Scouted Local Insider Tours—Scottsboro and Jackson County

We are excited to share our series of guides, Scouted Local Insider Tours—Day Trip Wanderlust with Tiffany! Long-time Scout Guide Huntsville fan and friend, Tiffany Kraus shares some fabulous day trip excursions, hidden gems, and insider tips that can be found in and around Huntsville for locals and new residents alike. We will be adding more great day trips throughout the year! Be sure and keep these guides handy when you have friends and family visit; you can even send them to friends thinking about moving to our fabulous town of Huntsville!

Tour Huntsville Insider Guide

If you are looking for a day trip rich in history, nature, and unique shopping opportunities, check out the Scottsboro/Jackson County area. It is only about a 30–45-minute drive from Huntsville. 

Jackson County sits on the eastern part of Lake Guntersville and the Tennessee River. If you are a boating enthusiast, this lake has a lot to offer. Taking a boat ride on the lake is a relaxing way to spend the day. While out on the water, the natural scenery is breathtaking. On my recent trip, I enjoyed watching bald eagles, herons, egrets, and turtles in their natural habitat. While relaxing on the water, be sure to take in the views of the Appalachian Mountains. You can also head out on a hike, zipline, camp, or even stay a few nights at Lake Guntersville State Park lodges or chalets. This area is famous for great fishing, too. If you don’t have a boat, boat rentals are available at Lakeshore Watercraft Rentals in Jackson County, Scottsboro, AL. Visit their website or call (256) 609-2847 for more information.

Photo courtesy of Lake Guntersville State Park website.

Not into water activities? Consider a visit to the historic downtown square in Scottsboro. Hammers is a local department store that has been in business since 1948, and Goody 2 Shoes is a women’s clothing store featuring University of Alabama and Auburn University apparel among lots of other things. 

If you want to grab a quick bite to eat, check out Payne’s Sandwich Shop and Soda Fountain. This soda shop is the oldest remaining vintage soda shop in the state of Alabama and is decorated in 1950s decor. Next time my mom is in town, I am taking her here. After all, she worked as a “soda jerk’ as a teenager. If you prefer country cooking, McCutchen’s Magnolia House is a must-visit. I highly recommend making a reservation.  

Photos courtesy of Payne’s Sandwich Shop and Soda Fountain.

Just down the street from the historic town square, you will find one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state of Alabama, Unclaimed Baggage. Their website says, “It is the nation’s only lost luggage retailer.” Who knows what treasures you might find when you are there?

Do you enjoy history? Learn more about Alabama’s rich history by visiting the Heritage Center, Brown-Proctor House, and Sagetown Pioneer Village. The Pioneer Village is made up of old log homes, a barn, the first Jackson County Courthouse, schoolhouse/church, and a smokehouse to transport you back in time.

Photos from the Scottsboro Jackson Heritage Center Website.

Finally, a must-see for your trip is a visit to the historic Scottsboro Boys Museum. I spent about two hours learning about the intriguing history of nine young African American men who, during the 1930s, became international symbols of race-based injustice in the American South. Their brave story celebrates the positive actions of those of all colors, creeds, and origins who have taken a stand against racial oppression. Learn what happened to them and the man who lost his life helping them. You can also learn more about this tragedy by watching a documentary called “Scottsboro, An American Tragedy.” Thomas Reidy, Executive Director of the museum, and his staff offer guided tours of the museum. Be sure to check their website for updated hours of operation and their admission fee.

This trip offers unexpected treasures that are sure to delight! It is big enough to offer a variety of activities for you and your visitors, yet small-town enough to make you feel right at home with true Southern charm and hospitality. I hope to see you out at my next Scouted adventure.


About Tiffany Kraus

My name is Tiffany. I grew up in West Virginia and worked at the famous five-star, five-diamond resort, at that time, the Greenbrier Hotel after college. Growing up in WV my parents didn’t have the financial means to travel. However, as a military spouse, mom, and resident of Huntsville on and off for the last 13 years I have had the wonderful opportunity to travel and see more of the world thanks to my husband’s chosen career. His military career is what brought us to Huntsville.

With every move, I forced myself to fall in love with each place that we were now calling home because I knew we would only be there for a short 18 – 36 months. When I didn’t know anyone, I would go out exploring by myself to see what each city had to offer so I would have unique places to show off the new city I called home to those who came to visit.

Moving to Huntsville wasn’t any different. However, the longer I lived here the longer my list has grown. I am proud of the community we call home and want to ensure when my family, friends, or potential future residents take time to come to visit, they receive the five-star experience of my beloved city. I am always looking for the next hidden gem in Huntsville and surrounding areas to share with our visitors.

If you are interested in scheduling your personalized Tour with Tiffany please share your contact info here!