I got to spend the most time I’ve ever spent in Huntsville, Alabama this week, and I found several unique places that will keep you entertained on the cheap if you ever find yourself in the fourth largest city in Alabama for any length of time.
The first place Easton and I went was the North Alabama Locomotive Museum. The place is “Open” seven days a week 9-5, but you wont find many people there, not even employees. When Easton and I arrived, the gate was closed and locked to prevent any vehicles from parking in the main lot. Fortunately, they have a small lot accessible from the road with a large tree providing shade from the Alabama hot sun. We were the only people in the park, and got to give ourselves a self guided exploratory tour. This place used to be a botanical nursery and train stop years ago, but has since fallen in disrepair. Now days, it provides a unique place to take pictures, and centerpiece to the few trains that are on display. Although trains are fascinating to view and explore, after checking out what this Museum has to offer, I would say that it being free was the best part!
After the train museum, we made our way to Monte Sano State Park. Because of the gate guard being unattended, we got more free sight seeing! We just arrived when DeeAnn called wanting to meet for lunch, so we didn’t get to explore. To journal our short trip there, we took a couple pictures, and headed out! I saw a nice playground and the Von Braun Astronomical Society building that I wished we had more time to explore. Maybe one day, we’ll be back.
The next place on our tour was Redstone Arsenal. I had hoped to find a special spot to photograph the Tennessee River that you’d only be able to get with a military ID access card. We traveled on base to the Col. Carroll D. Hudson Recreational Complex, and were disappointed. Huge dragonflies and bees had made the kids playground home, preventing Easton from playing, and the river had a concrete wall built all along the access from the complex, which took away the natural beauty of the area. I hope I’ll be able to get a good shot of the river before I leave. The most interesting thing I saw on base was the nuclear fall out shelters everywhere. It was obviously something out of the cold war era that is rusting away.
The last place we went was the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. This place was the best place on our trip to Huntsville! It was Military appreciation week, and again, got in free! It was what they call “Wacky Wednesday” at the gardens, and there were lots of kids! They have the countries largest live butterfly exhibit, and you are allowed to pour nectar on your hands to attract them to hold. It was pretty amazing to see hundreds of butterflies flying about all around while you walk through the arboretum. In addition to the butterfly exhibit, they have a kids water park play area, a pirate ship tree house, and 1/10 scale train that Easton loved watching it go around the bonsai trees and model houses that had been placed around to resemble a small town. Wished we had found this place first, but I guess having the best come last is fitting.
Here are a few pics of our adventures