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10 th Anniversary Edition

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Huntsville | Madison | Decatur

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Huntsville | Madison | Decatur

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YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST LOCAL EXPERIENCES


Huntsville Museum of Art

Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment

Burritt on the Mountain

Huntsville Botanical Garden

Downtown Visitor Center

EarlyWorks Children’s Museum

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U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Hiking Trails

Rocket City Trash Pandas/Toyota Field

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Dining & Entertainment

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HUNTSVILLE Make the Visitor Center your first stop!

Get discounts to local attractions, maps, and more at the Huntsville/Madison County Visitor Center®. Whether it’s outer space, green space, or a creative space, we’ve got space to explore it all in the Rocket City.

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500 Church Street NW, Suite One, Huntsville, AL 35801 | 800–SPACE–4–U | Hours: Monday–Saturday 9am–3pm Sunday 12pm–3pm


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THIS IS HOW A NIGHT OUT IN HUNTSVILLE IS DONE. 720 Gallatin Street at Twickenham Square | 256.539.3930 For Dine-In Menus & Carry-Out/Delivery Information, visit www.RuthsChris.net



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


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 our 10th Anniversary Edition of EXCURSIONS! HOTEL GUESTBOOK

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ow! Time really does fly when you’re having fun! In 2009, at the invitation of Judy Ryals and Jennifer Moore of the Huntsville/ Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, I decided to get to know some new Alabama cities, Huntsville, Madison and Decatur, and I’m so glad I did. Since then, I have witnessed a region develop into an economic and tourism dynamo for our state. So many great things are happening in North Alabama that will propel our state’s future forward. Like anything that is successful, it is spearheaded and led by talented and passionate individuals who band together to accomplish goals that benefit all who live here. I am very fortunate to be in good company with many such individuals and organizations in North Alabama. EXCURSIONS is truly a collaboration of many talented, civic-minded people, business owners and organizations. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to our advertisers, sponsors, Judy Ryals, Jennifer Moore, Charles Winters and their team at the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mayor Tommy Battle of Huntsville and his team, Mayor Paul Finley, Samantha Magnuson and Mary Beth Broeren of the City of Madison Danielle Gibson and her team at the Decatur/Morgan Co. Tourism, Tami Reist and her team at Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, Mayor Tab Bowling of Decatur, Chad Emerson and his team of Downtown Huntsville, Inc., Madison Chamber of Commerce, the talented writers and photographers from the Huntsville area and, especially, my team of talented and dedicated folks who work to create the best products possible for our clients and our readers. My team and I also thank you for picking up our book to learn about the Huntsville, Madison and Decatur areas. Please 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. Huge thanks goes out to our hotel partners for placing EXCURSIONS in their guest rooms for you to enjoy. 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 .

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4 EXCURSIONS

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Voted Best Cocktail Bar in Huntsville Stella’s Elixir Lounge in Downtown Huntsville offers a rooftop bar and lounge experience that is truly unmatched. Impeccably posh without pretension, Stella’s is THE place to meet after work, gather with friends

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or impress a date. Open every day and packed with a sophisticated, yet fun and upbeat atmosphere!

127 Holmes Avenue NW, Huntsville, AL 35801 | 256.384.4313 | stellashsv.com |

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From distillery tours to how-to classes, experience the best of North Alabama. Whether you are a local, new to the city, or just visiting, let’s book some fun! Always local, Always fun!


P R E S I D E N T S’L E T T E R S WELCOME TO HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA! Whatever brings you to the Rocket City, I encourage you to enjoy the attractions, outstanding dining options and wide variety of activities available during your stay. Earth’s largest space museum, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, provides truly out of this world experiences to visitors of all ages. It’s home to the fascinating Intuitive® Planetarium and Space Camp. Huntsville’s first museum, Burritt on the Mountain, provides a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of the Rocket City. Catch a glimpse into the history of the area by interpreters who give tours and demonstrate 19th century rural life. It’s also a great place to take a hike and enjoy the cooler temperatures on the mountain. The Huntsville Botanical Garden showcases the beauty and importance of nature. With the Purdy Butterfly House, the largest open-air butterfly house in the country, and Tweetsville, a new immersive experience that explores the role that birds play in our ecosystem, the garden is the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature. The EarlyWorks Family of Museums brings together three historybased attractions with the Historic Huntsville Depot, EarlyWorks Children’s Museum and Alabama Constitution Hall Park and Museum. Weeden House Museum is the oldest home in Alabama open for public tours. All of these educational and fun attractions are in downtown Huntsville, within easy walking distance of one another. The Huntsville Museum of Art is located in Big Spring Interna-

tional Park. Visit the museum to see traveling exhibits as well as selections from its extensive collection. Grab a bite onsite at Pane e Vino, overlooking the beautiful lagoon in the park. Stroll along historic streets and enjoy a meal or beverage and relax while listening to live music in downtown Huntsville. Catch an event at the Von Braun Center. Check out Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment, a factory turned into the largest privately owned arts facility in the South. MidCity District offers entertainment, activity and dining options and is the site for the amphitheater opening in spring 2022. Campus No. 805 and Stovehouse, each contain entertainment and dining options. This area is near downtown and home to 5 of the 11 local craft breweries. If you’re here during baseball season, head over to Toyota Field in Town Madison for a Rocket City Trash Pandas game. They’re the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. There’s plenty of options for outdoor recreation. Miles of hiking and biking trails await at Monte Sano State Park, Ditto Landing and Marina, and the Land Trust of North Alabama. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Hampton Cove offers challenging courses in a picturesque setting among rolling hills and water. Visit huntsville.org, call 256-533-5723, or stop in the Huntsville/ Madison County Visitor Center® located at 500 Church Street NW, for assistance during your stay. Once again, welcome to our community. We’ve Got Space and we’re happy to share it with you!

SAVOR THE FLAVOR OF DECATUR AND MORGAN COUNTY, ALABAMA! 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 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 farmto-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! Decatur Morgan County Tourism 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.

8 EXCURSIONS

Judy S. Ryals PRESIDENT/CEO

HUNTSVILLE /MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

Danielle Gibson PRESIDENT/CEO

DECATUR MORGAN COUNTY TOURISM


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. You’ll find an array of shopping and dining options at Bridge Street Town Centre, Parkway Place Mall, and throughout our beautiful downtown. If you have time to spend outdoors, we also have beautiful mountains and rivers, magnificent caves to explore, hiking and bike trails, and a ribbon of pedestrian greenways throughout the city. I hope your visit is a pleasant one. Enjoy yourselves while you are here and know that you are always welcome in Huntsville, the Star of Alabama!

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. My family and I 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. Sincerely,

Sincerely,

Tommy Battle

M AY O R — C I T Y O F H U N T S V I L L E

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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—The City of Opportunity. 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, access to two interstate points that allows easy access to major metropolitan cities with professional sports teams and family-friendly, safe neighborhoods make Decatur a great place to raise a family. The $35 million Cook Museum of Natural Science opened June 7, 2019. 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—The City of Opportunity. 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 9


Huntsville

12 Special Message

14 Welcome to Huntsville

28 Destination: Stovehouse

Regions Bank welcomes you to the Tennessee Valley.

32 Main Attractions

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

Learn how Huntsville grew rapidly as a leader in technological developments.

16 Huntsville History

From Big Spring to big dreams

13 acres of food, fun and live music.

38 Wide Open Spaces

Awe-inspiring mountain vistas and echoing caverns, crystal clear waterfalls provide a wealth of outdoor escapes.

18 Super 7 Downtown Huntsville Experiences

Huntsville’s thriving downtown area is brimming with sights, sounds and tastes for you to experience.

58 Explore Madison

From national stores to local boutiques and salons, Huntsville has what you need to treat yourself well.

44 Out on the Town

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

48 Dine Locally

Award-winning fine dining, upscale bistros and down-home hangouts are guaranteed to please.

Madison

Find out why Madison is one of the south’s fastest growing cities.

68 Discover Decatur

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.

Decatur

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

70 Decatur’s Rich History

Decatur’s rich history explained by John Allison, Morgan County Archivist.

74 Adventures Await

Golf courses, interactive museums and historical sites in Decatur/Morgan County offer the perfect agenda for all.

10 EXCURSIONS

42 Treat Yourself

82 Shop Decatur

Unique locally-owned boutiques, art galleries and antique stores are a treasure hunter’s dream.

86 Out and About in Decatur

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

On the Cover:

Social hubs and outdoor gathering spaces are thriving again in Huntsville, Madison and Decatur. The View at Burritt on the Mountain is open to the public on Wednesdays throughout the summer and fall months and offers a magnificent view of the Tennessee Valley. It’s also a favorite spot among locals and visitors to watch the sun set while sipping a chilled beverage. Photograph by Brent Boyd

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S P E C I A L M E S S AG E

A Place Like Nowhere Else

PHOTO: IAN MCALLISTER

A home for visionaries focused on the future. A place of natural beauty, economic opportunity and a superior quality of life.

12 EXCURSIONS

Explore more at huntsville.org


PHOTO:

PHOTOS: (TOP) ID 211765130 © SEAN PAVONE | DREAMSTIME.COM; (LEFT) CITY OF MADISON; (RIGHT) COOK MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE

W

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elcome to the Tennessee River Valley. It’s an area on the move. During your stay, you’ll see what makes the valley so special. From manufacturing to research to the Space Command, this region is creating jobs and opportunities every day. Innovation is putting the community’s dreams within reach. Huntsville is home to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, where students from around the world come to visit. It is there that many develop a love for science and space that will shape the foundation of their future. A 30-minute drive west of Huntsville is the Cook Museum of Natural Science. There, visitors can explore, interact with, and learn about nature. Regions Bank is a proud sponsor of the Foundations Exhibit, so be sure to stop there and explore the world in a way you’ve never seen before. If America’s pastime is also one of your favorites, catch a Rocket City Trash Pandas baseball game at Toyota Field in Madison. Our new team’s name is truly unique. And their state-of-the-art facility is truly incredible. Or take a stroll through the Huntsville Museum of Art and see beautiful masterpieces. There are several educational opportunities and engaging events designed to develop a deeper appreciation for art. Regions Bank has been part of this area for over 186 years. Our roots run deep, and, in many ways, Regions was born here. While our name has changed over time, our commitment to meeting the financial needs of Huntsville, Madison, Decatur and all communities across the valley has only grown. At Regions, our work isn’t just about banking. It is about the success of communities across the area. We are part of the positive change in the places we serve. And we are proud to highlight a few of the special areas that set the valley apart. Along your journey, if you need the assistance of a bank, feel free to stop by any of our branches. To find one near you, visit www.regions.com or call 1-800-REGIONS (734-4667). Regions is proud to be part of the past and present growth of this area. And we’re committed to the long-term success of Huntsville, Madison County and the entire Tennessee River Valley. We hope you enjoy your time here. And we welcome you to return soon. ❖

EXCURSIONS 13


The 363-foot-tall Saturn V Rocket replica at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center beckons to all who visit. photograph by E. FORREST IG @HSVPHOTO

Huntsville grew rapidly as a leader in technological developments. This continued growth inspires award-winning restaurants, first-class shopping, an active and growing downtown and a thriving arts 14 EXCURSIONS

Explore more at huntsville.org


local entrepreneurs and restaurateurs to set up shop here. Huntsville leads the region in craft brewers, and cultural community. The folks who live here are just plain nice, too. Enjoy your visit to The Rocket City. Go mobile at ExcursionsGo.com

EXCURSIONS 15


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

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

Captivated by dreams of space travel since his youth, Wernher von Braun brought powerful passion and vision to the American space program.

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

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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.

16 EXCURSIONS

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 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 Explore more at huntsville.org


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

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, President Eisenhower proclaimed the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 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

Leading Alabama into the Future

From Warfare to Wonder

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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 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 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

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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. 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.

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.

Mercury-Redstone rocket boosted America’s first astronaut, Alan Shepard, into suborbital 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. 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.

The Moon, Mars and Beyond

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. 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.❖

Today, more than 7,000 government and EXCURSIONS 17


Explore more at huntsville.org and downtownhuntsville.org


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

PHOTOS:ARTS HUNTSVILLE; BRENT BOYD

Experience our Arts and Culture

Looking for a cultured night out on the town? Head to the Von Braun Center for a variety of performances by local, regional and national groups. Treat yourself to an evening with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and enjoy classical and modern performances led by maestro Gregory Vajda. For information, visit 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 professional 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. If you are looking for local theater talent, the Von Braun Center Playhouse hosts the Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater (fantastplayhouse.org) and Theatre Huntsville. Art can be found all throughout Downtown Huntsville. Don’t miss the murals that bring life to the walls of downtown buildings. The newest mural in Downtown can be seen off of Washington Street on the side of the Clinton Row Garage. This mural is in honor of the “Votes for Women” campaign. You can also enjoy art in hidden locations through the Downtown Huntsville Secret Art Trail. Art can be found on ceilings, in alleys, and even underneath your feet! Plus, the new Mae Jemison segment of the Secret Art Trail in Big Spring Park features seven painted power boxes in honor of the first African American woman in space. You can learn more at downtownhuntsville.org/secretarttrail. If you want to bring Downtown Huntsville Art back home to you, then check out the Friday Night Art Walks. From May to October, Downtown Huntsville, Inc. hosts their Friday Night Art Walks, where local art vendors gather around the Historic Square in Downtown Huntsville for a night of fun local shopping. More information about Friday Night Art Walks can be found at downtownhuntsville.org/FridayNightArtWalk. 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 art-

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ists 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. For more Downtown History and Culture, head to any of our Historic Residential communities. 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 bestkept secrets, featuring the largest collection

of antebellum homes in Alabama. Kids and adults alike will be impressed by the re-created world of the past at EarlyWorks Children’s Museum, the Alabama Constitution Hall Park, 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.

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Experience the Downtown Trail Network If the Downtown Huntsville Secret Art Trail interests you, then you might want to consider journeying on the other Downtown Huntsville Trails. These include the Craft Beer Trail, Craft Coffee Trail, and the newest Craft Cocktail Trail. For craft beer fans, Huntsville is a popular destination for your favorite ales, stouts and more, and many of the top craft beer establishments are concentrated in the Downtown Huntsville area! The Downtown Huntsville Craft Beer Trail is an informal alliance of local craft breweries and craft beer stores. Guests on the trail can pick up a trail card at any of the establishments on the trail. From there, you can get your trail card stamped at each stop. Once you complete all the stops, 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. If Huntsville wasn’t known for it’s beer, then coffee would be the runner up! With the same concept in mind as the Craft Beer

Trail, the Craft Coffee Trail rewards you for staying caffeinated! Visit local craft coffee establishments to get a trail card, stamps, and earn a fabulous Craft Coffee Trail mug! The newest addition to the Downtown Huntsville Trail Network is the Craft Cocktail Trail. These impressive cock-

tails may seem like a reward themselves, but you might as well start earning your stamps while you are indulging! Drink handcrafted cocktails, collect your stamps, and at the end of the trail receive a cocktail strainer to make your favorite drink right at home! For a true Rocket City experience, book a ride on the

DOWNTOWN FAVORITE

Rocket City Rover 14-Person Pedal-Powered & Motor-Assisted Party Trolley

Rocket City Rover is the most unique and enjoyable way to explore Downtown and Westside Huntsville! Bring your friends and make new friends while visiting the area’s pubs, microbreweries, restaurants, attractions, historic sites, and more. Design your own out-of-this-world experience or let them handle the details!

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@RocketCityRover

See ExcursionsGo.com to view their Facebook feed, more photos, links to their website and social media, and more.

Explore more at huntsville.org and downtownhuntsville.org

PHOTO: (BOTTOM) ANGEL RENEE

Sunday – Monday; Noon – 10 p.m. 256.679.1739; rocketcityrover.com


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

PHOTOS: (TOP LEFT) BRENT BOYD; (TOP RIGHT) VON BRAUN CENTER; (BOTTOM) DOWNTOWN HUNTSVILLE, INC.

