Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Andalusia, AL

  • Published 2022/11/30

Pick destinations in Andalusia if you’re planning a travel itinerary in south-central Alabama.

This beautiful city is the county seat of Covington County, and it offers plenty of fun things to do within its nearly 20 square miles of territory.

Elements from its history help drive visitors to Andalusia, which was first settled in 1841 and incorporated in 1884.

An 1841 flooding of the Conecuh River west of Andalusia forced folks from the riverside trading post-Montezuma to resettle on the higher grounds of the city’s current area.

This location was then part of Spanish Florida, which is believed to be the reason why the city was named Andalusia, duplicating the name of a community in southern Spain.

Rapid growth came to Andalusia and its Alabama area in 1899 when two railroad lines—the Central of Georgia and the L & N Railroad—were established in the region.

Just from these few vignettes of Andalusia’s past, the city already offers visitors several points of interest.

Choose from the following list of 20 best things to do in Andalusia the activities that you would enjoy the most.

Camp at the Conecuh National Forest

Night view of the Open Pond campground at Conecuh National Forest

Will Thomas, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This national forest covers 84,000 acres between Andalusia and the boundary line of Alabama with the state of Florida.

The Conecuh National Forest maintains a campground at the Open Pond Recreation Area, which is easily accessible from Andalusia via US 29.

This recreation area’s centerpiece is a 30-acre lake for boating and fishing.

The campground offers 65 developed campsites with water and power hookups.

Sunset at Conecuh National Forest

Will Thomas, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It also provides nine basic campsites without these hookups.

Nonetheless, all campsites are equipped with a fire ring, lantern post, barbecue grill, benches, tables, and designated spaces for parked vehicles and tents.

A wide variety of outdoor activities can be enjoyed while camping at the Conecuh National Forest.

These include hiking, hunting, shooting sports, fishing, swimming, backpacking, biking, wildlife observation, and nature study.

Visit the Springdale Estate

Sprawling over 3.8 acres, this estate is located next to the Andalusia City Hall on East Three Notch Street at the eastern edge of the downtown district.

The centerpiece of the Springdale Estate is a 5,630-square-foot mansion built in the 1930s.

Locals either call to this vintage residence as the Scherf Mansion for its first owner or the Tomberlin Mansion for its subsequent owner.

The first owner, John G. Scherf, a former Andalusia mayor, named the estate Springdale for natural spring on its grounds.

December would be a great time to visit the Springdale Estate, as it hosts a Christmas Wonderland during this month.

In July, the estate comes alive each Thursday night with a summer concert featuring local musicians.

Pick from the Menu of Samurai Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

This Japanese restaurant offers dining in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and food items that can rival big-city offerings.

Located on the southeast corner of AL-55 and South Cotton Street, Samurai Steakhouse provides some of the finest in Japanese cuisine.

The dining experience here begins with picks from its menu of Japanese sushi, sashimi, and tempura prepared by expert chefs.

Samurai Japanese Steakhouse is as sharp in delighting your taste buds with its servings of hibachi-style fillet mignon steak, lobster, shrimp, and scallop.

For desserts, the choices include conventional vanilla ice cream to the restaurant’s version of fried cheesecake.

Pick from Eateries around the Andalusia Town Square

The side streets around the Andalusia Town Square offer a fine selection of restaurants and coffee shops to re-energize after touring the museum, historical spots, and murals on its periphery.

For snacks, try the Surly Mermaid’s Deli on South Three Notch Street.

This eatery, remarkable for its playful décor, offers fresh, local, and healthy cuisines in its menu, such as croissants, soups, and sandwiches.

Choices on light fare are also as enticing in the Surly Mermaid’s next-door neighbor Blue Bird Coffee Company.

Besides its flagship coffee and espresso drinks, it also offers teas, fresh-baked bread, and pastries.

Watch Ballerinas at the Church Street Cultural Art Centre

Classical ballet and its related art forms are promoted in this art center on Church Street west of Andalusia’s downtown area.

Built during the early 1920s, the Church Street Cultural Art Centre’s was formerly the city school of Andalusia.

It is now home to the dance company Andalusia Ballet Association established in 1982.

Its ballet dance lessons in the art center culminate in crowd-drawing Andalusia Ballet performances scheduled throughout the year.

Some are held at the art center, while others, like The Nutcracker, are set at the Dixon Performing Arts Center in the Lurleen B. Wallace Community College on Danelley Boulevard.

Bring the Kids to Andalusia’s Family-friendly Parks

Andalusia maintains about a dozen parks with outdoor recreational facilities suited specifically for children.

Dream Park on Dannelly Boulevard is one great pick for the park to bring your kids.

In this park, they can have much fun in Dream Park’s imaginative and creative play facilities.

The other features of this park include a scenic walking trail, picnic grounds, and gazebos.

