Top Things to Do in Decatur, Alabama

If you are driving through Northern Alabama, find out why Decatur, Alabama is worth a detour stop.

Located conveniently off Interstate 65 along the Tennesse River, Decatur is known as the River City. It’s also the perfect halfway stop from Cincinnati to Gulf Shores.

My dad and I stopped in Decatur on the way to and on the way back from, the Gulf. It was a great way to break up the drive and create additional memories along the way.

I’m sharing more about the top things to do in Decatur, Alabama during a visit.

Top Things to Do in Decatur, Alabama

This article is written in partnership with Decatur Morgan County Tourism. This article contains affiliate links.

Nedra McDaniel trying Electric Trail Boarding at GoFAR USA Park

Outdoor Adventure for All Ages at GoFar USA Park

895 S. Bethel Rd, Decatur, Alabama

I can’t say enough great things about this place. GoFAR USA Park is FUN for both kids and kids at heart. GoFAR USA Park provides hours of outdoor adventures and activities for all age levels.

USMC Obstacle Course at GoFAR USA Park

Some of the highlights are the zipline, off-road electric scooters, paintball target range, human foosball court, obstacle course, and more.

kids at paintball shooting range at GoFAR USA Park

I love the energy of the owners and their passion to create unique experiences and challenges for their guests to connect with the outdoors.

Natural playscape GoFar USA Park

This is a great place to burn off energy and make memories together. There are both age-appropriate sections for younger kids and multi-gen activities that can be enjoyed together.

Cook Museum of Natural Science

Hands-on Learning at Cook Museum of Natural Science

133 4th Ave. NE, Decatur, AL

(There is a free parking lot for visitors located adjacent to the museum.)

The Cook Museum of Natural Science truly exceeded my expectations in the best way!

exhibit at Cook Museum of Natural Science

The 62,000 sq ft museum is filled with lots of great hands-on exhibits that are fun for all ages.

kinetic sand table at Cook Museum of Natural Science

Make sure that you check out the kinetic sand table that allows you to change the landscape display. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and so fun to play with, even as an adult.

cave exhibit at Cook Museum of Natural Science

The Immersive Cave experience at the museum reminded me of the cave exhibit at the Museum of Natural History & Science inside the Cincinnati Museum Center.

Caves in this exhibit are recreated to look like caves that you will find specifically in Alabama. This area is also wheelchair accessible allowing guests of all abilities to join in the adventure.

In the Forest section of the museum, you can take the stairs or climb up the giant tree from the inside.

climb Big Tree at Cook Museum of Natural Science
squirrel's nest at Cook Museum of Natural Science

Once you are at the top of the tree exhibit, admire the view from above at the squirrel’s nest connected by a swinging bridge.

sea turtle at aquarium at Cook Museum of Natural Science

Live Animals at the Cook Museum of Natural Science

You can also see live animals on display at the museum including turtles, snakes, jellyfish, baby alligators, and fresh fish.

aquarium at Cook Museum of Natural Science

I loved getting up close to the sea turtle and the jellyfish on display at the 15,000 sq ft saltwater aquarium located within the museum.

Little Larve section at Cook Museum of Natural Science

Younger kids will enjoy playing at the Little Larvae section within the Wonderful World of Insects exhibit.

exhibit at Cook Museum of Natural Science

You’ll definitely want to allow for a few hours to try to see and experience everything at the museum.

nature's table at Cook Museum of Natural Science

If you want a healthy meal or smoothie make sure that you stop by the Nature’s Table Cafe located near the entrance within the museum.

Reeves Peach Farm

Fresh From the Farm at Reeves Peach Farm       

447 AL-36 Hartselle, AL

If you want to enjoy fresh produce straight from the source, stop by Reeves Peach Farm. In addition to fresh peaches, Reeves has strawberries that you can pick from around mid-April to mid-June and seasonal produce.

Peach trees at Reeves Peach Farm

Of course, the main star of the farm is the peach. Reeves Peach Farm can harvest peaches for 15 continuous weeks.

They harvest each peach variety over a 7-10 day period starting at the beginning of June and ending mid-August.

ice cream at Reeves Peach Farm

If you aren’t there in time for their peach season you can still pick up a variety of goods including peach ice cream, ciders, wine, salsa, and more.

salsa at Reeves Peach Farm

Additional produce includes:

  •  Plums
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupes
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash
  • Sweet corn and more
Point Mallard Walking Trails

Hike Along the Banks of the Tennesse River at Point Mallard Park

2901 Point Mallard Dr. SE, Decatur, AL

During our visit, we walked along the 3-mile hiking/biking trails. We enjoyed both the wooded views and views of the Tennessee River.

