200-year-old Huntsville, Ala., has plenty to do

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- Huntsville marked its bicentennial in August but the town that considers itself the birthplace of Alabama has plenty of attractions to lure visitors year-round.
The city was founded in 1805 by pioneer John Hunt, and in 1819, the leaders of the Alabama Territory met in Huntsville to petition the U.S. Congress for statehood.
Huntsville is also home to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, where you'll find the 363-foot Saturn V rocket, a National Historic Landmark. You can train like an astronaut for a day at "space camp," or admire the 50 models of the Saturn V rocket, each one 6 feet tall, that were decorated by artists as part of the bicentennial celebration. They're on display at the space center through December.
A new park has also opened in Huntsville in honor of the bicentennial, and kids will love playing in the interactive fountain.
Other family-friendly attractions include Sci-Quest, which features interactive science exhibits, and the EarlyWorks Children's Museum, a hands-on history museum at the local Living History Complex, a reconstruction of the town as it existed in 1819.
Music fans will be heading to Huntsville Sept. 23-25 for the Big Spring Jam, which includes performances by Boys II Men and the Black Crowes and is held in Big Spring International Park.
And the Huntsville Botanical Garden is getting ready for Halloween with the Scarecrow Trail and Enchanted Forest.
For more information, go to www.huntsville.org or call (800) 843-0468.

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