Robinson Park on Railroad Avenue also provides a children’s playground amid a wooded area.

It has a lighted and paved walking trail also and is just a short distance from the Church Street Cultural Art Center.

Enjoy the Waters of Gantt Lake

Plenty of water-based activities can be enjoyed in Andalusia with a short drive north to Gantt Lake.

There is a day-use recreation area in a family-owned RV park on Bluegill Lane near this 2,700-acre lake.

The second-largest in South Alabama, this lake was impounded beginning in the 1930s by the hydroelectric-generating Gantt Dam.

The RV park by the lake has 82 campsites with hook-ups for power, water, digital cable TV, plus Wi-Fi.

Gantt Lake has good fishing spots for Bass, Bluegill, Catfish, Crappie, and Shellcracker.

Besides fishing, the recreational activities that the lake offers include boating, jet-skiing, and duck hunting.

The RV park has picnic facilities, a swimming area, bathrooms, and fishing piers, boat launches, and rental boat slips.

Peek at the Historic Buildings of Andalusia

Exterior of First National Bank Building

Chris Pruitt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

History buffs visiting Andalusia will have an enjoyable tour focused on the city’s historic places.

Notably, these Andalusia landmarks listed on the National Register of Historic Places account for seven out of the 10 total listings in Covington County.

Entrance and windows of First National Bank Building

Chris Pruitt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For a quick look at the city’s historic landmarks, take a stroll around the Andalusia Commercial Historic District.

This area is approximately defined by South Three Notch Street, Coffee Street, and the Seaboard Railroad tracks.

The historic structures within this area include the six-story First National Bank Building constructed in 1920 on South Cotton Street and significant as southeast Alabama’s only “skyscraper.”

Exterior of the Avant house

Chris Pruitt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Its designer, Frank Lockwood of Montgomery, is also the architect of the Covington County Courthouse built nearby on North Court Square from 1914 to 1916, another historic structure in Andalusia.

Outside of the city center, the 914 neoclassical mansion Avant House on Sanford Road is also another historic Andalusia structure worth a peek.

Front exterior of the Avant house

Chris Pruitt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy the Games at the Sports Fields of Andalusia

A visit to Andalusia can be timed with the annual softball tournaments and all-star tournaments hosted at the city’s Dwight Mikel Sports Complex on Kiwanis Drive.

Its game fields are designed for youth soccer and adult softball.

Sports action in Andalusia can also be enjoyed at the city’s 40-acre Johnson Park on Carson Street.

This park boasts 11 ball fields, a gymnasium, and is home to the Johnson Skate Park.

Other sports facilities in Andalusia are at the Will Coleman–Richard Robertson Community Center on C.C. Baker Avenue.

This 10-acre city facility provides a practice field, a gymnasium, and a swimming pool.

Tour the Andalusia Mural Trail

This self-guided walking tour provides an essence of the early days of Andalusia and Covington County in murals on the walls of historic buildings in the city.

Rendered by renowned Dothan artist Wes Hardin, these murals include renditions of the early Covington County courthouses, timber and logging, school days, and utilities.

There is also a mural depicting “The Legend of Andalusia” on the side of the WAAO FM radio station at East Three Notch Street corner Central Street.

In this area, you’ll also see the mural of Alabama’s country music pioneer Hank Williams and singer Audrey Sheppard and a historical marker to their 1944 Andalusia wedding.

This side of Andalusia’s downtown is also home to the Lower Alabama Arts Coalition (LAAC) gallery on East Three Notch Street, where artworks are exhibited and on sale.

Swing Clubs at the Links of Andalusia

Andalusia offers two golf courses within its city limits, one of which is the Evans Barnes Golf Course on Dannelly Boulevard.

Built in 1977, this par 72, 6,500-yard public golf course spreads within the campus of the Lurleen B. Wallace Community College.

Golfers here can play nine holes from 18 separate tee boxes. The Andalusia Country Club is another 18-hole option also for golfers visiting the city.

Its golf course is accessible via Prestwood Bridge Road onward north to Country Club Drive.

The regulation play in this 6,356-yard course is a par 72 as well.

The country club offers other facilities, including two lighted tennis courts with one lined for pickleball.

Have a Beer at The B

This beer-lovers’ hang-out, located on Church Street in downtown Andalusia, opened in 2022 in the former site of a Coca-Cola plant.

Officially known as The B Craft Beer and Wine Pub, its ambiance takes after a traditional English pub.

In addition to its flagship craft beer and wine, The B also serves new-to-Andalusia food offerings like pickled okra and Cajun sausage.

The B exudes charms in its indoor patio’s wall featuring a collection of magazine articles and covers from 1930 to 1990.

This pub’s outdoor greenspace features a giant chessboard that endears The B some more to beer lovers.

