You know what’s better than heading South to the beach in the fall? Heading South AND adding fun stops all along the way.
If you’re used to making the drive down the stretch of the I-65 corridor, you might be asking: “Where can I stop?” We’ll fill you in on unique sights to extend your road trip from Tennessee down to Alabama’s beaches.
Make it an epic beach road trip and add a few of these stops when you head down to Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Known as Rocket City, Huntsville is the site of the world-renown Space and Rocket Center. However, few travelers know that Huntsville has so much more to offer than just that. There are numerous local breweries, mountain hiking trails, like beautiful Monte Sano State Park with gorgeous views in the fall overlooking the city, and memorable places to eat. If you go, don’t miss these distinctive eateries:
- Stovehouse is known as Huntsville’s food garden. It’s a complex of restaurants designed to make you never want to leave. There’s plenty of live music and yard games.
- A.M Booth’s Lumberyard is a popular local spot in town where you can listen to live music, including dueling pianos and local bands. Plan ahead and you can even enjoy dinner on a historic train.
- Campus 808 is another must-see stop with numerous restaurants. Established in an old school building, this preserved campus is quite quirky and will bring you back to your school days. Ask a local diner to show you the hidden speakeasy behind the secret lockers.
Many travelers consider making a stop in Birmingham in order to see its rich history of the Civil Rights movement. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is an important and impactful place to visit and learn from. Other places to stop in Birmingham include a zoo and the 67-acre botanical garden. You can even spend the night in a castle of sorts at the Ross Bridge Resort and Spa.
3. Clanton Peach Park
For a quick stop to stretch your legs and let the kids run around, you may want to check out Peach Park in Clanton. Here, you can buy produce and locally made goods, but also homemade peach ice cream! Many make this stop a sweet family tradition.
After road-tripping from Tennessee to Gulf Shores, no doubt you’ll be craving a heaping helping of fresh seafood. One of our favorite spots to stretch our legs is at LuLu’s. If you arrive before your condo is ready, it’s the perfect spot to spend a couple of hours. There’s plenty for the kids (and kids-at-heart) to do, including sand volleyball, the Mountain of Youth ropes course, and of course feasting on a shrimp po-boy.
After recharging overnight, we love to hit the waterways with a pontoon boat rental in Orange Beach from Flora-Bama Marina & Watersports. For our family, there’s no better way to see the area. Amp up the fun and opt for a boat rental with a slide!