Trying to find family-friendly and fun things to do while on vacation is not always that easy. However, if you find yourselves on an RV adventure in Muscle Shoals, Alabama during the fall, then the North Alabama State Fair is the place to be.
The state fair has been a highly anticipated event on locals’ calendars since 1935, and it draws thousands of people to the North Alabama Flea Market venue at 65 Sportsplex Drive in Muscle Shoals annually.
When you visit, you’ll be treated to cultural, industrial, and agricultural displays, not to mention fun activities and entertainment for the whole family. In the past, some well-known entertainers and performers have graced the fairgrounds, too, such as blues and rock bands like The River Benders, and America’s favorite monkey jockeys called the Banana Derby.
Animal lovers will also enjoy the pet displays, while crafters will be able to admire the many entries in the exhibits area. There’s certainly plenty to see, do, and experience at the North Alabama State Fair.
While you’re in Muscle Shoals and the Alabama area, you may as well make a family vacation of it. Go hiking at Bankhead National Forest, exploring at the Old Railroad Bridge, or why not spend time with the kids at Gattman Park?
Visit Muscle Shoals, Alabama, for the North Alabama State Fair, but stay for the relaxing, fun-filled vacation that follows.
Visitors to the North Alabama State Fair can buy their tickets online or at the gate, and discounts are a possibility when you choose to be the early bird and buy them in advance. In past years, tickets for those who are 13 and over have cost about $10, but have been closer to $5 for children between six and 12.
Five and under have been free, and there have also been dedicated times and days when children under 12 and adults over 65 are free. Armbands are also available for purchase for those who want to go on as many rides as possible!
The Colbert County city of Muscle Shoals sits on the edges of the Tennessee River and is central to Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Therefore, visitors from out of state can see the value in taking an RV trip to the North Alabama State Fair, for it’s well-appointed on easy-driving highways.
Given the prevalence of natural attractions in the area, RV-goers may like to travel with a traffic aid onboard, such as ALGO Traffic. By doing so, you can make sure you have time for fun activities before arriving in Muscle Shoals, such as hiking and mountain biking at Talladega National Forest.
If you want to break up the days, then park your RV at Joe Wheeler State Park toward Rogersville, around 30 miles from Muscle Shoals. You will then be able to arrive fresh and ready for a day of state fair adventures.
Grass and paved parking lots are in the vicinity of the North Alabama State Fair. Parking attendants will be on hand to lead you to the most suitable place to park your tow vehicle or campervan. Parking fees may apply, so bring cash for convenience. Larger Class As and Airstreams will need to stay parked at your Muscle Shoals RV campground during the fair.
There is no dedicated public transportation system in Muscle Shoals that can take you to and from the fair. If your Alabama RV campground is near the venue, you may like to consider the use of bicycles, but the route may be a trek for some riders. Otherwise, visitors may be able to can book a taxi or hire a rideshare service if a tow vehicle is not preferred.
With hundreds of stalls spanning the length and width of the North Alabama State Fair venue, there will be no spaces available for motorhomes (except for vendors) during fair week. Fortunately, given the abundance of state parks and RV campgrounds nearby, you’ll likely not see that as being an issue. Make sure you book weeks in advance to ensure you get your first choice.
Travelers may find a handful of RV campgrounds within an hour’s drive of the North Alabama State Fair, including Decatur / Wheeler Lake KOA, which is around 35 miles away. Here, you can enjoy luxury, service hookups, and a comfortable place to park your Airstream, Sprinter, or similar.
If primitive RV camping is more to your liking, then Muscle Shoals delivers. The Wilson Lake and Dam area is an idyllic spot for camping and fishing, while McFarland Park hits the spot with a beach and camping opportunities. Joe Wheeler State Park is in the same area along the Tennessee River at its bend near Wilson Lake.
Further away, you may be attracted to the beauty of Bankhead National Forest for hiking, camping, and exploring, as well. Don’t delay in finding somewhere accessible with a large RV today.
With so much happening at the North Alabama State Fair, and with tens of thousands of visitors present, you may find that the safest way to get around is on foot. Bring your most comfortable pair of shoes, and enter through the main gates. Many sights are easily accessible, and there are also seating areas for you to rest your weary feet. Leave your bicycle back in your RV for recreational activities on the outskirts of Muscle Shoals.
Muscle Shoals can experience some reasonably high temperatures in September, which means that light, breathable layers will be a necessity. However, as fall can bring with it some rain and colder nighttime temperatures, a few extra layers for spending the evenings in your motorhome can prove necessary. If you are partaking in any outdoor activities, such as hiking or fishing at Holly Springs National Forest in nearby Mississippi, then don’t forget to pack activity-specific clothing for that, too.
There will be very little you need to bring with you to the North Alabama State Fair. Cash and a card will see you right for purchases, while your ticket, ID, and wristband will also make sure entry into the fair goes smoothly. Don’t forget to pack all your essential camping and cooking supplies to ensure your comfort before and after the fair.
Health and safety are paramount on an RV adventure to somewhere unfamiliar. Never travel without prescription medications your family requires, plenty of drinking water, toiletries, a first aid kit, and sun safety supplies. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a sun hat is often a necessity at the North Alabama State Fair.
For avid adventurers, add bug spray to that list, for you will not want to go exploring at the Old Railroad Bridge Historical Marker along the Tennesee River without protection from the insects.
Cooking is not something you will need to do for yourself at the North Alabama State Fair, but you will be able to flex your culinary muscles once you’re back at your motorhome. Check with your camp host to find out if you can use a fire pit, open campfire, or your propane or charcoal grill. However, you can also rely on your onboard kitchen appliances to cook all manner of hearty fall dishes, too. Gather all your ingredients for stews, soups, and chowders from the grocery store within an eight-mile drive of the fairgrounds.
Muscle Shoals more than delivers when it comes to family-friendly eateries near the North Alabama State Fair. Travel up Lee Highway to be in proximity to burger takeout joints, Mexican cuisine, pizza, chicken, and more. You can then sit at the Tennessee River in Sheffield and enjoy time with your family.
Vendors at the North Alabama State Fair vary every year, but you’ll want to make sure you bring plenty of cash. Not only will you be able to buy all your favorite fair treats, like cotton candy, ice cream, and hot dogs, but homemade goods, knick-knacks, and more. Get a head start on your festive shopping, or buy some fun toys for the kids.
With tens of thousands of attendees to the North Alabama State Fair, you can expect a police and security presence to make you feel safe. Security will be at the entry gates, along with ticket takers. If you require assistance, you may approach them at any time. The Muscle Shoals Police Department is also under three miles from the fairgrounds, which means they are close at hand if you need help.
Even though much of the country experiences cooler temperatures in fall, Alabama quite often bucks the trend. In recent years, September has seen averages of 60 degrees-Fahrenheit, through to around 85 degrees.
If you are going to be doing a lot of traveling and exploring, especially around national parks like Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Bryson City, then download a weather app. The more you know about the weather to come, the more prepared you can be.
Anyone who experiences a minor accident or injury can access first-aid help at the North Alabama State Fair. Approach an official, and they can lead you to the dedicated stations for assistance. For anything more serious, you can access the local hospital within three miles of the fairgrounds. In an emergency, dial 911.