Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Guntersville, AL

  • Published 2022/10/04

“Sweet Home Alabama” —nothing beats this phrase in describing what southern hospitality and culture are.

However, Alabama is beyond its country music, unique culture, southern hospitality, and southern culinary excellence.

For instance, it’s also the home of one of the best college football teams in the country, the Alabama Crimson Tide, and the home of U.S Space and Rocket Center.

All of these make Alabama one of the most popular travel destinations in the country.

But if you’re looking way beyond this state’s mainstream attractions, head to Marshal County’s Guntersville City.

Guntersville is a one-and-a-half-hour drive north of Birmingham and a three-hour drive north of Montgomery.

It’s nearest Huntsville, with less than an hour’s drive southeast.

Guntersville has a population of around 8,000 people, and this city is widely known for its majestic Lake Guntersville.

Furthermore, the city has a beautiful culture, delicious food, and a vibrant art community that makes up most of what Alabama is all about.

Here are the 2o best things to do in Guntersville, AL:

Walk Through Guntersville’s History at the Guntersville Museum and Cultural Center

Exterior of the Guntersville Museum and Cultural Center

Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Built in 1936, the museum was once a military armory for the 167th Infantry Division’s Company E.

The Guntersville Museum today now serves as an important historical landmark in the city’s cultural district.

What makes this landmark even more fascinating is its architecture and the stone used to construct it.

The builders utilized rough limestone, giving the museum a distinct medieval and brutalist architectural design.

Furthermore, it’s nestled on a hilltop covered with trees adjacent to the city’s public library and overlooks the famous Whole Backstage Community Theater.

Aside from browsing through Guntersville’s history, you can also score great finds at its gift shop.

To visit Guntersville Museum, it is at 1215 Rayburn Ave, Guntersville, AL.

The museum opens up from 10 am to 4 pm but is closed on Mondays.

Set an Outdoor Adventure at the Lake Guntersville State Park

The waters of Lake Guntersville State Park

benuski from Richmond, VA, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Being the largest lake in Alabama, Lake Guntersville State Park gives you an outdoor adventure you haven’t experienced before.

Your visit to Guntersville won’t be complete without spending a day at Lake Guntersville State Park.

Of course, its main attraction is the lake, but on its shores, you can choose dozens of outdoor activities to do, both on land and water.

If you want to relax and, in the mood to go out to fish, head to the lake, and rent a boat, maybe you can catch some giant catfish or bass, the most common species found there.

Or perhaps, hike or bike around the 36-mile trail in the park or swim on the lake’s beach area.

Furthermore, you can spend your day spotting the majestic bald eagles flying freely in the park’s nature preserve.

Moreover, the park has numerous resorts, hotels, and restaurants for your convenience.

To visit the park, head to 24 State Campground Rd.

The park’s schedule varies differently, so it would be better to check its website.

Experience Culinary Excellence at Old Town Stock House

Crystal McKone, a proud daughter of Guntersville, honed her culinary skills at the University of Alabama and proceeded to perfect her craft at the International Culinary Center.

After years of experience in the hospitality industry, she decided to come back home and open up her restaurant, the Old Town Stock House.

You should dine at this restaurant if you want to experience southern-style cuisine infused with modern culinary techniques that take the food experience to another level.

The restaurant’s menu mainly focuses on meats and seafood.

Aside from its delectable food items, the restaurant’s building is already more than a century old.

It’s one of the oldest buildings in Guntersville.

The building was the former storage facility of the Rexall Drugstore, built back in 1901.

McKone, who wants to incorporate a nostalgic experience into her guests, converted the facility into a restaurant and knitted vintage design that hints at the city’s history.

To dine at the Old Town, Stock House is at 410 Old Town Street, Guntersville, AL.

They start serving guests from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Watch the Whole Backstage Theatre Perform

For almost half a century, the famous Whole Backstage Theatre has put smiles on locals’ and visitors’ faces with countless entertaining performances.

The group, a non-profit organization comprised primarily of volunteers, regularly holds theater performances in Guntersville and around Marshall County.

Most of their shows and performances are family-oriented based on popular flicks and other Broadway masterpieces.

Furthermore, they have theater camps for young aspiring performers in Guntersville.

Visit their official website to learn more about their upcoming performances, one-night-only specials, and musical concerts.

Or perhaps, visit the theater at 1120 Rayburn Ave, Guntersville, AL.

Go Fishing at the Town Creek Fishing Center

The Town Creek Fishing Center is operating in Lake Guntersville.

It’s the perfect place to explore the lake and its surroundings or participate in several outdoor activities, specifically fishing activities.

Also, the Town Creek Fishing Center offers outdoor activities on land like hiking, biking, and horseback riding along the park’s trails.

If you, unfortunately, left your fishing equipment at home, don’t worry. They have a dockside store with all the needed fishing supplies available.

