Huntsville, Alabama is a perfect place to host the GNU Radio Conference 2019. It has a concentration of Scientists, Engineers, and Technologists who work in a broad range of areas including NASA’s Space Flight programs, Missile Defense, Genetics, and many associated disciplines. In addition, there are plenty of cultural and entertainment attractions.
There is a comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do at Huntsville’s Web Site, but the conference committee would like to make some specific recommendations for our conference.
The conference is taking place at the Huntsville Marriott at the Space & Rocket Center. The Marriott is walking distance from the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center, so you and your family can visit there if you want (and we recommend it).
The overflow hotel is the Drury Inn & Suites Huntsville at the Space & Rocket Center. While this hotel is close to the conference hotel, it is not safe to walk between the hotels due to inadequate pedestrian accomodations and the need to cross the Interstate. The drive time between hotels is about 5-10 minutes.
Camping is available at the Monte Sano state park. This is a lovely campground with pull-through, back-in, and tent camping spaces. There are also cabins available for rental in the park. The drive from the park to the conference hotel is 20-40 minutes, depending on traffic.
Travel To and From Huntsville
Flying in and out of Huntsville Airport (HSV) is often expensive, with limited airline choices.
The carriers available in Huntsville are:
- American Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- United Airlines
- Silver Airways
- Frontier Airlines
If you’re going to rent a car and have the time, you can often save significantly by comparing flights into Nashville, TN (BNA) or Birmingham, AL (BHM). These are each about a two hour drive from the conference hotel. Southwest flies into both of these airports.
Transit within Huntsville
If you don’t have a car, we recommend using ride sharing services or taxis for local transportation.
Route 3 stops at the Marriott at 31 minutes after the hour, and takes an hour to run that route. Tranfers only occur at the transit center, at the other end of the route. The last trip departs that transit center at 5 PM.
Things to see and do near the Conference Hotel
- The Space and Rocket Center
- Bridge Street Town Centre - Shopping, Restaurants, Movie Theatre
- Huntsville Botanical Garden
- The University of Alabama in Huntsville
- The McMillian Park DNA Double Helix Walking Trail
- Indian Creek Greenway is a great place to walk or run
Thursday evening social event
Everyone is welcome to attend the Biergarten at the Space and Rocket Center. This event is open to the public, so bring your family and local friends. Food and beverages are available for purchase. If you purchase a ticket for this as part of your conference registration, it will cover food but not beverages.
“Don’t Miss” things to do a little further away
- Campus 805 is an old middle school which now hosts local crraft breweries, restaurants, and entertainment.
- Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment is the largest privately owned arts facility in the United States. This huge historic factory building has been redeveloped into 148 working studios for over 200 artists and makers, 6 galleries, performance venues, and restaurants. You have never seen anything like it.
- Pizelle’s Confections in Lowe Mill. Get your chocolate fix here.
- The Huntsville Museum of Art
Our favorite local restaurants near the hotel
- VietNamese (Pho): Viet Huong, 930 Old Monrovia Rd NW
- Vietnamese (Banh Mi)(Vegan Options): Viet Cuisine, 210 Jordan Ln NW
- Caribbean (Vegan Options): Mango’s Caribbean Cookhouse, 1426 Paramount Dr
- Mexican Fast: Taqueria El Cazador The taco bus at the corner of 9th St and Governor’s Drive
- Mexican Sitdown (Vegan Options): Phil Sandoval’s
- Diner (Vegan Options): Blue Plate Cafe Crowded during peak hours
- German: Ol Heidelburg
- BBQ: Ted’s
- Indian: Ruchi, 4800 Whitesburg Dr, Huntsville, AL 35801
- Chinese: Ding How II, 4800 Whitesburg Dr (Dim Sum on weekends)
- Korean: I Love Korea, 404 Jordan Ln NW
Meal Delivery to the Hotel
Grubsouth delivers from many local restaurants, including some of the above.
Hotel addresses are:
Mariott: 5 Tranquility Base, Huntsville, AL, 35805
Drury: 93 Wynn Drive NW, Huntsville, AL 35805
Amateur Radio Repeaters
You can almost always find someone on the 146.940 (PL 100.0, -600K offset) repeater, and it’s a great place to ask for directions.
During Emergencies (including severe weather events), the emergency net is active on 146.940, and the weather spotter net is active on 147.220 (PL 136.5, +600K).
Things to do before or after the conference (come early and stay late!)
- There are trails to hike in Monte Sano state park
- The Land Trust also maintains many hiking trails
- The Sipsey Wilderness Area is about 90 minutes from Huntsville and offers hiking and backwoods camping opportunities
- A Bus Tour of Marshall Space Flight Center can be taken from the Space and Rocket Center (U.S. Citizens only)
- Visit and take a tour of Jack Daniels Distillery, about one hour drive each way