Many visitors don't realize that Alabama is home to an entirely different state within a state. The Alabama Mountain region, nestled at the base of the Appalachian foothills, is decidedly different in climate and geography in comparison to the rest of Alabama.
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To observe the natural beauty of this region, visitors should linger at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. Home to the largest seasonal butterfly house in the nation, extensive gardens and even a waterfall, this destination is definitely worth the trip. Season in and season out, there are always events happening here—a Festival of Flowers in the spring as well as a crowd-pleasing Gallery of Lights in November and December—which may explain why the Huntsville Botanical Gardens receives approximately 250,000 visitors annually, making it one of the most sought after attractions in the state.
For anyone who has dreamed of walking on the moon, Alabama offers the next best thing—the largest space exploration museum in the world. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, has over 1,500 artifacts from NASA's many space shuttle missions. It is also home to the world-renowned Space Camp, where hundreds of children and adults come each year to get hands-on astronaut training.