Muscle Shoals, Alabama is a small city with a big music history. In the 1960s and 1970s, Muscle Shoals was home to some of the most famous recording studios in the world, including FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. These studios played a role in creating some of the most iconic music of all time, including hits by Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Today, Muscle Shoals is still a thriving music scene. There are several recording studios still operating in the city, and there are always live music shows happening. In addition to its music history, Muscle Shoals also has a lot to offer visitors in terms of outdoor activities, historical sites, and shopping. Here are 10 of the best things to do in Muscle Shoals that you won’t want to miss.
When it comes to music and music history, I’m all in. And if that requires a road trip to Alabama, you know I’m already packed and in the car. Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is all in when it comes to the American music scene in the 60’s and up, but there’s so much more to do when you arrive. For reference, it’s located:
395 miles north of Orange Beach
70 Miles west of Huntsville, Alabama
343 miles northwest of Macon, Georgia
Alright, now that the geography is out of the way, let’s dive into the fun!
Visit the FAME Studios
FAME Studios is a recording studio located in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. It is one of the most famous recording studios in the world, and has been home to some of the biggest names in music, including Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and so many more.
The studio was founded in 1959 by Rick Hall, and quickly became known for its unique sound, which was a blend of country, soul, and R&B. The studio’s house band, the Swampers, were some of the most talented musicians in the world, and their playing helped to create the signature Muscle Shoals sound.
FAME Studios has played a major role in shaping the sound of popular music, and its influence can still be heard today. If you’re a fan of music, then a visit to FAME Studios is a must. You can take a tour of the studio, learn about its history, and even record your own music.
Here are some tips when you visit FAME Studios:
- Take a tour of the studio. The tour will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the studio, and you’ll learn about its history and how it’s used today.
- Learn about the Muscle Shoals sound. The studio offers a variety of educational programs that will teach you about the history of the Muscle Shoals sound and how it was created.
- Record your own music. FAME Studios offers a variety of recording packages that allow you to record your own music in the same studio where some of the biggest names in music have recorded.
- Shop for music merchandise. The studio store sells a variety of music merchandise, including t-shirts, hats, and CDs.
Visit Muscle Shoals Sound Studios
Muscle Shoals Sound Studios is a legendary recording studio located in Sheffield, Alabama. It was founded in 1969 by four session musicians known as the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section: David Hood, Jimmy Johnson, Barry Beckett, and Roger Hawkins. The studio quickly became known for its unique sound, which was a blend of soul, blues, and country.
Over the years, Muscle Shoals Sound Studios has played host to some of the biggest names in music, including Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Rolling Stones. The studio has also been featured in several films and documentaries, including “The Commitments” and “Muscle Shoals.”
In 2005, Muscle Shoals Sound Studios was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. Today, the studio is still in operation and continues to attract top-notch musicians from all over the world.
Muscle Shoals Sound Studios is a legendary recording studio located in Sheffield, Alabama. It was founded in 1969 by four session musicians known as the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and it quickly became one of the most sought-after recording studios in the world. Some of the biggest names in music have recorded at Muscle Shoals, including Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Paul Simon.
I had the opportunity to visit Muscle Shoals Sound Studios last month, and it was an incredible experience. I was also impressed by the studio’s equipment. It’s all vintage equipment, and it’s in great condition. It’s amazing to think that some of the biggest hits in music history were recorded on this equipment.Overall, my visit to Muscle Shoals Sound Studios was a great experience. It was a chance to learn about the history of music, and it was also a chance to see some of the most iconic recording equipment in the world. If you’re a music fan, I highly recommend visiting Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.
Here are some tips for visiting Muscle Shoals Sound Studios:
- Book your tour in advance. The studio is popular, and tours can sell out quickly.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking.
- Bring a camera. You’ll want to take pictures of the studio and the equipment.
- Ask questions. The staff is happy to answer any questions you have about the studio or the music industry.
Take a Walk Down the Muscle Shoals Riverwalk
The Muscle Shoals Riverwalk is a 2.5-mile paved path that winds along the banks of the Tennessee River. It’s a great place to take a walk, jog, or bike ride, and it offers stunning views of the river and the surrounding mountains.
Along the Riverwalk, you’ll find a variety of amenities, including picnic areas, playgrounds, and a dog park. There are also several restaurants and shops located within walking distance of the Riverwalk.
But the best part about the Muscle Shoals Riverwalk is its history. This is the place where some of the biggest names in music history recorded their hits, including Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Today, the Muscle Shoals Riverwalk is a popular destination for music lovers and history buffs alike. It’s a great place to relax, enjoy the outdoors, and learn about the rich musical heritage of Muscle Shoals.
Here are some of the things you can do at the Muscle Shoals Riverwalk:
- Take a walk, jog, or bike ride along the paved path.
- Enjoy stunning views of the Tennessee River and the surrounding mountains.
- Visit the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame and Museum.
- Take a music history tour.
- Have a picnic at one of the many picnic areas.
