15 Best Things to Do in Talladega (AL)

Written by Lucas Adams
Updated on
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Talladega lies 50 miles east of Birmingham, Alabama.

It’s a town known for its motorsports, beautiful natural forests and family-friendly activities. Talladega features a large amount of historical properties too.

Visitors can walk around the so-called ‘Silk Stocking District’ and view impressive Victorian, Colonial Revival and Queen Anne architectural styles.

I’m an Alabama local who loves to travel around the state. Talladega is a nice town and a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with mysterious caves, forests, vineyards and lakes nearby. Here is my list of the best things to do in Talladega:

1. Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega SuperspeedwaySource: Action Sports Photography / shutterstock
Talladega Superspeedway

Constructed next to soybean farms and abandoned airport runways of the former Anniston Air Force base, is the world-famous Talladega Superspeedway.

The track opened its gates in 1969, after it became the first-choice location in the US, due to accessibility and population.

The first race held on the 2.66-mile-long oval track was the ‘Bama 400 Grand Touring Race’, and today, the track plays host to NASCAR Xfinity Series, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series.

The circuit can host up to 175,000 spectators at any one time, and many fans plan their trips around event dates and camp by the racetrack.

For me, it was a superb way to meet like-minded motorsports enthusiasts and enjoy the electric atmosphere race day brings.

2. International Motorsports Hall of Fame

International Motorsports Hall of FameSource: Tennessee Wanderer / Flickr
International Motorsports Hall of Fame

International Motorsports Hall of Fame aims to honor the men and women at the top of their game in the field of motorsports.

This means engineers, designers, drivers and builders who all contributed and shaped the world of motorsport.

You can see exhibits relating to Enzo Ferrari, Henry Ford, Ferdinand Porsche, and those dedicated to exceptional drivers such as Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda.

If you’re a motorsports fanatic like me, it’s a great day out, where you can learn more about the heroes who build and design the cars as well as those driving them.

3. Talladega National Forest

Talladega National ForestSource: Jeffrey M. Frank / shutterstock
Talladega National Forest

Located at the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains is Talladega National Forest.

The area encompasses 613.39 square miles and has a diverse eco-system, thanks to pine forest regrowth over the past several decades.

With hiking, horseback riding, cycle trails, wildlife and birds, there’s plenty to tempt outdoor enthusiasts.

Visitors can expect to see white-tailed deer, rabbits and red-cockaded woodpeckers during their travels through the dense forest, plus it’s possible to camp outdoors and experience this stunning wilderness under starry night skies.

So, pack your backpack, a tent and a picnic and enjoy a fun day, and evening, in this enchanted forest.

4. Talladega Walk of Fame

Talladega Walk of FameSource: Cheri Alguire / shutterstock
Talladega Walk of Fame

This downtown park in Talladega was built as a memorial to racing legend Davey Allison, who competed in 191 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races and 86 NASCAR Xfinity Series races during his career.

The local icon’s glittering racing career was cut short when he was just 32 years of age due to a helicopter crash.

His memorial, along with other top NASCAR drivers’ monuments is located at the Talladega Walk of Fame in the Davey Allison Memorial Park.

Visitors can view bronze plaques with race winner’s information and history about the local speedway track.

Also see: 30 Amazing Hidden Gems in Alabama

5. Talladega Marksmanship Park

Talladega Marksmanship ParkSource: facebook.com
Talladega Marksmanship Park

One of the world’s most advanced outdoor marksmanship facilities, Talladega Marksmanship Park is open to the public, and will be particularly appealing to those who enjoy rifle ranges, pistol and clay pigeon shooting.

Located just a couple of miles from Talladega Superspeedway, this 500-acre facility has rifle ranges with 200, 300 and 600-yard practice targets, a 15-station clay sports field with auto-traps, and a 50-yard pistol range.

The clubhouse offers teaching facilities and firearm safety courses, and there’s a state-of-the-art pro-shop which caters to all your supply and equipment needs.

6. Bryant Vineyard

Bryant VineyardSource: facebook.com
Bryant Vineyard

Alabama’s oldest continuously operating vineyard produces award-winning sweet Muscadine wines which visitors will adore.

The vines have been planted on land overlooking tranquil Lake Logan Martin, with terrain which produces some of the most fragrant and flavorful wine in the region.

Sample the Gold Medal winning ‘Dixie Gold’ – a fresh, fruity wine featuring a blend of Magnolia, Carlos and other Muscadine grapes, or try my favorite ‘Dixie Blush, a semi-dry Muscadine rose with intense aromas.

You can indulge in a spot of complimentary wine tasting and even pick your own fruit and vegetables on the land.

It’s a great day out for couples and groups of friends who wish to sample and purchase local Alabama wines as a souvenir of their stay.

7. DeSoto Caverns

DeSoto CavernsSource: Tennessee Wanderer / Flickr
DeSoto Caverns

Whether you wish to venture into a subterranean wonderland of stalagmites and stalactites, pan for gemstones, or get lost in huge trail maze, you can do it all at DeSoto Caverns.

With activities for all the family, you begin your exploration underground in the atmospheric caves.

