The First Baptist Church on Governor's Drive in Huntsville features a space needle-type bell tower and a spacey mosaic of Christ. Venice has St. Mark's, London has St. Paul's, Paris has Notre Dame, and Huntsville has...First Baptist.
For information about the artwork, visit:
Big Spring International Park is a nice location for a stroll. Pick up a box lunch at one of the local restaurants and enjoy a picnic on one of the park's well-shaded benches. June through September, you can also enjoy a "Concert in the Park" series in this location.
The museum's website states that "American art, with a major emphasis on Southern art, is the core focus of the Huntsville Museum of Art’s (HMA) collection. [....] The Museum has also made efforts to acquire works with special meaning for Huntsville’s large scientific community, such as Warhol’s 'Moonwalk' portfolio, and a group of watercolors of Huntsville and Marshall Space Flight Center painted by Renato Moncini when he worked as a NASA illustrator for the Apollo Program."
The Japanese Bridge and the cherry tree in Big Spring International Park were gifts from Mikio Kimata, a retired general of the Japanese Self Defense Forces, to commemorate the US Bicentennial and to recognize "cooperation in the Japanese Air Defense Missile Programs" by "the city of Huntsville, Madison County, and the US Army."
Ever since early childhood, I've been fascinated with space, rockets, airplanes, submarines, and the like. Visiting this place was a kind of wish fulfillment.
The rockets, missiles, and equipment is all here. That includes not only the space rockets, but also US Army anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, a Lockheed SR-71 reconnaissance plane, and a full-size replica of the Space Shuttle. Of course, the first thing you'll see is the giant Saturn V rocket--used in the Apollo lunar missions.
Less well-known than the Space and Rocket Center, the Botanical Gardens are just as worthy of a visit. This is a beautiful spot, a quiet place of contemplation, and a place to enjoy nature.
There are thousands of different plants in this 112-acre park. There is also a nice little gift shop, a small cafe, a butterfly house, an outdoor pavilion, and meeting halls. The nature trails are gorgeous. If you enjoyed the National Arboretum, Kew Gardens, or other green places, then check this one out.
1930's Mansion turned museum. The rich of Huntsville built mansions on the top of Monte Sano to escape the summer heat and also malaria and yellow fever. This mansion is preserved on the highest spot of of the mountain.
The Saturn IB Launch Vehicle is on display at the AL Visitor Welcome Center, I-65 southbound from Nashville. Due to it's proximity to the NASA Space Center (Space Camp), this display is representative of Alabama's contributions to the U.S. Space program. It is free to view, and a nice break from a road trip.
The Welcome center also has maps and flyers from various Alabama cities for attractions and lodging throughout the state.
Downtown Huntsville has a nice green zone, called Big Spring Park. A natural spring has bubbled up here since time immemorial, attracting the Indians and settlers. In 1823, Big Spring was used to create one of the first water works in the US. Nearby, Indian Creek Canal was completed in 1831, to link the town to the Tennessee River.
The von Braun Center, a major convention and performing arts arena, stands at one end of the park. Close by is the Huntsville Art Museum.
Reality. That's what you see at Marshall. TV pictures of the International Space Station can give you the feeling that it's all some kind of Hollywood production. When you can see the Station sections under construction with your own eyes, the feeling is entirely different. Even the picture you see here is not as good as being there. I can't remember which sections these are (they all have names) but I know they were about ready for transport to Florida to be sent up to orbit.
Tour the Space Center and the museum. There is a lot to see and things to learn.
If you are interested in the space program and the technology that it takes to keep the space shuttles flying and put the space station in orbit,you will really enjoy this place.
The Burritt Museum and State Park
The view of Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley that you get from here is quite nice! the perfect place to catch a glimpse of what Alabama must have been like a century ago. There are historic log structures, set up to look like they were in 1850. There are also guides who are dressed like the people dressed 150 years ago. Its an unique opportunity to see what the fabled American South lived like. Also to be seen here are some lovely mountain springs, that run into the Tennessee River Valley and the 1840 Big Cove Turnpike. This is the site of the Confederate surrender in Madison County in 1865, towards the close of the American Civil War.
Less known than the Kennedy Space Center, Huntville's Space and Rocket Center has more to offer than a launch pad. Aside the classic outdoor collection of missiles and rockets, the museum and its attractions are really worthwhile for the space enthusiast. Take the time to enjoy the movie experience in the Spacedome IMAX theatre.
An eclectic art district of sorts, packed into a historic 3 story former textile factory. Well worth checking out for the artisitcally inclined, those favoring arts and crafts, or anyone looking to browse for handmade trinkets or homemade treats. (Or perhaps you'd be interested in setting up your own table to showcase your wares.) Their hours are: Wed & Thurs 12 - 6pm, Fri 12 - 8 pm, and Sat 12 - 6pm.
The Huntsville Space and Rocket center is a museum centered around Huntsville's contribution to Space Exploration and Rocketry. In addition to the massive Saturn V Rockets and the Space Shuttle, you will see significant exhibits on the Army's Rocket research at nearby Redstone Arsenal.
When I first visited Huntsville as a child with my father I was amazed. I recently took my son and the Museum is so much larger. The indoor exhibits are great including the sectioned Saturn V Rocket. There is an IMAX and several different Space Camps offered for children of all ages.