15 Best Things to Do in Cullman, AL

Cullman, AL
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Cullman, Alabama, is a shining example of the unique charisma of the American South, shaped by a rich European heritage and the charm of the rugged country.

Founded by the German Col. Johann Gottfried Cullmann in 1873, the city has developed into one of the South’s centers of history and progress.

Today, you can still see Cullman’s historical roots in its museums, public parks, and many other landmarks.

If you’re curious about the complex history of the United States, head over to this fascinating city.

You’ll learn how enterprising persons with grand ambitions laid the foundations for the American dream.

Want to learn more about Cullman, AL? Check out the list below.

Stir Your Spirit at the Ave Maria Grotto

Ave Maria Grotto
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Founded in 1891, the Ave Maria Grotto is Cullman’s primary tourist landmark.

The site sits on a well-manicured and landscaped hillside, which contains 125 small stone and cement structures.

The grotto itself belongs to the historic St. Bernard Abbey, Alabama’s only Benedictine monastery for men.

Brother Joseph Zoetl built the hundred miniatures during his 70 years of service as a monk in the abbey.

Ave Maria Grotto
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The Grotto itself was designed to hold Zoetl’s creations, which he began in 1912 and lasted until 1958.

Among the structures in the Grotto is Zoetl’s miniature replica of the Lourdes Basilica Church.

Upon his death in 1961, Brother Zoetl was buried in the Abbey Cemetery, the resting place for the Benedictine monks.

Visitors to the Grotto are also welcome to visit the Brother’s grave.

The Ave Maria Grotto is at 1600 St Bernard Drive, Cullman, AL 35055.

Ave Maria Grotto
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Enjoy the Day at Sportsman Lake Park

Your trip to Cullman is incomplete without spending a day at the Sportsman Lake Park.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re with friends or family, since the park offers a variety of activities for people of all ages.

Located in downtown Cullman, the Park is built around a shallow body of water, allowing visitors to fish and observe wildlife.

You can also pitch a tent or camp out in your RV, as well as hang out at the picnic tables or under the pavilions.

Your kids can even ride the small train that circles the park while you play some golf at the 18-hole Putt Putt course.

These activities are just a small sample of the things you can do at the park, so if you want to do everything, you must go there.

You can visit the Sportsman Lake Park at 1544 Sportsman Lake Road NW, Cullman, AL 35055.

Learn Your History at the Clarkson Covered Bridge

Grist Mill at Clarkson Covered Bridge
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Built in 1904, the Clarkson Covered Bridge was used to connect farmers and travelers to Crooked Creek.

Today, it is one of Cullman’s fondest attractions, a rich historical site, and a popular wedding venue.

A massive storm split the bridge apart in 1921, sending one of its pieces downstream.

Luckily, this piece was salvaged and was then used to restore the bridge a year later.

In 1974, the bridge was named to the National Register of Historic Places, cementing its legacy as one of Cullman’s historical landmarks.

View of Clarkson Covered Bridge
Bonita R. Cheshier / Shutterstock.com

Through the years, the Cullman County Commission has surrounded the bridge with various amenities, such as hiking trails and picnic areas.

The Commission also built period structures around the bridge, emphasizing its historic status.

These buildings are a Dogtrot log cabin and an actual working grist mill.

If you want your wedding to have a timeless feel, go to the Clarkson Covered Bridge and etch your names into Cullman history.

The Clarkson Covered Bridge is located at 1240 County Road 1043, Cullman, AL 35055.

Taste Authentic Southern Food at Smith Farms

Founded in 1955 by Ed Smith, Smith Farms is now known across the US as a producer of authentic Southern food products.

Today, Rodger and Lori Turner run the farms, where they continue to use time-honored recipes and techniques to create their popular products.

At Smith Farms, you’ll get to experience the delights of traditional Southern food.

These include cured pork, as well as hams, bacon, and sausage smoked with real hickory wood.

