Thursday, July 28, 2016

100 Things to do within 100 miles of Fort Rucker: The Ultimate Day Trip List

A few months ago I created a list of 25 Stay-cation attractions near Fort Rucker.  I put this list together as I researched things that my family could do during Spring Break. That post has become a valuable resource for people who are looking for things to do in the Wiregrass Area. I am very happy with that list, but it's always felt incomplete to me.  For instance, I didn't include any water things on that list because I put it together with Spring Break in mind.  However, water centered things are some of the only things that you can do during the summer in the Deep South.

I always intended to update the list, and include even more Wiregrass area attractions.I often hear complains that there is nothing to do in this part of Alabama.  And while I will admit that the area isn't bursting with tons of things to do - that doesn't meant there is NOTHING.  To the contrary, there are plenty of things to do - you just have to know where to find them.  

As I started to brainstorm ideas for the longer list I came up with a crazy sounding idea.  Would it be possible to find 100 things to do within 100 miles of Fort Rucker?

Over the past few weeks I've scoured maps and guidebooks.  I've haunted Facebook discussions about things to do in the area. I've googled just about every small town within 100 miles to see if there's anything of interest.  All my research paid off.

I am pleased to present to you 100 things to do within 100 miles of Fort Rucker.  

Before I show you the list here are a few thing to keep in mind.  I've listed these places in order of distance from the Fort Rucker Aviation Museum.  This is huge list so I've divided it into four sections.  North, East, South, and West.  Click on the name of each attraction to be taken to a post with a contact info and a description for each place.

Also, these places are all within 100 miles driving distance, not as the crow flies. Thanks to Fort Rucker's rural location you have to travel on twisty back roads to reach towns that wouldn't be that far away if there was a straight road leading to them.

Unlike other lists I've made, I haven't sorted out the expensive things from this list.  So there are a few destinations on here that don't exactly fit the "51 cent adventure" mold.  I'll leave it up to you to decide if something is worth the money or not.

Without any further ado, here is the 100 things to do within 100 miles of Fort Rucker: The Ultimate Day Trip List

North
1. Ann Rudd Art Center (Ozark)
2. Eagle Aviation (Ozark)
3. Ed Lisenby Lake (Ozark)
4. Blue Springs State Park (Clio)
5. We Piddle Around Theater (Brundidge)
6. Troy University - Drama and Dance Performances (Troy)
7. Troy Pike Cultural Arts (Troy)
8. Butter and Egg Adventure (Troy)
9. Pioneer Museum of Alabama (Troy)
10. Dream Field Farms (Union Springs)
11. Josephine Arts Complex (Union Springs)
12. McCelland's Zoo (Banks)
13. Shorter Mansion (Eufaula)
14. Lakepoint State Park (Eufaula)
15. Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge (Eufaula)
16. Florence Marina State Park (Omaha, Georgia)
17. Providence Canyon State Park (Lumpkin, Georgia)
18. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site (Tuskegee)
19. Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site (Tuskegee)
20. Tuskeegee National Forest (Tuskegee)
21. Old Town Alabama (Montgomery)
22. Riverfront Park (Montgomery)
23. Alabama Capitol Building (Montgomery)
24. Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church (Montgomery)
25. Civil Rights Memorial and Center (Montgomery)
26. Rosa Parks Library and Museum (Montgomery)
27. Freedom Riders Museum (Montgomery)
28. Montgomery Zoo (Montgomery)
29. Montgomery Biscuits Baseball (Montgomery)
30. Jasmine Hill Gardens (Wetumpka)

East
1. Battle of Newton Reenactment (Newton)
2. Riverside Motorcross Park (Newton)
3. Continental Drive In (Wicksburg)
4. Holiday Spectacular Park (Wicksburg)
5. Adventureland (Dothan)
6. Fun Zone Skate Center (Dothan)
7. Waterworld (Dothan)
8. Wiregrass Museum of Art (Dothan)
9. Wiregrass Commons Mall - Carousel and Mini Golf (Dothan)
10. Murals and Peanut Statues (Dothan)
11. Landmark Park (Dothan)
12. Dothan Botanical Gardens (Dothan)
13. National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds (Dothan)
14. Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant (Dothan)
15. Flying Pigs Petting Zoo (Ashford)
16. George T Bagby State Park and Lodge (Fort Gaines, Georgia)
17. Kolomoki Mounds State Park (Blakely, Georgia)
18. Seminole State Park (Donalsonville, Georgia)
19. Earle May Boat Basin and Cheney Griffin Park (Bainbridge, Georgia)
20. Gadsden Arts Center (Quincy, Florida)

South
1. Alpin Farms (Dothan)
2. Falling Waters State Park (Chipley, Florida)
3. Vortex Springs (Ponce de Leon, Florida)
4. Ponce de Leon Springs (Ponce de Leon, Florida)
5. Cypress Springs on Holmes Creek (Vernon, Florida)
6. Three Oaks Winery (Vernon, Florida)
7. DeFuniak Lake/Chipley Park (DeFuniak Springs, Florida)
8. Walton County Museum (DeFuniak Springs, Florida)
9. Chautauqua Winery (DeFuniak Springs, Florida)
10. Florida Caverns State Park (Marianna, Florida)
11. Bear Paw Adventures (Marianna, Florida)
12. Blue Springs Recreational Area (Marianna, Florida)
13. Econfina Creek Canoe Livery (Youngstown, Florida)
14. Panhandle Pioneer Settlement (Blountstown, Florida)
15. Pine Log State Forest (Panama City Beach, Florida)
16. Camp Helen State Park (Panama City Beach, Florida)
17. Piers of Panama City Beach (Panama City Beach, Florida)
18. Wonderworks (Panama City Beach, Florida)
19. Ripley's Believe It or Not (Panama City Beach, Florida)
20. Zoo World (Panama City Beach, Florida)
21. Amusement Parks/Mini Golf (Panama City Beach, Florida)
22. Rick Seltzer Park (Panama City Beach, Florida)
23. Deep Sea Fishing (Panama City Beach, Florida)
24. St Andrew State Park (Panama City Beach, Florida)
25. Panama City Publishing Company (Panama City, Florida)
26. Oaks by the Bay Park (Panama City, Florida)
27. Grayton Beach (Santa Rosa, Florida)
28. Eden Gardens (Santa Rosa, Florida) 
29. Village of Baytown Wharf (West Miramar Beach, Florida)
30. Henderson Beach State Park (Destin, Florida)
31. Air Force Armament Museum (Eglin Air Force Base, Florida)
32. Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park (Destin, Florida)
33. Eglin Beach (Destin, Florida)

West
1. Main Street in Enterprise (Enterprise)
2. Country Best Farm (Enterprise)
3. Depot Museum (Enterprise)
4. Two by Two Petting Zoo (Enterprise)
5. J and J's Place at the Springs (Coffee Springs)
6. South Alabama Speedway (Kinston)
7. Pea River Outdoors (Elba)
8. Mayor James E. Grimes River Walk (Elba)
9. Frank Jackson State Park (Opp)
10. Rattlesnake Rodeo (Opp)
11. Florala City Park (Florala)
12. Britton Hill - Highest Point in Florida (Paxton, Florida)
13. Christmas in Candy Land - Snow in South Alabama (Andulusia)
14. Three Notch Depot (Andulusia)
15. Conecah National Forest (Andulusia)
16. Boggs & Boulders Off Road Adventure Park & Campground (Andulusia)
17. Sepulga River Canoe Trail (Greenville)


I hope this list will help keep you busy on the weekends while you are living on or near Fort Rucker.  And make sure to leave a comment if you find somewhere of interest that isn't on this list.  

And make sure you check out my list of 25 things to do on Fort Rucker.

17 Things to do West of Fort Rucker, Alabama



This is the west part of the 100 Things to do within 100 miles of Fort Rucker: The Ultimate Day Trip List. Make sure you also check out the lists of things to do North, East, and South of Fort Rucker.

