Spotlight on Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia & Monroe: Culture & Recreation

Festivals, birding trails, lakes and museum provide a getaway from everyday life for visitors and residents alike.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” young actors in Monroeville. Photo courtesy of Alabama Tourism Department/Chris Granger.


The Piney Woods and Black Belt Birding Trails wind through Washington, Clarke, Monroe, Conecuh, Choctaw and Escambia counties, offering more than 20 outstanding birding sites. The Culinary Trail of Southwest Alabama showcases restaurants, cooking schools and more.


Coffeeville Lake, the third largest on the Black Warrior-Tombigbee system, is the last reservoir on the Tombigbee’s journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Downstream is Campbell’s Landing, managed by the city of Thomasville and Clarke County.


History museums throughout the region offer artifacts from fossils to weapons to a recreated store. Check out the Choctaw County Historical Museum at Gilbertown; the Clarke County Historical Museum in the historic Alston-Cobb home in Grove Hill; Bookers Mill in Conecuh County, that was built by prison workers in the 1800s; the Thomas E. McMillan Museum in Brewton; and the Old Courthouse Museum, in Monroeville, inspiration for the courtroom in “To Kill a Mockingbird” and home to tributes to local authors Harper Lee and Truman Capote. Also check out the downtown Jackson historic district with more than 140 buildings, Fort Senquefield at the fork of the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers and the Kathryn Tucker Windham Museum in Thomasville, celebrating the achievements of this renowned storyteller.


Until the start of this century, the Naheola Bridge was one of only two in the world where auto and railroad traffic shared the same running surface. In 2001, a new bridge was built for automobile traffic.


Thomasville Sports Hall of Fame, in historic downtown Thomasville, has memorabilia, stats and more from past and present local sports heroes and teams.

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Fred T. Stimpson Wildlife Sanctuary, Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge and the Upper State Wildlife Sanctuary offer a haven for those who enjoy the outdoors and seeing native wildlife.


Broadhead Memorial Park in Choctaw County is built around an old grist mill that was the center of life in Needham for decades. Bladon Springs State Park, also in Choctaw County, centers on four mineral springs once known as the “Saratoga of the South.” Veterans Memorial Park in Monroeville includes a playground, baseball fields and picnic area.


E.O. Wilson Nature Adventure in Brewton offers more than 100 acres of white cedar forest, longleaf pine and other native species, along with trails, archery and fishing. It’s a tribute to double-Pulitzer winner E.O. Wilson, who summered in Brewton as a boy before earning renown as a Harvard biologist.


Grove Hill Cultural Arts Center exhibits the work of local artists. Thomasville Civic Center and Bedsole Theater offer traveling exhibits and concerts as well as event space. The Brewton Downtown Concert Series, held monthly at Market Park, presents live music by local performers in a street dance format, a tribute to the town’s musical heritage.


Boggs and Boulders All-Terrain Park in Conecuh County offers more than 160 miles of trails, bogs, hills and mud pits, even caves and a spring-fed pool, plus campground and music venue.


Wind Creek Casino & Hotel in Atmore features more than 1,700 of today’s most popular games, plus a hotel, spa, culinary studio, movies and more, all operated by Wind Creek Hospitality, the principal gaming and hospitality entity for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The 6th annual Collard Green Festival is held in Evergreen each year.

Festivities throughout the year

Quilts in the Courtroom February | Monroeville Quilts on loan from all over south Alabama are exhibited in the beloved courtroom.

Collard Green Festival  — March | Evergreen  Evergreen has been the official Collard Green Capital of Alabama since 1973. Enjoy the cookoffs, car show and other events.

Paint the Town — March | Monroeville   Monroeville Main Street presents artist events in historic downtown Monroeville.

Kick It at the Creek — April | Brewton Crawfish fans gather at Jennings Park for freshly boiled mudbugs and live music.

Blueberry Festival — June | Brewton  Blueberries and blueberry bushes are honored at this annual event.

Monroe County NCPRA Rodeo  — August | Frisco City  Sanctioned by the National Cowboy Pro Rodeo Association.

Southeast Regional Fly-In — October  | Evergreen  The EAA Aviation Fly-in features aircraft of all types.

Williams Station Day — October | Atmore  This event celebrates the city’s birth as Williams Station with family entertainment, heritage displays, arts and crafts.

Brewton Rodeo — October | Brewton  Professional rodeo riders, plus local cowboys and cowgirls compete in this two-day event at O’Bannon Park.

Pioneer Day — October | Grove Hill  Syrup making, shingle splitting, butter churning, flint knapping and story telling are among the demonstrations at this event at the Clarke County Historical Museum.

Market Days— November | Monroeville  Local produce, fruit, eggs, jellies, jams, home made goods and baked treats are featured at this farmer’s market. Live entertainment, too.

Fall Festival — November | Jackson  Antique autos and lumberjack competition are highlights.

Taste of Monroeville — November | Monroeville  An annual food competition with live music.

Nutcracker Holidays — November & December | Brewton  Hundreds of thousands of lights sparkle throughout Brewton with snowstorms, train rides, Santa and an elf play village at Dogwood Hills Park.

Grande Illumination and Winter Market November & December | Monroeville  Winter begins with the Christmas tree lighting and Christmas Market, featuring bands and choirs; Santa, Mrs. Claus and elves, boutique arts and pop-up shops.

Luminaries — December | Brewton  Holiday lights take a quiet turn as hundreds of residents light thousands of luminaries along downtown streets.

Christmas Parade — December | Thomasville  A parade of lights with Christmas activities and Santa himself.

Christmas Parade — December | Monroeville  Parade followed up by a family movie night on the square at dusk.

This article appeared in the March 2022 issue of Business Alabama.

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