Hidden Gems in Arab, Alabama
A few weeks ago, Steve and I decided to try a glamping experience (short for glamourous camping), so we booked a cabin near Arab, Alabama. We could only stay one night, and we only wanted to drive a short distance, so the ad for Tommy's Lazy G Cabins found on GlampingHub.com seemed to fit our needs perfectly. When you have some time, I would encourage you to check out the website. You'd be amazed at the range of accommodations that are possible and the locations around the world where you can book a stay. The idea for glamping is to experience the wonders of nature without sacrificing creature comforts. True confession: my "roughing it" days ended after we sold the pop-up camper we used when the kids were little. I'm a pretty spoiled American when it comes to wanting a hot shower, a comfortable bed, and a flushable toilet NEAR that comfortable bed. If I can also have internet, TV, air conditioning, and a kitchen, all the better.
The cabin we found had Dish TV, WiFi, a full kitchen, a king-size bed, a tiled shower, and the most peaceful setting you can imagine, complete with a babbling brook, contented cows, and a covered bridge.
Before we checked into the cabin -- and a few hours after when it was time for dinner -- we explored Arab, which is a 10-15 minute drive from the cabin.
ARAB CITY PARK
From what I gathered, Arab City Park is where the action is when holiday or town-wide events take place. Arab sponsors an annual SugarFest on Labor Day weekend, celebrating sweet things of all descriptions, at the park. A special light display happens at Christmas time, and Movies in the Park, Easter Egg Hunts, BBQ Cookoffs and hundreds of sporting events take place there as well.
ARAB HISTORIC VILLAGE
Adjacent to the park, you'll find 10 authentic buildings that have been brought in from their original locations and set up at the village with furnishings and artifacts inside to educate the public about life in the area from the 1880's to the 1940's. As you might expect, this is a popular field trip destination for area school groups. Because of Covid, tours at other times need to be arranged in advance by calling Juanita Edmondson at (256) 550-0290 or emailing her at email@example.com.
Fine Things is a beautiful gift shop located at 1942 N. Brindley Mountain Parkway. This is where all the brides and mothers-to-be go to register before showers and parties, but you can also pick up gifts for other occasions, too. I especially enjoyed meeting Jacob Bright, the owner, and his sales associate, Carol Curtis. Jacob can tell you a LOT about the history of Arab, and it was fun to learn that one of his best friends, Johnny Burks, spent his high school years in Hartselle. You may have read or heard about Johnny's book that was published in 2020 -- "I Just Want You To Know My Name," which is available on Amazon OR at Fine Things. It's an inspiring true story of triumph over adversity.
In the photo below, Jacob and Carol are holding pieces of china inspired by the artwork of Nall, the famous Alabama artist who graduated from high school in Arab.
The whole name of the restaurant is Sierra's Mexicanismo, and it is on Brindley Mountain Parkway not far from Fine Things. The notable thing about Sierra's is that in addition to serving Mexican cuisine, it is also well-known for its grilled meats, particularly steaks. Arab has a good number of fast-food chain restaurants, but if you want to eat where the locals eat, Sierra's is a likely spot.
I didn't have a chance to go in and browse, but I spotted a great-looking garden shop at the corner of Hwy. 69 and Hwy. 231, specifically 31 N. Main Street in Arab, called Flower Exchange. It's on my list for my next visit.
So now you have some suggestions for places to check out the next time you're in Arab, and perhaps you'll start thinking about trying out a glamping experience. Yurt, anyone?
Have a great week.