A few reminders about this list before we get started. I've listed these places in order of distance from the Fort Rucker Aviation Museum. Also, these places are all within 100 miles driving distance, not as the crow flies. Thanks to Fort Rucker's rural location you have to travel on twisty back roads to reach towns that wouldn't be that far away if there was a straight road leading to them.

1. Main Street in Enterprise
553 Glover Ave
Enterprise, Alabama
9 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free to visit. Businesses charge of course
Hours: Business hours
Phone Number: (334) 347-0581
Website: www.enterprisedowntown.org

Enterprise is probably one of the most thriving towns in lower Alabama. Though not as big as Dothan, the town does have many major stores.  The town also has a charming downtown area along main street. Throughout the year the downtown area hosts many festivals such as The World's Smallest St. Patrick's Day Parade in March, events on each fourth Friday during the months of April to August, The Boll Weevil Fall Festival in October, The Holiday Open House in November, and a Christmas Parade in December.  Oh and who could forget the Boll Weevil Monument in the intersection of Main and College streets.  This is the only monument to an insect in the United States.

2. Country Best Farm
1711 Moates Road
Enterprise, Alabama
(Highway 84 West (toward New Brockton) about 1/2 mile from Boll Weevil Circle on left.)
10 miles west of Fort Rucker
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Saturday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm
Phone Number: (334) 393-7224
Website: www.facebook.com/Country-Best-Farm

There are many places to pick your own fruit throughout the Wiregrass, but County Best Farms makes this list because it is the one closest to Fort Rucker and the easiest to find. Plus the staff is very friendly. During the spring you can pick your own strawberries. Later in the season sunflowers are available.  Fresh produce is available during most of the year.

3. Depot Museum
Railroad Street
Enterprise, Alabama
10 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $2 for adults, $1 for children
Phone Number: 334-393-2901
Website: peariver.org/museum.html

The Pea River Historical Society runs this museum in the old depot building. Historical items from the city's past are on display inside.

4. Two by Two Petting Zoo
231 County Road 540
Enterprise, Alabama
10 miles west of Fort Rucker
Cost: There are a wide variety of price packages, but for just a family visit I was quoted $5 for adult and $3 per child. Children under 3 are free.
Hours: Visit by appointment after 10:30
Phone Number: (334) 464-0543
Website: www.twobytwofarms.com

This petting zoo has many animals for your children to see and touch. The website describes it as "a walk through indoor exhibit."

5. J and J's Place at the Springs
522 Mickle Street
Coffee Springs, Alabama
19 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $5 for adults,  $3 for children from 6-12 , $2 for children from 3-5, and children under 3 are free. They offer 10 percent discount to all military personnel.
Phone Number: (334) 470-0448
Website: www.facebook.com/JJs-Place-The-Springs

Until recently this natural spring was owned by the city of Coffee Springs. The city sold the property and the new owners improved the area.  The springs opened earlier this year and are doing well.  Various events are held throughout the year. Cabins are available if you'd like to stay the night.

6. South Alabama Speedway
189 Hwy 52
Kinston, Alabama
35 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $7.50 for adults, $3.50 for children age 6-16, Free for children ages 5 and under.
Hours: Generally open every other Saturday. Check the website for exact dates.
Phone Number: (334) 764-2518
Website: www.southalabamaspeedway.com

You don't need to drive all the way to Talladeega to get a taste of Southern Race car culture.  You just have to drive over to Kinston.  An evening at this race track will be a memorable experience. A variety of cars are raced here with drivers coming from Montgomery and Birmingham to compete.  In the early summer the racetrack partners with Crossover Ministry in Opp.  On that night all you need to bring for admission is canned food or personal hygiene items.

7. Pea River Outdoors
Located alongside Highway 84 by the Elba Boat Landing, just across the river from the Courthouse square.
Elba, Alabama
36 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $35 for canoes, $32 for double kayaks
Phone Number: (334) 447-2236.
Website: www.peariveroutdoors.com

If you want to go canoeing, but you don't want to drive to the rivers in Florida then try out the Pea River near Elba.  You can launch your own boat from one of the boat launches near town, or you can rent gear from Pea River Outdoors.

8. Mayor James E. Grimes River Walk
Elba, Alabama
36 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free
Website: www.elbaalabama.net/living-here/attractions

This river walk trail is a great destination if you are looking for something to do away from Fort Rucker, but you don't want to travel too far.  This walking trail is paved and has some lighting.  The four sections of the trail will take you along the Pea River as it flows into and out of the downtown area.

9. Frank Jackson State Park
100 Jerry Adams Drive
Opp, Alabama
37 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 4 - 11, Free for children under 4.
Hours: 6:00 am to 7:00 pm
Phone Number: (334) 493-6988
Website: www.alapark.com/frank-jackson-state-park

This beautiful lake is popular with fishermen.  Boating, camping, and hiking are all other activities that can be done here.  In the fall this state park is home to the Scare Crow festival.  You can walk along a trail and view interesting scarecrows that various organizations have decorated.

10. Rattlesnake Rodeo
500 North Branltey Street
Opp, Alabama
55 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $25 per day. Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult
Hours: Friday April 1 and Saturday April 2, 2016
Phone Number: (334) 493-2122.
Website: www.opprattlesnakerodeo.com

This annual even is held during the first weekend in March.  It centers around Rattlesnakes, but there are all sorts of entertainment options ranging from arts and crafts to live country music groups.

11. Florala City Park
439 Victoria Lane
Florala, Alabama
55 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Suggested donation of $0.25 per person
Hours: 8:00 am to sunset
Phone Number: (334) 858-3612
Website: www.alapark.com/florala-city-park

This beautiful lake is the largest natural lake in Alabama and boasts the clearest water in the state. There are picnic areas and playground. There is a pier over the water, and swimming is available. A walking trail winds around most of the lake.



12. Britton Hill - Highest Point in Florida
Lakewood Park
Highway 285
Paxton, Florida
53 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: free
Website: www.waltonoutdoors.com/explore-lakewood-park-florida-highest-point

In most states, standing on the highest point requires at least a little bit of a hike.  But in Florida, the high point is only 345 feet and can be reached by a lazy stroll over to a marker.  In addition to the marker this park has picnic benches and a walking trails.

13. Christmas in Candy Land - Snow in South Alabama
Court Square and
Springdale at 505 East 3 Notch St
Andulusia, Alabama
52 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Check website for exact admission charge
Hours: Weekend evenings throughout the month of December.  Check website for exact times and dates.
Website: www.christmasincandyland.com

This annual festival is only a few years old, but already it's growing in popularity.  In fact, its becoming so popular that the event is now held at two locations within Andalusia -the Court Square and the Springdale event venue. These locations hold magical things like an ice skating rink, snow machines, Christmas decorations, and of course Santa himself.

14. Three Notch Depot
Historic Central St. (Just off of Three Notch Road)
Andalusia, Alabama
55 miles from Fort Rucker
Hours: Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Sunday from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
Cost: Not sure
Phone Number: (334) 222-0674
Website: www.3nmsm.com

There are historic trains as well as old buildings and homes on display outside the museum. The museum is housed in the old depot building and displays historic items from the surrounding area.

15. Conecah National Forest
24481 Alabama Hwy 55
Andalusia, Alabama
70 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $3 per car for the day use area.  Camping at Open Pond is  $16 for sites with hook-ups and $8 for primitive sites.
Phone Number: (334) 222-2555
Website: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/alabama/recarea

The Conecah National Forest is a good place to get away and enjoy the outdoors.  There are opportunities for hiking, fishing, and camping.

16. Boggs & Boulders Off Road Adventure Park & Campground
20133 Brooklyn Road
Andalusia, Alabama
70 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost:$10 per day for anyone 13 and older.  $5 per day for children ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under.
Phone Number: (251) 578-4333
Website: www.boggsandboulders.com

This area is primarily for ATV riders, but it boasts plenty of things to do.  There are streams, caves, springs, mud flats, and more.  There is also a campground with a bunk houses, RV hookups, and even primitive camping.

