Have you ever heard of Huntsville, Alabama?
Being from Georgia, I am surprised to find out that most people outside of the south haven’t. I also didn’t know a lot about Huntsville before going, but am pleasantly surprised by the amount of things to do here.
Huntsville might be small, but it’s full of culture, food and NASA. I’m serious. Huntsville is not only home to great barbecue, but is also home to Redstone Arsenal, a U.S. Army Base with some of the most intelligent and dedicated people in our country. I was lucky enough to visit this base for a tour that included a miniature version of Oktoberfest with local Alabama beer. There is an annual Oktoberfest on this post as well as many other events that gather local treats for the community within and close by.
I love old spaces that are re-purposed in new ways so I had to check out the Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment complex. It holds 148 working studios as well as a coffee and a tea shop. Piper and Leaf is the tea shop and if you’re anything like me then you need to go here. The tea combinations are lighthearted and flavorful, but being able to drink it out of a giant mason jar might be the best part. If you want something stronger or want something to eat, you should go to Alchemy Lounge. They have healthier items as well as muffins and other sweeter nibbles. By this time, the rest of Lowe Mill should be open so you can walk around and explore the variety of art.
Campus No. 805 is another Huntsville staple. This middle school turned party venue is a great place to hangout after work or on a weekend afternoon. There are two breweries, a speakeasy, pinball arcade, and so much more. If you went to public school, it’ll feel like you’re back there because almost everything was untouched, including the lockers. There are restaurants on property too so there are plenty of options to eat while you drink. Make sure you explore because there are so many hidden gems here you won’t want to miss.
A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard is a unique indoor/outdoor space walking distance to the downtown area of Huntsville. It offers eight different spaces with different themes. Outside the entrance there is [what is believed to be] the largest jukebox in the world. It has a motion sensor and when you walk by it begins to play music that was recorded in Alabama. It’s very impressive and can definitely distract you from actually making it inside. With a constant flow of live music, drinks and good food there are plenty of things to enjoy at the Lumberyard.
You can never have too many coffee shops, which is why I also stopped by Honest Coffee in downtown Huntsville. There are incredible looking pastries here, but there’s also a pretty large menu with all sorts of breakfast items. There are sandwiches, salad and so much more. I got a latte and an acai bowl because it’s healthy and flavorful. There are a few different combinations you can get, but I went for the barista’s favorite.
My visit was short, but I’m already anticipating the next time I can go back and explore more of this surprising town.
If you have tips for more places to get caffeinated or to drink local brews please let me know in the comments! I’d love to try expand my list and try new locations during my next visit.