Downtown Tuscumbia, Alabama in the summer. Image credit Luisa P Oswalt via Shutterstock

10 Lovely Small Towns to Visit in Alabama This Summer

Several factors draw tourists curious about exploring Alabama, from its storied Civil Rights legacy and unique historical heritage to exquisite natural beauty and scenic white-sand beaches. Between the mountainous Tennessee Valley to the north and the picturesque Mobile Bay to the south, small towns throughout the Heart of Dixie provide snapshots of Southern culture, hospitality, and charm.

This summer presents the perfect opportunity to discover some of Alabama's hidden gems, from artsy communities in the hills to coastal hamlets offering seafood galore. Uncover lovely small towns to visit in Alabama for a short weekend or month-long vacation, offering a taste of its natural wonders, Southern flavors, and small-town ambiance.

Orange Beach

Aerial view of Perdido Pass, Orange Beach, Alabama.
Overlooking Perdido Pass, Orange Beach, Alabama.

On Alabama's picturesque Gulf Coast, Orange Beach charms travelers with serene beach scenery, flanked by sandy sores and spectacular ocean views. The Wharf is one of the most visited venues in the town, boasting a beautiful waterfront setting with an array of entertainment, from rides and miniature golf to an amphitheater. Orange Beach houses the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, which allows visitors to experience the town's inland beauty on a delightful hiking or biking excursion.

Art enthusiasts can look forward to a great time at the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach. Besides its breathtaking location overlooking Wolf Bay, the magnificent center exhibits pottery, sculptures, and paintings by local artists.


Lake Guntersville at Sunset, Guntersville, Alabama.
Lake Guntersville at sunset, Guntersville, Alabama. Image credit Wileydoc via Shutterstock

If you fancy lakeside escapes with miles of scenic shorelines and a laid-back atmosphere, consider visiting this cozy town in Marshall County. Guntersville provides an exciting mix of outdoor adventures at Lake Guntersville State Park, where recreational activities like swimming, boating, hiking, and camping ensure it is always a bright time in the town. A bustling local art community promises enthusiasts exciting performance art opportunities at the Whole Backstage Theatre. This rustic venue stages various enthralling live shows and is considered North Alabama's longest-operating community theater.

A quick tour of the Guntersville Museum, inside a former military armory, introduces tourists to local history. When you work up an appetite after a long day, remember to sample luscious local dishes at Old Town Stock House, served with refreshing craft cocktails.


Shawmut Historic District in Valley, Alabama.
Shawmut Historic District in Valley, Alabama. Image credit Rivers Langley; SaveRivers, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Valley is a great destination for tourists visiting with family, thanks to its impressive mix of kid-friendly attractions. First-timers can expect fun moments spent with loved ones at Valley Parks & Recreation. The facility delivers fun recreation opportunities for all ages through a variety of public amenities. Valley is less than 30 minutes from Lake Harding, a popular recreation hub that welcomes outdoor lovers to take advantage of its serene setting and indulge in activities like swimming, water skiing, tubing, and kayaking.

A bustling wine and dining scene in the lovely downtown region ensures no empty stomach, with a chance for a delectable dining experience. One of the top-rated eateries in Valley is Dukes Backwater Supper Club, whose welcoming atmosphere complements the tasty flavors.


Historic Butler County Courthouse in Greenville, Alabama.
Historic Butler County Courthouse in Greenville, Alabama. Image credit JNix via

Nicknamed " Camellia City," Greenville presents a wonderful display of the state flower camellia in its beautiful outdoors. It has several lovely nature spots where guests can relax and be close to nature. Beeland Park is perfect for spending time with family and offers a nice playground for kids and quiet trails for adults. If you enjoy golfing, you will have a fun time on the RTJ Golf Trail at Cambrian Ridge, which consists of three championship golf courses surrounded by green landscapes.

For background on the city, vacationers can stop by the Butler County Historical Society. This museum offers a glimpse into local and regional history through fascinating archives and artifacts.

Spanish Fort

Street in Spanish Fort, Alabama.
Downtown Spanish Fort, Alabama. Image credit formulanone from Huntsville, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This adorable community in Baldwin County is a wonderful escape from the busy streets of nearby Mobile. Its relaxed atmosphere features isolated nature spaces where you can unwind by the beach and enjoy the scenery. Many outdoor lovers converge at Meaher State Park to indulge in a range of activities, from camping and picnicking to fishing. The over 1,300-acre park also offers exquisite views of Mobile Bay.

Spanish Fort boasts a rich history that has seen multiple flags fly over its territory. Tourists can get a taste of its past at the Historic Blakeley State Park, which preserves the site of a once-thriving settler community by the river. Culinary enthusiasts will find a delectable dining scene worth sampling in Spanish Fort, especially the delicious seafood at the Bluegill Restaurant.


