7 Best Things To Do in Union Springs, Alabama

Union Springs may be small but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in experiences. This tiny Alabama town, approximately twenty miles southeast of Montgomery, in what’s called the Alabama Black Belt, is one of my favorite road trip stops in the state. Come for the friendly people and enjoy the southern hospitality – here’s 7 things to do in Union Springs, Alabama.

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Things to do in Union Springs

Union Springs located in Bullock County, Alabama, has a deep rooted history in hunting and the outdoors. Once inhabited by the Creek Indians, the town’s association with hunting can be traced back to its early settlement and the abundant wildlife in the surrounding area.

Preserving that legacy, the county is full of conservation areas and land trusts, and is still a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to outdoorsy experiences, you’ll find plenty of other fun things to do in Union Springs.

Union Springs is the perfect day trip destination from Columbus, Georgia (near I-85) or Montgomery (I-65) and could be incorporated into a longer Alabama road trip. Here’s where to start your visit.

1. Explore Murals on Main

Ask just about anyone and they’ll tell you I’m a little obsessed with murals and public art. So, imagine my surprise when I rolled into Union Springs and spotted a mural right on the first corner I saw.

You have to understand – Union Springs is small – population 3,514 – I never in a million years expected to see street art in this tiny, rural town. The best part about the art is that it wholeheartedly represents the town and tells its story. And that’s the best kind of art there is.

The most outstanding mural in Union Springs is the one of Hank Williams, Sr. Mainly because of the history behind it. The story goes that Williams – born in Mount Olive, Alabama, about a hundred miles to the west of Union Springs – once played a gig at the grand opening of the Western Auto in Union Springs in 1948.

This was a big deal and as you can imagine, everyone showed up to see the super popular Williams perform, and of course, there’s a photographer at the the event to capture the moment. So, when it came time to paint the mural, the artist used that photo as a reference for his art.

And since practically everyone that lived in town at that time was in the original photograph with Hank, they are now memorialized forever in that mural as well. How cool is that?

Hank Williams, Sr mural in downtown Union Springs, Alabama

My second favorite mural is the one that honors Union Springs’ long standing reign as the field trial capital of the world. Every year hundreds of teams come to town for competitive events where dogs are judged on their ability to locate and retrieve game birds in natural field settings.

Many of the top bird dog trainers and handlers in the world come to Union Springs to train their dogs and compete in field trials because of the plentiful amount of quail that’s found in the area.

The field trial mural depicts the competition complete with the bird dogs, quail and pheasant – native to the area – in flight, with a wagonload of handlers and onlookers watching. I’m in awe at the artist’s ability to capture the stance and the look on the dog’s faces.

Besides these two mural there are at least three others in town. To make sure you don’t miss even one. You can find a map of Murals on Main here.

2. Take in a Show at the Red Door Theater

Union Springs is a fun Alabama stop just about anytime but if your visit to Union Springs coincides with a show at the The Red Door Theatre, one of the most popular things to do in Union Springs, make sure to attend.

Wanting to protect their local heritage and history and to contribute to the community economically, the Red Door Theatre, a non-profit theater group, has been providing entertainment and selling out shows in Union Springs since 2003.

When the group needed a place to call home, the city leased them one of the old churches in town and just like that, the Red Door Theatre, in honor of red doors that traditionally signified “sanctuary” in many churches, was born.

The Red Door Theatre puts on a variety of productions throughout the year, including plays, musicals, and other special events. A true labor or love, the group is run by volunteers and even offers acting workshops for the community.

One of the most special, small town things about the performances is that the evening show includes seated dinners with delicious southern comfort food.

  • 101 N Prairie St, Union Springs, AL 36089
  • 334-738-8687

3. Sample Cake at FPH Bakery

If there was ever anyone that deserves an honorary southerner card it would be Amber of French Pressed Home Bakery. From the moment I saw her restaurant, I just knew it was going to be something special. Amber, from originally from California, moved to Alabama for a slower pace of life.

She found it – kind of – until her restaurant was so successful she had close the doors on the concept of a typical day to day restaurant. Now Amber accepts only reservations to her highly popular brunches and special occasion lunches. Think supper club but during the day.

And it’s totally worth the wait. Everything I’ve eaten from FPH was insanely delicious. I don’t know how she did it but Amber quickly adapted to the southern food way of life. Check out her Instagram page for the latest schedule of events.

a trio of cakes at French Pressed Home & Bakery in Union Springs, AL

4. Visit the Field Trial Bird Dog Statue

Since Union Springs is the “Field Trial Capital of the World” for its history of hosting field trials for bird dogs, it’s only logical that they honor this tradition with a bird dog statue in the middle of town.

It’s not hard to find, right in the middle of the street in downtown. There’s plenty of parking and you can walk right out to it for photos.

5. Explore Wehle Land Conservation

The Wehle Land Conservation is a another fun thing to do near Union Springs. This conservation project, located southeast of town, encompasses over 29,000 acres of diverse southern habitats, including pine forests, wetlands and some open prairies spaces.

The goal of Wehle is to preserve and restore the natural ecosystems of the region through extensive research on topics such as prescribed burning, forest management and wildlife ecology that provide helpful insight to scientists.

In addition to research, the Wehle Land Conservation offers educational programs and workshops to promote environmental awareness and conservation practices. These programs aim to show the public the importance of preserving these natural habitats.

The Wehle Land Conservation (map) can be enjoyed throughout the year on event weekends or during the week, by appointment only, for larger pre-scheduled groups. The land offers a network of trails for exploring, campsites for overnighting and fish ponds.

  • 4890 Pleasant Hill Rd, Midway, AL 36053
  • 1-800-LAND ALA

6. Enjoy Art & Culture

From the colorful murals adorning its streets to the local theater showcasing talent, Union Springs is a town that appreciates the arts. Before bidding farewell to this culturally rich town, be sure to visit the Josephine Arts building.

This historic building, constructed in 1880 by R. A. Fleming and named for his wife Josephine, later became the Drummers Hotel and Commercial Hotel.

The building now serves as an art cafe and coffee shop, offering art classes, seated architectural tours and a small museum onsite. Even if you don’t attend an event, the building is one of the more interesting structures downtown.

  • 126 North Prairie Street Union Springs, AL 36089
  • (334) 703-0098

7. The Historic Bullock County Courthouse

Union Springs is full of historic homes and buildings and one of the oldest in town is the county courthouse. Constructed in 1871, the building was modeled after a building in Washington DC.

Even though the courthouse has now been remodeled, you can still seen the historical significance of a building such as this in the area. Inside the courthouse, visitors can peruse a collection of vintage photos featuring Union Springs.

  • 212 N Prairie St, Union Springs, AL 36089
  •  (334) 738-2250

Final Thoughts on Things to do in Union Springs

The south is full of overlooked destinations once you get off the main highways. Union Springs is proof enough to include a few of these gems on your travel list. With its variety of enjoyable activities for visitors to explore – from its rich history to its charming southern vibe, there is much to discover in Bullock County.

See you on the road!

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  1. Joyce Perrin says:

    This is Joyce Perrin, the owner of the Josephine Art Center in Union Springs. I wanted to
    Thank You for including us in on your website for things to do in Union Springs. We are currently getting ready to have a “Live Music” performance for Hank Williams 100 Birthday Celebration at our facility. You can see many of the changes to our Venue on our website artatjosephine.com. We are so excited to be adding so many of our “lost art” events here in the next year.

    1. Thank you for sharing your upcoming events and I look forward to attending some of them.

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