Summer Bucket List Adventures in Alabama


Alabama summers are hot, but the season still holds a warm spot in our hearts. Maybe it’s because we have ingrained in our brains childhood memories of running around with friends, free from school, for weeks or months at a time. Whatever, the reason, the summer inspires us to plan all sorts of outdoor excursions where we can soak up the sunshine.

Of course, summer always seems to fly by. With only 14 weekends between Memorial and Labor Day, there’s no time to waste. So, consult the calendar, pull out the maps and begin plotting the next few months of fun. In case you’re looking for ideas and inspiration, we put together a list of adventures that should be on your list of things to experience in Alabama this summer.

Zipline Over Lake Guntersville on the Screaming Eagle

Known for trophy bass and bald eagle nests, Lake Guntersville is also home to one of the most exciting ziplines in Alabama. Catch a unique view of the lake on the Screaming Eagle Zip Line as you soar through the sky in a heart-pounding aerial adventure. Level 1 features 10 ziplines up to 400 feet long and 75 feet high. And, if that wasn’t enough to get the heart racing, Level 2 certainly will, with seven runs ranging from 1,400 to 2,100 feet long and up to 190 feet high.

Hop in Little River Canyon’s Hippie Hole

There are rock slides, waterfalls, and even a few small cliffs to leap from. Tennessee Wanderer

Recognized as one of the best swimming holes in America, the Hippie Hole in Little River Canyon near Fort Payne is the perfect place to cool off this summer. There are rock slides, waterfalls, and even a few small cliffs to leap from.

Tuesday Evening Float with NACK

Kayaking is just more fun at night. Moonbeams bounce off tiny ripples, and familiar terrain takes on new life once the sun sets. North Alabama Canoe and Kayak (NACK) offers an easy way to take advantage of a summer evening paddle with its Tuesday night float. Join the group from 6-10:30 p.m. on Tuesdays for an unforgettable summer adventure.

Weekend Getaway at a State Park

Enjoy Oak Mountain State Park. Shannon McGee

Alabama has 21 beautiful state parks, all with unique adventures, making it impossible for us to pick just one for a summer weekend getaway. Whether you rent a cabin at Monte Sano, explore the waterfall while camping at DeSoto, or run the Double Oak trail after a night of primitive camping on Oak Mountain, you can’t go wrong at an Alabama State Park.

Hike to the Highest Point in Alabama

Cheaha State Park in the Talladega National Forest is home to the highest point in Alabama at 2,407 feet. Cheaha Mountain was named by the Creek Indians that called this land home, and the name means “high place.” An observation tower marks the highest point, with 360-degree views that are unlike any other in Alabama.

Start Climbing

For newbies, bouldering might seem intimidating, but if you watch someone navigate the problems at Moss Creek or Horse Pens 40, you’ll realize it’s extremely fun. To get the hang of climbing, take a class at Birmingham Boulders or High Point Climbing and Fitness in Birmingham. A class is the best way to get a feel for the sport and learn how to enjoy climbing safely. Plus, indoor climbing allows you to get some exercise without suffering in the summer heat.

Experience Dismals Canyon

A hike on the 1.5-mile trail on the canyon floor brings you close to this primeval swamp which was formed millions of years ago. Chuck Clark

One of most well-preserved nature sites in the world, Dismals Canyon in northwest Alabama has been designated as a National Natural Landmark for good reason. Home to a wide variety of rare vegetation, it is also one of the few places in the world where you can find Dismalites. To thrive, these bioluminescent beings need specific conditions that happen to come together in this pocket of Alabama. A hike on the 1.5-mile trail on the canyon floor takes you through the heart of a primeval landscape that formed millions of years ago.

SUP the Gulf

Summer isn’t complete without a trip to the beach, and one of the best ways to enjoy the Gulf and Alabama’s coast is with a Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) trip. The Gulf of Mexico and nearby lakes and streams often offer calm, clear water and light winds, which create perfect conditions to try out a paddleboard. There is no shortage of rental shops along the coast, and you just have to make sure your beach allows outside watercraft prior to renting.

Go Whitewater Rafting in Phenix City

On the Chattahoochee River, wedged between Alabama and Georgia, you can take the longest urban whitewater rafting trip in the world. It’s a quintessential summertime experience that you would usually have to travel thousands of miles to experience. Gather a group of friends and family, load up the raft and get ready for two hours of excitement through rapids as high as Class IV. You can also book a more challenging trip with Alabama Whitewater if your group wants to test its rafting prowess.

Beat the Summer Heat in a Cave

Explore the Cathedral Caverns by guided tour. Sumner Caughey

While you have to take a guided tour to explore Cathedral Caverns, the formations and cool temperatures during the summer months make it well worth a trip. The cave hovers around 60 degrees all year, and the entertaining tour guides share a wealth of knowledge as you cover 1.5 miles during a tour that lasts about an hour and a half. You can also make a weekend out of it, as the 500-acre park has numerous hiking trails and campsites.

