Madison’s labor force. Industry draws on a highly educated population with nearly 70 percent holding bachelor’s degrees and 17 percent with advanced degrees. While other areas of the country are still emerging from the recent economic decline, Madison’s housing market and business climate have remained healthy and strong. The further expansion of Madison’s western boundary and the addition of over 800 single family homes provide an expansive range of housing prices for new families, professionals and empty-nesters. City partnership with the Madison Chamber of Commerce and active recruitment are a couple of reasons more than 450 shops and restaurants call Madison home.

PHOTO: BRENT BOYD

HENRY DAVID THOREAU WROTE: Let me live where I will, on this side is the city, on that the wilderness. Not too many years ago this applied to the City of Madison—Redstone Arsenal and Marshall Space Flight Center to the east, cotton fields and gravel roads to the west. Today, the City of Madison, a suburb of Huntsville and the fastest growing city in the state of Alabama, is a rare and eclectic combination of historic charm and progressive innovation. Over the last two decades, the population of Madison has grown rapidly, from approximately 5,000 residents to almost 50,000! With all this growth came the demand for high-quality services, restaurants, retail, parks and green space and family recreation opportunities. However, care has been given to ensure Madison maintained its aesthetic beauty and consistent, highquality growth. Attention to details such as meticulous zoning, green space protection and recruitment of quality businesses has defended the harmonious subsistence of progress and preservation, earning the City of Madison a spot on Money Magazine’s “100 Best Places to Live” list. Madison’s character is found in its rolling hills, family-

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E X P LO R E M A D I S O N Find a Food Truck

The food truck scene continues to gain speed in Madison. On-On Tacos, Food Fighter Bustaurant, Badd Newz BBQ and Sugar Belle can be found at Blue Pants Brewery, concerts in the parks, Bob Jones High School and local church events. Back Alley Travelling Bistro, HotBox, Pearl: Vietnamese & Hawaiian Subs and I Love Bacon can be found parked in front of Rocket Republic Brewing Co. Check out Facebook to see where to locate them. It’s worth the chase!

Admire Our Public Art

PHOTOS: (BOTTOM LEFT) NEJRON | DREAMSTIME.COM (TOP RIGHT AND LEFT AND BOTTOM RIGHT) BRENT BOYD

The Madison Arts Council teamed with the Madison City Council, city leaders, The Arts Council of Huntsville and Huntsville city leaders to expand the SPACES Sculpture Trail into Madison. Madison’s participation has grown to eight works displayed with the generous funding from Madison City Council along with help from The Arts Council. You can find the works of art at the following locations: four at Dublin Park, four installed downtown and one at city hall.

Great Things Are Brewing in Madison

Local breweries in Madison are contributing to the new moniker for this area of the state: The Napa Valley of Craft Beer. Blue Pants Brewery was the first to open its doors in Madison. Rocket Republic Brewing Co. opened its tap room to the public in 2015 and offers live music, fantastic food truck cuisine and a place to mix, mingle and challenge someone to a ping pong game. Old Black Bear Brewing Co. relocated its production facilities and opened its tap room to the public in historic Downtown Madison in late 2015.

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E X P LO R E M A D I S O N

Keeping it Small-Town

Madison’s growth hasn’t diminished its small-town feel! There is no better time to relish in all that is small-town than at the Madison Street Festival. Held annually the 1st weekend in October, more than 20,000 people gather with friends at concert stages, shop booths filled with unique arts & crafts, sample delicious foods, sweets & local craft beer and enjoy all that is quintessentially Madison. Arrive early for the parade…stay late for the fun! madisonstreetfestival.org

Shop ‘Til You Drop

Beef Jerky Outlet and Shoppes of Madison are located on Highway 72. Shoppes of Madison is anchored by Target and includes Kinnucan’s, Shoe Fly Clothing and casual dining opportunities like Pie in the Sky, Smash Burger and Panera Bread. Just west is Medical Park Station with Dunkin Donuts, Pizza 120, Taziki’s and J Whitener Boutique. The Village Shoppes of Madison, on County Line Road, features a Publix, King’s Olive Oil, Tuesday Morning and several other specialty retailers as well as Cork & Crust Pizzeria + Wine Bar.

PHOTOS: (TOP) SARAH BREWER; (BOTTOM RIGHT) BRENT BOYD

WE’RE ANIMAL LOVERS, ESPECIALLY WHEN SEASONED RIGHT At Beef Jerky Outlet you’ll find many varieties of flavorful meat jerkies including kangaroo, elk and alligator. There are rubs, sauces, seasonings and marinades. It’s everything a carnivore could love.

107 Brookridge Drive Madison, AL Bamajerky.com 256-945-7894

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Tickle Your Taste Buds

For a fantastic meal, check out 306 BBQ—they offer a wide range of options including steaks, homemade pies and, of course, barbecue. Looking for something sweet? Sallie’s Whistle Stop Sweet Shop is sure to please. Another favorite dining spot is Main Street Café in historic downtown Madison. See a comprehensive list of eateries in Madison in the Madison Dining section of this publication.

MADISON FAVORITE Sallie’s Whistle Stop Sweet Shop 104 Main Street, Madison, AL 35758 256.325.8836 Step back in time to the historic part of Madison to Sallie’s Whistle Stop Sweet Shop. This quaint little sweet shop offers a wide variety of sweets, but it is best known for it’s delicious homemade fudge with many options including Rocky Road, chocolate pecan, chocolate, tiger butter, peanut butter and maple walnut. Venture inside to enjoy a cup of gelato in a variety of flavors. Order custom made gift baskets for every occasion. They delight in special orders for birthday favors, engagements, showers, weddings and corporate events.

PHOTOS: (TOP LEFT AND RIGHT) BRENT BOYD;

Order gift boxes and baskets online, too!

Share a Selfie Using #VisitMadisonAL!

Snap a selfie at a Madison hotspot or landmark and share it with #VisitMadisonAL and be entered to win a monthly giveaway. Selfies that are most shared and favorited will be entered into our drawing. If chosen, you could win a gift certificate from an area merchant! Selfie must clearly identify a Madison location to qualify.

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See their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.COM to view their latest posts on Facebook, get directions, hours and more.

@whistlestopsweetshop

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E X P LO R E M A D I S O N

The Gem of Madison

In 1856, tracks were laid by the Memphis and Charleston Railroad Company; families moved into the region for its fertile farm land; merchants were attracted and a business district founded. Even 155 years ago, people knew a good thing when they saw it. Today, the Madison Station Historic District is the iconic and practical heart of Madison; a dining/arts/entertainment district for residents and visitors. It combines Madison’s Historic Downtown District with historic homes – grand to quaint – which line the streets nearby. New single family homes surrounding the District provide traditional living in a charming setting, walkable to events and businesses in the District.

A Town within a City

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PHOTO: BRENT BOYD

Work has begun on the first destination live, work and play regional development in the Tennessee Valley. Town Madison, a $400 million, 500-acre development, is conveniently located along the I-565 corridor, stretching from Wall-Triana Highway to Zierdt Road. Retail, restaurants, hotels and office space will be interspersed amongst luxury apartments, townhomes and single family houses. Designed by Andrés Duany, the internationally renowned American architect, urban planner and founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Town Madison is being designed in the new Urbanist style with walkable blocks and streets, housing and shopping in close proximity to one another with accessible public recreation and green spaces. The quality of life currently enjoyed in the City of Madison will be enhanced by all that Town Madison will provide.

