15 Best Things to Do in Hoover, AL

hoover alabama

Welcome to Hoover, Alabama!

Nestled within the rolling hills and serene landscapes of this charming Southern city, you'll find a vibrant community that perfectly blends suburban comfort with big city amenities.

Living here, I've had the privilege of immersing myself in a rich culture, diverse culinary scenes, and a multitude of recreational activities.

Whether you're a history enthusiast or a nature lover, this city has something uniquely captivating for everyone.

So come along as I unveil the best things to do in Hoover, Alabama, that make this city a hidden gem.

Enjoy the journey and discover the delightful surprises that await in every corner of this thriving city.

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About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable places, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional places to visit that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.

Discover the Natural Beauty of Moss Rock Preserve

A creek at Moss Rock Preserve
Panama_Shawn / Shutterstock.com

Trust me; there's nothing quite like spending a day at Moss Rock Preserve.

Nestled in the heart of our city, this 349-acre nature preserve has become my personal oasis of tranquillity amid the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The moment I step onto one of the myriad hiking trails that wind through the preserve, I feel a sense of peace wash over me.

My usual routine includes a leisurely hike along the white trail, which leads straight to the Moss Rock Falls.

Trust me when I say that it's a sight to behold.

There's something about the 2.8-mile round-trip trek that revitalizes me every time.

From the oakleaf hydrangeas, some standing at a towering 10 to 12 feet tall, to the serene streams, there's always something new to discover at every turn.

One of my favorite parts of the preserve has to be the climbable boulders.

They're known throughout the southeast as some of the best boulders for traverse climbing and inverted climbs.

I'm not much of a climber, but it's always a thrill to watch others take on these challenges.

Small waterfall at Moss Rock Preserve
Curtis Palmer from Vestavia Hills (Birmingham), Alabama, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Oh, and let's not forget about the waterfall.

It's an easy walk down natural stone stairs to the base, where a bridge over the creek offers a magnificent view of the waterfall.

I recommend visiting after a good rain – that's when the waterfall is at its most spectacular.

You might even spot a few locals walking their dogs or having photography sessions - it's that beautiful!

Before or after your hike, don't forget to visit Veccia, the pizza place across the street.

They serve some of the best slices I've ever had!

Overall, Moss Rock Preserve is more than just a nature preserve – it's a treasure trove of natural wonders waiting to be explored.

So put on your hiking boots and come join me in discovering the beauty that's right in our backyard!

Signage of Moss Rock Preserve
Lahti213, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I've always held a deep appreciation for art. But nothing could prepare me for the aesthetic journey that lay in wait at New Life Art Gallery.

This little hidden gem in the city holds a world of beauty, intricately captured in every print.

From the moment I entered, I was captivated by the stunning collection of Alabama prints.

As I browsed through every painting, it felt like I was walking through the pages of history.

The Prothro print, in particular, caught my eye.

It was a masterpiece, emanating a distinct charm that was hard to ignore.

Unsurprisingly, I couldn't resist adding it to my growing art collection.

Since then, I've made it a point to buy just about every print that made its way to the gallery.

But what sets New Life Art Gallery apart isn't just the marvelous art but also the exceptional customer service.

Have a Peaceful Retreat at Star Lake

Every morning, my day begins with a serene walk around the picturesque Star Lake.

With the sun just beginning to peek over the horizon, the misty glitter of the lake's surface sets a tranquil tone for the day.

The winding trail around the lake is perfect for a morning stroll or even a quiet bike ride, while the gentle lapping of the water against the shore provides a soothing soundtrack.

With each step I take around this beautiful neighborhood, I'm reminded of the charm and peacefulness that Star Lake offers.

The welcoming benches that dot the trail call to me to rest and take in the view while the ever-present ducks and swans provide a touch of whimsy.

The resident swans, Dutch & Dutchess, have become a familiar and comforting sight on my morning walks.

In fact, the lake wouldn’t be the same without them.

For those who enjoy a bit of exercise, five laps around the lake easily make up two miles - a perfect way to keep fit while surrounded by nature.

It's not just a place for adults, though.

The lake has become a favorite spot for my grandkids too.

They love feeding the variety of fish, turtles, and birds that call the lake home, and a handy food dispenser on the pier ensures they never go hungry.

Just remember to bring plenty of quarters!

Unwind and Exercise at Black Creek Mountain Bike Park

There's no better place to wind down and get some exercise than at the Black Creek Mountain Bike Park.

