Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Visiting Northeast Alabama

I was asked to write a blog about the area I live in. What to do, where to go, etc. A lot of people may think, "why the heck would I want to go to Northeast Alabama?" There's a lot of reasons!
I consider "Northeast Alabama" anywhere east of I-65 and north of I-20. Major cities include Anniston, Oxford, Gadsden, Guntersville, and parts of Huntsville.
One of my favorite things about Northeast Alabama is the amount of awesome places to visit.


Northeast Alabama is loaded with bbq joints and restaurants specializing in "country cooking." Some of the places you just can't get anywhere else include:
Top O' the River-Anniston, Gadsden, Guntersville

Catfish Cabin-Albertville
O' So Good BBQ-Oneonta
Whether you like shopping for bargains at flea markets or upscale retail experiences, there's something for you here!
Many different events are held in this part of Alabama. These are some of the more popular ones.
World's Longest Yardsale- Starts in Michigan, Ends in Gadsden!
Riverfest - Major entertainment event in Gadsden!
NASCAR Races -Talladega Superspeedway hosts NASCAR races two weekends a year!
Indy Car Race- Barber Motorsports Park hosts the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama each Spring!


If the small town, laid-back lifestyle of Northeast Alabama isn't your thing. Perhaps you'd like to visit a much bigger city like Chicago.  Here's what Chicago local, Kendra Thornton (@KendraThornton) writes about her neck of the woods!

Where to Adventure When In These Towns

While there are many places to visit in Chicago and many wonderful places to dine, the sheer number of places can be a bit of a dilemma to the first time visitor.  With so many choices, where should you start?  Below, I have highlighted a few of my favorites!


For shopping, most know of North Michigan Avenue, but there is so much more to the Chicago shopping than that.  If your shopping tastes are less “mainstream” than what the Magnificent Mile can provide or you dislike the boisterous crowds that frequent the retail stores, try some of the other great shopping locations in Chicago.  Located just west of downtown, the Ukrainian Village offers a great selection of stores, ranging from the very vintage to the new and hip.  You're sure to find some trendy and hip options at Penelope's and Very Best Vintage.  The eco-friendly Green Boutique is a must see.   

Outdoor Fun
Millennium Park is one of Chicago's top attractions.  It is the story of a forgotten wasteland restored into one of the world’s greatest outdoor attractions.  What is now a thriving public park was once an abandoned and unappealing piece of land.  The brainchild of then-Mayor Richard Daley in 1997, it was fully realized in its present glorious state in the early 2000s.  With state of the art architecture and landscape design, it complements the various works of art within it.  Exhibitions, tours, cultural programs and family activities are offered in the park.  

Where to Stay

One very important consideration when traveling to Chicago is where to stay.  No matter whether you want to stay centrally in downtown Chicago or in a hotel that may have once housed Al Capone, the website Gogobot is the best I have found for booking hotels.  The reviews they offer are in-depth and give you an excellent idea on what to expect.

Eat Like a Local

When in Chicago, you must take off the tourist hat and eat like a local.  One place you can accomplish this at is Hot Doug's, a great choice for a fun, delicious meal.  Their menu is truly unique with items named after famous ballplayers and more.  A true Chicago eatery, Hot Doug's is a treat for the taste buds.  


1 comment:

  1. I think I'd like Alabama too, as you listed my favorite southern restaurants. I moved to Ill from Dallas almost 20 years ago and have managed to avoid going into Chicago all this time and have no desire to. I love living in the small agricultural community and saw enough of the city to last me a lifetime. That's just me!