Located on the south-eastern border of Lake Guntersville in Alabama, its namesake Guntersville is a small town of only 8,000 people. Thanks to its location though, there are plenty of things to do in Guntersville AL. You should also explore all the things to do near Guntersville Alabama in the wider Marshall County Alabama area which includes such diverse offerings as Cathedral Caverns in Alabama, Arab Historic Village in Arab Alabama and an Albertville winery. There are plenty of Guntersville lodging options too ranging from hotels in Guntersville AL to campgrounds in Guntersville AL and Guntersville Airbnb listings.
About Guntersville Alabama
Guntersville Alabama was named after its founder, John Gunter, a Scotsman, who owned salt mines in the early 19th century.
Gunter got the land that became Guntersville from the Cherokee by agreeing to marry the Cherokee Chief and then providing the Cherokee with salt as well. (Places like Salzburg made their money from salt known as “white gold” so the Cherokee were not trading the land and maiden cheaply).
There were two other notable things that happened in Guntersville:
- Guntersville got burned down during the Civil War.
- Alabama conservation released 91 young bald eagles into the wild near Guntersville in the 1980s. Now, Guntersville has one of the largest groups of bald eagles in the country.
So, where exactly is Guntersville?
Guntersville is located at the southern end of the Appalachian mountains in Marshall County Alabama.
Guntersville is easy to reach from Birmingham (1.5 hours), Huntsville (1 hour), Atlanta Georgia (3 hours) and Nashville Tennesee (2.5 hours). It’s a totally worthwhile stop also on any Alabama roadtrip itinerary.
Things To Do in Guntersville AL
Although small in size, there are plenty of things to do in town primarily because Lake Guntersville is such a big attraction in the area for nature lovers and sporting enthusiasts.
Historic Downtown Guntersville
Downtown Guntersville has the charming small town atmosphere of other Alabama cities like Florence Alabama. There are plenty of antique stores and little boutiques which make shopping in Guntersville Alabama a delight. And, don’t forget the Harbor View Winery where you can stock up on wines.
Explore the fascinating history of Guntersville at the Guntersville Museum, located in the iconic rock Armoury along Lake Guntersville. The museum will take you as far back as 10,000 years to find out about how this stunning landscape was formed and who and what might have dwelled across the lands all those years ago.
You will find historic artifacts, original photographs and documents, art, and natural exhibitions throughout the museum. Famed artist, Frank Nelson’s, art is on permanent display – his watercolors of landscapes and still lives are outstanding.
A collection of native birds was mounted in the late 1920 and still provides a fascinating insight into the fauna of the surrounding woods. It was the first time that I had seen a bald eagle outside of a picture. I had no idea how BIG bald eagles were.
The Percy Barnard Collection showcases a broad range of Native-American artifacts that date back to the Paleo-Indian era and tells the story of the rich Native-American culture and traditions.
Other exhibits tell the tales of more recent history including a cool digital interactive map where people can find where their ancestors farms would have been prior to the creation of the reservoir that is Lake Guntersville.
Address: 1215 Rayburn Ave, Guntersville 35976
Sunset Drive Trail
Sunset Drive Trail is a multi-use trail that runs along Lake Guntersville in Guntersville AL. The fully paved trail runs for 3.7 miles. Parking is easy by the Guntersville Chamber of Commerce. And along this trail you will find things like the Guntersville Farmers Market and parks in Guntersville AL.
Cultural Things to Do Guntersville AL
If you are looking for cultural things to do Guntersville AL has several good options.
Whole Backstage Theater
Near Guntersville Museum, the Whole Backstage Theatre is a community theatre for the area. They run seasonal programs including musicals in the summer.
Address: 1120 Rayburn Ave, Guntersville 35976
Art on the Lake
Art on the Lake is an annual event held every April where 100+ artists, craftsman and other vendors gather for a fun family-friendly event.
Guntersville Concerts on the Lake
April brings music and craft beer to Lake Guntersville in the annual Rivers & Brews Concert Series.
Festivals in Guntersville AL
Hydrofest and the Will Rogers Heritage festival are two fun festivals in Guntersville AL.
HydroFest, held in June in Lake Guntersville, is like the F-1 of power boat racing. In a tradition dating back to the 1940s, over a two day period power boats race in speeds of over 200 mph.
