UPDATE: This post is written by Calhoun County Insight. Learn more at: http://calhouncountyinsight.com/
Welcome to Calhoun County, new JSU students! Insight has updated their local food, entertainment and exercise guide to give you the area’s top attractions and best spots for having fun, meeting new people and settling into the area. Locals can use this list to find their new favorite spot, too, so read on and get ready to get out of the house!
Places to Eat
Momma Goldberg’s / mommagoldbergsdeli.com / 208 Mountain St, Jacksonville / 256-365-1566
If you want a casual, deli-style restaurant with pitchers of beer and nachos made with Doritos and buffalo chicken (and trust us, you do), Momma Goldberg’s is the best spot to stop right near campus, just across from the stadium. There are daily specials to save you money, so be sure to check in with them regularly.
Java Jolt / javajoltcoffeehouse.wordpress.com / 5 Public Square E, Jacksonville / 256-782-3222
Not only for pick-me-ups in the morning, Java Jolt also has a selection of fresh-baked breakfast and snack items on display, and since they’re a coffee shop, they’ve got free wi-fi and plenty of space for students to study all day long.
Struts / strutswings.com / 500 Forney Ave NW, Jacksonville / 256-782-0106
There’s a lot of good stuff on the menu at Struts, but if it’s your first time in town, you’ve got to go for one thing: wings. Struts has incredible wings with a ton of different sauces to try, from mild to super hot and unique flavors like teriyaki and lemon pepper for those who want to beat the heat.
Cecil’s Place / 313 Pelham Rd S, Jacksonville / 256-435-8909
Jacksonville’s legendary burger shack has made itself into an area institution, where the hamburgers, fries and shakes get top reviews in reader surveys every time they’re mentioned. Want something out of the ordinary? Try a grape milkshake.
The Rocket / 1508 Pelham Rd S, Jacksonville / 256-435-6516
Another area legend, The Rocket is beloved to Calhoun County residents for having the best barbecue around (though some worthy contenders keep them on their toes), but they’ve also got an awesome burger, to boot.
3-Style Pizza / 1101 South Quintard Ave, Anniston / 256-770-7124
Anniston’s answer to Chicago, San Francisco and Italian pizzas, with deep dish, thin crust and house styles backing up a passion for pizza perfection.
Cooter Brown’s / cootersribs.com / 8464 Alabama Highway 204, Jacksonville / 256-435-1514
They’ve got an unusual name, but this rib shack is a prime spot for barbecue, and they’ve got a comfortable atmosphere that makes you want to hang out for a while (and get a second helping of cheddar bacon fries).
Heroes / heroesgrille.com / 8896 McClellan Blvd, Anniston / 256-405-4366
Heroes is one of the best wing places in the county, with double-fried wings and all the sauces you’d expect from a serious kitchen. Plenty of televisions line the dining area for keeping up with the game, and regular entertainment from local artists keeps the restaurant lively.
Places to Party
Smoking Moose / 1214 Noble St, Anniston / 256-741-9300
The Moose is a two-story spot for drinking, dancing and music, with an outdoor area that’s great when the evenings start to cool off.
Dark Horse Saloon / darkhorsesaloon.org / 1113 Noble St, Anniston / 256-403-2968
One of the newest spots in town, the Dark Horse keeps a casual atmosphere, with live, acoustic performances by local artists and decor that honors military veterans.
The Peerless Saloon and Grille / peerlesssaloon.com / 13 W 10th St, Anniston / 256-237-1899
Of all the establishments in town, the Peerless has one of the best historical vibes, with the bar, restaurant and stage all putting off a vintage feel. Regular performances by local acts and a once-monthly open-mic/poetry night keep it fresh.
Cheaha Brewing Company / cheahabrewingcompany.com / 1208 Walnut Ave, Anniston / 256-770-7300
One of Anniston’s favorite meeting spots, with a brewery on site and tons of different drinks to try (including samplers, for those who want to mix it up).
Places to Be Entertained
In addition to the local music scene in area night life spots, you can also find entertainment in the form of local theatre and events.
Oxford Performing Arts Center / oxfordpac.org / 100 Choccolocco St, Oxford / 256-241-3322
JSU Drama / jsu.edu/drama / 256-782-5648
CAST Theatre / castalabama.com / 256-820-2278
Buckner Event Plaza / bucknerplaza.com / 412 Bucker Circle, Anniston / 256-847-3300
Don’t forget to check in with the listed party spots and restaurants to see what they’ve got going on for any given night.
Places to Exercise
The Chief Ladiga Trail / chiefladigatrail.com
The Ladiga Trail is great for walking and biking, stretching all the way through Calhoun County. The trail intersects with JSU right beside Self Hall (next to Highway 204), with plenty of parking for students.
Anniston Aquatic and Fitness Center / 130 Summerall Gate Rd, Anniston / www.annistonal.gov/pages/?pageID=82 / 256-847-7349
With an eight lane, 25-yard swimming pool, the Aquatic Center is a great spot for cooling off and getting a good workout. There are also several classes available, including Zumba and other above-water activities.
Coldwater Mountain Trail / facebook.com/coldwatermountain / Coldwater Road, Anniston / 256-453-8777
For mountain biking and BMX riders of all skill levels, this open trail has a lot of possibilities. Check out the Facebook page for maps and more info.
YMCA of Calhoun County / ymcacalhoun.org / 29 W 14th St, Anniston / 256-238-9622
You know where it’s fun to stay. The Y has equipment for sports, exercise and fitness classes and programs to keep you in shape throughout the whole year.