Dothan is a small city in Alabama that is lovingly known as the “Peanut Capital of the World.” There are several family-friendly places, museums, natural parks, adventurous attractions, and restaurants that you can visit while you’re there, such as Landmark Park, the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens, Adventureland, and the George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
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Landmark Park is a 135-acre park that preserves the cultural and natural heritage of Alabama’s Wiregrass Region. Visitors of all ages love the exhibits and programs that the park offers, like in their 1890s living history farm. The farm comes complete with an old farmhouse, a cane mill, a smokehouse, a syrup shed, and a range of farm animals like cows and pigs. The Digitarium Planetarium is a wonderful place to learn about the night sky under their special 360-degree dome with real-time simulations of the sky. End your visit taking a walk in the park’s many nature trails or viewing their wildlife exhibits for an exciting end to the day.
430 Landmark Drive, Dothan, AL 36303, 334-794-3452
2.Dothan Area Botanical Gardens
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The Dothan Area Botanical Gardens is a beautiful garden complex has invites people to enjoy the stunning beauty of their landscape. The magnificent garden started with the planting of roses in 1997. There are 15 specialty gardens that focus on azaleas, roses, and many other flowers. Visitors who are interested in Southern history and heritage will love exploring the Southern Heirloom Garden, which was created as a means of preserving plants from the past, such as Confederate jasmine, larkspur, and more. The grounds also have boardwalks, walking paths, statues, preserved wilderness areas, water fountains, and so much more to enjoy.
5130 Headland Ave, Dothan, AL 36303, Phone: 334-793-3224
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Adventureland is a place for friends and family to come together and have a safe and fun day filled with, well, adventure! There are so many exciting activities offered at the park, ensuring that visitors of all ages have a wonderful time. Thrill-seekers can head to the go-kart track, while there’s nothing better on a hot day than spending time out on the Bumper Floats. Other spaces include the batting cages as well as the 18-hole mini-golf course. Re-energize yourself with a delicious slice of pizza, a hot dog, or some nachos at their snack bar – you can also treat yourself to some cooling Dippin’ Dots.
3738 W Main St, Dothan, AL 36305, Phone: 334-793-9100
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© Water World
Water World is every bit of fun and exciting as you would expect an aquatic adventure park to be. They have a 450,000-gallon rip tide wave pool with waves that can get to over 3 feet high, making it the perfect place to cool down on a hot summer day. Relax and sunbathe in the surrounding “beach area,” complete with lounges you can lay on while sipping a cool drink. Other attractions include the Great White, which is a four-story high slide, the 400-feet-long Bonsai Pipeline with three unique slides, and the Tadpole Hole with a separate kid-friendly swimming pool and slides.
401 Recreation Rd, Dothan, AL 36303, Phone: 334-615-3750
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5.Peanuts Around Town
© Peanuts Around Town
Peanuts Around Town is something that many restaurants and shops in downtown Dothan take part in. The area is known for its booming peanut industry, so it only made sense for the Alabama Peanut Producers Association to start a project that involved various artists designing peanuts to place all around the town. The designs may include characters from Charles M. Schulz’s famed comic strip as well as statues, figures, and paintings. You can see them at the Southtrust Bank of Dothan, in front of the Dothan Fire Department, and at the Southeast Alabama Medical Center. The peanuts are often designed in fun and endearing costumes that reflect where they are located.
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6.Wiregrass Museum of Art
© Wiregrass Museum of Art
The Wiregrass Museum of Art is a must-visit for those who appreciate the visual arts. Their diverse range of exhibitions, permanent collections, and educational programs all work hand-in-hand to engage guests and preserve the arts in Dothan, Alabama. Audiences of all ages will love spending a day there as they explore pieces from the early 20th century to the present. There are over 1,100 objects in the permanent collection, including works by Frank Stella, John Kelly Fitzpatrick, and other state and national artists. There are several classes, workshops, and camps held throughout the year for adults and youth, which focus on various types of art whether it be drawing, painting, sculpting, or more.
126 Museum Ave, Dothan, AL 36303, Phone: 334-794-3871
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7.Murals of the Wiregrass
© Murals of the Wiregrass
Over the years, Dothan has become famed for its murals, many of which portray the area’s rich history. You can see the stunning works of art on historic buildings in the downtown area, making them come to life with depth and color. Lovingly called Alabama’s Mural City, make your way through the downtown area on a self-guided tour to see various works of public art. Pieces include The Steamboat Era on N. Foster Street, Salute to the Peanut Industry on the side of the Liddon Furniture building, and Chief Eufaula: Creek Indian Removal on South Saint Andrews Street. There are many more, each of them reflecting an important part of the land’s rich past.
