American Journeys RV Travel Information
HUNTSVILLE Camping Events Good Food History Museums Shopping Sites Close By Sports/Golf Tips for Travelers For More Info Return to State Index Recommend this site to your RVing friends SIGHT SEEING
With the help of the costumed interpreters, you'll find it easy to step back to the early 19th century, as you tour Alabama's Constitution Village, one block south of the courthouse square, corner of Franklin Street and Gavets Ave, 800-678-1819, closed Sunday & Monday. As you wander the grounds, you'll find six buildings recreating the Federal period, see wonderful antiques, artisans demonstrating their crafts, skilled carpenters building period furniture, a pressman printing copies of the 1819 State Constitution, and the law offices of Clement Comer Clay, who became one of Alabama's earliest governors and senators. You will also get to see how food was prepared during this period, and tour the vegetable and formal gardens on the grounds. Before you leave, you can drop by the Confectionary Shop and also shop for wonderful handcrafted items like those you've watched being made during your tour.
To continue your history tour, you'll want to visit the Church of the Nativity, the Maple Hill Cemetery, and the Twickenham Historic District. As you enter the Church of the Nativity, 208 Eustis at Green, through the courtyard, take note of the iron fence. It was shipped all the way from New York in 1859 when this Episcopal church was built. Inside you will find lovely stained glass windows and a nave that can hold up to 500 worshipers.
If you like researching the history of old graveyards, you'll find plenty to keep you busy at the Maple Hill Cemetery, 203 California Street, 256-535-6485. Started in 1818 this historic site is the final resting place of some of Huntsville's finest including five governors, Confederate Secretary of War, Leroy Pope Walker, architect George Steele, the mother of Tallulah Bankhead, and the soldiers who died during the Civil War occupation of Huntsville.
Before you head out to wander the Twickenham Historic District, make a quick stop at the Tourist Information Center, Von Braun Civic Center, downtown, and pick up a walking map of the area. As you enjoy the beauty of the homes between Courthouse and California Streets, you may wonder how so many of them survived the Civil War. Because Huntsville was captured in 1862, the Union Army took command of many of the stately homes that had belonged to the cotton traders, merchants, bankers, and attorneys who had built here. Though I'm sure at the time this seemed like a catastrophe of the worst sort, this very occupation is what saved these lovely homes from being destroyed.
To jet propel yourself out of your historic time travels, zoom to the US Space and Rocket Center, I-565, exit 15, 256-837-3400. Here you can enjoy hands-on astronaut training exhibits, view actual spacecrafts, and NASA artifacts. You'll also see the Apollo 16 command module, a moon buggy, the Blackbird US Air Force spy plane, and the Pathfinder, which was NASA's full scale 89 ton space shuttle orbiter mock-up. And in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration, you'll find the Saturn V rocket, the MIR: Labs in Space, and a 3D digital theater.
Want to get a feel for what an astronaut experiences? Then hitch a ride on the Journey to Jupiter simulator. Before leaving the rocket park take a look at the 363-foot Apollo Saturn V moon rocket developed right here in Huntsville. You can also hitch a 90 minute-guided ride on the NASA Bus Tour, which will take you onto the Redstone Arsenal, through several laboratories at Marshall Space Flight Center, by rocket test towers, and to Building 4755, which is the testing center of the Space Station. If this has just wetted your appetite for more, the US Space Camp, 800-63 SPACE, does offer a shorter session of their Space Camp geared to kids, for adults.
If all this talk of space travel makes you long for the feel of some good old earth under your feet, head to the Huntsville Botanical Garden, 4747 Bob Wallace Ave, right next to the Space & Rocket Center, 256-830-4447. Here you can explore 35 acres of woodland paths, grassy meadows, and dogwood trails. You'll also find seasonal displays of herb gardens, day lilies, irises, and roses.
ADD YOUR EXPERIENCES Copyright© 1998-2012Wynmor Inc. with all rights reserved. American Journeys Terms & Conditions of Use