Sunday, January 8, 2023

Alabama Appalachian Adventures: A Book Tour of Nine Northeast Alabama Counties

 How about a book trip through northeast Alabama, with something to read, something to see and someplace to eat? Here are your Alabama Appalachian Adventures.

1. Starting in Jackson County, read Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman, about the arrest and trial of the falsely accused and convicted Scottsboro Boys. Check out the newly redesigned Scottsboro Boys Museum, go on a treasure hunt at Unclaimed Baggage and see the Scottsboro Boys Mural by the famous artist, Don Howard, on Scottsboro’s historic courthouse square. Grab lunch at Alabama’s oldest soda fountain, the delicious Payne’s Sandwich Shop. 

2. Next, head to Huntsville in Madison County. Read Finding Noel by Richard Paul Evans. Visit Constitution Hall Village and learn about the early days of the state that was the first to make Christmas a legal holiday. Enjoy an afternoon tea at Poppy and Parliament on Huntsville’s  Madison County Courthouse Square. 

3. For Morgan County, read What Happened to Mary Faye Hunter by Glenda Yarbrough, a novel based on the true story of a Decatur woman who went missing in May of 1967. Her remains were found 5 months later in nearby Flint Creek. Visit Cook’s Natural Science Museum and Morgan Price Candy. Have some pulled pork with Alabama White Sauce at Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ

4. Now let’s visit the city of Cullman in Cullman County, the birthplace of the Godfather of Southern Cuisine, Frank Stitt. Read Frank Stitt’s Southern Table. With a foreword by author Pat Conroy and Stitt’s beautifully written food stories, it’s more than just a book of recipes, though the recipes are masterpieces. Drive over to Smith Farms for smoked meats, cheese and wine. You’ll know you’ve arrived by the heavy and delicious smell of the smoked meats in the air. Choose your favorites and navigate to Clarkson Covered Bridge, built in 1904. There are picnic tables nearby where you can enjoy your snacks and the beautiful bridge, too. You won’t find a Stitt restaurant in Cullman County, but you can have some great food and drinks at 412 Public House

5. From Cullman, we’ll head to Blount County. Our book there was a surprise to me. Maybe it will be to you as well. It’s really a short story instead of a book and it was written by one of the most famous short story writers of all time, O. Henry. The Ransom of Red Chief takes place in the Blount County community of Summit. In this county, check out the beautiful limestone formations at Rickwood Caverns. If you enjoyed the Clarkson Covered Bridge, you can see three more in Blount County: Horton Mill, Swann and Easley. Try eating at Charlie B’s in Oneonta if you’re craving a meat and three.

6. Up next is Guntersville in Marshall County. Our book here is a legal thriller by Alabama’s own, Bob Bailey. Rich Blood, his latest twisty nail-biter, is set in Guntersville. While you’re in the lake city, check out the brand new Guntersville City Harbor, where you can shop, relax in their amazing swings and eat. Try Big Mike’s for Steak or La Esquina Cocina for Mexican. There’s a brewery, The Brewer’s Cooperative, too.

7. Our next stop is Gadsden, in Etowah County and our book is Gadsden, Stories of the Great Depression by Robert Wilbanks. The book is one man’s memories of what it was like to live through the greatest economic depression in American history. Shop for locally made gifts at downtown Gadsden’s Alabama Gift Company, eat at The Rail Public House and visit beautiful Noccalula Falls.

8. Centre, in Cherokee County, is our next stop. Our book is a story about one of Cherokee County’s native sons, Cherokee Chief John Ross. The book, Toward the Setting Sun by Brian Hicks is about one of America’s saddest tragedies, the Cherokee removal on the Trail of Tears, and the famous chief who led his people for 40 years. Visit Orbix Hot Glass and blow your own glass Christmas ornament, catch a movie at a real drive-in, 411 Drive-in and go exploring in Little River Canyon. Grab a delicious bite at the Mountain Parkway Grill in Sand Rock..

Our final destination is the beautiful mountain town of Mentone in Dekalb County and our book is Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber. Though the town in this book is fictional, it has all the Mentone vibes. While you’re there, stay at beautiful Poet’s Paradise. It’s right near the entrance to Desoto Falls, where you can hike and explore. Then eat at either The Wildflower Cafe, Elevation Bistro or the Mentone Market. 

There you go! Enjoy your books and your Appalachian Adventures while visiting beautiful northeast Alabama. .

Three Friends and a Fork
Three Friends and a Fork

This is a short biography of the post author. Maecenas nec odio et ante tincidunt tempus donec vitae sapien ut libero venenatis faucibus nullam quis ante maecenas nec odio et ante tincidunt tempus donec.

No comments:

Post a Comment