Pell City was named after George Pell, a financial backer of the Pell City Iron and Land Company in 1890. The city developed rapidly in years that followed, becoming a great hub of industry with textile mills, mercantile establishments, soybean, cattle and cotton farms.
During the 1950s, the city merged with nearby towns Oak Ridge and Eden, and a lake and dam was constructed shortly after, bringing recreational pursuits, tourisms and more homes to the area.
Today, remnants of Pell City’s history can still be seen in its buildings and surrounding countryside, and it’s a popular place with outdoor enthusiasts with abundant lakeside parks, hiking trails, mountain biking, fishing and water sports.
1. Pell City Lakeside Park
Located across from the Civic Centre in Pell City, this 65-acre lakeside park is an ideal space for a leisurely walk, picnic or day of fishing.
The park has several hiking trails, a woodland motor trail and a playground which caters to little ones.
You can take a picnic to one of the pavilions, lie out on the grass by the lake, cast a line from a boat or the pier, or plunge into the water for a cooling dip on a hot summer’s day.
2. Coosa Queen Riverboat Cruise
The Coosa Queen is a 58-foot-long semi-paddle-wheeler riverboat which transports visitors along picturesque Logan Martin Lake in Alabama.
Located just 7 miles from Pell City, the boat caters to birthday parties, evening dinner cruises and celebratory events, transporting you along the lake past waterside houses, forests and scenic shoreline.
You can select a short daytime cruise or a glorious evening cruise of around 3 hours in duration and take in spectacular sunsets over dinner and drinks.
3. Honda Manufacturing of Alabama
Fans of Honda cars, their designs and engineering should make a stop at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama.
The plant, which produces cars such as the Honda Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline opens its doors by appointment to 50 people at a time who wish to tour the facility to learn more about the vehicles and the work which goes into them.
Each tour typically lasts around 1.5 hours and is suitable for adults and children aged 12 and over.
The tours are free of charge, but you need to fill in a form online to book in advance.
4. Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega Superspeedway is located next to abandoned airport runways on the site of a former air base.
The track is home to several NASCAR races throughout the year, and you can even learn how to drive one yourself on an experience day! Whether you are staying nearby and visiting on race day or wish to spend several days camping trackside with a group of friends, you can do it all.
The 2.66-mile-long oval race track can hold a capacity of around 175,000 spectators at any one time, so whenever you visit you are likely to meet like-minded new friends.
5. Butts to Go Diner
If you’ve never thought of sitting down and eating in a gas station before, now’s the time to try! Butts to Go Diner is set inside a Texaco gas station just north of Pell City, and they’re said to have the best BBQ in town! Their rack of ribs and lemon sesame smoked wings are legendary and the ambiance simple, yet comfortable set amongst vending machines and merchandising.
It’s one compact restaurant which shouldn’t work but it does, so if you want to try some of the best barbeque in Alabama, this is the place to go.
6. Talladega National Forest
If you find yourself surrounded by birding trails, wild game, hiking and mountain biking paths, scenic waterfalls and verdant forests, you must be in Talladega National Forest! The forest covers almost 614m2 of land at the southern edges of the Appalachian Mountains, and is filled with flora, fauna and endangered wildlife species.
Whether you wish to go fishing, horseback riding or trekking through lush forests, can you do it all here, and if you want to camp beneath the stars with friends and family, Talladega National Forest can be a thoroughly magical experience.
7. Treetop Family Adventure
For a fun family day out near Pell City, head for Treetop Family Adventure.
The park is filled with everything you need to entertain the kids, from go-karting tracks and laser tag to arcades, bowling alleys and miniature golf.
If you’re taking a break from sightseeing in Alabama and want to keep youngsters and teenagers, (or yourself) happy, then a day out at Treetop Family Adventure may tick all the boxes.
8. DeSoto Caverns
You can spend a fun day below or above ground at DeSoto Caverns.
This park has over 20 attractions which include a three-quarter acre Lost Trail Maze, Wacky Water Golf and a panning for gemstones experience.
But perhaps the pièces de résistance are the underground caverns.
