Decatur Alabama has earned a few nicknames over time, one of which is "The
River City." This nickname pertains to the fact that the city lies along the
banks of the Tennessee River. In Decatur's early days, the city's rapid growth
was partly fueled by this riverside position. Decatur was once northern Alabama's
prime economic center, though nearby Huntsville
effectively wrestled that designation away from it in the twentieth century.
That's not to say that Decatur fell by the wayside, however. Cargo transit,
high-tech industry, and manufacturing play leading roles in Decatur's modern
day economy, and the city prides itself on economic prosperity, among other
things. Tourism is another industry that is helping Decatur to enjoy a relatively
privileged position, and when you visit this friendly city, you'll also be close
to some of Alabama's other top destinations.
Decatur Alabama is only about 20 miles southwest of Huntsville, where attractions like the US Space and Rocket Center and the Monte Sano State Park offer quite a lot in the way of diversity. In addition to being able to plan day trips to Huntsville when enjoying a Decatur getaway, you can also consider heading to Florence, which lies some 40 miles to the west. Birmingham, which is Alabama's largest city, is only about an hour's drive south, so you can consider heading there as well to see all that it has to offer. While these other Alabama cities are worth visiting, there are many interesting and fun things to do in Decatur Alabama, so you might not find yourself with enough time to go wandering outside of the city.
When planning your trip to Decatur Alabama, you might try to align your visit with one of the city's festivals, which are among the best in the South. One of the top Decatur festivals is the Alabama Jubilee, which is a hot air balloon race that takes place on Memorial Day weekend. Another premier event is the Spirit of America Festival, which is one a free 4th of July festival that is among the largest of its kind in the South. In addition to watching fireworks and celebrating the nation's birthday, this festival also features the Miss Point Mallard Beauty Pageant, which is a teen beauty pageant that serves as a preliminary event for the state's larger pageants. In addition to these fun festivals, Decatur also offers Riverfest. Riverfest takes place at Rhodes Ferry Park, and it sees barbecuers from around America competing to see who can serve up the best barbecue food. This food-oriented festival lasts for two days and takes place in late September. Other festivals and events in Decatur that might interest you include the North Alabama Birding Festival, the Southern Wildlife Festival, the Spirit of America Festival, the Racking Horse World Celebration, and the Battle for Decatur Civil War Reenactment, among others.
Annual festivals and events aren't the only reason to visit Decatur. Outdoor
recreational opportunities abound here, so if you like the great outdoors, you
can add a number of pursuits to your list of things to do in Decatur Alabama.
Fishing and canoeing on the Tennessee River are just some of the things that
you can do when looking to have some outdoor fun here, and if you enjoy birding,
the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge is sure to impress. Camping,
hiking, and biking are just some
of the other things that you can get into here. One of the top places to do
some hiking near Decatur is the Sipsey Wilderness Area and Bankhead National
Forest, which can be found just outside the city. Beautiful canyons and waterfalls
are plentiful in this heavily forested wilderness area, so don't forget to bring
your camera. Should you be seeking other outdoor things to do in Decatur Alabama,
you might head to the Cedar Ridge Golf Course, which is a fairly challenging
18-hole course that is relatively easy on the wallet.
There are too many excellent Decatur Alabama attractions to fully cover in this article, so suffice it to say that you won't be at a loss for things to do. Some of the other top Decatur Alabama attractions include the Old Decatur and Albany Historic Districts, which are home to the largest collection of Victorian homes in the entire state, and the Cook's Natural Science Museum, which doesn't charge an admission price. For fans of the arts, the Carnegie Visual Arts Center is one of the Decatur Alabama attractions that you won't want to miss. It hosts a number of local and traveling art exhibits, and you can also attend art workshops, lectures, classes, and camps here if you are interested. Dining and shopping are just two more fun things to do in Decatur Alabama, so there's truly something for everyone. Book your stay at one of the Decatur Alabama hotels today, and come see why the city calls itself "a Grand City on a Charming Scale."