Book a Huntsville vacation and have stars in your eyes while exploring the place that put man on the moon. This 200-year-old city in Northern Alabama – known as Rocket City for its key role in the space race – has an array of attractions that are especially appealing to history buffs and budding astronauts. Cheap hotels in Huntsville mean you can go back in time or up in space without spending a fortune.
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville might be mostly off-limits to the average tourist, but the city's U.S. Space and Rocket Center tells its stories through some 1,500-plus artifacts. Go into space (virtually) with state-of-the-art simulators and IMAX shows; take a bus tour of the nearby Redstone Arsenal (no clearance needed); and see 27 historic missiles and rockets, among them Saturn V, in Rocket Park. Huntsville hotels close to the EarlyWorks Family of Museums are a great choice for families. Take the kids to the Alabama Constitution Village, including the cabinet shop where delegates met in 1819 to make Alabama a state. At the EarlyWorks Children's History Museum, they can play giant instruments, climb in a 46-foot keel boat, and try on 1800's clothing. Chug along to the Huntsville Depot and Museum, a 1860's depot that now tells the stories of the city's railroad history.
As one of Alabama's most prosperous cities, Huntsville has many fine dining options, including restaurants helmed by award-winning chefs. For casual fare, look for cafes and restaurants specializing in Southern comfort food, soul food, and smokehouse barbecue. Any menu offering fried green tomatoes, okra, and hush puppies alongside meats cooked low and slow indicates the real deal. The hub of Huntsville nightlife is the Historic Square District, where a number of lounges, bars and grills, and pubs and taverns radiate from Washington Street.
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