Shelby County takes 2 of top 10 summer places

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

Shelby County is the only county to score two of the top 10 places to “chill” this summer, according to Alabama magazine’s May-June edition’s “10 Ways to Chill.”

Coming in at number five is Dive Alabama in Pelham. It is 850 million gallons of spring water in the former limestone quarry where you can get certified to scuba dive anywhere in the world. It is located at 100 Industrial Drive in Pelham. To learn more about them visit their website at

Debuting at number six in the lineup are free tours and tastings on the Alabama Wine Trail’s Shelby Trail Excursion, which includes Calera’s dynamic duo, Vizzini Farms Winery and Ozan Vineyard and Winery with Harpersville’s sensational Morgan Creek Vineyards included.

Other top picks in the “10 Ways to Chill” in Alabama line up are ice skating in Huntsville, night hiking in the Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, visiting the Grand Hotel’s pool and spa, climbing to Alabama’s highest point in Mount Cheaha State Park, eating at Peach Park and Durbin Farms in Chilton County and last but not least, our tourist staple – Alabama’s beautiful beaches.

In addition to the magazine’s number five and six top Shelby County tourist picks, you can also visit the George Washington Museum in Columbiana, the beautiful, historic campus at the University of Montevallo, take art classes via Shelby County’s Arts Council, visit the old historic courthouse museum, ice skate at the Pelham ice skating arena and ski, fish or swim at Lay Lake or Oak Mountain State Park. You and your family can also enjoy a movie at the drive-in in Harpersville in the air-conditioned comfort of your own car.

While playing golf or tennis, and hiking are not good ways to chill, they are certainly good ways to exercise, and Shelby County has multiple places you can do that and more if you’re interested in hotter activities. Another perfect place is Heardmont Park, Shelby County’s own version of New York City’s Central Park.

Alabama summers certainly bring a breath of fresh air – a very warm breath of fresh air. However, no matter how hot it gets, there are many ways to “chill” in Shelby County.

Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at