Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza

Guys Getaway

Is Huntsville, Alabama a guys’ town?

By Bo Williams

Do you really need to ask when its skyline’s defining feature is the Saturn V, the single most powerful machine ever designed and built?

Yes, you and your buds need to come hang with us in the Rocket City this weekend.

A getaway with the guys often means rugged, outdoor things, so perhaps you’ll want to start with the preserved wilderness maintained by the Land Trust of North Alabama throughout the area. There are over 50 miles of hiking trails to suit any skill level, with beautiful vistas, unusual rock formations, and copious wildlife to welcome you.

(Plus, if anyone on the trip is going to spring “let’s talk about our feelings” or somesuch on you, this is likely to draw him out early. Better here than over beers, man.)

Time for lunch? Huntsville’s own Anaheim Chili isn’t far from several of those marvelous trails. (Got a guy talking smack about all of the hot stuff he can eat? There are some delicious tests here. With ten different house-made chilis available daily, as well as a full menu of wings, burgers, and sandwiches, there’s something for everyone. (And Mr. Smack-Talk needs to try the fatal fries appetizer, with extra dust and a side of the house hot sauce.) Anaheim Chili always keeps several local craft beers on tap, as well.

Explore Harrison Brothers Hardware with your full-bellies Saturday afternoon. The oldest hardware store in Alabama, Harrison Brothers is on the south side of the square in downtown Huntsville. It looks very much as it did at the turn of the 20th century, as many of the store’s original fixtures have been preserved authentically. Harrison Brothers features local art, deluxe housewares, and handcrafted toys, as well as a continual visual feast.

When your stomachs are again growling, Earth and Stone Wood-Fired Pizza awaits. Sharing a common space with Yellowhammer Brewing at Campus No. 805, Earth and Stone prepares handcrafted gourmet pizzas and calzones in their 800º oven. An Earth and Stone pizza with a fine, freshly-dispensed Yellowhammer beer is among the finest gustatory pleasures Huntsville has to offer.

Now, let’s go check out that Saturn V.

The outside display—the one exposed to the elements—is actually a replica. There is a real Saturn V, however—one of only three in the world—housed inside the Davidson Center for Space Exploration, which you’ll see as part of your admission to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

The Center is one of the most comprehensive space museums in the world. Explore authentic artifacts from all phases of the U.S. space program, and learn the stories behind them. You’ll want to make time for a movie in the 67-foot IMAX Spacedome Theater, where thrilling documentaries (and even occasional Hollywood blockbusters like Star Wars: The Force Awakens!) surround you for an immersive experience.

Finally, don’t miss Space Shot, which simulates a rocket launch, followed by a few seconds of weightlessness, and concluding with a drop nearly as intense as the initial shot! (If you want to tease your friends about goofy faces and sounds they make when subjected to extreme forces, this is easily your best opportunity. (Bring your GoPro!)

That’s one strong weekend itinerary, guys. Now, should you want to explore even more options for food, entertainment, or both, the free Rocket City Mom app for your smartphone, developed in partnership with the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, is an invaluable companion.

The great outdoors, a classic hardware merchant, and rockets, all set against a steady diet of gourmet pub food and craft beer? More, please! Huntsville would be proud to have you and your crew for a memorable guys’ getaway.


Lifelong Alabamian Bo Williams has been a professional writer since 1994, a husband since 1997, and a father since 2001. His favorite diversions include polemics, University of Alabama football, Asian cuisines, and breezily pretending the '80s never ended. He is hurt and confused by excessive seriousness, the imminent loss of "literally," and carrot raisin salad. Bo is thankful for God's grace. Keep up with Bo at