Red Bay, Alabama, so named for its red clay soil and bay trees, is a charming little town nestled right up against Mississippi in the northwest corner of the state.
Whether you’re visiting Franklin County, Alabama (and you should) or finding yourself in Red Bay on a motorhome quest to Tiffin HQ, there’s a day’s worth of fun. So have some fun!
Take a Tiffin Motorhomes Factory Tour
Start the morning by discovering what goes into building a Class A motorhome at Tiffin. Reservations aren’t required, so just pop into the visitor’s center Monday through Friday where one-hour walking tours depart at 9:30 a.m. Visitors will get a peek into the craftsmanship and construction of these impressive homes on wheels.
Visit Cypress Cove Farm
Cypress Cove Farm has become a wildlife preserve and amazing educational resource for the community with numerous hiking trails, bird observation areas, and wildlife habitats. There are three creeks flowing through the property and three wildlife ponds for visitors to enjoy. The birding is exceptional here; it’s the 51st stop on the Northwest Loop of the North Alabama Birding Trail. Also on the property are antique tractors and an old working sawmill. Open daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Groups should call ahead.
Interesting note: Ongoing archaeological digs on the property continue to turn up Native American artifacts which are then shared in Red Bay Museum. There are a number of summer day camps and school trips offering kids the opportunity to participate.
Stop for lunch at a Red Bay restaurant favorite
Conveniently located near the Tiffin service center and campground, Fourth Street Grill & Steakhouse is a sit-down restaurant serving up steaks, burgers, sandwiches, salad bar, and seafood. It’s definitely a favorite of the locals. Another Red Bay favorite for lunch and breakfast is Mason Jar on Main.
Spend the afternoon at Red Bay Museum
The history of Red Bay Alabama lives on through this diverse collection of community artifacts along with a large exhibit in honor of Tammy Wynette (who referred to herself as being from Red Bay but was actually born in Mississippi). The museum has been carefully organized in vignette-style exhibits. For instance, upon entering the museum you’ll step back in time to the heyday of the Red Bay Hotel with its counter, room key holder, and neon sign. Allow 1-2 hours to see everything on both floors. $5 admission fee. The museum is open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:30-4:00 pm or by appointment.
Relax for the evening at the newly opened Hotel Red Bay
Originally opened in 1924 but left abandoned for years, Hotel Red Bay just recently completed renovations and is now open as a boutique hotel with 13 guest rooms, each uniquely decorated in modern southern style. Southern-style dining is available at the hotel’s restaurant, 1924 Crossroads.
Have more time and want to venture a bit further into Franklin County? Go paddling at Bear Creek Lake, adventure on horseback at Rock Bridge Canyon Equestrian Park, see the glowing Dismalites at Dismals Canyon or visit the historic Roxy Theater. North Alabama is full of fun!
Comments & Reviews
Robin Rue says
I would love to see all the wildlife at Cypress Cove Farm! This sounds like a great place for a getaway!
The Red Bay Museum looks really neat! It looks so fun and interesting and definitely the perfect rainy day activity.
I love learning about new-to-me spots! Your photos tell such an interesting story. I’ll love to escape our city life to check this out!
Wow this looks like a step back in time!! I love vintage types of places like this. I have never been to Alabama!
That chicken salad looks tasty! I have never been to Alabama but it looks pretty peaceful.
Sarah Bailey says
Wow what an amazing sounding place to visit I would personally adore to see the wildlife centre I bet that is wonderful to walk around.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
I can’t believe I’ve traveled all over the south for so many years, and yet I’ve never been to Red Bay. This is going on our trip list!
Alissa Apel says
That hotel is retro and hip! I’d like to stay there.
Jen Rattie says
Red Bay is exactly the kid of place I love to go to for vacations. I enjoy a laid back trip where I can rest and recharge, and Red Bay sounds perfect for that.
Muna Kenny says
What an interesting place, I would love to go there and spend sometimes checking out every part of this place.
I love the way this seems to be a step back in time! I would love to visit there one day.
You know, Alabama is not a state I visit often… but this looks so cool! I may need to add Red Bay to my list of places to visit.
Pam Wattenbarger says
I don’t know how I have never been to Red Bay, Alabama. My whole family is from Alabama so I have been to lots of cute little towns like this one.
Jenna M Wood says
I didn’t know a place like Red Bay existed in Alabama. I love how it looks like such a timeless place to visit!
