12 Attractions in Hoover, Alabama

Last Updated on February 28, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Hoover is a vibrant suburb located just south of Birmingham, Alabama. With a population of over 85,000 residents, Hoover offers visitors plenty of attractions, activities, dining, and entertainment options. From unique museums and outdoor spaces to shopping centers and sports complexes, Hoover has something for everyone.

Aldridge GardensGardensA serene garden featuring hydrangeas, walking paths, and art installations.
Moss Rock PreserveNature PreserveA natural preserve offering rock climbing, hiking trails, and waterfalls.
Hoover Metropolitan ComplexSports ComplexA multifaceted venue hosting sports events, concerts, and community activities.
Riverchase GalleriaShopping MallOne of the largest shopping malls in the region with a variety of stores and eateries.
Regions ParkStadiumA modern stadium hosting baseball games and other sporting events.
Hoover Historical SocietyHistorical SiteDedicated to preserving the history of Hoover with various historical exhibits.
Shades Crest Baptist ChurchCultural SiteA historic church known for its community services and architectural beauty.
Loch Haven Dog ParkDog ParkA well-maintained park offering off-leash areas, trails, and agility equipment.
Aldridge Botanical GardensBotanical GardenHome to a variety of plant species, walking trails, and scenic views.
Patton Creek Shopping CenterShopping CenterA shopping destination with a mix of retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment options.
Barber Vintage Motorsports MuseumMuseumShowcases vintage motorcycles and cars, with a focus on racing history.
TCBY TreatsDessert ShopA popular spot for frozen yogurt and a variety of sweet treats.

This article will highlight 12 of the top attractions and things to do in Hoover for first-time and returning visitors. The attractions listed offer a diverse range of experiences, suitable for individuals, couples, families with kids, and groups. With natural spaces, cultural sites, sporting venues, and entertainment centers, Hoover’s attractions paint a rich picture of life in one of Alabama’s most beloved suburbs.

Aldridge Gardens

Name and Location: Aldridge Gardens in Hoover, AL

History and Significance: Opened in 2002, this stunning 30-acre public garden estate features cultivated floral spaces, fountains, sculptures and walking trails centered around a 1930s historic home. It hosts arts, cultural events year-round.

What to Expect: Explore exquisite themed gardens from hydrangea to butterfly with over 20,000 plants. Seasonal light shows offered Nov-Jan. Venue available for weddings, meetings and more. Lovely spot to take a tranquil stroll.

Visitor Information: Open daily 9am-5pm (until 8pm Thurs). Admission $8 for adults, $4 ages 2-12, under 2 free. Annual memberships available. Reservations required for groups 10+.

Spanning over 30 acres in Hoover, Aldridge Gardens is a stunning public garden space that is suitable for visitors of all ages. Beautiful walking trails wind through lush floral displays, water features, and woodland areas. The focal point is a five-acre lake surrounded by hydrangea-lined pathways and arched footbridges. Other highlights include the Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Asian-inspired Garden House, and Hydrangea Garden.

From March through December, Aldridge Gardens has a rotating calendar of events and classes like fairy garden workshops, plein air painting sessions, summer camps, and the annual Hydrangea Festival. Admission is $8 for adults and $3 for children ages 2-12. Aldridge Gardens is one of Hoover’s most Instagrammed destinations thanks to the incredible gardens that provide natural beauty and color throughout the year.

Hoover Metropolitan Complex

Name and Location: Hoover Metropolitan Complex in Hoover, AL

History and Significance: Open since 1998, this vast 350-acre facility serves as one of the largest youth sports tournament venues in the region. It features aquatic center, stadium, baseball quadraplexes, indoor courts, greenspaces and more.

What to Expect: Hosts hundreds of regional youth athletic events across a wide array of team sports. Features expansive facilities for both participants and spectators. Also houses conference spaces, sports med clinics.

Visitor Information: Facility access varies by specific arenas/courts in use. Contact administrators about public entry, schedules and ticket information for particular sporting events.