Dine at the Hilltop Meat Company, Restaurant & Arena

This family-owned restaurant spreads on a scenic parcel in the north of Andalusia off US Highway 29.

Lunch specials are served here from Tuesday to Saturday, while dinner dates can be enjoyed at the Hilltop from Thursday to Saturday.

This restaurant offers a variety of seafood dishes, including fried or grilled shrimps and oysters.

It likewise takes pride in the restaurant’s home-smoked pork sausage, as well as its pork, chicken, and steak servings.

Plan a visit to Hilltop in October for the opportunity to watch the Annual Cowboys for Kids Rodeo that it hosts.

Spend Your Vacation at the Oaks Family RV Park & Campground

In 2016, business owner Jason Smith began looking at nearby properties and RV parks.

Oaks Family RV Park & Campground has RV rentals, group cottages, glamping tents set up, and primitive camping in addition to concrete and gravel RV spaces.

In the center of their 32-acre site lies The Oaks Playground.

They have a charming gazebo between the playground and the restroom.

There are fishing opportunities, a bathhouse with private rooms, a play area for kids with a zip line, and golfing cart services for accessing the spring-fed pond.

Cook dinner using one of their charcoal grills while enjoying shade as the children play on the zipline.

Oaks Family RV Park & Campground also feature a horseshoe pit, a corn hole setup, a BBQ grill, and swings at their pavilion.

Indulge in Delicious Meals at David’s Catfish House

Locals and visitors visiting Andalusia, Alabama, may enjoy the traditional Southern-style catfish at David’s Catfish House.

To ensure that their customers adore David’s and keep coming back for more, they strive to offer delectable, high-quality cuisine together with top-notch service in a friendly, family-oriented setting.

They are a family-run business that offers a variety of food, including farm-raised catfish, Black Angus ribeyes, chicken tenders, pork chops, and many more!

They also feature seafood from Bayou La Batre, Alabama’s Seafood Capital, including shrimp, crab claws, and oysters.

Every day, they make their own batters, breading, and mixes.

Book a Room at the Cottle House Bed & Breakfast

The Cottle House Bed & Breakfast in south central Alabama offers a distinctive bed and breakfast vacation.

It was built in 1905 and has been wonderfully renovated.

The main home includes a kitchen, dining room, and living room, three queen-sized bedrooms, and two complete bathrooms.

The one-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage is offered close to the main home for a more intimate environment.

Experience the catch-and-release fishing, bespoke breakfasts, antique-filled guestrooms, wraparound veranda, and strolling paths at The Cottle House.

Book a stay in the center of south Alabama, whether a seasoned tourist or a first-time guest, for memorable moments and times to remember!

Enjoy Shopping at Cato Fashions

Cato Fashions is a family-run business that consistently offers high-end clothing and accessories at reasonable pricing.

With more than 1,000 locations in 30 states, including Andalusia, AL, they remain loyal to their small-town American customers by providing trendy looks, accepting people of all forms and sizes, and providing them with the quality and care they need.

Browse their plus size selection for attractive looks that complement your body and way of life.

Admire the flexible clothing, matching accessories, and shape-enhancing elements that help you feel and look your greatest.

You’ll quickly understand why you walked into their store and kept coming back with designs that match your personality in both standard and wide-width sizes.

Rejuvenate at Andalusia Massage and Bodywork

Pay a visit to Andalusia Massage & Bodywork, a place to unwind, rejuvenate, and enjoy.

They provide several different procedures, such as facials, eye lifts, suction therapy, and more.

Their facial treatments vary from routine upkeep to premium therapies that instantly alter the texture and appearance of your skin.

Your issues will be addressed by their highly qualified personnel, who will assist you in locating the best goods and therapies.

Make a reservation for one of Andalusia Massage and Bodywork’s infrared sauna treatments or ionic foot detox sessions.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go Fishing at the Frank Jackson State Park

This 2,050-acre state park is a strong draw for anglers as its main attraction is the 1,000-acre Lake Jackson.

Located in the city of Opp, about 15 miles east of Andalusia, the Frank Jackson State Park’s lake is well-stocked with bass, bream, catfish, and crappie.

The park has an ADA-compliant fishing platform as well as boat ramps and a grassy beach.

It also provides lakefront RV camping, picnic areas, a playground, and a bathhouse.

The lake features an island with a connecting boardwalk to the lakeshore, serving also as a wildlife observation platform.

In addition, the Frank Jackson State Park provides more than 3 miles of walking trails, wherein an event called Scarecrows in the park is held from October to November.

Final Thoughts

All elements in Andalusia are perfectly aligned for a memorable visit to this city.

Its visitors will find it easy to explore and appreciate the city’s historic downtown attractions, with all the amenities masterfully developed around them.

Similarly, the outdoor recreational facilities in and around Andalusia have been expertly woven with the natural setting, thereby enhancing the joys of touring this city.

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