Boaz

Boaz

August 20th, 2012 by Joy Lukachick Smith in Glimpse 2012-a

The factory outlet stores in Boaz, Ala., are a popular destination.

Photo by Tracey Trumbull/Times Free Press.

Stop off Interstate 59 and visit a newly renovated downtown known for antique shopping and Southern charm.

Boaz is a close-knit community.

But step out of your car and find a town with tasty restaurants, frequent celebrations like the annual Antique Tractor Show and a fall beauty show.

Drive five miles down the road and visit a North Alabama vineyard and winery for a blend of sweet and savory wines grown locally on Sand Mountain.

- Compiled by staff writer Joy Lukachick,

jlukachick@timesfreepress.com,

423-757-6659.

Best kept secret

A taste of Alabama. Take a drive past the historic buildings at Snead State Community College and go five miles outside of Boaz for a taste of Jules J. Berta Vineyards.

• The seven acres atop Sand Mountain produce an array of flavors from a Chardonnay to a Sylavaner, grown with an imported Hungarian grape.

• Owner Jules Berta Jr. also makes wines from grapes grown by local farmers. A signature product is the blackberry fruit wine, mixed with fresh blackberries and red wine

aged in oak.

• Wine tasting is offered inside the cozy store at 1409 Darden Ave. in Albertville from Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tours throughout the vineyard also are offered.

• Inside the store find more than 15 types of cheeses imported from all over the world to complement your choice of wine.

Source: Jules J. Berta Vineyards

BEST THINGS TO DO

Browsing antiques. Depression glass, Prussia glassware American glassware. The collections go on and on. Boaz offers variety of antique stores nestled in the newly renovated downtown area.

• Downton Antique Gallery, located at 102 S. Main St., boasts having the largest collection of Fenton glass, along with antique funiture and other collections.

• Past Time Antiques, at 116 S. Main St., has more than 50 vendors with everything from mahogany to shabby chic, from vintage toys unicyles to Victorian sofas.

• Also visit Boaz Outlet Malls for a variety of stores including Kitchen Collections and the Furniture Outlet.

Source: Boaz Chamber of Commerce/antique store owners

BEST PLACE TO EAT AND WHY

• Mill Street Deli, a delectable soup and sandwich shop, is known for its chicken salad. Served on a croissant with a bed of lettuce, this sandwich is bragged about in "100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die."

• The popular lunch spot is open Monday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., off 104 N. McCleskey St.

Source: Boaz Chamber of Commerce

BOAZ FOR BEGINNERS

• Population: 9,800

• Biggest employers: Pilgrim's Pride, TS Tect Alabama n Landmarks or geographic features: Snead State Community College, founded in 1898 as a seminary school

• Date founded: 1897

• History: The city was named after the Biblical character Boaz, who was Ruth's husband. The name came from G.M.E. Mann in 1886 when he and his in-laws successfully set up a postal desk at his store on Main Street. The town was officially incorporated 11 years later after a railroad line was established.

• Fun fact: Boaz and nearby Albertville have been working to attract music stars during the summer, including popular

country band Diamond Rio and longtime country draw Lee Greenwood.

Source: Boaz Chamber of Commerce

LOCAL EVENTS

She thinks my tractor's ...'

• Boaz Antique Tractor Show - Held every summer with contests that include the best tractor and a tractor race.

• Boaz Second Saturday Nights - The bimonthly festival from March through September includes an antique car cruise,

entertainment and a local band.

• Harvest Festival Beauty Pageant - The contest for ages 1 to 21 is held every year the week before the Harvest

Festival.

• Boaz Harvest Festival - Always the first weekend in October, it features an antique car show, farmers market, arts and crafts shows and live entertainment.

Source: Boaz Chamber of Commerce