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Things to do in Anniston Alabama: A Comprehensive Guide

Nestled in the heart of Alabama, Anniston is a charming city brimming with rich history, cultural attractions, and exciting outdoor adventures for visitors and locals alike. Often overlooked as a destination, this hidden gem offers a diverse range of activities catering to diverse interests, making it an ideal spot for anyone touring Alabama. With majestic mountains, gorgeous gardens, and fascinating museums, Anniston promises a memorable experience for all who explore its treasures.

Calhoun County Courthouse

At its core, Anniston boasts numerous attractions that highlight the city’s historical significance, such as the Berman Museum of World History. The city also offers countless opportunities to reconnect with nature, allowing visitors to indulge in mountain biking, hiking, wine tasting, tubing, and more. Along with a thriving arts and entertainment scene, Anniston is home to unique attractions that provide a truly immersive experience in this vibrant city.

Key Takeaways

  • Anniston offers an array of attractions, blending history, culture, and nature for visitors
  • Outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and wine tasting abound in this charming city
  • The city presents a thriving arts and entertainment scene, making it an ideal destination for exploration

Anniston’s Rich History

Civil Rights Movement

Anniston, Alabama played a significant role during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. On May 14, 1961, a Greyhound bus carrying Freedom Riders was heavily firebombed by segregationists near Anniston, which drew nationwide attention to the violence faced by civil rights activists at that time. This event eventually led to the desegregation of interstate bus lines, and the city’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement still resonates today, with historical markers and commemorative sites that honor the many activists who struggled for equal rights.

Fort McClellan

Fort McClellan, located near Anniston, has a rich history that dates back to its establishment in 1917. Originally created as a training camp for the U.S. Army during World War I, the fort played crucial roles in both World War II and the Korean War. It was also used as a primary training facility for the US Army Chemical Corps and the Women’s Army Corps.

Fort McClellan was closed in 1999 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, but its historical significance remains intact. Today, the former military base has been repurposed for a variety of uses, including a training facility for the Department of Homeland Security and the Alabama National Guard. Visitors to the area can still see remnants of Fort McClellan’s storied past, as well as enjoy the recreational opportunities available on the surrounding land, such as hiking and mountain biking.

Museums and Exhibits

Anniston Museum of Natural History

The Anniston Museum of Natural History showcases a wide range of artifacts and specimens from across the globe. Established when H. Severn Regar donated his private collection to the city of Anniston, the museum now provides visitors with a unique opportunity to explore various aspects of natural history and science.

Within the museum, delight in discovering exhibit halls that feature impressive collections spanning diverse topics, from ancient Egyptian mummies to African wildlife dioramas. Admission tickets for the Anniston Museum of Natural History start at $23.00.

Berman Museum

The Berman Museum, another must-visit attraction in Anniston, focuses on art and history from both the United States and other countries. With a growing reputation as a destination for history buffs, the museum boasts an extensive collection of historical artifacts, many of which were used in WWI and WWII.

In addition to its military memorabilia, the museum also displays unique works of art, reflecting the different aspects of world history. Berman Museum offers a fascinating experience as you peruse its galleries. Like the Anniston Museum of Natural History, the admission tickets for Berman Museum start at $23.00.

Outdoor Adventures

Cheaha State Park

Cheaha State Park is a must-visit location, nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountain range. This beautiful park offers an abundance of outdoor activities, such as hiking and mountain biking, for visitors to enjoy. There are numerous nature trails to explore, allowing you to immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings. If you’re up for a challenge, tackle the trails leading up to the park’s highest point, Cheaha Mountain.

Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Preserve

Another gem in Anniston is the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Preserve, boasting a vast expanse of preserved woodlands. It’s the perfect location for experiencing the natural beauty of Alabama’s Blue Ridge region. Here, you’ll find plenty of outdoor activities to keep you entertained, such as:

  • Hiking: Explore the well-maintained nature trails that traverse the preserve.
  • Mountain Biking: Ride along the picturesque trails on a two-wheeled adventure.
  • Bird Watching: Observe the diverse avifauna that call this preserve home.

Coldwater Mountain Bike Trail

For mountain biking enthusiasts, the Coldwater Mountain Bike Trail is an absolute must-try experience. With over 35 miles of purpose-built singletrack, it provides riders of all skill levels the opportunity to test their mettle. As the trail winds through beautiful forests and offers stunning views, you’ll be blown away by the natural beauty surrounding you as you ride. Additionally, Oxford Lake lies nearby – consider extending your day by engaging in relaxing activities like tubing on the calm waters of the lake.

Gardens and Flora

Longleaf Botanical Gardens

Longleaf Botanical Gardens, located in Anniston, Alabama, is one of the state’s youngest gardens, established in 2010. The garden aims to cultivate the connection between people and nature, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for the diverse flora and fauna of the region.

The garden is home to a variety of plants, including the longleaf pine, which it is named after. The longleaf pine is a disappearing species due to deforestation, making the garden a critical habitat for its conservation. The garden also houses an array of native plants and flowers, providing visitors with a beautiful and distinct snapshot of Alabama’s natural beauty.

Longleaf Botanical Gardens offers numerous educational programs and events, such as seminars, guided walks, and workshops, aimed at promoting ecological awareness and a better understanding of gardening practices. These initiatives are made possible through the support of the City of Anniston, First Friends, and Foothills Parks and Gardens Advisory Board, along with partnerships from organizations like the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Visiting the Longleaf Botanical Gardens offers a soothing retreat and an opportunity not only to enjoy the serene beauty of the park but also to learn firsthand about the region’s native flora and fauna. By preserving and showcasing the exquisite plants found in Alabama, the garden plays a vital role in promoting environmental stewardship and appreciation for nature’s wonders.