Rocket City Rover party trolley and take to the trails in style and comfort! Whether you’re looking to grab a drink and chill to some tunes or dance into the night, you can find just the right spot in Downtown Huntsville. Live bands are a mainstay at many bars and clubs, including The Martin Bar & Bistro, Jefferson St. Pub, and Sidetracks where you can also grab a bite to eat. Or, you can rock out at such local favorites as Sammy T’s Music Hall and Whiskey Bottom Saloon. Unique rooftop experiences and the city's top bartenders await you at Stella's Elixir Lounge and Rhythm on Monroe where you may also enjoy live music many nights of the week. Church Street Wine Shoppe, Purveyor, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and Domaine South also offer handcrafted cocktails and glasses of wine and appetizers. Nightlife in Downtown Huntsville is an adventure around every corner.

Experience Shopping Local

In the mood to do a little shopping? Then look no further than the Clinton Row District. 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 Indigo Boutique, Caley Paige Home and Gifts, Silhouette Boutique, 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. Plus head underground to the Clinton Row Shops for some of Downtown Huntsville's best kept secrets! See all the unique shopping in the Clinton Row District at shopclintonrow.com. Around the Historic Square, you will find the oldest store in Downtown Huntsville, Harrison Brother’s Hardware. Established in 1894, the store retains its original historic fixtures and offers merchandise that reflects “American made” at

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its finest. This shop is not just a great place to find Huntsville gifts and galore, but an entire experience with plenty to learn about Huntsville history. If you are heading up to the mountain, stop by The Little Green Store and the gift shop at Burritt on the Mountain for great Monte Sano themed merchandise and amazing gift ideas! Other notable shopping locations include the Preservation Company, Holtz Leather, and Brooks & Collier all located within the Lincoln Mill District. Find handmade artisan goods at the Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment Center. In the Medical District, you can find Merchants Square and Merchants Walk full of quirky boutiques. Twickenham Square is home to a few small businesses as well as a Publix for convenient grocery shopping. Supporting local small businesses is easy when there are so many great options from which to choose. For a full list of shops, visit downtownhuntsville.org/shopping.

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Without a doubt, Big Spring Park is the epicenter of life and culture in Huntsville, and now zipping around downtown is easier than ever. Downtown Huntsville Blue Bikes, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield, are spread out throughout downtown at eleven stations including at the Visitors Center, Big Spring Park, and Campus 805. Riders will pay a simple $2 per 30 minutes of riding.

Throughout the year, the park plays host to numerous events, including the Panoply Arts Festival, Crush Wine & Food Festival, Tinsel Trail and Paddle the Canal. 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. Visitors can enjoy strolling the walking trail, viewing the light displays every evening after dark, stopping for a peaceful picnic or even surfing the web

courtesy of free wi-fi. However, don’t miss out on Downtown Huntsville’s other parks! Visit our urban pocket park, Washington Park, for a splash of nature in the middle of bustling buildings. Or enjoy thrilling sports and a covered patio at California Park. For a peek at many of our Downtown Parks, check out the Downtown Huntsville Explorer Vlog Park Series at downtownhuntsville.org/vlog. Downtown Huntsville is also only five minutes away from over 40 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails. Land Trust of North Alabama's Monte Sano Nature Preserve offers 22 miles of free public trails showcasing native wildflowers, historic sites, waterfalls and more. Anchoring the district is Monte Sano State Park which offers panoramic views of Huntsville. If you are seeking an indoor fitness experience, Downtown Huntsville offers everything from cycling, to martial arts and everything in between. Cycling classes can be found at Zoom Fitness or the new Cyclebar. Enjoy Yoga with Light On Yoga Fitness. Learn martial arts through Maverick Training, or try trainer led classes at Regymen Fitness. For a full list of indoor fitness experiences, visit downtownhuntsville.org/ downtown-outdoors.

PHOTOS: DOWNTOWN HUNTSVILLE, IINC.; BRENT BOYD; RUTH'S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE

Experience an Active Lifestyle

In West Huntsville you can find Fresko Grille at Stovehouse for a healthy option or stop into Earth and Stone Wood

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PHOTOS: HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

Experience Dine Huntsville

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. In the downtown core try local favorites like Ryhthm on Monroe, Honest Coffee Roasters, and Domaine South. The Church Street Family has several dining options in the downtown core including the new Church Street Wine Shoppe on Gates and Sea Salt: Oyster Bar. For hand crafted cocktails and an unforgettable dinner, try Purveyor; they have an inventive menu and they’re open late for shareables. Downtown is also home to Cotton Row and Commerce Kitchen by celebrity chef James Boyce.

Fired Pizza at Campus 805 for a meal for the whole family. The Medical District is home to fine steak at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Find more dining options at downtownhuntsville.org/dining-nightlife. See ExcursionsGo.com for a complete list of dining options.

Explore more at huntsville.org and downtownhuntsville.org


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

Experience Live Music

ville's top women musicians performing at local establishments downtown. You can enjoy music sessions with multiple artists at bigger venues or cozy up with a single artist in smaller unconventional stages. Learn more at downtownhuntsville.org/womeninmusic. If you can’t make it out to any live

music event venues or the Women in Music weekend, you can visit downtown any day or time and be able to find buskers performing. Local buskers are welcome to set up in certain areas of Downtown Huntsville to provide live music for those dining or shopping in the area.

PHOTOS: (TOP) DOWNTOWN HUNTSVILLE, INC.; (BOTTOM) KOBI CHILDERS

The Von Braun Center has multiple facilities to host live musical performances. Big name concerts as well as local musician lineups are held at the VBC. It is located conveniently next to many downtown restaurants, parks, and hotels. Visitors and locals alike can enjoy a night out at the Von Braun Center in Downtown Huntsville. The newest addition to the VBC is the Mars Music Hall. Its open-floor plan and balcony overlooking the over-sized stage make this one of the most unique live music venues in the state. It is also equipped with four bars/food service areas perfect for big events! Aside from live music venues, Downtown Huntsville is also home to the Women in Music weekend. Celebrating women in music, this weekend is filled with Hunts-

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EXCURSIONS 23


Experience Unique Venues

options line the courtyard at Stovehouse all encompassing a beautiful area for socializing or listening to live music. Recurring events here include trivia nights, duelling pianos, movie nights, and more. Find more information about our venues at downtownhuntsville.org/shopping.

PHOTOS: DOWNTOWN HUNTSVILLE, INC.; BRENT BOYD

Campus No. 805 has become the connecting point for the resurgence of West Huntsville neighborhoods, the treasured historic districts and the hundreds of exciting new loft residences in downtown. Campus 805, once home to classrooms filled with students,

is now filled with a growing list of tenants including craft breweries, restaurants, catering, bars, retail and entertainment venues! Stovehouse, an old factory building, is now one of the best social pubs in downtown. Great food and beverage

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Explore more at huntsville.org and downtownhuntsville.org


VON BRAUN CENTER HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA

PHOTOS: HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

The VBC is the go-to entertainment venue for the Tennessee Valley! On any given night, there’s something spectacular happening at this elite multi-purpose complex. The VBC is home to Huntsville Havoc and UAH hockey teams, Broadway Theatre League, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and the Huntsville Ballet Company; as well as, Theatre Huntsville, and Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater.

Entertainment Venues inside the VBC include: Propst Arena • Mark C. Smith Concert Hall • Mars Music Hall • The Playhouse The on-site restaurant + rooftop bar (Rhythm on Monroe) features delicious cocktails, craft brews and freshly prepared, locally-sourced ubran fare with fantastic views of downtown Huntsville! There’s always something to do at the Von Braun Center: Top-billing concerts, A-list comedians, family entertainment and so much more. Come by to see for yourself!

®

®

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vonbrauncenter.com @vonbrauncenter | #VBChsv

@rhythmonmonroe #rhythmonmonroe


Stop by the Welcome Center

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 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 Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Huntsville Havoc hockey, UAH Chargers hockey and Huntsville Tigers women’s football. 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. Open seven days a week, the Visitor Center is conveniently located at 500 Church St. NW in Downtown Huntsville.

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VISITOR CENTER

500 Church Street NW 256.533.5723 huntsville.org

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Shop, Dine & Play in Downtown Huntsville

EXCURSIONS Favorites

THE COZY COW

PINTS & PIXELS

GREENE STREET MARKET

BARK & BARREL BBQ

CYN SHEA’S CAFE

PIPER AND LEAF X CONSTITUTION PARK

HOLTZ LEATHER CO.

DALLAS MILL DELI

PO BOY FACTORY

IN BLOOM

DOMAINE SOUTH

THE POPPY & PARLIAMENT

INDIGO’S BOUTIQUE

EARTH & STONE PIZZA

PURVEYOR

INSPIRED GIFTS

THE R (EMBASSY SUITES)

LAWREN’S GIFTS

ROCKET REPUBLIC BREWING

LEWTER HARDWARE COMPANY

3414 Governors Drive SW, Ste. 535, 256.678.7040

100 Church Street SW, 256.970.7108 415 Church Street NW, 256.882.2837

CHARLIE FOSTER'S

500 Pratt Ave. NW, 256.489.3354

CLINTON ROW

103 North Side Square, 256.759.9952

CO-OP BREWPUB

2600 Clinton Ave W, 256.489.9539

3414 Governors Drive SW

FURNITURE FACTORY BAR & GRILL

FRESKO GRILLE

619 Meridian Street N, 256.539.8001

3414 Governors Drive SW, Ste. 540, 256.678.7044

GOLD SPRINT COFFEE

OSCAR MOON'S MILKSHAKE BAR & ICE CREAM

GREEN BUS BREWING

3414 Governors Drive SW, Ste. 485 100 Jefferson Street N, 256.539.4090

3414 Governors Drive SW, Ste. 505 POURHOUSE

3414 Governors Drive, Ste. 500, 256.289.7687 RHYTHM ON MONROE

700 Monroe Street SW, 256.551.2311 RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE

720 Gallatin Street SW, 256.539.3930 STOVEHOUSE

3414 Governors Dr SW, 256.801.2424 VON BRAUN CENTER

700 Monroe Street NE, 256.533.1953

Restaurants, Coffee & Bars

2515 9th Ave SW, 256.517.8733 206 Eustis Ave. SE, 256.990.2477 HONEST COFFEE ROASTERS

114 Clinton Ave.E, 256.813.4678 HOPS N GUAC

2620 Clinton Ave W, 256.517.9797 HUMPHREY’S BAR & GRILL

103 Washington Street NE, 256.704.5555 INNERSPACE BREWING COMPANY

2414 Clinton Ave. W, 256.489.5599 JACK BROWN’S BEER & BURGERS

123 North Side Square Ste. 100, 256.270.7045 JEFFERSON STREET PUB

111 Jefferson Street N, 256.519.2997 JIMMY JOHN’S

125 Northside Square, 256.534.9996 KAFFEEKLATSCH

1892 EAST RESTAURANT

720 Pratt Ave. NE, 256.489.1242 BANDITO BURRITO

3017 Governors Drive SW, 256.534.0866 BAR AT 805

2500 Clinton Avenue BARVISTA @ AC HOTEL

435 Williams Ave SW, 256.664.0034

103 Jefferson Street N, 256.539.1636 THE KILN

108 Cleveland Ave NW, 256.715.7130 LONE GOOSE SALOON

2620 Clinton Ave. W, 256.636.1222 MAD MALTS BREWING

109 Maple Ave. NW, 256.503.2233 MARIO’S FIVE POINTS

BEEZR

109 North Side Square, 256.427.2500

607 Andrew Jackson Way NE, 256.715.7123

BELOW THE RADAR BREWHOUSE

THE MARTIN BAR & BISTRO

BIG ED’S PIZZA

MEI WEI ASIAN BISTRO

BIG OH’S ASIAN FUSION

MELT

THE BOTTLE

MILLER’S TAVERN

CAJUN STEAMER

MOE’S ORIGINAL BBQ

CANADIAN BAKIN

THE MOON BAKESHOP

220 Holmes Ave. NE, 256.469.6617 255 Pratt Ave NE, 256.489.3374 121 North Side Square, 256.801.8773 101 Washington Street, 256.704.5555 301-C Pelham Ave. SW #1, 256.533.5503 501 Church Street NW Ste A, 256.489.2323 CATACOMB 435

100 Jefferson Street N Unit 435, 256.414.8248 CHURCH STREET WINE SHOPPE

102 Gates Ave SW, 256.970.4097 CLEAN JUICE

309 Pelham Ave. SW, 256.970.4145 COMMERCE KITCHEN

300 Franklin Street SE, 256.382.6622 COOKIE DOUGH MAGIC

201 Jefferson Street N Ste. J, 256.517.8210 COTTON ROW

100 Southside Square, 256.382.9500

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116 Washington Street SE, 256.539.9435 309 Pelham Ave. SW, 256.288.0114 201 Jefferson Street N, 256.517.8755 109 Washington Street SE, 256.715.8042 127 Holmes Ave NW, 256.881.1227 201 Jefferson Street, 256.270.8435

115 Clinton Ave NE, 256.970.4844 109 Gates Ave SE

815 Andrew Jackson Way, 256.539.3616 117 Northside Square, 256.715.8098 201 Jefferson Street, 256.419.2555 800 Monroe Street SW, 256.539.7373 617 Meridian Street, 256.517.8388 SALTY NUT BREWERY

2406 Clinton Ave W, 256.713.8877

100 Jefferson Street, 256.519.8898 201 Jefferson Street N, 256.261.3041 415 Church Street NW, 256.527.2488 809 Madison Street SE, 256.534.4428 222 Washington Street NE, 256.539.5777 MAY MAY’S

116 Southside Square, 256.469.6932

201 Jefferson Street N, Ste. C, 256.715.1290

SAMMY T’S MUSIC HALL

PRESERVATION COMPANY

SEA SALT URBAN OYSTER BAR

RAILROAD STATION ANTIQUES

SIDETRACKS MUSIC HALL

RIVENBARK AND ROPERS ANTIQUES

SIP

ROOSEVELT & CO.

SOUTHERN GROWLER

SILHOUETTE BOUTIQUE

STRAIGHT TO ALE

SO VAIN SALON

TACO MAMA

SPA BOTANICA (EMBASSY SUITES)

TED’S BBQ

THE PANTS STORE

TENDERS

WHEELHOUSE SALON

116 Washington Street, 256.539.9974 114 Clinton Ave. E, 256.824.0000 415 Church Street NW, 256.858.1390 111 Greene Street NE, 256.858.1244 1812 University Drive NW, 256.478.3581 2610 Clinton Ave. NW, 256.801.9650 301 Pelham Ave. SW, 256.519.6262 212 Andrew Jackson Way, 256.536.5002 800 Holmes Ave NE, 256.533.7599

1214 Meridian Street N, 256.539.4885 315 Jefferson Street N, 256.533.6550 313 Jefferson Street N, 256.564.9800 114 Clinton Ave E, 256.203.2440 100 Jefferson Street N, 256.535.7927 609 Meridian Street N, 256.551.1010 800 Monroe Street SW, 256.327.7820 301 Pelham Ave. SW, 256.417.6523 201 Jefferson Street N, 256.203.9777

THAI GARDEN

800 Wellman Ave. NE, 256.534.0122 VINNY’S GREEK AND INDIAN GRILL

110 Southside Square, 256.534.5553 VOODOO LOUNGE

110 Southside Square, 256.539.0335 WHISKEY BOTTOM SALOON

109 Washington Street NE, 256.715.8042 YELLOWHAMMER BREWING

2600 Clinton Ave W, 256.489.3510

Stores, Salons & Spas

Entertainment BAD AXE CITY THROWING CLUB

105 Washington Street SE, 256.428.1515 CAMPUS NO. 805

2620 Clinton Ave W, 256.519.6212 CIVIL AXE THROWING

2620 Clinton Ave W, 256.655.2257 HUNTSVILLE ESCAPE ROOM

604 Madison Street SE, 256.469.8428 LOWE MILL ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

2211 Seminole Drive, 256.533.0399

ACCENTS OF THE SOUTH

STAND UP LIVE

ATTITUDES SALON

X-GOLF HUNTSVILLE

501 Church Street NW, 256.539.1038 604 Andrew Jackson Way NE 256.534.7001 CABANA WAX

OLD TOWN BEER EXCHANGE

CALEY PAIGE HOME & GIFTS

301 Holmes Ave. NE, 256.270.7825

114 Clinton Ave E, 256.715.7424

OLD TOWNE COFFEE SHOP

CLACHIC BOUTIQUE

511 Pratt Ave., 256.603.0308

100 Jefferson Street N, 256.429.8549

OSHI POKE BOWL & SUSHI

CLINTON ROW GIFTS

201 Jefferson Street, 256.945.7805

100 Jefferson Street N, 256.337.5353

PALMS NIGHT CLUB

ELITAIRE BOUTIQUE

109 Jefferson Street SE

114 Clinton Ave E #103, 256.947.0816

PANE E VINO

FRINGE SALON

300 Church Street SW, 256.533.1180

2500 Clinton Ave W Ste. F, 256.585.3525

PHAT SAMMY’S TIKI BAR & GRILL

GREASY HANDS BARBERSHOP

104 Jefferson Street S, 256.489.0232

1214 Meridian St N, 256.883.1111

SAM & GREG’S PIZZERIA/GELATERIA

OFFBEAT COFFEE STUDIO

2620 Clinton Ave W, 256.285.3800

208 Eustis Ave, 256.682.4429

309 Pelham Ave SW, 256.970.4300

2012 Memorial Pkwy SW, 256.261.3374 2500 Clinton Ave W, Ste C, 256.715.8785 ❖ Super 7 Experiences made possible by generous support from these sponsors!

