LIVE Lee - Let's Go Places - October 2022

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Michelle Key, Publisher

Originally from Albertville, Alabama, Michelle Key and her family moved to the Opelika-Auburn area in 2011 after her husband’s retirement from the U.S. Navy. She is a graduate of Troy University, and she joined The Observer in 2014 as an office administrator before assuming ownership of the newspaper in January 2018.

Hannah Lester, LIVE Lee Editor

Hannah Lester is an Auburn University 2019 journalism graduate who is originally from Birmingham. She started with The Observer in July 2020 and began as the associate editor for the LIVE Lee Magazine. She assigns, writes and edits pieces for the magazine, as well as helps to design the pages. She was named editor of LIVE Lee in July 2021.

Wil Crews, The Observer Sports Editor

Wil Crews is an Auburn University 2020 journalism graduate originally from Prattville, Alabama. He works as The Observer’s sports editor and assists in developing the weekly paper and LIVE Lee Magazine.

Kendyl Hollingsworth, Staff Reporter

Kendyl Hollingsworth is a Huntsville native and 2018 journalism graduate of Auburn University. She interned at The Observer in early 2018 before returning to north Alabama to work at two newspapers and a magazine. Following a brief hiatus to serve as a missionary, she has returned to The Observer and LIVE Lee to help tell the unique stories of people across Lee County.

Robert Noles, Photographer

Robert Noles is an award-winning photojournalist who has been with The Observer for more than 10 years. Originally from Tallassee, he is a graduate of Alabama Christian College and Auburn University.

Ann Cipperly Emily Key Tucker Massey Kara Mautz Abigail Murphy Natalie Salvatore
Michelle Key Hannah Lester MARKETING Woody Ross PHOTOGRAPHY Kendyl Hollingsworth Emily Key Hannah Lester Robert Noles CONTACT US Key Media, LLC 223 S. 8th St., Opelika Phone: 334-749-8003 LIVELee is a publication created by Key Media, LLC.

Letter From Editor, Hannah Lester

Noteveryone loves to travel. I am not one of those people.

For the second year in a row, we have curated a travel magazine, with both places that make Lee County a travel destination and places that we hope one day you’ll travel to.

There are columns on Route 66 (page 55), Chicago (see page 68) and Mt. Cheaha (page 36). This issue includes local features like that of an Italian Speciality Market that will make you feel like you’ve hopped on a plane straight for Europe.

We included photos of pumpkins at Callaway (page 24) (because, let’s not forget that it’s fall) and murals all over the state of Alabama.

Read about a bookstore in Homewood, Alabama, that only has signed copies of books and stocks nothing else (page 18).

Hopefully there’s something for everyone in this issue, whether you prefer to stay at home, curled up with a book and a fire, or traveling all over the country or world, trying new things.

I love Lee County. I never planned to live in Auburn following graduation from Auburn University in 2019. The Lord

has better plans than I do, however, and he brought me to live in Auburn as a journalist. And I love my city and the people in it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like to travel, get out and see new things.

I hope to take a trip to Costa Rica this upcoming New Year’s, which will be my first trip out of the country. In the spring, I hope to visit Nepal. For a long time, everyone was stuck at home under pandemic restrictions. I hope you are finding ways to expand your horizons now that things have looked up.

Thanks for picking up our issue! There is always a list of boxes included inside (page 6) where you can find our magazines. We will release a veteran’s issue around Veterans Day and a Christmas issue soon after!

We hope you read, enjoy and if you ever have any questions, we would love to hear from you.

This mural, named “Share The Love”, is by Stacey Edwards. It was painted in 2020 and is located in Greenville, Alabama. This mural is by Patti Gillespie. It was painted in 2018 and is located in Atmore, Alabama.


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Table Of Contents Trailing the Art ......................................................... 8 Signed, Sealed, Delivered ...................................... 18 Gardens By Day, Glow By Night .............................. 24 Just Around The Bend ............................................ 30 Over The Mountain ............................................... 34 A ‘Fresher’ Take on Pasta ....................................... 39 A Weekend Away .................................................... 44 Full Steam ‘Behind’ ................................................. 50 Life Is A Preserved Highway ................................... 54 A Golden Brew ......................................................... 58 Sittin’ On The Dock At The Bay ............................. 62 Join The Navy, Travel The World ........................... 68 Island Living ......................................................... 73 Mural Trail Location Index .................................... 77 Advertiser’s Index .................................................. 81 An Opelika Theatre Company Children's Theatre Production January 2023

Trailing The Explore Alabama’s Mural Trail


Chances are, you’ve taken a picture in front of a mural. Maybe you’ve taken them here in Opelika or Auburn.

One organization wants to make it easy to visit all over the state for murals.

“The Alabama Mural Trail is celebrating public art, and we want it to take people to places that they wouldn’t normally travel,” said Candace Johnson, TMP Tourism & Community Development director for The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development.

This statewide mural trail aims to provide the state of Alabama with a sense of community, to drive economic impact and to bring people together, said Erin Hackenmueller, branding and communications development manager for the project.

The Alabama Mural Trail offers a diverse set of murals in both urban and rural areas around the state. The trail

is updated regularly and can be found online (www.

If a traveler finds a mural with the Alabama Mural Trail marker in the corner, they can snap a picture in front of the mural, tag @alabamtourist on Facebook and Instagram and use #SweetHomeMurals.

“This is a great way for small towns to kind of draw traffic off their Main Street a couple of blocks,” Johnson said. “I love that this can help not only the big cities but also the smaller ones.”

The project began at The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development with support from the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, Ala-Tom RC&D Council and the Alabama Tourism Department..

“We noticed [murals] popping up around Alabama, every little community we would work in,” Johnson said.

It is easier with social media to bring public art, like


murals, into public awareness, she said.

The center began to connect counties and towns to form a trail, Johnson said. Through social media, the center began to ask people to share the murals in their cities and towns.

“We noticed people were already sharing murals on Facebook groups and pages,and so we started putting the pieces together,” Johnson said. “All over the state, people were creating mini mural trails or community art walks. So it was really easy to jump from connecting the more developed places, which are traditionally the communities and organizations who have the money to put behind a trail [with the smaller communities].”

The office was able to leverage their connections around the state, she said.

Therefore, as submissions of murals came in — with requested information like photos, artist information, creation date, etc. — a trail was born.

Some counties or cities submitted hundreds of murals, while others might have three.

“We had to find a balance in there,” she said. “… We want somebody to visit all 67 counties.”

So the goal for the trail is a makeup of not every mural, but at least some murals from every county.

The criteria for inclusion included things such as being at selfie height, in good condition, without advertising, etc.

Based on these criteria, the group ultimately selected five to 10 murals per county for Phase 1.

This Phase has been in the works since the project’s

conception. There were over 700 submissions, Johnson said.

There are three counties that don’t have any murals, she added.

“It would be a wonderful goal to be able to connect them either with muralists who could donate some time, or we could come up with a community event,” Johnson said.

A community event could look like a giant paint-bynumbers for residents, she said.

The Alabama Mural Trail is moving into Phase 2 to add more murals to the trail. Submit a new mural at www.

The new phase will likely be open from early October to December.

The team is looking into expanding the program with an app or a physical passport that allows visitors to check off murals as they travel by reion.

“This would also be good for tracking tourism in the state, she said, and how money may be spent in the counties.

The Alabama Mural Trail is applying for grants, Johnson said, which could help speed goals along.

“I love that with public art, it crosses all boundaries — socio-conomic, language barriers, age, gender, anything like that,” Johnson said. “Public art speaks to everyone.”

An index of the locations on the Alabama Mural Trail has been compiled and can be found on page 77.


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S i g n e ,d S e a l e ,d D e l i v e r e d

From Birmingham to Bookshelves Across the Globe

Few things are more thrilling than holding a piece of signed memorabilia in your hands. For many, an autograph evokes a special memory or a sense of wonder. Whether it’s a simple signature from a famous actor, a signed ball from a star athlete or an album signed by a popular band, people have been yearning for autographs for nearly 200 years.

For book lovers, however, that thrill is a little extra accessible, thanks to Alabama Booksmith.

Tucked away in a corner of Homewood, Alabama, the small bookstore is a treasure trove of books signed by those who wrote them. But unlike most other stores that may only offer a small selection of signed books, Alabama Booksmith prides itself on carrying nothing but signed books.

“We converted to a place like this 12 years ago,” said Owner Jake Reiss.

The bookstore had already been in business for about 20 years, and despite all it had to offer, there was something special about the signed books it

had built up from author events and its Signed First Editions Club.

“We noticed that even though we had a huge selection running the gamut of paperbacks and hardbacks, and almost every genre like many good bookstores around the country, our customers seemed to gravitate to our signed books,” he explained. “One day we just got rid of 90% of our books or more — the ones that were not signed — and got rid of our bookshelves, remodeled the store and became what is, as far as we could tell, the only signed-book store on the planet. Not just in America, but on the planet.”

The next-best part? Nearly every book sells at the price printed on the book jacket, meaning it’s the same price, or even cheaper, than it is at any standard bookstore. The only exceptions are in the Collector’s Corner, which contains a few rarer titles that are hard to come by, specially bound or signed by an author who has died.

“With the inflation and the price of everything


rising, if we have a book from last year, it’ll be a little less than the books of this year,” Reiss explained. “… We don’t increase the price when the normal, average price of books goes up.”

Since every book is signed by the author, customers shouldn’t expect to find typical classics by writers like Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald (Although, you will find a few copies of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”.).

But the store does tout a long list of modern-day masterpieces.

One of the most popular books in the store’s history is John Green’s young-adult bestseller “The Fault in Our Stars”. Don’t expect to find any left, though.

“We’ve been long sold out,” Reiss said, but a couple of Green’s other titles are still in stock: the 2017 novel “Turtles All the Way Down” and 2021’s “The Anthropocene Reviewed” — his first work of nonfiction.

Sports fans might want to pick up books by David Housel, Eli Gold or Joe Namath — all signed, of course — or music lovers can find books signed by Dave Grohl and Patti Smith. Even books by actresses Octavia Spencer and Diane Keaton grace the shelves of the store.

The real No. 1 bestseller at Alabama Booksmith, though, is “All Over but the Shoutin” by Alabama native Rick Bragg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and writer who also happens to be the store’s No. 1 author.

“When the publisher quit carrying the hardback many years ago, we had the publisher reprint, just for us, hardback copies, and Rick signed. So, we’re the only bookstore on the planet that has new copies of ‘All Over but the Shoutin’’ signed by Rick Bragg.”

