Weekend Warrior: 10 cool places within 100 miles of Birmingham


Alison Wondervan is an adventure vehicle extraordinaire. There is little more you need than a thirst for exploration and a little imagination. When you rent Alison, you get 100 free miles with every day you rent. So, what can you do with Alison, a weekend, and 200 miles? Tons!

Alabama has a lot to offer if you know where to look. This state has something for everyone no matter your preferred flavor of fun. Here are some ideas to get you started.


If you are the type of person that likes to wake up Saturday morning at the trailhead, these locales have your name written all over them.

  • Little River Canyon National Preserve: Located in Fort Payne, Alabama, Little River Canyon is about 100 miles from Birmingham. It has all kinds of fun outdoor activities: hiking, bird watching, bicycling, fishing, kayaking, and rock climbing. It has beautiful waterfalls and wonderful scenic drives
  • Cherokee Rock Village: If you are a rock climber in Birmingham, you are probably already familiar with Cherokee Rock Village (aka Sandrock). It is the perfect getaway for scrambling around on rock. Not only does it have great rock formations but the park has miles and miles of hiking trails. If you are looking to get away and commune with nature, Cherokee Rock Village has a lot to offer.
  • Sipsey Wilderness: Sipsey Wilderness lies within William Bankhead National Forest. It is one of the largest wilderness areas in Alabama and contains dozens of waterfalls. The area is crisscrossed with twelve established trails that are anywhere from easy to moderate.
  • Cathedral Caverns State Park: If you love caves, Cathedral Caverns State Park is a worthwhile visit. After enjoying the cool, 60-degree Fahrenheit cave, explore the surrounding 493-acre park.
  • DeSoto State Park: This location is wonderful if you simply enjoy exploring nature. They have everything from hiking to bouldering to cycling. While you are there, don’t forget to take a hike to DeSoto Falls, a 104-foot waterfall.
  • Cheaha Wilderness and Cheaha State Park: Cheaha Wilderness is located within the Talladega National Forest. It has many hiking trails winding through dense second growth woodlands. There are many small creeks and streams running through the wilderness and most trails include several scenic overlooks. Venture into the park for more outdoor fun. Cheaha State Park boasts access to the highest point in Alabama as well as rappelling and rock climbing, mountain bike trails, fishing, Indian Relic Museum, and more.
  • Dismals Canyon: Dismals Canyon is a privately owned, 85-acre Natural Conservatory. The canyon is beautiful and offers several hiking trails. The camping spots are primitive, but with Alison Wondervan, you get to enjoy the seclusion of primitive sites with the comfort of a real bed and roof over your head. It is also home to bioluminescent creatures called Dismalites. They are essentially glowworms. Make sure to sign up for a guided night tour.


If you are more of a site seer, here are some unique attractions brought to you by the state of Alabama.

  • Spectre Set Ruins: Located in Millbrook, AL, the Spectre Set Ruins are the remains of the fairytale small town from the movie “Big Fish.” This setting of a small town was built on a private island in Alabama. When the crew was finished shooting, they simply left the buildings standing along with the other set dressings. Snuggle up in Alison Wondervan and enjoy a private viewing of “Big Fish” on your own before visiting the ruins.
  • Alabama’s Natural Bridge: This natural bridge located just outside of William Bankhead National Forest is a 148-foot-long natural rock bridge. The surrounding park is a beautiful place for outdoor exploration. A short walk from the bridge you can see a carving of an Indian head. There are many guesses concerning the carving but nobody really knows the who, when, or why behind it.
  • Ave Maria Grotto: This four-acre miniature city was built by Brother Joseph Zoettl, a hunchbacked monk born in 1878. At the age of 14, he signed up to join the St. Bernard Abbey. While living as a monk, he began building models as a way to occupy himself. The tiny city is filled with 125 famous and holy locations.

The state of Alabama has a lot to offer its residents. Running off to exotic faroff locales can be fun, but don’t forget all the wonder your own state has to offer. Alison Wondervan is the perfect getaway vehicle for all your adventures large and small. If you want to go explore your home state but are at a loss of where to go, checkout our Travel Guide page or give us a call. We would love to provide you with even more fun suggestions. Adventure on!