107 Clinton Ave W

EXCURSIONS 27


Waiting just off I-565 at 3414 Governors Drive, Stovehouse is 13 acres of eats, drinks, shopping, event space & live entertainment. The building was originally constructed in 1929 and housed Martin Stove Company. See signs of pride, progress and preservation around every corner of this “little village.” A couple thousand folks a day come to enjoy the ideallic backyard-party-vibe, dozens of restaurants, bars, shopping & nightly entertainment on stage!

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D E S T I N AT I O N S TO V E H O U S E

Plenty of outdoor games & family-friendly entertainment in the “Food Garden” & Courtyard areas.

It’s not all outdoors. Enjoy meals & drinks from eclectic restaurants inside The Booth, The Canteen & The Shed.

Charming murals & clever signage provides Insta-ready backdrops. More importantly, they remind us what’s important in life!

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Look for several quirky signs as you approach 3414 Governors Drive, Huntsville, AL 35805. There’s ample parking at east & west entrances. Get info on restaurants, shops & events before you go: STOVEHOUSE.COM EXCURSIONS 29


POURHOUSE

A comfortably swanky bar sits at the heart of the food garden at Stovehouse, a mixed-use development. The unique round bar is the first of its kind in Huntsville, serving cocktails, wine, and beer with a large screen, showing movies and sports daily. The first roof top bar in Huntsville also offers a wrap-around patio with fans and heaters, making this outdoor seating area comfortable year-round.

CHARLIE FOSTER’S

Charlie Foster’s is a local family-owned coffee shop dedicated to employing people with special needs and serving our community high quality specialty coffee. They have a unique aesthetic and charging ports at every seat. They offer espresso drinks, a variety of sandwiches for both breakfast and lunch, and a variety of teas and cold brews. Dine inside or enjoy their patio. Charlie Foster’s invites you to come on by and hang out for a while.

CO-OP BREWPUB

The Brewpub is part of the Brewers Cooperative consisting of Good People Brewing Company, Avondale Brewing Company, Straight To Ale Brewing and Druid City Brewing Company. The 10,000-square-foot facility makes beer, spirits, and wine for onsite consumption. In addition to brewpub fashioned suds, the location offers its four collaborators’ beers. The kitchen serves up made-from-scratch “American comfort food.”

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D E S T I N AT I O N S TO V E H O U S E

FRESKO GRILLE

Where family tradition meets modern Mediterranean cuisine. Offering a variety of Mediterranean favorites, rich with a variety of spices and ingredients that make each dish pop with flavor. From baba ghanoush to shawarma and falafel to kafta kebobs, their rotating weekly specials and customizable menus are offered in a fast-casual setting. Enjoy a classic Mediterranean dish or build your own to your liking by selecting your desired protein, fresh vegetables, sides, and sauces. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are readily available.

BARK & BARREL BBQ

Bold Alabama Barbecue with a foodie twist. Bark & Barrel serves up house-smoked wings, turkey, BBQ, homemade chips, great sides, and yes, even smoked chocolate chip cookies. Did we mention they have specials like their coveted Brisket French Dip?! Follow on Facebook for daily specials. Or, just show up because whatever you order will be perfection!

OSCAR MOON’S MILKSHAKE BAR & ICE CREAM SHOPPE

Oscar Moon’s is the country’s most soulful shake shop! Featuring milkshakes, floats and ice cream, the experience is a nod to 50s soda-counter-culture. But with Motown music pumping, disco balls spinning & spontaneous sing-alongs happening, it’s becoming a timeless tradition. ❖

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EXCURSIONS 31


Main Attractions

PHOTO: PHOTO: BRENT BOYD

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

32 EXCURSIONS

Explore more at huntsville.org


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

Shop for souvenirs at Harrison Brothers Hardware.

PHOTOS: (LEFT) BRIDGE STREET TOWN CENTRE; (RIGHT) HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

The Carousel at Bridge Street Town Centre is a favorite for all.

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. Admission charged. See website for hours. {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.

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

Free admission. {Located at the corner of Old Madison Pike and Research Park Blvd.; 256.327.8400; see their ad inside back cover; bridgestreethuntsville.com}

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. Admission charged. See website for hours. {3101 Burritt Drive, Huntsville; 256.536.2882}

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 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. See website for hours. {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 EXCURSIONS 33


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

Meet Andy at the Historic Huntsville Depot

Explore the past at Burritt on the Mountain

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. See website for hours. Free admission. {8324 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 34 EXCURSIONS

Backyard, a touch-and-learn area which includes a garden, grocery store and even karaoke. See website for hours. Admission charged. {404 Madison Street in Huntsville; 256.564.8107; earlyworks.com}

Harrison Brothers Hardware Better than a museum, Harrison Brothers is a living 19th century landmark sitting serenely in the midst 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. See website for hours. Free admission.

Discover the newly renovated Alabama Constitution Village

{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. See website for hours. 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! See website for hours. {4747 Bob Wallace Avenue in Huntsville; 256.830.4447; hsvbg.org}

Explore more at huntsville.org


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

Huntsville Botanical Garden 4747 Bob Wallace Avenue, Huntsville, AL 35805 256.830.4447 hsvbg.org @HuntsvilleBotanicalGarden

@hsvgarden

The Huntsville Botanical Garden also offers a beautiful setting for private events

PHOTOS: HUNTSVILLE BOTANICAL GARDEN PHOTO:

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 café, Pane e Vino. Admission charged. See website for hours. {300 Church Street, S. in Huntsville; 256.535.4350; hsvmuseum.org}

Huntsville Madison County Veterans Memorial This memorial recognizes by name the Madison County veterans killed in action during all wars from WWI to present

and recognizes and honors Madison County veterans awarded the Medal of Honor. The mission of the memorial is to inspire visitors by instilling a sense of pride and respect for all veterans who have served in the armed forces of the United States of America, to provide an incentive to serve and to educate visitors, especially the young, about the sacrifices made by those that came before them and those who continue to guarantee our freedom by serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. {200 Monroe Street NW; 256.604.3896; hmcvm.org}

Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment Located in historic Lowe Mill, supports a diverse creative community dedicated to the

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

Spring, summer, fall, or winter – the Garden is an oasis of natural beauty in every season! Open year-round, the Huntsville Botanical Garden has 112 acres to explore, learn, and discover the beauty and wonder of plants. From grassy meadows to woodland paths, aquatic habitats to stunning floral collections, the Garden invites guests of all ages to make memories together in nature. At the Garden, you can admire collections of native plants or stroll along nature trails. You can play in the Children’s Garden or find a moment of serenity in the cool shade of the trees. With additional exhibits and events throughout the year, the Garden is a place of beauty, education, and celebration for all in every season.

See the Garden’s online profile at ExcursionsGo.com

EXCURSIONS 35


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

Get back to nature at Monte Sano State Park

Children love exploring the past at EarlyWorks Family of Museums

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. 36 EXCURSIONS

Hours: 7 am – sundown. Admission charged. {5101 Nolen Road SE, Huntsville 256.534.3757}

North Alabama Railroad Museum 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}

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

State Black Archives Research Center and Museum Located in the historic James H. Wilson Building on the campus of Alabama 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. Admission charged. {Located on the campus of Alabama A&M University in Normal, AL; 256.372.5846}

Twickenham Historic District Alabama’s largest collection of pre-Civil War homes features Federal, Italianate,Queen Anne, Bungalow 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}

Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTO: HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

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; lowemill.art}

Visit the newly renovated Ditto Landing


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

Huntsville Madison County Veterans Memorial honors our fallen heroes.

PHOTO: HUNTSVILLE/MADISON COUNTY CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

 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; rocketcenter.com}

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. Cash only admission. {2060A Airport Road in Huntsville; 256.883.3737; memorialmuseum.org}

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

 Von Braun Center

The Von Braun Center is a multi-purpose facility located in downtown Huntsville, Alabama and is home to Huntsville Havoc (a professional ice hockey team in the Southern Professional Hockey League), Broadway Theatre League, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and Arts Huntsville. The VBC offers multiple venues for presenting cultural, educational, entertainment, sporting and social events. Venue spaces include the Propst Arena, Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, Mars Music Hall, North Hall, South Hall, and East Hall. Additionally, the VBC has an on-site fullservice restaurant and rooftop bar – Rhythm on Monroe. With over 170,000 square feet

of flexible meeting space the VBC is able to accommodate events of all types and sizes. {700 Monroe Street, Huntsville; 256.533.1953; vonbrauncenter.com}

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. {300 Gates Avenue, SE, Huntsville; 256.536.7718; weedenhousemuseum.com} ❖

EXCURSIONS 37


Wide Open Spaces

Blevins Gap Valley View

38 EXCURSIONS

Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTO: LAND TRUST OF NORTH ALABAMA (HALLIIE PORTER)

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


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

Fagan Creek on Monte Sano Nature Preserve is popular with families.

Major Outdoor Attractions

PHOTOS: LAND TRUST OF NORTH ALABAMA

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. 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 Go mobile at ExcursionsGo.com

Enjoy one of many walking trails

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 single-track (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 and has one of the best views of north Huntsville and views to Tennessee on a clear day. This feature is a rock outcropping of limestone and is generally covered with grasses and wildflowers. Folklore that claims the Cherokee Indians raced horses atop the 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 256.534.5263.

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

BLEVINS GAP NATURE PRESERVE

Cecil Ashburn Dr SE

CHAPMAN MTN NATURE PRESERVE

Hwy 72 East

GREEN MOUNTAIN NATURE TRAIL

5000 Nature Trail Road HAYS NATURE PRESERVE

7153 Hwy 431 S

INDIAN CREEK GREENWAY

Slaughter Road

LITTLE COVE ROAD GREENWAY

100 Old Hwy 431

MONTE SANO NATURE PRESERVE

numerous trailheads

RAINBOW MTN NATURE PRESERVE

230 Stoneway Trail, Madison WADE MOUNTAIN PRESERVE

Spragins Hollow Road Trail maps available at landtrustnal.org

EXCURSIONS 39


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

Canoeing & Boating CHICKASAW CANOEING Featuring two courses on the Flint River; the upper course is great for small children, while the lower course is a bit more adventurous. Call 256.682.1561 for more information. DITTO LANDING Servicing Wheeler Reservoir, which has more than 60,000 acres of adventurous playground. There are ample facilities for boats of all sizes. Call 256.882.1057 for more information. 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. 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.

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, originally called Bat Cave, was opened to the public by Jacob Gurley in the 1950’s. The cave was renamed because of its cathedral-like appearance. It was opened as a State Park in the summer of 2000 and boasts one of the world’s largest stalagmites, frozen waterfalls, flowstone walls and stalagmite forests. The constant year-round 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. 40 EXCURSIONS

THE LAND TRUST OF NORTH ALABAMA Showcasing leisurely walks and challenging hikes, wildflower trails and natural springs, The Land Trust of North Alabama preserves and protects green space and natural resources for conservation, public recreation, and environmental education. The Land Trust offers more than 62 miles of free public trails for hiking, biking, and outdoor recreation. Fagan Creek runs along Wildflower Trail on Monte Sano Nature Preserve. It’s a great spot for a family hike. Kids can play in the creek and look for salamanders, tadpoles, etc. Trail Maps available at landtrustnal.org. Call 256-534-5263 for more information.

ASBURY UMC 980 Hughes Rd., Madison Hole Type: DISCatcher Redesigned in 2021, this is a longer recreational course that can be enjoyed by beginners. The course begins in the back corner away from Gillespie road in the Grace parking lot. It’s on the side with two, modern buildings. The first tee off is right next to that corner of the parking lot. You’ll see the road change to a gravel road and a field were the course begins. BRAHAN SPRING PARK 3771 Ivey Ave. SW, Huntsville Hole Type: Mach X This mostly flat and moderately wooded 18-hole course’s fairways weave among tall pines, demanding accuracy. Front and back 9 end at parking lot. Restrooms are located across road from No. 6.

Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTO: LAND TRUST OF NORTH ALABAMA (HALLIIE PORTER)

Disc Golf Courses


N AT U R A LW O N D E R S DUBLIN PARK IN MADISON 8324 Madison Pike, Madison Hole Type: Black Hole Portal This moderately hilly and lightly-wooded 9-hole course is designed for beginners and is easily played with a mid-range and a putter. FLYING DRAGON 2616 Modaus Rd., Decatur Hole Type: DISCatcher This technically challenging, medium length 18-hole course winds through rock-filled terrain dominated by cedar and hickory and the course’s namesake the “Flying Dragon” which is a wickedly beautiful thorny bush that produces bitter oranges in the fall. Although these plants and the moss and fern covered boulders provide great scenery, they can also quickly turn a birdie opportunity into a double bogie, so bring your A (for Accuracy) game! It also has a very popular warm-up area with 2 baskets a short distance apart; great for practicing your short game. INDIAN CREEK GREENWAY 300 Harvestwood Ct., Huntsville Hole Type: DISCatcher This 18-hole course is very challenging and spans 50 acres of diverse terrain. Open holes with elevation and length and a good mix of wooded holes. Four holes have water hazards and over half the holes have some out-of-bounds danger. Multiple pin positions and the longer holes have baskets in both long and short positions. Aluminum benches throughout.

PHOTO: BRENT BOYD; DISC GOLFER: BRAYDEN WRIGHT

MASTIN LAKE 3317 Watson Dr. NW, Huntsville Hole Type: DISCatcher Wooded course moving up and down the side of a hill. The most elevation changes in the Huntsville area, but maxes out at 40 feet of elevation change on any one hole. MONTE SANO STATE PARK 5105 Nolen Ave., Huntsville Hole Type: DISCatcher This 18-hole course spans the entire top of the mountain, and also includes a 8 hole mini-disc golf course along the main course. Park entrance fee is required to play, entrance is collected at front entrance gate and is cash only. $5 per adult & children ages 12+ $2 for seniors & children ages 3-11 Active & Retired Military always free (ID required) Go mobile at ExcursionsGo.com

SOUTHSIDE PARK 15935 Chaney Thompson Rd., SE, Huntsville Hole Type: DISCatcher An 18-hole course with a wide variety of wooded and open holes, Southside course provides for a variety of shots. Southside is a shorter course geared toward beginner disc golfers, but still provides enough shot variety for any golfer to enjoy. Local Directions: From Huntsville take Memorial Parkway South to Hobbs Rd. Turn left on Hobbs Road, drive approximately one mile, then turn right on Chaney Thompson Rd. Course is one mile down on the left. Golfers park along the side of the road between holes 1 and 10.