17. Sepulga River Canoe Trail
See website for river access points
Greenville, Alabama
94 miles from Fort Rucker
Website: www.usgulfcoaststatesgeotourism.com/content/sepulga-river-canoe-trail

Apparently the Sepulga River is something of a hidden gem for river runners.  The area is virtually unheard of, but those people who have traveled down the river say it is a wonderful experience.  The water is perfect for canoes or flat-water kayaking.

More things outside the 100 mile zone:

If you are a fan of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, then you must visit the Old Courthouse Museum in Monoeville, Alabama  Monroeville is about 120 miles away from Fort Rucker.  The town was the home of the book's author Harper Lee until her passing a few months ago. The fictional town of Maycomb was based on Monroeville. Harper Lee's childhood home is no longer standing, but the courthouse is still there. This courthouse was recreated in painstaking detail for the movie adaptation of the book.

33 Things to do South of Fort Rucker, Alabama



This is the south part of the 100 Things to do within 100 miles of Fort Rucker: The Ultimate Day Trip List. Make sure you also check out the lists of things to do North, East, and West of Fort Rucker.

A few reminders about this list before we get started. I've listed these places in order of distance from the Fort Rucker Aviation Museum. Also, these places are all within 100 miles driving distance, not as the crow flies. Thanks to Fort Rucker's rural location you have to travel on twisty back roads to reach towns that wouldn't be that far away if there was a straight road leading to them.

1. Alpin Farms 
2729 North County Rd. 49
Dothan, Alabama
18 miles from Fort Rucker 
Cost: Prices for produce and activities varies. Contact the company for details. 
Hours: Hours vary by the season. Contact the company for current hours.
Phone Number: (334) 726-5104 or (334) 792-6362
Website: www.aplinfarms.com

During most of the year you can buy fresh produce from Alpin Farms. They have various foods that you can pick yourself. In the fall, the farm really comes to life and provides pumpkins, wagon rides, farm train rides, corn mazes, and other harvest themed fun.

2. Falling Waters State Park

1130 State Park Road
Chipley, Florida
55 miles south of Fort Rucker
Cost: $5 per car. Camping is $18 per night
Hours: 8:00 am to sundown every day
Phone Number: (850) 638-6130
Website: www.floridastateparks.org/park/Falling-Waters

This state park is home to a 73 foot waterfall that cascades over a cliff and down into a sink hole. Viewing platforms help you get a good look at the water as it disappears. There are boardwalks that lead to other sink holes. The park also has a pretty lake with a small beach of pure white sand. This lake is a fun place to go swimming on hot summer days. Camping is also available at this park.
Click here to read about my family's visit.

3. Vortex Springs

1517 Vortex Springs Lane,
Ponce de Leon, Florida
47 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Swim pass - $8 per person all day until dark.  Dive pass - $20 per person all day pass until 11:00 pm.
Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Saturday - Sunday: 7:00 am to 5:00 pm
Phone Number: (850) 836-4979
Website: www.vortexspring.com

This privately owned recreation area is home to natural springs where you can swim.  But this isn't your typical swimming hole. There is a 9 foot high dive and a zip line that will take you right into the water.  The springs aren't just for surface swimming either - this is the largest diving facility in the state of Florida. Away from the water there are plenty of nature trails to explore. There are even cabins available to rent at the resort so you can enjoy the springs on multiple days.

4. Ponce de Leon Springs
 
State Park 2860 State Park Road
Ponce de Leon, Florida
51 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $4 per vehicle
Hours: 8:00 a.m. until sunset, every day
Phone Number: (850) 836-4281
Website: www.floridastateparks.org/park/Ponce-de-Leon-Springs

This is a day use only state park with a clear spring.  The park is a great place for a picnic and provides an opportunity to cool off on a hot day.

Click here to read about my family's visit to this state park.

5. Cypress Springs on Holmes Creek
Launch from Culpepper boat ramp
3081 Culpepper Lane
Vernon, Florida
www.waltonoutdoors.com/explore-cypress-spring-on-holmes-creek

Cypress Springs is a beautiful natural spring on Holmes Creek. The spring itself is located on private property so you have to reach it by paddling on the river.  A popular place to launch canoes and kayaks is the Culpepper Boat Ramp.  From there you paddle upstream to reach the spring.  You can also rent canoes from outfitters on the river.  

Snaggy Bend Outfitters
3324 Highway 277 
Vernon, FL. 32462 
55 miles from Fort Rucker 
Cost: Canoes and Tandem Kayaks $40 
Hours: Open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to dusk during May through August. Last rental out at 3 p.m. Phone Number: (850) 535-2004 
Snaggy Bend is located a little upstream from Cypress Springs so you can rent a boat from them and then paddle down to the spring.

Holmes Creek Canoe Livery
52 miles from Fort Rucker 
Cost: Canoes and Tandem Kayaks $40
Hours: Open from 8:00 to 3:00 seven days a week.  Equipment needs to be back to the park by 7:00 pm unless overnight camping.. 
Phone Number: (850) 210-7001 
Website: holmescreekcanoelivery.com/wp

This outfitter is downstream from Cypress Springs, but the current is slow enough that it shouldn't be hard to reach the spring.  You can also venture out and explore more of Holmes Creek.  As an added bonus, there is a zipline located adjacent to the canoe rental.

6. Three Oaks Winery
3348 Highway 79
Vernon, Florida
55 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Tours and wine tasting are free
Hours: Usually open Wednesday – Saturday, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.  Only open Friday and Saturday in January.
Phone Number: (850) 535-9463
Website: www.threeoakswinery.com

This locally owned vineyard provides free tours and wine tasting.  This would be a great place to stop on your way down to Panama City Beach.

7. DeFuniak Lake (Chipley Park)
1183 Circle Dr
DeFuniak Springs, Florida
55 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free
Hours: daylight hours
Website: www.defuniaksprings.net

This 40 acre spring fed lake is adjacent to historic Defuniak Springs, Florida. The almost perfectly circular lake has many beautiful points of interest including an amphitheater and two fishing piers.  Swimming is not allowed in the lake, but boats are as long as they have a motor of less than 1 horse power. The town often holds free outdoor events on the lake shore.  Picturesque southern homes line the street that surrounds the lake. 

8. Walton County Museum

1140 Circle Drive
DeFuniak Springs, Florida
55 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
Phone Number: (850) 951-2127
Website: www.waltoncountyheritage.org

This museum is housed inside a historic train depot, and is adjacent to operational train tracks.  A train caboose sits outside the museum.

9. Chautauqua Winery
364 Hugh Adams Road
DeFuniak Springs, Florida
55 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Tours and wine tasting are free
Hours: 9:00 to 5:00 ever day
Phone Number: (850) 892-5887
Website: www.chautauquawinery.com

This vineyard is located to the north of  Interstate 10 which makes it a convenient stop on the way to the beach.

10. Florida Caverns State Park
3345 Caverns Road
Marianna, Florida
60 miles southeast of Fort Rucker
Cost: Admission to park is $5 per car and then cave tours are $8 for adults and $5 for children. (This an amazing deal as most cave tours cost about $18 for an adult.)  Camping starts at $20 per night.
Hours: 8:00 am to sundown every day. The cave isn't open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Phone Number: (850) 482-1228
Website: www.floridastateparks.org/park/Florida-Caverns

Florida has many caves, but most of them are underwater. The cave at Florida Caverns State Park is the only one that provides tours where you don't need underwater equipment. Tours of the cave last 45 minutes and take you near many interesting features. But they aren't the only interesting things in the park. There are also hiking trails, fishing holes, a campground, and a swimming hole fed by springs.

Read about my family's visit by clicking here.

11. Bear Paw Adventures
2100 Bear Paw Lane
Marianna, Florida
61 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Kayaks start at $35, Canoes start at $40, Tubes start at $15.  There are a variaty of price packages available.
Hours: 9:00 am to dusk every day
Phone Number: 850-482-4948
Website: bearpawescape.com

Bear Paw Adventures is the place to go to get equipment and shuttle service for a day on the Chipola River and Spring Creek.  They provide kayaks, canoes, and even water tubes for a variety of different trip packages.

