Nestled along the banks of the Tennessee River, the area of Muscle Shoals in northwest Alabama is a nature lover’s dream. It’s a music lover’s dream too, where a small handful of recording studios have been responsible for some of the biggest hits in popular music over the past half century. Visitors to the area soon find out it’s a fantastic place for fans of modern architecture, and historic buffs too. Whatever you’re into, it’s possible you’ll find a down home taste of it here. Have a look at these few of many excellent reasons to add the Shoals to your bucket list.
Alabama Music Hall of Fame
617 Highway 72 West, Tuscumbia, 35674
For an eye opening lesson in the roots of American music (everybody from king of country Hank Williams to cosmic jazz pioneer Sun Ra has called this Deep South state their home) head over to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Find out more at the AMHF’s Facebook page.
603 East Avalon Avenue, Muscle Shoals, 35661
For a heaping dose of living music history, be sure to drop by Fame Studios to see where so much of the Muscle Shoals magic actually happened … and still does to this day. This unassuming-looking working studio has seen the likes of Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Wilson Picket, Otis Redding, Duane Allman, Etta James, Alicia Keys and many, many more icons record here and is still cranking out the hits. Studio Tours are held during the week. For details, go to fame2.com.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Rosenbaum House
601 Riverview Drive, Florence, 35630
For 20th century design enthusiasts, a visit to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Rosenbaum House in Florence, Alabama is a must. Built in 1939, the house is the only structure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the state of Alabama and the only Wright house in the southeastern US that is open to the public. Discover this architectural marvel for yourself at wrightinalabama.com.
300 North Commons Street, West Tuscumbia, 35674
Ivy Green is the the birthplace of Helen Keller. Located in the sleepy little town of Tuscumbia, the historic home has been lovingly kept and offers great insight into the life of Helen Keller and her work as an advocate for the blind and deaf. A visit here is guaranteed to inspire. Learn about Helen Keller and her home at Ivy Green at helenkellerbirthplace.org.