What are your plans for 2024? If they include close-to-home travel, then why not choose a couple of places you’ve never been before but always wanted to see? Alabama offers so many fun, quirky places to visit. This short list is just a sampler of the many must-see attractions around the state.
Everyone has heard of Stonehenge, the prehistoric circular stone monument in England. But have you heard about Bamahenge? George Barber of Elberta commissioned artist Mark Cline to not only build a replica of the mysterious Stonehenge but also to create a huge “Lady in the Bay” in Barber Marina as well as four giant dinosaur sculptures in the woods. How wonderfully weird is that?
As your travel north and south along I-65, there are three stops you shouldn’t miss – each one its own destination. At the Clanton exit, you’ll find Peach Park, which celebrates Alabama’s famous Chilton County peaches. Don’t miss the homemade peach ice cream, peach cobbler and fried peach pies. When you hit Greenville, be sure to stop at Priester’s Pecans, where you can sample every type of pecan you can imagine, shop for gifts and sit in rocking chairs on the big front porch. And in Evergreen, check out the Conecuh Sausage Gift Shop, which carries everything Conecuh so you can stock up.
A statue at the top of a 90-foot waterfall depicts the tragic tale of Noccalula, the daughter of a Native American Indian chief who, rather than marry someone she didn’t love, jumped to her death. Visitors can listen to the rushing water, walk along paved trails or ride an authentic Huntington miniature train – or even stay in the campground along Black Creek Gorge.
The fictional town of Spectre, the brainchild of Alabama’s Daniel Wallace, who wrote the 1998 novel “Big Fish” that was made into a movie of the same name, is basically an abandoned movie set with an assortment of hollow cottages whose only residents are a herd of goats. It’s no wonder Spectre, which is on Jackson Lake Island near Millbrook, is a tourist attraction and popular wedding spot.
The three historic covered bridges in Blount County are a romantic throwback to another time – so much so, in fact, that two of them are now closed to vehicular traffic. The Horton Mill Bridge, originally built in 1894, the Swann Bridge, built around 1933, and circa-1927 Easley Bridge are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Horton Mill and Swann are now closed to traffic, but pedestrians are welcome to walk through all three bridges.