Explore museums, art galleries, historic places, shopping districts, and more in Downtown Decatur, Alabama.
Cook Museum of Natural Science
This state-of-the-art natural science museum provides a hands-on, immersive experience where kids can explore, interact with, and learn about nature.
Old State Bank & Museum
Completed in 1833, the Old State Bank serves as a monument to Decatur’s past and the development of banking in Alabama. A personal guided tour at the museum is recommended.
Downtown Turtle Trail
Experience the adventure of Decatur’s Downtown Turtle Trail through an interactive scavenger hunt! Use the clues to find each turtle and learn more about the history of Second Avenue.
Princess Theatre for the Performing Arts
The Princess Theatre has been a north Alabama landmark for more than a century. She began as a livery stable in 1887 but was transformed into a silent film and vaudeville playhouse in 1919. In 1978, the Princess Theatre was purchased by the City of Decatur and began the transformation into the local performing arts center we know and love today.
Civil War and Scottsboro Boys Exhibits at Morgan County Archives
Exhibits relating to Morgan County’s role in the Civil War and the infamous “Scottsboro Boys” trial where nine black boys accused of raping two white women stood trial in the 1930s.
Historic Depot and Railroad Museum
Visitors can view an extensive model train layout plus numerous rare model trains, learn about Decatur’s railroad history, and watch trains go while standing on the outdoor viewing platform.
Carnegie Visual Arts Center
The historic Carnegie, built in 1904, is Morgan County’s first art museum and education center. The main level gallery presents different art exhibits throughout the year.
Alabama Center for the Arts
The Alabama Center for the Arts is a four year art college located in Downtown Decatur that provides visual and performing arts instruction. The Center is also a venue for local cultural arts, theatre, and music events.
2nd Avenue Shopping
Located by the Princess Theatre for Performing Arts and Cook Museum of Natural Science, 2nd Avenue is home to a variety of businesses from boutiques and home decor stores to salon and spas.
Bank Street Shopping
On historic Bank Street, located near Old State Bank and Decatur’s Historic Depot and Railroad Museum, visitors will find an array of specialty shops offering antiques, bridal wear, jewelers and fine dining.
Decatur Farmers Market
The Decatur Farmers Market offers locally grown fruits produce and special events such as Strawberry Day, Corn Day, and Watermelon Day.
Etta Freeman Park, Walden Oaks Park, and Casa Grande Garden are green spaces found throughout Downtown Decatur. These pocket parks are great for stepping away from the office on a lunch break and enjoying nature.
Albany & Decatur Historic Neighborhoods
Downtown Decatur is home to one of the southeast’s largest intact historical districts. With some homes dating back to the mid-1800s, the different architectural styles of these neighborhoods highlight Decatur’s rich post-Civil War history.
Old Town Historic District
Old Town played a vital part in the city’s history. The first lot sold in 1821 before the city incorporated in 1826. During Reconstruction, the neighborhood emerged politically, economically and educationally. Many prominent African American citizens resided here; including Burrell Lemons, the first man of color elected as City Alderman in 1880, and renowned physician and surgeon, Dr. Willis E. Sterrs.
Named for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Decatur’s oldest park features running trails, a playground, splash pad, picnic pavilions, tennis courts and basketball courts.
Decatur City Cemetery
A major restoration and enhancement project is underway including an extensive tree planting program, historic architectural renovation and overall landscaping to include plantings and prominent landscape architectural accent components. The culmination of this initiative will result in the cemetery becoming a major park destination for the residents of Decatur as well as those visiting our city from other areas.
Lafayette Street Cemetery
The 1818 Lafayette Street Cemetery, Decatur’s oldest cemetery, was cleaned and landscaped by Morgan County Historical Society President David Breland and Vice-President Phil Wirey in 2016. The tiny little-known pioneer cemetery is located in the commercial district of Bank Street/Old Decatur behind Simp McGhee’s Restaurant between the Old State Bank and the Union Depot. It contains graves of family members of several founders of the city. Originally the family cemetery of Dr. Henry W. Rhodes (for whom the riverfront park is named), the graves of Dr. Rhodes’s mother and five children are found here as are graves of members of the Sykes, Banks, Dancy and many other prominent early families. The cemetery is open to the public and a very nice information pamphlet is available at the site. As you walk through this area, please respect the founding families who are found here. A little known fact: During the early 1900s the block of Lafayette Street between Bank and Railroad Streets was once referred to as “Dead Man’s Alley”, not because of the cemetery but because of bodies sometimes found in the area of bars along the street, victims either of the weather or homicide.