When we stayed in the cabin at the Eagles Nest at High Falls, we made a full weekend roadtrip out of North Alabama and marked some fun stuff off of our bucket list. Here’s a little preview of all the things we did, along with a few other fun events to give you an idea of things to do in north Alabama!
- U.S. Space and Rocket Center- Huntsville, Alabama: Even at five years old, Garrett LOVED visiting the Space and Rocket center in Huntsville. It was jam packed with fun activities for kids who love all things astronaut and aeronautic. He got to do some cool science experiments and meet a real astronaut who told him all about “Mr. Thirsty”(aka how astronauts go to the bathroom) which G found HILARIOUS. This is open year round and it’s not just for Space Camp, if that’s what you’re thinking. This is a must do for anyone visiting North Alabama!
- High Falls State Park: Ever wanted to walk to the edge of a waterfall? At High Falls Park, you can do just that as long as the river isn’t raging! The views and scenery at this off-the-beaten-path park were simply incredible. I am so glad we made a stop by here to see the waterfall and the iron bridge. It’s not very well known, but it was so beautiful!
- Guntersville State Park: I spent many years of my childhood vacationing at Guntersville State Park, so this place holds a special place in my heart. In fact, I lost my first tooth in the blue shag carpeting in one of the hotel rooms there. It was never seen again, so if you visit be sure to look for it! Of course, I’m kidding, because they have totally renovated the lodge since I was flinging my teeth back in the early ’80s. I’m going to just call it and say this is by far THE most beautiful state park that Alabama has to offer. Stunning mountain vistas of beautiful Lake Guntersville, bald eagle awareness weekend retreats and giant rock fireplaces. It’s awesome!
- Bucks Pocket: Right down a little switch-back curvy road from Guntersville State Park is Bucks Pocket, a hidden treasure for camping lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The views from the top of the hiking trail were incredible (I’d love to see it at peak fall leaf change!)
- The Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria: Ok, this sounds weird I know, but it’s true! There are replicas of Columbus’s famous ships that make an annual trek down the Tennessee River, and one of their stops is right in Guntersville. We were able to tour them while they were in town, and Garrett thought this was the coolest thing EVER. I highly recommend taking a peek at their schedule to see if they are parked anywhere near your vacation destination. Kids and adults alike will love to see these beautiful replica ships and pretend to sail the ocean blue in 1492.
- Swann Covered Bridge: There are still a few covered bridges left in Alabama, but Swann Bridge is one of my favorites. Built in 1933, it is currently the longest-existing covered bridge in Alabama and one of the longest in the United States! It’s also located in Cleveland, Alabama, which is where my grandfather was born and raised. So, it’s like a little piece of Unskinny Boppy trivia just waiting to happen.
- Little River Falls: There is a reason they call it Alabama the Beautiful, and this waterfall is right up there at the top of the beauty list! Little River Falls is located near Little River Canyon in Ft. Payne (which is the home of Alabama- the country music guys).
- Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic: This is not a wintertime event, but if you are in North Alabama in the summer it is definitely a MUST see event! Every May about 60+ hot air balloons fill the skies from Point Mallard Park in Decatur, Alabama. You can stand right beside these giant hot air balloons as they are being filled and watch them rise into the sky. It is truly a breathtaking site to behold! Don’t miss this event if you are planning a trip to north Alabama in the early summer!
- Natural Bridge: From their website: “the 148-foot sandstone bridge towers 60 feet above winding pathways and is the longest natural bridge east of the Rockies.” I mean really, who knew Alabama had such natural wonders?
- Coon Dog Cemetery: Yes folks, this is totally a real thing. You just thought it was a fictional place made up for Reese Witherspoon to visit in Sweet Home Alabama, but nope. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. The coon dog cemetery was established in 1937 but it is way off the beaten path. You might need a coon dog just to help you sniff out the road to get there.
Like this post? Check out my other Southern Road Trip Ideas with Kids!