23 Best Things To do In Fort Payne (Alabama)

Best Things To do In Fort Payne – Looking for the best and most enjoyable things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama)? Fort Payne (Alabama), is renowned as the “Sock Capital of the World,” as it produces more than half of all socks in the United States.

Fort Payne, Alabama, offers a variety of exciting activities for people of all ages, such as visiting amazing flowing waterfalls, hiking along a historic mountain trail, learning about the famous Cherokee, and much more.

The little community is found in the state of Alabama’s northeast corner. It is a popular tourist destination in the United States since it houses important structures such as the 14,000-acre Little River Canyon National Preserve and DeSoto State Park.

The famed country-rock band Alabama calls the historic Fort Payne home, and the city contains the majority of the band’s museum and fan club. In addition, the city has some top nature preserves, state parks, lakes, and museums, all of which offer a variety of enjoyable things to do and see for visitors.

You can do it all in Fort Payne, whether you want to hike along mountain trails, see stunning cascading waterfalls, or learn about local history from the Cherokees times to the present day. In this city, there are several activities to indulge in as well as interesting things to discover.

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Let’s have a look at some of the best things to do Fort Payne (Alabama):

1. Little River Canyon National Park

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Are you seeking for a fun activity to do? For all-around excitement, be sure to put Little River Canyon National Preserve on your list of best things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama). The Little River Canyon National Preserve, located in northeast Alabama, was formed in the early 1990s and is surrounded by Cherokee and DeKalb counties.

The state government owns and manages the majority of the 15,288 acres that form the Little River Canyon National Preserve. The Little River Canyon preserve also has the famous pure Little River, as well as a unique ecosystem that is home to a variety of uncommon flora and fauna.

Whitewater rafting, swimming, fishing, climbing, and other activities are available for tourists in the Little River Canyon National Preserve.

2. Sally’s Smokin’ Butt BBQ

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Tourists and locals alike frequently visit the Fort Payne restaurant, and anyone who enjoys barbecue should add Sally’s Smokin’ Butt BBQ to their list of best things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama). It offers a wide range of delectable dishes, including pork and brisket, chicken, or a delectable dessert, ribs, luscious meat combos, and more.

Dinner is served in the old gas station area at Sally’s Smokin’ Butt BBQ, which features delectable dishes of cuisine and a welcoming ambiance. The spectacular center offers exceptional customer service to all visitors, including a broad menu and well-organized restrooms.

Homemade cakes, delectable sandwiches, crunchy pies, and other freshly baked items are also available at Sally’s Smokin’ Butt BBQ.

3. Cloudmont Ski Resort

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The well-known Cloudmont Ski Resort is located on Lookout Mountain and offers visitors one of the best views of the city, making it an ideal center and a great addition to your list of the best things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama).

At the Cloudmont Ski Resort, experience the snowfall as the temperature drops, which is one of the most beautiful scenes in the city. With slopes ranging from two to one thousand feet, the magnificent establishment caters for beginners, intermediates, and professionals.

The Cloudmont Ski Resort was built with logic snow and offers an ideal environment for mastering all winter sports in a warm environment.

4. Cherokee Rock Village

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The Cherokee Rock Village is known around the world for its interesting and enjoyable activities. The Cherokee Rock Village is located around Leesburg, 24 miles (38.62 km) south of Fort Payne, and features several boulders and scenic landscapes.

The center follows the Cherokees Street protocol, which is located nearby and offers a variety of exciting sceneries and activities to participate in. The lovely Cherokee Rock Village is a great place for bird watchers and nature lovers to visit, since you can see soaring birds all around.

The resort also has breathtaking vistas of the Alabama countryside, with Virginia pines and hickory trees lining the boulder ridge.

5. Alabama Walking Trail Park

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Spend a relaxing day away from home at the lovely Alabama Walking Trail Park, one of the top places to visit in Fort Payne, AL. The Alabama Walking Park is conveniently located along the new park in Fort Payne, near the Depot Museum, which is a great site for both kids and adults.

Visitors can participate in a variety of activities, including walking along landscaped walking pathways, working out at the fitness station, and much more. Large pavilions and beautiful grassy spaces are available for children’s playgrounds, public events, live music shows, and a picnic break.

Additionally, the Alabama Walking Trail Park is open to the public and offers a variety of activities and sights for children and adults making it one of the best things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama).