Paddle the Sipsey

Northwest Alabama is full of hidden gems, including the lush and rugged Sipsey Wilderness. Known as the “Land of 1000 Waterfalls,” a paddle through the Sipsey is a journey into wild Alabama, featuring towering cliffs, clear water, and raw nature.


Ready to be outdoors this Summer to celebrate National Camping Month? We have the camping + outdoor gear you need to get you on the trails! Not quite ready to commit to all of the gear? We get it! Click here to learn more about our Rental Program for your next trip! We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors


Written by Hap Pruitt for RootsRated in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of AL and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to


Father’s Day Adventure Giveaway!

We have teamed up with our friends at Gearbox Adventure Rentals, Cahaba Cycles, and Nemo Equipment to make this Father’s Day one you will never forget. See details below for a chance to win a true Father’s Day outdoor experience filled with adventure and quality time, with our Father’s Day Adventure Package Giveaway!

Shop small and #LETSGO adventure!


Enter for a chance to win by following these rules:

  • Follow @AlabamaOutdoorsOfficial @gearbox_adventure_rentals @cahabacycles on Instagram
  • Like the post on our Instagram page (@alabamaoutdoorsofficial) that looks like the picture above.
  • Tag your friends + family you would love to share this adventure with. One adventure buddy per comment (more comments = more entries) 
  • Share this giveaway to your stories and tag us for 5 bonus entries! 
  • Giveaway begins on Friday June 11, 2021 and ends on June 18, 2021 at 11:59 CDT. Winner must follow entry guidelines listed above.
  • This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Instagram.


The PRIZE (up to a $1674 value):


The terms + conditions:

  • Giveaway begins on Friday June 11, 2021 and ends on June 18, 2021 at 11:59 CDT. Winner must follow entry guidelines listed above.
  • The winner will be chosen by random drawing and notified by Alabama Outdoors via Instagram on Monday June 21, 2021.
  • Winner (or attendee) must be 21 years of age or older, have a valid driver’s license, and proof of liability insurance to rent with Gearbox Adventure Rentals.
  • The winner will be able to choose which 2-night rental and campervan model they want based on date availability. The 2-night adventure rental must take place by December 31, 2021. 
  • The winner must sign the waiver and follow rules and guidelines for Gearbox Adventure Rentals and Cahaba Cycles



Looking for more gift ideas for Dad? Check out all of our Father’s Day gift ideas here! We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors

5 Ways to Celebrate Dad on Father’s Day

Life is full of little adventures. Many of our favorite memories are when our Dad came to us and said “Let’s go”, and even if it was just a quick trip to the hardware store, the mailbox, or a planned family vacation, to you it was a grand adventure with your Dad. This Father’s Day, celebrate the man in your life who showed you that adventures truly begin with love—let’s go.


  • Strengthen your bond and go workout together

A lot of us have been working from home still or putting in more hours, so this Father’s Day be active with the Dad in your life. No need for competition, staying active is good for the soul and so is the quality time together. Either go for a run outdoors, plan a garage workout at home, or hit up a local gym to try something new. 

Shop below for gifts he can use during the workout and will end up loving. 


  • Grab your gear and go on a unique outdoor adventure

Does the Dad in your life enjoy exploring the outdoors in his off time? If so, plan an outdoor adventure that he has yet to check off his bucket list. Alabama is filled with many unique adventures and places to explore, from caves to waterfalls and in between. Surprise him with an off-grid ‘glamping’ adventure in a 1966 UNIMOG vehicle with Case Rock Eco-Retreat or a custom camper van decked out with all of the necessities from Gearbox Adventure Rentals.


Interested in a more primitive camping adventure? Plan your weekend around a hike he has been wanting to do or somewhere that you know has a great spot to hang a hammock and relax. We suggest a weekend getaway in the Sipsey Wilderness as there is so much to do and you choose where you want to set up camp. With over 25,000 acres, there is trout fishing, 45 miles of trails, and waterfalls. After all, it is called “The Land of 1,000 Waterfalls”.

Click below for gifts Dad will love for an outdoor adventure. 


  • Go local and hit up the golf course + a brewery 

Looking to stay nearby this Father’s Day weekend but still wanting to plan something out of your normal weekend activities? Spend the day touring the city and being outdoors. Make a tee time at a new course and find a local lunch spot or brewery after for some much-needed grub and ice-cold beverage after a day on the green. This is definitely a “Dad day”. 

Click below for gifts for Dad that are great for a day on the course and around town.


  • Go on a road trip and getaway to the lake or beach

This may be a common go-to trip in the summer for Alabamians but it is always a good time and who gets tired of being by the water when it is so hot out? Maybe this time go somewhere new or surprise him by planning all of the food and grilling. Once you’re packed up and hit that open road, the worries are gone and vacation has begun.

