Discover the Appeal of Selma & South Central Alabama

Explore the Region’s History, Culture, Recreation & More

Selma, Ala., and the surrounding communities across South Central Alabama have their own unique history, cultural appeal, recreation, engaging attractions and so on. Generally speaking, the vibe here is all about country living at a leisurely pace.

This is Alabama’s Black Belt region, with rich dark soil perfect for row crops and plenty of farmland to raise livestock. As with most of Alabama, outdoor recreation is always popular here, as well. Whether residents troll the rivers and lakes for trophy bass, or take to the woods to pursue big bucks and turkeys, you’ll typically find people enjoying the great outdoors.

Let’s take a closer look at the draw of Selma and neighboring areas in South Central Alabama for residents and visitors alike.

Alabama Outdoor Adventures Around Selma & the Black Belt

Located on the banks of the Alabama River (near the end of the popular Cahaba River tributary) and surrounded by lakes and forests, Selma offers ample opportunity for outdoor adventures. Part of the Talladega National Forest (the Oakmulgee District) lies here within Dallas County, and along with multiple state parks, these areas are made for biking, canoeing, swimming and other recreation.

There’s the 1,080-acre Paul M. Grist State Park about a 15-minute drive from Selma in Valley Grande. It features great boating, hiking and picnic spots around a 100-acre lake. A little farther out in Camden, Roland Cooper State Park along the Dannelly Reservoir (AKA Millers Ferry) offers incredible fishing, and is a featured spot on the Black Belt Birding Trail. Rental cabins are also available.

The Alabama River Lakes in nearby Tyler consist of Claiborne Lake in southwest hill country; the Dannelly with its 500 miles of shoreline; and Woodruff Lake. Most are surrounded by parks and campgrounds and all are top recreation spots.

Hunting is an extremely popular activity in Selma and the Black Belt region. The Lowndes Wildlife Management area near the River Lakes covers 12,500 acres and features prime hunting for whitetail deer, wild turkeys, waterfowl, hogs and various small game. is a great resource for those seeking hunting outfitters and lodges. And AlabamaForeverWild offers a world of information on hunting, plus links to top spots for hiking, biking, camping and more.

Explore History, Art, Food & Fun in & around Selma, Alabama

Selma was at the heart of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and marches from here to Montgomery marked the peak. Start at the Selma Interpretive Center where the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail begins, for related materials and exhibits. Drive this trail for 54 miles on Hwy 80 and hit noteworthy landmarks along the way.

Continue your historical journey at Selma’s National Voting Rights Museum & Institute. In fact, Dallas County boasts Alabama’s largest historic district, with some 1,200 structures listed on various historic registers. You might check out Old Cahawba, the county’s original capital and now a famous ghost town. It’s just one of many historic sites and museums.

When you want to shift gears to some fun outings for the whole family, take a drive to Montgomery and enjoy the Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum, or the Alabama Safari Park. Art buffs should visit the Selma Art Guild Gallery for work by local artists every month (Many of these artists helped create the giant butterfly art pieces around town; Selma is Alabama’s “Butterfly Capital.”).

Finally, for the food and festival folks, Selma holds annual events such as the Alabama River Chili Cookoff, the Central Alabama Crawfish Festival, and a wild game cookoff. There’s also Selma’s 1st Saturday event each month, featuring art, food trucks, music and more.