things to do in cullman al

Top Attractions & Things to Do in Cullman, AL

Are you looking for an exciting destination to explore in Alabama? Look no further than Cullman! This charming city offers a plethora of attractions and activities that will captivate visitors of all ages. From historical landmarks to outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Cullman. So, what are the top attractions and things to do in this picturesque town?

Let’s embark on a journey through Cullman’s hidden gems, uncovering its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking sights. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or food lover, Cullman has it all. Get ready to be enchanted by this captivating city and discover the wonders that await you.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the Ave Maria Grotto, a park featuring miniature reproductions of famous religious structures
  • Visit Sportsman Lake Park for family-friendly recreational activities
  • Experience the charm of the Clarkson Covered Bridge, a historical landmark surrounded by hiking trails
  • Learn about Cullman’s history at the Cullman County Museum
  • Discover the spiritual journey at St. Bernard Abbey and the Ave Maria Grotto

Ave Maria Grotto

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Cullman is the Ave Maria Grotto. Created by Brother Joseph Zoetle, a Benedictine monk, this 4-acre park features 125 miniature reproductions of famous religious structures from around the world.

Highlights include replicas of St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City and Old Jerusalem. It’s a must-visit attraction, even for those who aren’t religious, due to its incredible attention to detail and artistic craftsmanship.

The Ave Maria Grotto is a testament to the dedication and skill of Brother Joseph Zoetle, who spent over 50 years constructing the intricate miniatures using various materials like broken glass, concrete, and discarded items. Each structure is painstakingly crafted to replicate the original, allowing visitors to appreciate the religious significance and architectural beauty of these iconic landmarks.

From the stunning replicas of St. Peter’s Square to the beautifully recreated Old Jerusalem, walking through the Ave Maria Grotto is like embarking on a spiritual journey. Whether you’re admiring the intricate mosaics or the detailed sculptures, the artistry and devotion that went into creating this miniature world are undeniable.

“The Ave Maria Grotto is a visual representation of Brother Joseph’s deep faith and his desire to share the beauty of religious structures with others. It’s a captivating experience that leaves a lasting impression on visitors of all backgrounds.” – David, a visitor to Ave Maria Grotto

Immerse yourself in the religious history and artistry

As you explore the Ave Maria Grotto, you’ll be transported to iconic places of worship from around the globe. From the serene beauty of St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City to the ancient mystique of Old Jerusalem, each miniature structure offers a glimpse into the religious heritage and cultural significance of these revered destinations.

The attention to detail in these miniatures is truly remarkable. From the intricate carvings on the façades to the carefully crafted interiors, every element is faithfully reproduced. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the architecture and symbolism of these religious structures on a whole new level.

Brother Joseph Zoetle: A man of faith and creativity

Brother Joseph Zoetle, the creator of the Ave Maria Grotto, was a Benedictine monk who devoted his life to blending his faith with his artistic talent. Using his keen eye and skillful hands, he transformed the landscape of Cullman into a miniature world of religious wonder.

Brother Joseph drew inspiration from his travels and the religious structures he encountered. Through his meticulous craftsmanship, he sought to honor the sacred spaces and invite others to appreciate their beauty and significance.

The Ave Maria Grotto stands as a testament to Brother Joseph’s dedication and talent, and his desire to create a space for contemplation and reflection. It’s a place where visitors can marvel at the artistry and find solace in the beauty of these miniature masterpieces.

Sportsman Lake Park

Sportsman Lake Park

Sportsman Lake Park is a family-friendly recreational site located in the heart of Cullman, Alabama. This picturesque park offers a wide range of activities that cater to visitors of all ages, making it the perfect destination for a day of outdoor fun with family and friends.

At Sportsman Lake Park, you’ll find a variety of recreational activities to engage in. Take a leisurely paddle boat ride on the scenic lake, enjoying the tranquil waters and the beautiful surrounding nature. The park also provides ample space for picnicking, allowing you to savor a delicious meal amidst the peaceful and serene setting.

If you’re an avid hiker or simply enjoy exploring nature, Sportsman Lake Park has several hiking trails that wind through its lush landscapes. Embark on a refreshing hike and immerse yourself in the beauty of the park’s natural surroundings. Along the trails, you may encounter fascinating wildlife and stunning views that will leave you in awe.

For families with children, Sportsman Lake Park offers a special treat – a Splash Pad. Kids can cool off and have a blast as they play in the interactive and refreshing water features. It’s the perfect spot for children to have fun while parents relax and take in the scenic views.

In addition to these exciting activities, Sportsman Lake Park features a small train that offers rides around the park, delighting both young and old alike. If you’re a golf enthusiast, you can test your skills on the park’s 18-hole pitch-n-putt golf course. And throughout the park, you’ll be treated to breathtaking lakeside views that add to the overall charm and tranquility of the experience.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or quality time with loved ones, Sportsman Lake Park has it all. Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature as you enjoy a variety of recreational activities. Visit Sportsman Lake Park in Cullman, Alabama, and create lasting memories with your family and friends.