To visit the Town Creek Fishing Center, it is at 11868 AL-227, Guntersville, AL.

They welcome guests from 8 am to 4 pm daily.

Dig Into Delicious Seafood at Top O’ The River

The Top O’ The River, a restaurant in Guntersville, had come a very long way from its humble beginnings back in 1982.

Today, it’s one of the most well-known restaurants in the Southeast for fresh seafood and catfish.

All of their mouthwatering seafood items on the menu are prepared and cooked fresh daily.

They are widely known for their secret recipe that mainly focuses on Cajun tradition.

This family-owned restaurant has become an integral part of Marshall County and Guntersville.

It’s where locals love to celebrate special occasions.

Their farm-raised catfish is the most popular menu item cooked in different recipes, while their seafood comes from the Mississippi River’s freshwater.

To dine at this famous Alabama restaurant, it’s at 7004 Val Monte Dr, Guntersville, AL.

Their business hours differ, so kindly check their website.

Celebrate Art and Culture at the Annual Art of the Lake Festival

This annual festival happening every April is already in its 61st year.

It’s one of Alabama’s most significant arts festivals wherein local artists, and those from other parts of Marshall County gather together to display their passion for art.

There are musical performances, outdoor galleries, and beautiful exhibits throughout the festival that lasts for around two to three days.

It’s a recommended activity to do in Guntersville because of its one-of-a-kind experience involving arts and culture.

Plus, the venue commonly takes place beside the picturesque view of Lake Guntersville.

You can buy different artworks from painting, pottery, and weaving handicrafts that artists uniquely manufacture.

Get Into Action at the Screaming Eagle

Lake Guntersville State Park is teeming with outdoor activities, and one of the best places to engage in such activities is the Screaming Eagle.

The place is an outdoor recreational center for the entire family to enjoy.

The main attraction of Screaming Eagle is its numerous ziplines which have varying distances and heights.

One of their ziplines has a 2,100 feet distance and is around 200 feet high.

The place also has several suspension bridges to cross and other outdoor activities you can enjoy.

To visit the Screaming Eagle, it is at 1155 Lodge Dr, Guntersville, AL.

They open their facility from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

Taste Southern Style Food at Rock House Eatery

The Rock House Eatery is a proudly family-owned business widely known in Guntersville to serve southern-style food most innovatively.

Opened in 2009, the restaurant became one of the best places for food in Guntersville because of their Southern gourmet dishes cooked and prepared freshly.

If you want to have a satisfying gastronomic experience, this is your go-to place.

The restaurant is famous for its roast beef sub, steak, and other southern cuisine favorites.

In addition, they also serve Italian food such as pizza and pasta that you can pair with their craft beer on tap.

To try their delicious food, the restaurant is at 1201 Gunter Ave, Guntersville, AL.

Their business hours differ, so kindly visit their website or social media pages.

Play Golf at the Gunter’s Landing

Gunter’s Landing is Guntersville’s most famous golf course.

It has eighteen excellently crafted holes that offer you different levels of difficulty from moderate to advance.

The manicured golf course offers you a scenic view of its surroundings of forests and green vegetation.

If you’re staying longer in Guntersville, visiting this golf course should be on your itinerary.

Swim at its 2,500 square foot swimming pool or play at its tennis court.

Or perhaps have a relaxing stroll at its walking trail beside Lake Guntersville.

The golf course is at 1000 Gunter’s Landing Road, Guntersville, AL

The golf course and its club are open from 7 in the morning until 6 pm daily.

Grab a Mug of Excellent Craft Beer at Main Channel Brewery

The Main Channel Brewery serves as the first craft brewery in Marshall County.

Its taproom is a trendy place to visit for excellent and freshly brewed craft beer that you can enjoy while chilling beside the beautiful Lake Guntersville.

The Main Channel Brewery offers various selection and seasonal offerings, making them a haven for beer lovers.

To visit this brewery, it is at 2090 Gunter Ave, Guntersville, AL.

They open their taproom from 2 pm to 8 pm daily.

Munch Fresh Crawfish and Seafood at Crawmama’s

This family-owned business that started operating in 1987 is now a food institution in northern Alabama.

This famous seafood restaurant owner, Charlotte Webb, started it as a 12-seater oyster bar formerly named “Crawdaddy’s.”

She never thought that her humble business would grow big over the past 25 years and has expanded to four branches already.

The once 12-seater oyster bar is now a 300-seater restaurant that serves the famous crawfish, gumbo, shrimp cocktail, alligator tail, and oysters cooked the traditional Cajun way.

To eat Crawmama’s famous crawfish and seafood, they are at 5002 Webb Villa, Guntersville, AL.

They start serving their famous crawfish and seafood from 4:30 to 9 pm, but they are closed from Sunday to Wednesday.

