Things to Do in Jasper, AL
Like any community, there are plenty of great things to do in Jasper, AL. Sometimes these events, attractions and restaurants are well known, while other times it takes a well-trained eye or local guide to introduce you to them. If you are looking for more variety, the more populous cities in Alabama are certain to accommodate your desires of activities.
The Jasper First United Methodist Church hosts an active congregation that has convened at the site since 1833. The first church building at the site was destroyed in March 1865 when soldiers burned it during the Civil War. The congregation subsequently joined with Masons to build a basic structure that housed both groups.
This modest home and museum in downtown Jasper celebrates the life and era of Carl Atwood Elliott Sr., a U.S. Representative from Alabama who lived from 1913-1999 and was elected to eight consecutive Congressional terms from 1949 to 1965. Elliott came from a poor background and accomplished impressive things during tumultuous times in Alabama and American history.
Walker County’s legacy involves the humble but hardworking mule, whose usefulness in farming, mining and transportation helped shape the region. Yet its history also encompasses the vaunted Bankhead family, a prominent political clan whose members included the well-known stage and screen star Tallulah Bankhead. Despite seeming worlds apart, each of these subjects contributes an intriguing layer to Walker County’s history and is reflected in the vibrant artistic spirit that reigns in the region. Rooted in Culture
Congressman William B. Bankhead wanted to build a formidable mansion in north Jasper during the 1920s, and today the three-story Bankhead House and Heritage Center still stands. The U.S. Representative who became Speaker of the House in 1936 occupied the colonial revival house during most of his life, hosting lavish parties as well as high-scale business meetings on the premises.
The arts and culture scene is alive and well worth seeing in Walker County, with museums, festivals, an arts alliance and even historic stores in downtown Jasper that attract visitors. Walker County Arts Alliance
Located on 1,140 acres of fields and forests with gorgeous canyons and waterfalls, Camp McDowell is a popular destination for those seeking some rest, recreation, spiritual renewel and growth. Camp McDowell's setting, along with its many sleeping and meeting spaces, make it a prime spot for retreats and conferences. The camp's Chapel of St. Francis holds up to 500 people and is a great place for worship, weddings and baptisms. Guests' meals are served in Stough Dining Hall and include a variety of dishes.
The Jasper Bowling Center has been entertaining families in Walker, Winston, Marion, Fayette, Cullman, Tuscaloosa and Jefferson counties since 1973. The facility, situated in Jasper's Oakhill Plaza, is conveniently located at the intersection of highways 5 and 195.
The Alabama Mining Museum in Dora is “The Official State Coal Mining Museum of Alabama.” The museum was given that special designation in 1984 when the Alabama State Legislature deemed it so, in an effort to help preserve the story of coal mining in the state from the time period between 1890 and 1940. During those 50 years, the coal mining industry was a key driving force in the growth of cities such as Birmingham and surrounding communities.
Walker High School was established in 1917, and the Vikings football team won its first football state championship in 1921. Perhaps that long and storied history is why the annual Walker High School Homecoming Parade is always one of the most anticipated events of the school year.
Located in historic downtown Jasper, The Lily Pond is an art gallery and tea room. Works by local and regional artists such as Don Stewart, Barb Valentine and Maurice Cook are exhibited and available for purchase; customers can choose from watercolor creations, photographs, oil paintings and more. Handmade jewelry, unique pens, bottle toppers and other specialty items are also offered.
This ain’t your momma’s restaurant scene anymore, but she’ll definitely still like to eat here. Jasper’s dining options have exploded and now include everything from fine smoked meats to fine dining. Here’s a sampling of some of the Heart of Dixie’s most delicious dinners. Los Reyes Mexican Grill
If you’re looking for Southern barbecue, the Jasper offers a number of restaurants that put their own tasty spin on this traditional smoked favorite. Leo & Suzie’s Famous Green Top Bar-B-Q
Greg Kilgore and his wife have long loved cooking. The couple relocated to Jasper six years ago from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and immediately opened Black Rock Bistro. The restaurant has recently been relocated to downtown Jasper, where the work of various Alabama artists adorn the walls and benches.
If one thing’s for certain, it’s that you won’t go hungry in Jasper and Walker County. Residents here enjoy an enticing mix of restaurants, from the locally owned, one-of-a-kind eateries to popular national chains and a charming tea room. Independent Jasper Restaurants
Anglers are notoriously secretive about their favorite fishing spots, always fearful that someone else will drop anchor where they want to cast. But residents in Walker County are more open than most about where they fish. That's because Walker County is full of options, from bass-filled lakes to trout-filled streams.
Walker County hits the links at a number of nearby golf courses, including the Musgrove Country Club, the Bear Branch Golf Club, the Marcum Golf Course, the Riverbend Golf Course and the Horse Creek Golf Course.
Jasper offers a couple of public nine-hole courses in the city of Jasper and one private 18-hole facility, while two additional public venues are only a short distance from the Jasper city limits. Musgrove Country Club
Jasper's Musgrove Country Club offers a challenging, 18-hole course that includes rolling hills, bent grass greens and Bermuda fairways. Two swinging bridges that cross Blackwater Creek connect the course with the pro shop, offering golf equipment and apparel, and clubhouse.
Lewis Smith Lake, which spans three counties near Jasper, Ala., defies all the criteria that make a good fishing lake. Typically, bass hang out in murky, shallow waters with lots of algae to feed on. Smith Lake, as it is known by the locals, is deep. And clear. And chock full of big, hungry fish. Rumor has it there is a 50-pounder swimming around taunting anglers of all ages. Home to Open-Series Angler Tournaments
Located just 15 minutes outside of Jasper, AL, in the city of Dora, Horse Creek Golf Course offers an 18-hole course with a par of 72 that comprises 6,883 yards and a driving range complete with 16 tees, as well as a small pro shop and a snack bar.
Jasper and Walker County, AL have plenty of activities to keep you busy. Here are a few ideas: 1. Get a history lesson at the Alabama Mining Museum in Dora, and see 1900s-style mining cars, a train, historic schools, post office and depot. 2. Grab your poles and swimsuits, and head out on Lewis Smith Lake for freshwater fishing and swimming.
Walker County is beautiful on the outside, especially for fresh-air enthusiasts looking to enjoy the many recreation opportunities that exist. Parks
Memorial Park is the largest and oldest park in the city of Jasper, AL, but thanks to a recent renovation, the park's age doesn't show. The park includes a playground, walking trail, pond, pavilion, athletic fields, gym, and a natatorium with an indoor and outdoor pool.
Anyone in Walker County who likes to fish, boat and partake in other water recreation activities knows all about Walker County Lake.
Jasper has a variety of shopping destinations to choose from. Below is a listing of some of the stores available here. Bookstores Berean Christian Resource Center, 721 Highway 78 W., (205) 221-5858 Waldenbooks, 300 Highway 78 E., (205) 387-2040 Kathy's Book Store, 1606 Ave. # 100, (205) 221-1948 Children's Stores Marlee Mae's Boutique, 1635 Pediatric Dr., (205) 387-7889 Department Stores