All books at Alabama Booksmith are sorted alphabetically by author, so browsing the shelves is a much different experience than at most other bookstores. Tabs under the books will indicate whether it’s a first edition, or if it’s been named to the store’s “Timeless Classics” list. According to Reiss, the shelves contain quite the blend of genres, so you may just find “a history next to a mystery.”

But, as employee Lauren Skinner noted, that can be part of the beauty; it can help broaden a reader’s horizons, or even lead to the serendipitous discovery of a new favorite.

Skinner and the rest of the Booksmith team help curate the store’s inventory. They can even tell you where each book is located and what it’s about.

“We read every book before we purchase it and put it on the shelf,” Reiss said.

And if a customer wants to take a seat and dive into a book, there are a couple places in the store to do just that. Skinner said enjoying the peace and quiet of the store is one of her favorite parts of the job, as well as dealing with books all day.

“It’s everything that I ever wanted in a job, which is taking care of books and enjoying other people who also enjoy books,” she said. “… Being able to come here and learn how to destress, and getting back to the roots of what I enjoy most, is part of the big highlight for me.”

With such a wide range of offerings at the store, how hard is it to keep up the impressive stock?

“Extremely,” Reiss said. “Each one of these books has its own story. About half of them, the author physically comes in the store, and the other half — either we ship the books to the author, and the author signs and ships them to us, or the publisher arranges for the author to come to their warehouse and sign and ship to us.”

Oftentimes, Reiss said publishers will send the author blank pages to sign, which are then “tipped,” or bound, into the books. That was the case with John Green for “The Fault in Our Stars”.

“He signed a quarter of a million copies,” Reiss said.

Alabama Booksmith often hosts book signings with a wide range of authors, from Charlie Lovett to Robert McCammon. According to Skinner, it’s custom for McCammon to kick off his book signings at the local bookstore.

Events like these are some of the biggest draws for people to come into the store these days, as foot traffic took a big hit with the pandemic.

“But it didn’t affect our sales, except they’re becoming more and more out of state, out of country,” Reiss explained. “The other day, we shipped one to Hiroshima.”

In fact, Alabama Booksmith has shipped to all 50 states and every continent, Reiss said — over 100 countries in total.

“We have quite a few good, loyal customers in Lee County who shop on a regular basis with us,” he added.

Many of the regulars, whether they set foot in the Birmingham store or shop online from the other side of the world, become like family to the team. Several times, people from all over bring up some kind of connection to the area.

“It’s a fun connection when we make it,” Reiss said. “…


We have a personal relationship with folks literally all over the world, just like as if they lived across the street, and they could live across the ocean. They call us by first name; we call them by first name. And when they want to order a book or send a gift to a relative, they think of us as their bookstore.”

According to Reiss, gifts actually make up a large percentage of sales. The unchanging prices make the signed books a unique, affordable option for gift-givers. Many have even taken it a step further by gifting friends and family with memberships to the Signed First Editions Club. In fact, sales exploded when The Washington Post put the gift subscription at the top of last year’s Christmas gift list.

“When they ran that in their Christmas gift section, it was picked up by papers around the country,” Reiss recalled. “… We doubled our gift membership from that article. We had people literally from all over the country who sent that as gifts.”

So, whether you’d like to send a membership to the bibliophile in your life or treat yourself to something new, the team at Alabama Booksmith is ready and willing to help put that treasure into your hands (or the hands of a loved one).

Visit the store at 2626 19th Place South in Homewood, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or browse the selection online anytime at Check out the calendar on the website to see which authors will stop by for a signing next. It might just lead to your next favorite read.

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Gardens By Day


at Callaway will continue through the end of October. It takes place each season at Callaway Gardens, located at 17617 US-27, Pine Mountain, Georgia. There are activities for both the day and the night. Purchase tickets at www. callawaygardens. com/admission/ pumpkins-atcallawaytickets/

Glow By Night


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Just Around The Bend


Bend National Military Park is more than just your typical sightseeing trip. Horseshoe Bend has deep historical roots, largely regarding native tribes from the area, and still embraces those roots today.

In March of 1814, Gen. Andrew Jackson led over 3,000 troops to surround Redstick Creeks at Horseshoe Bend, named for the deep bend in the Tallapoosa River. The battle resulted in a crushing defeat for the Creek, later causing the people to hand over most of the Muscogee Creek Nation’s land to the U.S. at Fort Jackson in present-day Wetumpka.

Despite Horseshoe Bend’s violent history, it was eventually turned into Alabama’s first national park. It opened in 1964 and is home to 2,040 acres. The park is located in Daviston, just north of Dadeville.

Park Ranger Matthew Robinson dove into both the rich history of Horseshoe Bend and its modern use and operation.

“This park is the site of the last battle of the Creek War,” Robinson said. “The battle site and Creek village of Nuyaka are in the park.”

Robinson noted that this park is not only significant to Alabama, but to the United States as a whole. This battle site was crucial in gaining millions of acres that became Georgia

and Alabama.

“This was nationally significant because it had the largest number of American Indians to die in a single battle with the United States, it ended the Creek War, it raised Andrew Jackson to the Army,” Robinson said. “It also led to the founding of the state of Alabama in 1819 and, later, the Indian Removal Act from the 1830s.”

Despite its dark past and the events that followed the battle, the park seeks to celebrate the Muscogee people today. There is a museum on site highlighting all the history behind the park, and it also works with 13 tribes to host events throughout the year.

“Today, it’s a place for people to come and say they’ve been to a national park,” Robinson said. “It’s a place to learn about Alabama history, but it’s also a place where the Muscogee Creek people come back to as a homecoming, as it’s their ancestral land.”

When visiting the park, there is much more to see than just the history behind it. There is a 2.8-mile nature trail that takes visitors around the battle site and along the Tallapoosa River.

“The Tallapoosa is just a beautiful river,” Robinson said. “It’s just beautiful public land that’s undeveloped. The nature and wildlife are beautiful, but it’s always important to understand

the history behind it.”

Robinson said he felt that the tribal roots of the park are a vital part of Horseshoe Bend’s history. He also said that the park was beneficial to learning about the natives — who they were and who they are today.

The museum accompanies the natural history of the battle site and village. Robinson said the museum was renovated roughly a year ago, and this was the museum’s fourth installment since the park’s opening.

Due to the pandemic, Horseshoe Bend has been unable to hold one of its most anticipated events in person for several years. However, that hiatus is coming to an end this March to commemorate the anniversary of the battle.

“March 27 is the anniversary of the battle, so we are hosting our first anniversary event since 2019,” Robinson said. “We should have representatives from the Muscogee Creek Nation, hopefully Principal Chief Hill and cultural demonstrators. We will also have history camps at the event.”

Robinson said that the camps will include musket demonstrations, wool spinning and other activities that were commonplace in Creek society. He said he is excited to bring back the event after having the past few years off.

Although the entirety of the park spans over 2,000 acres, only 100 acres are in use for the purposes of the park. Robinson said this was to preserve some of the natural beauty of Alabama.

“As a national park, the first thing we do is preserve this

place,” he said. “We preserve the natural resources, which is mainly preserving this area of the river, the flora and fauna as best as we can. We try to restore the ecology of the area to more native Alabama ecology.”

Robinson said that while the park is focused on preserving the natural resources of the site, it also preserves the battle site to the best of its ability.

“Not only do we preserve the area, we also preserve it for the American public,” Robinson said. “We want people to come, and learn and interpret the site and its resources. It’s not only a place that is protected, but a place for people to come enjoy.”

Horseshoe Bend is covered by history, natural beauty and culture. The work done to keep the park running and showcasing the native United States and Alabama history is tremendous.

As time moves on, the staff at Horseshoe Bend works fervently to preserve a part of Alabama that may no longer be around in the future. The park’s team wants people to witness all that the area once was, Robinson said, which is why they have kept the park’s history at the forefront of their tours, events and camps.

But while the park educates and preserves, Robinson said he wants people to come and enjoy what it has to offer.

“People are really starting to enjoy the river,” he said. “We’re only 45 minutes away from the Auburn-Opelika area, and it’s a great place for people to drive to, and kayak and canoe. It’s just a beautiful area that’s not too far away.”

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Over The Mountain

Itook my first backpacking trip at Mt. Cheaha. Cheaha boasts Alabama’s highest peak and stunning views.

We spent a little over 24 hours on the mountain, which is a good amount of time for someone who’s never been backpacking before.

The funny thing about backpacking is that while trudging over a mountain, back hurting, hungry and tired, one of my best friends (her name also Hannah) and I, will be debating why we agreed to this in the first place. But as soon as we’ve strung up our ENOs and taken in a breathtaking view, we remember why we enjoy it.

We’ve taken other trips — one to Cumberland Island (an

island with wild horses off Georgia) that included a long hike to our campsite each day from the main portion of the island.

This trip didn’t have bikes to rent or horses to see. It was just us and the mountain.

We gathered our stuff — me, Hannah and her dad Tim — and headed up our trail. We decided to take a “before” photo so that we could also take an “after.” Especially since it was my first trip.

We hiked about 6 miles (I know, beginner stuff.). My back ached. I was using an old military pack my dad had had in the basement. It held all my stuff but was a little low on padding, bells and whistles.

After a while, and somewhat near the end of our hike, we


decided to stop for a break. There was an outcrop of rocks that we could climb upon to sit and we ate beef jerky sticks, cheese and some candy up there. You always have to take candy with you on a backpacking trip. Tim keeps candy in the zippered pocket right at his waist so it’s easily accessible.

While up there, I earned my trail name. I won’t mention it here because I’m not a big fan of my trail name. I’m hoping to earn another on a future trip and switch out the unfavorable one for one I wouldn’t mind writing about. Oh well, it certainly gives my boyfriend something to tease me about.

A group of Boy Scouts were at the top of the trail with us. Unfortunately, this cut into the “serenity” of our view a little. Middle school boys fighting with sticks and screaming certainly diminishes nature a little bit. But they had fun, and we were planning to move on soon.

Our view at Cheaha was worth the struggling. The green trees rolled over the tops of the mountains. I don’t like to hike nearly as much unless I know there’s a good view, or something to see, waiting on me. It’s motivation to push through the tougher challenges of a hike.

When we found our spot for the night, we strung up our ENOs, our rain guards and made some mac’ and cheese.