Explore more at findmoremadison.com


MADISON FAVORITE Rocket Republic Brewing Co. Burn Some Calories

PHOTOS: (TOP LEFT) MADISON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE; (TOP RIGHT AND BOTTOM) BRENT BOYD

Dublin Memorial Park located at 8324 Madison Pike is a fantastic place to get in some exercise while you’re in town. The park features a double-court gymnasium equipped for basketball and/or volleyball with an upstairs walking track, 25-yard, eight-lane heated indoor swimming pool, meeting rooms and administrative offices, paved walking trail, nine soccer fields, nine-hole disc golf course, seven tennis courts, community-built playground, outdoor pool with a diving well and children’s pool.

Get Some Fresh Air

Rainbow Mountain Preserve is located off Stoneway Trail, 1.5mile long Loop Trail follows a generally rocky path along the cliff ridge and east side of Rainbow Mountain. It features beautiful rock formations, such as Balance Rock, excellent views of Madison to the west, fossils, caves and a waterfall. Bradford Creek Greenway provides scenic views of the creek and hardwood forests along the banks. The wetland areas support beavers, raccoons and many species of fish and birds. Gain access via Palmer Road, across from Palmer Park, with paved parking adjacent to the east entrance of the park. Mill Creek Greenway can be accessed via Mill Road. Indian Creek Greenway is located on the border of Huntsville and Madison and can be accessed from Old Madison Pike, near the intersection of Slaughter Road. Go EXCURSIONS Mobile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

289 Production Avenue, Madison, AL 35758 rocketrepublicbrewing.com

Voted Best Beer in Alabama! Located less than a mile away from Huntsville International Airport is Rocket Republic Brewing Company. Their Mach I IPA was voted best beer in Madison County, and their beer was voted best overall in the state of Alabama out of 16 other breweries. Owned by a couple of local rocket scientists and a couple of craft beer lovers, this brewery has become a favorite hangout hotspot for residents and visitors alike. In addition to their award winning flagship ales, they are also known for out-of-this-world beer combinations. A few fan favorites include Pomegranate Planet (a summer wheat ale with 100% Pom juice), the Astronut Peanut Butter Brown (a spinoff of their flagship brown ale made with real peanut butter) and their exclusive Coffee Cream Ale (a twist on their flagship Vapor Trail Cream Ale in collaboration with Connor’s restaurant at Bridge Street). Can’t decide what appeals to your tastebuds the most? Come try a flight of beer in their Steampunk themed taproom, boasted to be “the best realized indoor beerdrinking space in the city” by Paste Magazine. It’s a must see for anyone who sets foot in the Rocket City!

See Rocket Republic’s mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.COM to view their Facebook page, get directions, see tap room hours, link to their website and more.

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E X P LO R E M A D I S O N Come Grow With Us!

Starting a business in Madison is a savvy move for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. With a highly educated population, outstanding school system, and lower start-up costs, Madison is a nationally recognized location for growth and prosperity. The Madison Chamber of Commerce is an institution of leadership and an advocate for its members and the community. Take advantage of their extensive marketing support. Utilize the Chamber’s advertising and social media channels to reach new audiences and explore new opportunities. Sharpen your business skills with the Chamber’s online learning system and attend award winning workshops. Connect with other business owners as you learn. Participate in community-wide Chamber events, such as Taste the Spirit of Madison, Business Expo and Kids Day, and Connect (State of the City Address). Take part in more focused events such as Business After Hours, Best in Business Awards, and ribbon cuttings. Make this investment in your business and watch new doors open. Choose Madison and grow with us!

Savor our Variety of Flavors

to connect Scan this code ng, shopping, to Madison dinid more at events an on.com nd fi moremadis

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PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE MADISON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Taste the Spirit of Madison and Bites & Brews Join us for one of Madison’s largest food events! Great for the Madison Chamber and the City of Madison, this festival showcases the best foods, businesses, and music that Madison has to offer. Each year, thousands of attendees take in the vibrant and varied display of goods and services and enjoy the wonderfully diverse cuisine of our local food trucks. Tourists arrive from far and near to experience Madison’s local businesses at their finest. Later in the day, we change things up with a food tasting event, Bites and Brews, featuring delicious samples from over 25 local restaurants and craft breweries. Bites and Brews is the perfect marriage of food and drink from the trendiest new restaurants and cutting edge craft breweries to perennial hometown favorites. No matter what your tastes, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this wonderfully diverse event. Come share our culture with us!


E X P LO R E M A D I S O N Get on Board for Train Spotting!

Celebrate Our Successes With Us! Connect – Annual State of the City Address The annual Connect Event is where it all starts for the City of Madison. Mayor Paul Finley helps the community understand how far we have come as a city and where to focus our energies moving forward to help Madison reach its goals. With every event, the community becomes more fully engaged in refining and sometimes redefining what it means to be a resident of the great city of Madison. Madison is at once both high-tech and Southern hospitality. It is the fastest growing city in Alabama and the excitement is palpable. Its energetic community spirit demonstrates change, diversity and growth. Come join our thriving community during this time of exciting growth and development. Partner with the City of Madison and the Madison Chamber of Commerce to realize your entrepreneurial vision.

Trains on Main Scavenger Hunt Trains on Main is a permanent, 24/7 outdoor scavenger hunt through downtown Madison created by the Madison Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the City of Madison and the Huntsville-Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participants hunt for 8 bronze trains by utilizing clue cards, available from the Madison Chamber and City Hall. Once train spotters find all 8 trains, they bring their completed clue cards to the Madison Chamber to collect a prize. The clues, provided by the Madison Station Historical Preservation Society, educate and inform participants about the colorful history of Historic Downtown Madison as they search for the trains. Families from all over the country have dropped by the Chamber to pick up their prizes and share their experiences. Come join the Hunt! Stop by the Madison Chamber or City Hall to pick up a clue card or download one from trainsonmain.com.

Learn about our Local Community and Businesses!

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE MADISON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Business Expo and Kids Day An annual event for over 25 years, Business Expo and Kid’s Day is one of the most anticipated gatherings of the year. It is a free, funfilled day for families and a great way to see what our community has to offer. Over 60 local for-profit and non-profit businesses gather to showcase their products and services to the Madison community. Participants enjoy good music as they visit vendor booths and learn more about each organization’s specialty. The theme for 2016 was “Sci-fi Saturday”. Vendors and attendees alike came dressed as their favorite ‘out of this world’ character. Kids enjoyed face painting, inflatables and tours of the HEMSI ambulance and Madison Fire Truck. SARTEC’s highly trained search and rescue dogs were also on-hand for kids to interact with. Business Expo and Kids Day epitomizes our community spirit and gives us all a chance to applaud the City of Madison and each other in day of fun and excitement.

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E X P LO R E M A D I S O N

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 Local Favorites 1 BEEF JERKY OUTLET 2 ROCKET REPUBLIC BREWING CO. 3SALLIE’S WHISTLE STOP SWEET SHOP

HUNTSVILLE BROWNSFERRY RD

Madison Area Hotels 1 BAYMONT INN AND SUITES HUNTSVILLE AIRPORT MADISON 2 BEST WESTERN PLUS MADISON-HUNTSVILLE HOTEL 3 COUNTRY INN & SUITES BY CARLSON, MADISON 4 COUNTRY HEARTH INN 5 ECONO LODGE

POWELL RD

6 FEDERAL SQUARE INN & EXTENDED STAY 7 FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON HUNTSVILLE AIRPORT 8 HAMPTON INN MADISON 9 HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS & SUITES HUNTSVILLE WEST - RESEARCH PARK 0 HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS HOTEL & SUITES HUNTSVILLE AIRPORT q LA QUINTA INN & SUITES HUNTSVILLE AIRPORT MADISON w MOTEL 6 HUNTSVILLE - MADISON e QUALITY INN r WYNGATE BY WYNDHAM HOTELS t VALUE PLACE

Legend

 Parks and Greenways  Municipal Buildings  Schools

The Madison Chamber of Commerce invites you to support their members while visiting. Scan the code to connect with us at FindMoreMadison.com!