The Hoover Metropolitan Complex is one of Alabama’s largest indoor multi-purpose stadiums and events venues. Located right off I-459, the complex contains over 200,000 square feet of versatile space suitable for sports, conventions, trade shows, and special events.

The two main spaces are the Finley Center arena and the Hoover RV Park. The Finley Center has over 155,000 square feet of contiguous floor space and has hosted events like the SEC Gymnastics Championships in addition to concerts and family entertainment. The Hoover RV Park offers short-term, full-service RV sites minutes away from the Finley Center.

In addition to event rental spaces, the Hoover Metropolitan Complex has walking trails, a playground, batting cages, dog park, skatepark, and managed public access to the Cahaba River. With ample parking and proximity to restaurants and attractions, the Complex is a hub for both residents and visitors.

Riverchase Galleria

Name and Location: Riverchase Galleria Mall in Hoover, AL

History and Significance: Alabama’s largest mall spanning 1.5 million sq ft, this premier shopping destination opened in 1986 featuring department stores, specialty shops, dining, and entertainment options attracting 13 million annual regional visitors.

What to Expect: From stylish apparel to electronics and home goods, find nearly 200 stores. Also houses a food hall, comedy club and cinema. Great indoor spot to spend a day eating, relaxing and shopping.

Visitor Information: Open Mon-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 12pm-6pm. Anchored by Macy’s, JCPenney, Target Greatland. Website has store directory.

The Riverchase Galleria is Alabama’s largest mall and one of the most popular shopping, dining, and entertainment destinations in Hoover. Spanning over 1.5 million square feet, the Galleria has nearly 200 stores, restaurants, and specialty shops.

Anchor stores include Macy’s, JC Penny, Target, and Belk in addition to department stores like H&M and Forever 21. The Galleria’s central court and skylight create an open, airy atmosphere with family-friendly amenities like nursing rooms, stroller rentals, wheelchair/scooter rentals, and cell phone charging stations.

In addition to retail shopping and casual dining, visitors can experience attractions like indoor rock climbing at Climb 52, laser tag and arcade games at Revolutions, or enjoy the 18-screen movie theater. With its combination of national chains and local boutiques alongside entertainment options, the Riverchase Galleria offers visitors one-stop access to premier shopping, dining, and amusement.

Moss Rock Preserve

Name and Location: Moss Rock Preserve in Hoover, AL

History and Significance: Comprising scenic woodlands, wetlands and sandstone outcroppings, this 205-acre nature conservancy property has remained undeveloped since the city’s founding. It offers a peaceful green respite near suburbia.

What to Expect: Features 7 miles of rustic hiking/biking trails from easy to rugged with great valley views. Spot diverse plants and wildlife. Benches provided for resting and reflecting in natural solitude.

Visitor Information: Free access. Open daily 8am-5pm. Several parking lots around perimeter trails. Restrooms available at Interpretive Center near Chesser Rd lot.

Outdoor enthusiasts visiting Hoover should spend some time exploring Moss Rock Preserve – a 205-acre nature park showcasing unique rock outcroppings, Coldwater Spring, woodland clearings, wildlife habitats, and over 4 miles of rustic hiking trails. Interpretive signs share details about the native plants and geological formations as visitors traverse trails with varying levels of difficulty.

The preserve has picnic shelters along the trails in addition to access for mountain biking and leashed pets. Photographers flock to Moss Rock Preserve to capture photos of rare seasonal sights like waterfalls, wildflowers, fall foliage, and even winter snow and ice. Admission to Moss Rock Preserve is free year-round during daylight hours.

Birmingham Zoo

Name and Location: Birmingham Zoo in Birmingham, AL

History and Significance: Operating since 1955, this expansive 122-acre zoo is home to nearly 1000 animals from 230 species. It emphasizes wildlife education/conservation. Recently opened an interactive sea lion exhibit.

