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North Alabama Blog

North Alabama is full of adventure! If you love food, we've got it. If you love festivals, we've got them. If you love the outdoors, we've got plenty of places to explore. Whatever you love, we're sure to have something for you. Check out our blog posts, and you'll see what we mean.

Author: Melea Hames

A 1995 Auburn University graduate, Melea is the Social Media Manager for Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association. She started at AMLA in 2010 after teaching middle school English for three years. Prior to that she worked in public relations for an advertising agency in Atlanta, a minor league baseball team in Columbus, Georgia, and for Auburn University. She loves to travel, go to Auburn games, and she just became a foster mom.

Haunted North Alabama

Thursday, October 3, 2019 by Melea Hames

There are so many reasons to love October: cooler weather, leaves changing, and all things haunted. Check out these cool - and maybe a little bit scary - haunted events all over north Alabama.

Athens Haunts Walk

In celebration of Halloween, Athens-Limestone County Tourism is offering haunted walking tours next month giving visitors and locals a chance to explore the town by night. Held every

October has a different feel to it: crisp air, colorful foliage, pumpkins, festivals, and the list goes on. It also has a spooky edge to it as well, and there are several haunted walking tours across the region that tell of the paranormal activity in north Alabama.

Anne of Green Gables said, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." So are we, Anne.

Here are several North Alabama

There are two months in the year when festivals are the most popular in North Alabama. One is May because it’s finally warming up. September is the other because it is finally cooling down. As the temps dip down below scorching, make plans to attend some or all of these fun North Alabama festivals to celebrate the arrival of fall.

Oka Kapassa: Return to Coldwater Festival in Tuscumbia – September

Kayaking in North Alabama

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 by Melea Hames

Kayaking is a fun way to be in nature and get some exercise at the same time. Check out all the kayaking opportunities in north Alabama.

Lower Bear Creek Canoe Trail

The Lower Bear Creek Canoe Trail is the lower portion of Bear Creek at Red Bay down to Pickwick Lake. This 35-mile stretch offers a serene trip, except in flood stage, and is suited for the beginning canoeist. Canoeing on Bear Creek

What better way to beat the heat than taking a dip in a cool pool or rushing down a slippery water slide? Here's a list of some of the best places in north Alabama to swim, but make sure to lather up with sunscreen first!

Go for a swim at DeSoto State Park’s swimming pool. (photo credit: DeSoto State Park)

DeSoto State Park pool

Spend the day at the day use area at Joe Wheeler State Park

joe wheeler state park day use area

Get some sun on the beach at

Free Parks in North Alabama

Thursday, June 13, 2019 by Melea Hames

Ah, there is no better place to go relax, play, walk, or have a picnic than a beautiful park! There's many tranquil parks all over north Alabama, but here are some parks that are absolutely free to go to. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the afternoon!

Big Spring Park in Huntsville

Big Spring Park is nestled in downtown Huntsville in between the Huntsville Museum of Art, the VBC, and the downtown

Summer is here! And before long the kids will be saying they’re bored. Maybe you need a weekend getaway just the two of you or a girls weekend. Whatever the case, we’ve got the perfect list to keep y'all busy all summer long.

spring valley beach

If you love the outdoors…

1. Have a blast in America’s first wave pool at Point Mallard Waterpark in Decatur
2. Go for a swim at Red Bay Waterpark and Guin Waterpark
3. Ride

May Festivals in North Alabama

Saturday, April 20, 2019 by Melea Hames

May is a fantastic month for festivals in north Alabama! From balloons to barbeque and catfish to coal, there's street festivals and a small-town celebrations that are sure to be a fun time for you and your friends or you and your family.

Downtown Gadsden First Friday – May 3 - 6pm-9pm

Broad Street will be closed from 1st-7th Streets starting at 4pm and will reopen after the event. Classic cars

April means spring is here and trees are blooming and the weather is warming up, which makes it a perfect month for guided walking tours all over north Alabama. Check out the list of walking tours and go explore and learn more about the history of several towns in north Alabama. Tours are free to the public.

Athens Saturday Walks

Athens tour options are unique - offering a choice from multiple

Spring Festivals in North Alabama

Monday, February 25, 2019 by Melea Hames

In the South, everything is cause for a celebration. We celebrate art, barbeque, catfish, flowers, music, people; you name it! And with spring approaching, warmer weather means that people are getting back outside to enjoy the outdoors, and what better way to do so than at an annual festival. North Alabama is a special place with many unique festivals.

Jerry Brown Arts Festival in Hamilton

March 2-3

A must see for this spring is Hamilton’s highly acclaimed art festival where one-of-a-kind creations and masterpieces from juried artists from across the Southeast will be on display. Now in its seventeenth year and designated an official Alabama Bicentennial event, the Jerry Brown Arts Festival (JBAF) is set for March 2-3, 2019, and confirmed for this year’s event are over 60 artists from Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina and South Carolina who will be creating and demonstrating throughout the weekend.

Jerry Brown Arts Festival_Hamilton_Alabama_Jerry Brown.JPG

First Fridays Florence

March 1

First Fridays Downtown Florence is now entering its 13th year of bringing together people of all ages for a music, art and cultural celebration. In 2018, festivalgoers can expect to see some of their favorites, including the pumpkin drop in the fall in the center of Court Street and Mobile Plaza and the popular antique and vintage car shows. This year will also have special events and themes to correspond with the state of Alabama’s Bicentennial Celebration. Hours are 5 to 8 p.m. and admission is free. The event will go on rain or shine. Parking is available on surrounding streets and in the City of Florence public parking garage (behind Ricatoni’s Restaurant).