Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Water Wonderland Awaits in Decatur, Alabama

While the first day of summer isn’t officially until June 21st, those among us living, working, and playing in the Deep South know good and well that it’s felt like the summertime solstice for well over a month. In fact, we tend to skip right over spring and onto the steamiest part of the year. But before you plan to keep you and your family cooped up to avoid the sweltering temps, consider combating those summertime blues with the refreshing water recreation available exclusively in Decatur, Alabama.
Situated along the breathtaking Tennessee River, Decatur offers a host of cooling, water-centric spots to check out. From man made water parks to natural estuaries and plenty of unique offerings in between, your best summertime memories are waiting to be made in this North Alabama water wonderland!

Point Mallard
Point Mallard’s official opening date is May 27th—and not a moment too soon as the temperature starts to rise and the humidity causes everyone’s hair to expand considerably. This Decatur staple is home to the world’s very first wave pool, a claim to fame that persists now even 47 years into its existence. Point Mallard Park is also home to some of Decatur’s best festivals with the Alabama Jubilee, Spirit of America, and Battle for Decatur all held on site each year. A veritable water park by the water, Point Mallard is uniquely situated along the Tennessee River and provides plenty of amusement for every single member of your brood. The Double Drop Speed Slides will appeal to the daredevils among you, while the Lazy River offers the leisurely drifting befitting of those who crave the full relaxation vacation vibe. In addition, a Towering Sky Pond, three Flume Slides, and idyllic Lagoon round out the full heat-busting quench served up in Decatur’s can’t-miss Point Mallard. You’ll even discover a spacious campground area for when you’re ready to call it a day and a golf course for those who crave some serious tee time. Check out more about the destination made for the pluckiest of travelers at pointmallardpark.com.

Riverwild Playground and Garden
For the ultimate place to make a splash this summer, round up the troops for a trip to Riverwild Playground and Garden. The kiddos are sure to love standing under the park’s towering fountains for a soak, while the adults will marvel at the site’s living history. Complete with a family-friendly Bathhouse and wheelchair-accessible splashpad, Riverwild offers H20 respite and revelry for all ages. Riverwild also features a playground of dreams for the youngest members of your family and plenty of places to enjoy a picnic lunch. Meander through the Trail of History, a path that winds through the park that beautifully interprets the park’s development as well as its significance as a historic site in a storied part of town. And for those who are looking to experience a bit of art and nature amid all the water play, Riverwild’s Sculpture Garden celebrates the Tennessee River wildlife with giant monuments of Decatur’s finest fauna with heron, bullfrog, dragonfly, turtle, and beaver statues. Be sure to check out the Delano Rose Garden on site for the perfect family photo op to commemorate your North Alabama Adventure!

Wheeler Wildlife Refuge
If you’re in search of pastoral elegance on your family vacation this summer, Wheeler Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place to celebrate a break from your daily grind. The Tennessee River runs right through the Refuge, which means ample opportunity to engage in aquatic action like canoeing or kayaking. Expend some of the kids’ energy, paddle in hand, as you make your way through Wheeler’s focal point. June is the optimal time to cast your line for bluegill and bass, too, as these angles are in abundance during this part of the summer. The sparkling waters you’ll witness will certainly leave you with a new appreciation for one of Decatur’s most precious natural resources.

Wheeler Lake
For fishing enthusiasts, Wheeler Lake offers up fresh catches and waterside bonding—hook, line, and sinker! Load up the family, and take your boat out on the serene waters of Decatur’s delightful lake. As an integral part of the Alabama Bass Trail, you’ll find plenty of angling opportunities for fun in the sun sure to provide everyone in your family with fish tales worth telling time and time again. For more lake recreation to include in your North Alabama vacation, check out fishalabama.or.

Big Bob Gibson’s 
All that splish-splashing and gallivanting gets the appetite going. When it comes to a delicious meal suited for every member of your water-lovin’ party, you can’t go wrong with Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ. Long heralded for their North Alabama white barbecue sauce, Big Bob Gibson’s has been feeding hungry families melt-in-your-mouth meals of pulled pork, ribs, smoked chicken, and “Heaven High” meringue pies since 1952. The proof is truly in the award-winning barbecue dishes as Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ just earned the highly sought-after Grand Championship title during the Memphis in May International Festival for the fifth year! Whether you’ve worked up an appetite after traipsing through fountains and wading through pools or you’re looking for the very best stuff to pack in your picnic basket, Big Bob Gibson’s serves up sumptuous barbecue, sides, and pies that’ll give you plenty of reasons to come on back to Decatur long after the summer heat has subsided.
For more about Decatur’s distinct offerings and for lodging to accommodate your family’s summertime getaway, visit decaturcvb.org today!

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