15 Best Things to Do in Prattville, AL

Prattville, AL
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The storied and vibrant city of Prattville, Alabama, is the more laid-back counterpart to bustling Montgomery just across the Alabama River.

While it has territories in the Autauga and Elmore counties, the city serves as the county seat of the former.

Industrialist Daniel Pratt founded it in 1938, and it's from him that the city got its name.

Today, the town boasts the monicker “The Fountain City” thanks to the many artesian wells where clear and clean water flows.

There are also many historic structures in the area, most of which are located at the Daniel Pratt Historic District.

In addition to these buildings, the city boasts one of the most well-known golf courses in the US, used for many high-profile tournaments.

There are also plenty of parks and green space where residents and visitors can unwind and find peace.

So when planning a visit to Alabama, be sure to spend a few days here.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Prattville, AL:

See Ancient Buildings at the Daniel Pratt Historic District

The historic courthouse at Daniel Pratt Historic District
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To feel the storied past of Prattville, take a tour of the 140-acre Daniel Pratt Historic District, located in the downtown area.

It boasts many buildings and structures that are almost as old as the town itself.

The autauga county courthouse history marker
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While exploring the streets, you’ll find homes featuring various architectural styles like Greek Revival, Bungalow, and Italianate.

The historic district also includes the Autauga County Courthouse, a castle-like structure with a clock tower and vast, open grounds.

Keep an eye out for the fountains that abound in the area, which make for great photo opportunities, thanks to their whimsical vibe.

The road of Daniel Pratt Historic District
Chris Pruitt, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Find Peace at Wilderness Park

The beautiful Wilderness Park is a bamboo forest that holds the title of the first wilderness park developed inside city limits in the US.

During the Vietnam War, the area was used by the military for training, but it was donated to the city, which developed it into the attraction you see today.

It was established as a park in 1982 and covers more than 26 acres of pristine woods.

As the name suggests, this place is filled with bamboo trees of all sizes, some reaching six inches in diameter.

It also houses Alabama’s second-largest beech tree, located deep inside the wilderness.

Exploring the trails is like being in another country like Japan.

You’ll feel the tranquil atmosphere as you go down the winding paths, with the wind rustling against the leaves and birds tweeting as the only sounds you’ll hear.

It’s the perfect place to find inner peace amidst the chaos of daily life.

Marvel at the Majesty of Capitol Hill

Aerial view of the Capitol Hill golf course
Bill Sutton, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The world-famous Capitol Hill is one of the most sought-after golf courses in the country.

It’s part of the larger Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, but Capitol Hill remains the most prominent facility.

There are three 18-hole courses here, covering an area of more than a thousand acres.

First is The Judge, which has been ranked as one of the top 10 public courses in the US, with its magnificent layout sitting next to the Alabama River.

Then there’s The Senator, boasting Scottish-style links and hundreds of bunkers and mounds.

This course also made it to the Top 10 New Courses in the nation by Golf Magazine and served as the venue for the Guardian Championship.

The last course is The Legislator and features a more traditional layout in a native cypress swamp.

Take a Cooling Dip at Pratt Park

Sign post of Pratt Park's splash pad
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The scenic Pratt Park is one of the larger green spaces in the city, located near the historic downtown.

Because of this proximity to the city center, this place has become one of the local go-to attractions.

It boasts many modern amenities and facilities that everyone is welcome to use.

On one end, there’s a seasonal swimming pool with enough space for a few laps.

Children playing at Pratt Park's splash pad
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For the kids, you can let them have fun on the splash pad or play at the castle-themed playground.

The latter is large enough to occupy most of the park’s northeast section.

On the southeast part, there’s a large pond where you can test your angling skills.

Bring a hook and line!

View the Alabama River From Cooters Pond Park

Road sign for Cooters Pond Park
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Sitting on the northern bank of the Alabama River lies a gorgeous waterside attraction, Cooters Pond Park.