What to Expect: Get up-close views of exotic creatures in engaging natural habitats including an African lion pride, lemurs, Komodo dragons, sharks and much more. Feed giraffes from elevated platforms.

Visitor Information: Open daily 9am-5pm. Adults $19.95, seniors $17.95, ages 2-12 $14.95, under 2 free. Memberships offer discounts. Tram tour included.

The Birmingham Zoo in Hoover is Alabama’s must-see zoological park. Home to nearly 850 animals across 200 species, the zoo offers family-friendly exhibits tailored for kids and adults to enjoy. Larger mammals like elephants, tigers, bears, chimpanzees, and zebras inhabit detailed multi-acre habitats while reptiles, amphibians, tropical species, and local wildlife reside in innovative indoor spaces.

Special highlights at the Birmingham Zoo include an interactive lorikeet aviary, train ride, carousel, and splash park in addition to daily keeper chats, animal feedings, and special events. Visitors tour the zoo via an interpretive walkway showcasing different ecosystems like Alberta – home base for the zoo’s polar bear habitats.

Reasonably priced annual memberships, special autumn events like Boo at the Zoo, and winter experiences like Holiday Lights Festival make the Birmingham Zoo an ideal year-round attraction.

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

Name and Location: Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, AL

History and Significance: Opened in 1995, this vast museum houses the world’s largest motorcycle collection spanning over 1600 vehicles plus rare vintage cars like a 1948 Tucker on a sprawling multi-building campus.

What to Expect: Marvel at an unparalleled array of motorbikes and automobiles in pristine condition. Interactive exhibits let visitors sit on/in select vehicles. Gift shop sells branded merch.

Visitor Information: Open Weds-Mon 10am-5pm, closed Tuesdays. Adults $16, seniors $14, ages 5-17 $10, under 5 free. Guided group tours available by reservation.

Motorcycle and racing fans visiting Hoover need to stop by the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum – home to over 1,400 vintage and modern motorcycles. As one of the world’s largest motorcycle collections, the museum spans over 148,000 square feet with North America’s largest motorcycle display climbing three floors high with over 700 bikes.

Rotating and permanent exhibits highlight bikes throughout history from early American models to European superbikes and current MotoGP racers. Many displays focus on rare, fully restored bikes in pristine condition.

Visitors can enjoy guided museum tours, special events, meet-and-greets with famous racers, and even book track time at the neighbouring Barber Motorsports racing complex. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum offers a one-of-a-kind look into motorcycle history appreciated by enthusiasts worldwide.

Hoover Public Library

Name and Location: Hoover Public Library in Hoover, AL

History and Significance: Established in 1967, this flagship branch serves as the central library for Jefferson County with over 300,000 materials spanning books, movies, music and more alongside hosting community events.

What to Expect: Vast collections for perusing stacks or borrowing items. Various public programs offered like author talks, tech and job search classes. Spaces available for studying or meetings.

Visitor Information: Free access with library card. Open Mon-Thurs 9am-9pm, Fri-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 1pm-6pm. Some special services require fees.

The Hoover Public Library is a community pillar offering education, entertainment, and engagement for visitors and residents of all ages and backgrounds. In addition to an extensive collection of print books, magazines, eBooks, movies, music, and more, the library has computers, free WiFi, cozy reading nooks, study rooms, and a robust calendar of events and classes open to the public.

Kids and families can participate in story times, Lego club, STEM activities, and game days while adults may enjoy trivia nights, yoga classes, book clubs, technology seminars, artisan workshops, and health talks.

The 120,000-square-foot contemporary library space includes genealogy resources, climate-controlled archives, a cosy fireplace, patio, and onsite café. With published writers, scholars, and artists regularly hosting talks or displaying work in the art gallery, the Hoover Public Library informs, entertains, and connects the community year-round.

Art ‘N Motion Studio

Name and Location: Art ‘n Motion Dance Studio in Hoover, AL

History and Significance: Founded in 1998, this family-run studio provides high caliber dance education for kids through adults in various styles including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and more.

