Shopping Secrets

 

 

THE DILLARDS OUTLET in Eastdale Mall has amazing deals each day of the week- be ready to dig!
THE CHILDREN’S PLACE in Eastchase offers 20% off coupons if you’re on their email list. I buy a season ahead (jeans for as low as $6!)
THE DISNEY STORE in JCPenney runs the same deals as the online Disney store.
THE CURB MARKET is the perfect place to get the best produce at the best prices. Kids get exposure to the concept of farming, and Mrs. Smitherman always gives them a cookie!
CONSIGNMENT SALES are held at My Kids’ Attic twice a year. You can find kid’s clothes, adult’s clothes, and even housewares.
YOU NAME IT does the best monogramming and gift wrapping- they are super sweet!
EASTBROOK FLEA MARKET & ANTIQUES is THE place to find great items for decorating your home- it’s a modern-day treasure hunt!

Lesli Carter is not only an RN at Baptist East, but also an avid shopper, wife, and mom to Kaylee (11), Nathan (6), and John David (2). Lesli and her husband, Bryan, are from Montgomery and lead a young couples Sunday School class at Frazer UMC. Bryan, owner of Carter Photography & Design, can be
spotted at most area events with his camera in hand.

Hot Spots

Whether you’re new to Montgomery or just passing through for a visit, there are tons of “hidden gems” worth checking out in the capital city. exploreMedia designer and Montgomery native Shelby Shubird shares her favorite spots around town.

DOWNTOWN has changed so much over the last few years, and there is more to do than ever! We love grabbing dinner at Dreamland and then heading over to The Exchange for live music and
a drink with friends. During the summer, we try to catch as many Biscuits games as we can.

OLD CLOVERDALE is a quaint little section of town with an abundance of places to eat. If you’re a fan of margaritas, be sure to stop by El Rey for dinner and drinks- they have an awesome outdoor
seating area. If Sunday brunch is your thing, check out Vintage Year.

PIKE ROAD may be a small town, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to do there. We love driving out to SweetCreek, and can spend an entire afternoon there. Try the BBQ or the sandwiches in the cafe, then grab some ice cream and take a walk around the property to visit the farm
animals. Make sure to head back into the market afterwards to get some fresh produce!

EASTCHASE has everything you need, from housewares to fine dining on a budget. We enjoy heading to dinner for happy hour and being able to window shop while we wait for a table.

Cool off at the Lake

Lake Martin, one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, is a popular recreation area for swimming, boating, fishing, water skiing, camping, and golfing. Located less than an hour from the Montgomery area, this lake borders the cities of Dadeville, Eclectic, and Alexander City. Many locals make Lake Martin a weekend getaway, taking advantage of the condos and houses for rent, as well as watercraft rentals at several marinas.

Lake Martin hosts many events throughout the year, including various fishing tournaments, Art on the Lake, a fireworks show on the Fourth of July, and the Alexander City Jazz Festival, held at Lake Martin Amphitheater each summer.

The lake is home to several landmarks, such as the Kowaliga Bridge and Goat Island, but perhaps the most famous of all is Chimney Rock, a large rock formation that resembles (you guessed it!) a chimney. Chimney Rock is visited by thousands of boaters each year who park in front of the rock to watch daredevils climb up 60 feet to jump off into the water.

MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT THESE AREAS WHEN VISITING LAKE MARTIN:
• Chimney Rock Island – Chimney Rock has long been a famous landmark on Lake Martin. Its name comes from a tall rock resembling a chimney that protrudes from the top of the island.
• Acapulco Rock Island – Acapulco Rock Island is located in the Tallassee River Gorge, and is often mistaken for Chimney Rock.
• Goat Island – North of Martin Dam, Goat Island has become the residence for a family of goats. Bring food- they’re friendly!

POPULAR RESTAURANTS:
• The Landing at Parker Creek – With a beach and play area for kids to enjoy, the adults can have a minute to relax and enjoy themselves, too. This is the perfect place for the family to hang out and grab a bite to eat!
• Chuckwalla’s Pizzeria – Pick up a pizza for lunch during an afternoon boat ride, or head over for dinner and enjoy some live music. Try a specialty pizza- we recommend the “Chimney Rock” or the “Goat Island.”
• Peanut Point – Located at the north side of the lake, Peanut Point is a great spot to take a ride over to. Pick up some of the area’s best-boiled peanuts!
• Catherine’s Market – Looking to pick up a few forgotten groceries or a delicious meal? Catherine’s is your spot! Located at the gorgeous Russell Crossroads, you’ll want to make sure to check out the views. Looking for something a little more upscale? Be sure to check out Springhouse right around the corner.

Explore Unique Alabama Spots

Scottsboro – Unclaimed Baggage Center
unclaimedbaggage.com
Ever wondered what happens to lost luggage? Look no further than Scottsboro, home of the Unclaimed Baggage Center. Approximately 7,000 new items arrive daily, and visitors have a chance to purchase their pick of clothing, electronics, and assorted oddities. Extremely rare finds, such as “Hoggle” from Jim Hensen’s Labyrinth, are on display at the Center’s on-site museum.

