We hope the following information will help you plan your visit.
Wilcox County Tourism Information
*Due to COVID-19 We advise you to confirm all times and hours of operation before your visit.
Please find information below to help you in planning your tour to Wilcox County. If you need any additional information, please just let us know. This is not a comprehensive list as Wilcox County is always growing it’s cultural, historic, and natural tourism offerings.
Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center (BBTCAC), located at 209 Claiborne Street, is open Tuesday – Friday 10-4 and Saturday 10-2. While we are a nonprofit art center that offers classes, workshops, and programs, we also have a 2,500 square foot retail gallery space that offers an eclectic collection of arts and crafts by artists and craftsmen from across the 19 counties of the Black Belt Region. Our prices range from $1 to $10,000, and our gallery has creative works that range from fine art to folk art, regional food, regional cookbooks and literature, furniture and clothing, to jewelry, baskets, sculptures, pottery, textiles, and quilts. There is truly something for everyone.
We provide all guests/tour groups a short overview of BBTCAC, the region, and our artists, but may also provide (for a nominal fee) a hands-on project and learning experience (typically for groups of 8 or more). If you are interested in adding a short hands-on project, please contact Kristin Law, Art Programs Director, to schedule. Group Tours of the gallery take approximately 30 minutes – hands-on workshops take between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the project chosen. Hands-on tour classes prices range from $5 - $10 a person. There is no charge
to browse the gallery. Learn more at www.bbtcac.com.
Betty Anderson’s Camden Shoe Shop & Quilt Museum
is open by appointment for tours by calling us here at BBTCAC. Wilcox County born and raised, Betty Anderson grew up surrounded by heritage arts that were created out of necessity. From her family making their own soap and clothing, to furniture and quilts – Betty was ingrained with the heart and soul of an artist, but did not know it. In addition, Betty’s father was a successful entrepreneur, who ran the longest open business by an African American in the Black Belt – The Camden Shoe Shoppe.
After over twenty years of a professional career in New York City, and living through being trapped in the subway under the World Trade Center on 9/11, Betty moved home to Wilcox County. Drawing from her childhood memories and learning, Betty began to make traditional lye soap. In addition, she made it her mission to honor her father’s hard work and memory by creating the Camden Shoe Shoppe Museum – which showcases her father’s historic tools, family quilts, Wilcox County Civil Rights educational materials, a large collection of quilts, and more. Tours last approximately 30 minutes. While there is no charge for tours, donations are appreciated and help her keep the doors open.
Tours of Historic Antioch Church are also available upon request and during special events. Please contact Betty Anderson (above) for details.
Audio Tours of Cultural and Historic Sites in Camden and Wilcox County are available via OnCell at: https://ahc.oncell.com/en/index.html . This tour includes audio introductions by local historians, site directors, and family members of historic sites and cultural treasures. It’s a great way to view our beautiful and culturally rich town and country from the convenience of your car, or by foot.
You may also want to check out the audio tour listing for our entire region, which includes Dallas, Hale, and Monroe County sites at: https://ahc.oncell.com/en/site-list-78638.html
Absolutely Alabama Video Visit to Black Belt Treasures and the Camden Shoe Shoppe Museum: Absolutely Alabama: Black Belt Treasures & Camden Shoe Shoppe Museum (January 2016, Absolutely Alabama - Show 402, Segment 3)
Visit Oak Hill and Furman in the eastern side of Wilcox County during your visit. The Brittany House Antiques
in Oak Hill features period American and Continental furnishings, Persian Rugs, objects decor, paintings, silver, porcelain, and a great selection of local and regional history and period books. They also offer a concierge service for the discerning client looking for unique pieces. Located at 5931 AL-21, Oak Hill, Alabama 36766. Call Lance Britt (256) 975-7616. Before you leave Oak Hill, continue on the Wilcox Historical Society’s Audio Tour of significant architectural locations, and then stop by to see Robert at Oak Hill Grocery for some hoop cheese, souse, and a cold soda. And if you are headed east, be sure to stop by Robert’s Cabin in downtown Pine Apple, less than 10 miles east of Oak Hill.
In western Wilcox County, you won’t want to miss the Pine Hill Depot Museum located in Pine Hill’s Town Park on Oak Grove Street, to preserve the history of Pine Hill and the surrounding communities. Please call (334) 963-4351 for updated times and tour information. BBTCAC Artist, Jan Agee, along with Finn Sheffield, Jeannie Shiver, and June Sims, completed a large mural celebrating the railroad’s contribution to Pine Hill.
