Network with tourism professionals from the society’s 13-state region
The Southeast Tourism Society Domestic Showcase is the premier event for group tour operators and Southeastern suppliers to connect one-on-one and build destination awareness for the Southern region. This year’s conference will be held at Von Braun Center in the lively city of Huntsville, Alabama from April 17-20, 2023. Past attendees to this conference include Xpedition Travel, Southern Escape Tours, Star Destinations, and others.
This unique opportunity to network with tourism professionals from the society’s 13-state region and Washington D.C. – set in a city brimming with adventure, natural beauty, and rich history – makes this an opportunity you don’t want to miss. Registration for Buyers opens on September 15, 2022.
Sweet Home Huntsville, Alabama
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is Earth’s largest space museum, hosting one of the largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia anywhere in the world. This highly interactive museum is full of interactive adventures that put you in the moon boots of the brave men and women who have ventured out into the final frontier.
At the Space and Rocket Center, you can tour one of three existing Saturn V Rockets, train like an astronaut in their G-Force Accelerator or SCUBA underwater training session, or see one of their many films that explore topics from Sounds of Space to Asteroid Quest.
The museum also hosts special events. This includes Cocktails and Cosmos at INTUITIVE Planetarium on Friday nights, where you’ll be taken on a guided exploration of the cosmos, and Astronomy for All on the first Saturday of every month, a crash course in astronomy for all ages.
Huntsville Botanical Garden
Open year-round, the Huntsville Botanic Garden preserves the diverse ecosystem of Alabama within its 118 acres. The Garden invites guests to explore all the beauty and wonder of its grassy meadows, woodland paths, aquatic habitats and stunning floral collections. During your visit to the Botanic Garden in April, you can expect to see spring in full bloom, including the distinctly Southern azaleas, geraniums, and gardenia flowers in their full glory.
The garden has plenty to explore every season, with additional events, exhibits and programs hosted throughout the year.
The heart of Rocket City is in downtown Huntsville. Food, art, and culture are brought together in a mixture that is truly unique to Alabama’s biggest city.
To explore the city’s history, Big Spring International Park is a great place to start. Encompassing the original water source that the city was built around and expansive green spaces, this park is used year-round by community members for gatherings and events. It’s also home to the Huntsville Museum of Art and the Von Braun Center concert hall.
For a more in-depth exploration of history, the city offers free guided history tours in April and October. Spaces Sculpture Trail is a self-guided tour of 39 large-scale public art installations all around the city.
Huntsville has plenty of appetite-appeasing cuisine for both adventurous and tame eaters. For Southern classics, give Dickey’s Barbeque Pit, Agave & Rye, or Connors Steak & Seafood a try. The city is also home to a number of global and fusion restaurants: Maki Fresh, Big Oh’s and Neon Lilly For a more curated culinary experience, the city offers craft beer, cocktail and coffee trails, made up of unique locations that are hometown classics.
Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment
Lowe Mill is a repurposed mill and factory transformed into an art and studio facility. More than 200 artists in 150 studios create unique and stunning art pieces in every medium imaginable in this facility. Open year-round Wednesday through Friday afternoon, and daily on Saturdays, exploring the Mill is the perfect activity for when you have a few hours to spare during the Showcase. Multiple studios specialize in culinary arts, and their creations are available for your purchase (and your enjoyment).
Burritt on the Mountain
The best view of Huntsville is found at Burritt on the Mountain, located a short drive from downtown. From the summit of Roundtop Mountain, visitors get a panoramic view of the city along its hiking trails. These trails connect the mountaintop to nearby Madison Land Conservation Trust and Monte Sano State Park.
Burritt is also a historical landmark, home to Dr William Henry Burritt’s unique mansion, preserved in its original 1938 design. The Historic Park on the mountain consists of 6 authentic 19th-century homes, a blacksmith shop, a barnyard, and a host of interpreters in authentic period dress ready to answer any questions.
Alabama Constitution Hall Historic Park & Museum
For a glimpse into the past, the Alabama Constitution Village is a unique open-air museum that has preserved 8 buildings from 1819. Among these preserved locations are a cabinetmaker’s shop, print shop, library, post office, and the location in which the 1819 Constitutional Convention was held.
Visitors can visit the area on their own time, or schedule a 90-minute tour led by guides dressed in period-accurate costumes.
For more about Huntsville, the Rocket City.
By Isabella Wilkes