It rained that night, but honestly unless it’s a full gale, a little rain when you’re in an ENO under a rain guard is nice. I felt pleased with our progress for the day, warm and comfortable.

I lay there thinking how I was excited for our next backpacking trip, even if the first wasn’t over yet. Cheaha is not a far drive for a local Auburn resident; it’s located in Delta, Alabama, and more information can be found on its site, www.

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A ‘Fresher’ Take on Pasta

Pasta Fresca di Auburn is bringing quality, authentic Italian food to the Plains.

Pasta Fresca di Auburn is an Italian specialty market, offering fresh pasta, sauces and dressings, lasagnas, salads, desserts and more. It is the brainchild and passion of Auburn local Kevin Lyons.

The idea for Pasta Fresca di Auburn came from timing and opportunity. In 2015, Kevin and his wife, Janet, moved to Auburn as their kids began college at the university. The couple then began thinking about the next stage of life — retirement.

“As I started to get older, I’ve started to look to see what I am going to do next,” Kevin said. “I realized that golf wasn’t going to be one of my primary retirement activities. So, I wanted to be busy and just started to think maybe there was something I could do cooking.”

A little inspiration from the cooking channel and a few dinner parties with friends later, and the dream was beginning to take shape.

“We met some friends in the neighborhood, learned from them and watched what they were doing.” Kevin said. “I

love a good challenge; I love to learn new things, so I started cooking.”

With some practice, time and help from his family, Kevin refined his cooking craft and began to think about starting a business.

“We kind of saw that what I did well, what was kind of unique and what Auburn-Opelika really didn’t have was that Italian specialty market,” he said. “So, at that point it was just kind of like the light bulb went on.”

The business of Pasta Fresca di Auburn is run entirely out of a commercial kitchen in the Lyons’ home garage.

“Originally, I thought it might be headed to a brick-andmortar store,” Kevin said. “But right now I’m still thinking in a few years everyone will be more and more accustomed to ordering food online, Instacart, etc. So, we are kind of trying to capitalize on that trend.”

Because the business is relatively new, and the due to the lack of a physical storefront, Pasta Fresca di Auburn is trying to gain a bigger presence in the area.

“With the lack of the storefront, people can’t just browse and see,” Kevin said.


Kevin said. “[Our] pasta is all handmade. It’s imported Caputo flour coming from Italy. The best stuff I can find. It’s egg-based. With ours, we can go back to the more authentic approach: Roll it into a dough, let it rest, sheet it out and then cut it — that’s the fresh pasta.”

All of Pasta Fresca di Auburn’s dishes use only the freshest authentic Italian ingredients.

“I’m really proud of the cheeses we have picked, the meats and tomatoes we are using … the olive oils and Balsamic, in particular,” Kevin said. “We are using some really good stuff.”

di Auburn is already fulfilling a need in the Auburn and Lee County community.

“I’ve been talking to some places in town about finding a retail outlet that will carry some of the items,” he said. “But at heart, we are trying to be that Italian specialty market. We have not only the prepared items, but we have retailed packaged items, candies, etc. We are trying to bring in stuff that you can’t get at Kroger, Publix or other markets.”

For more information on Pasta Fresca di Auburn, visit www.


Just a few of the different types of fresh pasta made at AU Pasta di Fresca.

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A Weekend Away


Locatedamid the rolling Appalachian foothills in Sylacauga, Pursell Farms provides a picturesque, idyllic setting for a weekend away with first-rate accommodations, top-notch restaurants, a spa, resort activities and a highly ranked golf course. Whether it is a romantic getaway, girls’ weekend for pampering or relaxing in comfort, the resort offers amenities for an enjoyable weekend, and it’s only a short drive away.

Longhorn steer grazing in pastoral lands at the entrance to the resort is a reminder of the farmland owned for generations. When Pursell Farms’ founders, the late Chris and Jimmy Pursell, settled into a restored 1852 farmhouse in the early 1970s, they didn’t know the scenic landscape and pristine lakes would one day become a resort with an award-winning golf course, as well as a wedding and corporate venue.

Jimmy, an Auburn graduate, had been instrumental in the family business at the Sylacauga Fertilizer Co., which was founded in 1904. As the company grew, the focus changed from serving farmers to providing high-tech fertilizers for golf courses, nurseries and homeowners on a national level. It became Pursell Technologies and moved to Pursell Farms.

Jimmy’s son David, CEO and co-founder, envisioned the sweeping acreage as the perfect site for a golf course, which would allow customers and golf superintendents to experience cutting-edge agronomic practices. Constructed in 2003, FarmLinks became the world’s only research and demonstration golf course.

After the fertilizer business sold in August 2006, Pursell Farms was transformed into a 3,200-acre family resort. The resort has continued to grow and expand, with a variety of handsome accommodations, three restaurants, outstanding golf and other activities.

FarmLinks has been named Alabama’s top-rated course by GolfWeek for 10 years. The bunkers on the course were recently renovated. A fitness center is located at the inn, while the swimming pool provides another option for working off extra calories.

Other recreational activities include hiking or biking nearly 3 miles of FarmLand trails. Horseback riding, a UTV mountaintop experience, axe throwing and 3D archery are other fun activities to enjoy. Then, relax at the Spring House Spa or on the sun deck.

The resort is also home to the only ORVIS Shooting Grounds in the South, offering sporting clay shooting, wing shooting and fly fishing schools.



Arrington is the resort’s signature restaurant with a prix fixe dinner Friday and Saturday nights. Executive Chef Joe Truex has an impressive resume of culinary experience, including training under famed Chef Daniel Boulud at Le Cirque while attending the Culinary Institute of America in New York. After graduating, he worked at the Swissotel La Plaza in Basel, Switzerland.


Truex then returned to New York and worked at various upscale restaurants. He was owner and executive chef at Repast in Atlanta. As the restaurant received national attention, Martha Stewart invited him to cook on her television show. He was also executive chef and managing partner at Watershed, a famed Atlanta restaurant, and

many others. Truex came to Pursell Farms in 2020. He works with farmers for the freshest ingredients in creating his seasonal dishes.

At Arrington, dining is available in the attractive dining room or outdoors on the terrace with sweeping views of the golf course bordered by the deep forest. Soft lighting is provided by small lights overhead, hung zigzag across the terrace.

The prix fixe dinners on Friday and Saturday nights feature four upscale courses from appetizers to desserts. Arrington is also open for breakfast seven days a week.

Pastry Chef John Scourlas is an expert in chocolate, pastry, cake decorating, sugar artistry and scratch baking. He creates desserts for restaurants, weddings and special events.

Scourlas also has an impressive resume. He was senior head pastry chef for the Georgia World Congress Center, as well as other restaurants in Phoenix, Arizona, and Glacier Bay, Alaska. He has created desserts for the Grammy Awards, Kentucky Derby and Super Bowl, among others.

His flawless desserts cap an enchanting evening at Arrington. After dinner, take the last sips of wine and relax around the fire pit. Enjoy star gazing with an astronomer on Thursday and Friday evenings.

Old Tom’s Pub

Serving lunch and dinner daily, Old Tom’s Pub overlooks the 18th green with a menu of American favorites. The restaurant is named in honor of famed Scottish golfer Old Tom Morris, born in 1821 in St. Andrews, Fife.

In the pub, the vintage pool table was donated by a longtime Pursell family friend, the late Jim Nabors, also known as Gomer Pyle. A wall of photos showcases celebrities who played pool at Nabor’s Bel Air home. These included President Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball, among many others.

The pub offers a wide variety of menu items, including salads, sandwiches, pizza and hearty fare. Choices include chicken and waffles, shrimp po boy, strip steak, braised short ribs and more.

The setting in the pub is comfortable and relaxing.


The Grille

Another choice for breakfast or lunch is the Grille, open daily in the Golf Clubhouse.


The Inn at Pursell Farms

Built in 2018, The Inn is reminiscent of a country estate furnished with antiques and fine furnishings. Framed photos reflecting the area’s history are displayed in hallways.

The rooms are well decorated. A coffee bar at the entrance features a painting over the chest. An antique-style desk offers space for a laptop, while ornate lamps provide soft lighting.

Arrington and Old Tom’s Pub are located at the inn.

Cabins, Cottages, 1830 Orvis Farmhouse, Hamilton House

Along with the 40-room inn, accommodations also include cabins, cottages, an eight-room lodge and two restored historic homes, the circa-1830 Orvis Farmhouse and circa-1852 Greek Revival-style Hamilton House, which was the home of Chris and Jimmy.

Each cottage provides a large living space with a fireplace, a full kitchen and four guest suites, each with a private bath. Cabins are on Masters’ Row, just off the golf course on the 18th and 11th fairways.

Historic Hamilton Place offers two bedrooms, three baths, a living room and a full kitchen. The Orvis farmhouse is the oldest property on the resort with three bedrooms, a living room and a full kitchen.

Parker Lodge

With a stunning view of the 17th green and Lodge Lake, Parker Lodge offers a rustic setting with comfortable seating around a stone fireplace in the spacious living room.

Families will enjoy spending time downstairs in the game room or watching football on the large-screen television. The full kitchen is stocked with snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Two screened porches and a patio provide areas for relaxing and enjoying views.

Hamilton Place Wedding and Event Venue

Hamilton Place is a 22-acre wedding and event venue, featuring a 4,600-square-foot air-conditioned event space that includes a grand ballroom accommodating up to 350, formal gardens and a ceremonial lawn and aisle. Receptions and seated dinners may also be held on the lawn with live music and tents.

Romantic Sunset at the Secret Place

A romantic evening can be arranged at Sunset at the Secret Place. Couples meet in the lobby of the inn before being shuttled to the top of Chalybeate Mountain with 360-degree views for a sunset experience in a serene setting. Wine and snacks are served. Another option is the “Get Out Of Town” package that includes a bottle of champagne.

Pursell Farms is located at 386 Talladega Springs Road in Sylacauga. For further information, visit or call 256-208-7600.

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Full-Steam ‘Behind’

Areyou familiar with Huntsville’s “best-kept secret”? Visitors come from all over the country and world to experience a place that is passionately dedicated to the railroad system and its history — the North Alabama Railroad Museum, or NARM.

Moving the incorporation’s headquarters to Chase, Alabama, just over 35 years ago, the museum gained its own 5 miles of track and right-of-way. As the museum has been a community staple for decades, its purposes and attractions have grown along with it, as shown through its evolving excursion themes and additional exhibits and equipment.