6. Dine at Vintage 1889

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Enjoy a tasty lunch at the historic 1889 café, which is an excellent venue for all kinds of local dishes, and a fantastic addition to your list of best things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama). The center, which opened in 2013, offers a welcoming atmosphere in a big space with exposed brick walls and a lovely patio beside the old water tower.

It offers a wide variety of locally created sandwiches made with high-quality ingredients, such as the Cuban sandwich with locally smoked pork. With over 100 labels, eight on draft, and various handcrafted wines, the Vintage 1889 boasts the most extensive beer production in the city of Fort Payne.

In addition, the restaurant’s vast space is dedicated for special events and shows, so interested individuals can experience the distinctive Nana’s Roast Beef.

7. DeSoto State Park

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DeSoto State Park is located on the top of Lookout Mountain in Northeast Alabama, approximately 8-9 miles from Fort Payne. The DeSoto State Park was founded in the early 1930s and has a long history in the industry, making it one of the best things to do in Fort Payne, Alabama.

The lovely DeSoto State Park is one of the best tranquil environments for relaxation, with the scent of wildflowers and the presence of a waterfall field.

It has a gigantic pavilion, café, picnic area, conference rooms, seasonal swimming pool, playground, 25 miles (40.23 km) of bicycling and hiking paths, a conservation museum, and many other attractions.

The availability of lodge premises such as a modern campground, basic campsites, and luxury mountain chalets entertains guests and interested visitors at the DeSoto State Park. There is a lot of enjoyment here!

8. 411 Drive-in Theatre

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Watch a movie at the 411 Drive-In Theatre, which has everything you need for a great vacation or trip, and is a wonderful addition to your list of fun things to do in Fort Payne, Alabama. The famous 411 Drive-In Theatre, which is open every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day, features current films and the latest Hollywood blockbusters.

This stunning theater arena is a place where the entire family can assemble in a lovely outdoor setting to watch blockbuster movies on a giant screen. 

It’s one of the places where you may see interesting documentaries about the city and learn more about its public, political, and educational past. Visitors may get snacks, burgers, and, most importantly, buttered popcorn at the 411 Drive-In Theatre, which is open to both young and adults.

9. Fort Payne Depot Museum

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Exploring the ancient sandstone buildings of over 85 years at the historic Fort Payne Depot Museum is one of the unusual things to do in Fort Payne, Alabama. The Fort Payne Depot Museum is located in the heart of Fort Payne, Alabama, and was built in the early 1890s in a Richardsonian Romanesque style.

In the two buildings, which are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the United States, the spectacular museum houses a range of permanent and seasonal exhibits. After being destroyed due to railroad development, the Fort Payne Depot Museum was purchased and rebuilt by a group of local preservationists in 1986.

The museum features one-of-a-kind exhibits and fine collections that tell the heritage of DeKalb County and Fort Payne, including basketry, Native American pottery, and one-of-a-kind antiquities.

10. Martha’s Fall

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Exploring the well-known Martha’s Falls is one of the best things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama) if you want to enjoy the best outdoor swimming. The Hippie Hole or Little Falls, a well-known swimming hole in the Little River Canyon National Preserve, is also known as Martha’s Falls.

The lovely swimming hole is located on the Alabama-Georgia state boundary, with a trail leading to the falls from the Lookout Mountain parking lot, making it one of the summer’s most popular attractions.

The Fall is encircled by a footpath that begins on gravel and winds its way downhill along a rougher road, ending over 100 yards (91.44 m) downhill on the Rocky Trail. Furthermore, the lovely environment is magnificent and lush, with natural rocks and benches covered in moss and ferns; it’s best to keep an eye on the projecting rocks before diving into the blue pool.

11. The Big Mill Antique Mall

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The Big Mill Antique Mall is home to dozens of antique shops and craftsmen selling a variety of items including toys, vintage wares, furniture, books, ceramics, home decor, and paintings. The gorgeous Big Mill Antique Mall is the nicest place to visit in Fort Payne (Alabama).

The mall is housed in the ancient W. B Davis Hosiery Mill and covers around 21,000 square feet (19.51 a) with an enormous collection of collectibles and stunning antiques. The historic Big Mill Antique Mall is home to several eateries across the city, including Vintage 1889, Jefferson’s Restaurant, and others.

The Big Mill Antique Mall is also open to tourists; whether you’re an antique collector or simply enjoy new home decorations, the Big Mill Antique Mall offers something for you.