MADISON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (MCC)

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@MADISONALCC

Map locations are approximate. Map not to scale. For reference use only.

Explore more at findmoremadison.com

PHOTO:

The Explore Madison section is proudly sponsored by The City of Madison and the Madison Chamber of Commerce.


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Discover Decatur Referred to as The River City by locals, few cities in the south enjoy a connection to the Tennessee River like this one. Farm-to-fork restaurants, a revitalized downtown, a rich history, a thriving arts and cultural community, unique shops for discovering hidden treasures and pure southern charm make this town a destination by many from around the world. Welcome to Decatur!

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Explore more at decaturcvb.org and on Facebook and Instragram @decaturcvb


Bring the whole family!

Experience year-round views of the beautiful Tennessee River and one-of-a-kind sunsets! Enjoy family dining inside or out with appetizers, salads, seafood baskets and delicious entrĂŠes.

3755 U.S. 31 North, Decatur (256) 340-9234

Happy Hour and Half Price Drink Specials 3-6 pm Everyday! @harddock.decatur

HOURS MAY VARY DURING WINTER MONTHS - PLEASE CALL AHEAD.

Live Music Every Weekend!


The Union Depot (as it looks today) was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

DECATUR

A Brief History of The River City B Y J O H N A L L I S O N , M O RG A N C O U N T Y A RC H I V I S T P H O T O G R A P H S C O U RT E S Y O F M O RG A N C O U N T Y A RC H I V E S , D E C AT U R , A L A B A M A

D

ecatur, Alabama’s history has been entwined from its beginning with that of the Tennessee River. The river has sustained the area’s residents with life-giving water and nourishment ever since the first PaleoIndian peoples arrived in the area up to 11,000 years ago. Decatur’s particular location is due to its position at the head of the Muscle Shoals, a rocky area in the river and an obstacle to river traffic in the days before the Tennessee Valley Authority tamed it with a series of dams in the 1930’s.

Early Residents

Archaeological evidence at the quad site on the north bank of the Tennessee River at Decatur indicates that people 72 EXCURSIONS

seasonally camped along the river for thousands of years, hunting, fishing and gathering mussels, a dependable source of food. Many rock shelters and riverfront camp sites and at least one mound were excavated in the Decatur area by WPA workers in the 1930’s. These excavations and others yielded thousands of artifacts, including several types of projectile points unique to the area. After construction at Decatur’s Riverwalk Marina revealed ancient human remains in 1999, local people put up a monument commemorating the site. The area’s earliest residents in historical time were Cherokee and Chickasaw. These people occasionally clashed over control of the Tennessee Valley but for the most part a truce existed in the sparsely populated

area. No major settlements were recorded in Morgan County during this time, although nearby chiefs exercised great influence over commerce and travel. A series of four Native American interpretive walking trails are being constructed at Point Mallard Park that tell stories of the lives of these early residents of the Decatur area. The Chief Doublehead and Chief Black Fox walking trails, opened in May 2016, highlight the lives of Cherokees. The Chief Big Foot (Creek) and Chief Colbert (Chickasaw) trails will be completed in the next few years. The Treaty of Turkey Town in 1816 ceded Cherokee rights to the area south of the Tennessee River, and in 1818 the U.S. Government officially opened the land to white settlers for purchase. Some whites

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D E C AT U R H I S TO RY indicative of the promise of wealth in the young community.

The Old State Bank

Decatur Parks and Recreation unveiled four American Indian Interpretive Walking Trails in 2016 to honor Decatur’s Native American history.

known as squatters had already illegally settled on the land. Most Native Americans in the area who remained after white arrival blended into the local population, their heritage passed down through private family oral tradition.

Decatur Established

In 1818 the Alabama Territorial Legislature established Cotaco County, renamed Morgan County after Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan in 1821. In 1820, entrepreneur Dr. Henry Rhodes began a ferry service at the site of today’s Rhodes Ferry Park in Decatur. Later that year, President James Monroe promoted the establishment of a town at this ferry crossing, at the last consistently navigable point on the Tennessee River above the Muscle Shoals. Tradition holds that the President requested the town be named for U.S. Naval hero Commodore Stephen Decatur, who had died after a duel in March 1820. Rhodes, along with Jesse Winston Garth, McKinney Holderness, Isaac Lane and George Peck founded the Decatur Land Company. They purchased patents for land and laid out the original plan of the town. Settlement began as new residents bought lots and established businesses in the new river town. The beautiful Palladian-influenced Dancy Polk House, built in 1829 by Col. Francis Dancy, is the oldest standing structure in Decatur and is Go EXCURSIONS Mobile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

Decatur’s most iconic landmark is the Old State Bank. The Greek revival structure was originally built as a branch of the Bank of Alabama. The Alabama General Assembly established the staterun bank system, with other branches in Montgomery and Mobile, in 1830. Its creators hoped that the Bank would be able to provide investors with the capital to spur development and provide a source of revenue for state government. After a brief period of apparent prosperity, flaws in the system were exposed during the nationwide financial panic of 1837. By 1840 the Decatur Branch had an outstanding debt of one million dollars. The Bank’s charter was revoked in 1842. In the years to come the bank served as a private residence, as a hospital during the Civil War, as a boarding house and tavern, as a bank again and as an American Legion hall. The Bank has served as a museum and civic hall since 1934. In 1982, it was restored to its original configuration, including a first floor cashier’s cage and a second floor apartment furnished in the Federal style of the 1830s and 1840s.

Early Railroad in Decatur

In Decatur’s history, the railroads are second only to the Tennessee River in significance. The Tuscumbia, Courtland

and Decatur Railroad was the first rail line west of the Alleghany Mountains. The brainchild of investor and Lawrence County planter Benjamin Sherrod, the TC & D was designed so that travelers and cargo on the Tennessee River could move easily and dependably around the treacherous Muscle Shoals. The railroad was chartered in 1832 by less than 100 stockholders, most of them prominent planters from Morgan, Lawrence and Colbert Counties. Early progress was slow, but by December 1834 crowds welcomed the “Fulton,” the railroad’s first steam locomotive as it rolled into Decatur from Tuscumbia. The little railroad struggled to turn a profit, but Sherrod stuck with his dream, shoring it up with infusions of capital until his death in 1847. The TC &D’s most famous passengers were displaced Cherokees on the “Trail of Tears.” A new Alabama Historical Commission marker at Rhodes Ferry Park commemorates the passage of the Ridge, Deas and Whiteley detachments of Cherokee people from Georgia and Tennessee through Decatur in 1837 and 1838. A National Park Service trailhead is also in development that will include narrative panels that explain the history of Cherokee removal, the railroad’s role and the “witness structures” in Decatur that stood in 1838. The TC & D was incorporated into the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, and in 1855 the first railroad bridge

The Depot as it appeared in 1905

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D E C AT U R H I S TO RY

Union soldiers dig trenches on Bank Street, 1864.

across the Tennessee River at Decatur was completed. The location of this river crossing on the South’s most important rail artery from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Coast added to Decatur’s importance. By 1860 Decatur was also a terminus of the Nashville and Decatur Railroad, making the River City one of the more important crossroads of rail and river travel in the Southeast. This promising distinction unfortunately led to Decatur’s destruction during the Civil War, as the city changed hands as many as nine times between the Union and Confederate armies.

