How do you spend a weekend in Scottsboro, Alabama?

It’s an unfortunate consequence of air travel. Somewhere along their travels, suitcases get lost in transit and sometimes they are never reunited with their owners. If you’ve ever wondered what becomes of all those long-lost bags, you only have to look to Scottsboro, Alabama.

This small town in Northeast Alabama is home to Unclaimed Baggage, the country’s only lost luggage retailer, where you can shop for everything from designer clothing and jewelry to brand new electronics, beauty products and even art.

(Unclaimed Baggage/Facebook)

While Scottsboro is bestKnown for Unclaimed Baggage, the community of 14,000 has a lot more to offer: beautiful outdoor attractions and delicious restaurants. How to spend a weekend in Scottsboro, Alabama.

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(Paynes Soda Fountain/Facebook)

lunch at Payne’s Sandwich Shop & Soda Fountain

Less than two hours from Birmingham and only 45 minutes from Huntsville, Scottsboro is an easy drive for many Alabamans. Leave home with enough time to make it into town by lunchtime, so Payne’s Sandwich Shop & Soda Fountain can be your first stop. Alabama’s oldest lemonade store has been around since 1869 and has been on the same site since 1891. Inside you’ll find retro digs, including a black-and-white checkered floor, chalkboard map, vintage jukebox, and red vinyl seats. Order a classic sandwich or hot dog and top off your meal with a banana split or sundae. On Thursday seniors can get a scoop of ice cream for just 5 cents.

buy at Unclaimed baggage

At the main attraction, allow enough time to explore the hallways of the 50,000-square-foot complex—you’ll want to see them all. The giant retailer sorts more than 7,000 products each day to sell, donate or recycle, and if you’re smart when you shop, you can find some incredible deals. Get your family’s Christmas shopping started. After all, where else can you find a bearskin, an Egyptian funeral mask, a Chanel purse and a brand new Xbox all under one roof?

(Goose Pond Colony/Facebook)

Check in Goose Pond Colony Resort

If your dogs are barking after hours of shopping, check into a relaxing lakeside cottage at Goose Pond Colony Resort. Nestled on Lake Guntersville and in the Cumberland Mountains, the resort offers a beautiful setting for its two 18-hole golf courses, full-service marina, pool, restaurant and more. Spend some time enjoying the great outdoors on your cottage’s screened porch, and then, when you’re rested, stroll the two-mile trail.

dinner at KC’s Bar-BQ

Cap off a great day in Scottsboro with certified Southern barbecue at KC’s Bar-BQ, a local favorite for smoked meats, cold beers and all those beloved Southern sides you can endure. At KC’s you have your choice of smokehouse, from pulled pork and chicken to ribs, wings and brisket. Order a pound of each, then fill in the sides and your entire table is set for the night. We recommend the vinegar slaw, hashbrown casserole, and mac and cheese. Don’t forget a piece of peanut butter or coconut cream cake to sweeten the experience.


Breakfast at the Variety Bake Shop

Return to downtown Scottsboro in the morning for breakfast on the Square at the Variety Bakeshop. Choose from a huge variety of treats like homemade donuts, Danish pastries, apple fritters and more. If you prefer a hearty start to the day, order a homemade biscuit with your choice of meat. Coffee is also available.

(The Scottsboro Boys Museum/Facebook)

Visit the Scottsboro Boys Museum

Take a crash course in Scottsboro civil rights history at the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center. The center commemorates the lives and infamous trial of nine black teenagers and young adults who were falsely accused of rape by two white women in Scottsboro in 1931. Known as the Scottsboro Boys, their insistence on innocence and the ensuing trials marked a major turning point in US legal, political, and racial politics. At the center, housed in the historic Joyce Chapel, you can learn all about the case and see memorabilia related to the trial.

lunch at McCutchen’s magnolia house

This historic 1890 Victorian home is home to one of Scottsboro’s finest restaurants. The house passed through several families before becoming a restaurant in 1977 and today

(Tanya Archambault/Facebook)

McCutchen’s honors the last family to live there. The sky-blue, two-story home features multiple dining rooms where you can enjoy Southern favorites and comfort food. The menu ranges from hamburger steak and popcorn shrimp to BLTs and fried chicken sandwiches. The restaurant also offers a daily meat-and-three choice with a rotating menu that includes entrees like fried pork chops and chicken and dumplings, as well as sides like turnip greens, macaroni and cheese, creamed corn, buttered peas, fried okra, and more.

Explore the Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge

Cap off a wonderful weekend in Scottsboro by taking advantage of the city’s beautiful natural surroundings. Sauta Cave is a 254-acre sanctuary that protects the endangered gray and Indiana bats. Spend some time hiking the grounds, and be sure to bring a flashlight if you want to catch a glimpse of the rare species. For the best chance, visit June through August and visit at dusk. Then 200,000 to 400,000 bats exit Sauta Cave to begin their nocturnal foraging.

(Courtesy of SoulGrown)

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