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12. Orbix Hot Glass

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One of the best sites to visit in Fort Payne, Alabama is Orbix Hot Glass, which contains a team of glassblowers that pay close attention to balance, form, and color. Orbix Hot Glass is a historic company that was founded in 2002. It spans 26 acres of land in Alabama’s Appalachian foothills and is divided into two sections: the gallery arena and the glass art studio.

It features a wide range of amazing museum-quality sculptures, artworks, and crafts that are available for purchase in the gallery or through online platforms. The Orbix Hot Glass Work has a distinct shape that is influenced by the surrounding landscape’s tumultuous seas and rocks.

Visitors and those interested in learning about glassmaking, sculptures, and other crafts can also visit the center.

13. Jefferson’s Restaurant

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The wonderful Jefferson’s restaurant is located in downtown Fort Payne, next to the Taco Bell, along the highway, where all meals are served by experts. The famed Jefferson’s Restaurant boasts of serving delectable delicacies such as burgers, chicken wings, and oysters; the menu is extensive, with something for every tourist.

The Jefferson’s Restaurant has the best gigantic TVs for watching games while also providing a cozy pub atmosphere and other unique activities. The old Jefferson’s Restaurant is a welcoming local hangout for lunch and supper, and it is normally open on Sundays for families with children.

On Wednesdays, Jefferson’s Restaurant serves great wings with a variety of sauces, both mild and spicy.

14. Alabama Fan Club and Museum

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When you visit the city, listen to live country music and melodious vocals from the popular southern rock band, which makes it an ideal addition to your list of best things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama).

The distinguished Alabama fan group, which has been renamed the Country Music Group of the Century, is based in Fort Payne. Many music bands have performed at the historic Alabama Fan Club and Museum, including the southern rock band Wild Country, which formed in the early 1970s.

The legendary band has over 27 number one singles and seven multi-platinum albums to their credit, with approximately 73 million albums sold and induction into the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Alabama’s accolades, collections, amazing artworks, achievements, gift stores, and souvenirs are all housed in this lovely museum.

15. Santa Fe Cattle Co

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The well-known Santa Fe Cattle delivers delectable southwestern cuisine, making it an excellent addition to your list of best things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama). Hand-cut steaks, fajitas, ribs, buckets of peanuts in shells, and other Western cultural items are available at the Santa Fe Cattle.

The famed Santa Fe Cattle is open to both children and adults, offering a variety of freshly baked rolls, pies, and home-made sausage. While the steak is being made and arranged, visitors can pass the time by snacking on peanuts, which are provided in large quantities.

Additionally, Santa Fe provides a welcoming atmosphere, with a variety of comfy booths on each side and country music playing in the background regularly.

16. The Will’s Valley Recreation Center

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The Wills Valley Recreation Center is a fantastic indoor sports facility that offers a variety of sporting events and community gatherings. The center concentrates mostly on sporting events, ranging from major football to basketball, baseball, and volleyball league games.

Visitors and interested folks can jog or hike while participating in other fitness activities at the historic Wills Valley Recreation Center, which also offers an excellent indoor walking track. A trip to the Wills Valley Recreation Center is one of the top things to do in Fort Payne, Alabama for a short workout in and around town.

Will’s Valley Recreation Center also has exquisite amenities, making it one of the best venues for athletes and fitness enthusiasts to train.

17. Sallie Howard Memorial Baptist Chapel

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Along the famed Lookout Mountain, the Sallie Howard Memorial Baptist Chapel is located in the heart of Fort Payne (Alabama). Visit Sallie Howard Memorial Baptist Chapel for events and shows if you’re looking for something different to do in Fort Payne (Alabama).

The historic Sallie Howard Memorial Baptist Chapel was created as a memorial to Colonel Milford Howard’s wife, Sallie, in honor of their first journey to Europe. The spectacular Sallie Howard Memorial Baptist Chapel features a charming yet simple hilltop arena with a well-organized rustic and quiet environment, as well as a natural rock and benches at the altar.

Additionally, the lovely chapel is mostly utilized for church activities every Sunday as well as other public events such as weddings, religious discussion shows, and other similar activities.

18. The Spot Coffee Shop


Visit the lovely Spot Coffee Shop for delicious handcrafted coffee and a variety of coffee flavors, an excellent addition to your list of  best things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama). The beautiful Spot Coffee Shop is located in the Lookout Mountain Arena and the North Alabama Region, making it one of the greatest coffee growers and sellers.