The Civil War

Decatur’s unique geographic position made it a prime staging location for campaigns during the War. Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston gathered his forces here in March of 1862 before marching to the battle of Shiloh, where he was killed. In April, Union forces under Col. John Turchin took Decatur and burned the strategic railroad bridge. In 1864, Union troops forced most of the city’s inhabitants to leave so that the city could be fortified to protect one of General Sherman’s crucial supply lines for his Georgia campaign. In the process most of 74 EXCURSIONS

The Civil War exhibit in the Morgan County Archives

the town’s structures were demolished. The Old State Bank, the Burleson-McEntire House, the Dancy-Polk House and a handful of others survived destruction. In October 1864, John Bell Hood and the Army of Tennessee surrounded Union troops at Decatur. Hood wanted to cross the river at Decatur for a quick route to the Union supply depot at Nashville, but strong Union fortifications and Union gunboats above the Muscle Shoals made an assault on Decatur too costly. Hood lost as many as 500 men assaulting the works at Decatur before heading west. Hood’s delay gave Union forces time to prepare for his arrival in Tennessee, where his army was nearly annihilated at the battles of Franklin and Nashville. The story of Decatur’s role in the war is dramatically illustrated by a Civil War Walking Trail and by a major exhibit in the Morgan County Archives.

“Boom Times” and the Two Decaturs

Decatur and the surrounding countryside was thoroughly destroyed by the war’s end. After a period of great struggle, the town began to rebound in the 1870s and 1880s with the rebuilding and expansion of the rail lines that passed through the area and the resumption of trade along

the Tennessee River. The Memphis and Charleston rebuilt the railroad bridge in 1866 and later became the Southern Railway. The Nashville and Decatur Railroad was incorporated into the Louisville and Nashville (L&N) in the 1870s and located a massive car repair works at Decatur that employed up to 3,000 workers. The railroad expansion attracted many businesses to Decatur during this period. In 1887, the Decatur Land Improvement and Furnace Company laid out the city of New Decatur, south and east of the old city and contiguous to it. The new development, backed by both Northern and Southern investors, sought to become “The Chicago of the South.” Modern water, electric and sewer services began to be laid out, along with rail branch lines to factories along the southern bank of the river. A yellow fever epidemic broke out in 1888, severely limiting new investment and stunting the massive growth that the investors anticipated. An obelisk in the city cemetery honors the doctors who perished treating those afflicted by the epidemic. Still, the new town’s development was impressive. In spite of many leaders’ efforts to unite the two cities, much animosity developed between them, and residents

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PHOTO:

Dedication of the Cherokee Trail of Tears historical marker.


D E C AT U R H I S TO RY

Burleson-Hinds McEntire House The Princess Theatre was built in the 1880s. Dancy-Polk House

PHOTO:

The Princess Theatre was built in the 1880s.

voted to change the name of New Decatur to Albany in 1916. Many wealthy migrants to New Decatur built stately mansions in the area that is now the nationally registered Albany Historic Neighborhood. The crown jewel of the neighborhood was a beautiful public green space now known as Delano Park, improved over the years with a dramatic rose garden, gazebo and other features. Decatur’s railroad growth was accompanied by the construction of three new train depots, one of which remains standing. Decatur’s Union Depot, so named because both the Southern Railway and the L & N boarded passengers there, was built in 1905. The Depot was in operation until 1978. It sat empty from then until 2015 when work began to renovate the space into a railroad museum and offices for the Decatur Police Department. The railroad also spurred the growth of Old Town, Decatur’s oldest neighborhood, just west of the Union Depot. Old Town was racially integrated, and as the turn of the twentieth century approached it became home to a number of AfricanAmerican owned businesses. Black professionals and business owners joined churches and civic organizations that Go EXCURSIONS Mobile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

Morgan County Archives Building

provided leadership for the Old Town community. A new gateway marker placed on Vine Street at the entrance of the neighborhood tells the stories of this unique neighborhood. New Decatur’s business district became the commercial heart of the town, with dozens of businesses, restaurants, hotels and theatres. The historic Princess Theatre was originally built in the 1880s as a massive stable, and later converted into a vaudeville theatre and movie house. It was thoroughly remodeled into its current art deco form in 1941. The two Decaturs were finally united in 1927, as business leaders united to lobby for the location of the “Bee Line Highway” (U.S. 31) bridge at Decatur. The opening of the Keller Memorial Bridge was a major event and cemented Decatur’s importance as a crossroads of water, rail and road travel. Today’s Hudson Memorial Bridge, named for Captain “Steamboat Bill” Hudson is located at the spot of the original bridge, demolished in 1998.

Wild Steamboat Days and the River Tamed The completion of the Muscle Shoals Canal in 1890 increased steamboat travel on the Tennessee River. Legendary Captains like the infamous Simp McGhee

The Old State Bank

made names for themselves on the river and in increasingly wild port towns like Decatur. One of Decatur’s oldest and finest restaurants on Bank Street is named for the captain. Liquor flowed in the bars and gaming houses near the water. Violence often erupted in “Dead Man’s Alley” behind Bank Street between Lafayette and Church. Even after prohibition, bootlegging and speakeasies proliferated. One local fixture of the vice community was Kate Lackner, a madam who ran a large “sporting house” at the corner of Market St. that entertained customers from the 1880s until the 1940s. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited Decatur in 1932 and declared that poverty in the Tennessee Valley would be a major focus of federal efforts during the “New Deal.” The Tennessee Valley Authority built a series of dams that finally tamed the river and provided hydroelectric power to millions. Decatur billed itself as “the TVA Town” and recruited businesses with the promise of cheap electricity and easy transportation. Today, Decatur continues to be known as a prime spot for industry, with industries like United Launch Alliance, Daikin America, 3M and many others located along the river. ❖ EXCURSIONS 75


The Old State Bank anchors the historic downtown district

Adventures Await From golf courses to museums and historical sites, Decatur/Morgan County has the perfect agenda for every traveler.

The Old Decatur and Albany Historic Districts of Decatur make up the largest concentration of Victorian era craftsmen and bungalow homes in Alabama. Often referred to as “The Painted Ladies,” some date to the early 1800s, while others were constructed around the turn of the century. Both are listed in the National Register of Historical Places. A detailed tour map and brochure are available at the Decatur Visitor Center on 6th Ave. • The Old Decatur Historic District embraces over 116-acres with houses ranging in age from 1829 to the

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present. Styles vary from the French-influenced Empire period to the Edwardian Cottage and beyond. • The New Decatur-Albany Historic District was founded by northern businessmen in the late 1800’s and was named after the New York state capital. le reflects early 20th century trends such as Colonial Revival, California Cottage, Dutch Colonial and Frank Lloyd Wright influences.

Blue & Gray Museum of North Alabama Located at Parhams Civil War Relics on Historic Bank Street, the Blue & Gray contains one

of the country’s largest private collections of Civil War era relics. {723 Bank Street, Decatur. 256.350.4018. Open Mon – Sat, 10 am – 5 pm. After hours group tours can be arranged. Admission: $5 adults, $3 students, children 4 and under free with adult. rparhamsrelics.com}  Carnegie Visual Arts Center

A not-for-profit organization, the center is a cultural, educational and communityservice organization providing an environment to promote learning, creation and appreciation of the visual arts. It also preserves one of the area’s

historical buildings and serves as a multi-purpose community resource. Check website for latest events. {207 Church Street. NE, Decatur. 256.341.0562. Open Tue – Fri, 11 am – 6 pm, Saturday 11 am – 4 pm carnegiearts.org}

Cook Museum of Natural Science The Cook Museum of Natural Science is currently under construction in downtown Decatur. The new 60,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility will serve the people of North Alabama and the Southeast as an educational destination as well as a premier tourism attraction. The museum will be an inter-

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PHOTO: JEFF SCHREIER

Alabama’s Largest Victorian Era Historic Districts


D E C AT U R AT T R AC T I O N S Weaponry of a bygone era preserved at the Blue & Gray Museum

Decatur residents preserve Victorian era homes

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF DECATUR CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU PHOTO:

Tour Hartselle’s Historic Depot

active immersion into North American biomes, from deserts to oceans, to arctic tundra and hardwood forests. Each exhibit will be a part of a narrative explaining how the natural world works. Key features of the new museum will include: educational programs, live animals and aquariums, mounted wildlife from across North America, collections of rocks minerals, fossils, shells and coral, native plant landscaping, café with outdoor patio, three classrooms, theater and museum store. The projected opening is late 2017.