Aside from meat products, Smith Farms also offers authentic Southern food products like grits, porridge, muffins, gravy, and cornmeal.

You can also grab some aged Amish and Wisconsin cheeses, pure honey, and a line of jams, preserves, and fruit butter.

Smith Farms can be found at 1825 4th Street SW Cullman, AL 35055.

Sample Local Beers at Goat Island Brewing

Founded in 2015 by a group of friends, Goat Island Brewing has revived the art of craft beer in Cullman.

The brewery has created award-winning beers that made its name among beer aficionados across the state and across the country.

Among Goat Island’s prize-winning beers are the Richter’s Pils, which won the gold medal at the 2017 Alabama Craft Beer Championship.

This beer carries the heavy influence of the German immigrants that founded the town in the late 1800s.

Another award-winning Goat Island brew is the Sipsey River Red, which won gold at the 2016 Alabama Craft Beer Championship.

The beer is meant to evoke the feeling of walking in the Sipsey River Wilderness area during summertime.

You can find Goat Island Brewing at 1646-A John H Cooper Drive SE Cullman, AL 35055.

Camp Out at Smith Lake Park

If you’re feeling like spending the night in the great outdoors, head over to Cullman for a camping night at Smith Lake Park.

The Park is situated on the shores of the 21,200-acre Lewis Smith Lake and is open year-round for campers.

At the Park, you can choose from nine cabins and 219 full-service campsites, which are served by five water and electric sites.

If you prefer pitching tents, the Park also offers 61 tent sites for you.

Smith Lake Park also offers enough space for various activities to liven up the camping experience.

These spaces include playgrounds, a pool, a fishing pier, a stage, and a boat launch.

The Smith Lake Park can be found at 403 County Road 386 Cullman, AL 35057.

Discover Town History at the Cullman County Museum

John Cullmann was a German immigrant who founded the city and county of Cullman in 1873.

In honor of his legacy, the Cullman County Museum was built inside a replica of Cullman’s original 19th century home.

Cullmann’s vision of starting a colony for his fellow German immigrants bore fruit in the eponymous county.

Now, you can see these fruits for yourself at the county museum.

The museum holds exhibits that reveal Cullman's history through historical artifacts.

You can learn the history of the Native Americans in the area and the pioneer settlers who made Cullman their home.

Likewise, you can also learn more about the local wildlife that had inhabited Cullman even before humans got there.

Visit the Cullman County Museum at 211 2nd Avenue, NE Cullman, AL 35055.

Browse Antiques at Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Cullman is also known for its many antique shops.

One of these stores is the Southern Accents Architectural Antiques, started in 1969 by Dr. Garlan Gudger.

As Cullman began to demolish its buildings, Dr. Gudger decided to salvage as many architectural objects as he could.

Dr. Gudger’s collection began to grow soon after, which attracted enthusiasts from the city and outside.

When interest in his antiques grew enough, he opened his own shop in North Cullman.

Today, Southern Accents is Cullman’s premier antique store, offering items like hardware, tiles, and home décor.

Drop by the Southern Accents showroom at 308 2nd Avenue SE Cullman, AL 35055.

Honor American Heroes at the Cullman Veterans Memorial Park

The United States has a long and venerable history of heroes who answered the call of duty and gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

In Cullman, you can honor their sacrifice at the Veterans Memorial Park.

When you visit the park, make sure to stop at the Alabama Veterans Memorial Wall.

The monument contains the names of 1,209 Alabaman soldiers who gave their lives in the Vietnam War from 1963 to 1975.

The Park also contains monuments dedicated to fallen soldiers from World War 1 and II, the Korean War, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Likewise, the Park holds a unique cement waving flag together with a US Army tank.

For special events, a pavilion sits inside park grounds, which can seat 150 people.

The Cullman Veterans Memorial Park is at 1544 Sportsman Lake Road NW, Cullman, AL 35055.