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA HUNTSVILLE (UAH) 301 Sparkman Dr., Huntsville Hole Type: DISCatcher A very difficult links type course with 21 holes requiring a variety of throws. Open, long beautiful vistas, wooded shots, lots of water hazards and OB. Long, but those with accurate middle distance can play this course well. Lots of risk/reward will penalize long shots that lack control. Local Directions: I-565 to Sparkman Drive, go north 0.25 mile to a right on Technology Dr. which runs into John Wright Dr. Turn left into 1st parking lot on left. ❖

EXCURSIONS 41


HUNTSVILLESHOPPING

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, 256.270.9636 FIREHOUSE ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES

PACKARD’S ANTIQUES

11110 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.881.1678 POLLY’S ANTIQUES

5813 Criner Road SE, 256.883.2032

10095 Memorial Pkwy SW, 256.880.9111

THE PLUCKY PEACOCK

FLUCY LUCY ANTIQUE MARKET

PRESERVATION COMPANY

2717 Clinton Ave W, 256.489.6857

HARTLEX ANTIQUE GALLERY

6515 University Drive NW, 256.801.9168 INTERIORS BY CONSIGN

8506 Whitesburg Drive SE, 256.880.0909 MADISON STATION ANTIQUES

110 Main Street, 256.772.4444 MARY’S

505 Pratt AVe NE, 256.658.4972

42 EXCURSIONS

546 Jeff Road NW, 256.617.9771 1214 Meridian St N, 256.539.4885 RAILROAD STATION ANTIQUE MALL

315 Jefferson Street N, 256.533.6550 RIVENBARK & ROPER

313 Jefferson St, 256.564.9800 WHITE LILY ANTIQUES

8512 Whitesburg Drive SE, 256.881.7707

BOUTIQUES CLASSY BOUTIQUE

1260 Winchester Road NE, 256.929.4543

PERSONAL COUTURE BOUTIQUE

102 Longwood Dr SE, 256.508.5632

QUEEN BEE OF BEVERLY HILLS

DRESS UP HUNTSVILLE

2326 Whitesburg Drive, 256.213.7796

ELITE BOUTIQUE

3024 University Drive NW Ste B, 256.536.5738

920 Bob Wallace Ave SW #317, 256.585.2829

4800 Whitesburg Drive #15, 256.880.0160 ENVY ALABAMA

930 Bob Wallace Ave SE, 256.539.6790

EUROPEAN BOUTIQUE

4800 Whitesburg Dr, 256.270.7312

MONKEE’S OF HUNTSVILLE

933 Bob Wallace Ave SW 256.439.8125

REDBIRD BOUTIQUE AND GIFTS

STRUT BOUTIQUE

4710 University Drive Ste G, 256.698.9049 THE COTTON GIN BOUTIQUE

2750 Carl T. Jones Drive Ste 1210, 256.801.8599 UPTOWN BOUTIQUE

1047 Jeff Rd NW, 256.489.1002 VALLEY CHIC BOUTIQUE

2124 Cecil Ashburn Drive SE #100, 256.429.9018

HOME DECOR BROOKS & COLLIER

813 Meridian St. N, 256.534.2781

ENCORE FURNITURE AND DÉCOR

3020 University Dr, 256.533.1303

SOUTHEASTERN SALVAGE HOME EMPORIUM

1221 Jordan Lane NW, 256.970.3260

SWEET PINEAPPLE

964 Airport Rd SW, 256.964.7563 THE CHAMELEON FABRICS & INTERIORS

2407 Memorial Pkwy SW #9, 256.270.7408 VICTORIA’S INTERIORS

604 Andrew Jackson Way NE, 256.970.4454 VINTAGE 72

7186 Hwy 72 W, 256.325.0470

Explore more at huntsville.org

PHOTO: ID 145288294 © JOVANMANDIC | DREAMSTIME.COM

ANTIQUES


HUNTSVILLESHOPPING

 Bridge Street Town Centre Bridge Street Town Centre is a premier mixed-use lifestyle center featuring more than 70 upscale shops and restaurants, the 150-guestroom Element Huntsville hotel, the 210-room Westin Huntsville Hotel, a 14-screen Cinemark and XD Theatre and a sixstory 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; bridgestreethuntsville.com View their mobile profile at ExcursionsGo.com get directions, go to their website and more. (See their ad inside back cover) MENS & WOMEN’S FASHIONS

Alumni Hall Belk Buckle H&M Jos. A. Bank Lucky Brand Jeans Old Navy Orvis Oxford Street Menswear WOMEN’S FASHIONS

Altar’d State Anthropologie Athleta Chico’s Francesca’s J. Jill Kendry Collection LOFT Lucky Finds Boutique

Soma Thrive Boutique Victoria’s Secret White House|Black Market CHILDREN’S FASHIONS

3 Storks and a Baby Claire’s Gap Kids Gymboree H&M Justice Old Navy JEWELRY & ACCESSORIES

Anna Cate Brighton Collectibles Claire’s Fossil Francesca’s Grogan Jewelers Jared the Galleria of Jewelry

Kay Jewelers Kendra Scott Pandora REEDS Jewelers Shades HEALTH & BEAUTY

Bath & Body Works CBD American Shaman LUSH Handmade Cosmetics Maruti Eyebrow Threading & Lashes Rejuvenation Nail Spa Sephora Ulta Beauty RESTAURANTS & EATERIES

Agave & Rye BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Bravo! Cucina Italiana Café 153 The Cheesecake Factory

The Chocolate Crocodile Connors Steak & Seafood Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Great American Cookies IT’SUGAR Kona Grill Le Macaron French Pastries MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream Moe’s Southwest Grill Neon Lilly P.F. Chang’s Panera Bread Pieology Pizzeria The Pretzel Twister Red Robin Sage Grille at the Westin Scene Restaurant & Lounge Texas de Brazil Urban Cookhouse Vintage Cigar Lounge

HOME FURNISHINGS

Anthropologie Bed Bath & Beyond Mattress Mattress Firm Redline Decor Southern Living Store SPECIALTY STORES

Apple AT&T Barnes & Noble Clarks Dick’s Sporting Goods DSW Shoes Mountain High Outfitters Orvis The Walking Company Trash Pandas Emporium XFINITY by Comcast

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, Build-A-Bear, Workshop, Dillard’s, Hollister, Men’s Warehouse, Sunglass Hut, and Victoria’s Secret ❖

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

EXCURSIONS 43


Out on the Town

PHOTO: KOBI CHILDERS

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

44 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

HAPPY HOUR AND BEYOND... These are some of our top picks for entertainment and libations in Huntsville and Madison.

Huntsville  HOPPER'S BAR & GRILL 5903 University Dr NW 256.830.0600

 POURHOUSE 3414 Governors Dr SW, 256.289.7687

 RHYTHM ON MONROE 700 Monroe Street SW, 256.551.2311

 STELLA'S ELIXIR LOUNGE

BARVISTA @ AC MARRIOTT

THE CASUAL PINT

127 Holmes Ave NW, Ste. 202 256.384.4313

435 Williams Ave SW 256.664.0034

2 Off Broadway St NW 256.261.1265

 TWIN PEAKS

BEEZR

CATACOMB 435

5901 University Dr 256.722.2736

109 North Side Square, 256.427.2500

100 Jefferson Street N Unit 435, 256.414.8248

3000BAR HUNTSVILLE

BELOW THE RADAR

CHANDLERS FORD BREWING

6241 University Dr NW 256.384.7180

220 Holmes Ave NE 256.469.6617

109 North Side Square 256.427.2500

AGAVE & RYE

THE BLUE MOON BAR

CHAR RESTAURANT

365 The Bridge St 256.203.5788

1000 Glen Hearn Blvd SW

931 Bob Wallace Ave SW 256.384.4465

ALLURE MARTINI BAR AND GRILL

933 Bob Wallace Ave SW 256.970.4427

2020 Country Club AVE NW 256.517.1106

AM BOOTH'S LUMBERYARD 108 Cleveland Ave NW 256.715.7130

BAR AT 805

THE BRASS TAP

THE BRICKHOUSE SPORTS CAFE 7 Town Center Drive NW, 256.585.1599

BUFFALO WILD WINGS

2500 Clinton Avenue

7042 University Dr NW 256.890.8500

BAR LOUIE

THE CAMP

365 The Bridge Street, Ste 100 256.327.8630

5909 University Dr thecamphuntsville.com

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

CLUB FORTY7 1914 Jordan LN NW 256.585.2599

COPPER TOP BAR AND GRILL 200 Oakwood Ave NE 256.536.1150

DAS STAHL BIERHAUS 7914 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.858.1495

5901 University Dr, Huntsville, AL 35806

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EXCURSIONS 45


N I G H T L I F E E N T E R TA I N M E N T DAVE & BUSTER’S

FURNITURE FACTORY BAR & GRILL

THE KILN

PALMS NIGHT CLUB

950 Makers Way NW, 256.947.5650

619 Meridian Street N #200 256.539.8001

108 Cleveland Ave NW, 256.715.7130

109 Washington Street SE 256.715.8042

DIAMONDS SPORTS BAR

GREEN BUS BREWING

INNERSPACE BREWING COMPANY

PHAT SAMMY’S TIKI BAR

11208 Memorial Pkwy SW, Ste. H 256.880.6333

DOMAINE SOUTH 103 North Side Square, 256.759.9952

206 Eustis Ave SE 256.990.2477

2414 Clinton Ave. W 256.489.5599

THE HIDEAWAY BAR & GRILLE

LA ESQUINA COCINA

104 Jefferson St S,

PINTS & PIXELS PUB 115 Clinton Ave E, Fl 3 256.970.4844

3228 Lodge Rd NW 256.652.9202

127 Homes Ave NW Suite 101, 256.858.1026

THE END ZONE

HOT SPOT BAR & GRILL

LENAE'S PLACE

7851 University Drive NW 256.715.1966

1117 Jordan Lane 256.585.3293

2011 Cox Ave NW 256.519.9979

FLIGHT PLAN WINE AND TAPAS

HUMPHREY’S BAR & GRILL

LETO LOUNGE & STUDIO

2710-A Carl T Jones Dr SE 256.715.1653

109 Washington St NE 256.704.5555

3504 Stringfield Rd NW 256.270.1683

2100 Rideout Rd SW 256.319.3333

FRACTAL BREWING PROJECT

JEFFERSON STREET PUB

LONE GOOSE SALOON

ROCKET REPUBLIC BREWING

3200 Leeman Ferry Rd, 256.541.9046

111 Jefferson St S 256.519.2997

ROCKET CITY TAVERN

617 Meridian Street 256.517.8388

THE LOST HIGHWAY LOUNGE

SALTY NUT BREWERY

2600 Clinton Ave W Campus 805; 256.489.3510

2406 Clinton Ave W 256.713.8877

THE MARTIN BAR & BISTRO

RUGGBY'S FOOD & SPIRITS

See their ad page 39 116 Washington St SE 256.539.9435

4820 University Dr NW, Ste. 15 256.895.0795

SAMMY T’S MUSIC HALL

MILLER'S TAVERN

116 Washington St SE 256.539.9974

OLD TOWN BEER EXCHANGE 301 Holmes Ave. NE #150 256.270.7825

PALMS NIGHT CLUB 109 Jefferson Street SE

PURVEYOR 201 Jefferson St N 256.419.2555

MAD MALTS BREWING 109 Maple Ave NW 256.503.2233

MAGGIE MEYERS IRISH PUB 1009 Henderson Rd. 256.964.6216

MOE'S ORIGINAL BBQ 127 Holmes Ave NW 256.881.1227

MOODY MONDAY'S 718 Church St NW 256.539.9945

THE NOOK

46 EXCURSIONS

117 Northside Square, 256.715.8098

2620 Clinton Ave Campus No. 805; 256.715.0705

109 Washington St SE 256.715.8042

Get cozy in your own cabana at Stella's Elixir Lounge.

THE POPPY & PARLIAMENT

3305 Bob Wallace Ave SW 256.489.0911

SCENE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE 370 The Bridge Street 256.327.8347

SHAGNASTY'S GRUBBERY & POUR HOUSE 1117 Jordan Ln NW, Ste. A 256.715.1477

SIDETRACKS MUSIC HALL 415 E Church St, Ste 12 256.585.1390

SIP 111 Greene St NE 256.585.1244

SPORTS PAGE LOUNGE & DELI 9009-M Memorial Pkwy S 256.880.9471

STAND UP LIVE HUNTSVILLE 2012 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.261.3374

STRAIGHT TO ALE 2610 Clinton Ave W Campus No. 805; 256.801.9650

SWAMP WATER LOUIE'S 2704 Johnson Rd SW 256.489.4378

THE OPEN BOTTLE 7061 Hwy 72 W, 256.801.8990

Explore more at huntsville.org


THE HIDEAWAY BAR & GRILLE 3228 Lodge Rd NW 256.652.9202

TOPGOLF 6100 Topgolf Dr NW 256.270.4667

TWILITE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE 2901 Governors Dr SW 256.536.9733

UNCORKED WINE SHOP & TASTING ROOM 485 Providence Main St NW 256.970.4717

VOODOO LOUNGE 110 South Side Square Huntsville, 256.539.0335

VINTAGE CIGAR LOUNGE 355 The Bridge St Town Ctr, Ste 117; 256.585.2345

WEST END GRILL 6610 Old Madison Pike #106 256.722.8040

WHISKEY BOTTOM SALOON 109 Washington Street NE, 256.715.8042

YELLOWHAMMER BREWING

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

THE CUBAN CAFE 5510 Promenade Point Pkwy #195 256.970.4877

EBONY CLUB 158 Cable Cir 256.417.7690

GOODLAND POUR HOUSE 12110 County Line Rd 256.325.0316

MADISON STATION 8694 Madison Blvd 256.325.1333

MADISON TAPROOM 7407 Hwy 72 W, Ste. G 256.384.0662

OLD BLACK BEAR BREWING CO. 212 Main Street 256.853.4639

PARLAY'S

Madison

REFLECTIONS LOUNGE & ENTERTAINMENT

BISHOP'S WESTSIDE PUB & GRILL 12060 County Line Rd, Ste. E 256.800.8181

BLACK PATCH DISTILLING CO. 500 Lanier Rd, Ste. C3 256.325.1321

BOILER HAT BREWING COMPANY 7429 Hwy 72 W, Ste. C 256.325.3928

BUENAVISTA MEXICAN CANTINA 8217 Hwy 72 W 256.837.8226

@StellasHSV

10871 County Line Rd 256.542.3266

1158 Wall Triana Hwy SW 256.886.6551

8661 Hwy 72 256.325.9396

127 Holmes Avenue NW, Huntsville, AL 35801 256.384.4313 stellashsv.com

HUNT CLUB BURGERS N GRILL

2600 Clinton Ave W 256.489.3510

11TH FRAME LIVE

Stella’s Elixir Lounge

8694 Madison Blvd 256.542.3559

ROCKET CITY CRAFT BEER 1079 Balch Rd Ste. F 256.489.0807

ROCKET REPUBLIC BREWING 289 Production Ave

THE STATION PUB AND GRILL 8694 Madison Blvd. 256.325.1333

THE STEM & STEIN 10871 County Line Road 256.325.3779

TOM BROWN'S RESTAURANT 8141 Hwy 72 W, Ste. A 256.715.1283

CD'S PUB & GRILL 107 Arlington Dr, 256.772.9133

THE CIGAR ROOM 7407 Hwy 72 W, Ste. E 256.489.3488

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Stella’s Elixir Lounge in Downtown Huntsville offers a rooftop bar and lounge experience that is truly unmatched. Impeccably posh without pretension, Stella’s is THE place to meet after work, gather with friends or impress a date. Open every day and packed with a sophisticated, yet fun and upbeat atmosphere! See their online profile at ExcursionsGo.com for more photos, social links, events, hours of operation and more.

