Mustang Driving outside Huntsville

A convertible Mustang isn’t required. You don’t need a Jeep from which you can remove doors, windows and top. But neither would be a bad alternative.

Yes, we should stay at home as much as we can. But gas may never be cheaper, cabin fever may never be worse and the weather is beginning to cooperate. The road beckons – even if it’s just a simple Sunday drive. Along the way, find that mom-and-pop BBQ joint doing curb-side, or slip through the drive-through for a milkshake. Hey, you’ll get back to the gym in a few weeks.

Winding road outside Huntsville

As long as you continue the fight against Covid-19 – social distancing, hand-washing and the like – here are some local road trips to fight restlessness. Load up the car and meander. The 209 square miles of Huntsville – 38th largest area of any city limits in the U.S. – and the environs offer some fun drives.

And we’re offering this bonus: The soundtrack for your drives. Along with suggested routes are some appropriate car tunes from an eclectic group of north Alabama musicians. So, even if you don’t have that convertible Mustang, Sally, you can still listen to it.

Explore Green Mountain 

Rural road outside Huntsville

One of our favorites is to take the Jeep and drive Green Mountain Road from Bailey Cove and up to Madison County Park and back down the other side into Owens Crossroads, finishing up at the Sonic drive-through. The park is temporarily closed, but the Land Trust of North Alabama has a trailhead not far away.

The idea here is to stay in your car, but if you’re compelled to hit the trail, keep your distance and warn other hikers of your presence.

🎵“Alabama Pines” – Jason Isbell

🎵“Happy” – Amy McCarley

🎵“Body and Fender Man” -- Microwave Dave

Drive to Ditto Landing 

Ditto Landing in Huntsville

Ditto Landing continues to be one of our best-kept secrets. It’s a gorgeous place for a sunset, and it’s connected to Huntsville’s elaborate greenway system.

It’s also a perfect place for your case of boater-envy. Landlubbers, console yourself with this ancient philosophy: The two happiest days in a boat-owners life are the day he buys the boat and the day he sells it. Still, wouldn’t you like to find for yourself?

🎵“Tennessee River” – Alabama                                  

🎵“Mustang Sally” – Wilson Pickett, Prattville native backed up by The Swampers from Muscle Shoals

🎵“When a Man Loves a Woman” – Percy Sledge of Leighton

Discover Historic Mooresville

Historic Mooresville, AL

How many times have you passed exit 2 on I-565 but never bothered to turn? The little village of Mooresville, with some gorgeous residences and fascinating traces to the past is worth a look.

Slow down as you pass 1818 Farms, with rolling pastures that are home to dozens of adorably blasé sheep, and make a note to return when all is open for business.

Sheep grazing at 1818 Farms

Hop to the north side of I-565 and the Huntsville-annexed area of Limestone County. See Huntsville’s past and future: the endless fields of cotton and soybean and the rising of the Mazda Toyota plant on Greenbrier.

Whether it’s to the west or north, from Belle Mina to Triana to Grant, from New Hope to Harvest to Elkmont and all these other communities you’ve maybe seen only on weather Maps, there’s no shortage of two-lane roads you can meander on for hours on the outskirts of Huntsville.

🎵 “Hold On” – Alabama Shakes

🎵“Rose in Paradise” – Waylon Jennings, written by Huntsville’s Jim McBride

🎵 “Born To Be Wild” – Steppenwolf, with Huntsville’s Larry Byrom on guitar

Drive Huntsville's Historic Downtown

The Moore-Rhett House in downtown Huntsville, ALThen again, you don’t need to go that far.

Sometimes, we take for granted the places closest to us. For many of us, the streets of Twickenham and Old Town and Five Points are just thoroughfares to get us from Point A to Point B on a work day.

Cruise the neighborhoods slowly. Be mindful of the residents, and especially careful as warm days bring out more cyclists and strollers. Soak up a little bit of history that the beautiful antebellum homes represent.

Home in Five Points Spring

Use the digital walking tours, www.huntsvillehistorytours.org, from your car to enhance the experience.

🎵“Rocket Man” – Paul McDonald, on American Idol

🎵 “Carl Perkins’ Cadillac” – Drive By Truckers, launched in Florence

🎵“Will You Visit Me On Sundays” – Charlie Louvin of Pisgah