Foley Alabama is only a few miles from the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Foley is a great place to visit for Alabama attractions.
The friendly folks in the city of Foley Alabama have formed a community of hosts who are happy to see you arrive. They have worked hard to create a beautiful environment in the historic downtown area complete with butterfly gardens, rose trails, park benches along the tree-lined streets, and a steady flow of events depending on the season.
Foley is also known as the location for the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival held each May that draws thousands of visitors to the area and its attractions.
This article contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.
We are going to highlight 17 of the things to do in Foley Alabama. Certainly, there are more as I have not even mentioned the restaurants or places to visit near Foley.
Table of Contents
- Foley Alabama Attractions
- Shopping at Foley, Alabama
- Foley Arts & Entertainment
- Sports Events
- 17 Fun Things To Do in Foley
- More Places to Visit in The Southern States
Foley Alabama Attractions
OWA is family-friendly retail, dining, and entertainment destination for individuals of all ages. This Alabama amusement park has plenty to offer; rides, food, shopping, and even a very nice hotel.
Pronounced like oh-wah, the name is inspired from the Muscogee Creek language to mean “big water.”
There is no charge to enter the retail and dining amenities at OWA. The only fee is to enter the gated amusement park if you choose to participate in the attractions. Non-riders may enter the amusement park for free.
This annual event takes place on the second weekend of May. Balloon flights, the popular balloon glow plus tethered rides (weather permitting) are part of the fun at dawn and dusk. The balloons come from all over the country and present a captivating sight to behold.
Arts and crafts and food vendors are part of the festival. Plus live entertainment, music, and children’s entertainment including inflatables, pony, and camel rides.
Downtown OWA and the amusement park and restaurants are also open during their normal hours of festival days.
Festival admission is free with certain events available for a charge such as tethered balloon rides.
3. The Charles J. Ebert, Jr. Memorial Train
The kids can enjoy a Free train ride around Foley’s Heritage Park. Board the train at Foley Railroad Museum. The train does not run every day. Check the schedule at the museum.
Shopping at Foley, Alabama
One of the best things about Foley is the abundance of places to shop.
If you have never experienced a Tanger Outlet, you are in for a treat. It’s a huge shopping center with dozens of favorite name-brand stores we all love.
There are more than 30 Tanger Outlet Shopping Centers in the U.S. The Foley Alabama outlets include close to 100 stores! Plan your Gulf Shores area vacation shopping day with Tanger in mind.
Insiders Tips for Tanger include going to Guest Services to get the coupon book but only if you plan to do some major shopping. The book isn’t free but it does include enough deals to pay for itself and justify the purchase. Download the Tanger App on your phone for deals from certain stores. You can delete it later if you wish.
Specialty stores and boutiques located downtown are among antique and jewelry stores. Stroll along and visit each one on tree-lined streets.
Take a break from shopping to enjoy the butterfly garden and magnificent old oaks and flower beds near the Clock tower. The scenery in historic downtown Foley is beautiful in every season.
6. OWA Downtown
Visit the Park at OWA for their downtown shopping experience. Lots of shops and boutiques with unique items. Take a break from shopping at any of the many restaurants to choose from.
Foley Arts & Entertainment
Live music, dinner shows, and arts and craft festivals are likely to be on the calendar during your visit.
Head on over to the big red barn for live Music, Dancing, and Southern Style BBQ. Catch a cornhole tournament. Take in a Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre or take some Line Dancing classes.
A family-friendly place with musical entertainment by national and local artists. Enjoy a live performance from Tribute artists such as Elvis and Red Skelton comedy.
The Foley Art Center has served the Gulf Coast area with its Cultural Enrichment Programs since 1966.
They host annual events such as the Annual “Trim-A-Tree” Holiday Arts, Crafts & Gifts Show. Also, every year during Mothers’ Day weekend is the annual Arts in the Park Arts and Craft Show held in the John B. Foley Park downtown.
Among the unique things Foley has to offer is the medical museum which is quite fascinating.
