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Located in southeastern Alabama, the Wetumpka Destination is characteristic of several forested regions and urban areas. Wetumpka, the namesake of the destination, is a city whose name origins derive from Muscogee Creek Native American language that translates to English as "rumbling waters." Currently, many people refer to Wetumpka as "the city of natural beauty" due to several features of the city, namely the Wetumpka Crater.[2] The Wetumpka Destination’s most prominent city is Montgomery, which draws a fair amount of tourists who come for attractions such as the Montgomery Zoo, The Legacy Museum, and the Harriot II, to name a few. Moreover, Montgomery is home to the Alabama State Capitol, a museum and a historical site that visitors can tour.[9] For those who take interest in outdoor recreation, the Wetumpka Destination contains two of Alabama’s four state forests, both of which offer a range of recreational activities. Hiking, swimming, fishing, hunting, and camping are a few pastimes that visitors can engage in at Conecuh National Forest and Tuskegee National Forest. Conecuh National Forest is situated in the southern portion of the destination, while Tuskegee National Forest can be found in the north.[6] Based on the tourism score, it is recommended that people visit the area from mid-April to late May and mid-September to late October, especially for those who plan on pursuing outdoor recreation.[5]

What Wetumpka is known for

The Wetumpka Destination covers the entire southeastern corner of the state of Alabama in the southern region of the United States. The destination's namesake, Wetumpka, is a city in Elmore County and it serves as the county seat. As of 2020, Wetumpka’s population was recorded to be approximately 7,358 residents, making it the 88th largest city in Alabama. A growth rate of 0.95% affects the population annually. The racial demographic of Wetumpka’s population is primarily white at 60.36% with the second most common race being black/African American at 33.87%.[1]

Wetumpka is known by many as “the city of natural beauty,” with some of its most notable landmarks being the Wetumpka Crater and the Jasmine Hill Gardens, which feature a replica of the Temple of Hera from Olympia, Greece.[2] Located near downtown Wetumpka, the Wetumpka Crater is “one of 200 world-recognized impact craters.” Over 80 million years ago, a meteorite hit the area and created what is now known as the Wetumpka Crater. This event resulted in the topographical structure that presently allows visitors to engage in outdoor recreational activities such as kayaking, fishing, cycling, and birdwatching, to name a few. Beyond this, Wetumpka’s nickname, “the city of natural beauty,” derives from this particular astrobleme. The Wetumpka Crater was also the staging post for a couple of battles, including the French and Indian War and the Creek War phase during the War of 1812.[3]

One of the Wetumpka Destination’s most prominent cities is Montgomery, which can be found in the northern portion of the destination. Several attractions are located throughout the city, drawing a considerable number of tourists annually. One such attraction is the Montgomery Zoo, which offers a wide arrangement of animal encounters and exhibits. Visitors are given the opportunity to engage with animals through a close-up experience as people can walk across a wooden deck above the giraffe exhibit or feed some of the birds. A petting zoo with goats, sheep, llamas, and ducks is available to guests as well. Aside from the Montgomery Zoo, the city additionally features a river cruise on the Harriott II, a 19th-century riverboat. Live entertainment and dinner are offered to those who board the Harriott II. Furthermore, another attraction known as The Legacy Museum—which depicts historically significant events of Montgomery—can be found within the city. The museum is situated on the exact site of what was formerly a warehouse where African Americans labored in Montgomery during historical times. Through exhibits, sculptures, and interactive media, The Legacy Museum portrays the racial injustice and challenging aspects of American history that people faced several decades ago.[4]

Montgomery additionally bears historical significance as it is Alabama's State Capitol. The State Capitol is currently an operating museum that had major renovations done to it in 1992. Adorned with eight murals in the Rotunda, a trompe l’oeil ceiling, and many of Roderick MacKenzie’s paintings, the museum takes on an 1861 appearance, a style that is original to its time. The site itself is about five acres that are characteristic of gardens, monuments, and statues. Guided tours are available to visitors, allowing people to explore the grounds and the museum.[9]