Originally laid out in the 1800s, NARM’s right-of-way crosses over two bridges, both of which are over 100 years old. As the museum is an all-volunteer organization, its aesthetic, well-kept appearance reflects the dedication that the volunteers bring to NARM every day to keep the museum running.

Deciding to visit the museum results in a historically rich experience. Venturing out onto the train observation platform allows tourists to watch passing freight trains on the Norfolk Southern Railway mainline.

Visitors can take self-guided tours to view the traditional Chase Depot and other vintage locomotives, cabooses and passenger cars featured in stationary exhibits. On the north side of the depot, which happens to be the smallest union depot in the United States on site, guests can find a green Waybill box featuring museum brochures, exhibit information and train ride schedules. The depot itself has its own rich history. Originally used for purposes such as a post office and storage space for the Chase Nursery, NARM restored it to its original design and replaced the ticket window.

Visitors are welcome to partake in these walking tours seven days a week, no matter if a volunteer is present. Tourists can use the pedestrian gate to get inside the museum, which is open every day during normal business hours.

However, some displays are only open when workers are there. The museum is unable to hire fulltime tour guides because of the business’s voluntary nature. Also, typical Wednesday and Saturday mornings serve as good times for museum workers to give other tours, such as the museum grounds, to interested patrons.

NARM also offers train rides along its own

Mercury & Chase Railroad for those who want to experience one of the many train excursions offered from April through December. Mark Hillgartner, NARM’s vice president, said that visitors can ride up to 10 miles in full-sized rail equipment dating back from 73 to 98 years old.

Hillgartner joined the museum in 2018 shortly after retiring from work.

“It’s hard to describe the feeling of peace and pride one gets when rolling down the tracks on a piece of equipment that hasn’t seen service in over 40 years that you helped get back on the road,” he said.

The vice president answers questions for the museum’s visitors as he works as a car host and punches train tickets. He said that lots of guests share memories from their youth as they admire the equipment’s pristine condition and experience the museum around them.

“We started out as a railroad club in Sheffield, Alabama, in 1966 with members also in Huntsville who formed a Redstone Division,” he said. “In the mid-1970s, the Sheffield Division went away, and the Redstone Division became the North Alabama Railroad Museum.”

Tom Anderson, NARM’s president, also shares in experiences and has extensive knowledge about its history after being a member for 47 years.

“In its early days, NARM rallied around its own steam locomotive, No. 77, and after much hard work, it was used to power several mainline excursions,” Anderson said. “For over two decades, NARM sponsored mainline railroad excursions to Chattanooga, Tennessee, behind such wonderful steam locomotives as Southern No. 4501 and N&W No. 1218.”

Once NARM purchased its own railroad track, the museum sold No. 77.

During the round-trip train rides that NARM offers, riders will take in the scenic views along their railroad journey from the Chase Depot through the historic Huntsville Branch of the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway. Passengers will see the museum’s animals in the woods after crossing Chase and Higdon roads. More wildlife is to come as the train ventures deeper into the woods and toward a culvert.

“The kids can keep a watchful eye out for some real horses in these parts as well, not to mention the occasional deer and smaller animals you would expect to see in the woods,” Anderson said.

The train ride, lasting for approximately one hour, stops for a break in Normal, Alabama, where guests like to visit the souvenir car for railroad trinkets. As the train heads back up the hill toward the depot, riders can see the Chase Depot after crossing the two

previous roads on the south side of the train, where many wave hello to the station operator who inspects the train.

Continuing along the journey, before it hits more woodlands, the train slows its speed past a general store and saloon on the north side of the track, purposefully set there for train riders to admire and take in a historical sight while aboard.

“Then, the train crosses Moores Mill Road, where we use our air horns in earnest,” he said. “Please remind your family and friends to treat rail crossings with the utmost respect and teach any young drivers in your family to do the same.”

Guests can experience what a train ride feels like through these tailored excursions, especially for those that have never been on a train before. The rides give passengers a chance to view the interior of NARM’s passenger cars, which have expanded and improved over the years.

Anderson said that while their trains vary, guests can usually expect to see three passenger coaches, a diner, the baggage and power car, as well as possibly a Pullman Sleeper with ALCO diesel locomotives at each end. NARM has open-air cars with depot-style benches as well, plus bright colors and other traditional elements.

The president encouraged anyone to attend the museum, and invited those interested in membership to join. Museum members must be at least 18 years of age and are asked to support the museum. Each member receives a periodic, member-drafted newsletter entitled “White Flags and Full Steam,” which keeps readers up to date on current events.

“We are community-minded and strive to maintain good relationships with our neighbors,” he said. “We have a wide diversity of members, and you are sure to find your niche in our museum.”

Looking ahead on its schedule, NARM is offering excursions such as the “Punkin’ Pickin’ Extravaganza,” the “Fall Color Special” and the “North Star Limited.”

The “Santa Train” excursion that occurs during the Christmas season has tickets available now, as these train rides tend to sell out quickly.

Learn about purchasing tickets, photography guidelines, the NARM’s grounds, events, projects, the calendar and much more at The museum is located at 694 Chase Road NE. in Huntsville, Alabama.

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Life is a Preserved Highway

hit movie, “Cars,” gave homage to the character and history of Route 66. It showed us old towns stuck in time, never aging. It showed us dilapidated buildings and cars, from an era long past. Best of all, it showed us long-lasting camaraderie, through a group of residents who hold on to the glorious days of Route 66 without letting the modern age erase the past.


It was this movie that crossed my mind as our tires jostled across an old set of railroad tracks, entering the western section of Route 66. This highway runs from Chicago across the Midwest to the Santa Monica pier in California. Historically, this was the only way to travel from one destination to the other.

During the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, this highway was the route to a new life. People traveled west to escape despair and find hope. The highway earned the name “The Mother Road” as it gave birth to new opportunities, ideas and futures.

Now, it's a piece of history. The Interstate System replaced Route 66, causing economic activities and necessary businesses to dry up.

Fortunately, sections of the highway have been saved and renamed “Historic Route 66”, giving us the ability to step back in time and experience the treasures that Route 66 has to offer.

We entered route 66 in Elk City, Oklahoma, as it finishes its run south and turns west toward the coast.

Old cars, trucks, signage and gas pumps can be seen on every corner, either for sale or proudly displayed as decor. The Airbnb was decorated wall to wall in historic memorabilia, all directed at Route 66.

When you're on this highway, you need no GPS. Letting Route 66 guide the way led us to amazing sights and experiences. As we crossed into Texas, we drove to Cadillac Ranch. An art installation created in the early 1970s along Route 66 W. features 10 Cadillacs standing tall (yes, standing) in the Texas sun. These caddies have been buried nose down in the dirt longer than they were cruising on four wheels.

Tourists from across the world visit this attraction on Route 66 and photograph themselves spray painting the cars. Where else are you allowed, no, encouraged to deface something

with spray paint?

It was a windy morning, which led to paint particles ending up all over everyone as we ran from car to car, climbing, painting and photographing. What's a memory without a mess?

From Cadillac Ranch, Route 66 led us further west where it became even more evident how historical this highway really is. We crossed into the state of New Mexico in the middle of a desert, with nothing visible in any direction. Nothing brings on hunger like driving for hours, with what feels like no progress.

The desert gives no indication that there's a destination up ahead until it appears like a mirage. Slowly, the small town of Tucumcari came into view, and finding a local eatery was first on all our minds. The town is clearly kept alive by tourism, with a population of barely over 5,000 people.

The first restaurant we approached was exactly what eating on Route 66 should be. A standard, no-frills building with drawings of food plastered in between dark windows. Walking up to the front door, we noticed something strange, yet oddly interesting. Each brick of the entire structure has names, dates and messages written in white ink.

After placing our order for a massive pizza to share, we were surprised to be handed a couple of white sharpie markers. The graffiti started to make sense — customers of Cornerstone First Edition Pizza and Subs are each asked to write their name on the walls, to become a forever part of Route 66.

We finished our meal, and continued exploring Tucumcari. Every building, sign and yard ornament glorifies the “Mother Road.” The town is home to Route 66 monuments, museums, murals and motels. You could drive through and ignore the history while listening to the monotonous tone of your GPS, or you could slow down and look around, taking it all in.

That was it. The last stop. It was time for us to head north, leaving Route 66 to continue its path all the way to coastal California. The on-ramp to the interstate used to bring me happiness. It meant I was on a journey, traveling somewhere. Now, it comes with a level of disappointment. Interstates get us where we want to go quickly, but at what cost? What treasures are we zooming past as we are completely unaware of opportunities to create memories and to leave our mark?

“They're driving right by; they don't even know what they're missing.” - Lightning McQueen, “Cars”


A Golden Brew

One Auburn community member is starting a coffee business that has its origin roughly 8,000 miles away in Nepal.

After a trip to Kathmandu and Biratnagar, Nepal, Russell Goldfinger and his business partner, Holden Kincey, started United Coffee People (UCP) in June. According to their Instagram page, when customers purchase their coffee, 60% of the money goes to help Nepalis, from living needs to building churches.

“We need to come back together,” Goldfinger said, explaining the origins of the coffee’s name. “More so the church than anything, if I'm going to be ministerially minded, I’m going to aim to bring the church back together.”

Goldfinger said his fusion of business and helping others was not created overnight.

The idea began at Lakeview Baptist’s missions conference last

fall, where Goldfinger met a minister who was buying coffee from Nepal at a higher price to help improve the farmers’ quality of life.

“He was telling me about how he's been able to affect these families in a positive way, and it kind of just pulled on my heartstrings,” Goldfinger said.

It was then he realized what he needed to do. Goldfinger got connected with a group in Huntsville called Mission Driven Ministries, which was doing something similar with buying coffee, roasting the beans and selling them to churches. After talking to MDM, Goldfinger and Kincey were able to go to Nepal with the intention to look at the coffee fields.

Due to it being monsoon season, the two weren’t sure if they would even be able to see the fields while they were there.

The weather was better than what was expected, however. They were able to see the coffee fields and buy some of the beans

The trip was also a learning experience, allowing Goldfinger and Kincey see how they could better support the people of Nepal, he said.

“They talk a lot about a culture shock when you get there, especially in a third world country, which is true,” Goldfinger said. “You get over there and you see a level of poverty that you can't even fathom — people living on top of each other in these shanties and poorly-built structures … and cows walking in the street and trash everywhere.”

