Flights to Huntsville
The fourth largest city in Alabama, Huntsville is not readily known as a tourist destination except by those who are interested in aviation. Huntsville actually has a surprising number of museums though, and these, along with its history, make this an attractive place to visit.
Although named an international airport Huntsville International Airport (airport code: HSV) does not have any direct flights from outside of the United States. From South Africa all flights to Huntsville will be either one or two stops. Delta Air Lines flies via Atlanta from Johannesburg, and United Airlines flies via Washington DC. South African Airways also offers one stop flights to Huntsville, or Virgin Atlantic has two stop flights. The airport is situated 24 kilometres (15 miles) west of the city.
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The Tourist Attractions in Huntsville:
Nicknamed the Rocket City Huntsville grew quickly during the 1950’s and 1960’s, playing an important role in the space race for the United States. NASA opened the Marshall Space Flight Center and still today there are defence and aerospace companies here such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
United States Space and Rocket Center
Close by to the Marshall Space Flight Center is this museum that’s a must visit for anyone interested in space flight and rockets. There are over 1,500 permanent exhibits here connected to space in some way or other, and the Rocket Park section of the museum is very popular.
EarlyWorks Museum Complex
The earlier history of Huntsville can be experienced at the EarlyWorks Museum Complex that consists of three historical museums. Alabama Constitution Village is the first. This is where Alabama joined the Constitution of the United States in 1819. The Historic Huntsville Depot dates from the mid 1800’s and was a railroad dept that doubled as a Civil War prison, whilst any children in your family will enjoy visiting the EarlyWorks Children’s History Museum, the largest of its kind in the South, containing lots of hands on exhibits.
Historical Attractions in Huntsville
In addition to the three museums above, Huntsville is really quite rich in historical attractions. Visitors can see an 1850’s antebellum house in the Madison area, called the Clay House Museum. There is the oldest continuously running hardware store in Alabama; Harrison Brothers Hardware was founded in 1879, and for a multitude of historical buildings visit Huntsville’s two historic districts, Twickenham Historic District and Five Points Historic District.
Huntsville Botanical Garden
For a change from all the buildings and museums visit the Huntsville Botanical Garden. This beautiful garden covers 110 acres and includes woodlands and ponds, plus the country’s largest Butterfly House.
There are numerous other open and green spaces within Huntsville too. The Green Mountain Nature Trail takes walkers around a small lake on a mile long hike, or there are 14 miles (22.4km) of trails to discover at the Monte Sano State Park. Hays Nature Preserve and Goldsmith Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest city owned park in Huntsville.
When Should You Visit?:
Mild temperatures can usually be found in Huntsville throughout the year. Being in the south of the USA the city has a humid subtropical climate which means summers are long, hot and humid with temperatures peaking in July and August at around 32C (89F). Visitors looking for less humidity and cooler temperatures will find spring and autumn a good time to visit. Winters are mild with limited snowfall usually occurring most years.