The race course is a closed course on Lake Guntersville with an average of 4 hairpin turns. Unlike car race tracks though which are oval in shape the Hydrofest race course is rectangular in shape.
Will Rogers Heritage Festival
American comedian, Will Rogers was born in Oklahoma so why is he celebrated in Guntersville? Will Rogers is a descendant of founder, John Gunter. So the Will Rogers Heritage Festival is a celebration of all things Mr. Rogers liked.
Shopping in Guntersville AL
Shopping in Guntersville AL revolves around a good mix of vintage stores and cool little boutiques.
For example, check out Blossom Boutique and She Exclusive for cool women’s clothes. For more of a browse of stuff you never knew you needed and/or needed check out Antiques and Sweets or Spanish House Antiques.
Also while you are out shopping in Guntersville Alabama, stop by the Harbor View Winery. The Harbor View Winery specialises in fruit wines but also offers other types of wine and slushies. They offer free tastings.
Address: 300 Gunter Avenue, Guntersville 35976
Restaurants Guntersville AL
There are three restaurants in Guntersville Alabama which appear in the 100 Dishes To Try in Alabama – Crawmama’s, Downtowne Delight and Rock House Eatery. Whether or not you choose to try the suggested dishes at these Guntersville restaurants, the restaurants themselves are always a good bet.
The Boat House is a bar and restaurant located right on Lake Guntersville with fantastic views. It serves well-known dishes with an exotic twist, thanks to its Korean owner.
Address: 1525 Blount Avenue
Wintzell’s Oyster House is a small Alabama chain of seafood restaurants with its original location in Mobile Alabama. Great for when you need your fried green tomatoes or fried catfish.
Address: 14455 U.S. Hwy 431 S, Guntersville 35976
After you’ve experienced the craft brewery scene in Huntsville, come check out Main Channel Brewery, the first craft brewery in Madison County. The beer names occasionally give an amusing nod to nearby Lake Guntersville like Face Plant and Choppy Water but you also get old favourites like New England IPA and Irish Stout.
You can eat from a variety of places thanks to the food trucks which get announced on their social media as stopping by.
Address: 2090 Gunter Ave, Guntersville 35976
Things to do Near Guntersville, Alabama
If you are looking for things to do near Guntersville Alabama, start with Lake Guntersville. This lake covers 69,000 acres and is the largest lake in Alabama.
Guntersville State Park
This is one of the beloved state parks in the south and sits in the north of Alabama where the mighty Tennessee River meets Lake Guntersville. It is the largest lake in the state, and the state park is renowned for its fabulous facilities and amenities. There are plenty of recreational activities on and around the water.
Bass fishing is one of the top activities, especially when attempted from a kayak. For those who enjoy sport on dry land, Eagle’s Nest Golf course atop Taylor Mountain is one of the most challenging and scenic courses in the county.
Go hiking or, an easier option, take a trail ride with Alabama Horseback Adventures to see more of the interior of the state park.
Accommodation is available to cater to your every need, and you can find everything from cabins to luxury lodging and primitive camping. Visiting Guntersville State Park is one of the most enjoyable things to do Guntersville, Al.
Cathedral Caverns in Alabama
This is one of the most unique state parks in the country and is only a 25-minute drive from Guntersville. The Cathedral Caverns State Park features a karst cave system overrun by formations that will leave you in awe.
The massive mouth of the cave is 25ft. high and 128ft. wide and is believed to be the largest of its kind. The cathedral-like spaces in the cave are grand and imposing, and the biggest formation you will see is the aptly named “Goliath”.
This gigantic stalagmite is 45ft tall and has a mammoth circumference of 243ft. The stalagmite forest spreads out across acres of the cave floor, and you can enjoy more than two miles of wheelchair-accessible paths.
The rock formations vary from magnificent to downright mind-boggling.
The Big Room is another of the astounding spaces in the cave at more than 790 feet long. The Cathedral Caverns in Alabama will make you feel small in comparison and connect you with millennia of history.
You can also spend the night and set up camp at one of the campsites or head for the hills for some back-country camping. This marvelous feature is one of the most popular things to do Guntersville, Alabama offers
Address: 637 Cave Rd, Woodville 35776
High Falls County Park
High Falls County Park is home to the beautiful High Falls waterfall. This Alabama waterfall is 55 feet high and nearly 330 feet wide. After storms, the entire width is flowing with water!! On a hot summer’s day, High Falls County Park is perfect place to cool off.