BBTCAC is happy to provide general information about Gee’s Bend, including the Ferry Schedule and tips for visiting; please keep in mind that we are not officially connected and do not handle their schedule, BUT try to help tourists and visitors schedule their trips to Wilcox County and the Black Belt. Our links to tourism information can be found at http://www.blackbelttreasures.com/visiting-gee-s-bend.aspx, which also includes a few links to historic and cultural information from reliable sources.
Alabama Tourism “Day Trip” information: https://alabama.travel/road-trips/gees-bend-pastimes-to-patchwork-tour
”The Quilters in Gee’s Bend handle their own visitors, so we highly suggest that you call each group listed below about scheduling a visit to shop and see them quilt and sew:
The Gee's Bend Quilt Collective is located at 14570 Co Rd 29, Boykin, AL 36723. Phone: 334.573.2323. The Collective has a large collection of quilts and artwork available for purchase, along with photographs, memorabilia, and historic information. Please call before you visit, Mary Ann Pettway will gladly help you schedule your visit or event. Her home number is 334-573-2585.
The Gee's Bend Ferry Terminal is located at 12021 Co Rd 29, Boykin AL 36723. Phone: 334.573.0020. Doris Mosely is the manager at the Ferry Terminal in Gee’s Bend, and will help you to plan your visit to her side of the river. The Visitors Center is available to rent for events. Please call to schedule your visit or event. In addition, a group of local artists quilt at the Nutrition Center (connected to the Ferry Terminal) during the week, while several additional artists exhibit and work on their artwork at the connected Visitors Center, their number is (334) 573-2606.
*** Cell Service can be spotty in Gee’s Bend and rural Wilcox County. We highly suggest printing, downloading, or screenshotting maps and directions before traveling.
Getting to Gee’s Bend: There is a ferry that runs between Camden and Gee’s Bend.
The Original Gee’s Bend Ferry has recently been converted to the nation’s first electric ferry.
Directions to the Ferry…From Camden: Follow AL-28 north to Ellis Landing Road. Turn right and drive approximately three-quarters of a mile to the ferry landing.
Directions to Gee’s Bend Ferry Terminal (North) “The Welcome & Nutrition Center”…From Camden: Leaving Camden, Follow AL-28 approximately 18 miles towards Miller’s Ferry. Turn right onto AL-5 North – follow for 3.8 miles. Turn right onto County Road 29 – follow for 15.3 miles to the Gee’s Bend Ferry Terminal North, which will be on your left. The ferry is approximately 500 feet past the Welcome Center.
Directions to Gee’s Bend Quilt Collection…From Camden
Leaving Camden, Follow AL-28 approximately 18 miles towards Miller’s Ferry. Turn right onto AL-5 North – follow for 3.8 miles. Turn right onto County Road 29 – follow for 14.4 miles. Turn left to stay on County Road 29 – in .8 miles, the Gee’s Bend Quilt Collective will be on your left at 14570 Co Rd 29, Boykin, AL 36723.
Directions to the Gee’s Bend Ferry Terminal (North) “The Welcome & Nutrition Center”…From Selma:
Head northwest on US-80 BUS W toward Water Ave (0.4 mi). Turn left onto AL-22 W/Dallas Ave, Continue to follow AL-22 W. Pass by Jack's (on the right in 2.7 mi) (continue for 23.3 mi). Continue onto AL-5 South for 4.7 miles. Turn left onto Co Rd 29, follow for 15.3 miles.
Directions to Gee’s Bend Quilt Collection…From Selma: Head northwest on US-80 BUS W toward Water Ave (0.4 mi). Turn left onto AL-22 W/Dallas Ave, Continue to follow AL-22 W. Pass by Jack's (on the right in 2.7 mi) (continue for 23.3 mi). Continue onto AL-5 South for 4.7 miles. Turn left onto Co Rd 29, follow for 14.4 miles. Turn left to stay on County Road 29 – in .8 miles, the Gee’s Bend Quilt Collective will be on your left at 14570 Co Rd 29, Boykin, AL 36723.
The Gee’s Bend Ferry Terminal and Wilcox Area Chamber of Commerce’s Tourism Welcome Center in Camden is located approximately 1.5 miles west of the Ferry’s South location, which is located at 1001 Earl Hillard Blvd. Camden, AL 36726. (334) 682-4929. Our Director is available for additional tourism and economic development needs.