The caverns have been home to pre-historic Indians, early traders and were also used to produce moonshine during the prohibition period.
Included in the cavern tour are spectacular laser light, sound and water shows which are sure to capture your imagination.
Spend time with a guide exploring the “Healing All Cathedral” – so named for its calming and healing properties and discover rock formations dating back millions of years.
9. City Market Grill & Buffet
If you’re hungry and looking for a light lunch or early dinner, head for City Market Grill & Buffet in Downtown Pell City.
The laid-back dining style appeals to both locals and visitors, and the ability to self-serve ensures you can pick out exactly what you want to eat.
It’s reasonably priced, with a variety of southern comfort foods, salads, vegetarian and International dishes, plus there’s a delicious dessert bar if you fancy a sweet treat.
Whether you fancy a plate of mac & cheese, a healthy salad or prime rib, you can find it all at City Market Grill & Buffet.
10. International Motorsports Hall of Fame
Located in the city of Lincoln, Alabama, close to Talladega Superspeedway, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame pays tribute to all the men and women who have greatly contributed to the world of motorsports.
With information, photographs and exhibits on racing drivers, designers, race car manufacturers and engineers, this exhibition honours those in the public eye, and people who work behind the scenes to make it all happen.
You can find information on motor racing legends such as Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Enzo Ferrari and more.
This place is a must-visit for any fan of Formula 1, NASCAR and motorsports in general.
11. The Outlet Shops of Grand River
The Outlet Shops of Grand River in Leeds, Alabama offer everything from high fashion to sunglasses, jewellery and fragrance at lower prices than the high street.
With discount stores and factory outlets such as Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, Guess and Polo Ralph Lauren, you can shop till you drop! The mall also has several fast food diners inside too, so you can take time to break for lunch between shopping!
12. Coyote Drive-In Cinema
The first drive-in cinema opened in New Jersey in 1933, and it was such a success that drive-ins began to open steadily throughout America.
Today, you can experience the outdoor movie theatre experience for yourself near Pell City at the Coyote Drive-In.
Watch all your favourite Hollywood blockbusters and latest releases outdoors and order your food to collect during intermission.
It’s a great evening out for couples, groups of friends and families with children of all ages, and it’s just 20 minutes’ drive from Pell City.
13. Bryant Vineyard
If you enjoy sampling wines from the region in which you’re staying, make a trip to Bryant Vineyard, 13 miles south of Pell City, on the scenic shores of Logan Martin Lake.
The vineyard is renowned for its award-winning Muscadine wines, made from sweet grapes which are perfect to pair with decadent chocolate desserts.
You can take a tour of the vineyard, pick your own fruit, or purchase your own Bryant Vineyard souvenir wine bottles.
While you are there, try the Dixie Blush, a Creek semi-dry muscadine rosé and wine connoisseur favourite, or sample a glass of Alabama Peach Wine, overflowing with aromatic candied peach flavours.
14. Train Escape
If you love Escape Rooms, but think you’ve seen them all, this one is different.
Firstly, it’s located in old railroad cars and secondly, it has three completely different rooms each with separate missions to solve.
You and your team of between 2 and 6 people have just 60 minutes to attempt your train escape.
Will you choose the “Sabotage” room – where you venture deep into enemy territory to prevent a missile strike which puts the world at threat? Or will you select “Classified”, and attempt to decipher hidden clues to stop the train before weapons get into the wrong hands? Whichever room you choose, you are guaranteed an hour of fun, puzzles and challenges, and if you succeed in one room, you may wish to return to try the rest!
15. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
There are not many places in the world where you can see over 1,600 motorcycles, with over 900 on display at any one time.
But at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum around 20 miles from Pell City you can! The museum is home to motorcycles from 200 different manufacturers across the world.
It showcases a vast collection of vintage and contemporary motorcycles, and you can read information and learn about them as you walk around this state-of-the-art facility.
That’s not all.
The museum also features an extensive collection of rare cars and over 50 magnificent Lotus sports cars.
So, if you’re a motorcycle, classic car or Lotus enthusiast, Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is one place you don’t want to miss.