WorldAtlas names 9 most beautiful small towns in Alabama

Mooresville is one of the most beautiful places in Alabama. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

It’s no secret to Alabama residents that our state is full of beauty—natural, architectural and beyond. If you’re like me (an Alabama native!), there is still a lot of small-town beauty to explore. Just in time for autumn road trips, WorldAtlas came out with a list of “9 Most Beautiful Small Towns In Alabama You Should Visit.” Let’s explore.

1. Mooresville

If you’re on the road between Huntsville and Decatur, you’ll pass right by this small town. Mooresville is a North Alabama gem, and its beauty lies in its old-fashioned charm.

“Mooresville stands on Wheeler Lakeshore as it flows into the Tennesse River. It might be puzzling to figure out what attracts visitors to this tiny spot in Limestone County that boasts a population of fewer than 60 people in a one-quarter square mile area. Still, there are many reasons to take a short detour and see it for yourself. It is one of Alabama’s oldest towns. Mooresville was founded back in 1818, and it continues to resemble a village straight from the 19th century. The entire town area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.”


FUN FACT: Mooresville is home to 1818 Farms, a family-owned business that landed a spot on TV.

2. Tuscumbia

North Alabama Abstract & Guaranty Building in Tuscumbia. (Nathan Watson / The Bama Buzz)

Another North Alabama pick is Tuscumbia, one of four “Quad Cities” that make up the Shoals area. It’s a beautiful little town with its natural scenery and rich history.

“Tuscumbia accompanies the Tennessee River as it joins Wilson Lake at the foothills of the Appalachians, a region ablaze with beauty. Tuscumbia is one of the best small towns to visit in the state, home to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the birthplace of Helen Keller. 

Art lovers are going to adore the Tennessee Valley Art Center. It grants curated exhibitions that change each month and a permanent collection of various artifacts, paintings, and sculptures from artists all around the region. In addition, one can enjoy the nearby Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve for great opportunities for cycling and hiking in a splendid natural environment.”


FUN FACT: The huge oyster restoration project taking place in Alabama this year started its journey across the state in Tuscumbia.

3. Magnolia Springs

Magnolia Springs’ name is as beautiful as the small town itself. Flooded with natural scenery and Southern charm, it’s a must-visit in the Gulf Coast area.

“With a population of less than a thousand citizens, this community thrives where the beauty of nature also abounds. The Magnolia River provides plenty of great opportunities for swimming, boating, and strolling along its banks. This wonderful little town gives an extraordinary flavor of Southern Americana at its finest. A majestic canopy of giant oak trees lines some of the town’s streets. Magnolia Springs is replete with azalea, wisteria, dogwood, camellia, and the defining magnolia that blossoms in the spring.”


4. Fairhope

Downtown Fairhope, Alabama. (City of Fairhope / Facebook)

Much farther south, you’ll find the small town of Fairhope. Located on the Mobile Bay, this city is filled with coastal vibes and idyllic scenery.

“Fairhope overlooks Mobile Bay and the calm Gulf Shore waters. The town of Fairhope was founded in the late 1890s, and today, it is still a great place to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors in a subtropical climate. Visitors can enjoy outdoor locations, such as the Rock Creek Club for golfing, the Weeks Bay Nature Preserve, and, of course, the stunning vistas of Mobile Bay.”


FUN FACT: This small town is featured on Hulu with the new series Love in Fairhope.

5. Loxley

A 25-minute drive northwest of Fairhope is Loxley. While this small town is a little bit farther from the Alabama beaches, it’s no less beautiful.

“With around 4,000 inhabitants, Loxley recently received official city status, but its roots are still engrained in relaxed Southern living. Beautiful white-sand beaches are just a small drive away, while Loxley Municipal Park provides a quiet green space replete with majestic tall conifer trees. The park also is the background to the Annual Strawberry Festival every April. As a suburb of the nearby larger cities of Mobile and Daphne, visitors and residents can enjoy the comfortable amenities of big city life within a more relaxed and smaller setting.”


FUN FACT: Loxley is home to a $100M distribution hub + regional HQ for Aldi.

6. Mountain Brook

Mountain Brook
Mountain Brook’s villages are so pretty. (The Bama Buzz)

Birmingham residents know this one well. Mountain Brook is composed of beautiful villages, each filled with unique homes, shops and restaurants.

“This Jefferson County town is indeed a place where the beauty of nature and the comforts of modern living come together. If this gorgeous scenery attracts your liking, the Grand Bohemian Hotel can provide the best mountain views for a luxurious stay in this appealing small town. Additionally, feel free to indulge in tasting one of Ousler’s delectable chicken sandwiches; you will only be able to stop once the box is empty.”


FUN FACT: A Mountain Brook cafe was recently recognized as one of America’s Best Restaurants.

7. Childersburg

Less than an hour southeast of Mountain Brook is Childersburg, a small town with lots of beauty to offer.

“The Coosa River bounds the small town of Childersburg and contributes to the undeniable Southern charm that one can breathe here. Childersburg holds the claim of being the ‘Oldest Continually Occupied City in America.’ The Coosa Tribe lived here from 1540 until the Europeans settled in 1836…

One of the town’s major landmarks is the pretty Kymulga Grist Mill Park, which features an old wooden mill that belongs to a Southern storybook. Furthermore, the more adventurous visitors can venture deep into the majestic caves of DeSoto Caverns Park. These caverns are full of jaw-dropping stalagmites and stalactites and can be explored along with a tour guide, which grants educational insight into this beautiful natural phenomenon.”


8. Monroeville

Monroeville has lots of beautiful landmarks. (The Bama Buzz)

Located between Mobile and Montgomery, Monroeville has rich history and is almost like a storybook. Well, it actually is.

“Monroeville sits amidst the rolling hills of Monroe County. The town holds the title of ‘Literary Capital of Alabama’ for its many connections to famous American authors Truman Capote and Harper Lee. Monroeville was the inspiration for Harper Lee’s fictional town of Maycomb. Visitors can enjoy these literary references as they stroll the gorgeous Monroeville streets, lined with Maples, Poplar, and Crabapple trees. While downtown, the Historic District along the main road certainly deserves a look for its ancient and beautiful architecture.”


FUN FACT: The Monroeville Literary Festival draws tons of book lovers each year.

9. Mentone

Mentone is known for its breathtaking fall displays of color. Located on the very eastern edge of Alabama, this small town is a not-so-well-kept secret.

“Mentone stands atop Lookout Mountain and has no shortage of small-town charm or breathtaking autumn leaves. Mentone is one of the smallest towns in Alabama, with a population of only 300 or so. Its remote location means it is less well-known than other towns in the state, but it is certainly no less beautiful. The town boasts the highest vantage point of any city in the state and provides scenic views of the surrounding dense forests.”


FUN FACT: Mentone is home to some of the cutest cafes and restaurants in the state.

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Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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