Hartselle’s Historic Depot and Downtown Sixty-nine of the buildings in the central business district of Hartselle, including the Hartselle Depot, have been nominated for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places because of their architec-

tural and historic significance. The Depot, built in 1914, includes Historical displays provided by the Hartselle Historical Society. The popular downtown shops offer such items as imported Mexican pewter, art work by local artists and craftspersons, linens, soaps and all kinds of antiques, from glassware to large furniture items. {110 Railroad St. SW, Hartselle; 800.294.0692, 256.773.4370; hartsellechamber.com}

Indoor Ice Skating Point Mallard Park offers a regulation-size indoor ice rink. The rink is open throughout the year with public skate sessions, private parties, basic skill skating lessons, private instructions for the more advanced, youth and adult hockey classes, adult “pick-up” hockey and other cool activities. Within the complex are stadium seating for

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special events, meeting facilities, a pro shop, arcade games, skate rental room, concession stand, ice rink viewing area, rental lockers and a dressing room with showers. Also serves as the home ice for the Point Mallard Ducks, a NA3HL team. {256.341.4910, pointmallardpark.com}

Mooresville This tiny community, located just two miles north of Decatur, is older than the State of Alabama. Formed in 1818, the entire 12 blocks of the oak-lined village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. President Andrew Johnson worked here while serving as a tailor’s apprentice. Prominent structures include the 1820s Stage Coach Inn and Tavern and the 1840 town post office which remains in use today. The town was the site of a Walt

Disney movie (Tom & Huck) about the adventures of Tom Sawyer. {Off I-565 at Exit #2. 800.648.5381. mooresvilleal.org}

Morgan County Archives Located in the 1927 Tennessee Valley Bank Building in the Bank Street Historical District of Decatur. Holdings total approximately 1,500 cubic feet of archival and manuscript materials including the original estate and guardianship case files, birth and death ledgers, marriage records (1819-1930), tax records dating from the 1920s, county commission records, circuit court records and newspapers. Genealogical materials include census, family histories and bible records. The Morgan County Archives features two new state-of-theart permanent exhibits on the Scottsboro Boys Trial in DecaEXCURSIONS 77


D E C AT U R AT T R AC T I O N S

Free exchibits all year long at Carnegie Visual Arts Center

Cook Museum of Natural Science slated to open in late 2017

tur and the Civil War in Morgan County. Open Mon – Fri 8:30 am – 4:30 pm {624 Bank St. NE, 256.351.4726}

property. Open Mon – Fri 9:30 am – noon and 1 – 4:30 pm {925 Bank Street NE, 256.341.4818}

Old State Bank

 Point Mallard Park

The Old State Bank was one of three banks authorized by The Kids are sure to enjoy Alabama General Assembly the talking tree atin 1832. Few structures can boast EarlyWorks. as varied a past as the Bank. Since its construction, the building has weathered two depressions and a Civil War, and has served as a hospital, guardhouse, bank and dance hall. Named to the National Register of Historical Places in 1972, the Classic Revival architecture of the Bank is symbolic of the period in which it was built. The building is decorated with antique pieces from the Federal and Empire period. It is the first stop on the Civil War Walking Tour of Decatur. Founders Park and Daikin Amphitheatre are also located on the Old Bank

Point Mallard is designed to provide family recreation opportunities throughout the year. A 35-acre water theme area (open daily summer months) offers America’s first Wave Pool, the Duck Pond and Squirt Factory kid’s pools, Lazy River Ride, two new drop slides and more! The Park also features a scenic 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course; a 25-acre wooded campground, the Strike Zone driving range and batting cages, lighted tennis courts, ball fields, a recreation center; amphitheater, and an indoor Ice Skating complex (open year round). Call for seasonal facility hours. {256.341.4900. pointmallardpark.com}

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 Princess Theatre for the Performing Arts

The Princess began as a livery stable in 1887; was transformed into a vaudeville playhouse named the Princess in 1919; and, following a 1941 face-lift, emerged with the art deco style that remains today and features a brilliantly lit neon marquee. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the 677-seat theatre now serves as Decatur’s performing arts center. {112 Second Ave. NE, Decatur. 256.350.1745. princesstheatre.org}

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Established in 1938 as an experimental home for waterfowl, the Refuge encompasses 34,500-acres of preserved woodlands. The Givens Wildlife Interpretive Center serves as the welcome center for the Refuge and is also one of the

South’s largest educational centers for waterfowl and wildlife study. The center features a large glass-enclosed observatory and is open to self-guided tours with displays, pamphlets and wildlife films. The Givens Center is open free to the public daily Oct – Feb from 9 am – 5 pm; and March – Sep, Tue – Sat 9 am – 5 pm {Highway 67, 256.350.6639. fws.gov/wheeler}

TRAILS AND TOURS Point Mallard Indian Interpretive Trail Decatur, decaturcvb.org The Point Mallard Indian Interpretive Trail is a 5.5 mile natural walking trail through the wooded areas of Point Mallard Park. Divided into four trails, all connected throughout the park, we honor local Cherokee Chiefs, Doublehead and Black Fox, Creek Chief, Bigfoot and Chickasaw Chief,

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PHOTOS: DECATUR/MORGAN COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU PHOTO:

Take in a show at thePrincess Theatre for Performing Arts


George Colbert. The Walking Trail will celebrate Indian culture in Morgan County and the Tennessee River area, as well as provide a beautiful walking experience for all to enjoy. The Trail also includes a children’s amphitheater for educational experiences and performers.

Battle for Decatur Civil War Walking Tour

Morgan County, decaturcvb.org Decatur-Morgan County is part of the central loop of the North Alabama Birding Trail, which features over 50 designated stations that allow visitors to observe the birds in their native habitats. There are eighteen stations located along the central loop, including eight within the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Morgan County. The Refuge embraces both banks of the Tennessee River and is home to more than 300 species of birds.

Amen Trail Morgan County, decaturcvb.org The Amen Trail is located in Decatur and throughout Morgan County. Many of the churches are at least 100 years old, on its original site and still hold services today. This selfguided tour recognizes churches that define the heart of

Catch a wave at Point Mallard Park

Decatur and Morgan County’s rich and diverse cultural and spiritual heritage. Two of the 19 churches listed on the Amen Trail are also a part of North Alabama’s Hallelujah Trail, which was published in The National Geographic’s Driving Tours of Appalachia.

APPALACHIAN RECREATION— GOLF, FISHING, MARINAS AND MORE Morgan County is the focal point of all outdoor recreation on the 67,100-acre Wheeler Reservoir (Wheeler Lake) on the Tennessee River. It’s the largest lake in the region,

PHOTOS: PHOTO: DECATUR/MORGAN COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

Decatur, decaturcvb.org The Civil War Walking Tour is located in the Old Decatur and New Albany Historic Districts, just off the southern bank of the Tennessee River near downtown Decatur. Covering 13 blocks, the self-guided walking tour chronicles events surrounding Confederate General John Bell Hood’s attempted advance across the Tennessee River, a four-day battle that took place in October of 1864.

