Learning about Rockets at a Rest Stop in Alabama

Rest stops along the highway not only provide a place to stretch your legs and have a picnic lunch, but they also often have some fun roadside attractions that have something to do with the local area. On my way home from Nashville, I stopped at the Welcome Center just over the Tennessee border in Alabama. This is the first rest stop that you can see before driving into Huntsville, Alabama, where you can visit the US Space and Rocket Center.

At the rest stop, you will find this…

This is the Saturn 1B, a 224-foot rocket that is one of three Saturn rockets that were developed in Huntsville. The Saturn 1B had enough power for orbital missions with the Apollo spacecraft and was the predecessor for the Saturn V, that took American astronauts to the moon.

You can read about the history of the rocket as well as the history of Huntsville’s role in space exploration. I read that you used to be able to walk under the rocket, but now you can’t because there is a chain link fence around it.

Stop by Delicious Baby to see other Photo Friday submissions!  I am also participating in Friday Daydreaming over at R We There Yet.


  1. 1

    Did you visit the US Space and Rocket Center on your trip through Alabama? We lived in Huntsville, at the USSRC Campground when we were full-time RVers. I still see that rocket crossing into Alabama and feel like we’re home. 🙂

    Two weekends ago we drove down so my kids could join their friends for prom and my kids had to get their pictures taken in front of the rocket at the US Space and Rocket Center. I think we’ll be visiting Huntsville for many years. We love it there- and love the rocket!

  2. 2

    I would love to visit this place. I included it in my article of Top 10 Kid-Friendly Roadside Attractions for Family Vacation Critic, because it’s the perfect stop on a road trip!

  3. 3

    I’ve been there! It is definitely one of the most interesting rest stops I’ve been to.

  4. 4

    I love stopping at places where you can actually see something – not like the silly historic markers I keep seeing in Texas where most of the time, there is nothing to see.

  5. 5

    I agree that rest stops are so much more interesting when there is an attraction that peaks the interest of the kids – and learning something without realizing it is a bonus.

  6. 6

    You were so close to me–I live about 45 minutes from the TN-AL border. And funny enough, I’ve never stopped here before!

  7. 7

    I don’t know if I’d have walked under the rocket even if it wasn’t fenced off. Too many Wile E. Coyote visions in my head I guess. Nice to have something other than just a parking lot when you feel like taking a break from driving.

  8. 8

    Seriously? At a rest stop? How cool!!

    Thanks for linking up! Have a great weekend!

  9. 9

    I would be quite startled to see that at a rest stop, I think. Interesting!

  10. 10

    I can remember as a kid stopping every time my family and I drove that way! That was in the early to mid 90s and you could walk under it then! It was the coolest thing ever!


  1. […] Take 65 south out of Nashville and as you approach Huntsville AL make sure and stop to visit the Saturn 1B rocket in the interstate rest area (can't miss it). In Birmingham you can visit Vulcan and make […]