It’s close to Capital Hill and the suburbs, but it boasts a serene atmosphere and heavily wooded sections.

A boat near Cooters Pond Park's dock
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So nature lovers will have a great time exploring this destination.

You’ll also find many bird species as you check the wilder areas — a haven for birdwatchers.

Scenic view of Cooters Pond Park's wooden dock
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Still, there are modern conveniences installed on the southern section of the park to give visitors a pleasant experience.

There are picnic sites, restrooms, and paved trails that everyone can use.

On the northernmost section, you’ll find Cooter's Pond Dog Park, which welcomes canines of all shapes and sizes.

Wooden fence near Cooters Pond
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Learn Local History at Prattaugan Museum

View of the Prattaugan Museum across the road
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Set in an 1848 Greek Revival-style home, the Prattaugan Museum is one of the best-kept facilities under the care of the Autauga County Heritage Association.

It was donated to the organization by Charles Rice and Mary Wood Rice Waite, who owned the gorgeous house until 1995.

Now, a small museum has been established in the house, attracting history buffs and residents alike.

Two people sitting in front of the Prattaugan Museum
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Many of the collections tell the story of Autauga County, which is one year older than Alabama itself.

So you’ll find artifacts from the Civil War, Daniel Pratt’s early days, and documents detailing local family histories.

There’s also a section dedicated to World War II artifacts, including bomb fragments manufactured at the Continental Gin Company of Prattville.

Exterior of the Prattaugan Museum
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Explore the Halls of Buena Vista Mansion

Exterior of the Buena Vista Mansion
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The regal Montgomery–Janes–Whittaker House, more commonly known as the Buena Vista Mansion, is one of the most significant historic homes in Prattville.

Established in 1822, the home features a Federal-style architecture common during the antebellum era.

Because of its significance, the place was listed under the National Register of Historic Places.

Chairs in front of Buena Vista Mansion
Chris Pruitt, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Autauga County Heritage Association are the current managers of the estate, who maintain the property and offer tours into the interiors and the grounds.

But today, the place frequently hosts celebrations and special events.

It’s a favorite wedding venue, thanks to the sophisticated atmosphere complemented by the stately facade of the mansion.

Board a Kayak and Explore the Autauga Creek Canoe Trail

A sign post with Autauga Creek Canoe Trail's map
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Autauga Creek is one of the prominent water features in Prattville, running past most of the city’s western borders before becoming a tributary of the Alabama River.

In one section, you’ll find the Autauga Creek Canoe Trail, serving as a starting point for water adventures into the historic waterway.

So if you want to experience the gentle current of this creek, head over to the park.

The trail runs for more than 13 miles, with a few rapids that are manageable for beginners.

It usually takes two to three hours to explore this blueway, giving you an intense arm workout as your paddle your way across the cool water.

But if you don’t want to put in the effort, it’s perfectly fine to go tubing.

You’ll still get to experience the clear waters fed by underground springs.

Take the Perfect Landscape Photo at Heritage Park

History marker of Heritage Park
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Heritage Park is another waterside green space sitting next to the gurgling Autauga Creek.

While it’s small, it’s frequented by many thanks to its uninterrupted views of the Pratt Cotton Gin Factory.

View of the three-tiered fountain at Heritage Park
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This establishment was owned by the town’s founder and provided cotton engines that processed the precious commodity.

Another significant feature is the beautiful Autauga Creek dam, which has a wooden bridge connecting Heritage Park with the cotton gin plant.

Beautiful sunset from Heritage Park
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With the foamy water cascading from the dam, the place creates an industrial-meets-nature aesthetic sought-after by landscape photographers.

And at one end of the park, you’ll find an artesian, three-tiered fountain whose waters are drinkable.

It’s surrounded by blooming trees and landscaped bushes, making the sight look like it’s plucked from a fairytale.

The three-tiered fountain at Heritage Park during the evening
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Go Shore Fishing in the Alabama River

The meandering Alabama River traces its headwaters north of Montgomery, starting at the confluence of the Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers.