However, he said there’s also a culture shock coming back. When Goldfinger stepped off the plane, the first thing he saw was two people tug-of-warring a bag of candy while yelling profanity at one another.

“It puts a lot of things in perspective of our wants and desires and all the things that we chase after here,” he said. “When in

reality, we have more than most. We are so blind to those tangible things of our lifestyle that we forgot what it was like to honor one another, treat one another with respect.”

Goldfinger said this trip showed him the abundance America has and also some of our shortcomings. However, he said learning those things helped him shape what he wants to do with his business.

After bringing back 132 pounds of green coffee beans, Goldfinger said coffee became about building a way to support the people of Nepal.

“[Providing help is] more effective when it comes from someone of their own culture,” Goldfinger said.

The monetary support that comes from the coffee sales allows people in Nepal to directly support those in need.

“I’m not saying we can’t go over there and [help], but it has a

stronger reach when it comes from someone that has grown up living in extreme poverty. There’s a relatability that you and I can’t share with them.”

Right now, UCP is a grassroots organization selling coffee at farmer’s markets and beginning to partner with other businesses. Since it started, Goldfinger has sold about 55 pounds of coffee in roughly a month, as of August.

“That's not great numbers, considering coffee shops are selling 100 in a week, but I don't think God wants it to be some fast-growing, amazing, conglomerate Starbucks thing. The idea is to work and be patient,” he said.

Later down the line, Goldfinger said he hopes to one day have a storefront and cater to international students. The storefront comes along with ideas to have coffee and tea from different countries, and possibly hire students or recent graduates who need a job so they can keep a visa.

“Maybe even some of the employees speak the customers’ native tongue, but really anything that helps international students to have a less isolating experience.

“... We have spent an enormous amount of time making these distinctive words. I'm a Buddhist, or I'm a Baptist, or I'm a white southern guy, or I’m a Black man from the North or I'm a proud female. We have all these words of perceived affirmation that we use to distinguish ourselves from other people. What it has done is caused division, and so, a part of this idea is to bring people back together in all aspects.”

Find United Coffee People on Instagram @ unitedcoffeepeople.


Sittin’ on the Dock at the Bay

branches of ancient live oaks twisted by time and draped with moss stand along the coastal towns on Mobile Bay. From the state’s oldest city of Mobile to the vibrant town of Fairhope nestled along the coast. Mobile Bay offers a variety of interesting sites, restaurants, accommodations and festivals for an entertaining getaway.



Stretching back to 1702, Mobile’s history covers three centuries with a diverse legacy, beginning with Native Americans. A tour of the city showcases historic sites honoring a blend of cultures and traditions. Throughout the city are historic homes, battlefields and battleships, including the USS Alabama, open for tours.

The Battle House

With numerous hotels once occupying the site and hosting famous visitors, the historic hotel has an interesting, storied past. The Battle brothers built the first Battle House Hotel in 1852 on the site of Andrew Jackson’s military headquarters during the War of 1812. Two other hotels that burned had also been on the site.

The first Battle House was a four-story brick building with a two-story gallery of cast iron. Stephen A. Douglas was a guest when he lost the presidential election to Abraham Lincoln. Famous guests were known to stay at the hotel, which added

electricity in 1884 and a National Weather Service station in 1889.

The hotel was renovated in 1900 and then burned in February 1905. A new hotel was constructed of steel and concrete, opening in 1908. President Woodrow Wilson stayed at the hotel, making his famous statement in 1913, “United States will never again seek additional territory by conquest.”

After being renovated in 1916 and 1949, Sheraton Hotels purchased the hotel, then sold to Gotham Hotels in 1969. Local citizens purchased the property in 1973, naming it Battle House Royale until it closed its doors.

In 2004, Retirement Systems of Alabama began a two-year restoration of the hotel in collaboration with TVSA for the tower design. In May 2007, it reopened as The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa.

The hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America. The eight-story building has a steel frame with marble and brick facing. A stunning domed skylight dating back to 1908 highlights the lobby with elegant furnishings. Trompe-l’oeil painting techniques and elaborate plasterwork further enhance the ceiling and walls.

Off from the lobby, the Trellis Room restaurant, with a barrelvaulted ceiling, features a Tiffany glass skylight and an open kitchen for watching chefs prepare specialties. Three restaurants are located in the hotel.


Relax with a swim on the rooftop pool or work off calories on the tennis court. The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa is located at 26 N. Royal St. For further information or reservations, call 251-338-2000.

Dauphin’s Restaurant

Located across the street from the Battle House, on the 34th floor of the Trustmark Building, Dauphin’s provides a panoramic view of Mobile Bay. We arrived for an early lunch and were seated at a table by the window with captivating views.

After a few photos, we were ready to order. The menu offers an enticing variety, including shrimp and grits, paella, Cuban pork, poke with yellowfin tuna, fried chicken and others. During the week, a daily special is offered. Among the choices are bayou eggplant, etouffee, mojo chicken and flounder filets.

Our table settled on fried Gulf shrimp with fries and coleslaw for one order, and a “country” option on the menu with pot roast. garlic mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, creamed corn and collards. Cornbread and other breads were also served.

The shrimp were perfectly cooked and flavorful. We wished we had both ordered shrimp as they were so good. The tender pot roast was comfort food that also received a thumbs-up.

We couldn’t pass on the mini desserts for $3 each. They were larger than expected and scrumptious. We savored key lime pie and Callebaut chocolate cake. Since crème brûlée is a favorite, it was ordered from the regular menu. It arrived nestled in a lace cookie.

After one more glance at the view, we decided we would certainly plan to come back and maybe try dinner, too.

Dauphin’s is located at 107 St Francis St. in Mobile and is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. A jazz brunch is served on Sunday. For further information, go to www. or call 251-444-0200.


In 1894, on a high bluff overlooking Mobile Bay, the first colonists settled seeking their own “utopia.” They were called single-tax colonists with their economic theories of Henry George.

According to legend, one in the group remarked, “The new colony has a fair hope of success,” and Fairhope became the name.

Today, Fairhope has a lively downtown filled with a variety of restaurants, shops and galleries.

Panini Pete’s Café and Bakeshoppe

The café in the French Quarter downtown is a popular place for breakfast and lunch. The restaurant was featured on Food TV for the house-roasted turkey panini, and the muffuletta was named in 100 Things To Eat Before You Die.

Tender roasted turkey, house-made mozzarella, roasted red peppers, lettuce, Dijon and garlic aioli create a tasty panini for lunch. Other assorted sandwiches, burgers and salads are available.

On a nice day, sit outdoors by the fountain.

Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek Marina

When the weather is pleasant, dine outdoors with fresh breezes. Selections include small plates, salads, burgers, sandwiches, seafood, chicken and pasta dishes.

For lunch, the grouper sandwich is tasty grilled or fried on a brioche bun. Slaw is served on the side.

The restaurant is located at 831 N. Section St.


Located in downtown Fairhope, Provision combines a café, coffee shop, wine bar, gourmet and wine market and home décor under one roof.

Breakfast and lunch are served, offering avocado toast with


crab salad, strawberry and feta toast and other choices.

After a busy day browsing shops, stop by for a refreshing beverage. Make a selection from the market and deli to take home.

Provision is closed Sundays.

Emma’s Bay House

Sunlight dapples across one side of the covered porch at Emma’s Bay House, as seagulls squawk from the remains of an old pier in the bay. Relaxing on the porch overlooking picturesque Mobile Bay is part of the bed and breakfast inn’s charm. Operating since 2007, Innkeeper Betty Rejczyk and daughters Michele and Dawn run the well-decorated inn and manicured grounds. One of Betty’s daughters, Kim Helmke, lives in Auburn.

Breakfast is served in the dining room and may include crepes topped with strawberries, poached eggs, potatoes or baconwrapped shrimp kabobs.

In the evening, enjoy the view of lights on the Fairhope Municipal Pier reflecting on the water in the moonlight.

For further information on Emma’s Bay House, which is also a wedding venue, call 251-990-0187.


The Jubilee phenomenon occurs when low oxygen levels caused by specific summer weather conditions cause crabs, fish, shrimp and other sea life to come along the shoreline of Mobile Bay in abundance.

When this happens, locals hear jubilee bells ring and grab nets for scooping up large amounts of seafood.

The phenomenon only occurs along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay and in Tokyo Bay, Japan.

The Grand Golf Resort and Spa Nestled among majestic live oaks with sweeping panoramic views of the bay, The Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa at Point Clear on Mobile Bay lives up to its name, as part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.

The hotel has battled hurricanes and suffered from fires since it was originally built in 1847 as a two-story hotel. The inn was used as a hospital during the Civil War, and following the explosion of the steamboat “Ocean Wave” in 1871. It was also a training base during World War II.

During the 1870s, the second Grand Hotel was built much like the first. As decades passed, the hotel continued to expand while battling the weather.

The resort underwent a complete renovation a few years ago, including all the guest rooms in five buildings, restaurants, bars, spa, event space and golf course.

Every afternoon at 3:45 p.m., a procession starts at the lobby fireplace to Cannon Park on the grounds. The presentation honors the military, veterans and their families. It concludes with the firing of the cannon.

Following the ceremony, a complimentary lagniappe, “a little bite,” with freshly baked cookies, coffee and tea is served in the Grand Hall.

The resort offers several dining options, including Southern Roots, Bayside Grill, Sweetwater Café, Lakeside Clubhouse, the Grand Hall, Jubilee Poolside Grill and Bucky’s Lounge, 1847 Bar and a local market. After dinner, relax around one of the 12 fire pits where s’mores are made some nights.

Views at the resort are spectacular, especially at sunset. As the sun lowers over the horizon and melts into shades of orange and pink, couples gather in swings along the bay. The lanterns begin to glow, and stars softly sparkle on a moonlit night. Inside Southern Roots, wine is poured into tall-stemmed glasses, as a stellar vacation begins.

For further information or reservations, call 251-928-9201 or visit

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I’mstill dreaming of the breakfast food. Ironically, that was one of my favorite parts of my trip to Chicago in January — the breakfast place that my family chose to eat at not once, but twice.

Wildberry Cafe. Every time we’re out and about now, we lament the lack of a Wildberry Cafe in whatever city we happen to be in.

In fact, I had a friend living in Chicago in August who sent our friend group some pictures of her trip and I recognized one of the

restaurants she was in — that’s right, Wildberry.

Maybe it was because it was so cold that we felt like we were dying, but inside the cafe it was warm and there was a fire. Perhaps it was the insane amount of choices for sweet breakfasts (my favorite types) or the hot coffee I like in the mornings.

