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Located just 20 miles southeast of Fort Rucker, Dothan, with its population of more than 56,000, is the largest city in the Wiregrass. It serves a trade area of some half million people from Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
Dothan’s retail market, one of the healthiest in the state, boasts the Wiregrass Commons Mall and the new “Shops on the Circle.” In addition, there are a wide variety of locally owned stores, boutiques, and many convenient plazas.
Each season brings its own special events. Springtime arrives in a blaze of color with blooming azaleas, dogwoods, tulips, and daffodils. The Azalea Dogwood Trail, usually in mid-March, is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. For over half a century Dothan has hosted the Future Masters Golf Tournament each July.
Such old Southern-style of gardening and beauty can be seen at the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens just off Highway 431 near Landmark Park. Personnel at the gardens are committed to the conservation of natural resources, as well as education and research. Its programs include environmental seminars, speakers programs, and gardening programs, tours, and meetings throughout the year.
A tranquil, paved nature trail meanders through a beautiful garden of roses, herbs, daylilies, camellias, and native azaleas. The pond, Victorian gazebo, butterfly garden, green house, and a demonstration garden add to the gardens vibrant rhythm of nature and natural beauty. Operating hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Call 793-3224 for more information.
By early November, when the peanut crop is harvested, Dothan celebrates with the National Peanut Festival. This weeklong celebration is packed with popular recording stars, carnival attractions, traditional folklore events, and a spectacular parade.
Dothan has many recreational opportunities for all ages and the facilities are outstanding. Area recreation departments oversee 20 parks, six public swimming pools, seasonal water park, 40 public tennis courts, a new 16-court fast-dry tennis facility boasting a Championship court build to professional standards, four recreational centers, a five diamond
softball complex and numerous organized team sports including soccer. Nearby lakes, rivers, and streams provide some of the finest fresh water fishing in the world. Hunting abounds as well.
Dothan is also on of the stops on Alabama’s famed Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, featuring 36 holes of world-class golf at Highland Oaks, the site of the 2000 BUY.COM and the 1999 NIKE TOUR Championships seen, internationally, on the Golf Channel.
Don’t forget Landmark Park, the state’s agricultural museum, with its 60 acres of shady nature trails and the boardwalk, picnic sites, historic restorations, special events, educational opportunities for adults and children, a planetarium, and an interpretive center.
A love of elegance, culture, art, and recreation are alive and well in Dothan. The Opera House, a historic downtown landmark built in 1903, represents the elegance of turn-of-the-century southern life. It opens its doors for professional and community theatre productions, including the Southeast Alabama Community Theatre performances, spectacular concerts, symphonies, ballet performances, and many other cultural events each year.
MUSICSOUTH, formerly the Southeast Alabama Symphony Association, Understudy Dinner Theater, Southeast Alabama Dancing Arts Council, and the Houston County Arts Alliance, all contribute to cultural life in Dothan.
Also, a myriad of art thrives in Dothan at the Wiregrass Museum of Art. Located across the street from the Dothan Civic Center in a renovated Bldg. that is on the National Register of Historic Bldg.s, the museum has a collection of paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, works on paper, and African cultural objects. The museum’s seven galleries include an interactive gallery, a hands-on exhibit for children, called Artventures, and a gift gallery for shopping.
The museum sponsors art displays for different interest groups. For example, the “Art of Soldiering” displays military works of art that attract Fort Rucker Soldiers. Admission to the Wiregrass Museum of Art is free.
Complimenting its collection of art, the museum’s elegant Conference Center, with its meeting rooms and multimedia equipment, is perfect for receptions, business meetings, and seminars.
All this, combined with quality education, medical services, sophisticated and technologically advanced medical treatment and services, commercial air service, over 140 places of worship representing more than 25 denominations, and friendly, gracious people attract many to Dothan to live and visit.

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