Mentone, a small town in DeKalb County, Ala., boasts having the southernmost ski resort in the region. The city sits on top of Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama's Appalachian foothills and showcases natural scenery like no other city.
A 104-foot waterfall, DeSoto Falls, flows just on the outskirts of Mentone. The falls is one of the tallest and most visited waterfalls in Alabama. Mentone also has the highest elevation of any incorporated town in the state. It is full of mountain streams, hiking trails, greenery and wild flowers.
The historic town has long welcomed artists, and visitors will find scenic vistas and intimate scenes to fill their senses and their photo cards.
— Compiled by Yolanda Putman
Ski the mountain
> Only in Mentone will visitors find Cloudmont Ski & Golf Resort, the only ski resort in Alabama and the southernmost ski resort in the south. It opens as soon as winter overnight temperatures drop to 28 degrees or colder. Warm weather doesn’t keep the resort down — it focuses on golf during the summer.
> Mentone is also home to Shady Grove Dude Ranch, Alabama’s only dude ranch, just off County Road 165. The ranch offers guided hourly trail rides and lodging in the “Roundup” or rustic cabins. Call 256-634-4333 for Shady Grove Dude Ranch or Cloudmont Ski and Golf Resort.
Best Places to Lodge
> Raven Haven Bed & Breakfast is located just off Highway 117, 651 County Road 644 in Mentone. Room prices range from $135 to $120. Call 256-634-4310 for more information
> Mentone Mountain View Inn is Mentone’s only Inn sitting on the edge of Lookout Mountain. The Inn, located at 25891 County Road 89, offers picturesque views. The nightly rates are about $150. For more information call 888-560-0492.
> Mountain Laurel Inn, located at 624 Road 948 in Mentone, is only a 10-minute walk from DeSoto Falls, a nearly 100-foot tall waterfall. The inn offers beautiful scenery of woods and wildflowers. Rates are about $120 for one or two people and about $140-$170 for two to four people. Contact the inn at 256-634-4673.
Best Places to Eat
> Moonlight Bistro, 6080 Highway 117, is known in the area for its fresh fried green tomatoes served with homemade remoulade sauce. The Bistro, located in the heart of downtown Mentone, offers seafood, pastas and hand-cut beef fillets. It opens at 11 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. It’s closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Call 256-634-4560 or visit mymentone.com/Moonlight.html.
> Wildflower Cafe and Country Store, located at 6007 Al Highway 117, is housed in a renovated 1887 home with rooms that have been converted into dining areas. Live acoustic music is featured on weekends. The lunch and dinner menu includes vegan, organic and gluten free options. Open daily 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call 256-634-0066 for more information.
> Twiggs, a coffee shop located in Kamama Art Gallery, offers full menu options including vegetarian dishes, sandwiches, seafood and chicken. Located at 5951 Hwy 117, it serves lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information call 256-634-3001 or go to kamamamentone.com.
> Several locals say the small eatery Helena’s Gas & Deli serves the best burgers in the state. It’s on Alabama Highway 117 and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The deli closes early at 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and 4 p.m. on Sundays. The menu also includes breakfast sandwiches, salads, fish, hot dogs and chicken fingers. Call 256-634-0065 or visit helenasgasanddeli.com.
> The city is located in DeKalb County.
> Population: 371 as of July 1, 2015, according to alabama.hometown locator.com
> The community was named after Menton in France.
> Mentone literally means musical mountain spring.
> Median Household Income: $35,610
> The town is located along the Lookout Mountain Parkway.
> Rhododendron Arts and Crafts Festival: The festival celebrates the native flowering plants around the third weekend in May. That’s when the plants peak in their array of beauty. The event features artists and craftsmen displaying handcrafted wares and live music.
> World’s Longest Yard Sale: The famous sale goes through Mentone. It starts on the first Thursday every August and operates four days through Sunday, extending from Alabama to Michigan. The four-day event spreads across 690 miles.
> Mentone Colorfest: The two-day arts and crafts festival, held in October, includes a bonfire, dinner, arts and craft show and a free concert.
> JulyFest Art & Music Festival: The two-day arts and crafts festival is a juried show of more than 50 artists plus live musical entertainment. The free event, in Brow Park, takes place the third weekend of July each year.