Celebrate the Yuletide Season at Guntersville Festival of Trees

The Guntersville Festival of Trees happens from November to January as an early Christmas celebration at the Guntersville Museum.

What makes this festival a must-attend activity in the city is its Christmassy vibes from its 40 plus beautifully-decorated Christmas trees and wreaths from locals.

To see these Christmas trees and wreaths, they are at the Guntersville Museum.

Side events such as musical entertainment and receptions happen regularly for the entire duration of the festival.

Most of the participants are from Guntersville’s community involving private collectors, organizations, and businesses.

Stroll Along the Sunset Drive Trail

If you want to experience Alabama’s scenic natural beauty, you should head to its trails.

One of the best trails to visit is the Sunset Drive Trail at the city’s northern tip beside the Tennessee River.

From its name itself, the place is perfect for an afternoon hike while watching the fantastic sunset.

It has a paved trail that stretches for about 4 miles along the shoreline of the Tennessee River.

The trail passes by the Guntersville Farmer’s Market, sports facilities, recreation centers, and beach.

The trail is open 24 hours.

Buy Fresh Produce at the Guntersville Farmers’ Market

To wrap up your Guntersville travel adventure, head to the Guntersville Farmers’ Market.

It’s the perfect place to rub elbows with the locals while patronizing their good-quality fresh produce.

Farmers’ markets are always remarkable, considering you buy affordable products while supporting small businesses and local farmers.

Regardless of what you purchase there, you’re surely getting excellent quality products and food grown sustainably from local farms compared to commercially grown choices.

Guntersville Farmers’ Market is pretty much the same as other farmers’ markets across the United States.

It has dozens of stalls ranging from food, vegetables, fruits, and specialty products that are locally sourced.

The Guntersville Farmers’ Market is open from April to November.

Have a Retreat at Dream Ranch

In 2001, the Dream Ranch began as a top-tier sanctuary for upland game and whitetail deer.

This venue is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and tourists alike.

It offers 2,000 acres of gorgeous landscapes and cutting-edge fishing and hunting facilities.

Go fishing or hunting, have a fun night out, get married, take a vacation, or socialize with your coworkers.

The Dream Ranch has a stellar reputation as a Southeast fishing and hunting lodge, so roll up your sleeves and get ready to partake in some luxurious activities.

Join the Art Classes by Mountain Valley Arts Council

Since its incorporation as a nonprofit in 1970, the Mountain Valley Arts Council has worked to advance the creative industries across Marshall County, Alabama, and its surrounding areas.

It has grown into a sizable group because of financial support from sources, including grants, membership fees, and individual contributions.

At the Guntersville Festival of Trees, visitors may see their creativity in the form of a stunning art tree that they decorated.

Traditionally, this celebration takes place around the holidays.

Gifts and souvenirs such as pottery, ornaments, wood crafts, handcrafted jewelry, baked foods, and ceramics are available during the art gallery’s annual holiday art market in November and December.

It also holds classes on acrylic painting, watercolors, wood panel painting, gift painting, one-of-a-kind potions and oil lotions, and many other art forms for locals and visitors.

Taste Local Wines at Harbor View Winery

Visit Harbor View Winery while you’re out doing some shopping in Guntersville.

It’s a cozy, family-run winery where you can kick back and unwind.

The venue is a historic home in Guntersville that dates back to the 1900s and features a warm and welcoming front porch.

The fruit wines are Harbor View Winery’s specialty, but it also has chocolate wine and wine slushies.

The origin of its delicious “Fruity Wine Collaboration” is a fascinating tale you should hear.

It also holds wine tastings.

Come as a stranger and depart with new friends!

Buy Souvenirs from Hadwin House Candles

Hadwin House Candles is known for its high-quality, hand-made candles that are available in a wide variety of colors and fragrant scents.

A wide variety of candles are available, each with its unique scent.

Its candles are all made by hand, making each one unique.

The business has recently added a Bistro, so customers may buy their favorite candles and stay for a tasty meal.

Visit this shop to pick up a few items that will complement your home decor while in Guntersville.

Loosen up at The Soak House & Soapery

Going to The Soak House & Soapery is a relaxing activity you should try in Guntersville.

The Soak House & Soapery provides its guests with a tranquil and private retreat away from the stresses of everyday life.

If you’ve spent the day sightseeing, you’re probably exhausted and need some TLC for your aching muscles and joints.

This spa stands near several of the city’s major attractions.

Unwind with a nice soak and body massage.

Final Thoughts

Guntersville is the best example of southern town charm because of its food, culture, and natural attractions.

Guntersville is a place that takes your travel experience to another level.

The 15 things to do in Guntersville we’ve listed above guarantees you an incredible travel experience.

There are countless things to do in Guntersville aside from our list waiting for you to explore.

If you’re ready to explore this city, make sure to bookmark this post if you want to have a blast.

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