There’s a walking bridge that crosses over the waterfall.
Address: 969 Co Rd 144, Grove Oak 35975
Marshall County Alabama
Nearby Guntersville AL, the towns of Albertville AL, Boaz Alabama and Arab Alabama have cool things to offer visitors.
Arab Historic Village
Arab Historic Village is collection of historic houses dating from the late 19th century to 1940. There is a schoolhouse, church, country store and farmhouse all of which include era-appropriate furnished interiors.
Arab Historic Village is part of town’s special events such as SugarFest and Christmas in the Park.
If you are in Arab at the end of summer check out the SugarFest on Labor Day Weekend. There’s a 5K run, food trucks, classic cars, bands and food and drink stalls. The little Miss SugarFest pageant is held in the Arab Historic Village.
At the end of the year, Arab puts on Christmas in the Park with lighted tree trails and musical bands. Santa in the Park is held at the Arab Historic Village.
Address: 844 Shoal Creek Trail NE, Arab, 35016
Albertville Alabama is the fire hydrant capital of the world. This fact is commemorated with a gleaming nickel fire hydrant near the famous Albertville Train Depot and the Albertville Farmer’s Market.
The Albertville Train Depot is on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the North Alabama Train Depots Trail.
Address: East Main Street, Albertville, 35126
Nearby, Sand Mountain Park in Albertville is a 130 acre recreational area with an amphitheater and sports facilities. Families will love the new state of the art outdoor water park which provides stiff competition for the Point Mallard water park in Decatur. The Sand Mountain water park features waterslides, a splash pad and a lazy river making for a fun day out.
Address: 1325 SMPA Boulevard, Albertville 35930
If you are following the North Alabama wine trail, stop by the Albertville winery. The Jules J. Berta Vineyards and Pizzeria is a highly rated attraction in North Alabama. Have a gourmet pizza and wine slushy in an idyllic outdoor setting in a vineyard at this Albertville winery.
Marshall County’s Boaz Alabama has a cool October Harvest Festival which has been running nearly 60 years. There’s a 5K run, a Miss Harvest Festival pageant, classic cars, arts and crafts vendors, bands and a food court. The Moon Pie eating contest is truly unique.
If you love barbecue, make sure to check out the famed Dale’s Barbecue which is on the North Alabama Barbecue Trail.
Address: 10850 AL-168, Boaz 35957
Lodging Guntersville AL
Lodging in Guntersville Al is a varied mix from well-known hotel chains to motels and campgrounds. You will also want to check the Guntersville Airbnb listings for good options.
Hotels in Guntersville Al
The Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge is a really nice hotel near Guntersville with expansive lakeside views. There are amenities on site (pool, restaurants, fitness center) and nearby (hiking trails, golf course).
Address: 1155 Lodge Drive, Guntersville 35976
Two chain hotels in Guntersville Alabama are the Lake Guntersville Hampton Inn and the Wyndham Garden Lake Guntersville. Both have the usual hotel facilities like restaurants and pools.
Address: Hampton Inn (14451 US Highway 431 South, Guntersville 35976); Wyndham Garden (2140 Gunter Ave, Guntersville 35976)
Motels in Guntersville AL
For motels in Guntersville AL, check out the Lakeside Inn and Regal Inn. The Quality Inn is lcoated in nearby Scottsboro, Albertville and Arab.
Address: Lakeside Inn (14040 US-431, Guntersville 35976); Regal Inn (14341 US-431, Guntersville, 35976)
Campgrounds in Guntersville AL
Campgrounds in Guntersville Alabama include the Lake Guntersville State Park Campground and the Riverview Campground. Both these campgrounds in Guntersville AL are right by Lake Guntersville itself.
Airbnb Guntersville AL
There are several good Airbnb Guntersville AL options including the Manager’s Camper or the larger Nivendale Cabin, both at the Riverview Campground mentioned previously.
For larger parties, consider entire lakeside homes such as this lake house or this Lake Guntersville cabin (both sleeping up to 6 people). With the right Airbnb Lake Guntersville can be right on your doorstep.
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For review purposes, I received a complimentary lunch from the Boathouse in Guntersville, admission to Cathedral Caverns and a trail ride from Alabama Horseback Adventures. None of these has had any effect on the opinion or review contained herein.
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