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8.George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum
© George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum
The George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum is a creative cultural attraction that can be found in the heart of the city. The museum focuses on educating its visitors on the rich historical contributions that African Americans have made over time. The exhibits follow a timeline that showcases how America has become the place it is today because of the dedication of these individuals. The two permanent exhibitions are titled Black Scientists, Inventors, and Explorers and Designing the World We Live In. The Carver Room, dedicated to Dr. George Washington Carver, is also a wonderful place to explore his life and times. Visitors of all ages will love the interactive displays and all there is to see and do.
305 N Foster St, Dothan, AL 36303, Phone: 334-712-0933
9.Dothan Civic Center
© Dothan Civic Center
The Dothan Civic Center was constructed in 1975 and functions as a hub for business, culture, and leisure. Today, the 3,100-seat arena hosts a diverse range of events throughout the year. Depending on when you’re there, you’ll be able to catch sporting events, concerts, trade shows, and so much more. The center is such an integral part of Dothan’s history and has been the base for many of their community events over the years. If you’re looking to host a special event, you won’t regret hosting it at the Dothan Civic Center.
126 N St Andrews St, Dothan, AL 36303, Phone: 334-615-3000
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10.Taj Cafe and BBQ
© Taj Cafe and BBQ
Taj Cafe and BBQ is a lovely restaurant with an international menu comprising Indian, Greek, and Italian foods. It may sound like a lot for one place to take on, but their professional and knowledgeable kitchen staff will guide you to pick some of the most delicious food in Dothan to feast upon. The setting is contemporary and chic, while the menu includes appetizers, soups, salads, breads, mains, desserts, barbecue, and a separate section with meals that younger patrons will love. Their sizzling kabobs are a crowd favorite and are served fresh from being roasted in their clay tandoor oven.
3102 Ross Clark Circle, Dothan, AL 36303, Phone: 334-699-3200
© Escape Dothan
If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping, adventurous activity for you and your friends to enjoy while in Dothan, then head on over to Escape Dothan. The escape room resembles a live-action video game that demands teamwork, critical thinking, and performance under pressure. You and your friends will have one hour to identify clues, crack codes, and solve problems that will help you escape. There are four different room types to choose from: Bazaar Battle, the 13th Floor, Time Warp, and Murder at the Mansion, where you have to find out who murdered a wealthy businessman, with what weapon, and why they did it. Escape Dothan is excitement at its finest.
3759 Ross Clark Cir, Dothan, AL 36303, Phone: 334-446-7135
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12.Folklore Brewing & Meadery
© Folklore Brewing & Meadery
Folklore Brewing & Meadery is a family-owned operation that is the first “packaging brewery” in the area since the Prohibition. The brewery creates delicious craft beers that reflect the passion and dedication of the Pate family while instilling the traditions and folklores of their Southern heritage. The brewery itself is housed in the family’s old barn, and visitors are welcome to go on a tour of the production facility and sample what they’re currently concocting. Their delicious ales and lagers, such as the Irish-style Green Eyed Monster and the Front Porch American pale ale, can be enjoyed at any time at the Fly By Night Grill adjacent to the property.
153 Mary Lou Ln, Dothan, AL 36301, Phone: 334-702-2337
13.Hunt's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar
© Hunt's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Hunt’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar claims to serve the best steak, seafood, and oysters in Dothan, Alabama – they are so sure of how delicious their food is, that they guarantee that if you don’t love your meal, it’s free. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, serving favorites you can’t go wrong with such as burgers and sandwiches. Patron favorites from their dinner menu include blackened crab claws, Hunt’s Famous Oysters served with homemade cocktail sauce, their famed steak and shrimp, the seafood gumbo, and the shrimp pasta tossed in homemade alfredo sauce and served with garlic toast.
177 Campbellton Hwy, Dothan, AL 36301, Phone: 334-794-5193
14.Conestoga Steak House
© Conestoga Steak House
The Conestoga Steak House is a local favorite that has been serving Dothan with delicious food for over 30 years. The family-owned and operated restaurant guarantees fresh meals – so fresh, in fact, that they’ve never had a freezer on their premises and have never used frozen meat. They have a varied menu of steaks that keep customers coming back time and time again: These include the New York strip, filet mignon, T-bone, or rib eye, all of which can be served with your choice of home-cut fries, sweet potato, baked potato, daily-made yeast rolls, salad, or broccoli.
