I love to wake up and start my day with a warm cup of coffee or tea, so first stop is High Point Market. Cozy seating, delicious pastries (homemade pop tarts!) and community style puzzles to wake up your brain. Have a dirty chai latte, the specialty coffee of the season, or let the friendly baristas suggest. HP brews all their coffee from local beans from Shine On Roasters, so you can start this day with Decatur in a cup. Before you leave, peruse and purchase art made by local vendors on site.
Stretch it out
Check their schedule and head to Breath Yoga Barre for a quick sweat. They offer a variety of classes each day, ranging from HIIT & Barre to Vinyasa flow yoga. Conveniently, its located right beside High Point, so only a small warm up jog over is needed.
Perusing and pets
Let’s head across the street. Second Read Books is a top-notch book nook with a friendly bookstore cat, Callie. It is filled with great literature and aesthetically pleasing photo ops. Fill up a bag of gently used books at great prices and a t-shirt to go for the memories.
Spend as much time as you want perusing and making your way to Bank street, and then stop in to visit Ginger and her pup Gidget at The Cupboard. The Cupboard is the dreamiest gourmet kitchen shop, a self-proclaimed and agreed upon “cook’s paradise!” It’s a must see in Decatur, including meeting and laughing with Ginger. Hopefully she’ll have a charcuterie board ready nearby plated with French pottery mice, but if not, let’s get lunch.
My go-to pick is the Brick! It’s delicious and casual, which is perfect for a quick lunch between tour stops. Specialty sandwiches, soups, and salads give the option of something for everyone. I recommend their Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomato for a lighter lunch, or a Blue Plate Special with their 1/2 Smokey Joe Sandwich & cup of Loaded Baked Potato Soup if you’re wanting something heartier. You can also get creative and choose their “Design Your Own” custom sandwich experience. Wash it all down with your favorite beverage.
(Side note: If you’re into authentic Mexican, I highly recommend El Palomino. It’s an easy to miss but shouldn’t miss kind of authentic dive on 6th avenue where you order via window or drive thru).
If the weather is nice, order to go and picnic at Founder’s or Rhodes Ferry Park. Founder’s Park has a great view of the Old State Bank, built in 1833 (complete with civil war bullet marks on the grand columns), and the potential to catch a show at the amphitheater. Rhodes Ferry is along the river, and the view of the water is hard to beat!
Once you’ve wrapped up lunch (and if you’re hot from eating al fresco) head inside to the AC at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center. Enjoy beautiful exhibits by talented artists in the historic 1904 building. Once you’ve had your fill, keep up the history by doing a driving tour of the beautiful homes in our historic districts, Old Decatur and Albany. Wave to residents rocking on wrap-around porches. Since you’re already in your car, let’s head to the riverside.
Dinner with a view
Enjoy your dinner on the water while watching the sun set over the City at the Hard Dock. The seafood is highly recommended, and you must start off with their famous Crab Balls (crab, cream cheese, deep fried, need I say more?). Once the sun goes down, the Hard Dock will continue the fun with bands and lots of dancing. The Hard Dock has a beachy feel in a river town.
Nightcap in the limelight
Once you’ve eaten your fill, head back to Second Avenue and into the Princess Theatre. Originally a livery stable built in 1887, its transformation into a theater is a must-see, and it also offers a great photo op of its marquee all lit up in lights at night. Catch a movie in the main theatre, or if you’re lucky, a band in the intimate listening lounge above the balconies. The Princess is fully stocked with all the drinks, popcorn, and Decatur feels you need to finish up your visit.
Thank you to Devan Rigoni for this exciting Young Professional’s Guide to Decatur.
Devan Rigoni is an Accounting Analyst at Cerrowire in Hartselle, AL. Devan is extremely involved in the community serving on various boards and is actively involved in the Decatur Jaycees. She is a Decatur native and enjoys sharing her love of her community with visitors and residents.