Learn all about prehistoric Indians who lived here, discover how Confederate soldiers mined for gunpowder, and hear about illegal moonshine production during the prohibition period.

There’s a unique laser light and sound show included in the tour, and a water extravaganza which will mesmerize and captivate all.

Afterwards, head outdoors to get lost in DeSoto’s Maze Trail, take a ride on the Destiny Express train, then go panning for colorful gemstones.

I had a really fun day out at the caverns, and it’s less than 15 miles southwest of Talladega by car!

8. Cheaha State Park

Cheaha State ParkSource: Jim Vallee / shutterstock
Cheaha State Park

At the highest point in Alabama, Cheaha Mountain is 2,407 feet above sea level.

Offering awe-inspiring views, spectacular sunsets and hiking and cycling trails, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular places to visit in the state.

There’s a cliffside restaurant where you can enjoy a hearty breakfast before you set out on your journey, or from where you can begin your cultural heritage tour.

Along hiking trails you will see waterfalls, native wildlife, and be able to view ancient structures like the Bunker Tower, an old rubble stone building which was once an observation tower.

If your idea of a perfect day out is to be at one with nature, gain great photos and spot birdlife and wildlife, Cheaha State Park could be the place for you.

More on Alabama: 25 Best Things to Do in Alabama

9. Kayak on the Coosa River

Coosa RiverSource: Katelyn D Wyatt / shutterstock
Coosa River

If a day kayaking or canoeing appeals to you, then head for the Coosa River.

Outdoor enthusiasts can navigate their way through several groups of Class II rapids on an adrenaline pumping adventure, or gently glide along on calm open waters admiring breath-taking scenery.

There are several kayak and canoe rental stations along the river’s edge, so you can pick the area which suits you best.

Alternatively, you could enjoy a few days of white water rapids on different areas of the river if you rent a car during your stay.

10. Richard Petty Driving Experience

Richard Petty Driving ExperienceSource: facebook.com
Richard Petty Driving Experience

You’ve seen race car drivers speeding around the track, now you can experience the same rush yourself. If you’ve always dreamed of following in the footsteps of NASCAR legends, Richard Petty Driving Experience can make your dreams come true.

It all takes place at Talladega Superspeedway – the home of NASCAR. You can choose to get behind the wheel and drive a NASCAR race car yourself or opt for a Ride Along with a professional driver.

It’s an amazing day out for motor racing fans and allows you to see the world-famous track as a driver would on race day, but with fewer crowds.

11. The Shack BBQ

The Shack BBQSource: facebook.com
The Shack BBQ

You can’t visit Alabama and not dine in an authentic barbecue joint, fortunately in Talladega you have The Shack BBQ to cater to your needs.

This popular barbecue restaurant opened in 1983 and has been touted as one of the best around, offering generous portions, meat-filled salads, mouth-watering ribs and pulled pork sandwiches.

It’s a family-friendly, laid-back diner which caters to all tastes and budgets, and the food is pretty good too.

12. Waldo Covered Bridge

Waldo Covered Bridge, AlabamaSource: JNix / shutterstock
Waldo Covered Bridge

Also known as Riddle Mill Covered Bridge, this old Howe truss and Queen-post truss combination bridge was constructed in 1858. Waldo Covered Bridge has a rich history attached to it.

There was once an old gold mine nearby which operated up until the Second World War, plus the bridge was used during the Civil War by the Wilson Raiders of the Union Army.

Visitors can’t cross the bridge on foot anymore, but you can walk around the grounds and take photographs if you gain permission first.

It’s one of the few remaining original covered bridges, so I suggest to take a look if you are in or around Talladega.

13. Blue Bell Creameries Factory Tour

Blue Bell CreamerySource: facebook.com
Blue Bell Creamery

Blue Bell Creameries are a short drive from Talladega in the charming town of Sylacauga.

The factory which opened in 1996, offers guided tours so you can see how ice cream and delicious treats are made.

It’s a lesser known attraction in Alabama, but one which shouldn’t be overlooked, especially if you are a fan of all things sweet.

There’s a gift shop, where you can sample scrumptious ice cream flavors, and inside the factory you can learn the entire manufacturing process from start to finish.

14. Lake Howard

Lake Howard, AlabamaSource: facebook.com
Lake Howard, Alabama

Surrounded by 180-acres, Lake Howard sits outside the town of Sylacauga and borders Talladega National Forest.

It’s a popular area for anglers, with abundant bass, catfish, bream and crappie stocked in the lake.

There are also some superb loop trails for hiking and cycling, so bring your walking shoes, a camera and a picnic and enjoy the natural beauty of this peaceful location.

Also see: 15 Best Lakes in Alabama

15 Best Things to Do in Talladega (AL):

  • Talladega Superspeedway
  • International Motorsports Hall of Fame
  • Talladega National Forest
  • Talladega Walk of Fame
  • Talladega Marksmanship Park
  • Bryant Vineyard
  • DeSoto Caverns
  • Cheaha State Park
  • Kayak on the Coosa River
  • Richard Petty Driving Experience
  • The Shack BBQ
  • Waldo Covered Bridge
  • Blue Bell Creameries Factory Tour
  • Lake Howard