Downtown Tuscumbia, Alabama, US, featuring shops and restaurants.
Downtown Tuscumbia, Alabama, featuring shops and restaurants. Image credit Luisa P Oswalt via

Tuscumbia is best known as the birthplace of Hellen Keller, who overcame blindness and deafness to become a celebrated author and humanitarian. Naturally, the town celebrates its legendary daughter at the Hellen Keller Birthplace Museum, which visitors can tour to learn about her rich legacy. Incorporated in 1820, Tuscumbia is among the oldest towns to visit in Alabama and hosts several historical markers to show for it. The 1828 Belle Mont Mansion is an excellent example, spotting unique Palladian-style architecture and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Alabama Music Hall of Fame is a must-visit for newcomers in Tuscumbia. This remarkable venue honors the state's musical heritage and the great musicians from Alabama through a range of memorabilia. Tuscumbia's beautiful outdoors is best exemplified by Tuscumbia Spring Park, which has an idyllic environment for relaxing and soaking in its gorgeous artificial waterfall.


Scenic view of the historic downtown of Eufaula.
Scenic view of the historic downtown of Eufaula. Image credit JNix via

Eufaula's bustling tourism industry can be credited to its rich mix of attractions, ranging from historical jewels and endless outdoor adventures to remarkable fishing opportunities. The town's historic district has multiple historic homes displaying old-world architecture. These include the 1884 Shorter Mansion, which spots a Classical Revival-style facade, and the Fendall Museum Hall from 1856, the state's best example of Italianate architecture. The outdoors beckons adventurers to explore a lovely wilderness across Lakepoint State Park. Sitting on the shores of Lake Eufaula, it is a fantastic fishing location dubbed the "Bass Capital of the World."

Before leaving the town, sample some of the best Southern-style dishes in one of its many restaurants. Cajun Corner on Broad stands out for its delicious Cajun flavors, guaranteed to leave your taste buds tantalized.


Aerial view of Fairhope, Alabama.
Overlooking Fairhope, Alabama.

This artsy community on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay promises visitors an unforgettable vacation experience. Its coastal scenery charms newcomers with idyllic open spaces like the Fairhope Municipal Pier. Besides taking in unbeatable vistas of Mobile Bay, guests come here to picnic, swim, and watch different shorebirds. A rich collection of historical sites hints at the colorful heritage the town harbors, and enthusiasts can explore its past with a visit to the Fairhope Museum of History.

Art is a special part of the local community, evidenced by the quaint art galleries showcasing local and regional art. Connoisseurs will be happy exploring the exhibits inside the Eastern Shore Art Center to taste local culture.


Stores in downtown Florence, Alabama.
Stores in downtown Florence, Alabama. Image credit Luisa P Oswalt via

Florence has a long history of being occupied by Native American tribes and played a role in the fate of the Civil War. Unsurprisingly, it preserves a fair share of historical markers as a testament to its rich heritage. Notable among these is the Florence Indian Mound and Museum. This 43-foot-high mound is estimated to date back to 500 BCE, and within it lies a vast collection of primitive items, including pottery, jewelry, and tools. The town's location on the banks of the Tennessee River results in tranquil nature spaces, including McFarland Park, where recreations like swimming, camping, and fishing delight tourists.

If you visit with kids, remember to take them to the Children's Museum of Shoals for a fun learning experience. The lovely facility provides hands-on experience through interactive exhibits focusing on local heritage.

Dauphin Island

A beautiful beach at Dauphin Island.
A beautiful beach at Dauphin Island. Image credit travelview via Shutterstock

Serene and picturesque, Dauphin Island is the ultimate escape for travelers looking to escape the chaotic city life. This lovely Gulf Coast island provides smooth shores with beautiful water views, perfect for quality alone time. The Dauphin Island East End Public Beach best personifies the town's tranquil atmosphere with miles of secluded shoreline and vast blue skies. Nature lovers will be inclined to explore Audubon Bird Sanctuary, which features 164 acres of scenic woodlands with meandering trails offering an opportunity to watch different migratory bird species.

Meanwhile, the Alabama Aquarium is the perfect stop for a family day out. This spectacular facility exhibits four key coastal Alabama habitats and offers an educational experience on local ecology. Finally, remember to sample the local art scene with a tour of the Arts of Dauphin Island.

From the scenic coast to the lush countryside, these sweet towns to visit in Alabama offer a perfect palate of Southern culture, history, nature, and local flair. Whether seeking charming main streets, Civil War heritage sites, pristine parks, or laid-back marinas serving up Gulf seafood, each destination provides unique experiences celebrating the Heart of Dixie's diverse appeal. A summer getaway promises a fun experience with lasting memories, as toasty temperatures and quintessential Southern hospitality expose visitors to the best of small-town vibes.

  1. Home
  2. Places
  3. Cities
  4. 10 Lovely Small Towns to Visit in Alabama This Summer

More in Places