Valley, Alabama lies on the banks of the Chattahoochee River around 32 miles north of Columbus, Georgia.
The area was once known for its textile mill villages which produced cotton for the West Point Manufacturing Company.
Today, you can still see remnants of the city’s industrial heritage in its buildings, mills and landscapes.
There is plenty for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy in and around Valley, with tranquil lakes, riverside walks, vineyards and entertainment venues.
Plus, if you want to discover more about the entire region’s industrial and military history, you can venture south to bustling Phenix City and Columbus, Georgia.
1. Lake Harding
Constructed by the Columbus Power Company in 1926, Lake Harding was used to generate hydroelectric power to the local area.
Today, it’s a popular recreational area encompassing 5,850 acres.
Boating and fishing are popular pastimes on the lake with local anglers venturing here to hook their catch of catfish, bass and crappie.
It’s also a great place to swim or camp overnight.
You can roast your sausages or marshmallows over an open fire under the stars and get lost in the wilderness – at least for a short time!
2. Chattabrewchee Southern Brewhouse
Not far from Valley is Chattabrewchee Southern Brewhouse, the first active duty female owned brewery in America.
Pop in and say hello, then sample their Double IPA, Raspberry Hefeweizen or Southern Red Ale which are all brewed in house.
If you time your visit well, you may even get a personalised tour of the brewery to discover the process of craft beer making for yourself! It’s a great place to come to if you want to mingle with like-minded travellers or locals in a nice area of town near the river.
3. Little Nadine’s Grave
Not many people think of visiting cemeteries during their vacation time, but Little Nadine’s Grave is different.
Nadine Earles was 4-years old when she passed in 1933, and at the time, her father was building his daughter a playhouse which she was desperate to see finished.
This playhouse is now her mausoleum and sits in the cemetery alongside her gravestone.
Complete with windows, a lawn and pathway, this unusual mausoleum is filled with children’s toys and the site has attracted attention from Ripley’s Believe it or Not who featured it in one of their books.
4. Fort Tyler
Fort Tyler sits between the cities of Lanett and West Point a few miles from Valley.
It was constructed with the purpose of defending Chattahoochee River Bridge and became the final fortress to be taken during the 1865 Civil War Battle of West Point.
The site itself features a small reconstructed fort plus there are a few Civil War artifacts dotted around, so if you are interested in local history, it’s a great place to spend an hour or two.
5. River’s Bend Winery and Vineyard
Around 10 miles from Valley, across the state border in Georgia, is River’s Bend Winery and Vineyard.
This family-owned business develops award-winning wines, many from fruit grown on their vineyards in Georgia.
If you are a wine connoisseur and wish to join a tasting session, you can do so, or if you simply wish to visit the vineyard and purchase bottles as a souvenir of your stay, you can do that too! Sample their Malbec – an earthy, well-balanced dark fruit wine, the Pinot Noir with elements of black cherry and raspberry, or try a sweet, fruity peach wine, best served chilled on a hot summer’s day.
6. New Horizon Theatre
If you fancy a night out at the theatre, look no further.
New Horizon Theatre near Valley features performances suitable for adults and children throughout the year.
Whether it’s a sing-along musical extravaganza you want to see, a poignant drama or a Disney fairy-tale suitable for kids, you can find them all here.
Remember to check listings before you visit to ensure you can find something to suit everyone in your travelling party.
7. Visit Columbus, Georgia
If you are driving through Alabama by car, head across the water to Columbus, Georgia.
It’s located just 32 miles south of Valley meaning you can reach the city in under an hour.
You can walk or cycle along 22 miles of waterside trails by the Chattahoochee River, or explore the fascinating National Infantry and National Civil War Naval Museums.
If you are travelling with children, don’t forget to take in the Coca-Cola Space Science Centre where you can experience a simulated space mission, visit the observatory and explore interactive science exhibits.