Nestled in the heart of Hoover, the park offers over 5 miles of well-maintained mountain bike trails that my family and I traverse regularly.

If you're an experienced biker, this place is an absolute gem.

Black Creek Mountain Bike Park's terrain is sturdy with a hard-packed flow, making it perfect for a bit of adrenaline rush with small jumps and speedy but short downhills.

I don't think I've ever stumbled upon a root anywhere on these trails - they're immaculately maintained.

One of the best parts?

The trails marked as intermediate are actually beginner-level compared to other places I've visited across the country.

So, if you're a biking novice, don't be intimidated!

For us locals who want to squeeze in a quick ride after work, it's nothing less than a blessing.

The climbs are easy, and the reward of the descent is immediate.

Even my friend Ryan, who usually prefers electric biking, has dusted off his old pedal bike and joined me here.

Trust me; it's an experience you won't want to miss.

But be mindful when you hit the right turn on the lower ridge loop number 3.

A good portion of this trail is covered with leaves.

Of course, that's also what adds to the charm of this park.

The natural beauty surrounding these trails often leaves me in awe.

You may spot beautiful deer, turtles crossing the trail, or even an occasional rattlesnake on the trail's rocky section on the ridge's backside.

A Day Out at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex

Oh, what a delight the games at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex are!

A sunny day, the roar of the crowd, and the thrill of the game – all make for an unbeatable experience.

This beautiful complex sports a 10,000-seat venue, making it a fantastic spot for high school football and intercollegiate baseball games.

It's hard to forget the first time I stepped into the Met.

The setup was incredibly fan-friendly.

It was an SEC tournament game, and the atmosphere was electric.

They'd need pretty big shoes to fill if they ever thought about moving the tournament elsewhere.

The turf fields were immaculate, and just the sight of them sent a shiver of anticipation up my spine.

No spikes were allowed, of course, but that was hardly a deterrent.

Getting into the complex was a breeze.

They've got card readers at the entry points, so it's a no-cash operation.

The parking was ample and convenient, even during peak game times.

But this year, it seemed a bit more remote than usual.

Although it didn't dampen the enthusiasm, it was a noticeable change from the past.

You'll find bleachers with a shade, a luxury you don't see everywhere.

It's a great spot to set up for the game.

You can bring tents and chairs, and it's no problem.

It's quite a sight to see the grounds speckled with colorful tents and fans cheering on their teams.

Hoover Metropolitan Complex is more than just a venue; it's a place where the community comes together, where baseball fans can be more than just spectators.

Contemplate at Aldridge Gardens

Plants near the water of Aldridge Gardens
Crites Designs / Shutterstock.com

You'll never believe the tranquility that awaits just a short drive from my home.

Aldridge Gardens is a sprawling 30-acre sanctuary renowned for its hydrangeas and bird-watching trails.

I popped in the other day to escape the hubbub of everyday life, and let me tell you; it was the breath of fresh air that I didn't know I needed.

The gardens are not meant for running or hiking but rather for gentle strolls and contemplation.

I found myself drawn to a lively artificial brook, complete with its own little waterfall.

The sight of seasonally changing flowers against the backdrop of the waterfalls was nothing short of idyllic.

I felt like a painter capturing a moment in time, with every angle providing a new, beautiful perspective of the gardens.

In addition to the brook, there is a 5-acre lake that adds to the overall serenity of the gardens.

It's surrounded by a covered bridge area where you can feed the carp.

For a mere 25 cents, you can buy fish food and have a moment of simple joy watching the fish swim by.

I couldn't help but think of how perfect this would be for my grandchildren.

More than just a garden, Aldridge Gardens also doubles as an art gallery with outdoor exhibits.

The exhibits blend so seamlessly with nature that you'd think they were always meant to be there.

The staff is very knowledgeable and more than happy to provide information about the exhibits and gardens.

The gardens also host numerous events that focus on nature and the humanities.

My grandson once invited me to one of these events, and we have since created some great memories in this beautiful setting.

Achieve Your Fitness Goals at Hoover Recreation Center

What I love about living in the beautiful city of Hoover is the array of facilities this city has to offer.

The Hoover Recreation Center is one of those gems that make this city shine bright.

I've spent many afternoons at the Recreation Center, shaping myself, both physically and mentally.

It's much more than just a gym - it's a wellness hub.