12. Blue Springs Recreational Area
5461 Blue Springs Road
Marianna, Florida
62 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $4.00 per person
Hours: Open during the summer. Check website for exact dates. Park Gates Open from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. Water is open from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.
Phone Number: (850) 482-2114
Website: www.jacksoncountyfl.net/parks-and-recycling/blue-springs

This spring fed recreation area is maintained by Jackson County which has recently revitalized the area. The water is great for swimming or boating. There are even volleyball courts and a children's playground if you get tired of the water.

13. Econfina Creek Canoe Livery
5641 Porter Pond Rd
Youngstown, Florida
78 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $50.00 canoe or double kayak
Hours: Daylight hours May 1st - Sept 30th
Phone Number: (850) 722-9032
Website: canoeeconfinacreek.net

Econofina Creek bills itself as "Florida's Most Beautiful Canoe Trail."  As you paddle on this creek you will pass 6 springs where you can get out to swim.

14. Panhandle Pioneer Settlement
Sam Atkins Park
17869 NW Pioneer Settlement Rd
Blountstown, Florida
83 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $6 for Adults, $3.00 for Children ages 5-12, Children under 4 are free
Hours: Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Central Time),
Phone Number: (850) 674-2777
Website: www.panhandlepioneer.org

Historic buildings from all over Calhoun County were relocated to this living history museum. Different classes teaching skills ranging from blacksmithing to jelly making are offered for an additional cost. Though out the year the settlement holds many community events.

15. Pine Log State Forest
5583-A Longleaf Road
Ebro, Florida
73 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $2 per person over the age of 6. Children under 6 are free.  Camping starts at $10 for the primitive sites and $20 for the regular sites.
Hours: Daylight hours
Phone Number: (850) 535-2888
Website: www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Our-Forests/State-Forests/Pine-Log-State-Forest

This state forest is located to the north of Panama City Beach.  It's primarily used for hiking though swimming is available at the lake.  There is also a campsite with showers.

16. Camp Helen State Park
23937 Panama City Beach Parkway
Panama City Beach, FL 32413
94 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $4 per vehicle
Hours: 8:00 am to sunset
Phone Number: (850) 233-5059
Website: www.floridastateparks.org/park/Camp-Helen

This state park is located to the west of Panama City Beach. The park has recreation areas on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and on the shores of Lake Powell.  This park is just for day use only so there isn't any camping available.

17. Piers of Panama City Beach
There are two piers in Panama City Beach.
Russell-Fields City Pier
16201 Front Beach Road
Panama City Beach, Florida
89 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $3 to walk on the pier,  $6 to fish from the pier.  Children under 6 are free.  Parking and use of the beach is also free.
Hours: 7 days a week 24 hours a day
Phone Number: (850) 233-5080
Website: www.pcbgov.com/departments-services/parks-recreation-department/city-pier-beach

This pier is the longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico.  You can fish from the pier or just walk along it and look for dolphins and other wild life. There isn't much parking near this pier, but it is located near the Pier Park shopping area so it's easy to park there and then walk to the City Pier. The beach next to the pier is one of the only dog friendly beaches in Panama City Beach.

M.B. Miller County Pier
12213 Front Beach Road
Panama City Beach, Florida
92 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $3 to walk on the pier,  $6 to fish from the pier.  Children under 6 are free.  Parking and use of the beach is also free.
Hours: 7 days a week 24 hours a day
Phone Number: (850) 236-3035
Website: www.baycountyfl.gov/pier

As with the city pier you can fish from the pier or just walk along it and look for dolphins and other wild life. There is a large parking lot adjacent to this pier, as well as a building with bathroom facilities.

18. Wonderworks
9910 Front Beach Rd
Panama City Beach, Florida
94 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: General Admission is $24.99 for adults and $18.99 for children.  The Combo Ticket for everything is $33.99 for adults and $27.99 for children.
Hours: Open daily 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
Phone Number: (850) 249-7000
Website: www.wonderworksonline.com/panama-city-beach

If you've driven through Panama City Beach you've probably noticed the building built like an upside down house.  That is the Wonderworks building.  This is sort of like an indoor amusement park, but with more than the standard attractions. It's aim is to entertain and educate.  There are more than 100 hands on exhibits.  In addition to the fun, educational stuff there is also a laser tag arena, and a glow in the dark ropes course.

19. Ripley's Believe It or Not
9907 Front Beach Road
Panama City Beach, Florida
94 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Odditorium starting at $17.99 for adults and $12.99 for children.  The combo ticket is $28.99 for adults and $23.99 for children
Hours: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm every day
Phone Number: (850) 230-6113
Website: www.ripleys.com/panamacitybeach

This is the other memorable building in Panama City Beach.  This building is shaped like a giant sinking ship on the outside.  Inside you'll find one of the Famous Odditoriums full of odd things like shrunken heads.  There are other attractions available such as a mirror maze, a 7D theater, and a laser race.

20. Zoo World
9008 Front Beach Road
Panama City Beach, Florida
94 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $16.95 for adults and $12.95 for children ages 2-12, Children under 2 are free. (Military  receives 20% Off Admission  price)
Hours: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm every day
Phone Number: (850) 230-1243
Website: http://zooworldpcb.com/

This zoo is located in Panama City Beach and is home to many different animals - some of which are endangered.  For an additional price, the zoo provides many additional experiences such as feeding alligators.

21. Amusement Parks/Mini Golf 
There are many different places for family fun in Panama City Beach. Highlighting them all separately could be it's very own blog post. Instead here is a somewhat complete list.  From what I can see prices for each place are all very similar.

Cobra Adventure Park
Coconut Creek Family Fun Park
Goofy Golf PC
Hidden Lagoon Golf and Racetrack
Pier Park Amusements
Pirate's Island Adventure Golf
Shipwreck Mini-Golf and Snack bar

22. Rick Seltzer Park
7419 Thomas Drive
Panama City Beach, Florida
96 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free
Hours: Daylight
Website: www.co.bay.fl.us/parks/beach.php

This city park is located on the Eastern side of the city.  Its provides beach access and has a large parking lot as well as bathrooms.  There is nothing spectacular about it, but it's always nice to know that you can have somewhere to park and to change before heading to the beach.

23. Deep Sea Fishing 
There are many different companies that provide deep sea fishing trips out of Panama City Beach. As with miniature golf, highlighting them all separately could be it's very own blog post.  The following is probably and incomplete list, but it will help you get started.

Capt. Anderson's Marina
Capt Ellis Charters
First Light Charters
Gotta Believe Charters
Hall Queen Fleet
Killen Time Fishing Charters
Kelley Girl Charters
Legendary New Beginning
Private Charters Sport Fishing
Reel Commocean Charters
Tomcat Fishing Charters
Top Deck Fishing Charters
Treasure Island Party Boat

24. St Andrews State Park
4607 State Park Lane
Panama City Beach, Florida
100 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $8 per car for day use.  Camping starts at $28.00 per night.
Hours: 8 am to sundown
Phone Number: (850) 233-5140
Website: www.floridastateparks.org/park/St-Andrews

St. Andrews State Park has the most beautiful beach in all of Panama City Beach.  The park is on a peninsula east of the city.  You can choose from swimming on the beach or you can swim in a sheltered lagoon. Fishing piers and a jetty are also part of the park.  There are even places to scuba dive. If you choose to stay the night you can camp in the campground located on the bay side of the park. 

An additional feature of St. Andrews State Park is Shell Island which isn't far from the Lagoon. You can take your own boat over there or you can book a shuttle from one of the many companies that sail to Shell Island.

Read about my family's visit to St. Andrews State Park by clicking here. 

25. Panama City Publishing Company
1134 Beck Avenue
Panama City, Florida
90 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: free
Hours: Tuesday through Friday 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm. And every Saturday of the month from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Phone Number: (850) 872-7208
Website: www.historicstandrews.com/publishing-museum-visitor-center

Across the bay from the city of Panama City Beach is plain old Panama City.  This city doesn't have exciting beaches, but it does have this publishing museum housed in a historic building.