North Alabama Birding Trail

PointMallardEXCURSIONS AD.indd 1

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D E C AT U R AT T R AC T I O N S

stretching approximately 60 miles. Wheeler Lake is basically a wide river until it flows through the City of Decatur, after which it widens considerably and takes on more of the appearance and characteristics of an impoundment. Decatur has played host to many national fishing events, including the Bassmaster Top 150 Tournament, Bassmaster Invitational, Wal-Mart FLW and the Crappie USA National Championship. Wheeler presents a mixture of deep drop-offs and shallow banks; narrow tributaries and wide open spaces. There is flooded timber, grass beds and seemingly bottomless depths; quiet coves, brushy sloughs and wave-washed cliffs. Wheeler represents the southern most point for the natural habitat of smallmouth bass, making the area home to many lunkers. Largemouth bass, spotted bass, crappie, stripe and catfish are all popular game fish. Wheeler Lake is on the Alabama Bass Trail and is considered one of the country’s best fisheries for catfish.

MARINAS Ingalls Harbor 256.341.4930, decaturparks.com Decatur’s newest riverside, open-air park. The marina is also one of the sites on the Alabama Bass Trail. Includes fishing boat launch, parking and green space suitable for family gatherings and festivals. Future additions include a riverboat docking area, visitors center and Tennessee River Heritage Museum. {701 Market Street, NW. Mile Marker #303.5}

Riverwalk Marina 256.340.9170, decatursports.com Includes private slips and boathouses, public launching ramps, vending area, Hard Dock restaurant, boat sales and dockside gas/oil. {Located on the north bank of the Tennessee River on Hwy. 31. Mile Marker #305}

Brickyard Landing 256.350.1449, brickyardlandingmarina.net Includes 240 dry docks, boat repair, waterfront marina

C ARNEGIE VISUAL ARTS CENTER Passionately promoting art for all!

• Free Exhibits to the public year round • Art on the Street downtown at 3rd Friday’s and Market on Bank from Mar to Oct • Carnegie Carnival Mardi Gras on Feb 25th Kid’s Parade, Red Beans n’ Rice Cookoff & Evening Parade with over 30 floats

207 Church St. NE Decatur, AL Tue - Fri 10 AM - 5 PM Sat 10 AM - 2 PM 256-341-0562 www.carnegiearts.org Renew your faith at the annual Soulstock Festival

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PHOTOS: PHOTO: DECATUR/MORGAN COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

Please stop by and visit us. There is always something new and inspiring going on at the Carnegie.


store, dock side gas/oil. No public launch ramp. {Located on the south bank of the Tennessee River on Hwy. 20. Mile Marker #303.5}

Jay Landings Marina & RV Park 256.350.4722, jaylandingsmarina.com Includes wet-slips, vending, RV sites and public launching for a fee. {Located on the south bank of the Tennessee River on Hwy. 20. Mile Marker #302.5}

GOLF COURSES Point Mallard Park - Decatur Tee times: 256.341.4921, Pro shop: 256.341.4925 Redesigned by South Carolina golf course architect John LaFoy, the course Hit the links at an features area 18 golf manicured course Tiftdwarf Bermuda greens designed to United States Golf Association (USGA) specifications (Blue tees - 7,064 yds, red tees 5,325 yds, white tees - 6,585 yds, gold tees - 5,900 yds). Tee time reservations may be made up to three days in advance

and group or company outings are welcome. Recognized as “The Best Public Course to Play” by the Tennessee Valley Golf News and as one of the best three public courses to play in the state by members of the Dixie Section of the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA). Point Mallard golf course facilities include a modern clubhouse with a pro shop, restaurant and shower and restroom areas. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Opens at noon each Monday.) 15 percent Discount for Senior Citizens.

Cedar Ridge - Decatur 256.353.4653 Rolling terrain and lakes make for a challenging day on this public course. Par 72 link encompasses 18-holes and some 5,913-yards. Open year round.

Quail Creek - Hartselle 256.784.5033, quailcreekgolf.com An 18-hole, par 71 course laid out on 6,007 yards on Nat Key Road. Open year round. ❖

DECATUR FAVORITE Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts

PHOTOS: DECATUR/MORGAN COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

112 2nd Avenue NE, Decatur, AL 35601 256.340.1778 princesstheatre.org Since 1983, the Princess Theatre has presented an array of outstanding cultural events, including award-winning artists, national tours of Broadway musicals, a wide variety of concerts from all musical genres, theatre for young audiences, performance training labs and lecturer series. Local performing groups make their home on the Princess stage, presenting theatre for young audiences, choral concerts, orchestral performances, musicals and theatre. The Princess Theatre is located in Decatur’s Historic Downtown District and preserves one of the city’s most significant buildings. Our coffee bar is a friendly gathering place for students, locals and visitors and serves as a small venue for community meetings and for intimate performances and for nurturing nascent artists. See their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.COM to view their Facebook page, get directions, hours, link to their website and more. Hone your skills at one of Decatur’s golf courses

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@princesstheatre

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From the most popular national stores to local boutiques, art galleries and antique stores, Decatur has what you need to get your shopping fix. 82 EXCURSIONS

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PHOTO:

Shop Decatur


DECATUR FAVORITE Tennessee Valley Pecan Co. 806 Bank Street, Decatur, AL 35601 256.353.1880 tnvalleypecan.com Founded in 1942, Tennessee Valley Pecan Company is a small town business that operates from the historic business district of Decatur, Alabama. Tennessee Valley Pecan Co. provides unique pecan gifts for holidays, social events, special occasions or for a personal reward. Stop in and shop for plain pecans, toasted pecans, candied pecans, gift tins and gift baskets while enjoying some of our famous Bushytail Coffees and pastries. So delicious, with 70 plus years in business, Tennessee Valley Pecan Co. is the choice of southern kitchens everywhere. Order from them online, too! See their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.COM to view their Facebook page, get directions, hours, link to their website and more.

@tnvalleypecan

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DECATUR FAVORITE Kathleen’s Fine Art & Interiors 211 2nd Avenue SE, Decatur, AL 35601 256.355.7616 Kathleen’s Fine Art & Interiors gives you the best of all worlds. From original art creations from local artists from around the southeast, to interesting and unique home accessories, you will find it all here for your convenience. Works range from paintings to pottery to jewelry and furniture. The inventory changes frequently so be sure to stop by each time you visit for an opportunity to find a unique treasure for your home or someone you love. See their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.COM to view their Facebook page, get directions, hours, link to their website and more. @kathleensdowntown

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DOWNTOWN DECATUR SHOPPING Spend a Saturday treasure hunting at these Downtown Decatur favorites.

 THE CUPBOARD 504 Bank Street NE 256.686.4500

GLEE INTERIORS

 KATHLEEN’S FINE ART

HOLLY’S

& INTERIORS

206 2nd Avenue 256.301.3013

 TAMMY EDDY ANTIQUES AND

302 2nd Avenue SE 256.686.4222

502 Bank Street NE 256.306.0007

INDIGO’S

211 2nd Avenue SE 256.355.7616

INTERIORS

 TENNESSEE VALLEY PECAN CO. 806 Bank Street 256.353.1880 ALBANY ART SUPPLY CO.

302 2nd Ave SE 256.998.8034

ALBANY FRAMING

221 2nd Avenue SE 256.355.7226

THE ANTIQUE BASKET

305 2nd Avenue 256.353.8181

ARTIST WITHIN

409 Bank Street NE 256.355.8825

Tammy Eddy Antiques and Interiors 502 Bank Street NE, Decatur, AL 35601 256.306-0007 Tammy Eddy Antiques and Interiors carries a wide range of furniture, lamps, pillows, bedding, accessories, jewelry and unique works of art. From antiques to contemporary pieces, Tammy Eddy offers items from around the world that will complement your home and decor. New shipments arrive weekly. Need advice? Allow Tammy or a member of her talented staff to assist you with selecting furniture and accessories to achieve that polished and professional look for your home or office.