Sportsman Lake Park: A family-friendly destination for recreational activities in Cullman, Alabama.

Clarkson Covered Bridge

Clarkson Covered Bridge

The Clarkson Covered Bridge, a historical landmark in Cullman, has stood the test of time since its construction in 1904. This iconic bridge is not only a testament to the city’s past but also a picturesque setting that attracts visitors from near and far.

“The Clarkson Covered Bridge is a true gem of Cullman. Its timeless beauty and rich history make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the area.”

Surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, the Clarkson Covered Bridge offers more than just a glimpse into the past. Hiking trails wind through the surrounding area, inviting visitors to explore the picturesque landscapes and immerse themselves in nature’s tranquility.

  • Take a leisurely stroll along the hiking trails and enjoy the captivating sights and sounds of the outdoors.
  • Unwind in the nearby picnic areas, where you can relax, savor a delicious meal, and soak in the serene surroundings.

One of the standout features near the bridge is the working grist mill, a testament to Cullman’s rich industrial history. Step back in time and witness the traditional milling process, where grain is transformed into flour using historic machinery.

If you’re looking for a truly immersive experience, be sure to explore the Dogtrot log cabin near the bridge. This authentic structure offers a glimpse into the daily lives of those who lived in the area during its early days.

The Clarkson Covered Bridge is not just a historical landmark; it’s a gateway to Cullman’s past and a place of natural beauty and tranquility. Whether you’re embarking on a leisurely walk, enjoying a picnic in the great outdoors, or capturing stunning photographs, this iconic attraction offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Cullman County Museum

The Cullman County Museum is a treasure trove of history that allows visitors to delve into the fascinating past of Cullman. Immerse yourself in the city’s origins as a German colony and discover its role during the Civil War. The museum provides a captivating glimpse into the Native American heritage of the region with informative exhibits.

One of the highlights of the Cullman County Museum is the recreated Main Street, where you can step back in time and explore the decorated shop windows and houses from the 1800s. It’s like taking a stroll through history and experiencing the daily life of the past.

“The Cullman County Museum is a fascinating testament to the rich history and diverse heritage of Cullman.” – Visitor Review

Don’t forget to visit the Music Room, where you can listen to harmonious sounds of Americana music that add to the immersive experience. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the heritage of Cullman, a visit to the Cullman County Museum is a must.

Visiting Information:

LocationOpening Hours
1227 St Joseph Dr NW, Cullman, AL 35055Monday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

Exploring the exhibits of the Cullman County Museum is a journey through time that showcases the unique heritage and vibrant culture of Cullman. From its German roots to its role in the Civil War, the museum provides a comprehensive understanding of the city’s past. Plan a visit to the Cullman County Museum and unlock the fascinating stories that shaped this charming community.

St. Bernard Abbey

Ave Maria Grotto model park

St. Bernard Abbey, located in Cullman, Alabama, is a Benedictine community with a rich history that dates back to the 1840s. The abbey was established by monks who arrived from Germany, bringing with them the seeds of monastic life in America. Today, St. Bernard Abbey continues to thrive as a spiritual haven and a center for reflection and prayer.

A major highlight of St. Bernard Abbey is the renowned Ave Maria Grotto. This unique attraction is a model park featuring 125 meticulously crafted sculptures of cities and religious buildings from around the world. Created by Brother Joseph Zoetle, a Benedictine monk, the Ave Maria Grotto is a testament to his devotion and attention to detail.

“The Ave Maria Grotto is a true masterpiece, showcasing the remarkable artistic craftsmanship of Brother Joseph Zoetle. It’s a serene and awe-inspiring experience for visitors of all faiths and backgrounds.”

As you explore the Ave Maria Grotto, you’ll be captivated by the intricate replicas of famous landmarks such as St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City and Old Jerusalem. Each sculpture tells a story and invites contemplation, making it a truly unique and spiritual experience. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or seeking a moment of tranquility, the Ave Maria Grotto is a must-visit attraction in Cullman.

Experience the Serenity

At St. Bernard Abbey, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere of the Benedictine community. Take a guided tour of the abbey and learn about the daily life of the monks, their spiritual practices, and their commitment to service. The abbey grounds offer beautiful views and serene spaces for prayer and contemplation.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the religious significance of the Ave Maria Grotto or simply seeking a moment of tranquility, St. Bernard Abbey provides a unique and enriching experience in Cullman, Alabama. Discover the beauty and spirituality that this Benedictine community has to offer.

Smith Farms

Smith Farms

Smith Farms is a must-visit destination for food lovers in Cullman. Founded in 1955, this farm store offers a wide variety of delicious products made with traditional family recipes and techniques. From the finest cured bacon and flavorful ham to seasonal produce, grits, muffins, cheeses, and honey, Smith Farms ensures the utmost quality and flavor in every bite.