8. Terri’s Mill Village Café
Blink and you’ll miss it! Terri’s Mill Village Café is a charming diner disguised as a house in the Shawmut area of Valley.
Offering a selection of lunchtime sandwiches, salads and hot dishes there’s something to suit everyone’s taste and budget.
You can sample their delicious casseroles or opt for a plate of wholesome meat and vegetables.
The diner is only open from 11am to 3pm usually, so if you are looking for picnic items to take on an adventure, a light lunch or take-away for dinner, you’ve come to the right place.
9. Riverview Dam
Keen photographers, kayak and canoe enthusiasts and those who just want to walk and be at one with nature, should head to Riverview Dam in Valley.
This scenic area, surrounded by rocks and verdant wilderness is the perfect place to relax, enjoy a picnic with family and friends or take a stroll near the water’s edge.
If you feel daring you can even traverse the rapids in a kayak or canoe, or simply float along the river on a tube and enjoy the scenery as you drift beneath canopies of Spanish Moss trees.
10. Chattahoochee Valley Railroad Trail
The city of Valley is made up of four mill towns, which at the height of the industrial revolution would manufacture cotton products and textiles to be shipped across the country.
You can now trace the journey the products took from mill to city as you follow the Chattahoochee Valley Railroad Trail.
The picturesque trail leads you along tree-lined pathways with abandoned shops and buildings which once formed part of the textile mill villages.
It’s a fascinating insight into the region’s industrial era, and whether you want to explore via bike or on foot, it’s one all the family can enjoy.
11. West Point Lake
This man-made reservoir north of Valley provides water for the local area.
It’s a popular place for fishing, swimming and camping along the shoreline.
Flanked by emerald forests and patchwork fields, the lake boasts 525 miles of shoreline along the Alabama/Georgia state border with plenty of recreational activities and wildlife to explore.
Whether you wish to stay overnight on the campsites, fish for largemouth bass, or take a cooling dip on a hot summer’s day, you can do it all at West Point Lake.
12. Spend a day at Pine Mountain
Pine Mountain is less than 24 miles east of Valley, in the state of Georgia.
The area is home to beautiful Callaway Gardens – a woodland of natural beauty sprinkled with blankets of pastel coloured azaleas, and home to great horned owls.
There is also a Wild Animal Safari where you can drive close to giraffes, camels and zebras as they roam the land.
Alternatively, Jurassic Park fans can spend the day discovering Dino Village which features a host of life-size animated dinosaurs! The mountain park also offers horseback riding, superb hiking trails and historical centres where you can step back in time to see what life used to be like in the area.
13. Milano’s Italian Restaurant
Lovers of Italian cuisine can dine out at Milano’s Restaurant in Valley, Alabama.
With all your Mediterranean favourites on the menu including calamari, meatball parmesan and homemade lasagne, you will be spoiled for choice! This restaurant doesn’t just stop at Italian cuisine either, you can sample Greek Shishkabobs and southern seafood dishes like Jumbo Broiled Shrimp and Catfish fillet.
Whatever you fancy to eat, there’s something at this restaurant to tempt your taste buds, and the prices won’t break your budget either!
14. Horace King Memorial Bridge and Garden
Nestled near the shores of Chattahoochee River sits Horace King Memorial Bridge and Garden.
Horace King was born into slavery, and over the years he taught himself to become a master builder and engineer who constructed bridges across Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.
His engineering and humanitarian skills earned him his freedom after the Civil War, and he went on to serve two terms in the Alabama Reconstruction Legislature.
The memorial covered wooden bridge is a dedication to his life and achievements and can be viewed amongst pretty gardens near the river in Valley, Alabama.
15. Georgia Visitor Information Centre – West Point
If you have exhausted almost every attraction in Alabama and wish to cross the state line, Georgia Visitor Information Centre – West Point is the place to go for inspiration.
Friendly, knowledgeable staff can book accommodation for you, tell you about upcoming events in the local area and show you information and brochures relating to almost every area of Georgia, so you don’t miss out.