Paula Atwell says
One of the items on my bucket list is to visit all 50 states. I have never been to Alabama and your list of things to do is a great one. Thanks for the info.
Lois Alter Mark says
I’ve never visited Alabama but this town sounds so interesting and there’s so much to see and do. Plus, of course, the food! That chicken salad looks worth a trip by itself!
Looks like such an adorable town! If I ever visit Alabama, I’ll have to put Red Bay on my list of places to visit.
Rebecca Bryant says
Wow, how fun. I want to come travel with you. You visit the best places. So many wonderful places to see.
That’s cool that the farm is still doing archaeological digs. I imagine if a child on a field trip found something, it would be the highlight of their day. I know it would be the highlight of my day!
Amy Desrosiers says
I love that you get around to some of the best places in the US. I love the movie-esque, old-fashion element this hotel possesses.
Dawn McAlexander says
I have only been in Alabama for a short bit, on my way to Florida. The only thing we stopped to check out was a Zaxby’s. That isn’t exactly exploring, lol! I need to check it out a little better.
How neat that they still turn up treasures from the Native Americans! It looks like Red Bay Alabama has a lot to offer.
Love the vintage feel of the town and hotel. I love exploring new places. Alabama is so rich in history and culture.
Claudia Krusch says
This looks like a great place to explore for a weekend. I would love to go to Cypress Cove Farm first.
Lisa Bristol says
Red Bay Alabama would be so fun to go to. Cypress Cove Farm looks like a great place to spend the day with the kids.
looks like an awesome city in Alabama.
Looks like the epitome of a getaway haven. I am itching to go visit one of these days!
Brandi Crawford says
This is a great post. My grandparents talk about the red clay soil in the south a lot. This post makes me want to see it and the other things you mentioned soon!
We didn’t spend much time in Alabama on our travels. Sounds like we missed some great places. Maybe we’ll get back there someday.
My family is from Alabama and I’ve bever heard of Red Bay! I will have to check it out the next time I’m in the area!
I love local museums. Yu really can get to know so much about people and their way of life when you eat and explore local.
I’m supposed to head back down to Alabama before winter hits the midwest too hard (I can’t go in the dead of summer because I would melt) so I’m looking forward to exploring all of the awesome places you’ve been sharing with us!
I would love to visit Red Bay and take in the museum. I enjoy discovering and learning about new places.
Red Bay sounds like a great place. I like to try out new restaurants when I visit a new place. The food looks really good.
I’ve never been to Alabama before. It’s on my list of places I’d love to go though. Looks like a great place too! Your photos are amazing.
Friends of ours just moved to Alabama and we plan on seeing them this summer! These is a super helpful guide!
Chrystal | Nevermore Lane says
Cypress Cove Farm sounds like something I would defiantly visit. I am all about nature and scenery. Big fan of museums. Red Bay sounds like a pretty fun town to visit.
Shannon Gurnee says
It looks like you girls had quite the day of fun! I’ve never been to Alabama before.
Annemarie LeBlanc says
We always make sure we get to see the museums in every place we visit. You will never know what great thing you can learn in there. The gastronomic experience is also something we never forget to do, and that is dining locally.
Seattle Travel Blogger says
This looks like an interesting location.
I like the Cypress Cove Farm stop idea.
Alabama must have some interesting birds there.
Our Family World says
Red Bay looks like a nice place to visit with the family. I like places like this, far from the shopping crazy crowd of the cities. This place looks so welcoming!
Carol Cassara says
Peaceful and quiet! I love places like Red Bay for that. I think it’s awesome that aside from relaxing you get to do a lot of different things as well, and what’s even better is that you don’t have to rush into them. You can take your time!
Ray B says
Red Bay Alabama. You are the friendliest town in North America. I stopped by in the 90s for warranty work on my Allegro Bus RV. I met Mr. Bob Tiffin, personally in his office. What a gentleman he is. And his staff, out of this world.
Thank you all for such a great welcome visit. Ray from Canada
Eliza Jane says
I loved reading this sweet article. I grew up in Red Bay! I’m going to school in Idaho currently and this article makes me miss home! I used to volunteer with my FFA chapter to maintain Cypress Cove. I worked at Hotel Red Bay when it first opened back up. My grandmother also gives tours at the Red Bay Museum. Thanks for sharing!