- Let your dog run around at the dog park.
- Shop at the many boutiques and gift shops.
- Dine at one of the many restaurants.
Visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House
Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the most celebrated architects of the 20th century, and his work can be found all over the world. One of his most famous works is the Rosenbaum House, located in Florence, Alabama. The Rosenbaum House is a Usonian house, which is a type of affordable, modern home that Wright designed for middle-class families. The house was built in 1939 for Stanley and Mildred Rosenbaum, and it has been open to the public as a museum since 2002.
The Rosenbaum House is a beautiful and unique example of Wright’s architectural genius. The house is made of natural materials, including cypress wood, brick, and glass. The roof is cantilevered, which means that it extends out beyond the walls of the house, creating a sheltered outdoor space. The windows are large and airy, and they provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
The interior of the Rosenbaum House is just as impressive as the exterior. The walls are painted white, and the floors are made of cypress wood. The furniture was designed by Wright himself, and it is simple and functional. The house is filled with natural light, and it feels warm and inviting.
The Rosenbaum House is a must-see for any fan of Frank Lloyd Wright or architecture in general. The house is a beautiful and unique example of Wright’s work, and it is a great place to learn about his architectural philosophy. The Rosenbaum House is also a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the natural world.
Here are some tips for visiting the Rosenbaum House:
- The Rosenbaum House is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-4pm.
- Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and free for children under 12.
- The house is wheelchair accessible.
- There is a gift shop on site that sells books, souvenirs, and architectural prints.
- The Rosenbaum House is located at 601 Riverview Drive in Florence, Alabama.
Stroll Through a Tribute to Native American Hardship and Freedom
In the late 1830s, a young Yuchi woman named Te-lah-nay was forced to leave her home along the Tennessee River in Alabama and walk to Oklahoma as part of the Trail of Tears. Te-lah-nay was determined to return home, and after five years of walking, she finally made it back to the river she loved.
Te-lah-nay’s great-great-grandson, Tom Hendrix, was inspired by her story and decided to build a wall in her honor. The Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall is a 1,000-foot-long wall that winds through the woods near Florence, Alabama. Each stone in the wall represents one step of Te-lah-nay’s journey home.
The wall is a beautiful and moving tribute to Te-lah-nay’s strength and determination. It is also a reminder of the hardships that Native Americans faced during the Trail of Tears. The Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall is a place to learn about history, to reflect on the importance of freedom, and to be inspired by the human spirit.
How to Visit the Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall
The Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall is located in Florence, Alabama, about 100 miles northwest of Birmingham. The wall is open to the public and there is no charge to visit.
To get to the wall, take I-65 to exit 71. Turn left onto Cox Creek Parkway and follow it for about 2 miles. Turn right onto Vaughn Road and follow it for about 1 mile. The wall will be on your left.
There is a small parking area near the wall. There are no restrooms or other facilities on site.
What to See and Do at the Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall
The Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. There are benches along the wall where you can sit and reflect on Te-lah-nay’s story. You can also learn more about the wall and Te-lah-nay’s journey at the information kiosk located near the entrance.
The wall is a great place to take a walk or hike. There are also several trails that lead through the woods near the wall. If you visit during the spring or fall, you can enjoy the beautiful wildflowers that bloom in the area.
The Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall is a moving and inspiring place to visit. It is a reminder of the strength and determination of Native Americans, and it is a place to learn about history and reflect on the importance of freedom.
Visit the Alabama Music Hall of Fame
Alabama has a rich musical heritage, and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame is the perfect place to learn more about it. The museum is located in Tuscumbia, Alabama, and it houses a collection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that tell the story of Alabama’s music scene.
The Alabama Music Hall of Fame was founded in 1987 by the Muscle Shoals Music Association, a group of music professionals who wanted to create a place to honor the state’s musical achievements. The museum’s collection includes everything from instruments and sheet music to costumes and awards. There are also exhibits on the history of Alabama’s music industry, as well as profiles of some of the state’s most famous musicians.
One of the highlights of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame is the Walk of Fame. This outdoor walkway is lined with bronze stars that honor Alabama musicians who have made significant contributions to the music industry. Some of the stars on the Walk of Fame include Hank Williams, Nat King Cole, Lionel Richie, and the Commodores.
The Alabama Music Hall of Fame is a great place to learn about the state’s rich musical heritage. It’s also a fun and interactive place to visit, and it’s sure to appeal to folks of all ages.
Here are some tips for planning your visit to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame:
- The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for students, and $6 for children ages 6 to 12. Children under 5 are free.
- The museum is located at 617 Highway 72 West in Tuscumbia, Alabama. There is free parking on-site.
- The museum is wheelchair accessible.
- There is a gift shop on-site where you can purchase souvenirs and music-related items.
- The Alabama Music Hall of Fame offers a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year. For more information, visit the museum’s website.