Along the way, it forms the southern borders of Prattville, creating a wavy path with its many bends and tributaries.

Because of its status as a significant waterway, the river serves as the principal destination in the city for water-related activities.

You can explore the gentler banks via a nonmotorized watercraft to see some isolated areas teeming with wildlife.

Kayaking and canoeing are also great ways to reach some of the favorite fishing areas in the river.

If you want to catch the freshwater species living underneath the surface, join a local charter or try shore fishing.

Other Things to Do Nearby

After your adventures in Prattville, why not check out these other places just a few minutes away?

Marvel at the Works Inside the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

View of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts from across a lake
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The bustling capital of Alabama is less than 30 minutes away from Prattville, so you can head over there and check out some of its most visited attractions.

One of these is the grand Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, a historic complex that has been around since the 1930s.

It hosts several art collections from various eras in American history, from as early as the 19th century.

A wall fountain at Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
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You’ll also find intriguing exhibits showcasing Southern regional art, Old Master prints, glasswork, and sculptures by established artists.

For those bringing kids during their visit, let them join Artworks, a participatory gallery where budding artists are encouraged to show off their creativity.

A wooden chair in front of Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
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Visit the Eerie Town of Spectre

View of Spectre town's wooden houses
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In nearby Millbrook lies a haunting attraction, the Town of Spectre on Jackson Lake Island.

The area was used as a set for the film “Big Fish” in 2003, complete with houses and a main street.

After shooting, the fictional town was left to the elements, creating a dilapidated and eerie sight.

The lake of Spectre town
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The island’s owners opened the place for tourism, allowing curious visitors to see the abandoned scenery.

In some sections of the island, there are picnic and grill areas where families can stay after viewing the ruins.

The views of Jackson Lake are magnificent from these clearings.

Celebrate History at the Rosa Parks Museum

Exterior of Rosa Parks Museum
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Rosa Parks is one of the most important figures in the Civil Rights Movement, known for refusing to give up her bus seat for a white person.

Montgomery is the setting of this incident, which eventually sparked the Montgomery bus boycott.

A part of Rosa Parks Museum's building
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These pivotal events are now preserved and showcased at the Rosa Parks Museum, located on the campus of Troy University at Montgomery.

Here, you will find an expansive collection of Black history in the state, focusing on the events surrounding Rosa Parks and the boycott.

It’s an enlightening place where you’ll realize how far the Civil Rights Movement has come and how far it still needs to go.

Exterior of Rosa Parks Museum's children's wing
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See Wild Creatures at Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum

Another great destination for kids and animal lovers is the 40-acre Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum.

It serves as the home to more than 750 animals, representing 140 species from all over the world.

So be ready to see beasts from the Safari, tropical birds, cold-blooded amphibians and reptiles, and many other exotic creatures.

Don’t forget to stop by Mann Wildlife Learning Museum, which doubles as the zoo’s administration building.

It houses taxidermied animals and mounted fishes, perfectly preserved so visitors can appreciate every detail.

Remember the Past at The Legacy Museum

Name sign of The Legacy Museum
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Aside from the Rosa Park Museum, The Legacy Museum preserves and tells the story of African Americans from enslavement to incarceration.

It’s located in a place where Black people did forced labor, back when slavery was still legal in the US.

People entering the Legacy Museum
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This era is the main focus of the museum, offering comprehensive collections that detail this dark part of the country’s history.

You’ll find artworks, markers of segregation, reading materials, photographs, and rotating exhibits that follow the overall theme.

It’s a sobering destination that reminds everyone of some things that must never be repeated.

Slavery evolved wall inside the Legacy museum
Soniakapadia, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

The Fountain City is overflowing with attractions that nature lovers, adventurers, and history buffs will enjoy.

Whether it’s historic buildings, bamboo forests, gurgling creeks, or top-notch golf courses, there are many things to see and experience at Prattville.

Reference this list when planning your itinerary and add the top spots!