Things to Do in Huntsville and Decatur

Looking for things to do in Huntsville, Decatur, and the North Alabama area before or after your visit to the Cook Museum? North Alabama is one of the fastest growing areas of the state and it has some of the top tourist attractions in the state, so there’s plenty to do when you come visit!

Here’s a summary of some of the top things to do in Huntsville, Decatur, and North Alabama:

About North Alabama

North Alabama is home to mountains, rivers, valleys, streams, and an abundance of outdoor life. It’s filled with biodiversity in the Tennessee River, on Monte Sano mountain trails, and deep within Cathedral Caverns. You can splash in one of the first wave pools in America at Point Mallard Water Park and see Earth’s largest space museum at U.S. Space and Rocket Center. You’ll never run out of things to do in North Alabama.

About Decatur

Decatur is located next to the beautiful Tennessee River, which is why Decatur is often called the “River City”. Because of its location, there are some incredible outdoor adventure spots in addition to its amazing indoor and outdoor attractions.

About Huntsville

Huntsville has been named of the top places to live in America, it’s growing rapidly, and it’s home to some of the top tourist attractions in the state. Whether you’re traveling through the area on vacation or simply live nearby and want to explore North Alabama and the Huntsville area more, there’s something to do for the whole family.

Top Things To Do in the North Alabama Area

Cook Museum of Natural Science

Kale the Kemp's ridley sea turtle at the Cook Museum

Voted 2021 #1 Best New Museum in the country by USA Today, the Cook Museum of Natural Science is filled with interactive exhibits and live animals that are sure to engage, excite, and educate the entire family. Come make memories, explore, learn about nature, and discover something amazing at the Cook Museum!

Click here to see inside the Cook Museum

Point Mallard Water Park

“Home to America’s First Wave Pool! Waterpark with Olympic pool, a new Lazy River, Double Drop Speed Slides, Squirt Factory, Duck Pond, Slide, Flume Tubes, and sandy beach area. Sprinkled among Point Mallard’s major outdoor facilities are a number of other recreational facilities and activities available for your enjoyment. A large, covered pavilion with restrooms is available for groups of up to 500. The open-air facility is perfect for meal functions, rallies, seminars, meetings, craft exhibitions and church organization activities. Contact group sales coordinator for rental fees and availability.”

Source: Alabama Mountain Lakes

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

Although designated as a waterfowl refuge, Wheeler provides for a wide spectrum of wildlife. Its great diversity of habitat includes deep river channels, tributary creeks, tupelo swamps, open backwater embayments, bottomland hardwoods, pine uplands, and agricultural fields.

Source: Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

U.S. Space and Rocket Center

The U.S. Space and Rocker Center offers the largest space collection on the planet, complete with interactive simulators, blockbuster traveling exhibitions, and a National Historic Landmark Saturn V Rocket-the only one in the world! Soar through space in the National Geographic Theater or enjoy a breathtaking show in our new Intuitive Planetarium. The Rocket Center is also home to the world-renowned Space Camp and Aviation Challenge Camp. View online calendar for daily special activities.

Source: Alabama Mountain Lakes

Huntsville Botanical Gardens

Open year-round, the Huntsville Botanical Garden contains diverse ecosystems to explore within its 112 acres. From grassy meadows to woodland paths, aquatic habitats to stunning floral collections, the Garden invites guests of all ages to discover the beauty and wonder of the natural environment.

Source: Huntsville.org

EarlyWorks Family of Museums

Three museums—one incredible adventure. Visit all three of the unique museums. EarlyWorks – the South’s largest hands-on-history museum.

Source: Alabama Mountain Lakes

Monte Sano State Park

Monte Sano State Park is a 2,140-acre resort atop Monte Sano Mountain. Stunning vistas, mountaintop trails, family picnic areas, and a Japanese garden and teahouse. Offers 14 renovated cabins and 89 campsites.

Source: Alabama Mountain Lakes

Huntsville Museum of Art

The Museum’s 75,034 square foot facility is located in Downtown Huntsville and includes fourteen galleries covering 20,000 square feet. The original building opened in 1998 and housed seven galleries. The Davidson Center for the Arts expansion in 2010 added seven more galleries to the original seven, for a total of the current fourteen galleries. The Stender Family Interactive Galleries includes an Escher-esque color wheel and “A Walk Through Time,” which reveals ancient cultures and art through the ages.

Source: Huntsville Museum of Art

Other things to do in North Alabama

Looking for more to do outside of Decatur and Huntsville? Check out our partners at Alabama Mountain Lakes!