5 small towns perfect for a Labor Day Weekend road trip


Birmingham, road trips
Where will your road trip lead you? Photo by William Christen via Unsplash

Got the travel bug? Then buckle up and hit the road. Here are five small towns within three hours of Birmingham that make the ultimate road trip getaway this Labor Day Weekend.

1. Fort Payne, Alabama

Birmingham, North Alabama
Shop Orbit Hot Glass for unique finds in Fort Payne, AL. Photo via Visit North Alabama’s Facebook page

Population: 71,513
County: Dekalb
Distance from Birmingham:
1 hour, 23 minutes via I-59 South

For a Labor Day road trip that leads to a panoramic explosion of breathtaking views, head for Alabama’s Dekalb County.

Located in Northeastern Alabama, Dekalb County includes wowing nature spots like Fort Payne. For amazing scenic views and more, this is the ultimate weekend getaway.

Little River Canyon Falls. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Must-Visit Attractions:

Fort Payne is the largest town in Dekalb County and features some of the most majestic outdoor spots. Check out:

Along with awe-inspiring views, there are lots of outdoor opportunities, including:

  • Guided hikes
  • Rapeling
  • Kayaking
  • And more!

2. Florence, Alabama

Birmingham, Florence, Alabama
A gorgeous view of Florence, Alabama. Photo by T. Young Photography via City of Florence, Alabama – Government’s Facebook page

Population: 40,428
County: Lauderdale County
Distance from Birmingham: 1 hour, 53 minutes via I-65 North

Named after Florence in Tuscany, Italy, the area is known for its architecture, artistic charm and musical influence.

Must-Visit Attractions:

Children’s Museum of the Shoals: Located near Deibert Park, you’ll find Children’s Museum of the Shoals offers a hands-on interactive experience designed specifically for kids.

Find it at: 2810 Darby Dr, Florence, AL 35630

Pope’s Tavern: Located in Florence near Alabama’s oldest University, the University of North Alabama, this spot has seen history dating back all the way to the Civil War.

Find it at: 203 Hermitage Dr, Florence, AL 35630

3. Scottsboro, Alabama

Birmingham, North Alabama
Scottsboro, AL is filled with astounding caves. Photo via Visit North Alabama’s Facebook page

Population: 14,404
County: Jackson County
Distance from Birmingham: 1 hour, 53 minutes via I-59 North

For a quaint and picturesque town, set your GPS for Scottsboro, Alabama. Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, on the banks of the Tennessee River, you’ll discover everything from stunning natural wonders and tasty Southern cuisine to some of the world’s coolest caves.

Must-Visit Attractions

Birmingham, Scottsboro, Alabama, Unclaimed Baggage
For amazing finds, head to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, AL. Photo via Unclaimed Baggage Center’s Facebook page

Unclaimed Baggage Center: Have you ever wondered where unclaimed baggage and the content within end up after being left behind? It goes here, to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama. 

Known as the home for lost luggage, the store is one of Alabama’s top tourist attractions, selling thousands of unclaimed items at great deals. From clothes and books to electronics and toys, the list of possible finds is endless!

Find it at: 509 W Willow St, Scottsboro, AL 35768

Birmingham, Scottsboro, Alabama, Fackler, Rock Zoo
Check out the coolest chicken around at the Rock Zoo in Fackler, AL. Photo by Rachel Fields Moraw via Facebook

Rock Zoo: For the more obscure Scottsboro adventure, check this out. Less than 20 minutes from Scottsboro on a winding back road in Fackler, Alabama, you’ll find something unexpected—a roadside exhibit made of zoo animals carved from rocks.

What started in the 1970s with one rock carved and painted to look like a rooster has now grown into an entire rock zoo with elephants, chickens, cows and more.

Find it at: 3215 Co Rd 32, Fackler, AL 35746

Birmingham, Scottsboro, Alabama, Paynes Soda Fountain
For 1950s fun, Scottsboro’s popular Paynes Soda Fountain is a must-visit. Photo via Paynes Soda Fountain’s Facebook page

Payne’s Sandwich Shop and Soda Fountain: Founded in 1869 and remodeled in 1950s fashion, this diner takes you back in time with a working jukebox, original soda fountain and red chrome stools. Its menu is also the cat’s meow. 

Find it at: 101 E Laurel St, Scottsboro, AL 35768

4. Fayetteville, Tennessee

Birmingham, Fayetteville, Alabama, Tennessee
Fayetteville, Tennessee offer nighttime charm. Photo via City of Fayetteville Tennessee’s Facebook page

Population: 7,017
County: Lincoln
Distance from Birmingham: 2 hours, 1 minute via 1-65 North

Located in Southern Middle Tennessee, Fayetteville is a small town offering history, charm and unique attractions. 

Running through the town is The Elk River, which is the perfect escape for Birmingham’s outdoor enthusiasts. Visit the river for:

  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Fishing

The Elk River is home to several species of popular fish, including largemouth bass, bream, rainbow trout, catfish and more.

Must-Visit Attractions

Fayetteville is home to some really cool guided and self-guided tours. Two include:

Historical Homes: tour grand mansions and homes dating back to the Civil War on these historic Fayetteville streets:

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Photo via Jack Daniel’s Facebook page

Distillery Tours: For Birmingham’s biggest distillery fans, discover how your favorite whiskeys and beers are made at these well-known distilleries in Fayetteville:

5. Oxford, Mississippi

Birmingham, Oxford, Mississippi
You’ll love the history and charm of Oxford, MS. Photo via Visit Oxford’s Facebook page

Population: 24,528
Distance from Birmingham:
2 hours, 29 minutes via I-22 West

Oxford, Mississippi is filled with exciting things to see and do, so for a jam-packed getaway this Labor Day weekend, make plans to visit the town square.

Historic and charming, this small town offers restaurants, galleries, boutiques and specialty shops. It’s also an ideal place to grab a seat and people watch.

Must-Visit Attractions

Birmingham, Boure Restaurant
Boure Burger for the win. Photo via Boure Restaurant

Boure Restaurant: Just like Birmingham, you can find tons of tasty places to grab a bite to eat in Oxford, Mississippi. While you’re having fun in the town square, make a food stop at Boure Restaurant. This bustling eatery serves up Creole fare and drinks in a casual environment. Bonus: outdoor balcony seating.

It’s a great spot to grab a sandwich, too. One, in particular—the Boure Burger. This grilled USDA short rib burger comes with fried pickles, lettuce, tomato, blue cheese and Boure sauce on a brioche bun.

Find it at: 110 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655

Southside Gallery: Conveniently located in Oxford’s town square, Southside Gallery exhibits work by artists predominantly from the Southeast.

Find it at: 150 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655

Before you hit the road

Swing by Driver’s Way for all your vehicle needs. They’ll be sure to get you on your merry way safely. Find them in Pelham and off Highway 280 in front of the Lee Branch Shopping Center

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