Whatever it was, we made the trip back for our second morning in Chicago, too.

My parents and I traveled to Chicago in January to watch my brother graduate from basic training.


My brother, Thomas, entered basic training last October and is now located in Pensacola, Florida, at the Navy Base there.

Anyway, we made it to Chicago late one afternoon in January. Chicago. In January. It was so cold that my mom said she began to wonder if she’d be able to leave the hotel at all.

It was snowing, and my fingers were numb, but we were excited. Not only would we be be able to see my brother, who we hadn’t seen in three months, but none of us had been to Chicago before.

Which meant that our first stop was Portillo’s. Portillo’s is a Chicago staple, if you’re unfamiliar with the restaurant.

This chain is actually spread out across the country, with locations as far west as California and as far south as Florida. But mostly, they are located up north.

So we stopped in and I grabbed a hotdog. I really wanted a milkshake too — since they’re famous for them and they had a raspberry chocolate milkshake for Valentine’s Day — but with the weather as it was, I couldn’t quite bring myself to do it.

The next day we had to ourselves — I mean, my mom, dad and I. My brother wouldn’t be graduating until the next morning.

One of my sight-seeing goals in Chicago was to visit the art museum, so our first stop (after breakfast at Wildberry’s, of course) was the Art Institute of Chicago.

Highly recommend. I saw a lot of well-known artists’ work there — Monet, Mondrian, Picasso and more.

Following this, we got lunch at a great Italian restaurant and then headed to the Field Museum.

The Field Museum is a museum of natural history, but its biggest draw for us was Sue the Dinosaur.

My mom once took me and my brother to see a replica of Sue (the largest discovered T-Rex specimen) at a place in Alabama

when we were young … but this was the real thing. Sue is 40 feet long and on display in Chicago.

The next morning was an early start for my brother’s graduation, but following the ceremony we had him all to ourselves.

Lunch was actually Chick-fil-A because a Navy man who’s been eating galley food for three months wants fried chicken.

Afterward, we visited the Chicago staple — Cloud Gate, better known as “The Bean.” If you’re unfamiliar with this giant art exhibit, the name gives it away. It is literally a giant “bean.” It is made of stainless steel, reflective, and the appeal is being able to take your picture in the slightly distorted color of the bean.

Later that afternoon we visited two more museums (The Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry).

I’m a big museum person but specifically ones that have unique draws or interesting interactive elements. The art museum has famous paintings, the Field Museum has Sue and the Museum of Science and Industry has German U-boat 505.

U-boat 505 is a real German U-boat that was captured during WWII and is on display in Chicago — the full boat.

My dad was in “history heaven.”

The display was truly interesting, giving us the history of how the U-boat was captured, not sunk.

Between all of our restaurants, museums and the aquarium, the majority of what we did on our trip was inside. But that was just fine. The weather was too cold to spend much time outdoors, other than our quick trip to The Bean.

If you were to visit in the summer, I know there is much more to see and do. But even if the season boasts warm weather and blue skies, I would still recommend the museums to you. They held unforgettable memories for us.

Taste the food, remember the name Madison's Place


Open Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Madison's Place Cafe is a soul food restaurant that believes in feeding the soul. It is the mission of Madison's Place Cafe that you leave with the expectation of coming back for more.


Located at 1479 Fox Run Parkway

700Second Ave. ~

Island Living


and Anna Ruth Gatlin have worked together, as mother and daughter, to become Lee County published authors.

“A Guide To The Historic Jekyll Island Club” is the pair’s debut published tour guide, which details the history and architecture of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel located in the heart of the Georgia coastal island.

The Gatlin family is originally from Griffin, Georgia; however, Melissa grew up in Macon, where she met her husband Mark after he moved there shortly after graduating from Auburn University with a degree in engineering.

Two years later, they had their first child, Anna Ruth, and after that, her younger brothers Drew, Peter and Joshua.

“We moved to Opelika in 2005 when Anna Ruth was a freshman in the Interior Design program at Auburn University,” Melissa said. “Now, she is married to a graphic designer, Griff Smith, and is an assistant professor of Interior Design at Auburn.

Anna Ruth currently lives about twenty minutes from her mother, in Auburn with her husband and two children Izzy and Atlas.

Melissa said that the initial inspiration for the book came from her frequent trips to Jekyll Island throughout the past few decades.

“Since the 1980s, Mark has attended an annual work-related conference on Jekyll Island, Georgia,” Gatlin said. “Over the years, I have enjoyed going with him, staying at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel and doing the historic tours. We have taken our children with us numerous times and even on vacations at other times than the annual conference.”

Melissa said that what drew her to the island was the rich and fascinating history of Jekyll Island.

“Most people may not realize that at the turn of the century, Jekyll

Island was a private winter retreat for some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world,” Melissa said. “From December through April, while their homes in Chicago and New York were bitter cold, these bankers, railroad tycoons, bridge-builders and philanthropists could be found in the warm climate of Jekyll Island. It intrigues me that much of what they accomplished in their lifetimes affects our lives today.”

Melissa said that among some of the members were H.T. Proctor, of Proctor & Gamble, famous newspaperman Joseph Pulitzer, oil tycoon William Rockefeller and more.

She said that her interest in writing a book piqued when she saw the historic hotel and cottages on the island.

“I began to compile information for my own personal enjoyment about the people who came to Jekyll Island in its heyday of the late 1800s through the 1940s and what they did for a living,” Melissa said. “My husband Mark saw what I had put together and said that I should make it into a book so that other people can benefit from what I’ve learned.”

Melissa said she was skeptical because she was unsure how to turn her notes into a book, but her daughter Anna Ruth offered to help her with the logistics of creating a book from Melissa’s abundant notes about the island.

“Anna Ruth and I began the adventure of creating this book together,” Melissa said. “We worked together on researching and writing the book during the months of the pandemic. During these months, Anna Ruth and Griff were blessed with the birth of sweet baby Atlas. Her weeks of maternity leave gave us extra time to work on the book together, when almost daily I could be found holding the new baby while she designed the layout of the book. It was a very special privilege for me to get to work on this fun project with my daughter.”


Melissa said she hopes their book makes it easier for tourists to admire the beauty of the island while also immersing themselves in the rich history found within the walls of the cottages and landmarks of the island.

“We are hoping that since our book is an easy-to-read and visually appealing book containing brief descriptions, fun tidbits and colorful photos, visitors will use the book as a guide to understanding and appreciating more of the amazing history of the island,” Melissa said. “The self-guided walking tour is divided into three color-coded loops that can be done on separate days or all at once so that the experience suits the individual’s capability or desire.”

The Gatlins have also included recreation guides in the book for attractions that the visitors can currently find on the island.

“We outline that a visitor can enjoy sunning and swimming at one of the beautiful beach parks, walk, run or bike on the 25 miles of paved trails, take photos of alligators and turtles at Horton Pond or the sea birds along the marshes near mysterious Driftwood Beach, visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, charter a boat for a dolphin tour or salt-water fishing trip or play golf on one of the world-class golf courses,” Melissa said.

They have also included recommendations for excursions that can be found at the nearby St. Simons Island, Sea Island and Cumberland Island.

In fact, Anna Ruth said that the students enjoyed the trip so much that the Auburn University Interior Design Program has partnered with the Jekyll Island Authority and Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum on a historic renovation project.

“The students spent the spring 2022 semester developing historically accurate plans for refurbishing Moss Cottage, one of the Island’s earliest historic cottages,” Anna Ruth said. “The Jekyll Island stakeholders were so impressed by the work that they immediately met to work out how they could begin the construction and refurbishment process in the next fiscal year.”

As for the Gatlins, they are planning to release another travel guide soon, this time taking their inspiration to Opelika.

“I live in the historic district in a home built around 1900, and I love this beautiful, historic city,” Melissa said. “Although Anna Ruth didn’t grow up in Opelika, she appreciates the charm and beauty of our community. In fact, on more than one occasion, she has brought students from her architectural history class at Auburn to walk the Opelika historic district and observe the various types of architecture in these beautiful homes.”

The book is set to be released sometime in 2023 and will be structured similarly to the Jekyll Island guide. The book will feature the Northside Historic District, downtown Opelika and the Geneva Historic District,

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Alabama Mural Trail Locations

Baldwin County Egrets On The Water By Myra Knight, Susan Howell, Faye Earne St. Students from Daphne High School and Bayside Academy; 1716 Main St., Daphne

Foley Coffee Shop By Juan Moreno, Miranda Moreno; 213 N. Mckenzie St., Foley

Protect Our Oceans By Unknown artist; 1911 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores

Silverhill's Favorites By Lisa Brodie; 16320 State Highway 104, Silverhill

Barbour County

Clio Heritage Mural By Debora Jackson; 899 Brundige St., Clio

Louisville Bicentennial By Debora Jackson; 1920 Main St., Louisville

Blount County

Explore the Rivers By Lakshmi Tummalapalli; Dry Creek Antiques: 62441 US-231, Oneonta

Let Nature Be Your Teacher By Joan Babcock: 237 Railroad Blvd, Oneonta

All Roads Lead to Home By Matthew Green; First Ave. E., Oneonta

Water's Edge By Hope Beason; First Ave. E., Oneonta

Welcome to Oneonta By Sam Sanfilippo; 2459 Second Ave. E., Oneonta

Angels in Oneonta By Tara Murphree; Railroad Blvd, Oneonta

O NE ON TA By Janice Cook; 1st Ave. E., Oneonta

Bent, Not Broken By Jess Burnett; First Ave. E., Oneonta

Making Waves By Graeson Bittle; First Ave. E., Oneonta

Kindess Matters By Christin Corvin; First Ave. E., Oneonta

Sweet Shoppe By Morgan Plyler 212 First Ave. E., Oneonta

Willow Tree Wonders By Redonia Davi; 212 First Ave. E., Oneonta

Gallantly Streaming By M. Brandon Moore; 212 First Ave. E., Oneonta

Stars Shine on Little Joe's By Tara Murphree; 212 First Ave. E., Oneonta

Wherever the Wind Blows By Emma Knowles; 212 First Ave. E., Oneonta

Reflect the Sun By Emma Knowles; 212 First Ave. E., Oneonta

Baa….rb (Psalm 100:3) By Laurie Knowles; 212 First Ave. E., Oneonta

Love Where You Live By Mandy Smith; 212 First Ave. E., Oneonta

Home…If Only in My Mind By Sam Sanfilippo; 212 First Ave. E., Oneonta

Grow Through Everything You Go Through By Kenleigh Key; 212 First Ave. E., Oneonta

