‘100 Things to Do in Huntsville and North Alabama Before You Die’ ids popular places
MADISON – Connie Pearson can claim first-hand knowledge of the culture in hamlets to cities in her book, “100 Things to Do in Huntsville and North Alabama Before You Die.”
Pearson is lifelong resident of Athens, except for four years as a teaching missionary in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador with her husband, a veterinarian and photographer. The Pearsons have traveled extensively in the United States, Brazil, Guatemala, South Korea, Kenya, Venezuela, Ecuador, England, Ireland and Italy.
Connie Pearson’s latest book, “100 Things to Do in Huntsville and North Alabama Before You Die,” (ISBN 9781681063492) was published by Reedy Press in spring 2022. The document is part travel guide, part history book and part vacation planner, with a taste of food critiques for North Alabama restaurants.
“Visitors to Huntsville, Alabama, may be startled by rocket tests that feel like earthquakes, tornado watches and sweltering summertime humidity, but the northern part of Alabama offers a surprising diversity of attractions to enjoy,” Pearson said.
“I think of myself as a prissy, loquacious, Southern lady – Think ‘Land of Cotton,’ sweet tea, ‘Bless Your Heart,’ squash casserole, ‘I don’t sweat pretty’ kind of Southern lady,” Pearson said about herself.
In “100 Things . . .,” Pearson remembers the destinations of outdoors buffs with descriptions of rivers, mountains and fields for fishing, hiking and camping. Sports fans will learn about golf courses, Trash Pandas baseball at Toyota Field in Madison and Huntsville Havoc hockey champions at Propst Arena in Huntsville.
Her book showcases North Alabama’s topography from caves to wildlife habitats.
Shoppers have an expanse for retail, ranging from upscale showrooms to village shops with quirky merchandise, unusual home decor, antique furniture, vintage clothing and handmade jewelry. Some businesses have survived for generations by selling their own recipe for hamburgers, English toffee, wedding dresses or hardware.
For Madison dining, Pearson relays the history of Main Street Cafe and its evolution from City Hall to a favorite restaurant for lunch/dinner in downtown Madison – complete with two jail cells as dining rooms. Comfortable elegance of Tom Brown’s Restaurant cinches a delectable meal, whether fresh, flown-in seafood or the massive, 38-ounce Tomahawk Steak.
A venerable location for comfort food (if catfish, smoked chicken or juicy ribs are your comfort), Greenbrier Restaurant, usually called ‘The Old Greenbrier, attracted Pearson, particularly for a try at the hushpuppy recipe.
The book contains places to visit in several other cities, including Decatur, Athens, Mentone, Tuscumbia, Cullman, Hartselle and Ardmore. And America’s oldest U.S. Post Office continues to operate in stately Mooresville.