Birmingham – Vulcan Statue
visitvulcan.com
Standing tall at 56 feet, Birmingham’s Vulcan is the largest statue ever made in the United States. The statue was created for display at the 1904 World’s Fair, and is meant to resemble the Colossus
of Rhodes. Visitors can take stairs to the very top and gaze over Birmingham.

Selma – Antique Shopping
The best treasure troves can be found in this small, yet world-renowned, city that houses over 1,100 historical structures, with unique trinkets to match. Antique stores can be found dotting the city from downtown to the outskirts. We have found everything from vintage clothing and furniture to a velvet Elvis (yes, we’ve all heard about these, but when have you been able to own one for less than $20?!)

Delta – Cheaha Mountain
alapark.com/cheaha-state-park
Visit the highest point in Alabama (2,407 feet above sea level, to be exact). Take in the gorgeous views, do a little hiking, and take a climb to the very top of Bunker Tower.

Seale- The Museum of Wonder
museumofwonder.com
Interested in all things strange and fantastic? Alabama artist Butch Anthony has filled his old taxidermy shop with original art made of animal bones, rusted metal, and other odd materials.
Take a trip to visit his museum in this 500-square foot cabin- it’s sure to be memorable!

Millbrook- Jackson Lake Island
Step into Spectre, the fictional town custom built for Tim Burton’s film Big Fish. Visitors can explore the movie set on Jackson Lake Island, just outside of Millbrook, for an entry fee of $3 a day. Check out the Jackson Lake Island Facebook page for more info.

Auburn – Chewacla State Park
www.alapark.com/chewacla-state-park
Located only 40 minutes from Montgomery, this state park features a lake, hiking trails, a waterfall, and campsites. The newest attraction is a mountain biking trail that is used for
recreational and competitive use. The campgrounds book well in advance for the fall as Auburn fans pour in for game weekends.

Cullman – Ave Maria Grotto
avemariagrotto.com
Also known as “Jerusalem in Miniature”, the Ave Maria Grotto spans over four acres and features miniature models of more than 125 world-famous locations. Each model was built by Brother Joseph Zoettl, a monk with a severe hunchback, from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Retirement Communities

Montgomery was named the #3 Best Place to Retire in Alabama by Niche in 2017! Are you dreaming of a home with less yard work, more privacy, and valuable amenities? Check out a few of Montgomery’s many retiree-friendly communities:

THE ORCHARDS AT LAKE FOREST, conveniently located in East Montgomery, offers condo-style living. Residents pay a flat monthly fee that covers yard maintenance, water, garbage pickup, pest control, and security services. Take a dip in the pool, visit the fitness center, or join your neighbors at one of the many weekly social events hosted by the neighborhood.

GROVE PARK’S HOA covers all yard maintenance for its residents. Located near Blount Cultural Park, the neighborhood features an abundance of greenery and walking trails. Residents can enjoy the clubhouse’s indoor, heated saltwater pool, as well as a fitness center and game room.

BERRY HILL PLACE APARTMENT HOMES are perfect for retirees looking to spend more time relaxing and less time worrying about home maintenance. Located just across from EastChase, these apartment homes feature screened porches and scenic lakeside views. Don’t worry about taking out the trash concierge
trash removal is offered daily.

With its low housing costs, unique cultural environment, and rich history, Montgomery is a premium choice for retirees looking for a new place to call home.

Retirement in the River Region

 

In 2000, we moved to Wetumpka from Michigan with my husband’s job transfer. After retiring in 2008, we weren’t anxious to go back to shoveling snow. Needless to say, we enjoy the southern climate, which normally eliminates the snow issue and allows us to enjoy our gardening and outdoor activities, like golfing and swimming. We’ve found the River Region to be a great retirement option for these reasons:

• The proximity of the beaches makes weekend getaways an easy option.

• The Montgomery area offers entertainment, sports, restaurants, museums, and plenty of shopping. If that’s not enough, the two major interstates provide quick access to larger metro areas, such as Birmingham and Atlanta.

• Lower property taxes allow our retirement dollars to go a lot farther than places we have previously lived.

There is something to be said about the famous “Southern Hospitality”- it’s the real deal. Our children and grandchildren who live in northern states also notice it when they come to visit. Gosh, we even enjoy eating boiled peanuts and drinking sweet tea now!

Rita Kafka and her husband, Gaylord, have lived in Nebraska, Indiana, and Michigan. Rita enjoys greeting newcomers and bring them welcome goodies through the Warm Welcome Montgomery outreach of Know the Community. She always has a smile on her face and can be spotted working out at Curves, having lunch with Gaylord, or traveling to spend time with her children and grandchildren.