Located along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Hoover, AL is home to one of the largest shopping centers in the Southeast, the Riverchase Galleria, as well as a natural history treasure, the Moss Rock Preserve & Waterfalls. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the local art and music scene, head straight to Moonlight on the Mountain which hosts acoustic performances called ‘the listening room’ and showcases art by many budding artists.

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1.Aldridge Botanical Gardens

Aldridge Botanical Gardens
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The Aldridge Botanical Gardens is a 30-acre garden that was formerly owned by famed horticulturist Eddie Aldridge and his wife. It’s been open to the public since 2002 and has become a popular attraction for those visiting and living in the Birmingham area. During your visit there, you’ll be able to enjoy several species of plants and flowers, especially Snowflake Hydrangeas which is what it is mostly popular for. Additional features include a half-mile walking trail, a six-acre lake, an outdoor pavilion, and a gallery in the couple’s former home. Art exhibits, plant sales, classes, bird walks, fishing days, and other events are hosted there throughout the year.

3530 Lorna Rd, Hoover, AL 35216, Phone: 205-682-8019

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2.Moss Rock Preserve & Waterfalls

Moss Rock Preserve & Waterfalls
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Moss Rock Preserve is one of Hoover’s finest natural settings; it spans over 250 acres and is a treasured natural history site in the state. The preserve is extremely popular with residents and visitors as an active effort was made to preserve the natural habitat in the ever-expanding metropolitan area. You will be able to see a rare variant of Little River Sandstone Glade, and Moss Rock Preserve is one of only thirty-five known surviving examples of this in the entire world. Flora enthusiasts will be thrilled to see Nuttall’s rayless goldenrod, which is an extremely rare plant that can only be seen in a few states. Explore the stunning scenery on their expansive five miles of trails which will take you through rock formations, streams, and waterfalls.

617 Preserve Way, Hoover, AL 35226, Phone: 205-444-7777

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3.Riverchase Galleria

Riverchase Galleria
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The Riverchase Galleria is the premier shopping and dining destination in the area, offering an array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues for you to enjoy during your stay. There are several cultural attractions in the vicinity as well for you and the family to take in while you’re there. You can purchase a variety of goods in the galleria or have a meal in the food court; the food court also houses a carousel which younger patrons love going for a spin on during their visit. Additional services and amenities include a mobile device charging station, stroller rental, seated relaxation area, safety escorts, and complimentary WiFi.

2000 Riverchase Galleria, Birmingham, AL 35244

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4.Hoover Metropolitan Complex

Hoover Metropolitan Complex
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The Hoover Metropolitan Complex is a sports facility and venue that hosts a variety of events throughout the year. The stadium has been home to many sporting events, not only baseball which it is popular for, having had soccer games, football matches, and volleyball tournaments in the past. In addition to the sporting events, the complex also hosts competitions and concerts. The stadium can hold ten to sixteen thousand people and includes amenities such as private skyboxes, a patio overlooking the field, a banquet room, press areas, training rooms, locker rooms, and more. Visit their website in advance to see what’s on the schedule during your stay at Hoover.

100 Ben Chapman Dr, Hoover, AL 35244

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5.Moonlight on the Mountain

Moonlight on the Mountain
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In the few years that it has been around, Moonlight on the Mountain has become a staple within the Hoover community it’s housed in. The space can be described as an art gallery/ performance venue and has a sophisticated, comfortable vibe that people tend to fall in love with their first time there. You may be able to see various types of art from local artists, some just starting out while other are famed for their work, or attend one of their ‘listening room’ performances to hear the beautiful acoustics of passionate musicians. There’s even a bi-monthly open-mic night that you can give a go if you’re up for it.

585 Shades Crest Road, Hoover, AL 35244

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6.Veterans Park

Veterans Park
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Veterans Park is an 82-acre park in Hoover that opened in 2007. Visitors flock there daily for an evening walk, spend some time outdoors, or to take younger kids to one of two playgrounds within it. It’s a relaxing and enjoyable place to spend some time and offers many amenities such as three sand volleyball courts, three picnic pavilions, and restrooms. Their 5K crushed gravel course will take you through the woods and around the lake, letting you take in a bit of the natural beauty that is abundant in Hoover. Be sure to not the courtyard comprising brick pavers, each of which honor a veteran.

4800 Valleydale Rd, Birmingham, AL 35242, Phone: 205-444-7777

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7.Painting With A Twist

Painting With A Twist
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Focusing more on fun art rather than fine art, Painting With A Twist is a fun way to spend the day. There are several workshops held throughout the week, each instructed by an enthusiastic and experienced local artist. The workshops comprise sipping your favorite beverage while enjoying a step-by-step instruction on creating a unique painting for the night. It’s casual and fun and is a great thing to do for a calmer girl’s night out. There are different visuals for each painting and participants are invited to join based on age because of the varying skill level that is needed.

701 Doug Baker Blvd #106, Birmingham, AL 35242, Phone: 205-637-7777

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8.Jubilee Joe's

Jubilee Joe's
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Jubilee Joe’s offers authentic Cajun-style cooking that is made with fresh, quality seafood. Funnily enough, the business plan behind the restaurant came to be from a project in a senior level marketing class. The restaurant took off after its opening and has been serving patrons a meal they’re guaranteed to love since then. All of the ingredients used at the restaurant are sourced domestically, adding authenticity and freshness to the meals, while also fueling the surrounding community. Popular items from their menu are the crab cake shrimp alfredo, blackened gator bites, seafood gumbo bayou bowl, and their Cajun crawfish platter.

119, 2341 John Hawkins Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35244, Phone: 205-982-7797

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9.Front Porch

Front Porch
© Front Porch

The Front Porch restaurant was opened by two friends and Hoover residents who wanted the community to have a relaxed eatery with fine-dining amenities but in a family-friendly atmosphere. The idea soon took off and the restaurant was opened in 2016, quickly gaining a group of loyal customers in a short time. Diners love the homely, family-focused feeling you get at the restaurant. It doesn’t hurt that the food is fresh and delicious; some of the items offered on the menu which have proven popular with patrons are the mahi mahi and the pecan-crusted chicken. Of course, a separate menu is available for their younger visitors which is filled with wholesome meals to suit a developing palate.

Suite 109, 2301 Grand Ave, Hoover, AL 35226, Phone: 205-436-2072

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10.Golden Rule Barbeque of Hoover

Golden Rule Barbeque of Hoover
© Golden Rule Barbeque of Hoover

The Golden Rule Barbeque restaurant is the oldest continuously-running restaurant in all of Alabama, and the 16th oldest in the country, having been around for over 125 years. The original started as a roadside stop in 1891 and served mouthwatering pork plates, beer, and cigarettes while repairing automobiles. Though much has changed over the years, including ownership, one thing that remains the same is the delicious pork plates which are still offered in all of the Golden Rule Barbeque branches throughout the Southeast. Some of the crowd favorites are the original pork spud, hickory chicken sandwich, and their jumbo cheeseburger.

1571 Montgomery Hwy, Birmingham, AL 35216, Phone: 205-823-7770

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10 Best Things to Do in Hoover, Alaska