Point Mallard Walking Trails

In the summer months, visitors can cool off at the Point Mallard Waterpark. The 35-acre waterpark is home to America’s first Wave Pool and also has a lazy river, kids area, water slides, and a sandy beach area.

alligator sign at Point Mallard Walking Trails

Additional Amenities / Things to Do at Point Mallard Park

  • Picnic at the large covered pavilion with restrooms or other picnic areas
  • Three fenced and lighted baseball fields (Bill . Dukes Athletic Complex)
  • Sand Volleyball
  • Open-air prayer chapel
  • Bank fishing along the Tennessee River
  • Golf Driving Range at The Strike Zone
  • Basketball courts, weight room, game room, and racquetball court at T.C. Almon Center
  • 12 championship hard tennis courts, 4 championship clay courts, and two indoor hard courts at Jimmy John’s Tennis Center
  • Outdoor stage and 10-acre facility with fields (Ronald Reagan Spirit of America Fields)
  • Campground
boardwalk trail at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

Look for Cranes at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

3121 Visitor Center Rd., Decatur, AL

If you want to see migratory birds, this 35,000-acre refuge along 20 miles of each side of the Tennessee River is the spot!

trail at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

In the winter, over 20,000 Sandhill cranes and 20+ Whooping cranes can be found at the Refuge.

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is home to the Festival of the Crane each year in January, drawing visitors from all over the country.

The refuge is home to 295 species of birds and 30 species of waterfowl.

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

Nature Trails at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

There are 5 nature trails at the refuge that are as short as 200 yards and as long as 2.5 miles.

  • Wildlife Observation Building (200 yards – 5 minutes)
  • Atkeson Cypress Trail (.3 miles – 15 minutes)
  • Beaverdam Swamp Boardwalk (1 mile – 30 minutes)
  • Flint Creek Trail (1.5 miles – 1 hour)
  • Dancy Bottoms Trail (2.5 miles round trip – 1-2 hours)
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

Inside the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center you’ll find the following:

  • Restrooms
  • Orientation film
  • Information desk
  • Hunting permits
  • Exhibit hall
  • Nature store
  • Wildlife observation building, and two short nature trails. 
  • America The Beautiful Federal Recreation Passes are sold here (cash only) 
colorful horse mural on the The MoCo Mural Trail

Go Mural Spotting on The MoCo Mural Trail

I’m always on the lookout for street art whenever I visit a city. You can discover more of Decatur by visiting the 15 murals located throughout Morgan County on the MoCo Mural Trail.

man in front of angel wing mural on the The MoCo Mural Trail
219 Second Avenue SE, Decatur, AL

Decatur also has bragging rights as the location of the first set of Kelsey Montague wings in the state of Alabama.

“What Lifts You” wing murals by artist Kelsey Montague have been seen in cities all over the world, including Nashville and Batesville.

Heron Today, Gone Tomorrow is located at 903 6th Avenue NE in Decatur, Alabama
“Heron Today, Gone Tomorrow” by Chandler Hayes is located at 903 6th Avenue NE in Decatur, Alabama.
Bee Kind Decatur is located at the corner of Oak and Lee Street 207 Oak Street N.E. in Decatur, Alabama
“Bee Kind Decatur” is located at 207 Oak Street N.E. in Decatur, Alabama.
MoCo Mural Trail

How to Sign Up for the MoCo Mural Trail Mobile Passport

  1. Sign up for the MoCo Mural Trail online with your email and phone number (you don’t need to download an app)
  2. The link will be sent to your email and as a text. Just click on the link and you will have the address, directions, and more information about each mural.
Carnegie Visual Arts Center

Admire Art at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center

207 Church St NE, Decatur, AL

You can view rotating exhibits throughout the year at Carnegie Visual Arts Center in a building that dates back to 1904.

Carnegie Visual Arts Center

Admission to view the exhibits at Carnegie Visual Arts Center is free and donations are welcome.

Carnegie Visual Arts Center

The Carnegie Visual Arts Center is open to the public Tuesday – Friday from 10am- 5pm and Saturday from 10am -2 pm. Evenings and weekends are by appointment.