The indoor swimming pool is my personal sanctuary, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

What really sets the Hoover Recreation Center apart is the wide array of classes they offer.

Whether you're into Zumba, yoga, or spinning, there's something for everyone.

And what's more, the prices are unbeatable, especially for families and groups, making it a fantastic spot not just for individuals but for community bonding.

Have a Picnic at Sertoma Park

A typical afternoon at Sertoma Park often starts with the laughter of children enjoying the playground and the sight of residents flocking to the picnic shelter.

I was once amused to find evidence of a recent birthday celebration, with cake and frosting remnants still stuck and mushed onto most of the picnic tables.

It's not pristine, but it carries a charm of small-town conviviality.

Of course, Sertoma Park can get quite busy, especially during school pick-up times.

It almost turns into a bustling community hub, with parents chatting and children running around.

It can get a bit awkward and messy, but that's part of the everyday charm.

There are plenty of other playgrounds around the area, but there's something uniquely familiar about Sertoma.

One of the best things about the park is the open fields where the kids can run around and play ball.

Picture a sunny day, a cool breeze, and children running about, their laughter filling the air. It's a sight that can easily bring a smile to your face.

And to top it all, Sertoma Park has working bathrooms - a feature that's much appreciated by regular visitors like me.

It's a comforting assurance, especially for families with young kids.

Read Your Favorite Book at Georgetown Lake Park

Just the other day, I found myself with some free time and decided to head out to one of my favorite local spots - Georgetown Lake Park.

The park, although small in size, is a gem tucked away in our community; a peaceful retreat from the everyday hustle and bustle.

The park had recently been renovated, with fresh decking laid out throughout.

The timber underfoot creaked with newness as I strolled along the scenic lake.

It's not a large lake, but it's tranquil and calming, its serene waters reflecting the verdant trees that surround it.

There's a wonderful gazebo positioned right over the water - the perfect spot for an afternoon of leisurely reading or simply soaking in the serenity of nature.

The park's shaded areas provide a welcome respite on warmer days, and I've often found a comfortable spot beneath a tree to stretch out and enjoy a good book.

One thing I particularly enjoy about Georgetown Lake Park is walking its perimeter.

The stroll around the lake is peaceful and provides a nice opportunity to admire the local wildlife and get lost in my thoughts.

Walk through History at Ross Bridge Historical Park

Daytime view of Ross Bridge Historical Park
Bob Pool / Shutterstock.com

Sometimes, there’s nothing I crave more than escaping the urban chaos for a breath of fresh air, so I often find myself at Ross Bridge Historical Park.

This park, a hidden gem of sorts, is tucked away from the bustling city and embraced by dense woods that seem to whisper tales of the Civil War.

My favorite hangout is the charming playground with an adorable, stationary wooden train that, although doesn't move, kindles my imagination.

I can almost hear the chug-chug and the shrill whistle as I sit there, letting time slip by.

Ross Bridge Historical Park isn’t just a children’s paradise, though.

If you're like me and enjoy long, contemplative walks, there are several off-beat trails that lead away from the paved path into the heart of the woods.

Remember to dress appropriately, and don't forget your bug spray – nature does love to bite sometimes!

And on lucky days, you can even witness a train rattling past, close enough to feel the ground rumble beneath your feet.

It’s a spectacle that never fails to thrill, no matter how many times you've seen it.

Go Hiking at Shades Mountain

Honestly, it’s hard to put into words how much love I have for this place, my home terrain, Shades Mountain.

It's a local secret, tucked away in the heart of the city, yet seemingly miles away from the hustle and bustle.

Every day, I find myself marveling at the beautiful landscapes that unfold around me.

The lush greenery, the open sky, it's a peaceful corner in a world that never seems to slow down.

One of my favorite activities is to start my day with a brisk walk along the serene trails.

The sun just breaks over the horizon, casting a soft glow that lights up the early morning fog; it makes me feel like I'm walking through a dream.

The smell of earth mixed with dew is something that never fails to awaken my senses.

Not only is the natural beauty of this place breathtaking, but the community here is like no other.

Everyone greets each other with a warm smile and a friendly wave, creating a sense of camaraderie that's hard to come by in bigger cities.

The laughter that echoes through the neighborhood as kids sprint up and down the hills, the friendly barks of dogs taking their owners for a walk, it's a symphony of everyday life that fills the air.

But what I love most about Shades Mountain is the sense of peace it brings me.