26. Oaks by the Bay Park
The park’s main entrance at the end of Beck Avenue
Panama City, Florida
90 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free
Hours: Open: Daylight hours
Website: floridahikes.com/oaks-by-the-bay-park

This small park along the water in Panama City is home to The Sentry, a live oak that is estimated to be over 250 years old.

27. Grayton Beach
357 Main Park Road
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
84 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $5.00 per vehicle. camping starts at $24
Hours: 8:00 a.m. until sundown every day
Phone Number: (850) 267-8300
Website: www.floridastateparks.org/park/Grayton-Beach

Situated between Panama City Beach and Destin is the town of Santa Rosa.  This town is home to Grayton Beach on the Gulf of Mexico.  This state park is often referred to as one of the prettiest beaches in America. In addition to swimming in the gulf you can also paddle on Western Lake  You can camp or stay in a cabin.

28. Eden Gardens 
181 Eden Gardens Road
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
84 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Admission to the park costs $4 per vehicle.  Tours of the historic Wesley House cost $4 for adults and $2 for children.
Hours: The park is open from 8:00 am to sunset every day.  Tour of the house are offered from Thursday thru Monday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. hourly.
Phone Number: (850) 267-8320
Website: www.floridastateparks.org/park/Eden-Gardens

The main attraction at this state park is the historic Wesley House.  This two story home dates back to 1897.  It has been painstakingly restored and is available for tours.

29. Village of Baytown Wharf
9300 Emerald Coast Parkway
West Miramar Beach, Florida
90 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free to visit. shops charge of course
Hours: always open
Phone Number: 850-267-8000
Website: www.baytownewharf.com

This charming waterside community is part of the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, but it is open to the public.  The shops, restaurants, and galleries are all welcoming of visitors. Throughout the year the community holds free events.  They even provide free parking and free parking shuttles during the summer so more people can make it.

30. Henderson Beach State Park
17000 Emerald Coast Parkway
Destin, Florida
96 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $6.00 per vehicle.  Camping starts at $30 per night
Hours: 8:00 a.m. until sundown every day
Phone Number: (850) 837-7550
Website: www.floridastateparks.org/park/Henderson-Beach

This is another beautiful state park on the Gulf of Mexico.  As with all the other beaches on this list, you'll find sugar white sand and emerald water waiting for you.  Camping is also available at this state park.

31. Air Force Armament Museum
100 Museum Drive,
Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
92 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 p.m. Closed on federal holidays. Outdoor air park with 25 aircraft is open during daylight hours.
Phone Number: (850) 882-4062
Website: www.afarmamentmuseum.com

Eglin Airforce Base is north of Destin, Florida. The museum is part of the base, but it is open to the public and you don't even need to obtain a visitor's pass to reach the museum.  There are 25 aircraft outside the museum, and interesting displays inside.  Any aviation lover will enjoy this museum.

32. Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
1010 Miracle Strip Parkway
SE Fort Walton Beach, Florida
99 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $21.95 for an adult and $13.95 for a child,  (military rates available - they take about $2 off)
Hours: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm every day
Phone Number: 850-243-9046
Website: www.gulfarium.com

This is the place to visit for any marine life lover.  You'll see fish, dolphins, turtles, and more.  The park offers a variety of additional animal encounters for an additional price.

33. Eglin Beach
Okaloosa Island just west of the Destin Bridge
Destin, Florida
101 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $3 per vehicle Monday through Friday, and $5 on weekends or holidays.
Hours: Open from April through October but dates and hours vary.  Check the website for exact hours.
Phone Number: 850-883-1243
Website: www.eglinforcesupport.com/activity/index.html

This place is just outside the 100 mile zone, but I'm including it because its such a great deal for military members and DoD personel.  This beach is similar to all the other beaches on this list, but it is basically a private beach just for people affiliated with the military. Just bring your military ID and show it to the parking lot attendant.  In addition to beautiful sand and water this beach has a large pavilion, restroom facilities, and showers.  Those showers make this place worth the drive.  It's so nice to have a place to shower before starting to drive back to Fort Rucker.

More things outside the 100 mile zone:

Half of Destin lies beyond the 100 mile mark.  Fort Walton is only a little bit further.  Both cities offer plenty to do.

I also recommend going a little bit more southeast past Panama City Beach.  Mexico Beach and St Joseph Island both have great reputations. St Joseph State Park has the BEST beach I've visited on the Gulf of Mexico.


20 Things to do East of Fort Rucker, Alabama


This is the east part of the 100 Things to do within 100 miles of Fort Rucker: The Ultimate Day Trip List.  Make sure you also check out the lists of things to do North, South, and West of Fort Rucker.

A few reminders about this list before we get started.  I've listed these places in order of distance from the Fort Rucker Aviation Museum. Also, these places are all within 100 miles driving distance, not as the crow flies. Thanks to Fort Rucker's rural location you have to travel on twisty back roads to reach towns that wouldn't be that far away if there was a straight road leading to them.

1. Battle of Newton Reenactment
John Hutto Park
AL-123
Newton, Alabama
8 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free including all games and activities
Hours: October 15th and 16th, 2016
Website: www.battleofnewton.org

The only Civil War battle to happen in the Wiregrass area took place in Newton. It wasn't so much of a battle as it was locals defending the courthouse from some Confederate deserters who were trying to burn records of their enlistment in the Confederate Army. However, that hasn't stopped the The Battle of Newton Society from staging reenactments every year. The reenactments take place at John Hutto Park.

2. Riverside Motorcross Park
7348 West Hwy 134
Newton, Alabama
8 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $25 per person per day. $10 for each additional rider on the same bike. $10 on the peewee track. Camping starts at $30 per night
Hours: 9:00 am to dark
Phone Number: (334) 791-5440
Website: www.riversidemotocross.net

If you are into dirt bike racing there is an excellent track located just a short distance from Fort Rucker. There are bleachers on site if you want to come out and watch the riders.

3. Continental Drive In
14200 U.S. Hwy. 84 West
Wicksburg, Alabama
10 miles southeast of Fort Rucker
Cost: $8.00 for an adult ticket, $7.00 for active military, and $5 for a child
Hours: Friday through Sunday evenings
Phone Number: (334) 692-3890
Website: www.continentalcinemas.com/locations/drivein4.htm

Drive in movies have a nostalgic quality to them. They are also a great way to take young children to a movie without worrying about disturbing the people around you.

4. Holiday Spectacular Park
1768 Hubbard Road
Wicksburg, Alabama
11 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $8.00 per person includes everything except the amusement rides. $15.00 per person for the amusement rides. Children under 5 are free. There is no additional fee for concerts. Hay rides from the parking area to the park are also included in the price.
Hours: Open 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm. From December 1st through 31st for the Christmas season
Phone Number: (334) 790-5112
Website: www.holidayspectacularpark.com

During the month of December the Holiday Spectacular Park in Wicksburg opens its gates for people to come celebrate the Christmas Season.  There are many things to enjoy inside the park from face painting, a playground, bungee jump, a rock wall, and more.  Concerts happen throughout the month and fireworks shows happen on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.

5. Adventureland Miniature Golf
3738 West Main Street (Hwy. 84 West)
Dothan, Alabama
25 miles southeast of Fort Rucker
Cost: Mini golf is $7 for 18 holes (kids 5 and under are free). Other prices are available on the website.
Hours: Generally 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, but open later on weekends.
Phone Number: (334) 793-9100
Website: www.adventurelandthemepark.com

Why drive all the way to Panama City Beach when there is a great family activity place right in Dothan? Adventureland has Go-Karts, Bumper Boats, Batting Cages, and an Arcade. My favorite thing is the Miniature Golf Course that has large statues of animals scattered throughout. This is a great place to go during the cooler months of the year.

6. Fun Zone Skate Center
465 Westgate Parkway
Dothan, Alabama
21 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $9 for package A $25 for Package B
Hours: Hours change with the seasons. Check the website for current hours.
Phone Number: (334) 678-7529
Website: www.funzoneskatecenterdothan.com

The Fun Zone Skate Center is the perfect place to take your kids on hot days when you are sick of being in the house. The center has a roller skating rink, but that's not all. They also have things like bumper cars, laser tag, inflatable bounce houses, and an arcade.