EXCURSIONS 47


Dine Locally

PHOTO: BRENT BOYD

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

48 EXCURSIONS

Explore more at huntsville.org


D I N E LO C A L LY For a complete list of restaurants in Downtown Huntsville, see page 27.

CONNORS STEAK & SEAFOOD

Huntsville

MEZZA LUNA

FINE DINING

 NICK'S RISTORANTE

10300 Bailey Cove Rd #1 256.489.8280

345 The Bridge St NW 256.327.8425 2724 Carl T Jones Dr SE 256.650.2514 TEXAS DE BRAZIL

350 The Bridge St, Ste. 124 256.327.9113

FUN & CASUAL

 RUTH'S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE

 PHUKET THAI RESTAURANT AND SUSHI

475 Providence Main St 256.829.8800  RHYTHM ON MONROE

700 Monroe St SW 256.551.2311  ROSIE’S MEXICAN CANTINA

• 6196 University Dr 256.922.1001 • 7540-A Memorial Pkwy S 256.382.3232

 BARK & BARREL BBQ STOVEHOUSE

5901 University Dr, 256.722.2736

3414 Governors Dr SW 256.678.7040

AGAVE & RYE

1892 EAST RESTAURANT & TAVERN

 CO-OP BREWPUB AT STOVEHOUSE

720 Pratt Ave NE, 256.489.1242

3414 Governors Dr SW

THE BOTTLE

 FRESKO GRILLE AT STOVEHOUSE

CHAR RESTAURANT

931 Bob Wallace Ave SW, 256.937.8004

3414 Governors Dr SW, 256.678.7044  HOPPER'S BAR & GRILL

5903 Univserity Dr NW 256.830.0600

3310 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.881.8878 BEAUREGARD’S

•1420 Paramount Dr 256.429.2600 •3310 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.469.3005 BEEZR

109 North Side Square 256.427.2500 BETTY MAES

 TWIN PEAKS

720 Gallatin St at Twickenham Place 256.539.3930

101 Washington St, 256.704.5555

BAUMHOWER'S RESTAURANT

365 The Bridge St, 256.203.5788 ALE'S KITCHEN

2007 N Memorial Pkwy 256.746.4159 BIG BOWL

6125 University Dr NW 256.970.4122

2610 Clinton Ave W, 256.801.9650 BAD DADDY’S BURGER BAR

2309 Memorial Pkwy SW, 256.881.8878 BARVISTA @AC MARRIOTT

435 Williams Ave SW, 256.664.0034

BIG ED’S PIZZERIA

255 Pratt Ave NE 256.489.3374 BIG SPRING CAFÉ

3507 Governors Dr 256.539.9994

5901 University Dr, Huntsville, AL 35806

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EXCURSIONS 49


Hopper’s Bar and Grill (Inside the Holiday Inn—Research Park) 5903 University Drive NW, Huntsville, AL 35806 256.830.0600 hihuntsville.com/dining @HoppersBarGrill

BJ'S RESTAURANT & BREWHOUSE

EL HERRADURA

401 The Bridge St, Ste. 120 256.684.8080

11700 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.650.1545

BISTRO 6K

EL PALOMINO TAQUERIA

6000 Memorial Pkwy 256.382.5108

518 Jordan Lane 256.288.0222

THE BOOT PIZZERIA

EL VAQUERO MEXICAN RESTAURANT

11505 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.489.1771

10020 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.858.1436

THE BRASS TAP

FARM BURGER

933 Bob Wallace Ave SW, 256.970.4427

930 Bob Wallace Ave SW 256.270.7392

KONA GRILL

GIBSON’S BARBECUE

401 The Bridge St, Ste. 150 256.971.9725

• 3319 Memorial Pkwy S 256.881.4851 • 8412 Whitesburg Dr 256.882.0841

BUBBY'S DINER

8412 Whitesburg Dr SE 256.513.8080 BUENAVISTA MEXICAN CANTINA

3045 Mountain Cove Blvd SE 256.533.9890 CAFÉ 302

2700 Winchester Rd 256.852.3442 THE CASUAL PINT

2 Off BRdway St NW 256.261.1265 CHARRITO'S BAR & GRILL

7 Town Center Dr NW 256.217.8868 CHOPCHOP FRESH SALADS

6125 University Dr NW 256.203.2839

Join Us for Our Country Lunch Buffet, Sunday Champagne Brunch and Live Music! Hopper’s Bar and Grill is serving up down-home cooking for lunch Wednesday, Thursday and Friday each week. One price includes beverage, soup/salad bar, an array of vegetables and desserts. On Sundays, come relax with a mimosa or a glass of champagne from 11 am until 2 pm for our Sunday Champagne Brunch which features made-to-order omelets and waffles along with all the traditional sides. Happy hour features live acoustic music several nights a week and the opportunity to wind down your day in our newly, beautifully renovated lounge area with a completely stocked bar featuring all of your favorites. See their online profile at ExcursionsGo.com for social links, events, hours of operation and more.

50 EXCURSIONS

GOOD COMPANY CAFÉ

7500 Memorial Pkwy SW, 256.881.0044 HAPPY TUMMY

2211 Seminole Dr 256.348.8132 HENRY'S MUSTANG CAFE

2500 Jordan Lane NW 256.517.1288 HILDEGARD'S GERMAN CUISINE

2357 Whitesburg Dr S

256.512.9776 I LOVE KOREA

404 Jordan Lane 256.489.7766 I LOVE SUSHI - JONES VALLEY

CHUY’S

2000 Cecik Ashburn Dr SE 256.885.1818

935 Bob Wallace Ave SW, 256.485.4747

KAMADO RAMEN

DAVE & BUSTER’S

950 Makers Way NW, 256.947.5650 THE DISH

2005 Poole Dr NW 256.808.3608 DRAKE'S

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

2600 Clinton Ave W 256.489.9539 EL COYOTE MEXICAN RESTAURANT

6610 Madison Pike, Ste. 102 256.837.6877

3414 Governors Dr SW, 256.801.2424 KONA GRILL

435 The Bridge St, Ste. 150 256.808.2540 LA ALAMEDA

311 Jordan Lane 256.539.6244 LITTLE ROSIE'S TAQUERIA

4781 Whitesburg Dr 256.882.0014 LOS 3 GARCIA TAQUERIA

2007 Memorial Pkwy NW 256.469.6699

Explore more at huntsville.org


LUCIANO

OL HEIDELBERG RESTAURANT

964 Airport Rd 256.880.9920

6125 University Dr NW 256.922.0556

MAKI FRESH

PAPA GYRO'S

930 Bob Wallace Ave SW 256.213.7432 THE MARTIN BAR & BISTRO

116 Washington St SE, 256.539.9435 MASON DIXON BAKERY & BISTRO

2358 Whitesburg Dr S 256.213.7545 MIYAKO JAPANESE RESTAURANT

10013 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.880.9879 NEON LILLY EURASIAN AMERICAN CUISINE

325 The Bridge St, Ste. 101 256.469.8579 OH BRYANS FAMILY STEAK HOUSE

2136 Hwy 72 E 256.852.7933 OH CREPE!

3414 Governors Dr SW, 256.678.7032

4925 University Dr NW 256.489.9050 PARM + PEPPER

3414 Governors Dr SW 256.678.7039

Phuket Thai Restaurant and Sushi 475 Providence Main Street, Huntsville, AL 35806 256.489.1612 PhuketExperience.com @PhuketHSV

PEPPERED PIG

11110 Memorial Pkwy SW 407.927.6591 PHIL SANDOVAL'S MEXICAN RESTAURANTE

6125 Univeristy Dr NW 256.489.5711 PIEOLOGY PIZZERIA

365 The Bridge St 256.801.8132 PIER 88 BOILING SEAFOOD & BAR

5850 University Dr POFTA BUNA INTERNATIONAL CAFÉ

2211 Seminole Dr SW, 256.497.8594

Chef Tukky Phornroekngam PHUKET THAI RESTAURANT AND SUSHI

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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The Premiere Thai Restaurant in Huntsville TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015–2020 Winner 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! See their online profile at ExcursionsGo.com for social links, events, hours of operation and more.

On the Menu Appetizers: Phuket Lettuce Wrap, Fiery Grilled Beef Salad Sushi: Snow Crab Roll, Rainbow Roll Entrees: Drunken Noodle Seafood, Nam Tok Ribeye, 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

EXCURSIONS 51


D I N E LO C A L LY

POKE ALOHA

6125 University Dr, Ste. D6 256.585.3655 THE PRETZEL TWISTER

350 The Bridge St, Ste. 108 256.327.8785 ROCK N ROLL SUSHI

2500 Clinton Ave W 256.517.8666 SAC'S KITCHEN

6008 Mastin Lake Rd NE 256.746.9030 THE SAGE GRILLE

6800 Governors W 256.428.5424

THE GREAT ROOM

5 Tranquility Base 256.830.2222 THE SOUTHERN CHOP

5 Tranquility Base 256.376.3040 TOPGOLF

6100 Topgolf Dr NW, 256.270.4667 WALTON'S SOUTHERN TABLE

4901 Whitesburg Dr 256.203.2979 URBAN COOKHOUSE

325 The Bridge St, Ste. 105 256.585.3052

SCENE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE

370 The Bridge St 256.327.8347

WEST END GRILL

6610 Old Madison Pike, #109 256.722.8040

STONE AGE KOREAN STEAKHOUSE

2319 Memorial Pkwy

HOUSE OF KABOB

1212-A Sparkman Dr NW 256.489.9202

VIET HUONG VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT

• 445 Providence Main St 256.715.8667 • 127 Holmes Ave 256.881.1227

WHICH WICH

NEW ORLEANS LUNCHBOX

4000 Holmes Ave NW 256.830.0081 S & V DOWN HOME COOKING

1407 Memorial Pkwy NW 256.715.0786 STANLIEO'S SUB VILLA

114 Jordan Lane NW 256.533.7589

SUPPER HEROES

1222 Grace St NW 256.325.5189

• 328 Providence Main St NW 256.424.6640 TAQUERIA EL CAZADOR

3414 Governors Dr SW, 256.698.8682 TENDERS

• 800 Holmes Avenue 256.533.7599 • 527 Wynn Dr 256.721.3395 TERRANOVA’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT

1420 Paramount Dr, Ste. A 256.489.8883 THAI GARDEN

800 Wellman Ave NE 256.534.0122 THE BOOT PIZZERIA

11505 S Memorial Pkwy 256.489.1771 THE BRICKHOUSE

7 Town Center Dr NW 2356.585.1599

52 EXCURSIONS

 CHARLIE FOSTER'S

3414 Governors Dr SW, Ste. 485 5909 University Dr 256.270.9843

BETTY MAES RESTAURANT

256.519.6262

BREAKFAST & COFFEE HOUSES

TIM'S CAJUN KITCHEN

511 Jordan Lane 256.513.8469

• 301 Pelham Ave SW, Ste C8

2710 Carl T Jones Dr 256.882.9424

ALCHEMY COFFEE

2319 Memorial Pkwy SW, 256.489.0078

TACO MAMA

930 Old Monrovia Rd 256.890.0104

605 Jordan Lane 256.837.7220

TOYBOX BISTRO

1812 Winchester Rd NE 256.929.1977

6610 Old Madison Pike NW 256.270.8584

MOE’S BBQ

LUNCH SPOTS

SUPER CHIX

VENICE PIZZA

ANGEL'S ISLAND COFFEE

7538 South Memorial Pkwy 256.319.3424 ANOTHER BROKEN EGG CAFÉ

2722-D Carl Jones Dr 256.883.2915

BIG SPRING CAFE

2906 Governors Dr SW 256.539.9994

Tom Chapman

BLUE PLATE CAFÉ

NICK’S RISTORANTE

• 3210 Governor’s Dr 256.533.8808 • 7540 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.885.3550 CHICKEN SALAD CHICK

975 Airport Rd SW 256.213.1067 FULL MOON BBQ

1009 North Memorial Pkwy G'S COUNTRY KITCHEN

2501 Suite 5 Oakwood Avenue 256.533.3034 GARAM

600 Jordan Lane NW 256.519.2374 GOOD COMPANY CAFE

7500 Memorial Pkwy SW, Ste. 123 256.881.0044 GREAT HARVEST BREAD COMPANY

2615 S Memorial Pkwy 256.361.7111

EXECUTIVE CHEF

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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Dine Locally

A Certified Angus Beef bone-in ribeye served with a grilled prawn

Housemade Brownie Al Capone

Hand-crafted cocktails

Fresh seafood is always on the menu

Nick’s Ristorante

A slice of northern Italy with a broad sense of service

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. “This restaurant is something we talked about doing more than 40 years ago when our mom was still alive.” Inside the space, you feel like you are walking into someone’s home. There are family photos on the wall and the bistro has leather sofas. "We want guests

Go mobile at ExcursionsGo.com

to relax just like they would at home. The best compliment we receive is when guests tell us being at Nick's feels like coming to your house for cocktails and dinner.” “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.” Nick’s Ristorante is a VA certified service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB). 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 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 Wounded Warriors, Still Serving Veterans, Veterans United and many other veterans groups.” Ask Nick about the Mafia Club wherein you can pay yourself forward. 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

See ExcursionsGo.com for more.

EXCURSIONS 53


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

BLUE PLATE CAFÉ

CARRABBA’S ITALIAN GRILL

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

2801 Memorial Pkwy S 256.288.1333

CAFÉ 153

355 The Bridge St, Ste. 121 256.251.5190 DOWNTOWN GROUNDS COFFEE

109 Gates Ave. 256.535.6564 GOLD SPRINT COFFEE

2515 9th Ave SW 256.517.8733 THE GREENROOM COFFEE SHOP

5909-A University Dr 256.763.7877 JAMO’S CAFÉ

413 Jordan Lane 256.837.7880

CHEDDAR'S SCRATCH KITCHEN

6125 University Dr Nw 256.971.2000 CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL

5900 University Dr NW, Ste D2 256.895.7761 DICKEY'S BARBECUE PIT

6886 Governors W 256.270.4425 DREAMLAND BBQ

3855 University Dr 256.539.7427 FARM BURGER

930 Bob Wallace AVe SW #219 256.270.7392 JASON’S DELI

• 6125 University Dr NW 256.382.2999

JUST LOVE COFFEE CAFÉ

2317 S Memorial Pkwy SW 256.489.1223 MERIDIAN ST CAFE #2

7900 Bailey Cove Rd SE 256.883.9881

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 Square 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 Winner OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award HOURS OF OPERATION: Dinner: Daily 4 pm - 10 pm See their online profile at ExcursionsGo.com for social links, events, hours of operation and more.

On the Menu Seared Ahi Tuna: Served rare with cucumber and zesty mustard-beer sauce (pictured above) New York Strip: This USDA Prime cut has a fullbodied 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

54 EXCURSIONS

ROOSTER'S CROW COFFEE ROASTERY

8402 Whitesburg Dr 256.763.0805

FAMILIAR FAVORITES ATLANTA BREAD COMPANY

6275 University Dr 256.922.2253 BAUMHOWER'S VICTORY GRILLE

2309 Memorial Pkwy SW 256.881.8878 BUFFALO WILD WINGS

5901 University Dr 256.890.8500 BONEFISH GRILL

4800 Whitesburg Dr 256.883.0643 BRAVO

401 The Bridge St #180 256.971.9725

PANERA BREAD

• 6886 Governors West NW 256.971.1235 • 4800 Whitesburg Dr S 256.885.1552 • 8179 Hwy 72 256.721.7831 P.F. CHANG’S CHINA BISTRO

305 The Bridge St 256.327.8320 RED LOBSTER

1818 University Dr NW 256.533.2880 ROMANO’S MACARONI GRILL

5901-G University Dr NW 256.722.4770 SAGE GRILLE AT WESTIN HUNTSVILLE

The Westin Huntsville 256.428.5424 SALSARITA'S FRESH CANTINA

3002-A Memorial Parkway S 256.489.7257 STEAK OUT

2105 Whitesburg Dr S 256.539.1900 SURIN OF THAILAND

CAJUN STEAMER

975 Airport Rd SW 256.213.9866

301 Pelham Ave SW Ste. C-1 256.533.5503

TAZIKI’S GREEK FARE

4855 Whitesburg Dr 256.881.9155

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BAKERIES, SWEETS, & ICE CREAM

COUTURE CAKES

 OSCAR MOON'S MILKSHAKE BAR

THE COZY COW

3414 Governors Dr SW, Ste. 505 256.678.7048

100 Church St SW 256.970.7108

BABY BITE BAKE SHOP

DOLCE PAN BAKERY

975 Airport Rd SW 256.489.1901

2818 Governors Dr SW 256.489.9434

BATTER UP CAKE BAKERY

EDGAR'S BAKERY

6125 University Dr NW, Ste. B10 256.337.7352

2004 Airport Rd SW 256.987.0790

CANADIAN BAKIN

GREAT HARVEST BREAD CO.

