Eufaula, Alabama – Barbour County

August 1, 2023
Eufaula, Alabama - Barbour County

Eufaula, Alabama

the Big Bass Capital of the World


Endless outdoor fun plus a stunning historical context equals a city that is a tourist mecca

“We are hailed as a triple threat in the attraction field,” hails Eufaula’s Mayor, Jack Tibbs.

With so much on offer, this dynamic city is an act that is hard to follow and we haven’t even explored the historical downtown of this quaint, yet thriving little southern gem.

Blessed with a rich history that has left the city with over 700 structures in the downtown core that have been listed in the National Register of Historical and Architecturally Significant Places, the city of Eufaula is skilled at bringing in the crowds to take in the historical splendor.

“We are home to the oldest homes tours in Alabama, April’s Eufaula Pilgrimage and December’s Christmas Tour of Homes,” Mayor Tibbs elaborates.

“These tours draw thousands of visitors to experience Eufaula each year.”

So, they should, given that the historic district where these popular tours take place is award-winning and brimming with a variety of restaurants, al fresco dining, boutiques, and retail shops.

“Guests to Eufaula always enjoy shopping and dining under our canopy of illuminated live oaks that line our downtown median,” he adds.

Eufaula, Alabama - Barbour CountyVisitors are ‘hooked’ on Eufaula

Situated in the heart of Barbour County, Eufaula is home to a thriving recreational and commercial fishing industry. With a 45,000-acre lake at its doorstep, Eufaula is famous for more than its picturesque historical offerings, it is also dubbed the “Big Bass Capital of the World”

“Recreational tourism has a tremendous economic impact on our community,” Ann Sparks, Eufaula Chamber Tourism Director states. “In fact, with abundant natural resources, both hunting and fishing adventures await the professional sportsman or avid recreational outdoorsman.

To highlight the degree that tourism serves as both a revenue generator and a main economic driver, one has to look no further than the statistic that shows a jaw-dropping two million-plus visitors per year that take advantage of the lake.

“Over 100 fishing tournaments per year bring a multitude of heads on beds ranging from 100 to well over 900 room nights per tournament,” Sparks continues. With multiple national tournaments scheduled every year for Lake Eufaula that bring with them media coverage, the economic impact is substantial.

“We estimate the economic impact over 15 million annually,” Sparks projects.

When this revenue is combined with the activity brought into the city through the historical tours that include walk-throughs of two of Eufaula’s museums, The Shorter Mansion and Fendall Hall, the tourism numbers swell another 15 to 20,000.

“Our annual spring Eufaula Pilgrimage tour of homes has several events associated with it including an antique show, art walk, teas, luncheons & dinners, Tales from the Tomb, and our Christmas open house is just as popular with all the beautiful homes adorned for the holidays- truly a sight to see,” Sparks describes with enthusiasm.

Not to be outdone, Eufaula is also on the birding list with an impressive five sites along the famed Alabama Birding Trail, and the Lakepoint State Park and Resort, a 1220-acre state park, is only a hop and skip from the city center, seven miles on the northside of Eufaula on Highway 431.

“Adjacent to the National Park is the National Wildlife Refuge- an 11,000-plus acre protected habitat for endangered and threatened species,” Sparks adds.

In an active attempt to cater to its residents, as well as the influx of year-round visitors, Eufaula has put a great deal of thought, time, and energy into ensuring its historical downtown area is always looking its best. It can invest heavily to achieve this goal through partnerships with entities such as Alabama’s Main Street Program.

“Our Mainstreet Program is one of the original designated programs in the state,’ Steve Hawkins, Executive Director of the Eufaula Chamber of Commerce, describes.

“Through several groups, there are facade grants awarded annually creating a snowball effect for renovations.”

“It has truly created a bit of a renaissance of our downtown business district, making it one of the most popular stops for visitors to our community,” Hawkins elaborates.

Soon to add to the vibrant downtown district is a proposed state-of-the-art boutique hotel by Marriott to replace the former Bluff City Inn.

“We are also in the beginning stages of a renovation of the Old Martin Theater that is downtown and this renovation will ultimately convert the space to a small open-air event space, suitable for small concerts, lectures, book signings, or other events,” the mayor outlines.

Paving the way for infrastructure initiatives

“The Alabama Department of Transportation is currently in the planning phase of significant improvement projects to both US Highway 431 and US Highway 82,” The Mayor relays. “Traffic light synchronization, bridge widening, and safety improvement are ongoing and should be completed by December 2025.”

The city is working with several organizations to also improve any existing EV charging stations within the city, as well as in the process of adding more to offer those in the area and those that may be passing through.

“A rather large number of EV-driving beach-goers from Atlanta and other Northern states who stop in Eufaula are looking for charging opportunities,” Sparks adds. “So, we are working to satisfy their EV needs and show them some southern hospitality at the same time.”

On the infrastructure horizon for the city is also the much-anticipated planned hike in broadband capacity for the region.

“The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) recently announced a ‘middle-mile’ project that will complete a loop around the Wiregrass, connecting us directly with Montgomery, Troy, Ozark, Dothan, and Abbeville,” Sparks outlines.

“Broadband is coming to the Wiregrass in a big way,” the mayor exclaims.

Eufaula, Alabama - Barbour County

Businesses turning to Eufaula

There is nothing quite like the renowned southern hospitality, and it certainly comes in handy when trying to attract companies into the area and work with existing companies on any planned expansions.

“Eufaula is home to a robust recreational and commercial fishing industry. Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics Inc manufactures their Hummingbird fish finders right here in Eufaula and they’re the only fish finder company making their products in the United States,” Hawkins explains.

Eufaula can also boast two of the largest soft plastic bait manufacturers; Big Bite Baits and Southern Plastics.

“Timber, wood, and wood pulp are also major drivers for Barbour County which is situated in the eastern ‘wood basket’ of Alabama,” The Mayor elaborates.

“We have three industry-leading sawmills, a Westrock coated paper board mill, and several timber harvesting operations in the County which collectively employ over 5,000 people,” he adds.


Rounding out the list of companies that enjoy doing business with Eufaula is Tyson Foods, which is an industry-leading poultry production operation.

“We are very proud of Tyson Foods. They operate one of the largest poultry processing facilities in the country and they support an equally large number of growers. Tyson’s main facility is located in Baker Hill and they process several million pounds of chicken per week,” Sparks states.

Looking ahead

When asked what the future of Eufaula will look like in three to five years, the mayor was quick to answer enthusiastically.

“In five years, we see ourselves enjoying the fruits of several ongoing industrial expansions and we will have developed a few hundred housing units with retail also expanding in our area,” he projects.

He includes the completion of broadband to the area in his overall vision as well as the completion of the boutique hotel along with the proposed downtown event and conference center fully completed and located across the street from the gleaming new hotel.

We have no doubt this will happen for a town that is both steeped in southern charm and possesses the grit to see things through.

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Eufaula, Alabama


Eufaula, Alabama

What: A city known for its tourism draw and meet anticipated growth with a host of city initiatives

Where: Barbour County, Alabama



Anderson Construction Company of Fort Gaines –

Eufaula Barbour County Chamber –

Tyson Foods –

Elm Machining Corp. –

Gala Gas Company –

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