You all know that Huntsville is famous for being an important part of the NASA space program, so almost everyone in the southern states has heard about the “Rocket City”. But there’s far more to Huntsville than all the rocket scientists living here – our little city has lots to see and do, no matter what age you are, or what your interests are.
Here are the top 5 attractions we’d go to see if we were tourists visiting Huntsville for the first time. Some of them you might already know about, but we hope we have a few surprises for you.
Dead Children’s Playground
This is definitely one of the most morbid local attractions we’ve come across, but one we wanted to share with you. Children get bored easily during adult social functions, such as funerals. So, to keep kids occupied at Maple Hill Cemetery somebody built a playground right beside it, which is where you get the name “Dead Children’s Playground”. Is it haunted? There’s dozens of reports of swings moving on their own, and children’s voices calling out when there’s obviously nobody around.
If you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend a few hours of your day you could do far worse than handing over the $12 it costs for a tour of these botanical gardens. The Huntsville Botanical Gardens first opened in 1988, and have been an important attraction in the area since then. There are trails to follow, picnic areas to chill out at, and you have to visit the Damson Aquatic Garden – it’s the ideal place to unwind and get back to your roots. We’re betting there’s a very good chance you’ve never taken a walk through this 12-acre natural wonder, so why not change that today?
Harmony Park Safari
Huntsville has a safari park? Yup, it’s been here for almost 30 years and it’s a whole lot bigger than you might imagine, spanning over 30 acres. The park itself is a looped 2-mile journey where you can drive past the wild and exotic animals which are left to roam freely here. Well, you can’t really drive right past them – you have to stop and feed them, and if you don’t have some treats for them they’ll have absolutely no interest in coming over to poke their head through your window. Food for the animals can be bought when you’re paying for admission, and keep your eyes open for Habib the camel, and a zebra named Tattoo.
First Baptist Church
Why fly halfway around the world to take pictures of Notre Dame Cathedral when you have one of the visual wonders of the world right on your front porch? Down on Governor’s Drive you’ll find a church that looks like it jumped off the pages of a book on European works of art, thanks to the large mosaic of Jesus on the exterior of the building, and the art deco design of those huge illuminated arches. You don’t need to be religious to enjoy the design of this church for what it is – a work of art.
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
No tour of Huntsville can be considered complete without dropping by the U.S. Space & Rocket Centre. If you’ve never taken the time to visit then you’re in for a treat. You can see an original Saturn V rocket – the same ones that put men on the moon. You’re probably thinking “Big deal, a rocket, I’ve seen those before.” Well, this particular rocket is 138-feet tall, and is still the largest chemical rocket ever built by humanity. There’s an IMAX theater here, a climbing wall, and more flight and space simulators than you can shake a large stick at. Don’t forget to try out the Space Shot and G-Force Accelerator attractions – they’re memorable, to say the least.