What to Expect: Friendly, welcoming atmosphere with skilled instructors. Offers classes for all ages/abilities from creative movement to competition prep level alongside holiday camps.

Visitor Information: First intro class $25, recurring membership rates vary. Schedule private lessons from $40/hr. Monthly rates available. Pro-shop sells dancewear, shoes.

For some indoor entertainment, check out Art ‘N Motion Studio located in historic downtown Hoover. This paint-your-own-pottery studio has a relaxed, creative environment suitable for crafters of all skill levels. Visitors choose from hundreds of blank bisque pieces from mugs to platters then decorate using the studio’s acrylic paints and brushes before staff glazes and fires the finished works.

In addition to paint-your-own pottery, Art ‘N Motion Studio hosts workshops in stained glass, clay handbuilding, wood crafts, jewelry making, canvas painting, and more. Private party bookings are available. The studio is wheelchair accessible and suitable for all ages from young painters to experienced artists. Plus, food and beverages are allowed so guests can enjoy snacks and conversation while crafting.

With reasonable hourly rates, frequent sales, and seasonal member discounts, Art ‘N Motion Studio lets visitors make memorable keepsakes showcasing their creativity as the perfect rainy day or family activity.

Trail Mate Park

Name and Location: Trail Mate Dog Park in Hoover, AL

History and Significance: Opened in 2018, this off-leash recreation space spanning 4 acres aims to provide local pet owners and dogs a safe area to exercise, train, socialize and play together outdoors.

What to Expect: Features separated areas for large and small dogs to roam freely and interact with fellow furry friends. Benches, agility equipment, water stations throughout for convenience.

Visitor Information: Free access. Open daily 7am-7pm. Owners must clean up after pets. Annual pass with vacc proof required for entry.

Active families and outdoor explorers appreciate a visit to Trail Mate Park located minutes from the Riverchase Galleria. This access point into the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System has a network of natural surface trails open to hikers, trail runners, and even leashed pets. Well-marked paths cater to all fitness levels with wider gently sloping trails in addition to more rustic single track options.

Trailside amenities include drinking fountains for humans and pets, maps and mileage markers, picnic tables, a bike repair station, and clean restrooms. An open field, gazebo, and playground create space for games, relaxing, and letting kids burn off extra energy.

Seasonal interpretive ranger walks provide ecology education and nature trivia. Complimentary trailhead parking makes Trail Mate Park an ideal spot for quick workouts, enjoying nature, walking the family dog, or accessing longer excursions along scenic ridges and valleys via the interconnected regional trails.

TCBY Treats

Name and Location: TCBY Treats Frozen Yogurt in Hoover, AL

History and Significance: Part of the successful US frozen yogurt franchise since the 1980s, this Hoover location has dished out premium soft-serve paired with endless toppings to the local community for over 35 years as a go-to dessert spot.

What to Expect: Signature soft-serve yogurt with options of classic or unique flavors by the cup or cone. Help yourself to wide array of toppings from fruits to candy, cookies and more. Indoor/outdoor seating.

Visitor Information: Open Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. Prices vary by cup size $3-7, toppings extra. Cash/cards accepted. Order cakes, pies and take-home packs online.

Cool down with a sweet frozen treat from TCBY Treats yogurt shop, conveniently located in downtown Hoover. As one of Birmingham’s only shops specializing in soft-serve frozen yogurt, TCBY Treats has a fun nostalgic atmosphere reminiscent of old-school ice cream parlors and soda fountains. However, their delectable menu items put a contemporary twist on frosty desserts.

Made-to-order yogurt options span classic frozen yogurt to gelato, sugar-free, dairy-free, and no-sugar-added selections alongside fresh fruit sorbets and Italian ice flavors. Get creative at the toppings bar piled high with fruits, candies, cookies, nuts, and other confections.