7. Waterworld
401 Recreation Road
Dothan, Alsbama
21 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $12 for adults, $9 for children from 3-12, Children 2 and under are free.  Half price nights on Tuesday & Thursday from 5pm-9pm. Military Discounts of 15% off admission
Hours: Open during the summer months, but hours and days vary. Check website for exact dates and times.
Phone Number: (334) 615-3750
Website: www.waterworlddothan.com

This is another fun place to go on hot days. The water slides are bigger than what you will find at Splash! on Fort Rucker and so it will be more fun for teenagers.

8. Wiregrass Museum of Art
126 Museum Avenue
Dothan, Alabama
25 miles southeast of Fort Rucker
Cost: Free
Hours: Wednesday - Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Phone Number: (334)-794-3871
Website: www.wiregrassmuseum.org

This museum has several permanent as well as rotating exhibits. There is a children's area in the basement.

9. Wiregrass Commons Mall - Carousel and Mini Golf
900 Commons Drive (Near where Montgomery Highway meets the Ross Clark Circle)
Dothan, Alabama
25 miles southeast of Fort Rucker
Cost: Depends on activity
Hours: The mall is open from 10:00 to 9:00.
Phone Number: (334) 792-5999
Website: www.shopwiregrasscommonsmall.com

This small mall has a nice classic style carousel is located near the food court. The carousel is $1.50 per rider.
Purple Penguin, a glow in the dark miniature golf course, is also located inside the mall.  18 holes of golf cost $8 per person ages 5 and up.  Children 4 and under play free with paying adult.  There is a limit of 1 child per 1 paying adult.

10. Murals and Peanut Statues
Downtown
Dothan, Alabama
25 miles southeast of Fort Rucker
Cost: Free
Hours: Best viewed during daylight hours
Phone Number: (334) 794-6622 (Visitor Center number)
Website: http://dothanalcvb.com/murals

Many buildings in Dothan have become outdoor canvasses for over 15 murals depicting different aspects of the area's history. There are also over 60 large fiberglass statues of peanuts scattered around the city. The Dothan Visitor Center located at 3311 Ross Clark Cir has information about where to find each piece of art.

11. Landmark Park
430 Landmark Dr (Just off of the 431 on the north side of town)
Dothan, Alabama
25 miles southeast of Fort Rucker
Cost: $4 for anyone over the age of 13. $3 for children from age 3 to 12. Free for children two and under.
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 9:00 to 5:00. On Sunday the hours are noon to 5:00. The planetarium is only open on Saturdays and Sundays.
Phone Number: (334) 794-3452
Website: www.landmarkparkdothan.com

There is so much to love about Landmark Park. There are walking trails, historic buildings, an observatory, and a fun playground. The trails take you through a wooded wetland. There is a boardwalk with displays about the area. This is a great place for children.

Click here to read about my family's visit.

*Special Instructions: This is a Blue Star Museum so it will provide free admission to military families during the summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

12. Dothan Botanical Gardens
5130 Headland Ave
Dothan Alabama
27 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free but suggested donation
Hours: 7:00 am to 5:00 pm every day
Phone Number: (334) 793-3224
Website: www.dabg.com

This is a great place to walk around and see many well cared for gardens.

13. National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds
5622 Highway 231 South
Dothan, Alabama
29 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Gate admission is $7.00 per person over the age of 6. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free with an adult.  There are additional charges for rides and food.
Hours: November. 4-13, 2016
Phone Number: (334) 793-4323
Website: nationalpeanutfestival.com

Each year the National Peanut Festival takes place in Dothan, Alabama.  This is similar in size to a state fair with livestock shows, concerts, venders, and of course rides!

The fair grounds are also home to a firework show held around the Fourth of July.

14. Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant
7388 North State Highway 95
Dothan, Alabama
43 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free
Hours: 9:00 to 5:00 weekdays
Phone Number: 334-899-5108
Website: www.southerncompany.com/about-us/our-business/southern-nuclear/farley.cshtml

Have you ever wondered what it's like inside a Nuclear Power Plant?  Well you can find out by touring this plant that is located east of Dothan.

15. Flying Pigs Petting Zoo
842 Silcox Road
Ashford, Alabama
33 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Prices vary, please call for details
Hours: Hours vary as well.
Phone Number: (334) 596-4943
Website: www.flyingpigspettingzoo.org

This petting zoo is a fun place to hold a birthday party.  They will even travel to your event.

16. George T Bagby State Park and Lodge
330 Bagby Parkway
Fort Gaines, Georgia
57 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $5 parking.
Hours: Park Hours: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm every day
Phone Number: (877) 591-5575
Website: www.georgetbagbylodge.com

Located on the southern end of Lake Eufaula, this state park is a great place for boating and fishing. The Lodge is a good place for conferences and weddings. It's also a great place to stay the night.  There are cabins and lodge rooms.

17. Kolomoki Mounds State Park
205 Indian Mounds Road
Blakely, Georgia
65 miles east of Fort Rucker
Hours: The park is open from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. The Museum is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Cost: $5 for parking and then Historic Site Admission is $5 for an adult, $3 for children from 6-17, and free for children under 6.
Phone Number: (229) 724-2150
Website: http://gastateparks.org/KolomokiMounds

This area was occupied by Native Americans from 350 to 750 AD. The park contains a 57 foot high temple mound as well as two smaller burial mounds. The museum is built over an excavation site. There are also hiking trails around the park.

18. Seminole State Park
7870 State Park Road
Donalsonville, Georgia
72 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $5 parking. Camping starts at $26.
Hours: 7 a.m.–10 p.m.
Phone Number: 229-861-3137
Website: http://gastateparks.org/Seminole

This state park is located on Lake Chattahoochee.  You can boat and fish on the water, swim near the beach, and camp on the land. Cabins are available as well as a tree house structure that sleeps up to 15 people.

19. Earle May Boat Basin and Cheney Griffin Park
100 Boat Basin Circle
Bainbridge, Georgia
79 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free for most activities Camping is $14 per night
Hours: Daylight
Phone Number: 229-248-2010
Website: http://bainbridgega.com/chamber/flintriver.shtml#&panel1-3

This park on the Flint River is maintained by the city of Bainbridge.  The park has a river boardwalk, train museum, and a petting zoo.  You can boat, water sky, canoe, and even dive in the water.  There is even a first come first serve campground for $14 if you want to stay the night.

20. Gadsden Arts Center
13 North Madison Street
Quincy, Florida
101 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Suggested donation of $1. Children are free
Hours: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday
Phone Number: (850) 875-4866
Website: www.gadsdenarts.org

This art museum was created to provide cultural opportunities and education for the community. There are several permanent as well as rotating exhibits.

More things outside the 100 mile zone:

Tallahassee is about 120 miles from Fort Rucker.  There are many interesting things to do there including visiting the State Capitol Building and Goodwood Museum and Gardens.

I also highly suggest you take a drive out to Albany Georgia.  It is 110 miles away, but Chehaw Park and Zoo is the most affordable zoo in the Wiregrass.  Read about my family's visit to that zoo by clicking here.

30 things to do North of Fort Rucker, Alabama


This is the north part of the 100 Things to do within 100 miles of Fort Rucker: The Ultimate Day Trip List.  Make sure you also check out the lists of things to do East, South, and West of Fort Rucker.

A few reminders about this list before we get started.  I've listed these places in order of distance from the Fort Rucker Aviation Museum. Also, these places are all within 100 miles driving distance, not as the crow flies. Thanks to Fort Rucker's rural location you have to travel on twisty back roads to reach towns that wouldn't be that far away if there was a straight road leading to them.

1. Ann Rudd Art Center
144 Broad Street
Ozark, Alabama
11 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: The museum is open to the public and free of charge.
Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays from ​11:00 am to 4:00 pm,  Saturdays from ​1:00 pm until 4:00 pm (during shows)
Phone Number: (334) 445-6526
Website: www.ruddartcenter.org

This art center was created as a place to develop and promote local artists. The center hosts shows and displays art from local artists. Classes are held on a regular basis to help teach art techniques.  The center even offers free art classes for children over the age of 5 on Saturday mornings.