Whether I'm sitting on my porch watching the sunset behind the trees or lying on the grass gazing at the stars, this place always makes me feel at home.

See Local Plants at Andy's Farm Market & Garden Center

There's something uniquely special about living near a place that offers fresh seasonal produce and a vast selection of plants.

That place for me is Andy's Farm Market & Garden Center.

Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting with your green thumb, it is a haven for plant enthusiasts.

With a sizeable plant nursery as well as plenty of indoor and outdoor spaces for browsing, it's impossible to leave empty-handed.

One of the things I appreciate most is the variety of plants available.

From seasonal flowers to succulents, every visit feels like a new adventure.

It's always a pleasure to stroll around their well-stocked greenhouses and outdoor gardens.

It's no surprise that I, along with many other locals, consider Andy's Farm Market & Garden Center as our neighborhood's go-to plant shop.

But plants are not the only reason to visit Andy's.

Their fresh produce is the highlight of my weekly shopping.

There's nothing like bringing home fruits and vegetables that you know are locally grown and picked at their peak.

For instance, just today, I stopped by and got a peach-pound cake.

Talk about a delicious treat!

The friendly and knowledgeable staff is the cherry on top.

Whether you have a question about a houseplant or need advice on a landscaping project, they are always ready to assist.

Learn Local History at Hoover Historical Society

It was yet another sunny afternoon, the kind that makes you want to get out and soak up some local culture.

So, I decided to pay a visit to the Hoover Historical Society, a place that I always found intriguing.

The Society is home to a treasure trove of city history housed within its rustic, charmingly antiquated walls.

My first stop was the old schoolhouse, a quaint building that instantly transported me back to the pre-digital age.

The smell of old books and wooden furniture filled my nostrils, making me nostalgic.

I could almost hear the echoes of the past as if the laughter of children learning their ABCs still hung in the air.

Next, I moved on to the blacksmith's shop, where I took a moment to admire the intricate craftsmanship of the tools, recalling tales of the hardworking souls that once forged iron there.

The tour guide, with his infinite love for the city and its history, painted a vivid picture of life in a time long gone.

I spent the rest of my afternoon strolling across the property, drinking in the rich history of Hoover.

Each barn, home, and log cabin of Hoover Historical Society had a story to tell, stories that collectively formed the rich tapestry of the city's past.

Enjoy a Night of Laughs at Stardome Comedy Club

Picture this: a Saturday night filled with laughter, good food, and a community of people all enjoying the same jokes.

That's what you get when you step into StarDome Comedy Club.

We had a fantastic time.

But, a word of advice? Avoid the front row if you're shy.

Comedians love to include the audience in their routines, especially those sitting right under their nose.

But it's all in good fun. The energy is infectious, the laughter is contagious, and the experience is absolutely worth it.

StarDome Comedy Club is a spacious place with an ambiance that perfectly aligns with its theme.

The music selection is entertaining, and they have an amazing selection of comedians.

And the service? Absolutely impeccable.

The food and drinks are served promptly, and the ticket prices are quite reasonable.

I still remember my meal - though it was too dark to take pictures - but trust me when I say it was delicious.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Learn while Having Fun at McWane Science Center

Exterior of McWane Science Center
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

There's an exciting world of discovery waiting in my city at the McWane Science Center.

I've strolled through the four-story building several times, and each visit brings something new.

I dedicate an entire day to engaging with all the exhibits.

The first floor dives into the marvels of science with numerous hands-on activities.

From there, I journey back in time to the dinosaur exhibit on the second floor. It's always a thrill to stand in the presence of these ancient giants.

One of my favorite sections at McWane is the dedicated area specifically designed for children under six.

It's beautifully done and offers a safe and engaging space for the youngest explorers.

And, of course, the IMAX theater is a must-see.

The immersive experience is something you don't want to miss out on.

There's so much more than meets the eye at McWane Science Center.

Interior of McWane Science Center
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Unique features like sensory rooms and special needs tools make the center inclusive for everyone.

This is not just a place for kids.

I've seen teenagers and adults equally captivated by the exhibits.

But I can't talk about McWane without mentioning the memorable boy scout camp held within the museum.

Sleeping in the museum was a unique experience, and the balance of learning and fun activities was truly impressive.

Dinosaur skeleton in McWane Science Center
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

The vibrancy and charm that Hoover encapsulates are truly unparalleled.

Hoover, with its blend of nature, history, and entertainment, is a city that never stops giving.

It's not just a place; it's home.

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