Events and Entertainment

Anniston City Meeting Center

Anniston City Meeting Center is a popular venue for hosting various events and activities in the city. It is located at 4309 McClellan Boulevard, Anniston, Alabama 36206. The center is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Events at the center can range from business meetings to community gatherings, providing a vibrant atmosphere for all attendees.

Happy Hour Comedy Club

For those looking to unwind and enjoy some laughter, the Happy Hour Comedy Club is a must-visit. With performances scheduled on Fridays at 7:00 PM, the club showcases comedians such as Dustin Sims and Berry Laminack, who are known to keep the audience entertained throughout the night. Additionally, guests can also participate in Paint Night events held at Margaronas Cantina Mexican Restaurant on Mondays at 6:00 PM.

Youth Talent Show

Talented youngsters in Anniston can showcase their skills at the Youth Talent Show. Taking place on Sat, Jul 15 at 6:00 PM, this event highlights the creative potential of the local community. It’s an excellent opportunity for children to connect with others who share their passion for performing arts.

Apart from these events, Anniston also offers other unique entertainment options such as scavenger hunts and live concerts. The Love Scavenger Hunt for couples is conducted on Saturdays at 10:00 AM and adds a fun twist to date nights in the city. From July 1 to July 13, several concerts cater to music enthusiasts and allow residents and visitors to enjoy live performances by talented artists.

Food and Drink

Top O’ the River Restaurant

Top O’ the River is a popular dining spot in Anniston, known for its delicious American and seafood dishes. One of their specialties is their catfish that has gained quite the reputation among locals and tourists alike. The restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere with attentive service that adds to the overall dining experience.

- Specialty: Catfish
- Cuisine: American, Seafood
- Atmosphere: Cozy and welcoming


Exploring the local vineyards of Anniston is a delightful way to spend a day, offering a chance to taste some exquisite wines from the region. There are multiple vineyards nearby Anniston that you can visit, each offering a unique atmosphere and range of wines. Whether you are a wine enthusiast or a casual drinker, you can enjoy the serene landscapes while sipping on your favorite glass of wine.

Some vineyards near Anniston:

  • Vineyard A (details to be sourced)
  • Vineyard B (details to be sourced)
  • Vineyard C (details to be sourced)

Remember to drink responsibly and plan for transportation if needed.

Business Opportunities

In Anniston, Alabama, a town with a population of 75,169 and 4,920 businesses, there are many opportunities for business owners to thrive and grow. The unemployment rate stands at 13.7% meaning capable workforce is available. Several industries are flourishing, including professional services. With a strong local economy, Anniston presents a promising landscape for potential investors and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Business Opportunity Webinar

For those interested in exploring business opportunities in Anniston, participating in a business opportunity webinar can be a wise decision. These webinars provide valuable information on various aspects of conducting business in the area. From providing tips on setting up a local entity and navigating the regulatory environment, to exploring current market trends and the unique requirements of specific industries, a business opportunity webinar ensures that participants are equipped with everything they need to succeed as business owners in Anniston.

Through such webinars, potential investors and entrepreneurs can discover the Autocomplete feature, which can help them make informed decisions on potential areas of interest. By providing information on popular search terms, autocomplete can help determine what kind of businesses might be successful in the region and identify untapped opportunities within the Anniston market.

Business owners can also learn about how best to promote their companies in the area and how to connect with the local community. From leveraging digital marketing techniques and generating brand awareness, to getting involved with local events and activities, a business opportunity webinar can equip entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to make a positive impact and grow in the city of Anniston.

Unique Attractions

World’s Largest Chair

Located in downtown Anniston, the World’s Largest Chair is a must-see for those looking for a unique and quirky attraction. The chair, made of cast iron, stands at a staggering 33 feet tall, and was once recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. Although it might not be the focus of your entire visit, it’s definitely worth a stop to snap a few photos, and kids will surely find it fascinating.

Visitors can also take advantage of the numerous shops and eateries nearby, turning a brief stop into a delightful experience.

Antique Mall

For those who enjoy treasure hunting and antique shopping, Anniston houses a variety of impressive antique malls in Calhoun County. With expansive collections that cater to many interests, visitors are sure to find something that intrigues them. From vintage toys and jewelry, to unique glassware and furniture, the antique malls here are a haven for collectors, decorators, or anyone looking to find one-of-a-kind pieces.

While exploring, be on the lookout for items related to the local history, the Civil War, and even some fossils and artifacts from the area’s past. The antique malls in Anniston are a great way to spend an afternoon, whether with family or solo, and can offer a glimpse into the past and the chance to bring home a piece of history.

Recreational Activities

Anniston, Alabama offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. The city is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, providing opportunities for both indoor and outdoor fun.

Guided Tour

One of the best ways to explore Anniston and learn about its fascinating history is by taking a guided tour. A tour can help you uncover the stories behind various attractions, while also allowing you to make the most of your time in the city.

Berman Museum: The Berman Museum is a must-visit attraction in Anniston, showcasing a diverse collection of historical artifacts and displays. Featuring items from various periods and locations across the world, the Berman Museum provides an immersive educational experience. Book a guided tour in advance to learn more about the exhibits from knowledgeable staff and deepen your understanding of the items on display.

Mountain Biking: For those who are adventurous and enjoy outdoor activities, a guided mountain biking tour can offer an exciting way to explore Anniston’s natural beauty. Local trails cater to various skill levels, allowing bikers to take in the breathtaking scenery while getting in some exercise.

Wine Tasting: A guided tour of a local winery is another unique recreational activity to consider during your visit to Anniston. Learn about the winemaking process, sample different wines, and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the vineyards.