It offers wonderful fair trade organic coffee as well as a variety of other delectable treats like frozen blended drinks, blue bell ice cream, and more. This historic Spot Coffee Shop boasts unique exhibits which include making delicious pizza, panini sandwiches, pastries and desserts, and much more.

The centre also has an art gallery with free Wi-Fi for all visitors on the Spot. It is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays, and closed on Sunday.

19. Mountain View Motel

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Mountain View Motel is located in a historic sandstone lodge constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The one-of-a-kind restaurant is one of Fort Payne’s top attractions, and it provides outstanding service to all visitors and interested parties.

The Mountain View Motel is a whole fun center for everyone, with a great arena and a welcoming ambiance, as well as a unique lunch buffet provided every Sunday. The Mountain View Motel is a top attraction in the city, with a superb seafood buffet every Friday evening and delicious breakfast buffets on weekend mornings.

20. Little River Canyon Rim Parkway


The Little River Canyon Rim Parkway is a scenic drive along the rim of the canyon. One of Fort Payne’s attractions is the Little River Canyon Rim Parkway.

The magnificent Little River Canyon Rim Parkway, which stretches for 11 miles (17.7 km) along Highway 176, is a must-see when in Fort Payne. It’s the ideal location for a relaxed journey. You can see a lovely scene of rock walls, rich greenery that changes to red and orange leaves in the fall, and well-placed waterfalls.

Several required stopovers can be made along the journey for photoshoots of the spectacular scenery that the Little River Canyon offers. Furthermore, the Little River Canyon Rim Parkway provides a more adventurous experience for everyone who wants to explore the natural environment, with plenty of opportunities for biking along the routes.

21. Little River Canyon Center

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The Little River Canyon Center is part of Jacksonville State University, which is located near the famous Little River Canyon National Preserve in northeastern Alabama. Visiting the gorgeous Little River Canyon Center for joint meetings, social gatherings, retreats, and more is one of the best things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama).

The historic Little River Canyon Center opened in 2009, with the National Park Service leasing substantial portions for community help and state promotion. It has an outdoor amphitheater, numerous hiking trails, a large deck, souvenir stores, a grand hall, a natural history library, and many more attractions.

22. Jacksonville State University

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The Little River Canyon Center is home to Jacksonville State University, making it an excellent addition to your list of best things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama). The center welcomes visitors to discover more about the historical, social, and ecological features of Fort Payne (Alabama).

Jacksonville State University, which opened in 2009, offers a variety of regular programs for residents, students, and tourists. It has a grand hall, classrooms, a movie theater, an outdoor amphitheater, a library, various public shows, and a gift store, among other things.

The lovely location is one of the must-see natural attractions in the Fort Payne area; it provides map directions and unique itineraries to ensure that everyone has a pleasant day.

23. True Adventure Sports Complex

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The True Adventure Sports complex is located near the Little River Canyon National Preserve and Lookout Mountain. True Adventure Sports is only 10 miles (16.09 km) away from the preserve. It offers roughly 39 various adventures for those who are interested, including canoeing, rappelling, zip lines, rock climbing, a sky swing, kayaking, and more.

For parties and individuals, the stunning facility offers full-scale outfitter-organized excursions, all types of gear, guided tours, classes, and lodge equipment.True Adventure Sports offers one-of-a-kind and knowledgeable guides. 

Mountain guides, certified rappel masters, WFR certified medics, confined space rescuers, and highly trained park experts are among the professionals available. True Adventure Sports provides the most enjoyable tours as well as safe and interesting journeys for interested tourists.

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Final Thoughts

Fort Payne, Alabama, is a fun place with numerous things to do for every tourist. Walking trails, nature preserves, restaurants, and gaming centers are just a few of the best things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama), making it an ideal getaway to have fun.

In Fort Payne, there’s always something new to try. Visit Little River Canyon Center for an exciting adventure, Wills Valley Recreation Center for a relaxing day, or the Big Mill Antique Mall for beautiful jewelry and home furnishings.

The term that comes to mind when describing Fort Payne is “breathtaking.” This small city in northeast Alabama is a fantastic travel destination because of its unique environment, unspoilt beauty, and distinctive location.

It’s difficult to know where to begin in Fort Payne, Alabama, because there are so many things to do. Our list of the top 23 best things to do in Fort Payne (Alabama) will help you make the most of your experience. Start planning your trip right away, and feel free to use this guide during your Fort Payne adventure.

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