Bullock County

Eddie Kendricks Mural By Wes Hardin; 302 N. Prairie St., Union Springs

Hank Williams Mural By Wes Hardin; N. Prairie St & 107 Hardaway Ave., Union Springs

Bullock County Highlights By Wes Hardin; N. Prairie St. & Hardaway Ave. E., Union Springs

Field Trials By Wes Hardin; 140 N. Prairie St., Union Springs

Union Springs Train Depot By Wes Hardin; corner of N. Prairie St. and Conecuh Ave., Union Springs

Butler County

Share the Love Mural By Stacey Edwards; 107 Caldwell St., Greenville

Grateful for Greenville By Michelle Black; 110 E. Commerce St., Greenville

Calhoun County Einstein Mural By Unknown; 612 Calhoun St., Piedmont

Spirit of Anniston Mural (sunflower) By Joseph Giri; 1015 Atlanta Ave., Anniston

Freedom Riders - Greyhound Bus By Joseph Giri; Alleyways near 1031 Gurnee Ave. & 1018 Noble St., Anniston

Freedom Riders - The Other Bus By Unknown; Noble St. at 9th E., Anniston

Man in Cloth By Unknown; 1230 Noble St., Anniston

Welcome to Jacksonville By Unknown; 106 Pelham Rd S., Jacksonville

Oxford By Dan Seymour; 520 Main St., Oxford

Freedom By Unknown; 1000 Noble St., Anniston

Greetings from Historic Main St. Oxford By Stacy Booth; 25 West Choccolocco St., Oxford

Chilton County 621 2nd Ave. N, Clanton, AL 35045 By Wilson Spottedbird; 621 2nd Ave. N., Clanton

Clark County Train Mural By Unknown; 33 Wilson Ave., Thomasville

Heart of Clarke County By Unknown; 128 Main St., Grove Hill

"Founders" By Unknown; Downtown West Front St., Thomasville

Clay County High Pine By Unknown; 3745 High Pine Road, Ashland

Vintage Bull Durham Smoking Tobacco By Wade Jenkins AL-77 & AL-9, Ashland

Clebourne County

I Heart Heflin Amphitheater By Morgan Adams; 191 Burns St., Heflin

Coffee County

Boll Weevil By Wes Hardin; 103 N. Main St., Enterprise

The Rabbit Hole By Mark Moseley; 214 Factory Ave. N., Elba

Domestique Coffee By Paul Cordes Wilm; Domestique Coffee

Colbert County

Old Railroad Bridge Train By Scott Campbell; The Old Railroad Bridge in Sheffield

Homeless Carwash By Unknown Located off Second St., Sheffield

Conecuh County

Evergreen By Joy Wilson; 118 W. Front St., Evergreen

Coosa County

Unity in the Community By Megan Goniotakis-Jones; 73 Nixburg Road, Rockford

Covington County Cow Mural By Unknown; 121 E. 3 Notch St., Andalusia

Gateway to the Gulf By Unknown; 23346-23386 AL-9, Florala

Girls with Kites By Unknown; 23278 Fifth Ave., Florala

Celebrating the City of Opportunity By Wes Hardin; 110 E. Covington Ave., Opp

Hank and Audrey's Wedding

By Wes Hardin; 121 E. Three Notch St. at Historic Central St., Andalusia

Legend of Andalusia By Wes Hardin; 121 E. Three Notch St., Andalusia

Crenshaw County


Luverne Pepsi Girl By Eugene Hendrick; 47 Forest Ave., Luverne

Cullman County Historic Hanceville Mural By Jack Tupper; 111 Commercial St., Hanceville

Cullman Depot By Jack Tupper 412 2nd Ave., NE., Cullman

Welcome to Beautiful Cullman By Donald Walker; 915 2nd Ave., NW., Cullman

U.S.S. Cullman By Jack Tupper; 228 3rd Ave. SE., Cullman

Cullman Wings By Alyson Record; 106 1st Ave. NE., Suite B, Cullman

Cullman in the 1880s By Jack Tupper; 427 2nd Ave. SW., Cullman

Hanceville Drug Company By Jack Tupper; 101 Commercial St., Hanceville

Merchant's Bank By Jack Tupper; 201 Commercial St., Hanceville

Dale County Wilbur Jackson, Hometown Hero By Wes Hardin; 100 N. Merrick Ave., Ozark

Dallas County Civil Rights Memorial Mural By Shelia Ferrell; 14 Broad St., Selma

Coming Together By Trés Taylor; 16 Franklin St., Selma

Window Murals Selma One Hour Cleaners By Charlie "Tin Man" Lucas; 1001 Water Ave., Selma

Ancient Africa, Enslavement, and Civil War Museum By Unknown; 1410 Water Ave., Selma

DeKalb County

62 Winston St. Valley Head, AL By Johnny Edwards; 62 Winston St., Valley Head

Elmore County Wetumpka's Historic Timeline Mural By Jamie Bonfiglio; 113 Company St., Wetumpka

Paddles Up! By Adriane Duvall;

Orline St., Wetumpka

Escambia County Glass Orthodontics Mural By Patti Gillespie; 116 Medical Park Drive, Atmore

DiscoverAtmore By Patti Gillespie; 137 N. Main St., Atmore

Brewton By Megan Brantley; 205 Belleville Ave., Brewton

Logging By Wes Hardin; 201 Mildred St., Brewton

Etowah County Alabama 200 By Christian Dunn; 501 Broad St., Gadsden

The Year of Gadsden Makers By Christian Dunn; 515 Broad St., Gadsden

Welcome to Atalla (Main downtown Area, off Hwy 431) By Unknown; Main Downtown Area, off Hwy. 431, Gadsden

Serendipity Dance Club at the Hardin Center By Joseph Giri; 501 Broad St., Gadsden

Fayette County Mining, Logging, and Agriculture Mural/Historical Berry By Missy Miles; 31 Depot St., Berry

Frog Level Festival By Missy Miles; First Ave. SE., adjacent from Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle Syrup Company By Missy Miles; 205 1st Ave. SE., Fayette

Town of Glen Allen Incorporation By Missy Miles; 156 State Hwy 129, Glen Allen

Tribute to Jimmy Lee Sudduth By Missy Miles; Second Ave. SE., Fayette

Franklin County Train of the Past By Cori Alsbrooks; Main StreetHighway 13 North

Life in Red Bay By Shawn Wallace; 210 Fourth Ave. SW., Red Bay Hale County Catfish Jubilee By Trés Taylor;

1230 Main St. and Beacon, Greensboro

Greetings from Historic Greensboro By Donald Walker; Intersection of US Hwy 69 and Main St., Greensboro

Houston County

McArthur Park Mural Downtown Historic Ashford By Charles Sims; 420 N. Broadway, Ashford

Chief Eufaula: Creek Indian Removal By Bruce Rickett Dancing Dave By Charly Palmer; 304 N. Foster St., Dothan

Johnny Mack Brown By Susan Tooke;129 S. Saint Andrews St., Dothan

Salute to Fort Rucker By Wes Hardin; 304 N. St., Andrews St., Dothan

Salute to the Peanut Industry By Susan Tooke, Bruce Rickett; 733 N. Oates St., Dothan

The Steamboat Era By Wes Hardin; 248 N. Foster St., Dothan

Wiregrass Music By Wes Hardin; 306 N. Foster St., Dothan

Women of the Wiregrass By Cheryl Hardin; 126 N. St. Andrews St., Dothan

Jackson County Clio Heritage Mural By Debora Jackson; 899 Brundige St., Clio Welcome to Jacksonville By Unknown; 106 Pelham Road S., Jacksonville

Louisville Bicentennial By Debora Jackson; 1920 Main St., Louisville

Wilbur Jackson, Hometown Hero By Wes Hardin; 100 N. Merrick Ave., Ozark

Jackson Hardware By Unknown; 117 E. Troy St., Brundidge

Man on the Bike By John Warr; 250 S. Broad St., Scottsboro

Jefferson County North Avondale Rocks By Vincent Rizzo; Avondale 41st St., Birmingham

Hummingbird Mural By Marcus Fetch; 2612 Niazuma Ave. S., Birmingham

Jungle Mural By Shane B.; Forstall Art Center, Birmingham

Piano Mural By Unknown; Graymont Ave. at Sixth St., Birmingham

Vulcan Mural By BlankSpaceBham Artists; Revelator Coffee Company, Birmingham

Yankees Mural By Stephen Smith, Tym Cornell; Wininger Law Firm

Audrey Hepburn Mural By Unknown; Roman Brantley Art and Antiques, Birmingham

McAlpin Park Mural By Unknown; McAlpin Park, Birmingham

Watercress Darter Mural By Roger Peet, Merrilee Charris; 7769 Second Ave. S., Eastlake, Birmingham

Dynamite Hill and Change Mural By G. Bodile Balams, Darryl Grant, Melissa King; 321 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Smithfield

The Crestwood Tavern Mural By Paul Cordes Wilm; Crestwood Tavern, Birmingham

Woodlawn Business District Mural By Moses Pressnell, Rob Clifton; Corner of First Ave. S. and 55th Place N., Birmingham

Upside Down City (Rainbow Building) Mural By Marcus Fetch; Corner of 32nd St. S. and Sixth Ave. S., Birmingham

Greetings from Leeds Alabama By Leeds High School; 1st Ave. between Seventh and Eighth St., Leeds

It’s Nice to Have You in Wylam By Creighton Tynes, Alabama School of Fine Arts students; On the corner of Seventh Ave., Wylam and Bank St., Wylam

Childhood Joy By Marcus Fetch, Sean M. Gilder; 186 Oxmoor


Road, Homewood

Colorful Bird And Sunset By Marcus Fetch; Santos Coffee, Hoover

CommUNITY By Shawn Fitzwater; 168 Oxmoor Road, Homewood

Domestique Coffee By Paul Cordes Wilm; Domestique Coffee, Birmingham

Ensley Alive By Ukuu Tafari, The Color Project Ensleyl; The Bethesda Life Center Inc., Ensley, Birmingham

Graphic Design By Rizzotattoos, Ptatuaje; Behind Classic 13 Tattoo, Birmingham

Greetings Vestavia By Yellowhammer Creative; Vestavia Movie Theater, Vestavia Hills