Visit the Only Coon Dog Cemetery in the World
The Key Underwood Coon Dog Cemetery is a unique and special place. It is a place where coon dogs, the beloved hunting companions of many, are laid to rest. The cemetery is located in rural Colbert County, Alabama, and it was established in 1937 by Key Underwood. Underwood buried his own coon dog, Troop, at the cemetery, and other hunters soon followed suit. Today, the cemetery is home to over 300 coon dogs.
The Coon Dog Cemetery is a peaceful and serene place. The dogs are buried in individual plots, and each plot is marked with a headstone. The headstones are often decorated with flowers, and they often bear the names and dates of the dogs’ lives. There is also a statue of two coonhounds treeing a raccoon at the entrance to the cemetery.
It’s also a place of love and respect for coon dogs. It is a place where people can come to remember and honor their beloved companions. The cemetery is also a popular tourist destination, and it is a reminder of the special bond between humans and dogs.
If you are ever in the area, I really do encourage you to visit the Coon Dog Cemetery. It is a beautiful and touching place, and it is a great way to learn about the history of coon hunting and the special relationship between humans and dogs.
Here are some additional facts about the Coon Dog Cemetery:
- The cemetery is open to the public from dawn to dusk.
- There is no admission fee.
- Visitors are welcome to bring flowers to leave at the graves.
- The cemetery is located at 100 Coon Dog Cemetery Road, Cherokee, Alabama 35961.
Tour the Helen Keller Birthplace and Museum
Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama on June 27, 1880. She was born healthy, but at the age of 19 months, she contracted an illness that left her blind and deaf. Her parents were devastated, but they were determined to find a way to help their daughter communicate.
In 1887, they hired Anne Sullivan, a young woman who was blind herself, to be Helen’s teacher. Sullivan used a method called “touch typing” to teach Helen how to communicate. She spelled out words in Helen’s hand, and Helen learned to associate the shapes of the letters with the sounds they made.
It was a slow and difficult process, but eventually Helen learned to read, write, and speak. She went on to become a world-renowned author, activist, and lecturer. She fought for the rights of people with disabilities, and she inspired millions of people around the world.
Helen Keller’s birthplace, Ivy Green, is now a museum that tells her story. The museum is located on a beautiful 10-acre property that includes the Keller family home, a garden, and a memorial. Visitors can tour the house, learn about Helen’s life, and see the tools and equipment that she used to communicate.
Ivy Green is a moving and inspiring place. It is a reminder of the power of the human spirit and the importance of never giving up on your dreams. If you are ever in the Tuscumbia area, I highly recommend visiting Helen Keller’s birthplace.
Here are some additional details about the museum:
- The museum is open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.
- Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and free for children under 5.
- The museum offers a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year.
- For more information, please visit the museum’s website
Go Shopping in Florence
Florence, Alabama is a charming city with a lot to offer visitors, including a variety of shopping options. Whether you’re looking for big-box stores, unique boutiques, or antique shops, you’ll find it all in Florence.
The Florence Mall is the largest shopping mall in the area, and it’s home to a variety of popular stores, including Belk, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Macy’s, and Target. You’ll also find a variety of restaurants and entertainment options at the mall, including a movie theater, a bowling alley, and a food court.
Downtown Florence is home to a variety of unique boutiques and shops, many of which are independently owned. You’ll find everything from clothing stores to home goods stores to art galleries in downtown Florence.
Tuscumbia Outlet Center
The Tuscumbia Outlet Center is a great place to find designer brands at discounted prices. The outlet center is home to over 100 stores, including Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, and Coach.
Florence is also home to a number of antique shops, where you can find unique treasures from the past. Some of the most popular antique shops in Florence include The Eclectic, Ye Ole General Store, and Vintage South Marketplace.
Simply Enjoy the Outdoors
Muscle Shoals is a beautiful city in the heart of Alabama. It is home to a variety of parks that offer something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors, or you are looking for a place to let your kids run wild, Muscle Shoals has a park for you.
Here are a few of the best parks in Muscle Shoals:
- McFarland Park: This park is located on the banks of the Tennessee River and offers stunning views of the river and the surrounding mountains. The park has a variety of amenities, including a playground, picnic areas, a boat ramp, and a fishing pier.
- Spring Park: This park is located in the heart of Muscle Shoals and is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. The park has a playground, picnic areas, a walking trail, and a small pond.
- Pocket Park: This small park is located in the downtown area and is a great place to take a break from shopping or sightseeing. The park has a fountain, a few benches, and a small playground.
- Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve: This park is located just outside of Muscle Shoals and offers a variety of hiking trails, as well as a beautiful waterfall.
- The Rosenbaum House: This historic home is now a museum that offers a glimpse into the life of a wealthy family in Muscle Shoals during the early 20th century.
Here are some additional tips for visiting Muscle Shoals parks:
- Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as you will likely be doing a lot of walking.
- Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of the many picnic areas.
- If you are visiting with children, be sure to check out the playgrounds.
- Pack a swimsuit if you plan on swimming in the Tennessee River.
- Be sure to bring insect repellent, as mosquitoes can be a problem in some areas.