The area where Center Point now sits was once occupied by Native Americans back in the 1700s.
In 1816, settlers began to arrive from North Carolina and used the area for agricultural purposes, growing the settlement into a small village which housed a school, grocery store, blacksmith shop and a post office. Over the next century and a half, the settlement grew steadily into a town, and in 2002, citizens voted to make Center Point a city.
Located 20 miles northeast of Birmingham, Alabama, the city is a prime location from which to explore parks, nature preserves and museums.
Outdoor enthusiasts will be in their element with plenty of hiking and cycling trails scattered around the city.
There’s much to see and do in the local area, so if you are touring Alabama, or spending a few days in Birmingham, don’t forget to take a trip out to Center Point.
As an Alabama local who lives in Birmingham, I know Center Point very well. There is plenty to do in the area, so I’m sure you will find something you like on my list of the best things to do in and around Center Point, Alabama:
1. Turkey Creek Nature Preserve
Lovers of the great outdoors will adore spending time at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve just north of Center Point.
The preserve’s 466-acres are filled with gushing waterfalls, hiking trails and contain 7 endangered wildlife and marine species.
I had loads of fun swimming in the blue hole and floating along the river on a tube. Alternatively, if you wish to remain on dry land, mountain biking, hiking trails and picnic areas are available.
Bring your walking shoes, swimming gear and a camera, and enjoy a fun, family day out immersed in nature.
2. Pinson Bicentennial Park
The city of Pinson celebrated its 200th anniversary with a brand-new park.
Located a few miles north of Center Point, the picturesque recreational area sits on 20-acres and features a playground, walking trails, disk golf and an amphitheater.
For sizzling hot summer days, there’s a Splash Pad for the kids with several super soakers and fountains.
In the evenings, the pretty tiered amphitheater is floodlit, showcasing live concerts and performances.
3. Hawk’s View Overlook
Hawk’s View Overlook is located on the edge of Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve.
If you’re seeking exceptional hiking or running trails, this is the place to be.
The trail leaves from the visitor center following the mountain pathway scattered with hidden caves and abandoned quarries to the lookout point.
I suggest visiting in the early morning or late afternoon, as these are the best times to view incredible sunrises and sunsets from Hawk’s View Overlook.
4. Ruffner Mountain
While you’re climbing to Hawk’s View Overlook, take time to explore Ruffner Mountain.
The area offers 14 miles of trails which you can hike and discover flora and fauna.
In the late 19th century right through to the 1950s, the mountain was a main source of iron ore, producing over 200 tons a day. The ore was taken from Ruffner Mountain to Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham’s industrial district for smelting.
Today, caves where the iron ore was mined still exist but are no longer open to the public, however, there are several walks, picnic areas and a nature center which houses a variety of native species.
5. Southern Museum of Flight
The Southern Museum of Flight allows aviation enthusiasts to explore all things aircraft related in an interactive indoor and outdoor museum.
Whether you wish to experience take-off and landing in a flight simulator, discover military helicopters and planes in the outdoor parks, or seek out realistic dioramas relating to World War II and the Vietnam War, you can do it all at this fun, educational museum.
6. Cosby Lake Park
Cosby Lake Park is a tranquil location, perfect for hiking, fishing or a picnic. The park affords beautiful views, with a lake surrounded by forest and woodlands.
You can spend time walking the pathways, taking pictures and visiting the mini-wetlands which attract bird-life and beavers.
The lake attracts anglers from all over, eager to catch catfish, brim and bass.
At just 5 miles northeast of Center Point, I think it’s a superb place to spend an afternoon with friends and family.
Also see: 15 Best Lakes in Alabama
7. Ken’s Hickory Pit Barbecue
Experience good ole’ fashioned Southern barbecue at Ken’s Hickory Pit in nearby Pinson.
Set in an understated diner, all their meats are hickory smoked with delicious dipping sauce on the side.
Whether you wish to try the pork, ribs, chicken or smoked sausage, this laid-back diner is a great place for family and friends.
On my visit the portions were big, the service was excellent and the prices were very reasonable. So bring your appetite, and don’t forget to try the sweet potato pie for dessert.
8. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
Motorsports fans should make this their first port of call when staying in Center Point.
The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is home to over 1600 motorcycles and a huge display of Lotus sportscars. In fact, the museum has been recognized as having the world’s largest motorcycle collection by Guinness World Records.
As well as motorcycles on display within the museum, action also takes place outside on the track.
Throughout the year Barber Motorsports Park hosts the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama and a Vintage Festival for those who favor the classics.
9. Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark
At one time, Sloss Furnaces were the busiest pig iron producing blast furnaces in the world, and today it still stands in Birmingham as it did in the late 19th century.
This unique historical site with its tall stoves and intricate pipe networks serves as an interpretive museum to tell the story of Birmingham’s industrial past.
You can take a self-guided tour, enjoy food festivals, haunted evenings and even live concerts within this iconic national historic landmark.
If you’re planning to visit nearby Birmingham, I highly recommend the Birmingham Area Multi-Attraction Pass. It includes admission to Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, as well as other top attractions.
10. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
If you are visiting Alabama, it’s highly likely at some point you will come across a museum or monument relating to the Civil Rights Movement.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute showcases exhibits which reveal what life was like for all races in Alabama from the late 1800s right through to the present day.
It details the hardships African-Americans had to endure and tells stories of struggles which rocked the city.
One highlight that really impressed me is the Processional Gallery, ‘Walk to Freedom’ where life-size figures from all races and ages try to raise awareness and advocate for equal rights for all.
Related reading: 25 Best Things to Do in Birmingham, Alabama
11. Kelly Ingram Park
Kelly Ingram Park is located in the heart of Birmingham’s Civil Rights District.
During the 1960s, it hosted several demonstrations pertaining to the Civil Rights Movement, and in May 1963, one of the largest gatherings took place in the park. During these demonstrations, Birmingham firemen and police used hoses and police dogs in an attempt to silence protesters.
As images of the altercations were broadcast around the world, there was a public outcry, which became the beginning of the end of public segregation.
The picturesque park is filled with monuments, sculptures and walking trails, with information on the life-changing events which took place in 1963.
12. Regions Field
This minor league baseball park in Birmingham is the perfect place to enjoy a sporting event while you’re in the city.
The Birmingham Barons played their first game in the revamped facility in 2013, and with a whole host of family-friendly entertainment on offer, you can now enjoy family fun parks, NAPA batting cages and a mini wiffle ball field.
If you want to take in a sports game during your stay, it’s a great way to get to know people – as long as you’re cheering on the local team!
13. Good People Brewing Company
When you’re accepted as genuine and honest in the southern states, you are often referred to as ‘Good People’. This tap room is named after the same sentiment, offering a laid-back environment where visitors and locals can get together to enjoy a variety of craft beers and pale ales.
Whether you want to try the Bearded Lady, the Urban Farmer or a seasonal Denim Downhiller Winter Ale, there’s plenty to choose from.
The brew company doesn’t serve food, but they don’t mind you bringing in your own snacks and take-out from nearby restaurants.
If you are looking for a good night out and want to taste a selection of craft brews, I’m sure you’ll have a great time at Good People Brewing Company!
14. The Outlet Shops of Grand River
If you’re looking for designer clothing and accessories at low costs, then look no further than The Outlet Shops of Grand River.
With designer outlet stores from Coach, Guess, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and more, you are bound to walk out with several shopping bags! There are areas for fast food and drinks where you can take a break from spending, and a family fun center so the kids don’t get bored!
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