Information on the Gee's Bend Quilt Mural Trail (and MAP) can be found on Rural Southwest Alabama Tourism's page HERE
Tour groups looking for a location for lunch may wish to choose GainesRidge Dinner Club
(located at 933 AL-10, Camden, AL), which is a Greek Revival home, turned restaurant, built in the late 1820s. Will open for lunch to groups of 15 or more – please call Miss Betty at (334) 682-9707. Dinner is served Thursday through Saturday, 5:30PM - 9 PM. Reservations are encouraged. The family of the current owner, Mrs. Betty Gaines Kennedy, acquired the home in 1898. It was a family residence until 1985 when Mrs. Betty and her sister, Haden G. Marsh, opened the house as Gaines Ridge Dinner Club. Gaines Ridge is still operated by Mrs. Betty’s family – and she is known to “help out” from time to time when she isn’t quilting or teaching a quilting workshop. This is “the place to go” if you are looking for great food served in a beautiful and historic setting. Gaines Ridge is included in “Off the Beaten Path: Alabama” by Gay N. Martin and the state tourism brochure, “100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die.” Like most old houses, Gaines Ridge has its share of ghost stories. It is included on the Alabama’s Ghost Trail video series. Gaines Ridge is located beside Highway 10 approximately two miles east of Camden.
Camden’s newest downtown business is The Pecan on Broad,
which has an amazing selection of unique bottle sodas and drinks, wine, old fashioned candies, and “grab and go” lunches. Their lunch menu has delicious daily offerings, and can be found on Facebook. In addition, The Pecan has a beautifully decorated dining area, and the second floor is available for special events, meetings, and parties. They also are opening Fox and Hen, a boutique for Gents and Ladies. This will be located on Broad Street, but is currently open on the 2nd floor of The Pecan. Contact Chris and Ryan by messaging them on Facebook or 334-882-8000.
Camden has a great assortment of local food establishments to choose from, including: Jackson’s Chicken, home of the world renowned C.O.B (praised by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg) located at 231 Claiborne Street; Larry’s Drive In, which has been serving its famous chicken fingers, burgers, sandwiches, catfish, and milkshakes for over 30 years, located at 5 Camden Bypass; Catering for lunch and dinner is available from Blue Spoon Cooking Company, (334) 455-4553, for mid and large sized groups – amazing southern food, for all of your catering needs; Rack & Reel Sports Grill is located in the Piggly Wiggly shopping center at 14 Camden Bypass, and serves dinner throughout the week, and lunch on Sundays – specialties include their wings, ribs, gourmet sandwiches, and steak. They can also accommodate large tour groups with reservations – please call Hunter at 334-682-9111; and Hunters Run is the perfect place to grab an amazing steak, gumbo and drinks, and serves lunch each Thursday and Friday. Hunter’s Run also has a room available for meetings and small parties – call Michael at 334-682-5037 to reserve your space. Additionally, Commissioner’s Pit Stop has a wide assortment of lunch and dinner items, including ribs, bbq, burgers, wings, fish, and so much more. Owner, John Moton, can also provide boxed lunches and cater events. In addition, he has a new restaurant that will be opening in Camden in late summer 2021 – and will seat large parties. Call (334) 327-6003
Pine Hill’s Pea Patch is located at 4011 Broad Street, and offers “made from scratch” seafood, cold salads, casseroles, steaks, hot lunches and dinners, and more – both “ready to eat” and “grab and go” – along with specialized gifts. They can be reached at 334-471-2828.
Capell House at Pebble Hill (Camden) – Bed & Breakfast, Chef owned - (334) 830-8072
Liberty Hall Bed & Breakfast (Camden) - (334) 412-3513
Pleasant Ridge (Canton Bend) – Bed & Breakfast, Historic House Tours - (334) 682-9569
Roland Cooper State Park (Camden) – tiny cabins, campgrounds, full size cabins - (334) 682-4838
Southern Inn (Camden) - (334) 682-4148
America’s Best Inn (Camden) - (334) 682-4555
Mary Elizabeth Stallworth Bed & Breakfast (Beatrice, Monroe County – 20 miles from Camden) - (251) 593-6400
Canton Bend RV Park (Canton Bend) - (251) 564-1805
Lakeside R/V Park and Cabin Rentals (Camden) – (251) 422-3509
Miller’s Ferry Campground (Miller’s Ferry) - (334) 682-4191
Additional Tourism Information from The University of Alabama’s Center for Economic Development: http://www.uaced.ua.edu/southwest-alabama-tourism.html
Feel free to contact me at 334-682-9878 or email email@example.com If you have any additional questions.
Art Programs, Education, Marketing Director
Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center