Find the Divine at the St. Bernard Abbey

Visitors who’ve checked out the Ave Maria Grotto can proceed to St. Bernard Abbey, which welcomes guests of all ages and beliefs.

Known for their hospitality, the Benedictine monks at the abbey offer amenities for individuals and groups who want to visit.

If you want to hold group retreats, meetings, conferences, or workshops, the abbey has facilities for you.

You can also stay at the abbey after a day visiting Cullman’s sacred places, like the Ave Maria Grotto.

St. Bernard Abbey is at 1600 St. Bernard Drive, SE Cullman, AL 35055.

Tour Cullman’s Oldest House at Weiss Cottage

Weiss Cottage
Chris Pruitt, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The oldest house in Cullman is Weiss Cottage, which was built in 1875. When it was built, it served as the house and clinic of Dr. Aldo Weiss.

Today, the cottage is a historical site where visitors can experience 19thcentury life in Cullman.

Inside the cottage are 19th-century artifacts, including Dr. Weiss’ medical equipment.

The Cullman County Museum holds tours at the Weiss Cottage, which still has a traditional porch and other period adornments.

You can go to the Weiss Cottage at 418 1st Avenue, SE Cullman, AL 35055.

Bring Your Family to Heritage Park Cullman

You might not believe it, but even downtown Cullman offers a bevy of outdoor fun for the whole family.

Bring them to Heritage Park for a day of good old family-friendly fun, from sports to picnics.

Grow your family’s teamwork through team sports, like baseball, basketball, soccer, and softball.

You can also just play golf with your dad or take your pets for a walk while your kids enjoy the playground.

If you get hungry, you can hit up the nearby restaurants for a hearty family meal.

Heritage Park Cullman can be found at 1705 Lee Avenue, SW Cullman, AL 35055.

Take the Plunge With Skydive Alabama

If you’ve been dreaming of becoming a skydiver, you’ll enjoy visiting Cullman.

Skydive Alabama offers many activities for skydiving enthusiasts, whether pro or amateurs.

From tandem skydiving to tutorial courses, Skydive Alabama should quench your thirst for adventure.

You can also grab gift certificates if you want to share the thrill with a special person.

Skydive Alabama also has a team of skilled and experienced professionals who will guide you and ensure your safety.

You can reach Skydive, Alabama at 231 County Road 1360, Cullman, AL.

Learn a New Hobby at Cullman Shooting Sports

As the country's longest commercial indoor above-ground range, Cullman Shooting Sports offers plenty of space for tourists who might want to try something new.

Visitors interested in a new hobby can enjoy the range’s eight rifle lanes, nine pistol lanes, and two firing simulators.

You can also check out the range’s selection of firearms and firearm accessories.

If you’re an amateur, you don’t need to worry.

The range will train you, whether as an individual or as part of a group.

Certified instructors will make sure you don’t hurt yourself or anyone else.

These training courses include programs on first shots, concealed carry, church security, and AR-builds.

Cullman Shooting Sports is located at 593 AL Highway 69, N Corner Highway 157, and Alabama Highway 69N, Cullman, AL 35055-0782.

Stuff Yourself at Moe’s Original Bar B Que

After a long day of doing touristy stuff, you’ll want more than a bite.

The best barbeque in the region can be found in Cullman’s own Moe’s Original Bar B Que.

If you’re ravenous for pork, you’ll enjoy the restaurant’s menu of original Bama-style pulled pork, smoked wings, or hardwood-smoked turkey.

An array of special sauces and tasty side dishes will complete your meals and fill your belly.

Moe’s also hosts live music every Friday, helping set the mood for your meal.

You can find Moe’s Original Bar B Que at 318 1st Avenue, SE Cullman, AL 35055.

Final Thoughts

Cullman, AL offers travelers a mix of good food, unique history, and thrilling adventure.

For the tourist who wants a little bit of everything, the city provides a hefty sampler of activities and attractions.

Book your trip today!