HOW BAZAAR

209-B 2nd Avenue 256.345.6348

JAR & COMPANy 306 2nd Avenue SE 256.580.5044 LITTLE FEET BOUTIQUE

710 Bank Street NE 256.355.0332

LOCAL COLOR ART HOUSE & STUDIOS

704 Bank Street 256.686.1609 MEMI’S

704 Bank Street NE 256.350.0101 MICHAEL MASON BRIDAL

BANK STREET ARTS AND ANTIQUES

719 Bank Street NE 256.340.8898

BEHIND THE GLASS

708 Bank Street NE 256.355.6941

BLUSH BOUTIQUE

706 Bank Street 256.355.8993

818 Bank Street NE 256.353.6505

DECATUR FAVORITE

707 Bank Street NE 256.355.4533

714 Bank Street NE 256.351.2333

1801 Beltline Rd SW 256.580.2100 CLOUD 9

712 Bank Street 256.686.2099 COTTAGE HOUSE

719 Bank Street NE 256.306.9892

MIRANDA ALEXANDER INTERIORS

THE PAPER CHASE

PINEAPPLES HOME DÉCOR

206 2nd Avenue 256.301.3013

THE SASSY OWL BOUTIQUE

312 2nd Avenue 256.580.5103

PHOTO:

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DECATUR SHOPPING Additional local and national retailers located in Decatur

ACADEMY SPORTS & OUTDOORS

1205 Wimberly Drive SW 256.340.7800

APPLE LANE FARMS

23027 US HWY 20, Tanner, AL 35671 256.351.7803 BIG LOTS

LEE’S SHOES, BOOTS & CLOTHING

1820-O 6th Avenue SE 256.353.1394

LYNN’S HALLMARK SHOP

2019 6th Avenue SE, Ste. 4 256.350.3977

MARTIN’S FAMILY CLOTHING

1820 6th Avenue SE 256.308.0490

2150 Beltline Rd SW 256.350.2812

CHELDEN’S GIFT EMPORIUM

OLD NAVY

1111 Corsbie Street SE 256.340.1116

1241 Point Mallard Pkwy SE, Ste 301 256.353.7300

THE COMIC SHOP

RAINBOW APPAREL

1815 6th Avenue SE 256.351.0225

1241 Point Mallard Pkwy 256.355.0107

CRICKET BY THE CREEK

SPROUTS

1517 6th Avenue SE 256.350.9963

1113 Corsbie Street SE 256.353.0305

EDENS

401 14th Street SE, Ste. 3A-9 256.274.1275

HOBBY LOBBY

STAPLES

817 Beltine Road SW 256.353.0373 TARGET

303-A Beltline Place SW 256.353.1998

1235 Point Mallard Pkwy SE 256.898.3036

JIMMY SMITH JEWELERS

TRISH LAND

2036 6th Ave SE 256.353.2512

214 Moulton Street E 256.686.1382 ❖

KIRKLAND’S

1241 Point Mallard Pwky SE 256.353.2242

KOHL’S

2407 6th Avenue SE 256.355.7401

Ginger Cobl Owner DECATUR FAVORITE 504 Bank Street NE Decatur, AL 35601 tel: 256-686-4500 gcobl@hotmail.com

http://ShopTheCupboard.com

The Cupboard

504 Bank Street NE, Decatur, AL 35601 256.686.4500 shopthecupboard.com

The Decatur Mall The Decatur Mall is a regional shopping center serving Decatur, Alabama and the surrounding communities. The Decatur Mall is anchored by Belk, jcpenney Outlet, Sears and Regal Cinemas... and coming soon Carmike 12 Cinemas. Decatur Mall is located in the southwest corridor of Decatur at the Beltline Road/Danville Road intersection, approximately 7 miles NW from I-65. Decatur Mall is located on the left at the intersection of AL-67 (Beltline Road) and Danville Road. Hours: Mon – Sat: 10 am – 9 pm Sun 1 pm – 6 pm 1801 Beltline Road, Decatur, AL 35601, 256.350.0453 STORES INCLUDE: American Eagle, Belk, Finish Line, jcpenney Outlet, Kay Jewelers, maurices, Sears, Zales, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, Aeropostale and more than 30 specialty shops.

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The Cupboard is a locally owned boutique kitchen and gift shop nestled on historic Bank Street. Not only do they procure the highest quality of locally and regionally crafted products, but they’re always willing to share the stories behind their artisans and manufacturers. They have gifts for every room in your house—from the kitchen to the bath.

See their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.COM to view their Facebook page, get directions, hours, link to their website and more. @shopthecupboard

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Out and About in Decatur From farm-to-fork fine dining and upscale bistros in historic downtown to down-home hangouts on the river, Decatur delivers on flavor and atmosphere.

3rd Friday Downtown 3rd Fridays Downtown (March through October) offer an opportunity for the community to gather in the Historic Downtown Decatur District to learn the history of the city, support local merchants and enjoy diverse forms of entertainment.

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Albany Bistro

RESTAURANTS  ALBANY BISTRO

1051 Grant Street SE, 256.686.1667  HARD DOCK

3755 US Highway 31, 256.340.9234  SIMP MCGHEE’S

725 Bank Street NW 256.353.6284  THE RAILYARD

209 2nd Ave SE 256.580.5707 ALFONSO’S PIZZA

2400 6th Ave SE 256.350.0211 AUNTIE ANNE’S

1801 Beltline Rd SW 256.393.2559 BB PERRINS BARBECUE

608 Holly Street NE 256.355.1045

BIG BOB GIBSON’S BAR.B.Q

CASA SANTIAGO

CITY CAFÉ

1715 6th Ave SE 256.350.6969

2812 Spring Ave SW 256.552.9499

101 1st Ave SE 256.353.9719

CAMINO REAL

C F PENN HAMBURGERS

CORNER CAFÉ

121 E Moulton Street 256.355.0513

1123 Somerville Rd SE 256.822.1414

CHONGWAH EXPRESS

CURRY’S

1801 Beltline Rd SW 256.341.0440

115 Johnston Street SE 256.350.6715

2504 6th Ave NE, 56.353.6727 CANTON HOUSE

609 14th Street SE 256.350.8868

,

beef tenderloin with tobacco onions over creamed potatoes, asparagus and a bordelaise sauce

Dine today at Albany Bistro, a neighborhood restaurant serving upscale southern cuisine in the Historic Albany District of Decatur. Chef Jakob and his team offer a full service menu for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. A well-balanced wine list and seasonal martinis will appeal to almost any palate, and our ever-changing menu featuring seasonal, locally grown, sustainable ingredients will keep you coming back for more. We are the perfect spot for an intimate dinner for two, a glass of wine with friends and we accommodate large groups as well. Escape the ordinary and discover Albany Bistro today!

