The Great Escape

The Great Escape

The Next Great Summer Adventure is Waiting For You in Cullman

A city that holds the heart of the community in its vibrant streets and historic districts, Cullman, Alabama has evolved from a small town secret to a must-visit destination. Located in the center of North Alabama, Cullman is a short drive from Birmingham, Huntsville, and Nashville. Many folks who were first drawn to the city by its events have become repeat visitors after discovering the food, the shopping, the community—and of course, the lake. 

A significant jewel in Cullman's crown is Smith Lake, a sprawling 21,200 acre reservoir known for its crystal-clear waters and scenic beauty. The lake's history dates back to the construction of the Lewis Smith Dam in the 1960s, an endeavor that created one of the cleanest and most picturesque lakes in the country. Today, Smith Lake Park serves as a hub for family fun, offering camping, swimming, and picnic areas amidst the backdrop of the lake's tranquil beauty.

Smith Lake

Smith Lake stands out not just for its natural beauty but also for its convenient location, nestled in the heart of Alabama and easily accessible from major cities like Nashville, Birmingham, and Huntsville. This accessibility means that an escape to the lake is always within reach, whether for a spontaneous weekend getaway or a planned vacation. The lake itself offers an endless array of activities, ensuring that every day spent there brings a new adventure. From the thrill of watersports and fishing to the tranquility of hiking and picnicking by the water's edge, there's always something to do. The diversity of experiences means visitors can tailor their days to be as relaxed or as action-packed as they wish. With its picturesque landscapes and a wide range of activities, Smith Lake is the perfect destination for those seeking both adventure and serenity in the great outdoors.

  • Boating: Glide across the lake's crystal waters, enjoying the peace of a leisurely float or the thrill of water sports. While boat rentals are a rarity on most lakes, daily rentals are available at Smith Lake marinas.
  • Fishing: Smith Lake is known for its crystal waters and abundant fish, making it a favorite spot for anglers of all skill levels. Cast a line in the hopes of catching bass, crappie, and catfish. In addition, trout are stocked regularly below Smith Lake Dam on the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River.
  • Swimming: Dive into the refreshing waters for a swim. The lake's numerous designated swimming areas provide a safe and enjoyable environment for cooling off on hot summer days.
  • Hiking: Explore the trails around Smith Lake. Hiking in the area offers a chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery, wildlife, and tranquil atmosphere of the surrounding forest.
  • Camping: Set up camp at one of the lake's many camping spots such as Smith Lake Park. Whether you prefer a tent or an RV, camping near Smith Lake offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and unwind under the stars.
  • Picnicking: Gather family and friends for a picnic by the lake. With plenty of picnic areas equipped with tables and grills, it's a delightful way to spend a day outdoors.
  • Watersports: Engage in a variety of watersports, including water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing. Smith Lake's clear and calm waters make it an ideal place for thrilling water activities.
  • Kayaking and Paddleboarding: Paddle through the peaceful coves or venture out into the open water. Kayaking and paddleboarding are great ways to explore the lake at your own pace while getting a bit of exercise.
  • Dining: Enjoy a meal with a view at one of the lakeside restaurants. The local cuisine is sure to satisfy your appetite after a day on the water.


Cullman is one of those places that grabs you with its small-town charm and won't let go. It's the kind of town where everyone seems to know each other, and there's an ease to the way life flows. The allure of Cullman lies in its ability to make you feel right at home, even if you're just passing through. The town is packed with history, from its German roots to the historic buildings that line its downtown streets, offering a glimpse into the past while staying firmly planted in the present. The local eateries, shops, and the friendly faces you'll meet all add to the town's welcoming vibe. Plus, with Smith Lake just a stone's throw away, you've got the perfect blend of cultural richness and natural beauty. Cullman isn't just a place to visit; it's a place to experience the warmth and simplicity of small-town living at its best.


  • All Steak Restaurant: Since 1938, this Cullman classic has been serving up juicy steaks and an array of mouthwatering dishes that have stood the test of time.
  • 412 Public House: A mix of Southern comfort and high-quality ingredients, this gastropub is a testament to Cullman's vibrant food scene.
  • Carlton’s: This long-standing Italian eatery offers pizza, sandwiches, and classic mains in an atmosphere that's both rustic and chic.
  • The National: A contemporary dining experience awaits at The National, where Chef Michael Locascio presents a menu of innovative dishes that encapsulate the essence of American cuisine.


  • The Warehouse District: Dive into Cullman's eclectic shopping scene, where unique finds and treasures abound in a collection of vibrant shops.
  • Local Artisans and Boutiques: Scattered throughout the city, these shops offer everything from handmade crafts to high-end fashion, reflecting the community's creative spirit.


Cullman has evolved into a vibrant hub for events, drawing people from across the region and beyond. One standout is Rock the South, an event born from the community's resilience in the wake of a devastating tornado. What started as a way to unite and heal has grown into a major festival, contributing significantly not only to Cullman's economy but also to that of the entire state. Beyond being an economic boon, Rock the South has a heart, supporting local charities and giving back to the community that nurtured its inception. Alongside this, Cullman's calendar is dotted with other events that foster a sense of togetherness and community spirit. From the cultural celebrations of Oktoberfest to the festive cheer of Christmas in Cullman, the town has become a respite for those seeking the warmth of community and the joy of shared experiences, making it a true hotspot in the Southern landscape:

  • Rock the South (July): A musical extravaganza that brings together country and southern rock enthusiasts for three days of unforgettable performances.
  • Oktoberfest (October): A nod to Cullman's German heritage, this festival offers a taste of tradition with Southern hospitality, featuring cultural festivities, traditional food, and craft beers.
  • Christmas in Cullman/Christkindlmarkt (November-December): The city transforms into a magical winter wonderland, with dazzling light displays, festive German markets, and a warm holiday atmosphere that envelops the community.