Dive Downtown: Alexander City

The Lake Martin area has undeniable southern charm that flows from the shorelines to downtown city streets. Both Alexander City and Dadeville communities take delight in the casual vibes of ‘lake life’ and endless opportunities for outdoor recreation – champion bass fishing, birding, hiking, and kayaking to name a few. Even so, Alabama’s freshwater coast is home to some of the most charming downtowns that give life to an easygoing, small-town atmosphere.

Located just a few hours from metropolitan Atlanta and Birmingham, Lake Martin stretches across three counties – namely Tallapoosa. Highway 280 runs through the heart of Lake Martin, making it easy to access a variety of the area’s unique retailers, authentic cuisine, and unlimited activities from any direction. In recent years, Lake Martin’s downtowns have surged with growth and vitality, attracting people from all over the world and welcoming a variety of new businesses.

Speaking of small-town atmosphere, there’s nothing quite like the Lake Martin area’s arts and entertainment. Downtown restaurants and venues regularly host performing artists from across the globe along with an abundance of local talent. From concerts and plays to art galleries and museums, both Alexander City and Dadeville offer unique cultural experiences.

Let’s dive into downtown Alexander City and explore their food scene, green spaces, boutique shopping, arts, and entertainment for both residents and tourists of Lake Martin.

Downtown Alexander City 

Carlisle’s Soda Fountain Photo by John Denney

Alexander City boasts a rich and varied history that is evident throughout its downtown. Many of the buildings along Main Street date back to the early 20th-century, such as Carlisle’s Soda Fountain. For over 100 years, Carlisle’s has been a hometown favorite, serving up sweet treats and signature drinks, like their old-fashioned limeades or classic Cherry Cokes. Just a short walk from the soda fountain, Wellborn Musclecar Museum preserves history with an ever-changing inventory of 1960s and 1970s classic cars, including the nation’s largest collection of high-performance Dodges.

Wellborn Musclecar Museum Photo by Scott Baker

If old-fashioned sodas and hot rods aren’t enough, The Square offers shopping with a unique southern twist in a French Quarter-inspired market and event venue. While shopping, check out Alana’s Place for hand-crafted coffee and Southern-style sandwiches. Find a variety of other local boutiques along Main Street and throughout the downtown area filled with all the latest clothing trends and accessories.

The Square Photo courtesy of The Square

After hours, downtown Alexander City comes to life as an entertainment district. Try signature cocktails at The Local on 41 Main or a flight of house-made brews at Lake Martin Brewery. With over 10 dining locations in the downtown area, patrons have a wide variety of options for signature dishes, incredible cocktails, live music and entertainment year-round. Enjoy seasonal Strand Sessions at Strand Park every first Thursday, in addition to multiple unique festivals and other special events held in downtown green space.

Strand Park Photo by John Denney

“…undeniable Southern charm that flows from the shorelines to city streets”

Main Street Alexander City works to promote the downtown area through preservation, sustainability, and economic development guided by their four-pronged approach. Main Street also hosts a variety of family-friendly community events throughout the year, such as Downtown Trick-or-Treat, Downtown Christmas, Chili & Gumbo Cook-Off, and a Downtown Farmers Market.

Downtown Farmers Market Photo by Scott Baker

While not very large in scale, Lake Martin’s hometown downtowns offer so much to explore, providing residents and tourists with a one-of-a-kind experience. Dive into downtown Alexander City and check out what they have to offer.

Make plans to attend an event downtown by visiting our calendar of events! Stay tuned and follow us on social media as we dive into downtown Dadeville soon!