Alabama is known for its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. While popular tourist destinations like Gulf Shores and Birmingham are always worth a visit, the state also offers a wealth of lesser-known but equally fascinating spots. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of Alabama’s hidden gems and provide tips on where to stay, eat, and explore.
- Tuscumbia – This charming small town is home to the famous Ivy Green, the birthplace of Helen Keller. Visitors can tour the house and museum and learn about Keller’s inspiring life story. The town also has a quaint downtown area with shops and restaurants.
Where to stay: ColdWater Inn, a historic hotel with modern amenities.
Where to eat: Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken, a local favorite for Southern comfort food.
- Cheaha Mountain – Alabama’s highest point offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can hike trails that range in difficulty, explore the nearby Cheaha State Park, and even stay in a cozy cabin or lodge.
Where to stay: Cheaha State Park Lodge, which offers comfortable accommodations and a restaurant with breathtaking views.
Where to eat: The Restaurant at Cheaha State Park, which offers Southern-style cuisine and a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains.
- Muscle Shoals – This small town is known for its rich musical history and was the birthplace of the “Muscle Shoals Sound.” Visitors can tour FAME Studios and the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, which have recorded hits by artists like Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones.
Where to stay: Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa, which offers luxurious accommodations and a stunning view of the Tennessee River.
Where to eat: Odette, a trendy restaurant that serves elevated Southern cuisine.
- Little River Canyon – This natural wonder is often overlooked but is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can hike trails, swim in the river, and enjoy breathtaking views of the canyon.
Where to stay: Mentone Inn, a cozy bed and breakfast that’s just a short drive from the canyon.
Where to eat: Wildflower Cafe, a charming spot that serves delicious homemade food.
- Monroeville – This small town is famous for being the hometown of Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Visitors can tour the courthouse that inspired the book’s iconic courtroom scene and learn about Lee’s life and legacy.
Where to stay: Mockingbird Inn and Suites, a hotel with spacious rooms and convenient location.
Where to eat: David’s Catfish House, a local favorite for seafood.
Alabama is full of hidden gems that offer a unique and authentic experience for visitors. From charming small towns to natural wonders and historic landmarks, there’s something for everyone. By exploring these off-the-beaten-path destinations and discovering local hotels, restaurants, and other attractions, visitors can get a true taste of Alabama’s rich culture and hospitality.