2. Eagle Aviation
1110 Parker Drive
Ozark, Alabama
12 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: call for quote
Hours: by appointment
Phone Number: (914) 755-3988
Website: www.eagleheliops.com

Eagle Aviation is the perfect place for flight students to rent an aircraft to take their family members on a flight.  Many students make sure to book a flight so they can show off their skills when family members are visiting for graduation.

3. Ed Lisenby Lake
861 Myrtle Drive
Ozark, Alabama
12 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $3 for any fisherman over 12
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset - Open 6 days a week. Closed Wednesday to fishing, but the pedestrian trail is still open.
Phone Number: (334) 774-0588
Website: www.ozarkalabama.us/ozark/CityDepartments/LeisureServices/EdLisenbyLake

This lake is located just north of Ozark and is a great place for fishing and boating. You can rent a boat and all the gear from the Bait Shop.  Packages start at $30 for one person.

4. Blue Springs State Park
2595 AL-10
Clio, Alabama
30 miles north of Fort Rucker
Cost: $4 for anyone over 12, $1 for children from 6-11, and free for children age 5 and under. Camping starts at $14.20 for a primitive tent site
Hours: 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
Phone Number: (334) 397-4875
Website: www.alapark.com/blue-springs-state-park

The main attractions in this state park are the duel swimming holes. These holes are fed by springs with a water temperature of 68 degrees. That's a bit chilly for springtime, but is wonderful in the summer. If the water is too cold you can enjoy the trails around the area.

5. We Piddle Around Theater
123 S. Main Street
Brundidge, Alabama
31 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Prices vary, contact the company for exact prices. 
Hours: The theater houses many different shows throughout the year. Check the website for the schedule.
Phone Number: (334) 735-3125
Website: www.piddle.org/wpatheater.htm

This community theater preforms depression area stories in order to pass them on to future generations. Other events are also held here.

6. Troy University - Drama and Dance Performances
132 Malone Hall Troy, Alabama
41 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Varies, check the website for exact prices.
Hours: Varies, check the website for exact dates and times.
Phone Number: (334)808-6142
Website: www.troytheatre.org

Throughout the school year student at Troy University perform various dance and drama shows.  This is a great way to see good stage productions at a great price.

7. Troy Pike Cultural Arts 
300 East Walnut Street
Troy, Alabama
42  miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free admission
Hours: Wednesday to Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturdays from 10:00 to 3:00
Phone Number: (334) 670-2287
Website: www.tpcac.org

This art museum seeks to promote the arts among all people. Exhibits and shows are often held at the Johnson Center for the Arts.

8. Butter and Egg Adventure
2127 Butter and Egg Road
Troy, Alabama
44 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Various price packages, contact company for details. 
Hours: Most activities are available with reservations
Phone Number: (334) 670-9954
Website: www.butterandeggadventures.com

This is a high adventure center with a multitude of things to do to get your adrenaline rushing.  They have a climbing wall, escape room, outdoor laser tag arena, and a zip line course made up of 12 zip lines.  They provide different many different adventure packages and will work with your group events.

9. Pioneer Museum of Alabama
248 Highway 231 N
Troy, Alabama
45 miles north of Fort Rucker
Cost: $6 for Adults, $4 for children age 4-college, and free for children age 5 and under. There are military discounts available.
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Phone Number: (334) 566-3597
Website: www.pioneer-museum.org

There are many historic buildings on this property. There are also demonstrations of what life was like for early settlers of Alabama. The area is near the Conecuh River so there is plenty of nature around as well. Inside the museum are hundreds of well preserved artifacts from pioneer times.  The items range in size from sewing needles to a cotton wagon.

10. Dream Field Farms

6376 U.S. Hwy. 82
Union Springs, Alabama
61 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Admission: $12.00 Children 2 and under are free when accompanied by a full price adult.
Hours: Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 to 2:00, Saturday from 9:00 to 6:00 and Sunday from 1:00 to 6:00
Phone Number: (334) 534-6976
Website: www.dreamfieldfarms.com

This charming farm is a wonderful destination for relaxing in the country.  The farm really comes to life in the fall when they have a pumpkin patch as well as many harvest themed activities.

11. Josephine Arts Complex
126 N. Prairie Street,
Union Springs, Alabama
66 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Varies, contact the company for tour prices
Hours: Varies, contact the company for event dates and times
Phone Number: (334) 703-0098
Website: artatjosephine.com

Union Springs has many historic homes and buildings.  One of the most prominent is the Josephine Arts Complex.  This building offers many different tour packages - including a ghost tour.  One of the tours will take you out onto the streets of Union Springs where you will learn about all the buildings that give this town it's southern charm.

12. McCelland's Zoo
753 Co. Rd. 6618
Banks, Alabama
40 miles north of Fort Rucker
Cost: $12 for adult $10 for children
Hours: Thursday through Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Phone Number: (334) 243-4039
Website: www.mikeszoocritters.com

The zoo boasts many exotic animals - some of whom even do tricks.

13. Shorter Mansion 
340 North Eufaula Ave.
Eufaula, Alabama
63 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $5.00 per person for adults during regular hours $3.00 for ages 5 - 12 Free for children under the age of 4.
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.
Phone Number: (334) 687-3793
Website: www.eufaulapilgrimage.com

Eufaula Avenue is lined with stately southern mansions - most of them are only available for tours during two weeks of the year.  However the The Shorter Mansion is open for tours all year long.  This historic home is the center of the Eufaula Heritage Association.

Eufaula Pilgrimage (Mansions Tour)
Cost: $7.00 per home, Package - $70.00
Hours: Spring and Christmas

During a week in the spring and at Christmas time many of the stately homes on main street in  Euphuala open their doors and offer tours.  This is known as the Eufaula Pilgrimage.  If you love old homes you don't want to miss this event. There are daylight tours as well as candlelight tours available.

14. Lakepoint State Park
104 Lakepoint Drive
Eufaula, Alabama
70 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $4 day use fee.  Other things like camping or boat renting cost additional money.
Phone Number: 334-687-8011
Website: www.alapark.com/lakepoint-state-park

This state park offers it all. Located on the shores of Lake Eufaula it provides opportunities everything from swimming and boating, to hiking and camping. There is even an event center with hotel rooms available.

15. Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge
367 AL-165
Eufaula, Alabama
71 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free
Hours: Refuge open 7 days a week during daylight hours
The Refuge Office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am. - 4:30 pm
Phone Number: (334) 687-4065
Website: www.fws.gov/eufaula

This refuge was created as a place for animals, but there are a few things that people can do there too. The visitor station has displays and there is a driving tour through the refuge so you can have a chance to see wild animals. Hunting is allowed in the refuge during certain seasons.

16. Florence Marina State Park
218 Florence Road
Omaha, Georgia
82 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $5 parking.
Hours: 7 a.m.–10 p.m.
Phone Number: (229) 838-6870
Website: http://gastateparks.org/FlorenceMarina

This state park is located upstream from Lake Eufaula on the Chattahoochee River. There are plenty of boat launch areas and docks. On shore there are picnic areas, campsites, and even cabins.

17. Providence Canyon State Park
8930 Canyon Road
Lumpkin, Georgia
85 miles northeast of Fort Rucker
Cost: $5 for parking
Hours: Generally from 7:00 am until sunset
Phone Number: 229-838-6870
Website: http://gastateparks.org/ProvidenceCanyon

This is one of the must see attractions in the area. Providence Canyon State Park started out as a ditch in a farmer's field. Overtime that ditch and others eroded into steep-cliffed canyons with red and white walls. It all looks like something you'd expect to see out west in Utah or Arizona, but instead it's just over the boarder in Georgia. You can enjoy the view from the canyon rim or get up close on one of the many trails through the canyons. There are picnic areas as well.
Read about my family's visit by clicking here.

18. Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
1212 West Montgomery Road
Tuskegee Institute, Alabama
89 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. It is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Phone Number: (334) 727-3200
Website: www.nps.gov/tuin/index

The Tuskegee Institute was founded by Booker T Washington in 1881 as a place for African Americans to have a place for higher education. George Washington Carver joined the institute in 1896.  You can visit the George Washington Carver Museum and see displays about his many uses for peanuts (peanut butter is just one of them.)  Tours of The Oaks, Booker T.Washington's historic home, are available Tuesday through Saturday at every hour from 9:30 to 3:30.

19. Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
1616 Chappie James Ave
Tuskegee, Alabama
91 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. It is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Phone Number: (334) 724-0922
Website: www.nps.gov/tuai/index.htm

During World War II the Tuskegee airport was the site of the Army's experiment to see if African Americans could learn to be airplane pilots and servicemen. The student pilots preformed admirably and their work contributed to the decision to desegregate the Army in 1948. Today you can view items and aircraft from that time as well as see the buildings where the men trained. 

20. Tuskeegee National Forest
125 National Forest Road
949 Tuskegee, Alabama
95 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free - but some permits required
Hours: Daylight
Phone Number: (334) 727-2652
Website: www.fs.usda.gov/detail/alabama/about-forest/districts

This national forest is another place where you can go enjoy nature.  There are places to hike, picnic, and even camp.  Hunting is allowed during certain parts of the year.

21. Old Town Alabama
301 Columbus Street
Montgomery, Alabama
94 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Admission is $10 per person, $5 for children ages 5 to 18, and free for kids 4 and under.
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Phone Number: (334) 240-4500
Website: www.landmarksfoundation.com

Near downtown Montgomery, this living history museum is a reminder of a simpler time in the state's history.  There are historic buildings as well as demonstrations of what life would have been like for the early settlers of this city.

22. Riverfront Park
355 Commerce Street
Montgomery, Alabama
96 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Free
Hours: Daylight
Phone Number:
Website: www.funinmontgomery.com/parks-items/riverfront-park

Situated on the banks of the Alabama River, Riverfront Park is one of the best parts of Montgomery.  You can walk along a paved path near the edge of the water. The park is located behind the historic Mongomery train depot and train shed. The park has a splash pad and an amphitheater.  Throughout the year different cultural events are held at the amphitheater.  Most of them are free. The Harriott II Riverboat docks next to the Riverfront park and offers fine dining on the water.

23. Alabama Capitol Building
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama
94 miles from Fort Rucker 
Cost: Free
Hours: From Monday to  Friday self-guided tours are available to individuals and small groups from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  On Saturday only guided tours are available at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00. Closed Sundays and state holidays.
Phone Number: (334) 242-3935
Website: www.preserveala.org/capitoltour.htm 

So much history happened at this capitol building. The building was the first capitol building of the Confederate States during the civil war. 100 years later the steps of the capitol were the ending place of the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965.  There are monuments to these and other important events all over the capitol grounds.  

24. Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church
454 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama
94 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: The cost of a tour is $7.50 adults and $5.50 for children.
Hours: During the week the church and the parsonage are open for tours. Tours are available on the hour from Tuesday through Saturday starting at 10:00 am. Reservations are required for the tours.
Phone Number: (334) 263-3970
Website: www.dexterkingmemorial.org

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the pastor of this church from 1954-1960. From here he helped organize the Montgomery Bus Boycotts in 1955. The parsonage where Dr. King lived with his young family is located several blocks from the church. Its has been redone to appear as it did back when Dr King lived there. The address for the parsonage is 309 S Jackson Street.

25. Civil Rights Memorial and Center
400 Washington Ave
Montgomery, Alabama
94 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $2 for adults over 18
Hours: Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 4:30, and from 10:00 to 4:00 on Saturdays
Phone number: (334) 956-8439
Website: www.splcenter.org/civil-rights-memorial

The Civil Rights Memorial is a black granite slab with water flowing across it. The names of people who were killed during the Civil Rights Movement are listed on the monument along with a chronology of important events. The monument is located in a open plaza across the street from the Southern Poverty Law Center. It is free to visit and always accessible.

The Civil Rights Memorial Center is located behind the memorial. It features exhibits about the people who died during the civil rights movement.

26. Rosa Parks Library and Museum

252 Montgomery Street
Montgomery, Alabama
94 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: For one wing is $7.0 for adults and $5.50 for children under age 12. There is a conbo ticket for both wings for $14 for adults and $10 for children
Hours: Sunday 2:00 pm to  6:00 pm,  Monday through Thursday 8:00 am to 9:00 pm,  Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Closed on Saturday.
Phone Number: 334-241-8661
Website: www.troy.edu/rosaparks

This museum is located on the spot where Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her bus seat to a white man on December 1, 1955. The museum seeks to remind everyone of the importance of that event and the bus boycott that followed.  

*Note: When my family visited we thought we'd only visit the children's wing of the museum.  I was rather disappointed with what was offered over there.

27. Freedom Riders Museum
210 S Court StreetMontgomery, Alabama
94 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $5 for adults, and $3 for children ages 6 to 18
Hours: Fridays and Saturdays from 12:00 to 4:00.
Phone Number: (334) 230-2680
Website: www.preserveala.org/greyhoundstation.aspx

The Freedom Riders were a group of Caucasian and African American people who were attempting to highlight the fact that even though segregation was against the law it was still happening. They were trained in non-violent protesting, and they met a great deal of hostility as they traveled throughout the Southern States. This museum is located at the Greyhound station where Freedom Riders were brutally attacked by a mob in May of 1961. 

28. Montgomery Zoo
2301 Coliseum Parkway
Montgomery, Alabama
95 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $15 for adults, $11 for children ages 3 to 12. Children age 2 and under are free. (Military receives one dollar off admission.)
Hours: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm every day. The last admission tickets are sold at 4:00 pm.
Phone Number: (334) 240-4900
Website: www.montgomeryzoo.com

Of all the zoos on this list this is the one that is worth the money.  Yes, it is slightly expensive (especially for a large family like mine) but the zoo is large and full of animals so it is worth it.  Be prepared for to pay for extra things to do in the park.  These include, $3 to ride the train, $3 to feed the giraffes, $2 to feed the birds, and $5 for a sky ride over the park.  

The Mann Wildlife Museum is located adjacent to the museum.  Tickets cost $7 on their own, but only $5 with a zoo ticket.  This museum is full of large animals like bears and deer that have been preserved through taxidermy.

Read about my family's visit to the Zoo and Museum by clicking here.

29. Montgomery Biscuits Baseball
200 Coosa Street
Montgomery, Alabama
96 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: Tickets vary, check with the website for prices
Hours: Dates and times vary, check with the website for prices.
Phone Number: (334) 323-2255
Website: www.milb.com

Riverwalk Stadium is the place to go for a baseball game.

30. Jasmine Hill Gardens
3001 Jasmine Hill Road
Wetumpka, Alabama
99 miles from Fort Rucker
Cost: $10.00 for adults, $6 for Children 3-12, children under 3 are free. Active Military: $8.00
Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, 9:00 to 5:00, Sundays, Noon to 5:00.
Phone Number: (334) 567-6463
Website: www.jasminehill.org

This expertly landscaped garden is full of Greek style status.  It's a fun place to go for a walk and admire the beauty in both nature and art. 

The gardens also give one of the best views of the Wetumpka Impact Crater. 83 million years ago a meteor hit this area of Alabama and created one of the largest craters in the world.  Unfortunately, the trees and other vegetation in the area make the crater hard to see.  An interpretive center for the crater is planned, but currently doesn't exist. Tours are available during the month of February. Contact the Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce for tour info.

More things outside the 100 mile zone:

Fort Benning and Columbus, Georgia are about 110 miles from Fort Rucker.  If you travel up there you might want to look into White Water Rafting on the Chattahoochee River, walking the Riverwalk in Downtown Columbus, Visiting the National Infantry Museum on Fort Benning, or camping at the Uchee Creek Campground on Fort Benning.   

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