Some folks think the only way to visit Huntsville is in handcuffs with an official escort that definitely ain’t a tour guide... But trust me, visiting Huntsville is not sentenced punishment, but one of the best days in your life!
Sam Houston Memorial Museum
One of the reasons Huntsville is famous is because of General Sam Houston, arguably the greatest Texan to ever live. General Sam lived in Huntsville on multiple occasions and the best place in Texas to learn about his life is the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, which is full of artifacts and lessons on every chapter of his life. Behind the museum sits the Woodland home that Houston built and where he raised his family. Also on site is the Steamboat House where Houston died.
Giant Sam Houston Statue
You say “hello” to a Texas-sized Sam at the Visitor’s Center, or pay your respects to the great General Houston’s grave in the Oakwood Cemetery.
Texas Prison Museum
Huntsville is also famous for the being the home of the Texas Prison System. The Huntsville Unit (aka “Walls Unit”) was the first state penitentiary in Texas and sits just blocks from the Walker County Courthouse. Take a stroll around its towering wall or get a glimpse beyond the wall at the Texas Prison Museum to learn all about the current and past Texas Prison System. Among its many interesting artifacts is “Old Sparky” – Texas’s only electric chair used to execute 361 inmates when in commission here in Huntsville.
If you are hungry and want to stick with the prison theme, head to Mr. Hamburger, which has been opened since 1959, for a “Warden” burger with grilled onions and mushrooms, or even an “Ol Sparky” complete with “Texas in July” sauce.
For barbecue, head to New Zion Missionary Baptist Church BBQ, or “Church BBQ” for short. This Baptist church just happens to sell some of the finest BBQ in the Pineywoods (and not to mention sweet potato pie), but it’s only open Thurs-Sat.
Huntsville State Park
If you are craving the outdoors, look no further than Huntsville State Park for a swim, a place to fish or a hike — just keep your eyes peeled for the park’s resident alligators.
The Blue Lagoon
For SCUBA diving in some of the most turquoise waters north of Cancun, take a dip in The Blue Lagoon. And if you aren’t SCUBA certified, they also allow swimming based on capacity, so call ahead.