Huntsville has plenty of things to do for those of all ages, but sometimes you just want to get out and explore. Luckily, there are tons of day trips from Huntsville that aren’t far away and still offer plenty to do.
I’ve lived in Huntsville all of my life and have made many of these trips myself. However, I am still waiting to cross some off my list in the near future!
I tried to include options for kids, as well as some options for adults. Let’s get into it!
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11 Best Day Trips From Huntsville, Alabama
Cathedral Caverns State Park
Staying with the theme of outdoor activities, the Cathedral Caverns State Park is only 35 minutes outside of Huntsville and the perfect place for a spontaneous day trip from Huntsville.
Like Guntersville, it offers camping, as well as multiple hiking trails, zip lines, geocaching, and mountain biking. Bring the whole family and spend the day tackling all this state park has to offer.
The caverns themselves are breathtaking as well. I went to Cathedral Caverns when I was younger with my dad and it was such a fun experience!
Now, this one may not seem like a day trip with it being relatively close to the area, but from the times I have gone, I can say that for you to enjoy the experience it is a multiple-hour event.
The store hosts special events throughout the year with deals on items. It is truly fascinating to see the types of items people never attempt to get returned to their possession.
The number of cameras, iPads, and designer bags was mind-blowing. If you’ve never been there and you’re looking for a fun day trip from Huntsville, it’s worth the drive.
If you’d like to stay a little closer to home, one of the best day trips from Huntsville is Guntersville Lake. It offers a variety of things to do like camping, hiking, golfing, and of course, the lake itself.
For those who are looking for a fun day trip to take with parents or friends, Guntersville Lake is a great spot. There’s plenty to do for people of all ages that will keep you busy all day long.
Oh, and be sure to stop by City Harbor to grab a bite to eat and walk around!
Jack Daniel’s Distillery
Located in Lynchburg, Tennessee and only an hour and some odd minutes outside of Huntsville is the Jack Daniel’s Distillery.
Now this is one of our best day trips from Huntsville that is geared towards adults and whiskey enthusiasts. If you’ve never been it’s worth the trip, grab a group of friends or family and make a day of it!
Choose from multiple options of tours the distillery offers, each varying in price and experience. The funniest, and tastiest one, is their Flight of Jack Daniel’s, which allows you to try a flight of five different Jack Daniel’s products.
There is no better way to taste and learn about a historic company and it makes for a great day trip from Huntsville!
Moving back into the state for the moment, we are talking about Birmingham, Alabama. An hour and a half to two hours south of Huntsville, this is the place to bring the kids for a day of fun.
For starters, you’ve got The Birmingham Zoo or the McWane Science Center, both are guaranteed to be a fun stop with kids. I’ve been to the science center when I was younger and had a blast playing and learning at all the interactive exhibits.
If you’ve got kids that like LEGOs, then the LEGO exhibit is a must-see and can provide hours of fun!
For adults, there are some great places to shop like The Summit or the Galleria, along with plenty of places to grab a bite to eat!
Another one of the best day trips from Huntsville which is just over an hour and a half away is Chattanooga, Tennessee. This city is one of my favorite places to go with my wife when we want to get away for the day.
If you have kids, the aquarium there is a must-see. For those who love to get out and see more of the scenic side, check out Ruby Falls.
There are also plenty of great places to walk around and explore that will keep you busy for the day!
Roughly an hour and a half away, Nashville, Tennessee is the first stop on our best day trips from Huntsville. With plenty to see and do for all ages, and coming from personal experience, it’s worth the drive.
For the kids, we have the Nashville Zoo and for the adults and country music fans, The Grand Ole Opry and The Ryman Auditorium, are all must-stop places.
Then after a fun day of exploring, head to Downtown Nashville for a huge selection of celebrity restaurants and the amazing Assembly Food Hall.
Alabama Safari Park
Continuing our trek further south, we have the Alabama Safari Park in Hope Hull, Alabama. Almost three hours away, this day trip from Huntsville is worth the drive if you’re an animal lover!
Your admission covers the drive-thru portion as well as the walk-thru area. I pass the sign every time I drive south to visit family and I am looking forward to taking my family there soon, as I have heard this is a great time for all.
A nice reprieve from the typical zoo experience and is a great way to fill up your day with something a bit different!
Now, moving completely out of state and with a longer drive time we have Atlanta, Georgia. It’ll take a little over three hours to get there, but the area has tons to offer for a fun day trip outside of Huntsville.
For starters, the Georgia Aquarium is a must-see! You’ve also got the World of Coca-Cola which is always a fun time.
But Atlanta offers so much more than those two popular destinations, such as the Atlanta Zoo or the Botanical Gardens.
If you’re into sports, Atlanta is home to multiple professional teams like the Braves, Falcons, Hawks, and United FC!
For all my music lovers reading this, another great day trip from Huntsville is to Memphis, Tennessee.
For Elvis fans, please visit Graceland. Fans of Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis fans, visit Sun Records for a tour of where they recorded some of their most famous songs.
Oh, and if you’re a history enthusiast, visit the National Civil Rights Museum. Sports fans, be sure to catch a Memphis Grizzlies game!
Besides all of that, I beg you all to try as much food as you can while there. From the well-known to the hole-in-a-wall joints, your stomach will thank you!
This is one of the longer day trips from Huntsville, but if you don’t mind the drive then Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are great places to visit in Tennessee.
Roughly four hours away, there is so much to do here! Whether you are going for the dinner shows, shopping at The Island, or Dollywood for the day, it’s a great time for all ages.
My wife and I went to Dollywood for the day not too long ago and had a great time! If you don’t mind leaving around 7 AM, you can easily make the drive, enjoy a full day in the park, and get back home around 10 PM.
Hopefully, this list has given you some great ideas for a fun day trip with your spouse or family! If you’ve decided you’d rather stay in town, be sure to check out some of the best date night ideas in Huntsville!
Andrew Smith is the founder of Alabama Explorer. Born and raised in Huntsville, Andrew has spent his whole life in Alabama. He graduated from Auburn University in 2020 and currently lives in Huntsville with his wife and dog Bruce.