Composed of 16 counties, North Alabama is a gem of a vacation spot in the United States with so much to offer visitors. Outdoor recreation abounds with hiking and biking trails, as well as lakes to swim, fish, and boat in. Then there’s the abundance of waterfalls and covered bridges to admire — plus delicious barbecue to indulge in, craft beer to sample, and wineries to visit. And don’t forget about the loads of unique and historic attractions, as well as seasonal festivals and antique shops… truly, there’s something for everyone in North Alabama!
We pulled together six different attractions in North Alabama, some of which are Harvest Hosts, where our members can overnight. But, really this is only the tip of the iceberg. The North Alabama website has lists of things to do, as well as suggested itineraries, so be sure to check it out if you’re planning an RV trip in the Southeast!
Alabama Music Hall of Fame
Did you know Lionel Richie was originally from Alabama? Me either! Learn about famous Alabamians who have made music and otherwise contributed to the state’s rich musical heritage at Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia. The museum honors the Hall of Fame’s annual inductees, as well as many others who have contributed to the tapestry of music in the state.
Harvest Hosts members who have overnighted here note that a highlight is being able to walk through a tour bus of the band Alabama — as well as the large parking lot and level spots to park!
Back Forty Beer Company
Craft beer abounds in North Alabama — so much so, there’s an entire “craft beer trail” you can follow to hit many of them on a little road trip. (Safely! Tap your designated driver.) Back Forty Beer Company is a Harvest Hosts location that’s on the trail. It’s located in a 27,000-square-foot former Sears & Roebuck warehouse in downtown Gadsden, Alabama. Harvest Hosts members rave about the creative beer options (Peanut Butter Porter!), the yummy pub menu, and the down-home southern hospitality.
Tip for Harvest Hosts members: Goat Island Brewing in Cullman is the other Host location on the North Alabama craft beer trail. And if you’re interested in wineries, consider Maraella Winery in Hokes Bluff or Wills Creek Vineyards in Attalla.
Jesse Owens Memorial Park & Museum
Jesse Owens Memorial Park & Museum in Oakville tells the story of an incredible track and field athlete who earned four gold medals in the 1936 Olympic Games — a feat that was an Olympic first at the time. The park is used by the local community with its local baseball and sports fields, picnic tables, and pavilion — also outdoors is a long jump pit, where visitors can test their own jumping skills!
The indoor museum honors Jesse Owens’ legacy as a humanitarian and an athlete with interactive kiosks, a mini-theater, and story galleries. Harvest Hosts members say they appreciate the welcoming and helpful museum staff, as well as hearing cows mooing in the distance while they overnight!
Unclaimed Baggage Center
Ever wonder what happens to the suitcases that people forget to pick up at an airport’s baggage claim? It ends up at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama! Every day, staff members process more than 7,000 items for purchase on the 50,000-square-foot sales floor. There’s clothing, electronics, jewelry, toys, and more — all items that were packed in luggage, but for whatever reason never made its way back to its owner. If you love bargains, you can find some great deals here.
U.S. Space and Rocket Center
The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville has one of the largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia anywhere in the world! You can tour traveling and permanent exhibits inside, and also admire all the shuttles and rockets positioned outdoors (cool photo opps!). There are rotating movies about space in the National Geographic Theater, as well as planetarium shows. And on the weekends, you can even get hands-on astronaut training.
Covered Bridges and Waterfalls
North Alabama is home to some quaint and historic covered bridges, and you can tour a few of them on a covered bridge trail itinerary. There are also some beautiful waterfalls in the area — consider following this fabulous waterfall trail that showcases 13 of them!
Have you traveled to North Alabama? We’d love to hear about your adventures in the comments below!
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