Hey Yall By Unknown; 4013 First Ave. N., Birmingham

I want to teach the world to sing By Unknown; Graymont Avenue at Sixth St., Birmingham

It's Awesome to Have you in Avondale By Rob Clifton, Platypi; Avondale Brewing Company, Birmingham

It's Nice to Have You in Birmingham By Magic City Mural Collective; John's City Diner, Birmingham

Know Your History

By Tim Kerr; Corner of Fourth Alley S. and 41st St. (Next to Sidekicks sneaker shop), Birmingham

Love Your Farmer

By D. Paul Jones III; Pepper Place Market, Birmingham Man on a Bicycle By Lillis Taylor; Alabama Ballet, Birmingham

Miss Fancy By Bo Hughins; Avondale Brewing Company, Birmingham

North Avondale Rocks By Vincent Rizzo; Avondale 41st St., Birmingham

Sphinx Cat By Marcus Fetch;

Sidewall of Salon U at 2824 Linden Ave., Homewood

Strong Youth, Strong City By Carrie MCGrann; My Sister's Closet at YWCA Central Alabama, Birmingham

Welcome to Birmingham By Unknown; Max Transit Central Station, Birmingham

What You Do Matters By Levi Axleigh Levinson, Lydia Cherie, Meghan McCollum, Jordy T.; Orange Moon Sozo Trading Co., Birmingham

Wings in the Clouds By Dewon Moton; On the corner of Highway 75 and Bud Holmes Road/Pinson Main St., Pinson

Wings of Avondale By Marcus Fetch; Melt Birmingham, Birmingham

Young Angela Davis By Unknown; 1531 12th Court N., Birmingham

Lamar County Chamber Seal/Welcome to Sulligent By Missy Miles; 314 1st NE., Vernon, Sulligent

Lauderdale County Downtown Florence Mural By Tim Stevenson; 321 N. Court St., Florence

Gateway to the Shoals By Unknown; 50 Wheeler St., Rogersville

Graffiti Alley By AMPM Paint Co.; Graffiti Alley 116 E. Mobile St., Downtown Florence

Lawrence County Downtown Florence Mural By Tim Stevenson; 321 N. Court St., Florence

Gateway to the Shoals By Unknown; 50 Wheeler St., Rogersville

Graffiti Alley By AMPM Paint Co.; Graffiti Alley - 116 E. Mobile St., Downtown Florence

Coca-Cola Mural (Clark Gable-esque) By Mellissa Meeks; 14369 Court St., Moulton

Courtland Pharmacy/ FOREMOST Ice Cream By Unknown; 369 Hamilton St., Courtland

Lee County Opelika Umbrella By Paige Dirksen; 714 N. Railroad Ave., Opelika

War Eagle Wall By Unknown;115 S. College St., Auburn

Bless You Wall By Keith Moore; 1007 Ave. B., Opelika

Limestone County Athens Bicentennial By Athens High School art department; corner of Market and Marion St., Athens

Iconic images of Athens for Bicentennial By Jennifer Rosso; corner of Hobbs and Marion St., Athens

Macon County Ascend in Unity By Charles Parham; 201 W. MLK Highway, Tuskegee

Waterfall By Unknown; 201 W. MLK Highway, Tuskegee

Madison County Koi Mural By Dustin Timbrook, Redbrick Strategies; 112 Spragins St. NW., Huntsville

Welcome To Huntsville By Unknown; 200 Church St. - Big Spring Park E., Huntsville

Catalyst By Robert Bean; 218 Randolph Ave. SE., Huntsville

Clinton Row Color Walk By Unknow; 100 Jefferson St. N., Huntsville

Space is Our Place By Jahni Moore; 2610 Clinton Ave. W., Huntsville

Marengo County White Bluffs By Kirk Brooker; 204 N. Strawberry Ave., Demopolis

Marion County Freedom Eagle By Missy Miles; N.E. Corner US 278Intersection 43, Guin

Mutters Diner By Missy Miles;

9075 US Hwy 43, Guin

Marshall County

Welcome to Boaz, Alabama By Donald Walker; 10202 AL 168, Boaz

Veterans of Boaz By Donald Walker; 10202 AL 168, Boaz

Mobile County

Mobile Mural By Skye Walker; 571 Dauphin St., Mobile

O'Daly's Mural By Harlan Toole Shwall; 568 Dauphin St., Mobile

Delta Bike Project Mural By Various Artists; 561 St. Francis St., Mobile

Old Time Downtown Mobile By Devlin Wilson, Adam Underwood; 605 Dauphin St., Mobile

Faces of Alabama By Dunbar Creative & Performing Arts Magnet School; 299 N. Cedar St., Mobile

Semmes- This is where we call HOME By Devlin Wilson; 3810 Wulff Road, Semmes

Bar Lights By Ginger Woechan; Hayleys Bar

Monroe County

Kites By Unknown; 35 N. Mt. Pleasant Ave., Monroeville

"Home is where my friend is" By Johnna Bush; 27 North Mt. Pleasant Ave., Monroeville

Scene from To Kill a Mockingbird By Fred Harrison; 8 E. Claiborne St., Monroeville

Mockingbird By Steven McNider; 31 S. Alabama Ave., Monroeville

Montgomery County

Sunshine Mural By Presley Langley; East Chase Parkway, Montgomery

Pike Road Mural Wall By Marilyn Heard; 4902 Pike Road, Pike Road

Nat King Cole "Unforgettable”

By Montgomery Public Art Commission; 435 Maxwell Blvd., Montgomery


Edmund Pettus Bridge By Sunny Paulk, Corey Spearman; Corner of Lee and Montgomery St. S., Montgomery

Riverfront Park By Tara Sartorius; Montgomery

Morgan County

Homecoming By Adam Stephenson; 208 2nd Ave. SE., Decatur

One Tribe, One Day By Michael McPheeters; Webster's Karate113 6th Ave. NE., Decatur

624 Bank St NE Decatur, AL 35601 By Markus Tracy; 624 Bank St. NE., Decatur

Perry County

The Learning Tree By Trés Taylor; 217 Washington St., Marion

In the Footsteps of Children By Trés Taylor; 106 West Ave., Uniontown

OneMarion By Unknown; Jackson St., Marion

Welcome to Marion: Bloom where you are planted By Unknown; 379-457 State Route 286, Marion

Pickens County

100 Lenses By Missy Miles, Rhys Green; 80 N. Main St., Gordo

134 Main St. By Barbara Lee Black, Thomas Schultheis; 134 Main St., Gordo

Pike County Lumber Co Mural By Unknown; 159 S. Main St., Brundidge

Pike Road Mural Wall By Marilyn Heard; 4902 Pike Road, Pike Road

Jackson Hardware By Unknown; 117 E. Troy St., Brundidge

The Runaway By Pam Smith 81 N. Court, Troy

Randolph County Pharmacy Soda Shop Mural By Unknown; 991 Main St., Roanoke

Russell County Stillwell's Service Station Coca Cola By John Christina; US 80 and AL 169, Crawford

The Phoenix By Amber Stidham 508 S. Dillingham St., Phenix


Welcome to Crawford: RC Cola and a Moon Pie By John Christian; Corner of Highway 80 and 169, Crawford

St. Clair County Springville Mural By Laura Wilkerson; 75 Wilson St., Springville

Sumter County

Woco Pep: The King of Motor Fuel By David Gosselin; 630 Ave. A, York

Tuscaloosa County

Tuscaloosa / Druid City By Jason Tetlak; 1229 University Blvd., Tuscaloosa

Bryant-Denny By Eric Griffin; 209 15th St., Tuscaloosa

Caring Days By Rhys Munoz, Linda Greene; 943 31st St. E., Tuscaloosa

Kentuck By Rhys Munoz, Linda Greene; 503 Main Ave., Northport

Walker County

Frames By Missy Miles, Bill Young, Debbie Hudson, Jane Hudson, Mike Richardson, Tony

Travis, Brian Bohania, Travis Binish, Cathy Title, She-She Vaughn; 19th St. W., Jasper Sgt. Jasper By Missy Miles; Corner of 4th Ave. and 19th St., Jasper

Washington County Scenes of Chatom, Past and Present By Joe Wilson; 14871 St. Stephens Ave., Chatom

Wilcox County

Allison Wetherbee Memorial By Jamie Adams; 201 Claiborne St., Camden

Camellia By Unknown; 100 Court St., Camden

Railroad Depot Museum By Jan Agee, Finn Sheffield, Jeannie Shiver, June Sims; 52 Dunn St., Pine Hill

*NOTE: The names and locations of mural were curated from the Alabama Mural Trail website: www. Not every mural in the state is listed in this index, including the most recent murals completed in Lee County at the Museum of East Alabama in Opelika. Some locations may be listed incorrectly.

Alsobrook Law Group, 84

Arbor Springs, 32

Axe Marks The Spot, 23

AuburnBank, 16

Auburn Opelika Dental, 67

Ballard Pest Management, 23

Beauregard Drugs, 29

Better Bodies Massage Institute, 80

Budget Blinds, 33

Build-A-Bride, 38

Church of Christ at Cunningham Dr., 81

Cleaning Solutions Auburn, 53

Clear Water Solutions, 29

Closet’s By Design, 3

Da’Gallery, 2

Edward Jones, 32

Foodie’s Gourmet Cafe and Bodega, 32

Glynn Smith Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, 7

Goree’s Furniture Express, 76

Harvest Thrift, 23

Hilyer & Associates, CPAs, 22

Jay & Susie Gouge Performing Arts, 49, 66

Jeffcoat Trant Funeral Home, 53

Key Media LLC, 82

Lifestyled 360, 83

Madison’s Place Cafe, 71

Majestic Expoy Creations, 52

Market St. Paint Shop, 67

Meals Chiropractic, 28

Oline Price, Lee Co. Revenue Commissioner, 61

Opelika Theatre Company, 6, 28

Orthopedic Clinic, 29

O Town, 71

Perception Therapy, 6

Phil Henderson Insurance Agency, 81

Ponko Chicken, 72

Price Small Engine, 43

Prime Home Health, 32

Rock & Roll Pinball, 33

S & L Auto Glass, 28

Sheriff Jay Jones, 17

Southern Marksmanship, 23

Stitch Therapy, 53

Summer Village, 28

Sweet Gee’s Restaurant and Catering, 72 Talecris Plasma, 71

The Gallery, 38

Trinity Presbyterian, 72 Whitt’s Auto, 52 WoodmenLife, 67



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