501 Church St NW 256.489.2323

933 Bob Wallace Ave SW 256.945.7697

THE CHOCOLATE CROCODILE

HANDEL'S ICE CREAM

350 The Bridge St, Ste. 104 256.327.8480 COLD STONE CREAMERY

2750 Carl T Jones Dr SE, Ste. 1200 256.883.6868 COOKIE DOUGH MAGIC

201 Jefferson St N 256.517.8210

817 Regal Dr SW 256.534.6718

6196 University Drive NW, Huntsville, AL 256.922.1001 7540 Memorial Pkwy SW, Huntsville, AL 256.382.3232 rosiesmexicancantina.com

7086 Hwy 72 W 256.513.0080 IT'SUGAR HUNTSVILLE

340 The Bridge St 256.270.0855 JJ'S TREATS

432 Bass Cir NW 256.808.6039

Chef Sergio Artiga ROSIE’S

MEXICAN CANTINA

PHOTO:

Rosie’s Mexican Cantina

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. 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.

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

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 online profile at ExcursionsGo.com for social links, events, hours of operation and more.

On the Menu Specials of the House Appetizers Barbeque Chicken Nachos Famoso Shrimp Burrito Mexican Lasagna Shrimp Quesadillas Texas Style Enchiladas Deluxe Queso with Sizzling Fajitas spicy beef Chipotle con Queso Drinks Famous Mambo Taxi Desserts Signature Margaritas Rosie’s Fried Ice Cream “Skinny” Martinis Tres Leches

EXCURSIONS 55


D I N E LO C A L LY CULVER'S

4567 Wall Triana Hwy 256.325.3307 EARTH AND STONE WOOD FIRED PIZZA

107 Brookridge Dr 256.830.8358 EDO JAPANESE RESTAURANT

104 Intercom Dr 256.772.0360 EL MOLCAJETE MEXCIAN GRILL

7407 Hwy 72 W 256.325.1228 FREDDY'S FROZEN CUSTARD & STEAKBURGERS

1075 Balch Rd 256.325.2951 FULIN’S ASIAN CUISINE

8141 Hwy 72 W 256.721.7005 GOLDEN CHINA

300 Hughes Rd 256.461.0880 GOODLAND POURHOUSE

12110 County Line Rd 256.325.0316 LA MICHOACANA

ROCKABILLY BAKERY & CAFE

BISHOP’S WESTSIDE PUB & GRILL

2719 Clinton Ave W 256.945.5334

2407 Memorial Pkwy SW, Ste. 8 256.533.2271

GREENBRIER RESTAURANT

12060 County Line Road, Ste. A 256.800.8181

27028 Old Hwy 20 256.351.1800

LE MACARON FRENCH PASTRIES

SUZY'S POPS

BUENAVISTA MEXICAN CANTINA

GROUNDED COFFEE

315 The Bridge St, Ste. 103 256.715.8974

2211 Seminole Dr SW 256.652.9910

8217 Hwy 72 W 256.837.8226

MARBLE SLAB CREAMERY

TWICKENHAM TREATS

350 The Bridge St, Ste. 1126 256.705.6667

309 Pelham Ave SW 256.945.7168 ❖

2358 Whitesburg Dr 256.213.7545 NAVA'S BAKERY

4710 University Dr NW, Ste. 4A 256.970.4692

Madison AL SHISH PALACE

8982 Madison Blvd 256.772.5179

NOTHING BUNDT CAKES

2710 Carl T Jones Dr SE 256.585.2023

ANOTHER BROKEN EGG CAFE

831 Regal Dr SW 256.536.8541 PIZZELLE'S CONFECTIONS

2211 Seminole Dr SW, Ste. 4A 256.513.9745

7504 Hwy. 72 W, Ste. A1 256.430.5476 ASIAN HOUSE

8000 Madison Blvd 256.325.1256 BARK & BARREL BBQ

12181 County Line Road 256.970.4100

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7830 Hwy 72 W, Ste. 230 256.864.0360 CHAMPY'S FAMOUS FRIED CHICKEN

1591 Hughes Rd 256.858.1600

PEGGY ANN BAKERY

GUADALAJARA MEXICAN CASA BLANCA

8020 Madison Blvd 256.325.1633 CHUCK WAGON BBQ

CORK & CRUST PIZZERIA + WINE BAR

12120 County Line Road 256.801.9463 CRICKET’S

3810 Sullivan Street 256.464.3777 THE CUBAN CAFE

5510 Promenade Point Pkwy 256.970.4877

8572 Madison Blvd 256.774.1401 HARU KOREAN & SUSHI

8760 Madison Blvd Ste L 256.270.9677 HUNT CLUB BURGERS N GRILL

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 KOBE SUSHI HIBACHI EXPRESS

1591-B Hughes Rd 256.325.8887 LA PLACITA RESTAURANT

401 Hughes Rd #4 256.464.3994

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PHOTO: BRENT BOYD

MASON DIXON BAKERY

12120 County Line Road 256.258.9637


D I N E LO C A L LY LAWLER’S BARBECUE

•1079 Balch Road 256.217.1767 • 1047 Jeff Road NW 256.830.8200 • 544 Hughes Road 256.772.0590 LITTLE LIBBY’S CATFISH

234 Lime Quarry Road 256.772.0191 LOS TROJAS CANTINA

7840 Hwy 72 W 256.430.1551 LUCIA'S COCINA MEXICANA

Village Shoppes of Madison 256.262.4456 LUNAZUL MEXICAN GRILLE

10871 County Line Rd 256.325.2281 MADISON HOUSE OF PIZZA

8644 Madison Blvd 256.542.3311 MADISON STATION BAR & GRILL

8694 Madison Blvd 256.325.1333 MAIN STREET CAFÉ

101 Main Street 256.461.8096 MANGIA ITALIAN RESTAURANT

2007 Hughes Rd 256.721.7462 METRO DINIER

7626 Hwy 72 W 256.929.6541 MOD PIZZA

7616 Hwy 72 W 256.970.4441 OLD BLACK BEAR BREWING COMPANY

208 Main Street 256.850.4639

30098 Andrea Ln 256.886.0767 RED FISH TERIYAKE ASIAN EXPRESS

3764 Sullivan St 256.461.1144 ROME2GREECE

1591 Hughes Rd 256.325.0925 SAFFRON INDIAN RESTAURANT

12090 County Line Road, Ste. J 256.233.1085 SAIGON VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT

OLD MEXICO CANTINA

8760 Madison Blvd 256.772.0202

140 Browns Ferry Rd 256.464.6044

SAKURA JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE

PANERA BREAD

8179 Hwy 72 W 256.721.7831 PHOTO: BRENT BOYD

PUNTA CANA CARIBBEAN RESTAURANT

PHO 89

7407 Hwy 72 W 256.325.8889

TAZIKI'S MEDITERRANEAN CAFE

7814 Hwy 72 W 256.542.9700

105 Brookridge Drive Ste. A 256.724.6554

SMASHBURGER

TENDERS

8135 Hwy 72 W, Ste. C 256.726.0031

101 Intercom Dr 256.464.7811

SMOKEY'S BBQ

TERIYAKI MADNESS

8071 Hwy 72 W 256.721.0300 THE STEM & STEIN

10871 County Line Road 256.325.3779 SUNNY STREET CAFE

7143 Hwy 72 W 256.213.7120 TACO MAMA AT CLIFT FARM

12090 County Line Road 256.233.6955 SALSARITA'S FRESH MEXICAN GRILL

8044 Hwy 72 W 256.858.1088 SAM & GREG'S PIZZARIA & GELATERIA

364 Hughes Rd, 256.772.9888 PITA MEDITERRANEAN STREET FOOD

SHRIMP BASKET

419 John Henry Way 256.692.8226 TED'S BBQ

8780 Madison Blvd 256.258.9320 TAQUERIA LAS MORELENSES

30697 Hwy 72 W 256.431.9123

7709 Hwy 72 W 256.325.1575 TOM BROWN'S RESTAURANT

8141 Hwy 72 W 256.715.1283 VILLALONGIN MEXICAN CANTINA

8694 Madison Blvd 256.617.0015 WILD BILL’S BAR & GRILL

9076 Madison Blvd 256.772.8514 WINGS TO GO

8572 Madison Blvd 256.461.0358 ZION GOURMET POPCORN

104 Main Street 256.631.5982 ❖

300 Hughes Rd, 256.325.0103

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EXCURSIONS 57


Toyota Field, home of the Trash Pandas Minor League Baseball team, anchors 563-acre Town Madison, the City of Madison’s latest retail, entertainment and residential expansion. photograph by E. FORREST IG @HSVPHOTO

The City of Madison, the fastest growing city in the state of Alabama, is a rare and eclectic combination demand for high-quality services, restaurants, retail, parks, green space and family recreation opportunities. 58 EXCURSIONS

Explore more at findmoremadison.com


of historic charm and progressive innovation. Madison has grown rapidly, and with this growth came the With regularly scheduled festivals and events, Madison is a place to connect with others. Explore Madison! Go mobile at ExcursionsGo.com

EXCURSIONS 59


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

Admire Our Public Art

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 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: The Madison Public Library, Dublin Park, downtown and city hall.

Find a Food Truck

The food truck scene continues to gain speed in Madison. Badd Newz BBQ and Sugar Belle can be found at concerts in the parks, Bob Jones High School and local church events. Back Alley Travelling Bistro, HotBox, Pearl: Vietnamese & Hawaiian Subs, I Love Bacon and In The Bun can be found parked in front of Rocket Republic Brewing Co. Check out Facebook for daily locations. It’s worth the chase!

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Explore more at findmoremadison.com


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

Great Things Are Brewing and Distilling in Madison

Local breweries in Madison are contributing to the new moniker for this area of the state: The Napa Valley of Craft Beer. Rocket Republic Brewing Co.’s taproom offers live music, fantastic food truck cuisine and a place to challenge someone to a ping pong game. Old Black Bear Brewing Co. relocated its production facilities and opened its tap room and restaurant in historic downtown Madison. Black Patch Distillery impresses many whiskey aficionados, located off Madison Boulevard.

Catch a Game or a Concert at Toyota Field

Toyota Field, home to the new AA Minor League Baseball team Rocket City Trash Pandas, is fast becoming a social hub for the City of Madison. Conveniently located off Interstate 565 with its own exit, Toyota Field will host baseball games during the spring and summer and a number of concerts and other events throughout the year.

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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 first weekend in October, more than 25,000 people gather with friends at concert stages, shop booths filled with unique arts and crafts, sample delicious foods, sweets and local craft beer and enjoy all that is quintessentially Madison. Arrive early for the parade…stay late for the fun! madisonstreetfestival.org

Madison Village Center and Shoppes of Madison are located on Highway 72. Shoppes of Madison is anchored by Target and includes Ulta, Shoe Fly Clothing and casual dining opportunities like Smash Burger and Panera Bread, or for something fancier try Tom Brown’s Restaurant—a new steak and seafood restaurant. Madison Village is anchored by Marshalls, Michaels and Massage Envy. 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 and Goodland Pour House.

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Explore more at findmoremadison.com

PHOTO: (TOP) CITY OF MADISON

Shop ‘Til You Drop


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

Share a Selfie Using #VisitMadisonAL!

Tickle Your Taste Buds

For a fantastic meal, check out Buenavista Mexican Cantina on Hwy 72—this local family-owned restaurant chain has three locations and has been serving North Alabama for more than 25 years.. Looking for something savory? Another favorite dining spot is Main Street Café in historic downtown Madison. See a complete list of local eateries in Madison in the Dine Locally section of this publication.

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.

to connect Scan this code dining, on to Madis ts and shopping, even at e mor on.com findmoremadis

Expand Your Knowledge

The new Madison Public Library is open to the public! The 25,000 square foot library is located at 142 Plaza Blvd. The state-of-the-art facility offers new technology amenities including a creativity lab, large outdoor movie screen, tween gaming center and an interactive early literacy center. Explore creature comforts such as private study rooms, indoor fireplace with quiet reading areas, separate children’s story time room and outdoor seating.

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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. The Avenue of Madison, a new development off Sullivan Street brings modern livability with boutique shopping and dining to downtown.

A Town within a City

Town Madison, a $400 million, 500-acre development, is conveniently located along the I-565 corridor, stretching from WallTriana Highway to Zierdt Road anchored by a new Minor League Baseball stadium and Margaritaville Resort. Retail, restaurants, hotels and office space is interspersed amongst luxury apartments, town homes 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. Excitement has continued with the opening of Toyota Field when the first home pitch for the AA Minor League Trash Pandas was thrown on May 11, 2021. The quality of life currently enjoyed in the City of Madison will be enhanced by all that Town Madison will provide.

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

PHOTOS: MADISON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE;

Burn Some Calories

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.

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EXCURSIONS 65


E X P LO R E M A D I S O N Come Grow With Us! Nationally Recognized for Growth and Prosperity 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 & Kids Day, and Connect. 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 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 and music that Madison has to offer. Each year, thousands of attendees enjoy our famous food-tasting event, featuring delicious samples from over 25 local restaurants and craft breweries. It’s 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 eight bronze trains by utilizing clue cards, available from the Madison Chamber and City Hall. Once train spotters find all eight 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 madisonalchamber.com/trainson-main.

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 Kids’ 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 visit vendor booths and learn more about each organization’s specialty, then grab a bite at one of our local food trucks. The theme for 2019 was Madison Depot 1869 in honor of our city’s 150th birthday. Kids enjoyed games and activities, including a dunk tank, face painting, balloon animals, an inflatable, and more. We even re-enacted our city’s century old Chicken Capers event, tossing dozens of rubber chickens with gift cards to the waiting crowd. 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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EXCURSIONS 67


For more than 43 years every Memorial Day weekend, pilots in The Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Ballon Classic fill the skies over Decatur. photograph by E. FORREST IG @HSVPHOTO

Referred to as “The River City” by locals, few cities in the south enjoy a connection to the a thriving arts and cultural community, unique shops for discovering hidden treasures and pure 68 EXCURSIONS

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Tennessee River like this one. Farm-to-fork restaurants, a revitalized downtown, a rich history, southern charm make this town a destination by many from around the world. Welcome to Decatur! Go mobile at ExcursionsGo.com

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Delano Park is the oldest park in the city of Decatur, Alabama. It was created in 1887, as part of a master plan to “re-invent” the City of Decatur, then New Decatur.

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 70 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 recently opened. 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, known as squatters, had already illegally

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


D E C AT U R H I S TO RY

The Old State Bank

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

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 indicative of the promise of wealth in the young community. Go 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 across the Tennessee River at Decatur was completed. The location of this river crossing on the South’s most important

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.

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 the town’s structures were demolished. The Old State Bank, the Burleson-McEntire House, the Dancy-Polk House and a 72 EXCURSIONS

The Civil War exhibit in the Morgan County Archives

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 Railroads 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 voted to change the name of New Decatur to Albany in 1916. Many wealthy migrants to New Decatur built stately mansions

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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.

