Huntsville serves as the set of Bollywood’s biggest film yet.
Film fans, take note: Parts of Bollywood’s biggest and most expensive movie to date, “Zero”, were filmed right here in the USA, in Huntsville, Alabama. Perhaps that’s not too surprising; Alabama’s third-largest city is home to a large Indian American population. Make note of these insider tips for exploring the movie’s filming locations, all while soaking in Huntsville’s rich culture and Southern hospitality.
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
The largest space flight museum in the world holds more than 1,500 artifacts including a real Saturn V rocket; Explorer I, a prototype of the first U.S. satellite; and a rare “full stack” – a space shuttle, external tank and two rocket boosters. You can also walk amid 27 rockets in the rocket garden and experience thrilling space-flight simulations. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is also home to Space Camp, which offers programs for campers of all ages to make make lasting memories, train like an astronaut and reach for the stars.
The ‘full stack,’ including a space shuttle, external tank and two rocket boosters, on display at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center
More than just a pretty backdrop, downtown Huntsville buzzes with activity. Explore various neighborhoods, from Alabama’s largest concentration of pre-Civil War homes in the Twickenham Historic District, to the trendy restaurants of Five Points, to arts and culture at Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment. Stop for a pint at one of seven craft breweries, find unique mementos at locally owned boutiques and watch the local calendar for concerts, festivals and holiday celebrations.
The pretty scene of downtown Huntsville at night
Sit down for a meal of steak and seafood at Grille 29, another “Zero” film site. On the menu: tender filet mignon, jumbo sea scallops and Southern-inspired dishes like shrimp and grits. Reservations are recommended for this popular restaurant. If the weather is nice, enjoy your dinner al fresco on the patio.
Exterior view of Grille 29, one of Huntsville’s most popular restaurants
Huntsville Botanical Garden
Stroll nearly 50 hectares of colorful gardens, tranquil trails and beautiful water features, and you’ll see why Huntsville Botanical Garden is the perfect film setting. The children’s garden is full of whimsical statues, and the seasonal, open-air butterfly house is the largest in the nation. The garden is a delight any time of year, with spring and summer offering flowers in full bloom.
An inviting path to stroll in the Huntsville Botanical Garden
Von Braun Center
Huntsville’s multi-purpose events center has a concert hall, playhouse and sports arena. Get tickets to events ranging from a symphony or Broadway performance to a basketball game or rock concert. The facility’s signature events include the Von Brewski Beer Festival (January), Heads-n-Tails Crawfish Boil (April) and Family Fun Festival & Expo (June).
The Von Braun Center, one of the city’s top events and entertainment venues, at sunset
Hindu Cultural Centre of North Alabama
A temple scene of the movie was filmed at the Hindu Cultural Centre of North Alabama. This religious site holds traditional services and features elaborate statues of deities and the symbolic architecture of centers in India.
The stark white exterior of the Hindu Cultural Centre of North Alabama
Indian Cuisine to Round Out Your Visit
Satisfy your Indian-food cravings at one of Huntsville’s international restaurants. Check out the lunch buffet at Ruchi; South Indian masalas at Saffron Indian Restaurant; and tandoori chicken and garlic naan at Sitar Indian Cuisine. Suraj Imports sells authentic Indian groceries just outside of downtown.
Huntsville International Airport (HSV) offers easy access to the city, with connecting flights and rental cars available from other major airports in the Southeastern USA.