Muscle Shoals named among “The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021” by Smithsonian Magazine

Fame Studios
FAME Studios, one of the famous recording studios in Muscle Shoals. Photo via Richard Henry Byington

On June 7th, Smithsonian Magazine published “The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021“, a guide & appreciation post for several of the cutest, must-visit small towns throughout the states. Guess who made the cut? Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Keep reading for all the details.

Muscle Shoals among The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021

Muscle Shoals
Several members of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (and friends) at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Sheffield, Alabama. Photo via Muscle Shoals Sound Studios on Facebook

Small towns of America: we’ve missed exploring your streets, perusing your shops and discovering your history. Thanks for sticking with us. We’re ready to return the favor.”

Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian Magazine

Written by Laura Kiniry for Smithsonian Magazine, “The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021” is a love letter to some of America’s most beloved small towns. To those familiar with the area, it should come as no surprise that Muscle Shoals made the list.

Also included on “The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021” are:

  • Council Grove, Kansas (pop. 2,182)
  • Fayetteville, West Virginia (pop. 2,806)
  • Muscle Shoals, Alabama (pop. 13,146)
  • Manitou Springs, Colorado (pop. 5,283)
  • Hatch, New Mexico (pop. 1,955)
  • Goshen, New York (pop. 5,344)
  • Nevada City, California (pop. 3,144)
  • Bath, Maine (pop. 8,319)
  • Brevard, North Carolina (pop. 7,609)
  • Dyersville, Iowa (pop. 4,130)
  • Ely, Minnesota (pop. 3,390)
  • Wallace, Idaho (pop. 946)
  • Charlevoix, Michigan (pop. 2,338)
  • Natchez, Mississippi (pop. 14,981)
  • Litchfield, Connecticut (pop. 8,094)

Here’s What Smithsonian Magazine Has to Say

Muscle Shoals
Champy’s World Famous Fried Chicken in Muscle Shoals. Photo via Colbert Tourism on Facebook

The article in Smithsonian Magazine made sure to include several areas in The Shoals—Tuscumbia, Florence, Sheffield and (of course) Muscle Shoals. The article hits on The Shoals’ significance in the way of music history—spotlighting FAME Studios, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect.

No article about The Shoals would be complete without featuring the unique local restaurants! Smithsonian Magazine picked out several, including:

Finally, the article made sure to include several of the notable historic homes in The Shoals:

We’re thrilled to see Muscle Shoals receive the national recognition it deserves! What is your favorite place to visit in The Shoals? Be sure to tag @thebamabuzz to let us know!

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.

Articles: 216