Princess Theater in Decatur Alabama

Step Back in History at The Princess Theatre, Which is Part of the Old Decatur and Albany Historic Walking Tour 

112 2nd Avenue NE, Decatur, AL

map of Alabama on the floor at Princess Theatre in Decatur AL

Architecture fans will love the art deco style featured throughout the building. The colorful two-story neon marquee is an icon in the city.

view from stage at Princess Theatre in Decatur AL

What started as a livery stable in 1887 has evolved into a beloved theatre that has transitioned from the era of silent films to modern-day films.

view from balcony at Princess Theatre in Decatur AL

The theatre has gone through major renovations over the years and is used as a performing arts center featuring concerts, movies, dance, and theater acts.

theater love seats at Princess Theater in Decatur Alabama

The loveseat chairs located throughout the theater are definitely a unique find. The size of the loveseat also gives perspective to how the seat sizes have changed over the years.

Listening Room at the Princess Theatre

On the 2nd Thursday each month, you can listen to Singer/Songwriters in a more intimate setting at the Princess Theatre’s Singer/Songwriter Listening Room!

The Old State Bank in Decatur AL

Take a Guided Tour of The Old State Bank

952 Bank St NE, Decatur, AL

Learn more about the history of the area within the historic building dating back to 1833 on a guided tour.

If you like historic homes, make sure that you also visit The Old Decatur & Albany Historic Districts of Decatur. They have the largest concentration of Victorian-era craftsmen & bungalow homes in Alabama.

The Old State Bank in Decatur AL

During the tour, you can see a replica of the teller’s cages and the original walk-in vault.

The Old State Bank in Decatur AL

On the second floor, you’ll see antiques and furniture from the 1830s that will give you an idea of what life was like in the early Tennessee Valley during that time. 

A Few Fun Facts About Old State Bank

  • Alabama’s oldest standing bank building
  • Listed on the National Register of Historic Places 
  • Old Bank served as a Union Army hospital during the Civil War
  • In its first year of operation, the bank reported a profit of $84,028.22
  • The building was originally designed to serve as both a business and a residence 
  • It took less than a year to build for under $10,000 featuring both Federal and Greek Revival architectural styles
  • First National Bank of Decatur occupied the space from 1881-1902 after the Civil War
  • The building still has scars from skirmishes fought nearby dating back to the Civil War and was one of the few buildings to survive the town’s destruction

Tour Hours


  • 9:30am
  • 10:00am
  • 10:30am
  • 11:00am
  • 11:30am 
The Old State Bank in Decatur AL

The Old State Bank is a popular location for special events and photos.

outside The Historic Depot & Railroad Museum Decatur AL

The Historic Depot & Railroad Museum

701 Railroad St NW, Decatur, AL

The passenger depot was built by Southern Railway in 1905 and was used by two railroads, Nashville and Louisville.

Tour Times


  • 1:30 p.m.
  • 2:00 p.m.
  • 2:30 p.m.
  • 3:00 p.m.
  • 3:30 p.m.

Additional hours are available by request in advance.

memorabilia at The Historic Depot & Railroad Museum

There was already a railroad history in the area with the first railroad west of the Allegheny, (Tuscumbia, Courtland, and Decatur Railroad) dating back to the 1830s.

Tour groups are encouraged to make advance reservations for their visit to the building by calling 256-341-4818.

model train display at The Historic Depot & Railroad Museum

View the model train display and memorabilia from the depot’s history over the years.

train passing The Historic Depot & Railroad Museum Decatur AL

During your visit, you may even luck out and see a real train pass by the depot.

Manna House Hydroponic Gardens

Science Meets Indoor Gardening at Manna House Hydroponic Gardens

747 Fields Rd, Laceys Spring, AL

Manna House Hydroponic Gardens’ “Fields of Green” is a great stop for educational groups, gardeners, and anyone who appreciates creative ways to use science to think outside the box.

lettuce at Manna House Hydroponic Gardens

Each week Manna House Hydroponic Gardens produces 1500 quality lettuce stalks. The produce from the indoor garden is used for local businesses and 10% of each harvest is given back to the community to help those in need.

 Manna House Hydroponic Gardens
Manna House Hydroponic Gardens

During the tour, you’ll learn how the hydroponic garden operates within the 15,000 sq. ft warehouse using nutrient-rich water instead of soil to grow plants indoors year-round.

 lettuce from Manna House Hydroponic Gardens

The tour needs to be scheduled in advance and also includes a take-home Ziploc bag of lettuce.

Piper and Leaf Tea Co

Tour and Tasting at Piper and Leaf Tea Co

997 Heart of Dixie Hwy, Laceys Spring, AL

You’ll never look at a tea bag the same way again after a tour and tasting at Piper and Leaf Tea Co.

loose leaf tea at Piper and Leaf Tea Co

During the guided tour you’ll learn more about the process and passion that goes into blending and creating artisan tea.

tea at Piper and Leaf Tea Co

The quality of the tea and the blends are essential for optimal flavors with ingredients sourced by local farmers and producers.

loose leaf tea at Piper and Leaf Tea Co

Piper and Leaf Tea Co is a family-owned and operated company that blends and packages its teas onsite.

