Alabama is a super unique place to live and is filled with southern culture. I adore our top five largest towns: Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, Mobile, and Tuscaloosa. However, I have a huge appreciation for our smaller towns.

I already feel a part two coming for this must-visit list because there are so many wonderful small towns in Alabama.

My mother’s side of the family calls me a “city” girl because I didn’t grow up on a farm. My hometown of Pompano Beach, Florida, when I was born, had close to 40,000 people, which is pretty small compared to the rest of the state.

I knew my neighbors and which ones had air conditioners (that was a thing back in the day). When the street light turned on, I was home, we knew our postal carrier on a first-name basis, and the high school homecoming parade went in front of my house.

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I’ve lived in Alabama from 1999-2013 and returned in the summer of 2019. This means I have visited many small towns in Alabama.

Here are some of my favorite smaller towns that you should make a point to visit. You will become a fan just like me.

Athens – population 25,992 – Limestone County

Athens offers tons of attractions like the Alabama Veterans Museum, Donnell House, Houston Memorial Library, Newby Gulf Station Museum, and more.  If you want to know what it was like, wayyyy back in the day, be sure to stop at the U.G. White Mercantile Store. They! Sell! Everything!

Bayou La Batre – population 2,543 – Mobile County

Bayou La Batre is known as the Seafood Capital of Alabama. There are tons of great spots to get seafood. My favorite is the Flounder dinner from Catalina Bayou and an Oyster Poboy from the Lighthouse. Also, please do yourself a favor and take a drive down scenic byway 188; it is lined with old oaks that are picture-perfect.

Cullman – population 15,729 – Cullman County

Cullman is packed with many outdoor activities. Some of my favorite attractions are the Ave Maria Grotto, Clarkson Covered Bridge, Depot Park, Smith Farms, the Cullman Railroad Depot, and much more.

Decatur – population 54,478 – Morgan and Limestone Counties

Decatur is your go-to town for festivals. My favorite is the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic. Be sure to check out the Point Mallard Park for tons of fun for the entire family.

Eclectic – population 1,309 – Elmore County

This town has an interesting name because of its founder, Dr. Fielder. He practiced eclectic medicine, which is a derivative of Native American medicine. You should make plans to attend the Alabama Cotton Festival in October.

Eufaula – population 12,065- Barbour County

I can sum up Eufaula in one word, beautiful. A must stop is the Lakepoint Resort State Park.

Marion – population 3,275 – Perry County

Marion is an awesome small town that is located in the Black Belt region of Alabama. If you love military history, this is the town for you. Be sure to stop by the Marion Military Museum.

Mountain Brook – population 20,436 – Jefferson County

The scenic and winding roads of Mountain Brook are clutch. Less than 2 miles from Mountain Brook, you can check out the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham Zoo, and the Cahaba River Walk. Also, great shopping and dining as well in the villages.

Orange Beach – population 6,019 – Baldwin County

Orange Beach is a gem of a town on the Alabama Gulf Coast. There is so much to do in this beach town. Be sure to stop by the Orange Beach Waterfront Park, the Wharf Ferris Wheel, and the Indian & Sea Museum.

Tuscumbia, Alabama – population 8,444 – Colbert County

Tuscumbia makes for a perfect day trip. It has tons of history, attractions, and views. Here are my must-visit stops, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve, Birthplace of Helen Keller, and more. Click here for more attractions.

(Source) Population Data provided by Alabama Demographics. 

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