TCBY Treats also serves signature cups, shakes, and floats in addition to coffee drinks. The cozy shop’s reasonable prices and central Main Street address make this yogurt and ice cream eatery an ideal stop for families and friend groups of all ages.

Hoover Historical Society

Name and Location: Hoover Historical Society in Hoover, AL

History and Significance: Founded in 1985, this nonprofit organization is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of Hoover through exhibits, collections, programs and the 1883 Bluff Park Schoolhouse museum – one of the city’s oldest existing structures.

What to Expect: Membership gets you access to all events, research archives and quarterly newsletter. Monthly meetings open to public. Visit their museum site and peruse artifacts, photos narrating Hoover’s past.

Visitor Information: Free admission. Museum open second Sundays 2-4pm or by appointment. Minimal annual dues to be a member. Call 205-822-9392 for details.

Understanding more about Hoover’s journey from early agricultural roots into a thriving community is easy thanks to the volunteer-run Hoover Historical Society. Housed in a preserved craftsman-style farmhouse, the Society’s campus includes heritage buildings showcasing furnishings and artifacts telling Hoover’s evolving story from the 1800s into the mid-1900s.

Self-guided tour brochures explain different buildings like the Cow Den barn while seasonal events include heritage crafts, music nights, holiday gatherings, food truck rallies, and more for low admission prices.

Society members and local historians regularly give talks explaining Hoover’s timeline through key industries like cotton farming and industrial innovations at the nearby Tennessee Coal and Iron company. Visitors who want to connect with Hoover’s rich past will appreciate the personal charm and family-friendly vibe of the nonprofit Hoover Historical Society.

Shades Crest Baptist Church

Name and Location: Shades Crest Baptist Church in Hoover, AL

History and Significance: Founded in 1949, this Baptist ministry has deep roots in the community with1500+ members. They gather for worship services, bible studies and volunteer programs helping the needy while spreading spiritual guidance.

What to Expect: Sunday services at 8:15am and 10:45am feature choir singing, scripture readings and sermons. Various growth groups, kids programs and community service initiatives to join throughout the week.

Visitor Information: Free admission. Located on Independence Drive. Visit or call 205-822-3593 for schedule. Nursery/children’s programs provided parallel to main services.

Hoover has dozens of welcoming places of worship; however, architecture buffs will want to visit Shades Crest Baptist Church to admire the sanctuary’s incredible stained glass windows and soaring wood-beam ceilings.

English master craftsmen created expansive stained glass works retelling biblical stories through intricate detail and symbolism. The windows even withstood a 2006 tornado that leveled parts of the church thanks to their impeccable quality and engineering.

Free tours are available showcasing the awe-inspiring windows in addition to the church’s custom pipe organ created by master organ builders utilizing architecture elements from England’s Westminster and Canterbury Cathedrals.

Beyond admiring artistic details, Shades Crest opens their doors to community events like concerts plus outreach initiatives focused on children’s advocacy, supporting foster families, and meeting crisis needs for struggling individuals. Visitors drawn to incredible sacred art and uplifting connections across the community find an open invitation at this local worship landmark in Hoover.


Hoover is much more than a pass-through point on the way to Alabama’s bigger cities. This vibrant suburb has top-notch attractions ranging from stunning gardens and parks to championship sports facilities and incredible shopping plus rich history and family entertainment.

Natural sites like Moss Rock Preserve and Aldridge Gardens showcase the beauty of the region through wooded trails, tranquil water features, and flowering displays.

The Birmingham Zoo, Riverchase Galleria, Hoover Met Complex, and amusement venues like bowling allies and arcade game centers offer plenty of options for families and groups seeking fun indoor and outdoor activities together.

Visitors also connect with Hoover’s heritage through sites like the Historical Society and Shades Crest Baptist’s awe-inspiring English Gothic architecture and stained glass. With such diversity across Hoover attractions, travelers enjoy creating custom itineraries catering to individual interests and suitable for quick visits or extended stays showcasing Hoover’s Southern hospitality and charm.

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