Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Helena, AL

  • Published 2022/08/09

While traveling the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama, you will find a city where everyone wants to live.

It is a city so safe and peaceful that it has the eighth-lowest crime rate in the country.

In 2007, Business Week named it the 13th “Best Place to Raise Your Kids.”

In the same year, Money magazine listed in the “Top 100 Best Places to Live in the U.S.”

This city is none other than the city of Helena in Alabama!

However, Helena’s safety is not its only strong suit.

This city also offers a wealth of exciting recreation, a breathtaking environment, and vibrant culture.

Its natural parks, exciting festivals and traditions, diverse cuisine, and entertaining attractions might make you consider moving there.

Check out the best things to do in Helena, Alabama.

Take a Walk along the Helena City Center

Caboose on the grounds of the City Center of Helena

Civilengtiger, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After a joyful day touring the city, take a laidback stroll around the city center of Helena.

You can walk along the famous creek of the city, Buck Creek, and see the mini waterfall in Helena Park.

The relaxed and friendly ambiance will surely calm you, and the night lights along the road give a magnificent view.

You can also see boutiques and stores along the street or dine and hang out at the famous food and pub chain, Beef O’ Brady’s.

Bring your travel buddies for a walk around the Helena City Center.

See more of the city and meet friendly locals along the way.

Set up Camp at the Cherokee Campground and RV Park

Checking out this majestic haven on the city’s outskirts is a must for an excellent start to your vacation in Helena.

Campers enjoy the homey nature ambiance with a nice view of Cherokee Beach Lake at the Cherokee Campground and RV Park.

Although the lake prohibits swimming, visitors can enjoy fishing from the bank.

The grounds are blissful and tidy, complete with amenities and well-kept trails.

You can also find good spots for hanging out and enjoying a picnic.

Even for a night or a few days, your stay at the Cherokee Campground and RV Park will be one of your most relaxing experiences.

Learn Local History at Kenneth R. Penhale City of Helena Museum

Even though the city of Helena is not as big as other metropolises, it holds an exciting and colorful history worth revisiting.

The Kenneth R. Penhale City of Helena Museum features artifacts that have shaped the beloved city, such as coal mining and steel manufacturing.

You will also hear stories from the Civil War.

During the Civil War, Helena became an industrial capital thanks to the railroad connecting it to other bigger neighboring towns in the Confederacy.

The museum also exhibits how the city overcame tragedies such as the Great Depression and the 1933 tornado.

The resilience of the city of Helena is in the museum’s walls, inspiring every visitor in the museum.

Shop for Fresh Produce during Helena Market Days

The city of Helena enjoys good agricultural lands suitable for farming.

Residents take the initiative to showcase their harvest and products during the most-awaited Helena Market Days.

This event occurs every year on Saturdays from the first weekend of June to the last weekend of August.

People flock to the Amphitheater Park on Helena Road to check the yields and products.

You can buy fresh vegetables and fruits, bread, jams and spreads, baked goodies, and special delicacies.

The Helena Market Days are an excellent chance to taste what the city offers, mingle with other residents, and support the local farmers and producers.

You do not have to go far to look for the freshest food products because Helena has it all for you!

Enjoy Your Favorite American Comfort Foods at the Depot Deli and Grill

With the diversity of cuisines in the Birmingham area, it is hard not to crave good old American grub that tastes like home.

The Depot Deli and Grill will satisfy your longing for American comfort food.

This deli serves terrific burgers, mouthwatering grilled and specialty sandwiches, and delicious hotdogs.

You can also order classic American plates that will surely take your taste buds to greater heights.

Enjoy your meal amid the fresh air and a nice view from the waterfront patio facing the Buck Creek of Helena.

Every bite is a piece of comfort from the Depot Deli and Grill in the heart of Old Town Helena.

Join a Remote Control Car Race at Warehouse Hobby Raceway

Remember when you received a remote control car and raced it with your friends?

Who would have thought you could feel that way again at Warehouse Hobby Raceway?

Tthis place has an off-road race track where you can play with your RC cars or join a racing game or tournament.

Whether you are a child or not, you will indeed have a great time as you bond with other players of all ages to enjoy friendly competition.

The Warehouse Hobby Raceway has complete facilities and amenities to make sure your visit will be worth your time.

Enjoy the Time of Your Life at the Buck Creek Festival

Every year, the city of Helena celebrates a weekend festival that you should never miss.

This event aims to raise money for charities and future endeavors and projects of the city.

The Buck Creek Festival does not run out of exciting activities and events.

One of them is the most-awaited Duck Race, where people release thousands of rubber ducks from the water dam.

Watch the ducks go down the falls and into the nets!

Listen to live music performances and eat good food at the festival.

Artists and vendors from around the region come and join in the city-wide celebration.

Bring your family and friends and play many fun games on the playground.

Without a doubt, joining the Buck Creek Festival eases the heart.

Have fun and enjoy the festival to support a good cause and mission.

Relax and Chill at Goodfellas Social Club

Goodfellas Social Club is a fantastic bar where you can find high-quality drinks and a laidback ambiance for meetups with friends.

This cozy bar on Helena Road offers high-end whiskeys, premium spirits and cocktails, and various wines from around the world.

You can also order heartwarming regional and local beers.

With that number of options, you might find it hard to choose your drink for the night.

Its vintage vibe and old-school decor complement its good food.

Likewise, the bar has a separate smoking lounge.

The night is always young at Goodfellas Social Club, so enjoy your visit and the relaxing atmosphere of the pub.

Ride a Hot Air Balloon over the Heart of Alabama at Southern Balloon Journeys

It is everyone’s ultimate dream to ride a hot air balloon and see the ground from the skies.

