Things to Do in North Alabama

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There is no shortage of things to do in North Alabama. The region is rich in history, natural beauty, commerce, festivals, and so much more. It’s a region that has something for everyone, but you don’t hear it talked about as much as some other areas of the South.

I think that needs to change. With so many opportunities for exploring the great outdoors, getting a look at the region’s past, enjoying great food and music, taking in live music at festivals, and so much more, if North Alabama isn’t on your domestic travel radar, it should be. 

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Opportunities are Everywhere in North Alabama

Opportunities for exploration of all kinds abound in the region, so you’ll find you have no shortage of things to do in North Alabama. From visiting historic recording studios, enjoying the great outdoors, listening to live music, sampling delicious, down-home Southern cooking, attending festivals, and more, there’s something for everyone in the region. North Alabama has a long, rich history of music, science, culture, food, and so much more, and it’s all on full display no matter where you look! 

A great advantage for me, it’s so close to the Chattanooga area.  We are within a few hours to many attractions and cities such as Muscle Shoals, Huntsville, and Cullman.  So many great areas to explore. This also could include those in the Nashville and Atlanta areas.

Things to Do in North Alabama

This area of the South is known for its natural beauty, with gorgeous natural wonders like waterfalls, rivers, creeks, lakes, and caves, all offering a new experience with every step you take and offering a wide variety of things to do for outdoor enthusiasts like hunting, fishing, boating, and hiking, just to name a few. Explore the outdoors in this region, and you’ll find natural wonders like the Dismals Canyon, Natural Bridge, and Cathedral Caverns, all offering a unique natural beauty all their own.

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Cathedral Caverns – photo courtesy of Scott Baker for Alabama Mountain Lakes

In addition to its natural beauty, North Alabama has a rich musical history as well. In fact, it has long been an internationally acclaimed music mecca for artists from all parts of the world and all genres. Home of Muscle Shoals Sound, where chart-toppers like Cher, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, and Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded. In addition to this famous studio, the region is also home to the equally iconic FAME and Cypress Moon Studios. You’ll also be able to experience the world-famous W.C. Handy Music Festival in Florence, Alabama. The fest is named for the musician and composer known as the “Father of the Blues”, W. C. Handy who was born in Florence in 1873. 

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Muscle Shoals – photo courtesy of Scott Baker for Alabama Mountain Lakes

The area is also just as rich in history as it is in music and natural beauty. Combine history and the great outdoors by hiking The Hallelujah Trail, featuring 32 churches over 100 years old, or try the Agriculture Adventure Trail, which celebrates the rich history and culture of farming, which still sustains so much of the region. While in the area, be sure to tour W.C. Handy’s Log House Museum in Lauderdale County, along with sites like the Helen Keller Birthplace, Jesse Owens Museum, and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, to name a few. You’ll also find the U.S. Space and Rocker Center in Huntsville, where the rockets for the Apollo mission were originally developed. 

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Space and Rocket Center

Unique Shopping

Have you ever wondered where all the lost luggage and items from airlines end up?  Right here in North Alabama in Scottsboro and the one of a kind – Unclaimed Baggage.  They even have a museum of the rare items.  Great shopping for everything – jewelry, electronics, luggage, and more…

visit north alabama my home and travels unclaimed baggage


North Alabama is home to a wide variety of festivals that focus on everything from celebrating the blues to enjoying the iconic Southern fruit, the watermelon. There are so many things to see and do at these festivals, and they cover a huge variety of subjects, making them a great way to discover the area’s rich history. 

visit north alabama my home and travels covered bridge
photo courtesy of Scott Baker for Alabama Mountain Lakes

These are just a few of the many festivals you’ll find in North Alabama. From celebrating the cultural heritage of the Native American population to music, food, Christmas lights, and more, you’ll find all sorts of festivals that highlight so many different aspects of life in the region. For a complete list of events, head to the North Alabama events calendar page

Natural Beauty

North Alabama is where the Appalachian Mountain range begins. Deep canyons, rolling terrain, elevation changes, and gorgeous views all mark where the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains being their ascent into the skies. This geography lends itself to interesting hiking and camping options, and you’ll find them across several state parks and preserves in the area. 

The following list highlights a few of the beautiful parks you’ll find in the area, and they’re all linked to their sites so you can learn more about them. 

wheeler state park
Wheeler State Park – photo courtesy of Scott Baker for Alabama Mountain Lakes

North Alabama – Nature, History, The Arts, and More

From the natural beauty of the Dismals Canyons and the many State Parks and Preserves to the rich musical history of the area, great food, historic spots like the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, and so much more, North Alabama is an area as rich and diverse as any in the South. With so many things to do in North Alabama, this region should be at the top of anyone’s list of areas to visit in the Southern United States. Whether you love fun in the sun, listening to live bands, or exploring historic sites and monuments, or you simply want to relax, you’ll find something to suit you in this part of the South. 

Perfect for anytime of the year – great hiking all year long but catch the spectactular colors in the Fall.


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DeSoto Falls – photo courtesy of Freedom Light for Alabama Mountain Lakes
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Waterfall Trail – photo courtesy of Scott Baker for Alabama Mountain Lakes

Have you ever visited this area of Alabama?  What’s your favorite places?

Maybe you will be traveling through North Alabama to the sugar sand beaches of Gulf Shores.

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I’ve included affiliate links to Amazon for you to find some products easier.  I may receive a small commission, but the price is the same for you.  It just helps my blog out.

Happy Travels, 


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  1. I’m always drawn to nature. You had me at creeks and waterfalls. That sounds like the perfect trip. Thank you for sharing so much helpful information.

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