Spotlight on Fayette, Lamar & Marion: Culture & Recreation

From outdoor wilderness to festivals to historical museums, these three counties have an array of activities to enjoy.

Sam’s Smokehouse in Fayette offers residents and visitors some of the best smoked ribs and wings in the state. Although it specializes in slow cooked barbecue, Sam’s also offers fried catfish, crawfish and an array of sides. Photo courtesy of Alabama Tourism Department/Art Meripol.


The tri-county area boasts eight managed lakes and 170,000 acres of wildlife management areas and national forests, with many opportunities to canoe, kayak, tube or camp. The four Bear Creek Lakes also offer camping, fishing and hiking. Bring your boat and take a trip on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway that cuts through northwest Alabama as it courses between the Tennessee River and waters south. And Sipsey Valley River Wilderness Area provides access to Sipsey Fork and lots of trails.


The three-county area has the largest deer population in the state.


Arts and crafts, motorcycle and tractor show and more are features at the Buttahatchee River Fall Fest in Hamilton. Each October, Fayette celebrates the Frog Level Festival with antique vehicles, frog jumping contest, arts and crafts and live entertainment. A juried arts festival is the highlight of the Jerry Brown Arts Festival each March in Hamilton. It honors the late Hamilton resident and Smithsonian potter Jerry Brown. No one is sure how Neighbor Day began in Hackleburg, but it’s all about getting to know your neighbor better. In Guin, enjoy Mayfest with a 5K run, dog show, tractor pull, parade and more. Old Fashion Day in Sulligent each October features live entertainment, a parade, arts and crafts, a 5K run and more. Winfield’s Mule Day has honored those hard-working mules each September since 1975. And each September the Fayette Arts Festival, one of Alabama’s oldest arts festivals, offers a juried outdoor arts and crafts show, art lessons for children and live entertainment.

A concert in Winfield.


The Pastime Theatre Complex in downtown Winfield, built in the 1930s, now hosts theatrical productions, concerts and other events. In late December, it received damage from a tornado. Blue Moon Drive-In in Gu-Win has twin screens for movies and capacity for 250 cars. The Fayette Arts Council sponsors performances throughout the year in the Fayette Civic Center, a renovated 1930 school building now privately endowed by local benefactors. Also visit the Fayette Art Museum.


The Fayette Depot Museum, located in the restored 1887 train station, displays many local historical artifacts, including a mint condition still, a Civil War-era drum and more. It is maintained by the Fayette Historical Society. The Hamilton-Sullins House in Hamilton once belonged to Captain A.J. Hamilton. Now it’s managed by the Marion County Historical Society.

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Housed in a historic building on the east side of Vernon in Lamar County, Falkner Antique Mall is home to more than 70 dealers offering antiques and collectibles.


Everything from barrel racing to motocross gets top billing at the Fayette Multi-Purpose Complex Facility.

The Vernon City Park combines residents’ love of water with sports in its new splash pad.


Fayette and Guin both offer water parks. The Fayette Aquatic Park features a multi-purpose pool, interactive play features, a lazy river and multiple water slides. Guin Water Park has an Olympic-size pool, diving boards and a waterslide.

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

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