You can finally try it at Southern Balloon Journeys in Helena!

Fall in love with the aerial views as you travel above the towering buildings of the metropolitan area of Birmingham and across the neighboring cities.

You will also see the country’s beautiful farmlands, incredible parks and natural attractions, and majestic rivers from afar.

During this high-altitude adventure, you will feel like the king or queen of the world, looking down on your dominion.

Visit Southern Balloon Journeys with your friends and family.

Cross off the hot air balloon ride from your bucket list!

Enjoy an Outdoor Family Getaway at Joe Tucker Park

Joe Tucker Park is the best place to enjoy an outdoor casual family gathering.

This park has vast playgrounds for the kids to run around and play with other children.

It also has baseball fields and tennis courts for sporty older children and adults.

If you want a more relaxed activity, you can also enjoy fishing at the pond or strolling around the pristine walking trails of the park.

The park is also rich in flora and fauna in its natural habitat.

Spot the geese, ducks, and turtles around the area.

Enjoy a memorable day with your family with all the different activities you can do at Joe Tucker Park.

Live the Country Farm Life at Helena Hollow

Do you want to meet farm animals and experience life on a farm?

Then, mark Helena Hollow on your map because you won’t regret visiting this farm.

Helena Hollow is an entertainment farm where you can book activity spots like the party barn.

Likewise, you can interact with different farm animals such as llamas, goats, horses, cows, and more.

You can also go to the marina, enjoy the sandy beach, or try fishing in the lake.

Visitors can also book the nerf battleground to enjoy a friendly nerf battle complete with gear and amenities.

However, the farm’s centerpiece is its pumpkin patch.

Visitors from all over the state come during the peak month of October to check out and buy pumpkins.

With all the fun things to do, Helena Hollow embodies the meaning of entertainment.

Enjoy Mexican Cuisine at the El Patron Bar & Grill

Nothing compares to traditional and authentic Mexican food served hot and fresh.

The El Patron Bar & Grill satisfies your Mexican food cravings with their flavorful dishes, drinks, and snacks that will fill you up.

Order their burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, fajitas, and tacos.

The El Patron Bar & Grill also prepares these Mexican classics in different varieties but with bursting and appealing flavors.

You can pair these meals perfectly with your favorite Mexican dips, sides, drinks, and alcoholic beverages.

This budget-friendly Mexican feast is worth your time.

Bring your travel buddies and see why you don’t have to visit Mexico to enjoy their cuisine.

El Patron Bar & Grill will bring the taste of Mexico to you!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit Alabama’s Largest State Park, the Oak Mountain State Park

Gorgeous waterfall at Oak Mountain State Park

Cornelius Hayes /

Oak Mountain State Park is a 9,940-acre state park with hiking trails, stunning natural landscapes, campgrounds, lakes, and a wildlife center.

It also has attractions that will make your visit an all-around escapade.

You can find it in Pelham, Alabama, 18 minutes from Helena.

Visitors come mostly to do hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

Many visitors don’t even know that you can do many other activities at the park.

Oak Mountain State Park also has a golf course, an archery range, a farm, fishing spots, horseback riding, and beautiful beaches.

Playgrounds are also open for people to enjoy and make the most of their park visit.

Pavilion near the waters of Oak Mountain State Park

BJ Ray /

People always stop by here whenever they visit the cities surrounding the Birmingham area.

Bring your family or friends and create good memories at Oak Mountain State Park.

Nature trail of Oak Mountain State Park

Melissa Hanes /

Make a Splash at Alabama Adventure and Splash Adventure Water Park

Zoomerang rollercoaster at Alabama Adventure Amusement Park

Martin Lewison from Forest Hills, NY, U.S.A., CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Driving for 27 minutes from Helena will take you to Bessemer, Alabama.

Bessemer contains twin parks that are heaven on Earth for adventure-seekers.

These are the Alabama Adventure & Splash Adventure Water Parks.

They feature thrilling rides like roller coasters, swinging rides, a drop zone, and exciting laser maze challenges.

On the other hand, the water park also packs a lot of splashing fun with its wave pool, soaring and twisting slides, and a splash maze.

Rampage rollercoaster at Alabama Adventure Amusement Park

Martin Lewison, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can swim, cool down, and enjoy the lazy river or the expansive pools.

Guests of all ages can never have enough fun with all the incredible slides and rides at the Alabama Adventure Amusement Park and Splash Adventure Water Park.

Meet the Awesome and Rich Wildlife of the Birmingham Zoo

Aerial view of The Birmingham Zoo

Felix Mizioznikov /

Meeting animals is always an event many look forward to!

The Birmingham Zoo is home to about 180 species of animals.

You can find it in Birmingham, Alabama, 25 minutes from Helena.

Children will indeed feel excited as they meet several animal species such as the African elephant, Aldabra tortoise, red panda, African lion, North American black bear, reticulated giraffe, and more.

Giraffes at The Birmingham Zoo

Ralph Daily, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The zoo dedicates itself to animal conservation and provides care and comfort to its animals.

They want the animals to live comfortably and happily in their natural habitats within the zoo.

In addition to being a conducive learning environment, the zoo also hosts several educational programs and camps.

These are excellent opportunities for students and kids to examine the lives of these animals and how people can take care of them.

The Birmingham Zoo is a popular destination with a good mission and causes worth supporting.

Macaws at The Birmingham Zoo

Ralph Daily, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

You should embark on an adventure around Helena at least once in your life.

Likewise, you may realize that Helena is not only one of the best places to live but is also one of the most fun places to visit.

Book your trip today and discover the best things to do in Helena!

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