Monday, June 8, 2015

16 things to do this summer with the Family in Calhoun County

Visit the Museums
Where 431 splits from Hwy 21, you’ll find beautiful Lagarde Park, and if you meander through the park, you’ll find two treasures, the Berman Museum and Anniston Museum of Natural History.
Explore the wilds of Africa, the wonders of the North American wilderness and the mysteries of 2,300 year old Egyptian Mummies in the Anniston Museum of Natural History. More than 2,000 natural history items are on display, and children can get “hands on” with nature in the discovery room and animal shows.  For more information, visit
At the Berman, you’ll explore Greece to Asia, Hitler to Napoleon. See Colonel Berman’s incredible and fascinating collection of weapons, like a flute that shoots, and thousands of objects like bronzes by Remington and Russell, Asian Art, Winchesters, Civil War artifacts, and a Greek helmet, more than 2,000 years old. For more information, visit

Go for a swim
Ohatchee is home to Neely Henry Dam, and a great location for fishing and fun for the whole family. From Piedmont to Jacksonville, Anniston and Oxford, area municipalities have open swimming pools this summer, splash pads, and more! Families can also enjoy floating Choccolocco and Terrapin Creeks, picnicking along the banks, stopping for a swim or just relaxing for the day!
For more information, check

Enjoy a Movie
This summer, several municipalities are hosting outdoor movie nights and concerts, and AmStar of Oxford is hosting a summer movie series. Summer Kids’ flicks are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. at the Quintard Mall. Only $3.50, these flicks also include a box of popcorn and kid’s soda!  For more information, visit  

See a Show
“Once upon a time, in a far off kingdom, there lay a small village at the edge of the woods…” Don’t miss this production  of Into the Woods at the Oxford Performing Arts Center, presented by the JSU Drama Department and Jacksonville Opera Theatre, June 5 through 6 and 12 through 14. For more information, visit
Regionally, Characters of Gadsden is also presenting Big Fish, and the Dugger Mountain Music Hall will feature local acts like the Rattlesnake Rattlers. Check out and for more information.

Shop til you Drop
Live local, eat local, play local, shop local! Calhoun County is home to great shopping, from department stores to one-of-a-kind boutiques, we’ve got it all. When visitors and residents shop local, everyone benefits, our schools, our public services, and the businesses themselves, who in turn support local teams and organizations. Download the Visit Calhoun County App for more information or check out

Hit the Trails
Peddle, peddle, peddle! We’ve got bike trails at Cheaha, in Coldwater, in Choccolocco, in Jacksonville and along Ladiga! Grap a bike and get going. For area maps and more information, check out

Take a Hike
From the Pinhoti to Cheaha and nearby Desoto State Park, pack a picnic lunch and plan a hike. Take plenty of water and go explore the beautiful scenery and views in your backyard! For trail information, browse and “Plan Your Trip.” Families can also stretch their legs and stroll along Oxford Lake. Take a picnic, check out the Coldwater Covered Bridge and play on the playground.

Work on your Game
Weather you’re interested in tennis or golf, we have plenty of courses and courts to keep you occupied. From Golden Springs to Jacksonville, go serve it up. From Cider Ridge, Stoney Brook, Indian Oaks, Pine Hill, Cane Creek, and nearby Silver Lakes, tee it up and hit them straight. You’ve got all summer to perfect your game and get ready for the pros. For a list of area courses, browse “Sports and Recreation.”

Read a book
It’s no wonder that authors like Beth Duke and Pulitzer Prize winning Rick Bragg felt drawn to capture the settings, history and stories of this region in their work. Check out books from local authors this summer and see how many settings you recognize.
Then, make your own memories and stories to share. Visit Northeast Alabama where adventures are abound. It’s just natural to relax and enjoy the scenery, the food, and the people.

Check out Community Events
From festivals to events like the annual Woodstock 5K, Calhoun County is busy this summer. Don’t forget the municipal freedom festivals and Fourth of July fireworks. For a complete list of community events, browse our event calendar at, and if you’d like to submit an event, check out

Take an Exercise Class
Take the summer to try new things. From Yoga, “Pound” class, Pilates and spin, area gyms like the community centers, local gyms and YMCAs, each day offers a new opportunity. For a list of locations, check out and browse our online Membership Directory.

Take a train ride
Calhoun County is blessed with access to train, major highways, a greyhound station and bike trails. It’s a short trip from everywhere. Located on West 4th Street in Anniston, the AmTrack Cresent passenger train runs between New York and New Orleans and stops daily in Anniston. The historically rich train station, built in 1925, is perfect to accommodate any weekend getaway. Follow the tracks!

Take a Wine Tour
Did you know Calhoun County is in the center of the North Alabama Wine Trail? With local spots like beautiful White Oak Vineyards, home to Southern Oak Wines, nearby Fruithurst Winery and High Country Cellars, these spots produce local fruit wines, from blueberry to muscadine and more! Plan your tour at Local spots like Tyson Fine Wine and Things also host tastings on a weekly basis.

Explore local history
From Janney Furnace, John Pelham, Civil Rights, “LickSkillet,” and “The Model City,” Calhoun County is rich with history. Stop by the Chamber and Visitors Center office at 1330 Quintard Avenue in Anniston and pick up a historic driving tour. Our hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Eat Local
Did you know 2015 is the year of Barbeque in Alabama? Have you celebrated? We could come up with 100 dishes to eat in Calhoun County before you die because we have the best burgers, barbeque, shrimp and grits, ribs, pizza, and vegetables around. The list goes on and on, but you can browse for yourself at “Where to Eat.”

Spend time with Family
Memories are made at home or taking an adventure. Pull out the board games and tell family stories around a camp-fire with s’mores. Life is made of little moments. Seize the day!

Other Explorations Nearby
Desoto Caverns
Talladega Superspeedway 
International Motorsports Hall of Fame
Noccalula Falls
Cherokee Rock Village
Little River Canyon
Weiss Lake
JSU Canyon and Mountain Centers
Lake Wedowee
Loyd Owens Canoe Trail

Lake Chinnabee

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