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 provided leadership for the Old Town community. A new gateway marker placed on Vine Street at the entrance of Go mobile at ExcursionsGo.com

Morgan County Archives Building

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 made names for themselves on the river and in increasingly wild port towns like Decatur. One of Decatur’s oldest and finest

The Old State Bank

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. ❖

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Adventures Await

PHOTO: COOK MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCES

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

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


D E C AT U R AT T R AC T I O N S Alabama’s Largest VictorianEra Historic Districts 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 present. Styles vary from the French-influenced Empire period to the Edwardian Cottage and beyond.

• The New DecaturAlbany Historic District was founded by northern businessmen in the late 1800’s and was named after the New York state capital. Styles reflect early 20th century trends such as Colonial Revival, California Cottage, Dutch Colonial and Frank Lloyd Wright influences.  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, carnegiearts.org}  Cook Museum of Natural Science

The Cook Museum of Natural Science is 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 interactive 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. For more information please visit their website, cookmuseum.org.

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 architectural and historic significance. The Depot, built in 1914, includes historical displays provided by the Hartselle Historical Society. The popular downtown shops offer such

C

ome explore, make memories, and cultivate a life-long love of learning at the award-winning Cook Museum of Natural Science in downtown Decatur, Alabama.

PHOTO:

You will experience nature close-up through interactive exhibits, including live animals, an immersive cave experience, a 15,000-gallon saltwater aquarium, and much more.

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EXCURSIONS 75


D E C AT U R AT T R AC T I O N S Watch the trains go by at Union Depot Museum

Carnegie Visual Arts Center hosts exhibits and events throughout the year.

Enjoy the Lazy River at Point Mallard Park

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}

family histories and bible records. The Morgan County Archives features two new state-of-the-art permanent exhibits on the Scottsboro Boys Trial in Decatur and the Civil War in Morgan County. {624 Bank St. NE, 256.351.4726}

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 property. {925 Bank Street NE, 256.341.4818}

Morgan County Archives

Old State Bank

Point Mallard Park

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,

The Old State Bank was one of three banks authorized by The Alabama General Assembly in 1832. Few structures can boast 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

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;

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amphitheater; and an indoor Ice Skating complex (open year round). Call for seasonal facility hours. {256.341.4900. pointmallardpark.com}  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}

Union Depot Museum The restored depot links the historic downtown to the city’s

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PHOTO:

Watch Civil War reenactments.


D E C AT U R AT T R AC T I O N S oldest neighborhood and to the city’s historic center of its African-American cultural heritage. Today, the museum portion occupies the foyer and west passenger waiting room (for artifact display), a second portion of the same waiting room (theater) and the ticket office (model train display). The entire loading area has been restored and is open to the public for amazing train watching with the nearest main track only 12 feet from the loading dock. {701 Railroad St, Decatur}

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 {Highway 67, 256.350.6639. fws.gov/wheeler}

TRAILS AND TOURS Alabama Scenic River Trail alabamascenicrivertrail.com The Alabama Scenic River Trail is the longest and most experience-rich river trail in America—from mountain streams to multi-class whitewater to river delta and the salty waves of the Gulf of Mexico. Paddling and powerboat experiences and

Each February, a full day of Mardi Gras themed events culminates with the Carnegie Carnival Parade.

Passionately promoting art for all! Please stop by and visit us. There is always something new and inspiring going on at the Carnegie.

PHOTOS PHOTO: DECATUR MORGAN COUNTY TOURISM

• Free Exibits to the public year round • Children & Adult Art classes and workshops • Camp Carnegie for Kids-July 12-16,2021 • Carnegie Carnival Mardi Gras- Feb 26, 2022 Family friendly fun in historic downtown Decatur. Events include Carnival Frolic 13.1, Kid’s Parade, Dog Parade & Evening Parade with over 30 floats. carnegiecarnival.org

207 Church St. NE Decatur, AL Tue - Fri 10 AM - 5 PM | Sat 10 AM - 2 PM 256-341-0562 | www.carnegiearts.org

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D E C AT U R AT T R AC T I O N S Take the self-guided MoCo Mural Trail Tour at your own pace.

The MoCo Mural Trail is delivered right to your phone. There’s no app to download!

exploration abound along over 5,300 miles of accessible waterways with over 50 adventure services to serve and assist you. We have organized a network of volunteer Trail Angels who can help you plan and conduct your journey. We have amenities and campsites to support everything from long-distance touring to organized paddles to races, overnight trips or any kind of day trip you might imagine.

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, George 78 EXCURSIONS

Simply scan the QR code to sign up for free!

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 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 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 self-guided tour recognizes churches that define the heart of 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.

Downtown Turtle Trail decaturdowntown.org/turtle-trail Take the Downtown Turtle Trail and find 10 bronze turtles located along Decatur’s historic 2nd Avenue. Learn about the significant places and events that helped make Downtown Decatur what it is today along the way!

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

Take a tour of the Old State Bank


D E C AT U R AT T R AC T I O N S MoCo Mural Trail Morgan County, decaturcvb.org Take a free mural tour of Morgan County Alabama! Unique and vibrant murals are popping up all throughout MoCo! You can mix and match any of the locations on the MoCo Mural Trail to best fit your location and itinerary! Did we mention it’s FREE?

Flint Creek Canoe Trail decaturcvb.org The Flint Creek Canoe Trail opened in 2018, providing access to the interior of the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and the many birding and recreational opportunities that surround it. Additionally, the nearby Sipsey River in Bankhead National Forest is a popular spot for canoeing. The river, designated a “Wild and Scenic River,” is best in Spring and late Winter. This is part

of the Alabama Scenic River Trail.

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, 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

Art doubles as a bike rack outside the Alabama Center for the Arts.

THE REGION’S PREMIER DESTINATION FOR ART EDUCATION

PHOTOS: DECATUR/MORGAN COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

Founded in 2012, the Alabama Center for the Arts is a partnership between Athens State University and Calhoun Community College, with collaboration from the City of Decatur and Morgan County. The campus, located in beautiful downtown Decatur, consists of two state-of-the-art buildings, where students can take several types of courses in art, theatre, graphic design, and music. College courses taught here can lead to Associate of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees. The 43,000 square foot Visual Arts Center houses painting, drawing, and sculpture studios, graphic design labs, as well as state-of-the-art gallery spaces. At 44,000 square feet, the Performing Arts Center features a 150-seat recital hall with a digital projector for films and lectures, a 300-seat black box theatre, a recording studio with two booths for sound engineering, sound-proof rehearsal rooms, a space for set construction, a music lab, computer lab, dressing rooms and smart classrooms.

alabamacenterforthearts.org info@alabamacenterforthearts.org | 256-260-4293 133 2nd Avenue NE | Decatur, AL 35601

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

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 The marina is also one of the 80 EXCURSIONS

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 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 features 18 manicured Tiftdwarf Bermuda greens designed to United States Golf Association specifications 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. 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. 15 percent discount for Senior Citizens.

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

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PHOTOS: PHOTO: DECATUR MORGAN COUNTY TOURISM

Hone your skills at one of Decatur’s golf courses


Play Locally

Princess Theatre Center for Performing Arts The Entertainment Icon of Downtown Decatur for More Than 100 Years

PHOTOS: (LEFT, TOP RIGHT) BRENT BOYD

T

he historic Princess Theatre anchors the downtown Arts and Entertainment District. The location is an attraction all by itself, with its unique art deco style from the 1940s, terrazzo floor map of the state in the lobby, landmark two-story marquee on the front and blacklight-reactive murals that decorate the auditorium. But the theatre is also home to many local productions and traveling shows that use the 677-seat facility to reach Decatur residents, the North Alabama region and beyond. The Princess Theatre is a boon to the economy, drawing tourism from across the U.S. The building was constructed in 1887 as a livery stable for horses, but in 1919, the building was converted into a silent film theatre and vaudeville playhouse. Then, in 1941, the theatre underwent another transformation. This time the Princess gained the art deco style that most

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visitors now associate with the Princess. In 1978, the movie house closed and the city of Decatur was able to purchase and renovate the old building, preserving and revitalizing the 1940s-style decor. Due to the pandemic, Centennial celebrations took place 101 years after the Princess’s birthday. Now, new concerts, comedy, dance, live theatre and more are being added to the Princess Theatre’s calendar on a weekly basis. The Theatre hosted the inaugural Marquee Awards, a Grammy-inspired event that marks the culmination of the nonprofit’s annual fundraiser with a showcase of the types of entertainment that grace the Princess Theatre’s stage year-round. One of the ongoing attractions at the theatre is the singer/songwriter series hosted in the theatre’s listening loft. As the series has grown, this elevated experience has gained momentum. Top-tier artists

from all over the country request a slot in the lineup. The monthly songwriter schedule is listed on the Theatre’s website, along with movies, concerts, live performances, seasonal shows and more. One of the newest and most exciting additions to the website is a virtual tour of the Princess Theatre. This “bird’s eye” view of the historic, nonprofit venue and a full calendar of upcoming events can be found at www.princesstheatre.org.

PRINCESS THEATRE CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS

112 2nd Avenue NE Decatur, AL 35601 256.350.1745, princesstheatre.org @princesstheatrecenter See ExcursionsGo.com for more.

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Shop Decatur From the most popular national stores to local boutiques, art galleries and antique stores, get your shopping fix in Decatur

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Explore more at decaturcvb.org


Shop Locally

Ginger Cobl, Owner

The Cupboard

The best little locally-owned gourmet kitchen shop in North Alabama

B

eing north Alabama’s only gourmet kitchen shop is a big responsibility, but Ginger Cobl loves talking kitchen supplies and cooking with anyone who comes through her doors. She also works tirelessly to source her unique items from local farms, small businesses, and crafters. “From day one, I have tried to make a big focus on bringing in other small or family-owned businesses,” Ginger said. As a result, about 95% of the items she has curated are from small businesses, generating an impressive array of cutlery, cookware, pottery, gourmet food items and more. Among those brands are the local 1818 Farms, which she became the first brick-and-mortar store to sell, and German knife brand Wusthof, which isn’t local but has been family-owned since the early-1800s. The knowledge of the people who make the items she sells, and the assurances of quality items creates a partnership among the dozens of small businesses whose products are featured in the shop.

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“It’s fun to be able to work with other small businesses to do fun things,” Ginger said. One of those fun things is her “Cook the Book” event series that is now entering its third year. She chooses a cookbook, and the participants must purchase the book from her and prepare a recipe from it. The participants then enjoy the dishes and discuss the intricacies of each recipe. She describes it as a “book club for foodies.” “It’s a really great way to delve a little bit deeper into a cookbook than you would on your own,” Ginger said. The books for the event have included Mimi Thorisson’s international books for French and Italian cooking, as well as others, such as “Beautiful Platters and Delicious Boards,” “Ama A Modern TexMex Kitchen” and “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” The Cupboard is so much more than just a store that sells kitchen items, Ginger has turned her shop into a one-stop for anyone with a love of food and people. In

the eight years since she opened, Ginger has met a number of people from all over the world, learned their stories and helped build their businesses together. She loves cooking and helping others cook, but her passion for people is even greater. Helping an individual find the right items for them has set her store apart since it opened and her individual attention to customers keeps the regulars coming back and first-time visitors feeling like family. “Food brings the world together,” Ginger said. “It doesn’t matter what your background is, you can always find common ground around food—GOOD food.” THE CUPBOARD 504 Bank St. NE Decatur, AL 35601 256.686.4500 shopthecupboard.com @shopthecupboard See ExcursionsGo.com for more.

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S H O P D E C AT U R

DOWNTOWN DECATUR

DECATUR LAMP CO.

SHOPS ON 2ND AVENUE

 THE CUPBOARD 504 Bank Street NE, 256.686.4500

GLEE INTERIORS

TAMMY EDDY ANTIQUES AND INTERIORS

 KATHLEEN’S FINE ART & INTERIORS

209-B 2nd Avenue, 256.686.3699

211 2nd Ave SE, 256.355.7616

810 ANTIQUES

810 Bank St NE, 256.580.5002 ABSAROKA

123-B 2nd Ave, 256.324.7592 ALBANY FRAMING

221 2nd Ave SE, 256.355.7226

ANDERSON HOME CONSIGNMENTS

430 Johnston St SE, 256.353.1851

BANK STREET ARTS AND ANTIQUES

818 Bank Street NE, 256.353.6505

BEYOND PURSES AND MORE BOUTIQUE

209 Johnston St SE, 256.665.3217 CARRIAGE HOUSE

115 Johnston St SE # 101, 256.355.4349

CLOUD 9

712 Bank Street, 256.686.2099 COTTAGE HOUSE

719 Bank Street NE, 256.306.9892 DADDY DUKE CIGARS

113 Grant St SE, 256.822.2136

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220 Moulton St E, 256.353.8900 707 Bank Street NE, 256.355.4533

INDIGO’S

JAMIE HOOD JEWELERS

722 Bank St, 256.686.2852 MEL’S SWEET TREATS

401 14th St SE Suite 4D, 256.560.0910 MICHAEL MASON BRIDAL

219 2nd Ave SE, 256.777.7624 502 Bank Street NE, 256.306.0007

THE SASSY OWL BOUTIQUE

312 2nd Ave, 256.580.5103

SECOND READ BOOKS

324 2nd Ave SE, 256.822.2139 TENNESSEE VALLEY PECAN CO.

806 Bank Street, 256.353.1880

719 Bank Street NE, 256.340.8898

KIRKLAND’S

1241 Point Mallard Pwky SE 256.353.2242

KOHL’S

2407 6th Ave SE 256.355.7401 LYNN’S HALLMARK SHOP

2019 6th Avenue SE, Ste. 4 256.350.3977

MARTIN’S FAMILY CLOTHING

2150 Beltline Rd SW 256.350.2812

MCCORVEY’S PRO SHOP

MIRANDA ALEXANDER INTERIORS

DECATUR SHOPPING

317 Hwy 31 S 256.353.5808

MISS MULDREW’S

ACADEMY SPORTS & OUTDOORS

SECOND READ BOOKS

219 2nd Ave SE, 256.476.5043

1205 Wimberly Drive SW 256.340.7800

MORGAN PRICE CANDY COMPANY

APPLE LANE FARMS

708 Bank Street NE, 256.345.6330

1735 6th Ave SE, 256.350.2992

OLD RIVER ANTIQUES & INTERIORS

306 2nd Ave, 256.355.8993 OTTIS AND KATE

123-A 2nd Ave NE

THE PAPER CHASE

706 Bank Street, 256.355.8993

PINEAPPLES

206 2nd Ave SE, 256.301.3013

23027 US Hwy 20 256.351.7803

CHELDEN’S GIFT EMPORIUM

1111 Corsbie Street SE 256.340.1116

CRICKET BY THE CREEK

1517 6th Ave SE 256.350.9963

324 2nd Ave SE, 256.822.2139 TRADING POST WESTERN & OUTDOOR

1803 6th Ave SE 256.445.7100

THE COMIC SHOP

1815 6th Ave SE 256.351.0225

THE SMOKE SHOP

1811 Danville Rd SW 256.822.1500 ❖

JIMMY SMITH JEWELERS

2036 6th Ave SE 256.353.2512

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Shop Locally

Kathleen Clay, Owner

Kathleen’s Fine Art & Interiors Your source for locally-curated fine art, home accessories and other treasures

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athleen’s Fine Art and Interiors is one of the most unique spaces in Decatur, featuring original art and home accessories that complement the art. Visitors can find anything they are looking for and often find things they weren’t looking for but were meant to have. “Art speaks to the right person,” Kathy Clay, owner of Kathleen’s Fine Art and Interiors, said. Because of that, visitors never know what will speak to them as they peruse Kathy’s collection. For the last 11 years, Kathy has served Decatur as a little-known treasure, dealing in one-of-a-kind art and unique accessories for the home. Kathleen’s has also become known for its special occasion flowers and decorations that are unlike

“Art speaks to the right person” anything most florists could put together. Flower art is just another creative outlet for Kathy and her partner, who enjoy helping buyers connect with the artists that speak to them. There is no one type, style or genre of art in the shop, which boasts 3,000 square feet of space filled with art from a variety of artists who create pieces as different as they all are. Each artist has their own story about how they create, what inspires them and how they view their work and

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Kathy knows each story as well as her own. “I love my artists, and I love to sell for them,” Kathy said. “I always tell them ‘it is so important to do what you love’ when they are looking at what type of art to create. The right person will find the painting that’s meant for them.”