At Smith Farms, you can experience the taste of authentic farm-to-table goodness. The dedicated team takes pride in providing high-quality, locally sourced ingredients that are crafted into mouthwatering products. Each item reflects the rich culinary heritage and dedication to traditional family recipes.

Whether you’re planning a picnic or looking for self-catering options during your visit to Cullman, Smith Farms has you covered. Stock up on their delectable offerings to create a memorable dining experience.

Highlighted Products at Smith Farms

  • Cured bacon
  • Ham
  • Seasonal produce
  • Grits
  • Muffins
  • Cheeses
  • Honey

Indulge in the irresistible flavors of Smith Farms’ products and savor the true essence of Cullman’s culinary traditions. Visit their farm store and discover the incredible range of offerings that embody the essence of farm fresh goodness.

Cured BaconDelicious, smoky bacon hand-cured to perfection.
HamFlavorful ham with a rich, savory taste that epitomizes Cullman’s heritage.
Seasonal ProduceFresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables picked at peak ripeness for optimum flavor.
GritsStone-ground grits that capture the essence of Southern comfort food.
MuffinsDelectable muffins made from scratch, perfect for breakfast or a sweet treat.
CheesesArtisanal cheeses crafted with care and expertise, offering a range of flavors and textures.
HoneyPure, golden honey harvested from local bees, delivering a taste of nature’s sweetness.

Experience the farm-fresh goodness of Smith Farms and discover why they’re a beloved institution in Cullman’s culinary scene. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, a trip to Smith Farms is an opportunity to indulge in the flavors that showcase the region’s agricultural heritage.


Cullman, Alabama is a hidden gem filled with captivating attractions and a vibrant atmosphere that caters to visitors of all interests and ages. As you explore this charming city, be sure to immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of the Ave Maria Grotto, where miniature replicas of iconic religious structures transport you to distant lands. For outdoor enthusiasts, Sportsman Lake Park offers a multitude of recreational activities like paddle boat rides, hiking trails, and picnicking, ensuring a day of fun-filled adventure for the whole family.

To dive into Cullman’s rich history, visit the Clarkson Covered Bridge, a historical landmark that provides a picturesque setting for a leisurely walk or a tranquil picnic surrounded by nature and the city’s fascinating past. The Cullman County Museum offers an enlightening experience, showcasing the German colony’s origins, the impact of the Civil War, and the region’s Native American heritage, complete with meticulously designed Main Street exhibits that transport you back to the 1800s.

No visit to Cullman would be complete without a stop at St. Bernard Abbey, a Benedictine community founded in the 1840s. Explore their spiritual sanctuary, and don’t miss the Ave Maria Grotto, a model park featuring 125 sculptures that represent cities and religious buildings from around the world. Lastly, satisfy your taste buds at Smith Farms, where traditional family recipes are used to create mouthwatering products like cured bacon, ham, seasonal produce, and more.

Plan your visit to Cullman today and witness the harmony of history, nature, and culinary delights that this enchanting city has to offer. From the Ave Maria Grotto to Sportsman Lake Park, Cullman invites you to embark on a journey rich in culture, adventure, and unforgettable experiences.


What are the top attractions in Cullman, AL?

The top attractions in Cullman, AL include the Ave Maria Grotto, Sportsman Lake Park, Clarkson Covered Bridge, Cullman County Museum, St. Bernard Abbey, and Smith Farms.

What is the Ave Maria Grotto?

The Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, AL is a 4-acre park featuring 125 miniature reproductions of famous religious structures from around the world, created by Brother Joseph Zoetle.

What can I do at Sportsman Lake Park?

At Sportsman Lake Park, you can enjoy paddle boat rides, picnicking, hiking, a Splash Pad for kids, a small train, an 18-hole pitch-n-putt golf course, and beautiful lakeside views.

What is the significance of the Clarkson Covered Bridge?

The Clarkson Covered Bridge is a historical landmark in Cullman, offering a glimpse into the city’s past and surrounded by hiking trails, picnic areas, a working grist mill, and a Dogtrot log cabin.

What will I find at the Cullman County Museum?

The Cullman County Museum showcases the history of Cullman, including its origins as a German colony, its involvement during the Civil War, and exhibits on the region’s Native American heritage.

What is St. Bernard Abbey?

St. Bernard Abbey is a Benedictine community with a rich history in Cullman, offering tours of the abbey and the opportunity to visit the Ave Maria Grotto, a model park with sculptures of cities and religious buildings.

What can I find at Smith Farms?

Smith Farms is a farm store in Cullman that offers a wide variety of delicious products including cured bacon, ham, seasonal produce, grits, muffins, cheeses, and honey.

What are some other things to do in Cullman, AL?

Other things to do in Cullman, AL include exploring the city’s parks and lakes, shopping at local boutiques and antique stores, visiting the Cullman Wellness and Aquatic Center, and attending events and festivals throughout the year.

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