1051 Grant Street SE, Decatur, Alabama 35601 256.686.1667 albanybistro.net Reservations accepted

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O U T&A B O U T D E C AT U R

Simp McGhee's

DOWNTOWN DAWGS

LAS VIAS

119 E Moulton Street 256.227.3575

2224 6th Ave SE 256.686.3344

FRANCESCO’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT

LET’S DO LUNCH

2613 Highway 31 S., 256.584.6770

435 Holly Street NE 256.340.1317

FULIN’S ASIAN CUISINE

1241 Point Mallard Pkwy SW 256.355.3588 GUADALAJARA GRILL

1801 Beltline Rd SW 256.301.9991 JAVA JAAY COFFEE HOUSE

1713 6th Ave SE 256.351.8555 K MAY DOUGHNUTS

1815 6th Ave SE 256.686.2240 KEEP YOUR FORK

224 E Moulton Street, 256.353.2602 LA CASITA MEXICAN RESTAURANT

620 AL Hwy 67 256.580.5609 LA HACIENDA

1000 Beltline Rd SW 256.552.7772

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MELLOW MUSHROOM

202 E Moulton Street 256.355.5161 MI HACIENDA

404 6th Ave NE 256.353.3233 MOE’S BARBECUE

202 E. Moulton Street, Ste C 256.686.4112 NASH BBQ

1203 Courtyard Cir 256.260.0512 ROOSTERS

1820 6th Ave SE 256.350.0886 THE BRICK DELI

112 E Moulton Street 256.355.8318 VITTONE’S

109 2nd Ave NE 256.686.2828

The Railyard

BARS & GRILLS  HARD DOCK

3755 US Highway 31 256.340.9234 6 POCKETS BILLIARDS

1819 Bassett Ave SE 256.686.3171 BUFFALO WILD WINGS

THE GRIDIRON

103 2nd Ave. SE 256.351.7300 THE RAILYARD

209 2nd Ave SE 256.580.5707 YNOT'S WATERING HOLE

3417 US Hwy 31 256.560.5146 ❖

945 Wimberly Dr. SW 256.301.5454 GENO'S PUB

1015 6th Ave SE. 256.355.9998 HIGHWAY 67 ROADHOUSE

2941 Point Mallard Pwky SE, Ste. V, 256.308.1045 O’CHARLEY’S RESTAURANT & BAR

2148 Beltline Rd. SW 256.355.0505 SHORTY'S BAR & GRILL

1313 Point Mallard Pkwy, 256.432.0401 THE BRICK DELI & TAVERN

112 E Moulton Street 256.355.8318

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DECATUR FAVORITE Simp McGhee’s 725 Bank Street NW, Decatur, AL 35601 256.353.6284 simpmcghees.com @simpmcghees

DECATUR FAVORITE The Railyard 209 2nd Avenue SE, Decatur, AL 35601 256.580.5707 therailyarddecatur.com @therailyarddecatur

Fine Dining with a Cajun Twist There are many tales told of Simp McGhee, the infamous river boat captain of Decatur at the turn-of-the-century. His boisterous ways, unconventional operations and blustering manner made him a most picturesque legend of the Tennessee River. 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. HOURS OF OPERATION: Mon - Thu 5 pm - 9 pm Fri - Sat 5 pm - 9:30 pm; Sun closed View their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

On the Menu (changes seasonally) Appetizers: Crawfish Eggrolls, Matt’s Tuna Tartar, Mushroom Caps, Fried Green Beans Dinner Entrees: Crystal Shrimp, Tenderloin Au Poivre, Maple Leaf Farms Duck (pictured), Filet Mignon (pictured) Desserts: Derby Pie (pictured) and others

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The Railyard is Downtown Decatur’s hottest spot for delicious food, craft beer, craft cocktails and great times. Featuring farm-to-fork southern comfort food creations by Chef Bill Harden. Owner, Tyler Jones, brings his love and knowledge of the local history back to the heart of historic downtown Decatur. The blending of great food and historic atmosphere creates a truly one of a kind tavern that will quickly become your favorite spot to frequent in Decatur, Alabama. HOURS OF OPERATION: Tue - Sat 11 am - 9 pm; Sun 11 am - 2 pm View their mobile profile at EXCURSIONSGO.com

On the Menu (changes seasonally) Appetizers: Bourbon Glazed Pork Belly Bites, Charcuterie Board, Stuffed Jalapenos, Cheese Fritters Lunch Entrees: Tennessee Valley BBQ Shrimp & Grits, Chorizo Meatloaf, Short Rib Pasta, Grilled Grouper Dinner Entrees: Grilled Venison, Roasted Quail, Balsamic Glazed Scallops, Coffee Rubbed N.Y. Strip

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Decatur Favorites 1  ALBANY BISTRO (Restaurant)

1051 Grant Street SE, 256.686.1667 2 CARNEGIE VISUAL ARTS CENTER

(Attraction)

207 Church Street NE, 256.341.0562

3 DECATUR VISITOR CENTER

719 6th Ave SE, 256.350.2028

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4 HARD DOCK (Restaurant) 3755 Hwy 31 North, 256.340.9234

6 PRINCESS THEATRE CENTER FOR THE

5 KATHLEEN’S FINE ART & INTERIORS

112 2nd Ave NE, 256.350.1745

211 2nd Ave SE, 256.355.7616

7 SIMP MCGHEE’S (Restaurant)

(Shopping)

POINT MALLARD PARK (Attraction)

Located on large map to right 2901 Point Mallard Drive SE, 256.341.4900

PERFORMING ARTS 

(Attraction)

725 Bank Street NW, 256.353.6284

8 TAMMY EDDY ANTIQUES AND INTERIORS (Shopping)

Somerville Rd SE

4th Ave SE

2nd Ave SE

1st Ave SE

q 5

Moulton St E

Grant St SE

9 TENNESSEE VALLEY PECAN CO. (Shopping/Coffee)

806 Bank Street NE, 855.353.1880

0 THE CUPBOARD (Shopping)

504 Bank Street NE, 256.686.4500

q THE RAILYARD (Restaurant)

209 2nd Ave SE , 256.580.5707

502 Bank Street NE, 256.306.0007

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Decatur/Morgan County Area Map

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Attractions and Historic Districts

7 MORGAN COUNTY ARCHIVES 300 Church Street SW, 256.535.4350

1 ALBANY HISTORIC DISTRICT   2 BLUE & GRAY MUSEUM OF NORTH AL 315 Fountain Circle

8 NORTH ALABAMA BIRDING TRAIL 320 Church Street NW, 256.564.8100

3 CIVIL WAR WALKING TOUR 2610 Clinton Ave W, 256.652.8055

0 OLD STATE BANK 2211 Seminole Drive, 256.533.0399

4 COOK’S NATURAL SCIENCE MUSEUM 200 Cleveland Ave. NW

q WHEELER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE 202 Maple Hill Drive, 256.539.5537

9 OLD DECATUR HISTORIC DISTRICT

5 HARTSELLE’S HISTORIC DEPOT 404 Madison Street, 256.564.8100 6 INGALLS HARBOR/PAVILION 124 Southside Square, 256.536.3631

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Accommodations See map to left for the following:  DOUBLETREE BY HLTON DECATUR RIVERFRONT

 MOTEL 6  STUDIO 9

See map above for the following: 1 AMERICAN INN    BEST WESTERN RIVER CITY HOTEL 2 3 BAYMONT INN & SUITES 4 COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT 5 HAMPTON INN 6 HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS 7 IN TOWN SUITES EXTENDED STAY 8 QUALITY INN 9 LAQUINTA INN 0 MAGNOLIA MOTEL

q MICROTEL INN & SUITES w NITEFALL MOTEL e ECONO LODGE r STAY LODGE EXTENDED STAY t BUDGET INN y COMFORT INN u DAYS INN i SUPER 8 MOTEL o RED ROOF INN p EXPRESS INN a LACON MOTEL s QUAIL CREEK GOLF RESORT d POINT MALLARD PARK & CAMPGROUND f HOME 2 SUITES BY HILTON 

(opens March 2017) g RESIDENCE INN (opens Summer 2017)

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ILLE, A HUNTSV

See the world’s largest collection of space artifacts and explore the fascinating future of space travel! Looking to stay a bit longer? Sign up for an inspiring experience at Space Camp! Two- to six-day Camps are available for all ages: children, families, adults and corporate groups.

Huntsville, Alabama • (800) 637-7223 • www.rocketcenter.com

EXCURSIONS Huntsville, Madison & Decatur 6th Edition  

EXCURSIONS Hotel Guest Directory for Huntsville, Madison and Decatur, Alabama. Featuring the best of area attractions, dining, night life, s...

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