KATHLEEN’S FINE ART & INTERIORS 211 2nd Avenue SE, Suite B Decatur, Alabama 35601 256.355.7616 @kathleensinteriors See ExcursionsGo.com for more.

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Out and About

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

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O U T&A B O U T D E C AT U R RESTAURANTS  JOSIE'S CAFÉ

SOUTHERN STYLE BARBEQUE

THE BRICK DELI & TAVERN

725 Beltline Rd SW, 256.822.1006

1505 Moulton SW, 256.350.6702

112 E Moulton St, 256.355.8318

SUCH-N-SUCH

TWISTED BAR AND GRILLE

109 2nd Ave NE, 256.822.2229

LAS VIAS

 MELLOW MUSHROOM

LET’S DO LUNCH

202 E Moulton St , 256.355.5161

2224 6th Ave SE, 256.686.3344 435 Holly Street NE, 256.340.1317

 MOE’S ORGINAL BBQ - DECATUR

LIBBY'S CATFISH & DINER

202 E. Moulton St, 256.686.4112

1401 AL Hwy 67, 256.353.9767

 MOE’S ORIGINAL BBQ - PRICEVILLE

LONGHORN STEAKHOUSE

3524 Deere Rd, 256.686.1462  SIMP MCGHEE’S

725 Bank Street NW, 256.353.6284 ALFONSO’S PIZZA

2400 6th Ave SE, 256.350.0211

2616 6th Ave SE, 256.686.3598 TAQUERIA EL PALOMINO TEXAS ROADHOUSE

1006 Beltline Rd SE, 256.301.007 209 2nd Ave SE , 256.580.5707

1123 Somerville Road SE 256.686.0253

M & S SANDWICH SHOP

TIO JUAN MEXICAN GRILL

2504 Gordon Terry Pkwy, 256.301.3080

1318 6th Ave SE, 256.306.9992

CLOVER COFFEE

MI HACIENDA

1101 6th Ave NE, 256.355.3150

TWIST GRILL & BAR

MINNIE LEE’S DOWNTOWN DINER

2101 Gordon Terry Pkwy

1051 Grant Street SE , 256.580.5909

ARD'S SEAFOOD MARKET

MOE'S SOUTHWEST GRILL

WHITTS BARBECUE

BANK STREET GRILL

719 Bank St, NE, 256.686.4202 BIG BOB GIBSON’S BAR.B.Q

1715 6th Ave SE, 256.350.6969 CAMINO REAL

2504 US Hwy 31, 256.353.6727 CANTON HOUSE

609 14th Street SE, 256.350.8868 CASA SANTIAGO

2812 Spring Ave SW, 256.552.9499 CHEESEBURGER BOBBY'S

1241 Point Mallard Pkwy 256.580.2817 NASH BBQ

1241 Point Mallard Pkwy 256.309.5407

133 4th Ave NE, 256.898.6301 NINJA JAPANESE RESTAURANT

1241 Point Mallard Pkwy #115 256.686.4518 O'CHARLEY'S RESTAURANT & BAR

2148 Beltline Rd SW, 256.355.0505 OLIVE GARDEN ITALIAN RESTAURANT

1102 Beltline Rd SW, 256.306.1880 1241 Point Mallard Pkwy, 256.350.4800

, DOWNTOWN DAWGS

RED LOBSTER

2027 Beltline RD SW, 256.306.0092 RIO GRANDE

1820 6th Ave SE, 256.227.3575

1203 Courtyard Cir, 256.350.4450

FRANCESCO’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT

ROCK N ROLL SUSHI

2613 Highway 31 S., 256.584.6770 FULIN’S ASIAN CUISINE

1241 Point Mallard Pkwy SW 256.355.3588 GREEN LEAF THAI BISTRO & SUSHI BAR

2421 US HWY 31, 256.686.2449 SAMI'S PLACE

1228 Beltline Rd SW, 256.355.0543 SCRUGGS BBQ

1315 AL Hwy 20, 256.351.7937

1614 Beltline Rd SW, 256.686.0777

SIMPLY GOOD KITCHEN

JW STEAKHOUSE

1051 Grant Street SE, 256.686.0525

45 Marco Dr, 256.355.5560

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717 Hwy 67 S, 256.565.8807 DAYLIGHT DONUTS

459 AL Hwy 67, 256.822.2309 DECATUR NUTRITION

2418 Danville Road SW 256.923.2492 DONUT EXPRESS

1114 6th Ave SE, 256.686.0462 HIGH POINT MARKET

307 2nd Ave SE, 256.822.2027

NATURE’S TABLE AT COOK MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE

CHICKEN SALAD CHICK

115 Johnston Street SE , 256.350.6715

• 2532 Spring Ave SW, 256.350.2748 • 918 6th Ave, 256.351.6294 WINGS TO GO

PANERA BREAD

CURRY’S

WHISK’D CAFÉ

1203 Courtyard Cir, 256.260.0512

725 Beltline Rd SW, 256.822.2955 1821 Beltline Rd SW, 256.598.9083

CHEESECAKES AND MORE

THE RAILYARD

2041-A Beltline Rd SW 256.340.0114

620 Hwy 67, 256.445.7007

COFFEE & SPECIALTY SHOPS

1213 Point Mallard Pkwy, 256.350.0555

404 6th Ave NE, 256.353.3233

AY CHIHUAHUA MEXICAN

Doubletree by Hilton Decatur Riverfront 1101 6th Ave NE, 256.355.3150

1410 6th Ave SE, 256.355.4464

APPLEBEE'S GRILL + BAR

1216 Beltline Rd, 256.301.4600

PHOTO: (OPPOSITE) BRENT BOYD

LAWLERS BARBECUE

JAVA JAAY CAFE

1713 6th Ave SE, 256.351.8555 K MAY DOUGHNUTS

BARS & GRILLS

1815 6th Ave SE, 256.686.2240

6 POCKETS BILLIARDS

KALEIDOSCOOPS

1819 Bassett Ave SE, 256.686.3171 AMF RIVER CITY LANES

3117 US Hwy 31, 256.353.3162 BB PERRINS SPORTS GRILLE

608 Holly Street NE, 256.355.1045 BUFFALO WILD WINGS

945 Wimberly Dr. SW, 256.301.5454 GENO'S PUB

1015 6th Ave SE., 256.355.9998 HARD DOCK

3755 US Highway 31, 256.340.9234 HIGHWAY 67 ROADHOUSE

1819 6th Ave SE, 256.353.1410 MEL’S SWEET TREATS

401 14th St SE, 256.560.0910 MORGAN PRICE CANDY COMPANY

1735 6th Ave SE, 256.350.2992 ROYALTY FUNNEL CAKES AND MORE

1614 Beltline Road SW, 256.822.2205 SIMPLY DELICIOUS

2215 Danville Rd SW, 256.355.7564 SWEETS BY JORDAN

324 2nd Ave SE

2941 Point Mallard Pwky SE, 256.584.8025

TENNESSEE VALLEY PECAN

SAM'S SPORTS GRILL

WESTSIDE COFFEE PLACE & CAFE

1208 Beltline Rd SW, 256.686.4111 SMOKEY C’S BAR-B-QUE & WINGS

806 Bank St NE, 855.353.1880

2699 Sandlin Rd SW 256.353.2025

3075 Hwy 20, Priceville 256.353.7787

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Dine Locally

Ryan Helsley, Owner

Moe's Original Bar B Que The Perfect Combination of Great Barbeque and Nightly Fun in the Heart of Downtown Decatur

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yan Helsley was already a devotee to the Moe’s Original Bar B Que brand when he got the chance to purchase the Decatur location of the restaurant. He had managed locations in Tuscaloosa and Auburn and had been a co-owner at a location in Panama City, FL, but Huntsville was home for his wife and Decatur is near her family. The fact that he could move his family closer to their extended family and still stay with the brand he loved made it the perfect choice. So in 2015, Ryan and his family moved to Decatur and began operating the Moe’s Original Bar B Que in the heart of the downtown arts and entertainment district. Ryan said he loves the culture, family and “bulletproof concept” the Moe’s brand offers. “There’s a reason I started with Moe’s in 2010 and decided to make a career out

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of it,” Ryan said. The restaurant is much more than barbeque though, offering a full bar, late-night hours and live music two or three days a week. The location in the entertainment district makes Moe’s a frequent stop for late-night visitors looking for a place to grab food and a nightcap after a show at the historic Princess Theatre or other location nearby. Last year, Ryan also opened a second Moe’s location in Priceville, just seven miles away from his original Decatur location. While slow-smoked pulled pork barbeque topped in a house-made, sweet and tangy BBQ sauce is what Moe’s has always been known for, Ryan says the jumbo smoked wings are a constant fan favorite. The wings are served with celery and a creamy Alabama-style white BBQ sauce for dipping. Ryan also said the fried catfish and fried shrimp sandwich are popular for

those looking for something different. The sandwich features golden brown fried shrimp served on a toasted bun with creamy tartar sauce and cool, crisp marinated slaw and pickles. There are also daily specials and events that make Moe’s Original BBQ a great location for family-friendly fun or a night out on the town. MOE'S ORIGINAL BAR B QUE 202 Moulton St E, Decatur, AL 256.353.6284 (Open Late) 3524 Deere Rd, Priceville, AL 256.686.1462 (Closes 8 pm) moesoriginalbbq.com @mobdecatur See ExcursionsGo.com for more.

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Dine Locally

Christy Wheat, Owner

Simp McGhee's Featured in Alabama Tourism's Guide to "100 Alabama Dishes to Try Before You Die"

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hen Christy Wheat started working as a server at Simp McGhee’s in 1995, she thought it would be a fun way to make some money while she went back to school. "Things changed, I fell in love with it and I’ve been here ever since,” she said. After ten years, she bought the restaurant. These days, the 35-year-old Bank Street restaurant is a favorite for locals and is often called “Decatur’s Favorite Corporate Gathering Spot.” Although it bills itself as “fine dining with a cajun twist,” Simp McGhee’s is more than just good food. It has become as iconic as the riverboat captain whose name it bears. Simp McGhee was a notorious riverboat captain who was known to navigate the most dangerous stretches of the Tennessee River at full throttle, rather than

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the slower, safer way the law required. He was also known for his antics around town, including drinking beer at local bars with his pet pig. Everyone who comes through Simp McGhee’s doors has a different favorite dish, but the Stuffed Mushroom Caps are so legendary the Alabama Department of Tourism declared them one of the “100 Alabama Dishes to Try Before You Die.” Other favorites on the menu include the “Pontchartrain” which is fresh fish, topped with bay shrimp, crab, mushrooms and green onions and served on a bed of brown rice or the “Dean’s Delight” is a prime tenderloin served with gulf shrimp, cajun alfredo sauce and pasta. From September to April, you can find Christy’s husband, John, shucking oysters at the bar on Friday nights. In fact, most of Decatur can be found there, according

to Christy. “You can’t walk through the door without everybody having to stop and talk,” she said. Whether you are looking for cajun food, seafood, steak, pasta or one of Simp McGhee’s other specialty dishes, there is something for everyone and no trip to Decatur is complete without stopping in to experience the old-world charm of the restaurant.

SIMP MCGHEE'S 724 Bank St. NE Decatur, AL 35601 256.353.6284 simpmcghees.com @simpmcghees See ExcursionsGo.com for more.

EXCURSIONS 89


Dine Locally

Mellow Mushroom Out of This World Pizza, Wings and More in a Fun and Quirky "River City"Inspired Setting

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hen the Mellow Mushroom location in Decatur went up for sale in 2017, the new owner was just next door. Ryan Helsley owned the Moe’s Barbeque next door and was ready for a new challenge. While Ryan knew the Moe’s brand and barbeque, he was a newbie to the pizza game initially, but felt that both brands espoused similar values—with a foundation in good food and good service in a timely manner. He called the foray into pizza making “intimidating” because there were more moving parts and almost three times more staff than the Moe’s location required. But, ultimately the idea of good food, cold drinks and a unique workforce. While Mellow Mushroom is known for its pizza variety, Ryan says the most popular at this location seems to be Holy Shiitake, an olive oil and garlic base with 90 EXCURSIONS

shiitake, button and Portobelo mushrooms, caramelized onions, mozzarella and MontAmore. It’s finished with a garlic aioli swirl and spritz of black truffle oil and garnished with fresh chives and shaved Parmesan. The wings are also a popular choice at the restaurant—particularly the new “Cloud 9 Wings” which are double baked and coated in a rich garlic parmesan sauce with a hint if heat. They are garnished with grated aged parmesan and chives and served with the traditional wings sides of carrots, celery and ranch or bleu cheese. Salads are a surprise favorite at the restaurant—something Ryan attributes largely to the fact that the corporate office for Mellow Mushroom is always creating and testing new recipes. The salad menu, which ranges from a basic caesar or Greek salad to a bacon and bleu cheese wedge and an Enlightened Spinach Salad, also

features exotic dressings like “Pomegranate Acai” that are sure to delight every dinner at the restaurant. The location, like all Mellow Mushroom locations, is decorated in a unique style, with a nod to the surrounding area’s history, culture or population. For instance, here in the “River City,” the focal point of the funky interior design is a jon boat that hangs overhead and has been converted into a chandelier.

MELLOW MUSHROOM 202 Moulton St E Decatur, AL 35601 256.355.5161 @rivercitymellow See ExcursionsGo.com for more.

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Dine Locally

John Wheat, Owner

Josie's Café Born from Love of Travel, Rock 'n Roll, Good Food, Fine Wines and Great People

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ohn Wheat traveled the world as an audio and video expert for decades— including a trip to Turino, Italy for the Olympics in 2006. It was there that John found his love for wines and Mediterranean food. For years, that meant seeking out new or interesting food options on his travels.

Then, in 2018, John saw the opportunity to bring some of his favorite foods home when a restaurant space that had housed other restaurants went up for sale. After adding his own flair to the space, John opened Josie’s as a Mediterranean restaurant with live music on weekends and a unique menu. The name is as uniquely chosen as the decor, with John’s wife, Christy, suggesting it after she heard the Steely Dan song “Josie” on the radio. “I looked it up and found that it was a French name that Go mobile at ExcursionsGo.com

meant ‘May Jehovah increase’ or, in other words, an addition to your family.” Since Christy already owned Decatur’s legendary restaurant, Simp McGhee’s, the new restaurant would be an addition to the family for the couple. The name is also a variation of the female version of John. So Josie’s was born. An instant favorite in the city, Josie’s is the trendy little sister to Simp’s, with dinner crowds from the restaurant often joining Josie’s regulars for a nightcap. Josie’s has recently revamped the menu, with the help of a new chef. Original menu favorites like the French onion soup and “Josie’s Pasta” (a penne pasta with veggies in a garlic cream sauce and shrimp or chicken added) will remain on the menu, along with the Blanco pizza and Chicken Carbonara pizza with garlic cream sauce that have become favorites and the herb-

roasted salmon with orzo. Open from early afternoon to late in the evening (and sometimes until early in the morning) Josie’s is a must-visit. The Sunday brunch is also a delicious treat “I used to be the guy from out of town who went into the restaurants. Now, I’m the guy who owns the restaurant and people from out of town come into my place,” John said with a laugh. ❖

JOSIE'S CAFE 109 2nd Avenue NE Decatur, AL 35601 256.822.2229 @josies_downtown See ExcursionsGo.com for more.

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photography by KIMBERLY ALLFREY

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PHOTO:

Held annually in early January, The Festival of the Cranes at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge celebrates the annual migration of more than 20,000 Sandhill cranes. Events include viewing the cranes up close, birding workshops and nature walks, kid’s activities, sponsor booths, live raptors, and more.


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