Although the world-famous race track is the first thing you might think of when you hear Talladega, this little town has so much more to offer. Its historic downtown is an attraction in and of itself, along with its own Talladega National Forest. The town is also home to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and a handful of museums to check out. Talladega was incorporated in 1835 and its name is derived from the Muscogee (Creek) Native American word Tvlvteke, which referred to its location as a border between the Creek tribe and the Cherokee and Chickasaw tribes. Today, it brings people from all over the world for its racetrack, but keeps visitors busy with its wealth of other attractions and activities.
If you’re in the mood for some walking, try taking a self-guided tour of Talladega’s historic district. The downtown Court Square and Silk Stocking District will give you a glimpse of the rich history that is rooted in Talladega, as well as tour you around some beautiful parts of the city. The Talladega Walk of Fame is one-block park that is dedicated to showcasing the world-class racecar drivers who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Check out one of the 10+ places located in Talladega that are on the National Register of Historic Places. The J.L.M. Curry House is a favorite, as well as Swayne Hall, located on the Talladega College campus. History buffs will love this city.
If you come to Talladega, there’s no avoiding the pull of visiting the Talladega Superspeedway. From February to October, the speedway brings in drivers and fans from across the country to participate in over 25 different races. People bring their RVs or pitch tents at the speedway and enjoy a few days and nights at the track. You’ll want to check out a race and have a beer with race fanatics, if only to experience the environment.
The Talladega National Forest is a sight to see in the fall. When the foliage is at its peak, you’ll get to enjoy colorful treetops and fresh, crisp air. The 375,000 acres of forest features a multitude of hiking trails to choose from. Try the 6-mile Chinnabee Silent Trail which takes hikers by waterfalls and other beautiful scenery. If you’re a wilderness fanatic, you can venture out and trek the 100+ miles of hiking trails that make up the Pinhoti Trail. You’ll hike through rugged pine and hardwood forests, skirt along ridge tops, and walk along mountain streams. This is definitely a few days’ worth of hiking, so be sure you’re prepared for it before embarking on your adventure. For those who love off-roading, don’t worry, there’s plenty of space to do that in Talladega National Forest, too. The Kentucky ORV Trail is available to the public to use ATVs, mountain bikes, and motorcycles. Mountain bikers have another option in the Sylaward Mountain Biking Trails and on all service roads.
From your home base of Talladega, Birmingham is just a 50-minute drive west. Birmingham, in addition to being the most populous city in Alabama, is also home to 3 of the state’s 5 law schools and the University of Alabama, among other institutions. While you’re there, pay a visit to the Birmingham Museum of Art, which houses over 24,000 objects representing a collection of cultures including Native American, African, and Asian. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens are worth a visit, too, with its more than 10,000 different living plants. The Alabama Theater is where you’ll catch comedians like Amy Schumer and musicians like Leon Bridges perform. For a drink, head over to Cahaba Brewing taproom where you can sample their in-house-brewed beer, including their fall seasonal Oktoberfest brew. You’ll love the feel of this big city with rich cultural history.
Enjoy your time in Talladega while staying in a king suite featuring a spa bathtub in-room. Or, choose an economy room with two double beds, enough space for you and 3 friends to have a home base for a weekend adventure in Talladega. Leave your worries behind and let your accommodations take care of your breakfast, WiFi, and parking while you get ready for some sightseeing.
To reach Talladega from out-of-state, fly into Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. You’ll want to rent a car and take the 50-minute drive to Talladega. Your car will come in handy while on vacation, as you’ll be able to drive yourself to day trip destinations, hiking trails, and the speedway.
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