With Georgia to its east and Florida to its south, Dothan, Alabama is an ideal stop on a southeastern road trip. Dothan is the Peanut Capital of the World and home to the National Peanut Festival. There are still plenty of peanuts around. But there are many other things to do in Dothan, AL, and many are free. Take a look.
11 Free Things to do In Dothan Alabama
- Walk around the World’s Smallest City Block
- Celebrate Culture at the George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum
- Hike or Bile the Nature Trails at the Dothan Forever Wild Trails
- Enjoy the Flowers at the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens
- Celebrate Aviation and the Human Spirit at the Army Aviation Museum
- Take Selfies with the Peanuts Around Town
- Find Adventure at Adventureland Theme Park
- Cool Off at Water World
- Take a Family Art Class at Wiregrass Museum of Art
- Walk through History at Landmark Park
- Check out the Murals of the Wiregrass
Long ago when I was a child, we lived eight miles outside of Dothan, Alabama. What I remember most were the peanuts. The town is still the Peanut Capital of the World, but trust me – there’s so much more to do in Dothan beyond the annual National Peanut Festival. Read on while I share some of my favorite things to do in Dothan, Alabama.
1. Walk Around the World’s Smallest City Block
In the downtown area you’ll find the world’s smallest city block. It won’t take you long to walk around it. In fact, if you blink, you’ll miss it. This tiny triangle is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Smallest City Block.” The block may be small, but it has more than its share of traffic signs, with a stop sign, yield sign, and street signs. And there’s even a granite marker to mark the designation.
2. Explore African-American History at the George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum
Housed in a former bus station, the G.W. Carver Interpretive Museum serves as a rich source of African-American history. The museum’s Social Progress Heroes Timeline highlights the contributions African-Americans have made to the United States over centuries. There’s also a Carver Room celebrating the accomplishments of Dr. Carver. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10 to 4. The museum is free, but a $5 donation is appreciated. And it’s appropriate for all ages.
3. Hike or Bike the Nature Trails at Dothan Forever Wild Trails
Get the family moving on the Dothan Forever Wild Trails. This 10-mile recreation trail system features six naturally wooded trail loops. To make things easy, the trails are linked together by a series of bridges and boardwalks. There are trails for all levels from beginners to advanced riders or hikers. Loops range in distance from .5 miles to just over two miles. You’re sure to find something that works for everyone in the family. And if the tweens and teens need to burn off some energy, tackling all six loops will help.
4. Enjoy the Flowers at the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens
Did you know the South had its own Confederate jasmine flower years ago? I sure didn’t! But, you can see this historic flower along with others from days gone by in the Southern Heirloom Garden at the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens. There are 15 specialty gardens here showcasing all kinds of flowers. Special seasonal events keep the kids entertained. There’s the Egg Quest in Spring. Colorful wooden eggs created by area school students and artists are hidden throughout the gardens. It’s a unique take on the classic Easter egg hunt. And in October, expect to find scarecrows in the gardens. Admission is free but donations are always appreciated.
5. Celebrate Aviation and the Human Spirit at the Army Aviation Museum
Do you have an aviation fan in your family? If so, don’t miss the U.S. Army Aviation Museum. With a collection of more than 160 military aircraft including one of the world’s largest collections of military helicopters, your little aviation fans will never want to leave. This one-of-a-kind aircraft collection includes public galleries detailing the Army’s involvement in military aviation dating back to the days of the Wright Brothers. Additional exhibits tell the human side of Army Aviation through memorabilia and photo essays. Another thrill for the kids—the museum is located within an active military installation. Anyone 16 and older must have a photo ID but admission is free.
6. Take Selfies with the Peanuts Around Town
As the Peanut Capital of the World, Dothan is nuts about peanuts. Art and humor combine on the Peanuts Around Town tour. This nutty project started as a downtown restoration project with local artists designing peanut statues and placing them around the downtown area. Make a scavenger hunt out of it and get those selfie sticks ready—this place is full of nuts. You’ll find Health Nuts, CarMax Nuts, Home Depot Nuts, and even an Elvis Nut.
7. Get Your Thrills at Adventureland Theme Park
Have a thrill-seeking teen or tween in your group? Head to the Adventureland Theme Park for a fun-filled day. From go-kart tracks to bumper boats to miniature golf and batting cages, there’s plenty to do. More fun and games await in the arcade where even the little ones will be entertained. Adventureland isn’t completely free; every guest is required to buy a $1.00 admission card. Then you pay to play, but it’s very affordable with tokens starting at just 25 cents and even the “big kid” fun of go-karts are just $7. www.adventurelandthemepark.com
8. Cool off at Water World
It gets hot in Dothan but an afternoon at Water World will cool off the whole family. For toddlers and young children, Tadpole Hole has kid-friendly waterslides, floating lily pads and a captivating raintree. Older kids, teens, tween and even adults can cool off in the Rip Tide Wave Pool where 450,000 gallons of water rise into 3-foot waves every 10 minutes. And for the daredevils in the family, the Great White delivers a thrilling plunge off of a 4-story high tower down a high-velocity slide. Free for children 2 and under and seniors 60 and over. Affordable for the rest of the family at $8 for children 3-12 and $10 for adults. Admission for everyone is half-price on Tuesdays and Thursday from 5 to 8pm. www.waterworlddothan.com
9. Take an Art Class at Wiregrass Museum of Art
Housed in the historic Water and Electric Building located in downtown Dothan, the Wiregrass Museum of Art began as a community project. Today it offers cutting edge engaging exhibitions celebrating diversity and quality artwork. On the first Saturday of each month, the museum offers a free come-and-go art activity. Example of art projects include puppetry workshops, colorful kaleidoscopes, and paper flowers. Bring your little artists and check it out. www.wiregrassmuseum.org
10. Walk through History at Landmark Park
History comes to life at Landmark Park. There are wildlife exhibits and nature trails. And, there’s even a 1890s historic farm. This 135-acre park preserves the cultural and natural heritage of the region. Little ones will love the living history farm with its old farmhouse, smokehouse and farm animals. Teens and tweens can learn about the night sky under a 360-degree dome a the Digitarium Planetarium. Admission is free for children 2 and under. For ages 3-12 admission is $3 with ages 13 and up at $4. www.landmarkparkdothan.com
11. Check Out the Murals of the Wiregrass
Dothan is known as Alabama’s Mural City thanks to the Murals of the Wiregrass. These sensational works of art displayed across historic buildings in the downtown area portray the area’s rich history. The first mural commissioned was Salute to the Peanut Industry. The mural features Dr. George Washington Carver who discovered 300 uses for the peanut. Pick up a map at the visitor’s center. Then head out on a self-guided tour. I make a scavenger hunt of it for the kids. And they don’t even know it’s a history lesson!