Trussville is a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, located 15 miles northeast of the city. It is listed as one of the 100 best places to live in America, and one of the best towns in the state for young families.
Trussville was named after the first European settler to live in the town – Warren Truss, who came to the city to establish a grist mill with his brothers. The city area remained rural until the Alabama – Chattanooga Railway was built after the Civil War.
Today, Trussville is a bustling district with nature preserves, parks, museums, great shopping and dining to enjoy.
I’m an Alabama local and love traveling the state and exploring all it has to offer. What I like about Trussville is it’s proximity to Downtown Birmingham, which means you can reach abundant city attractions within a 20-minute drive. Here is my list of the best things to do in and around Trussville:
1. Cosby Lake Park
Cosby Lake Park is located just 10 minutes’ north of Trussville, Alabama. This tranquil lake area near Clay city is surrounded by lush forest land, offering walking trails, cycling and bird-watching.
Bring your walking shoes, a picnic and a camera as you may spot beavers and Canada Geese nestled in the mini-wetlands.
Cosby Lake Park is also a hot-spot for local fishermen and women who come to catch bass, catfish and crappie.
I visited the park during fall, when the changing leaves and landscapes made this a magical place to explore.
2. Turkey Creek Nature Preserve
A short distance from Trussville in Pinson, Alabama, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve boasts 466-acres of beautiful creeks, falls, woodlands and wildlife.
Its history dates back to prehistoric times when areas around the creek were home to Native American inhabitants, and it also played a key role in the early industrial age of the city.
The preserve boasts activities to suit all ages, offering great places to swim, hike or picnic. There are multiple mountain biking and hiking trails and woodlands which are home to endangered wildlife species. If you have some time I recommend to go tubing down the creek, I had a lot of fun doing this together with friends.
Your visit can be as relaxed or energetic as you choose, making it the perfect place for a day out with friends and family.
3. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
The first motorcycles were brought to Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in 1988, since then it has grown rapidly, and today displays over 1,600 motorcycles which date back over a century.
Showcasing bikes from over 216 manufacturers from 20 countries, there’s much to see, including almost 100 Harley Davidson’s and even a large collection of Lotus sports cars.
Highlights include the classic AJS E95 “Porcupine” motorcycle which was released in 1952.
4. Trussville Antique Mall
Trussville Antiques and Interiors is a 33,000 square feet shopping mall in the heart of the city.
With 80 antique dealers under one roof, this huge store boasts a whole host of collectibles, antiques, furniture and memorabilia.
Whether you collect old coins, porcelain dolls, toys, or vintage jewelry or furniture, I’m sure you will have a great time browsing bargains at this fabulous mall.
Also see: 30 Amazing Hidden Gems in Alabama
5. Paint All The Things
Paint All The Things in Trussville is a fun, relaxed environment where all ages can learn how to paint like Monet or Picasso.
At the studio, tutors offer art direction, teaching skills and techniques to allow you to unleash the creative within.
Once you’ve learned the basics, you can paint your own canvas, pottery piece or wall hanging as a souvenir of your time there.
Give them a call and book a class while you are staying in Trussville, or, if you are just passing through, they do accept walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis.
6. Grand River Drive-In Movie Theatre
On balmy summer evenings, I think there’s nothing better than watching a Hollywood Blockbuster outdoors.
Simply drive-in, bring your picnic table and chairs and watch the latest films on one of four huge screens.
There’s a restaurant and bar on-site if you fancy shopping for snacks, plus a kid’s play area and mini golf to tire little ones out before the movie begins.
It’s a great way for all ages to experience movies in a typical American drive-in, plus, if you want to stay for more than one film, there are discounts available, so you can make a whole evening out of it.
7. The Outlet Shops of Grand River
Less than 10 miles south of Trussville are the Outlet Shops of Grand River.
All your favorite high street stores are here, with discounted lines to suit all budgets.
Spend time browsing designer stores including Banana Republic Factory Store, American Eagle Outfitters, Coach, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store and more.
If you prefer to seek out cosmetics, sports wear and accessories there are plenty of options too.
You’ll probably feel pretty hungry as you shop till you drop, fortunately, there are several fast food outlets and diners within the mall for you to take a well-earned shopping break.
8. Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve
Ruffner Mountain was once known for its abundance of iron ore which was mined for in this region from the late 19th century to the 1950s.
The iron ore discovered here was taken to Sloss Furnaces in nearby Birmingham, where it was melted down and used in a variety of industries.
Today, visitors to Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve can explore and hike 14 miles of trails which loop through the mountain ranges.
During your visit you can discover more about the iron ore industry and explore an on-site Nature Center which houses native species from turtles and fish to snakes.
9. Southern Museum of Flight
The Southern Museum of Flight is one of the largest aviation museums in the United States. I really enjoyed my visit to this fun, interactive museum, where visitors of all ages can learn about the history of flight.
The museum showcases planes from the earliest stages of aviation through to World War II and the Vietnam War. In fact, the 75,000 square foot museum houses over 100 exhibits with dioramas, model collections, artifacts, and even engines on display.
In addition to indoor exhibits, you can explore helicopters and military aircraft in the surrounding parks outside.
Alternatively, if you fancy learning how to fly yourself, try out one of the museums flight simulators, and experience a take-off and landing as pilots do.
10. Porsche Sport Driving School
If you’re a fan of Porsche cars like me, and want the opportunity to live out your automotive fantasy during your stay, I suggest spending a day at Porsche Sport Driving School near Trussville, Alabama.
Whether you wish to pilot a Boxster, the classic 911 turbo, or a Porsche Carrera S, you can do it all here.
It doesn’t matter about skill level, as long as you love to drive fast cars, and are open to learning, you will be able to get behind the wheel within no time at all.
Your day begins with a brief classroom session before moving to the track where you can experience an adrenaline-fuelled day driving all the current Porsche models.
11. Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark
Birmingham Alabama is well-known for its iron and steel industries, and there’s no better place to learn about this than at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark.
These towering furnaces were once the largest manufacturer of pig iron in the world, and although they are no longer in operation, they are a nostalgic monument to the industrial revolution which transformed Birmingham.
Visitors can take self-guided tours, learn about the materials, people and processes which made the furnaces such a great success.
The landmark hosts ghostly evening tours, concerts and celebrations too, so if you are in the local area, this attraction should definitely be on your list of things to do.
If you want to see more of Birmingham, I highly recommend taking a look at the Birmingham Area Multi-Attraction Pass. It includes admission to Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, as well as other top attractions.
12. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Many visitors to this region of Alabama are keen to follow the story of the Civil Rights Movement.
If you wish to delve deeper and discover more about the historic events which shaped Alabama, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a great place to begin your journey.
With 58,000 square feet of galleries, exhibits, photographs and archives, this self-guided tour takes you through the 1950s and 1960s Civil Rights Movement and leaves you contemplating similar issues which we encounter in the world today.
You might like: 15 Best Day Trips from Birmingham, Alabama