15 Things To Do In Decatur AL

15 Things To Do In Decatur AL Alabama

Nestled on the banks of the Tennessee River, Decatur, Alabama, is a city where history, nature, and vibrant cultural life intertwine to create a unique Southern experience. Often overshadowed by larger cities, Decatur offers a blend of activities that can satisfy the curiosity of history buffs, nature lovers, and those seeking to immerse themselves in local culture and community. This guide aims to unveil the hidden gems and less-explored avenues that make Decatur a destination worth visiting. From culinary delights and scenic beauty to enriching historical and cultural experiences, let’s explore top things to do in Decatur AL Alabama, a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

Things To Do In Decatur AL Alabama

  1. Delve into History at the Old State Bank

The Old State Bank in Decatur is not just a building; it’s a portal into the past. Built in 1833, it has withstood the Civil War, economic booms, and busts, serving various roles from a bank to a hospital. Today, it stands as a museum showcasing Decatur’s rich history through artifacts, documents, and stories of its resilience and transformation. A visit here is a journey through time, offering insights into the architectural, economic, and social threads that weave the fabric of Decatur’s history.

  1. Explore the Great Outdoors at Point Mallard Park

Point Mallard Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and families looking for a day of fun and relaxation. This sprawling park features a water park, ice skating rink, golf course, hiking trails, and campgrounds. The water park, famous for its wave pool, slides, and lazy river, is a refreshing escape during the hot Alabama summers. The park’s trails and green spaces offer a peaceful retreat into nature, while the golf course and ice rink provide year-round entertainment. Point Mallard is a testament to Decatur’s commitment to outdoor recreation and family-friendly fun.

  1. Uncover Local Artistry at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center

The Carnegie Visual Arts Center, housed in a beautifully restored Carnegie Library, is a cultural gem in Decatur. It showcases an impressive range of artwork, from traditional to contemporary, featuring local, regional, and national artists. The center not only displays diverse art forms but also hosts workshops, classes, and events that engage the community and foster a deeper appreciation for the arts. Whether you’re an art aficionado or a curious visitor, the Carnegie Visual Arts Center offers a vibrant space to explore creativity and innovation.

  1. Engage with Nature at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

Spanning over 35,000 acres, the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is a sanctuary for wildlife and a paradise for nature lovers. The refuge provides a habitat for a wide array of species, including migratory birds, which makes it a prime spot for bird watching, especially during the winter months when thousands of sandhill cranes and other birds take refuge here. Hiking trails, fishing spots, and canoeing opportunities abound, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of Alabama’s natural landscapes. The refuge’s Visitor Center offers educational displays and programs, making it an enriching experience for all ages.

  1. Step Back in Time at Cook’s Natural Science Museum

Cook’s Natural Science Museum offers an educational adventure for visitors interested in the wonders of natural science. With an array of exhibits featuring minerals, fossils, marine life, and exotic insects, the museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the natural world. Interactive displays and educational programs make learning fun for children and adults alike, emphasizing the importance of conservation and the understanding of our natural environment. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to spark or nurture a curiosity about the sciences.

  1. Savor the Flavors at the Decatur Farmers Market

The Decatur Farmers Market is a celebration of local agriculture and craftsmanship, where visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant community spirit of Decatur. Offering a wide variety of fresh, locally-sourced produce, handmade goods, and gourmet treats, the market is a must-visit for foodies and anyone interested in supporting local farmers and artisans. Beyond shopping, the market hosts cooking demonstrations, live music, and family-friendly activities, making every visit a new experience. Exploring the stalls, you’ll not only find delicious ingredients for your next meal but also connect with the heart and soul of Decatur’s culinary scene.

  1. Discover Innovation at the Cook Museum of Natural Science

The Cook Museum of Natural Science goes beyond traditional museum exhibits to offer a hands-on, interactive learning experience that captivates visitors of all ages. With state-of-the-art exhibits on topics ranging from the wonders of the North Alabama ecosystems to the intricate worlds of insects and underwater life, the museum inspires curiosity and a deeper appreciation for the natural world. Its immersive environments, such as the recreated cave system and the live animal habitats, offer unique opportunities to learn about and engage with nature in ways that are both educational and entertaining.

  1. Enjoy the Scenic Beauty of the Tennessee River

The Tennessee River, a defining natural landmark of Decatur, offers endless opportunities for recreation and relaxation. One of the best ways to experience its beauty is by taking a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the Decatur Riverwalk. This picturesque pathway offers stunning views of the river, especially at sunset, and connects several of the city’s parks and recreational areas. For the more adventurous, kayaking and boating on the river provide a thrilling perspective of Decatur’s scenic landscapes and wildlife. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or an active adventure, the Tennessee River is a vital part of the Decatur experience.

