A Main Street City
As the home of Sam Houston State University and the Sam Houston National Forest, Huntsville has something for everyone, whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or just looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Explore the many attractions and hidden gems that make Huntsville a great place to visit. These include:
• The Sam Houston Statue and Visitor Center
No trip to Huntsville is complete without visiting the towering 67-foot-tall statue of Sam Houston, the legendary Texan who played a crucial role in the state’s fight for independence from Mexico. The statue, aptly named “A Tribute to Courage,” is the world’s tallest statue of an American hero and can be found just off Interstate 45. Be sure to stop by the Visitor Center to learn more about the city’s history and browse the gift shop for some unique souvenirs.
• Sam Houston State University
Established in 1879, Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is one of the oldest public institutions of higher learning in Texas. The beautiful campus is a great place to stroll, catch a sporting event, or attend one of the many cultural events and performances hosted by the university. Don’t forget to visit the Gaertner Performing Arts Center, a state-of-the-art facility that hosts various music, dance, and theatre productions.
• Sam Houston Memorial Museum
Delve into the fascinating life of Sam Houston at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. Spread across 15 acres, the museum complex features historic homes, a replica of Houston’s law office, and artifacts that highlight his time as a soldier, statesman, and leader. Be sure to take a guided tour to learn about Houston’s life and his impact on Texas history.
• Huntsville State Park
Nestled in the majestic Sam Houston National Forest, Huntsville State Park offers a serene escape for nature enthusiasts. The park boasts over 21 miles of trails for hiking and biking, as well as the 210-acre Lake Raven for fishing, swimming, and boating. Enjoy a picnic, birdwatching, or simply relax in the peaceful surroundings of this beautiful park.
• Texas Prison Museum
One of Huntsville’s more unique attractions is the Texas Prison Museum, which chronicles the history of the state’s prison system. The museum offers a rare glimpse into the lives of inmates and prison staff through artifacts, exhibits, and stories. The Old Sparky electric chair, used in Texas executions from 1924 to 1964, is one of the museum’s most notorious exhibits.
• Downtown Huntsville
Take a stroll through the picturesque streets of downtown Huntsville, where you’ll find an array of local shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. Don’t miss the beautiful Walker County Courthouse, built in 1918, and the charming Town Theater, which hosts live performances and community events.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning fan, Huntsville is sure to leave a lasting impression.
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