Piper and Leaf Tea Co

After learning about tea blending, production, & shipping, the best part is of course is the tea tasting! 

tea at Piper and Leaf Tea Co

Did you know that you need to add more tea NOT more time for stronger tea?

A longer time makes tea taste bitter…that explains a lot. MIND BLOWN!

loose leaf tea at Piper and Leaf Tea Co

Make sure that you stock up on your favorite flavors in the gift shop before you go.

Morgan County Archives

Dive into More History at Morgan County Archives

624 Bank St NE, Decatur, AL 

The Morgan County Archives has records that date back to 1819.

Morgan County Archives

Many of the county’s citizens have donated photographs, documents, artifacts, and personal papers for the public to be able to view.

Morgan County Archives

Exhibits include information on the county’s role in the Civil War, a tribute to the county’s veterans, and images from a trial in 1933 of Hayward Patterson who was known as one of theScottsville Boys.”

Take the self-guided Civil War Walking Tour to dive deeper into Decatur’s history which covers Old Decatur and New Albany Historic District.

Decatur has two historic downtown districts within relatively close proximity, Old Decatur (formerly Confederate) and New Albany Historic (formerly Union).

exhibit at Morgan County Archives

I was pretty excited to see a tie to Cincinnati native, Eva A. Young Sterrs, was the first and only female in Decatur to own and operate a newspaper called “The Guardian” that circulated from 1910- 1917.

Morgan County Archives

History buffs could easily spend hours here pouring through the public records that give you great insight into genealogy and an assortment of documents from significant times in history.

statue at Morgan County Veterans Memorial

Honor Courageous Heros at Morgan County Veterans Memorial

895 S Bethel Rd, Decatur, AL

The Morgan County Veterans Memorial honors men and women from each branch of the US military and their families.

plane at Morgan County Veterans Memorial
tank at Morgan County Veterans Memorial
helicopter at Morgan County Veterans Memorial

There is also a military plane, tank, and helicopter on display nearby that you can get a closer look at that makes you appreciate the bravery and sacrifice of our service men and women even more.

view of train bridge from Rhodes Ferry Park

Scenic Views of the Tennesee River at Rhodes Ferry Park

100 Market St NW, Decatur, AL

The park is named after Dr. Henry W Rhodes who operated a ferry in the 1810s that crossed the Tennessee River to its current location.

Rhodes Ferry Park

Rhodes Ferry Landing was what the city of Decatur was initially known as.

Rhodes Ferry Park

You can watch the trains pass across the Tennesse River on the train bridge, let the kids burn off some energy on the playground, or walk along the path.

Cherokee Trail of Tears Sign at Rhodes Ferry Park

The landing also has a sad history for its role in the Cherokee Trail of Tears as tribes were forced from their homelands and passed through Decatur on their way to Oklahoma.

English Toffee at Morgan Price Candy Company

Stop in for a Sweet Treat at Morgan Price Candy Company

1735 6th Ave SE, Decatur, AL

Enjoy small-batch specialty candy that’s still made the old-fashioned way.

candy at Morgan Price Candy Company

Morgan Price Candy Company is most known for its English Toffee, peanut brittle, and dark chocolate-dipped cherries.

truffles at Morgan Price Candy Company

There are about 30 types of gourmet candies at Morgan Price Candy Company.

gift sets at Morgan Price Candy Company

They also have candy baskets, boxes, and gift sets ready to go for that special person or occasion.

Bank Street Shopping District

Shop Local in Downtown Decatur and Hartsell

The Bank Street Shopping District is located a short walk from The Old State Bank.

Shops on 2nd Avenue Decatur AL

The 2nd Ave Shopping District on 2nd Avenue is another popular location for shops and restaurants.

Shops on 2nd Avenue Decatur AL

Shops on 2nd Avenue has 39 unique shops under one roof from local and regional artisans featuring art, jewelry, home decor, gifts, and more.

I also recommend checking out the shops Absaroka and Ottis & Kate located next to each other.

Popular Festivals and Annual Events in Decatur, AL

How Far is Decatur From Huntsville, Alabama?

Decatur, Alabama is around 30 minutes from Huntsville, Alabama.

How to Save on Your Stay in Decatur, AL

Click on the map above to compare prices on hotels and vacation rentals near Decatur, AL.

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