  1. Catch a Show at the Princess Theatre

The Princess Theatre, a historic gem in the heart of Decatur, is the city’s premier destination for live entertainment. From captivating theatre productions and concerts to film screenings and comedy shows, the Princess Theatre offers a diverse lineup of cultural events throughout the year. The beautifully restored 1920s interior, with its ornate decor and intimate setting, transports audiences back in time, making every performance an unforgettable experience. Supporting the arts at the Princess Theatre is not just a night out; it’s a way to connect with Decatur’s vibrant cultural community.

  1. Learn Local Lore at the Morgan County Archives

For those intrigued by history and genealogy, the Morgan County Archives is an invaluable resource. Housing an extensive collection of historical documents, photographs, and artifacts, the archives offer a deep dive into the heritage of Decatur and Morgan County. Researchers and casual visitors alike can explore family histories, historic maps, and records that trace the evolution of the area. The friendly staff are eager to assist, making the archives a welcoming place for anyone looking to uncover the stories and legacies that have shaped Decatur.

  1. Revel in the Arts at the Decatur Arts Festival

The Decatur Arts Festival is a vibrant celebration of the arts, bringing together artists, musicians, and craftsmen from across the region. Held annually, this festival transforms the streets of Decatur into a lively outdoor gallery where visitors can admire and purchase a wide range of artworks. From live painting and sculpture to photography and handcrafted jewelry, the festival showcases the creativity and talent of the art community. Alongside the visual arts, the festival features performances, workshops, and food vendors, making it a must-attend event for art lovers and families.

  1. Adventure Awaits at the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Adventure Park

For those seeking a blend of education and excitement, the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Adventure Park offers an unforgettable experience. This unique attraction within the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge combines the thrill of zip lines, rope courses, and climbing walls with the educational value of the refuge’s natural habitats. It’s an excellent way for visitors of all ages to challenge themselves physically while learning about conservation efforts and the importance of protecting natural habitats. The adventure park makes for a perfect day out, encouraging active engagement with nature and wildlife.

  1. Experience Local History at the Decatur Historic Depot & Railroad Museum

The Decatur Historic Depot & Railroad Museum is a nod to the city’s significant railway heritage. Located in the beautifully restored 1905 train depot, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the era when railroads were the lifeblood of America’s economy and movement. Exhibits include historic photographs, artifacts, and model trains that tell the story of Decatur’s development and the role of railways in connecting communities across the country. This museum is a treasure trove for history buffs and train enthusiasts alike, providing insight into the technological and social impacts of rail transport.

  1. Indulge in Culinary Delights at Local Eateries

No visit to Decatur is complete without indulging in the local culinary scene. The city boasts a variety of dining options, from traditional Southern comfort food to innovative cuisine that showcases local ingredients. Explore the downtown area to find quaint cafes, bustling bistros, and fine dining establishments where you can sample everything from hearty barbecue to gourmet dishes. Don’t miss the chance to taste local specialties like Alabama white sauce on smoked chicken, a Decatur invention that has gained nationwide fame. Dining in Decatur is an opportunity to savor the flavors that define the region’s culinary landscape.

  1. Unwind at the Delano Park and Rose Garden

Delano Park, one of Decatur’s oldest and most cherished public spaces, offers a peaceful escape with its lush landscapes, winding pathways, and the enchanting Rose Garden. This historic park, established in the late 19th century, invites visitors to unwind among its verdant lawns, mature trees, and colorful flower beds. The Rose Garden, in particular, is a highlight, featuring a stunning array of roses that bloom in a riot of colors and fragrances. Delano Park is not just a place to relax; it’s a venue for community events, making it a lively center for recreation and socializing in Decatur.


In conclusion, Decatur, Alabama, is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. From its deep historical roots to its vibrant cultural scene, outdoor adventures, and culinary delights, Decatur offers a unique blend of activities that cater to every interest and age group. Whether you’re meandering through the local farmers market, exploring the natural beauty of the Tennessee River, soaking in the arts at the Princess Theatre, or delving into the past at the Morgan County Archives, you’ll find that Decatur is a city that welcomes all with open arms and endless possibilities.

Each visit uncovers something new, making Decatur not just a place to go, but a place to return to, time and time again. It’s clear that the heart of Alabama beats strong in Decatur, inviting travelers to become part of its ongoing story, one memorable experience at a time.

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