Discovering Decatur, Alabama: Top 5 Attractions and Things to Do



Nestled in the heart of North Alabama, Decatur offers visitors a charming blend of Southern hospitality, rich history, and scenic beauty. From historic landmarks to outdoor adventures, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this vibrant city. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or foodie, Decatur has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll explore the top five attractions and activities that make Decatur a must-visit destination.

  1. Point Mallard Park:

One of Decatur’s premier attractions, Point Mallard Park offers a wealth of recreational activities for visitors of all ages. Take a dip in the Olympic-sized wave pool, cool off at the splash pad, or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the walking trails. Outdoor enthusiasts can rent paddleboats or kayaks to explore the scenic waters of the Tennessee River, while families can enjoy picnicking and playing on the playgrounds. With its beautiful natural surroundings and abundance of amenities, Point Mallard Park is the perfect spot for a day of fun and relaxation.

READ ALSO: Budget-Friendly Hotels in Decatur, Alabama

  1. Cook Museum of Natural Science:

Located in downtown Decatur, the Cook Museum of Natural Science is a state-of-the-art facility that showcases the natural wonders of Alabama and beyond. Visitors can explore immersive exhibits on topics ranging from dinosaurs and fossils to ecosystems and wildlife. Highlights include a life-sized replica of a prehistoric cave, a hands-on Discovery Hall for interactive learning, and a stunning butterfly garden. The museum offers educational programs and events for visitors of all ages, making it a must-visit attraction for families and nature enthusiasts.

  1. Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge:

For outdoor enthusiasts and birdwatchers, a visit to the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is a must. Spanning over 35,000 acres along the Tennessee River, this protected area is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including migratory birds, deer, and otters. Visitors can explore the refuge’s network of hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and wildlife observation areas. The refuge also offers seasonal hunting and fishing opportunities, as well as educational programs and guided tours.

  1. Historic Downtown Decatur:

Step back in time with a stroll through historic downtown Decatur, where you’ll find charming streets lined with beautifully preserved architecture, boutique shops, and local eateries. Take a self-guided walking tour to admire landmarks such as the Old State Bank, Princess Theatre, and Decatur Courthouse Square. Don’t miss the opportunity to browse the eclectic mix of shops offering everything from antiques and handmade crafts to unique gifts and souvenirs.

  1. Wheeler Lake:

Situated along the Tennessee River, Wheeler Lake is a popular destination for outdoor recreation and water sports. Anglers will find ample opportunities for fishing, with the lake known for its abundance of bass, crappie, and catfish. Boaters and kayakers can explore the lake’s scenic coves and inlets, while picnickers can enjoy waterfront dining at one of the many parks and public access areas. With its picturesque landscapes and tranquil waters, Wheeler Lake offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

READ ALSO: 10 Things Families Should Know Before Visiting Alabama: Magnolia Springs

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Is Decatur, Alabama, a family-friendly destination?

Absolutely! Decatur offers numerous family-friendly attractions such as Point Mallard Park, the Cook Museum of Natural Science, and Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, making it an ideal destination for families.

  1. Are there any outdoor activities available in Decatur?

Yes, Decatur boasts a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, kayaking, fishing, and wildlife viewing at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and Wheeler Lake.

  1. What dining options are available in downtown Decatur?

Downtown Decatur is home to a diverse array of dining options, including local eateries, cafes, and restaurants serving Southern cuisine, barbecue, seafood, and more.

  1. Is there parking available at the attractions in Decatur?

Yes, most attractions in Decatur offer parking facilities for visitors, including designated parking areas at Point Mallard Park and downtown Decatur.


Decatur, Alabama, is a hidden gem in North Alabama, offering a perfect blend of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and Southern charm. Whether you’re exploring the natural beauty of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, discovering the fascinating exhibits at the Cook Museum of Natural Science, or strolling through historic downtown Decatur, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city. Plan your trip to Decatur today and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

In another related article, Decatur, Alabama Budget Travel Guide: Discovering Southern Charm on a Shoestring

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