Located in downtown Foley with free admission, the museum is housed in a former hospital. The Sibley Holmes Memorial Hospital was in operation from 1935 until it closed in 1958.
The museum showcases medical tools used in early twentieth-century medicine. Many display items are the original medical artifacts including surgical instruments, operating room equipment, and even a human skeleton. Medical equipment on display dates back into the 1800s.
The entrance is on the ground level, however, the Hospital is located on the second floor and is only accessible by stairs.
Admission is free and donations are appreciated. Check the website or Facebook page for current hours.
The model train exhibit is amazing and during the holiday season, the Polar Express arrives.
The complex features 16 state-of-the-art outdoor fields and a 90,000 sq ft. event center for stadium, arena, and outdoor sports events.
You may find yourself traveling to Foley Sports Complex for tournaments in the southeast. If you do, be sure to check out all of these other fabulous places Foley has to offer.
27 holes of Gulf Coast golf. The 18-hole, links-style, Dunes-Vista course, and the 9-hole resort-style Lakes layout provide a golf experience second to none.
The Pub at Glen Lakes serves breakfast and lunch.
Mini golf and vacation go together like peanut butter and jelly. So you will be pleased to know there is a big, nice mini-golf facility in Foley.
14. Disc Golf
Scroll down to the Graham Creek Nature Preserve where you will find three separate 18 basket Disc Golf courses. In collaboration with Foley Sports Tourism, Graham also hosts Disc Golf tournaments.
15. Heritage Park
A beautifully landscaped park in the center of downtown Foley, Heritage Park is a bustling centerpiece to this historic southern town.
The park is home to annual outdoor events such as Arts in the Park, Music, and Movies, and Christmas in the Park.
16. The Wilbourne Antique Rose Trail
The Rose Trail takes you on a winding journey through downtown Foley and showcases hundreds of disease-resistant heritage roses of all sizes and colors.
Plan to stop for pictures when the roses are in bloom. A recently painted gorgeous mural of roses painted along a wooden fence provides another great picture moment.
Foley’s Graham Creek Nature Preserve is almost 500 acres of protected natural habitats including pine savannas, bottomland wetlands, mixed forests, and tidal marshes.
Nature trails for hiking plus fishing, kayaking, and bird watching are encouraged. Free kayak and canoe launch. Any non-motorized vessel can be launched during daylight hours.
A raised boardwalk through the cypress wetlands connects visitors to the fishing pier along Wolf Creek. Pack a picnic because you will be delighted to find a pavilion at the end of the pier with picnic tables.
The Preserve features three Full 18-basket disc golf courses with novice and amateur concrete tee pads. There is also an archery area with specific rules and regulations.
A large Pavillion is available to rent with grills, picnic tables, restrooms nearby, and an open-air playground.
Check the site for a variety of guided recreation events held throughout the year. Visit the nature center with native reptile exhibits and educational displays.
Pinch to enlarge the map on your mobile device so you can see the downtown places to visit. They are located really close together making the markers on top of one another on the map.
In addition to my list of what to do in Foley, there is also a Mardi Gras parade in late February each year.
The beautiful beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are a short drive away from Foley. They are among our 7 Best Southeastern Beaches for Families. Foley is the perfect place to spend a day of your beach vacation. The only problem you will have is deciding what to do with so many things to choose from.
17 Fun Things To Do in Foley
- Owa Amusement Park
- Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival (held in May annually)
- The Charles J. Ebert, Jr. Memorial Train
- Tanger Outlets
- Foley Mainstreet
- OWA Downtown
- Alabama Gulf Coast Music Hall
- Foley Arts Center
- Holmes Medical Museum
- Foley Railroad Museum
- Foley Sports Tourism Complex
- Glen Lakes Golf Club
- Creekside Mini Golf & Arcade
- Disc Gold at Graham Creek Nature Preserve
- Heritage Park
- The Wilbourne Antique Rose Trail
- Graham Creek Nature Preserve