3549 Montgomery Hwy, Dothan, AL 36303, Phone: 334-794-4445
15.Fire Stone Wood Fired Pizza and Grill
© Fire Stone Wood Fired Pizza and Grill
If you can’t go to Italy for authentic pizza, then head on over to Fire Stone Wood Fired Pizza and Grill. The locally owned pizzeria and grill is situated in downtown Dothan and focuses on creating delicious food with ingredients and methods that have been used for generations. All of their pizzas are made with fresh ingredients that are delivered daily and in wood-fired ovens that were imported from Tuscany. There is also a full array of soups, salads, appetizers, and sandwiches as well as a fully stocked bar with several choices of liquors, bottled beers, draft beers, and aged wine.
250 S Oates Street, Dothan, AL 36301, Phone: 334-446-1234
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15 Best Things to Do in Dothan, Alabama
- Landmark Park, Photo: Courtesy of Nick Fox - Fotolia.com
- Dothan Area Botanical Gardens, Photo: Courtesy of Frans - Fotolia.com
- Adventureland, Photo: Adventureland
- Water World, Photo: Water World
- Peanuts Around Town, Photo: Peanuts Around Town
- Wiregrass Museum of Art, Photo: Wiregrass Museum of Art
- Murals of the Wiregrass, Photo: Murals of the Wiregrass
- George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum, Photo: George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum
- Dothan Civic Center, Photo: Dothan Civic Center
- Taj Cafe and BBQ, Photo: Taj Cafe and BBQ
- Escape Dothan, Photo: Escape Dothan
- Folklore Brewing & Meadery, Photo: Folklore Brewing & Meadery
- Hunt's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Photo: Hunt's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar
- Conestoga Steak House, Photo: Conestoga Steak House
- Fire Stone Wood Fired Pizza and Grill, Photo: Fire Stone Wood Fired Pizza and Grill
- Cover Photo: City of Dothan Government
Attraction Spotlight: Wiregrass Museum of Art
Southeastern Alabama’s Wiregrass Museum of Art is located in Dothan, Alabama. The museum’s mission is to inspire a lifelong appreciation for the arts in each visitor through educational programming, display of the permanent collection, and temporary exhibits.
The Wiregrass Museum of Art collects American fine art, decorative arts and design work from the 20th century to the present. Most of the items in the collection are works on paper. Over 1,100 items make up the permanent collection, which includes the largest public collection of prints by the American artist Frank Stella, known for his minimalist and abstract paintings and sculptures. Other highlighted artists among the collection include Victor Vasarely, Joseph Albers and Robert Indiana. A collection focused on contemporary Alabama art includes the work of Scott Stephens, Carolyn Sherer, Beverly Erdreich and John Kelly Fitzpatrick.
An exhibit of works from the museum’s collection is permanently on display. Pieces occasionally rotate, and works from the permanent collection often serve as inspiration for the museum’s temporary exhibits.
History: The Wiregrass Museum of Art was founded in 1987 in response to a national magazine article that referenced Dothan’s lack of a museum. The mayor at the time, Larry Register, quickly mobilized a panel of 13 citizens to study the feasibility of a public museum.
The Wiregrass Museum of Art is city managed and is housed in Dothan’s historic Water and Electric Building. Originally built in 1912, the building is listed on the register of National Historic Places. The building was renovated and converted to a museum by local architects Joseph L. Donofro and Associates after twenty-one architectural firms were asked to submit proposals. The 30,000 square foot museum took approximately $3 million to complete.
The original feasibility committee was appointed as the museum’s first board of directors, and a four-stage plan was hatched for fully readying the museum for the public. Three of the four phases are now complete including the completion of 18,000 square feet of gallery space, storage and preparation space and a conference center, plus the offering of educational programming, and the hosting of traveling exhibits.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Guided tours are offered daily by trained docents or museum educators. Group tours may be customized to meet the interests and needs of the group. Educator resources are available for teachers and other group leaders to supplement their group’s visit. Topics include Alabama Landscape, Art from Recycled Materials, and Habitat Design among others.
Classes and workshops offered by the Wiregrass Museum include studio art classes for both youth and adults. Special workshops are led by visiting artists and have included indigo dying, origami and printmaking. Additional youth programming includes summer and winter art camps. First Saturday Family Day offers free arts and crafts activities for families, such as weaving, fabric dying, painting and sculpture. Youth Art Month takes place each March and displays juried artwork made by local children in addition to offer a variety of free educational and hands-on programming in studio arts and writing.
Events at the museum include Art After Hours, a quarterly celebration of new exhibits. The Thursday evening art openings offer food and small bites, and often include artist’s talks. Screen on the Green is a quarterly film series. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets for the outdoor event, and food trucks provide snacks and dinner. Yoga in the Galleries takes place the first Friday of each month. Yard Party for Art is an annual art and live music festival that happens each August.
