Day Trips

You just can’t move to Huntsville without exploring some awesome places in North Alabama that are only an hour or two away. See Water and State Parks for more places.

Ft. Payne, Little River Canyon,
Desoto State Park, and Mentone

An hour-and-a-half drive away from Huntsville is DeKalb County in the northeast corner of the state. It is home to Lookout Mountain and some of the finest natural beauty in Alabama. (This is the same Lookout Mountain that attracts many to Chattanooga.) Little River Canyon National Preserve [MAP] is one of the deepest canyon systems east of the Mississippi. This Preserve is part of the National Park Service. There are hiking opportunities galore, but you can also take in breathtaking views from your car. Inside the Park are Lookout Mountain Parkway [M], Little River Falls [M], and Little River Canyon Rim Parkway [M], full of scenic overlooks. The adjacent Desoto State Park [M] is known for its waterfalls and much more. You can make a weekend of it by staying in one of the cabins or BNBs in nearby Mentone [M], atop Lookout Mountain. You’ll drive through or near Ft. Payne, Alabama [M], nestled at the foot of Lookout Mountain. Historic downtown provides Main Street style shopping with a scenic backdrop. And if you’re a country music fan visit the Alabama Fan Club and Museum [M]. Check out these sites for more things to do in DeKalb County:

The
Shoals

“The Shoals” is a term used to describe the area of NW Alabama that includes the towns of Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. The area is located about an hour and a half west of Huntsville. Most Americans have no idea of the impact that the area has played in America’s music culture. The “Swampers” is a nickname for The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, whose sound was responsible for helping make hit after hit for many artists with household names, especially from the 60’s to the 80’s – The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, The Grateful Dead, Bob Seger, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, and many others. “The Father of Rock and Roll” Sam Phillips – who had the first recording contract for Elvis – was born in Florence as well as W.C. Handy, “The Father of the Blues.” Bono narrated a revealing documentary called Muscle Shoals.

You can tour Fame Studios [M] where it all started, or the nearby Alabama Music Hall of Fame [M], where you can see the memorabilia from many of Alabama’s famous musicians. Or make a day of it and follow this “Music Tour of the Shoals.” 

Florence also hosts the W.C. Handy Music Festival every summer, where you can walk from stage to stage around downtown.

Ivy Green [M] is the birthplace of Helen Keller. Here you can see a play reenacting her life during certain times of the year.

Check out these other helpful sites:

Scottsboro and
Surrounding Areas

Unclaimed Baggage [M] is the nation’s only retailer of lost luggage and one of the state’s top tourist attractions. But there’s so much more to Scottsboro. Thecrazytourist.com points out many worthwhile attractions that it is difficult to add to, except that it doesn’t list Weathington Park [M] in Section, just a short drive up Sand Mountain from Scottsboro. Weathington Park offers a breathtaking view of Lake Guntersville.

Thecrazytrouist.com tells of many other natural attractions near Scottsboro such as waterfalls, caves, and one of the most photographed sinkholes in the country.

Chattanooga

Less than two hours from Huntsville is Chattanooga, TN [M]. Some of its more famous attractions are The Tennessee Aquarium, Rock City, Ruby Falls, and Lookout Mountain. Trip Advisor and visitchattanooga.com list many attractions that make this a worthy day drip or weekend retreat. Combine your trip with white water rafting or kayaking on the Ocoee River [M] for a real adventure!

Go On A Day Trip Near Huntsville, AL and
Enjoy Nature At Its Best!

It’s the perfect opportunity to experience the outdoors with beautiful and mesmerizing scenic locations and attractions near Huntsville.

Natural attractions such as the Little River Canyon or Desoto State Park are some of the most breathtaking views you’d see in your life. With greenery all around and a little river flowing between two mountains, you experience peace away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

With many hiking and exploring opportunities all around you, you and your family can enjoy a drive down to many of these locations or get off and experience them up close.

If you’re looking for a place that offers nature-incorporated activities such as skiing or just want to lay back and enjoy good music and beautiful attractions on your day trips, Huntsville, AL, is the place for you.