DESTINATIONS: Huntsville, Alabama Is A Real Blast of Southern Hospitality


by Leah O’Donnell, Healthy Planet Lifestyles Editor

Southern hospitality is alive and well in Huntsville, Alabama. My family set out for this incredible destination and visited the US Space & Rocket Center. Huntsville is a great place to go on a family vacation or to stay a few nights in route to a southern beach destination. On our trip, we stayed at the Spring Hill Suites in downtown Huntsville.

This modern, eco-friendly hotel offers delightful accommodations and superior service. Everyone we encountered at the US Space & Rocket Center, Spring Hill Suites Hotel, even at the restaurant, Baumhowers, where we had dinner, truly showed us Southern hospitality at its best. This is a day’s drive worth taking.

The US Space & Rocket Center is awe inspiring. Even the space novice will be engaged. The hands on exhibits allow for visitors to get up close to everything from rockets to real life simulators. Our favorite stop of the day was the Davidson Center for Space Exploration. This giant building houses a fully restored Saturn V rocket, a National Historic Landmark, among other influential artifacts and exhibits. My daughters’ loved that they could climb inside a space command module. The Center offers IMAX films (we viewed the IMAX film, “Space Junk” while visiting), Rocket Park, a 3D Digital Theater, the Space Shuttle Orbiter, planes, rides for all ages including Space Shot – where you go 140 feet up and feel 4 G’s of force, just like an astronaut, plus over 1,500 space exploration artifacts. Visitors will also find different traveling exhibits that change throughout the year. There is something for everyone and every age here.

The US Space & Rocket Center attracts young people from across the world to their Space Camp, Space Academy, and Aviation Challenge. Three programs geared toward giving participants the opportunity to experience astronaut training. The staff at the Center not only goes out of their way to educate, but they inspire the desire for us to continue to learn how to better understand our planet and the universe as a whole. Learn more about their space programs and visiting the US Space & Rocket Center at www.rocketcenter.com or call 1-800-63-SPACE. The Center is located at One Tranquility Base, Huntsville, AL 35805.

After hours and hours of exploring the US Space & Rocket Center, it was time for a little rest and relaxation, which we did at the SpringHill Suites Huntsville Downtown, located at 745 Constellation Place Drive SW, Huntsville, AL 35801. The location of this hotel is just minutes from the Rocket Center and the Bridge Street Town Centre, a treat for all of us who love to shop. The hotel is complete with modern, bright décor and has all the extras included. The lobby is tranquil with a nice dining area, bar, lounge, and a store area. There is an outdoor fireplace with seating for cool nights, a beautiful outdoor pool, a 24-hour fitness center, and a computer/ printer/fax machine for guests to use. Each morning, guests receive complimentary hot breakfast, with lots of tasty choices. This quickly became my daughters’ favorite meal because there was so much to choose from. The guest rooms remind me of a studio apartment, complete with a mini fridge, microwave, wet bar, seating area, and luxurious bedding. Our family of six comfortably shared one suite.

The over the top highlight of our stay at the SpringHill Suites in Huntsville was the service. The hospitality and friendliness of the staff made us feel welcomed. When I asked for a great place to go with kids to dinner, the front desk attendant went out of her way to provide me with several options and “free kids meal” coupons to use at a couple of the places. This particular hotel is also eco-friendly. They use tankless water heaters and offer the option to delay laundry service. They also have used recycled glass counters and table tops. No detail has been forgotten at the SpringHill Suites Huntsville Downtown. Book your stay by calling 256-512-0188.

My family enjoyed one of our best vacations by visiting Huntsville, Alabama. If you are looking for a wonderful vacation spot just a day’s drive away, this is the perfect place for you.