Tennessee is a haven of natural beauty, but it's not hogging all of the wonder possible. If you hop in your car and over the border into Alabama, you find out that natural gems extend far beyond the state borders. This road trip from Tennessee is only one hour outside of the border and it's well worth your while.
Monte Sano Nature Preserve is home to 1,107 acres of pure bliss. You can pick and choose between over 23 miles of public trails that lead you to waterworks, caves and unimaginable fall foliage and flora. With a cheap $5 entry fee, that little amount of money grants you access to a wealth of nature.
One hike you need to incorporate into your adventure outdoors is Wildflower Trail. The trail sports a plethora of colorful flowers that line mountains, creeks, trails, and waterfalls.
The colors reach their peak in the spring, so if you're looking for a rainbow of colors, mark your calendars for March.
The real show stopper is Three Caves Loop. The former limestone mine, or "cave," is the Red Rocks Amphitheater of the South, as it hosts a variety of performances and events right outside the opening to the cavern.
If you want to get in on this experience, Land Trust of North Alabama hosts a series of concerts during the summer where the walls of the cave are illuminated. The celebration continues outside of music during the festival "Moon Over Three Caves Dance," or yoga classes.
Although you technically can't enter the inside of the cave since 2006, you can explore right outside and above the formation. You'll feel like a tiny ant compared to how massive the structure is.
Monte Sano Nature Preserve
Address: 2442 Bankhead Pkwy NE, Huntsville, AL 35801
Why You Need To Go: This concert hall and event space in the midst of a cave and lush forest is seriously one-in-a-million experience.