Foley, Alabama: A Charming Town Near the Gulf Coast
Foley, a small Alabama town with a population around 22,000, is located just a half hour away from the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores. However, the town of Foley maintains that classic small town Southern charm. Even though it is located within close proximity to the touristy beach areas, the town itself is a bit more relaxed with locals restaurants and shops, a charming downtown, beautiful parks and winding country roads, and great Southern hospitality coming together to represent Southern charm.
If you find yourself planning a trip to the Gulf Coast, Foley is a great town to base your vacation. It’s close enough to the beaches to enjoy a few hours of fun-in-the-sun, yet far enough away to enjoy the quiet. Hotel rates are affordable, plenty of local restaurants and shops can be enjoyed, and the scenery is beautiful.
Below are a few of the top attractions in and near Foley
The beaches of Gulf Shores
Gulf Shores is a lively touristy beach area located on Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast. Here you have the opportunity to enjoy wide sandy beaches and clear waters. The quartz sand is very soft to the touch.. Gulf Shores is just a half hour drive from Foley, so an easy daytrip for any tourist seeking a laid-back day of sunbathing and swimming.
Other activities in Gulf Shores include dolphin and sunset cruises, the Gulf Coast Zoo, zip lining, mini golf, water activities such as para-sailing and paddle-boarding, seafood waterfront restaurants, and much more!
Just outside of Foley lies a really cool Fiberglass Stonehenge replica (known as Bamahenge). This work of art was sculpted by artist Mark Cline who is known for his roadside attractions. The artistic creation is hidden away in the forest and a bit hard to get to, although worth a quick visit if you are staying or traveling in the vicinity.
At 21 feet tall and 104 feet wide, this full size replica mimics the actual structure found in Wiltshire, England. This unique attraction is located about 8 miles from Foley near the entrance to Barber Marina. You will need to park on the roadside and walk about 200 yards into the woods. As you are driving you will notice cool Dinosaur sculptures by the same artist. Look closely until you see the Stonehenge sculptures popping out from the pines.
Also be on the lookout for the eclectic dinosaur sculptures
Foley’s historic downtown is home to a number of local restaurants, unique shops, and attractions. Foley Coffee House is a popular local choice for breakfast and lunch. One of the best choices for a relaxing afternoon break is Copper Kettle Tea bar. This charming tea houses offers a beautiful setting for enjoying an afternoon tea/coffee break. The owners are extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the different flavors and health benefits of tea. At Copper Kettle, Southern hospitality is alive and well. Staff ask you about your day and even recommend area attractions.
The charming decor adds to the relaxing setting of a tea break. As you wait for your delicious loose leaf tea to be brewed, you can enjoy all the unique teapots and accessories on the walls.
If you prefer to sit outside and enjoy the Southern sunshine, there is plenty of cozy seating available.
On the menu, you will find dozens of varieties of black, green, white, and herbal loose leaf tea blends. The White Peony and Rooibos Chai are both delicious! We enjoyed the shop so much, that we decided to visit again before leaving Foley.
Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail
This beautifully paved trail runs through Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Gulf State Park. The trail is about 15 miles long, so you can plan an easy ride for just a few miles or a longer exercise excursion depending on your current fitness level and available time. The trail is tree-lined and mostly shady, allowing you to get in a few miles even on hot, sunny days. Along the way, you will pass many beautiful natural landscapes such as marshes and swamps. You may even see an alligator if you plan your ride at the right time. Check out the trail map to plan your route!
Small town Alabama is a great place to get back to nature with a leisurely drive through the countryside. There are many charming back roads to enjoy the lush green scenery. Hwy 98 leading to Bamahenge is also very scenic with peaceful views of the forests and virtually no traffic.
Have you ever visited Foley or Gulf Shores, Alabama? What other small Alabama towns would you recommend visiting?