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Things to do in Jacksonville Alabama: Top Attractions and Activities

Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains’ southern region, Jacksonville, Alabama, offers a delightful getaway for visitors looking for outdoor recreation and historical attractions. This charming city is home to a vibrant community and a variety of activities that cater to travelers of all tastes. From serene parks and engaging museums to picturesque vineyards, Jacksonville has something to offer everyone.

Jacksonville Alabama

Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the city’s abundance of mountain biking and hiking trails, as well as several bird-watching areas. History buffs can explore intriguing museums that showcase Jacksonville’s rich past, while golfers can tee off at beautiful courses nearby. As a well-rounded destination, Jacksonville, Alabama, promises an unforgettable experience for all visitors.

Key Takeaways

  • Jacksonville, Alabama, boasts a diverse range of attractions and activities for travelers.
  • The city offers multiple outdoor adventures, including hiking, biking, and bird-watching opportunities.
  • Nearby museums, golf courses, and vineyards provide additional options for a well-rounded visit.

Popular Attractions in Jacksonville

Jacksonville, Alabama offers a variety of attractions for both nature lovers and history enthusiasts. This city presents an opportunity for adventure and discovery in a pleasant and enjoyable environment. In this section, we’ll explore three popular attractions in Jacksonville: Cheaha State Park, Talladega National Forest, and the Berman Museum of World History.

Cheaha State Park

Cheaha State Park is home to the highest peak in Alabama, known as Mt. Cheaha, which stands at 2,407 feet. This park offers breathtaking scenery, making it the ultimate haven for outdoor recreational activities. Here, visitors can enjoy activities such as:

  • Hiking on various trails
  • Wildlife watching
  • Picnicking
  • Camping in woodland campsites

Talladega National Forest

Talladega National Forest is a vast expanse of protected wilderness that stretches across a large portion of Alabama. This natural area is perfect for those who like to explore and connect with nature. Some popular activities in the forest include:

  • Hiking and backpacking on scenic trails
  • Fishing in the many streams and lakes
  • Camping in designated areas
  • Wildlife watching and birding

Berman Museum of World History

For history buffs, the Berman Museum of World History is a must-visit destination. This museum showcases an extensive collection of historical artifacts, including military weapons, art pieces, and other relics from around the world. Visitors can explore various exhibits related to different periods in history, making for an enriching and educational experience.

Outdoor Activities

Jacksonville, Alabama, offers a variety of outdoor activities for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. This section will outline the main attractions including hiking trails, fishing spots, camping options, and swimming locations.

Hiking Trails

Choccolocco Mountain is a popular destination for hiking enthusiasts. The area consists of a vast network of trails for hikers of all experience levels. Some of the well-known trails include:

  • Easy Trails: Perfect for beginners or families with young children, these trails offer a gentle introduction to the beauty of Choccolocco Mountain.
  • Moderate Trails: For those seeking a more challenging adventure, moderate trails provide a mix of inclines, declines, and varied terrain.
  • Difficult Trails: Recommended for experienced hikers, these trails offer a test of endurance through steep inclines and rugged landscapes.

Fishing Spots

There are many fishing spots around Jacksonville for anglers to cast their lines. The Coosa River is a popular location for fishing, with ample opportunities for catching bass, catfish, and crappie. Other fishing spots in the area include:

  • Lake Neely Henry: Located just a short drive away, this reservoir offers a quiet and serene fishing experience, with largemouth bass and striped bass being common catches.

Camping Options

For campers looking to immerse themselves in nature, Jacksonville offers several options. Some of the campgrounds available include:

  • Choccolocco Mountain Campground: This campground provides tent camping and RV sites, as well as a variety of amenities for a comfortable stay.
  • Lake Neely Henry Campground: Situated along the shores of the lake, this campground offers waterfront campsites and access to fishing spots, making it ideal for anglers.

Swimming Locations

During the warmer months, Jacksonville’s residents and visitors can enjoy swimming at various locations. Some popular spots include:

  • Coosa River: The river offers several swimming holes and areas with sandy banks for sunbathing and relaxing.
  • Lake Neely Henry: For a more refreshing experience, the lake offers a cool escape from the summer heat, with designated swimming areas and adjacent picnic spots for a day of fun in the sun.