Click below for gifts for Dad that are perfect for road trips and long days in the sun and water.


  • Go spend quality time with him at home

If you don’t have the option of going on a full weekend getaway, plan some things around the house for the Dad in your life. Work on a new project together or help him tackle some of his to-do’s in the yard. Make sure he has the right tools and gear needed to scratch any project off his list. If he doesn’t, gift them to him and surprise him by helping out. End the day with an at-home cookout where he can sit back and relax and enjoy uninterrupted time with you and maybe enjoy a game of disc golf or cornhole. 

Click below for gifts for Dad that are great for lounging at home and backyard cookouts.


Looking for more gift ideas for Dad? Check out all of our Father’s Day gift ideas here! We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors

Top 10 Gifts for Father’s Day 2021

Are you still struggling to find that perfect gift for the world’s best dad? Here are some items that the Dad in your life is sure to love this Father’s Day.

On-Running Shoes

The do-it-all sneaker with comfort to spare, Dad will love a new pair of On-Running Shoes. With styles for everyone, like the super-comfortable On Cloud, the sporty On Cloudflow, or the supportive On Cloudswift, Dad will be ready for anything and everything.



Yeti Rambler 20

Perfect for on the go dads who want a hot cup of coffee or cold glass of tea, wherever they are! From the pool, to the car, to the trail, this Yeti Rambler keeps drinks at the perfect temp, all day. A no-slip powder coating and the MagSlider lid keep this cup in his hand and his drink inside without spilling. With plenty of colors, he can rep his favorite football team and enjoy an ice-cold anything this summer!


Coastal Cotton T Shirt

Let dad rock his laid-back style in, well, something actually stylish thanks to the Coastal Cotton Men’s Island Cotton T-Shirt. Comfy enough to wear in any weather and just the right fit so it doesn’t have to get tucked in, dad will love this vintage-inspired shirt. 


Free Fly Men’s Breeze Shorts

Comfortable bamboo fibers and a simple look make the Free Fly Men’s Breeze Shorts an easy gift for Dad. A stretchy waistband and drawstring ensure the perfect fit, while the side pockets transition seamlessly from workouts to lounge days. 


Patagonia Men’s Capilene Cool Daily Shirt

Long summer days call for a shirt that’s as comfortable as it is protective, and the Patagonia Men’s Capilene Cool Daily Shirt does it all. A stretchy, moisture-wicking, UPF 40+ shirt, this long sleeve keeps dad from burning so you can save some sunscreen. Perfect for paddling, fishing, swimming, or hitting the beach, this will be dad’s new favorite shirt; maybe buy two so it doesn’t start to smell. Not that it matters, thanks to the HeiQ Fresh durable odor control, which keeps this shirt fresh long after the wearer isn’t.


Patagonia Men’s Baggies Longs

Come to any event prepared for a quick dip in the pool or a dive off the cliff with the Patagonia Men’s Baggies Long. Made from bullet and adventure-proof Nylon, these swim trunks have a DWR finish and a classic fit with various fun colors and prints to choose from. These UPF 50+ plus shorts also feature a drawstring for the perfect fit and three pockets for valuables (make sure he empties his pocket before hitting the pool though). 


Southern Tide Men’s Sun Farer Shirt

Keep Dad stylish this summer with the Southern Tide Men’s Sun Farer Shirt. A perfect gift for Dads who love a comfy t-shirt for any occasion, this Southern Tide Tee is 100% cotton for all-day wearing. The vintage graphic lets it dress up or down, so he can wear it everywhere.


Goodr Sunglasses

Deck out Dad in some slick shades this summer with the uber-fun and uber-comfortable Goodr Sunglasses. With nonsense names and no-nonsense features, these polarized sunglasses are sure to please. Their special powder-coating wicks moisture and prevents bouncing, while the durable frames are lightweight and shatterproof to ensure years of use. Get Dad some sunglasses he actually wants for Father’s Day.


Black Diamond Spot 350 Headlamp

Dad can hit the trail, the crag, or the grill, after dark, thanks to the Black Diamond Spot 350 Headlamp. This Black Diamond Spot 350 offers peripheral lighting for close-range activities like sorting gear, cooking, or reading in camp and it sports an IPX8 waterproof (fancy way of saying really waterproof) housing. Give Dad the gift of light, anytime, anywhere. 


Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 55

Any good adventure requires a bag that keeps up, and the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 55 stays strong through any punishment your Dad can come up with. A bomb-proof nylon with rugged webbing skeleton, this spacious duffel packs up everything you need for long trips. It’s DWR coating and puddle-guard keep moisture out and the easy-haul handles stow for convenience. Trust us, Dad wants this bag.



Still looking for more gift ideas for Dad or looking for somewhere to take him for the weekend? Check out all of our Father’s Day ideas here for gifts and 5 ways to celebrate Dad this Father’s Day! We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors