Summertime is the season of travel: the time to pile all of the kids into one cramped car, roll the windows down, and play the country radio loud. While some people travel abroad or fly across the country, most people opt for the good ole American road trip. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nine out of ten summer travel plans will be by personal vehicles. Road trips, then, are a key part of the American experience. Whether your destination is the beach or the mountains, Alabama has a lot to offer.
Road-tripping is not just about where you are going, but also about the places you discover along the way. You can stop at a gas station for your restroom and snack break, or you can choose to do something a little more interesting. If you prefer going off the beaten path, there are three places you must try on your next Alabama road trip.
Located just off I-65 and only 15 minutes from downtown Montgomery, Preister’s is a holiday store dedicated to anything and everything pecan. The store has a variety of options as you stroll through the country-style wood building. This family-owned local company has been providing pecans and candies for over seven decades and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
A Bit of Backstory
“Let me tell you about the little pit stop in this antiquated photo. It’s the birthplace of Priester’s Pecans! That’s right, this small gas station in Fort Deposit was a hub for travelers passing between Montgomery and Mobile. L.C. Priester owned the station and he gladly serviced the passersby, but he realized they could use something more than gasoline. So he hired a local fella named Caesar to harvest pecans, gather them in sacks and deliver them to his porch. There the pecans were bagged for sale next door at the service station. And that’s how Priester’s Pecans got its start!”
If you have never seen a giant peach on the side of the road, this is your chance. Tucked away in Clanton, AL, Peach Park is a farmers market featuring all kinds of fresh items. Whether you prefer cobbler over pie or fresh fruit over ice cream, Peach Park has all the desserts you can imagine at a peach-themed farmer’s market. Besides the food, there are also gardens to stretch your legs and an RV park for the “full-timers” on the road. Peach Park is as local as it gets and would be a refreshing stop on a summer-time road trip.
A Bit of Backstory
“Peach Park was opened as a roadside produce stand to sell peaches from our orchards from May to Labor Day each year. The following year brought a hail storm that damaged much of our peach crop. Those damaged peaches were the beginning of our fresh fruit bar and homemade peach ice cream. Although 39 years have brought a lot of changes in our building, the length of our season, and the many different faces behind the counters, one thing remains constant. Our family still strives to bring you the best in all we have to offer.”
If a gas station could be a theme park, Buc-cee’s would be it. Known mostly as a Texas road trip destination, Buc-cee’s has opened up four locations spread throughout Alabama. The gift store, restaurant, and fuel stop is truly something you have to experience to understand. While on the outside it looks like an extra-large gas station, the inside contains a food court and a massive gift shop. According to Southern Living, Buc-ee’s mascot is a cartoon beaver named after the owner’s lifelong nickname Beave, and his dog, Buck. Make sure to check out the Buc-cee’s locations in Alabama to add it to your travel itinerary.