Nearby Cities to Explore


Anniston is a charming city located just a short drive from Jacksonville and offers visitors an enriching experience with its museums and parks. The Anniston Museum of Natural History is a must-visit destination, featuring a vast collection of wildlife exhibits and cultural artifacts from around the world. This museum provides guests with a rewarding and informative experience.

The Berman Museum is another cultural gem in Anniston, with its extensive collection of military memorabilia, historic artifacts, and rare coins. It is an ideal place to learn about the area’s history and explore unique objects from various time periods.

Take a leisurely walk or indulge in a picnic at Freedom Riders Park, a historic site dedicated to the memory of civil rights activists known as the Freedom Riders. This park not only offers a picturesque setting but also serves as an essential reminder of the significant events that occurred there.


Oxford, another city located near Jacksonville, boasts an array of recreational activities. One of the highlights in Oxford is the Silver Lakes Golf Course, which provides every golfer with a scenic and challenging playing experience. Nestled in a picturesque landscape, this course offers both amateurs and professionals the perfect location to practice their swings and enjoy a day on the greens.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Oxford presents Dive Land Park, a unique destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. Dive Land Park has a spring-fed quarry that allows visitors to explore the underwater world and discover various aquatic life forms in a safe and controlled environment.

Shopping enthusiasts will appreciate the Oxford Exchange, a popular shopping center in the city that features numerous retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment options to cater to diverse interests and tastes. The Oxford Exchange is an ideal place to spend an afternoon browsing, shopping, and dining with friends or family.

Dining Options

Jacksonville, Alabama offers a variety of dining options for every taste bud, ranging from classic American cuisine to international flavors. With positive reviews and a mix of casual and upscale eateries, you’ll find the perfect spot to enjoy a meal in this charming town.

One highly-rated restaurant in the area is Cooter Brown’s Rib Shack. Known for their delicious wings and ribs, this American-style bar offers a cozy atmosphere and a wide range of menu options. A popular choice among locals and visitors alike, the rib shack is a must-visit for barbecue lovers.

For Italian fare, Effina’s Tuscan Grill is an excellent choice. Guests rave about their pesto pasta and ribeye dishes, though it’s important to note that salads don’t come with pasta meals. With a well-curated menu and attentive service, Effina’s provides a wonderful dining experience for those craving Italian cuisine.

If you’re in the mood for some Asian flavors, a highly-recommended restaurant in the area is 105 Mountain St NW. Their Pad Thai is the talk of the town, and their Fried Roll is another crowd pleaser. With take-out and drive-through options available, this eatery is perfect for anyone craving some flavorful Thai food.

For a quick bite, The Rocket is the ideal choice. This American-style diner offers mouthwatering burgers and other fast-food favorites. Get ready to enjoy juicy, flavorful burgers while soaking up the classic diner vibe at this beloved local spot.

In addition to these great dining options, there are several other restaurants throughout Jacksonville ready to cater to any food preference. The town offers a blend of casual and upscale eateries, each with their own unique atmosphere and menu offerings. So whether you’re in the mood for a sit-down dinner or a quick, delicious meal, Jacksonville, Alabama has got you covered.

Overall Experience

Jacksonville, Alabama is a wonderful place for those who enjoy outdoor activities, history, and cultural experiences. The city offers a range of enjoyable attractions for visitors and residents alike.

For nature lovers, a visit to Choccolocco Mountain is a must. This destination boasts numerous mountain biking and hiking trails, providing hours of scenic exploration. Bird-watchers will also find delight in the area’s abundant bird-watching spots.

If you’re interested in history, museums such as the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Museum showcase the rich heritage of the local Native American community, while the Old Monroe County Courthouse and Heritage Museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the region’s past.

Avid event-goers can check out Jacksonville’s local calendar, where they might find exciting gatherings like the SHS Class of ’83s 40th Class Reunion or perhaps the 2023 Parent Symposium. The city’s Eventbrite page offers further details, giving you the chance to plan your days accordingly.

Lastly, visitors who appreciate a small town feel combined with a lively college atmosphere can find their place in Jacksonville, home of the JSU Gamecocks. The presence of Jacksonville State University infuses the city with youthful energy and excitement, while local residents maintain a tight-knit community.

Now that you have an overview of the numerous experiences available in Jacksonville, Alabama, you can confidently plan your visit and make the most of your time in this charming town.