Throughout the year, temperatures vary between 39 and 92 degrees Fahrenheit in Wetumpka. Partial cloud cover occurs frequently year-round in the area. The hot season typically lasts from May to September, with an average daily high above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. July tends to be the hottest month of the year as temperatures reach 91 degrees Fahrenheit on average. As for the cool season—from November to February—the average high generally drops to around 65 degrees. The coldest month of the year is usually January which has temperatures that range between 39 and 58 degrees. For those who plan on engaging in warm-weather activities during their trip to Wetumpka, the best time of year to visit the area, based on the tourism score, is from mid-April to late May and mid-September to late October.[5]

The Wetumpka Destination is comprised mostly of forested regions, natural water features, and several urban areas. Some of the rivers that run through the land are the Alabama River (Gun Island Chute), Coosa River, and Tallapoosa River. The entire eastern perimeter of the destination is composed of the Chattahoochee River which is the border shared between Alabama and Georgia. To the south, the destination is bounded by northern Florida, while the north and west are encompassed by other parts of the state of Alabama. Wetumpka itself is situated in the southern foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Moreover, two of Alabama’s four state forests can be found within the Wetumpka Destination: Conecuh National Forest and Tuskegee National Forest. A wide range of outdoor activities can be engaged in at these sites, including swimming, horseback riding, picnicking, fishing, boating, hiking, hunting, and camping.[6] Hunting is fairly popular at Conecuh National Forest as many hunters come for the deer, turkey, quail, and other small game that inhabit the area. Between the city of Andalusia and Florida’s northern border, Conecuh National Forest encompasses nearly 84,000 acres of land. Several habitats can be found within this relatively extensive acreage such as upland longleaf pine forests and shallow ponds and bogs.[7]


Wetumpka’s name derives from two Muscogee Creek Native American words: “We-wau,” which translates in English to water, and “tum-cau,” meaning rumbling. These words form the city’s name as it was given based on a description of a notable point in the Coosa River known as the Devil’s Staircase where the “rapids raced across the river rocks.”[8][2]

From 1861 to 1865, the Civil War had an impact on Wetumpka. At the conclusion of the war, the remaining soldiers who survived returned from the war to begin reconstruction of the damage that was done to the city. In 1866, Elmore County was created and it was decided that Wetumpka was to be the site for the county courthouse. During this time, the economy began to thrive, and by 1875, the population was over 3,000 people; however, the number of residents dropped significantly by the year 1879 as there were only 619 people living in the city. This was presumably due to the effects of the war. Apart from the war, Wetumpka additionally underwent two natural disasters. The first was a flood in 1886 that struck the downtown area and the west bank of Wetumpka, and the second was an earthquake that occurred that same year. After these incidents, businesses gradually began to open during the city’s recovery process. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that Wetumpka started to prosper.[8] Despite having experienced several difficulties, the city has grown to become what it is today as it contains a number of preserved buildings in the historic downtown district. Over time, this district developed on both sides of the Coosa River.[2]

Prior to the start of the American Civil War, Montgomery became the first capital of the Confederacy in February of 1861. Later that year, the capital was moved to Richmond, Virginia. During the city’s recovery from the war, Montgomery became a hub for the production of cotton, livestock, yellow pine, and hardwood. Government and healthcare services presently support the economy. Other industries that aid the economy include the manufacturing of wood products, plastics, textiles, water heaters, and aircraft parts.[10]

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The Heritage House

Opelika, Alabama

The Heritage House

The Heritage House is a bed and breakfast that is located in Opelika, Alabama, which is a city that can be found near the border of Georgia and Alabama. The 1913 home offers five suites to the public for reservation year-round, or people can choose to reserve the whole house. Breakfast is included with visitor reservations, however, guests who do not want or need breakfast can receive a discounted rate. Patrons can arrange small events with the owners, including celebrations like weddings, bridal showers, and graduation parties. The establishment is located near the downtown area of Opelika, where guests can spend time during the day going to vintage shops, restaurants, and breweries. One of the guestrooms, The Carriage Suite, is pet-friendly, allowing patrons to bring their pets with them on their trip. Usually, children under the age of 12 cannot be accommodated unless the same group reserves the whole house.

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