in Shelby County
Fancy a detour that’s a cocktail of history, art, and pure Southern charm? Let’s get you acquainted with a little magic called Montevallo, Alabama. Fasten those seatbelts, ’cause Montevallo isn’t just a town—it’s an experience!
Montevallo is a quaint charming town with a vibrant community. Truly the heart of the state, the City of Montevallo is located at the geographical center of Alabama. This college town is home to the University of Montevallo, a public liberal arts university. The university brings about 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students from around the United States. The town has a population of a little over 7,000.
In addition to a thriving present-day community, Montevallo has a rich history. In the 1800s, the area was just known as a little mountain in a valley. It is believed that Montevallo gets its name from its geographical location. The direct Italian translation of Montevallo is “on a mound in the valley.” With so much history, it’s no surprise that 73 homes and buildings have earned their place on the National Historic Register.
Main Street has a rich heritage evident in the architectural marvels that date back to the 1800s. In 2023, Montevallo Main Street received the 2023 Main Street America Accreditation. You’ll have no choice but to understand why as you walk down this historic street on your visit.
There are many shops and attractions down Main Street. Whether you love entertainment, art, history, supporting local businesses, or good food, you will find something to your liking on Montevallo’s Main Street.
Throughout the year, Main Street holds various events and festivals. There is a Farmer’s Market every Saturday, an annual Art Walk, and parades for different holiday celebrations. You can sense the strong community in Montevallo on Main Street. If you’re interested in learning more about Montevallo Main Street, check out our Discover Montevallo Main Street page.
Considered one of the most unique parks and nature preserves in the south, Orr Park is a must-see for visitors. This forty-acre park has all the traditional amenities like athletic fields, pavilions, a gazebo, and restrooms. However, the real showstoppers are the magical tree carvings throughout Tinglewood. This park gives off an enchanted feeling as you could easily walk or bike by gnomes or a dragon straight out of a fairytale.
Tinglewood is credited to Mr. Tim Tingle, a coal miner who saw the hidden beauty in the park’s damaged cedar trees. In the early 1990’s he began to transform them into works of art. He continues this passion project so that visitors can have a blessed and magical time in the park. Don’t miss the Tinglewood Festival that happens each fall. Beyond the art, it’s a serene spot for picnics, jogs, and catching those golden sunsets.
There are some fun and historically significant attractions in Montevallo. If you enjoy learning about the history of the places you visit, then you should explore these areas.
Walk through the University of Montevallo campus. Boasting sprawling green lawns and centuries-old architecture, the University isn’t just for students. Attend an event, admire the stonework, or just laze on the grass. Feel the intellectual buzz in the air!
The Aldrich Coal Mine Museum is a complex that has two structures related to the Montevallo Coal Mining Company and its owners, brothers Truman and William Farrington Aldrich. The museum has the only monument in Alabama that is dedicated to coal miners. They honor those who worked such an important but dangerous job and educate the public on mining in Montevallo.
The American Village seeks to strengthen and renew the foundations of American liberty. You’ll need to bring your imagination and sense of adventure to enjoy this revolutionary experience. They offer many educational programs for children and adults.
Alabama’s National Cemetery is located in Montevallo as well. It is open to all members of the armed forces who have met a minimum active-duty service requirement and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, or died in service, as well as a veteran’s spouse and dependent children. The cemetery has 54 developed acres which include facilities that are necessary to provide dignified and honorable burials. If you would like to honor those who served, you may visit and pay your respects.
Discover Montevallo, Discover Shelby
Montevallo, Alabama, is more than just pin-worthy—it’s heartworthy. It’s where Southern charm blends with art, history, and an undeniable zest for life. So, whether you’re seeking solace, adventure, or just a fabulous Insta-pic, Montevallo is calling. Discover more places to explore with Discover Shelby!