Past and Future Exhibits: Many of the museum’s temporary exhibits are inspired by works in the permanent collection. “Echoes” is on display through December 2018 and displays work made by members of the Alabama Caucus for Women’s Art in response to works in the permanent collection. Over 20 artists are featured in the exhibit, including Patty Driscoll, whose “Lydia’s Purple,” a 2015 oil on panel presents a traditional still life with a feminist theme.
“Walks in the South” will be on display from January through March 2019. The show will feature the 2016 photography of Sydney A. Foster. The Alabama artist captures stories of every day people on the streets of Montgomery, Alabama. Upcoming from April to June of 2019 is Beverly Erdreich’s “Continuum” series. Each work on paper incorporates a detail from Goya’s 1808 Disasters of War series, with contemporary elements that remind the viewer how little the world has changed.
126 Museum Avenue, Dothan, AL 36303, Phone: 334-794-3871
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Attraction Spotlight: George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum
Dothan, Alabama’s George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum celebrates black history all year long with exhibits on the historic contributions of African Americans to progress in the United States, with a focus on scientists, inventors and innovators.
Permanent exhibits form a timeline of American history through two separate galleries. “Designing the World We Live In” and “Black Scientists, Inventors and Explorers” are the two main permanent galleries. A Social Progress Heroes Timeline is the culmination of these two galleries and displays a timeline of the experience of African Americans in the United States.
The Carver Room specifically highlights the achievements of Dr. George Washington Carver, the museum’s namesake, also known as “the peanut guy” for his groundbreaking research in the early 1900’s on improving soil conditions by alternating crops, specifically by alternating from cotton to peanuts.
History: The George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum itself is housed in a historic bus station in Dothan, Alabama that once had separate entrances for “whites” and “colored” people. On display are the separate restroom facilities from the segregated Greyhound terminal. The museum is the vision of Dr. Francina Williams, who founded the museum in the year 2000.
George Washington Carver was born in the 1860’s, his exact birth date unknown as was common for those born into slavery in the United States. After slavery was abolished, Carver had to travel 10 miles from his home to go to school, as blacks were not allowed to go to school in Diamond, Missouri where he grew up. Carver earned admissions at Kansas’ Highland University on the merit of his academic success, but was rejected for being black when he reported to school. He instead claimed a homestead near Beeler, Kansas and farmed for several years before attending the Iowa State Agricultural College to study botany. Carver was the college’s first black student in 1891.
Carver would go on to receive a Masters of Science in 1896 and soon after became Iowa State’s first black faculty member. He shortly thereafter invited by Booker T Washington to teach at the Tuskegee Institute, where he would remain on the faculty for another 47 years. While at Tuskegee, Carver’s work focused on best practices for crop rotation, a new theory at the time. He introduced several new cash crops to farmers in the south, mainly the peanut, as a means of rotating from cotton to improve soil conditions. Carver would take a mobile classroom of his design to the fields to teach farmers about the practice.
Rotating crops to restore nitrogen to soil drove Carver to fame. In the 1920’s he was invited to speak at a conference for the United Peanut Associations of America. He presented over 145 uses for the peanut as a way to encourage more peanut farming within the United States. His brochure on 105 peanut recipes was the most popular of 44 brochures he wrote over the years for farmers in the south.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Tours of the museum may be self guided or guided. Field Trip programs are available for homeschooled children, senior citizens, or any organized group. Field trip activities include hands-on science experiments designed to spur interest in science, invention and exploration.
Ongoing events at the George Washington Carver Interpretive Museum include art show openings for temporary art exhibits, lectures by visiting artists, historians and authors, and monthly meetings of Young People, a Christian organization. Other recent events have included Family Day, which invites parents to explore science and invention by doing crafts and Discovery Zone projects with their kids. Annual events include the museum’s Juneteenth celebration, honoring the 1865 abolition of slavery on June 19th. Celebrations involve art shows and outdoor concerts. The museum is available to be rented as an event venue.
Past and Future Exhibits: Renovations are currently under way for a future permanent exhibit titled “George Washington Carver’s Life, Lab, and Legacy.”
What’s Nearby: Dothan is a town of 68,000 in southeastern Alabama, the largest in Houston County. The area is known as the Wiregrass region for the wiregrass ecosystem on the Gulf coast. Things to do in Dothan include visiting the Wiregrass Museum of Art, the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens, and the Adventureland and Waterworld theme parks. Murals of the Wiregrass are a series of large-scale outdoor murals on local businesses in Dothan, each representing the history and community of Dothan.
305 North Foster Street, Dothan, AL, 36303, Phone: 334-712-0933
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