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Explore Barber Marina’s Oddities: Bamahenge, The Lady in the Lake & More

Graphic for blog post about Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama featuring images of the dinosaurs in the woods, Bamahenge and the Lady in the Lake

If you’re looking for an unusual spot along Alabama‘s Gulf Coast, look no further than Barber Marina. Located about 35 minutes from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, this functioning marina is also home to all sorts of unique installations, from Bamahenge and the Lady in the Lake to dinosaurs and knights.

It’s no secret that I love a roadside attraction, and the oddities I found at Barber Marina were definitely some of my favorite offbeat things to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Not only is the design and execution of these larger-than-life pieces impressive, but the backstory of this unique attraction makes it even more worth the visit. Whether you have time for a quick detour or are planning an afternoon of adventure, this family-friendly stop is worth the trip.

Keep reading for a full guide that includes the history of these unusual sculptures and directions to Barber Marina as well as an overview of each of the installations to exploring, including Bamahenge and the Lady in the Lake.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. However, all opinions are my own.

Bamahenge installation at Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama

We can thank George W. Barber for the unusual attractions at Barber Marina. Not only is George Barber the marina owner, but he is also a successful businessman and local philanthropist with delightfully kitschy taste.

In 1991, artist Mark Cline was working on dinosaur sculptures at his Enchanted Castle Studios in Natural Bridge, Virginia when a man inquired about buying some of them. He ended up being a relative of George Barber, who ultimately purchased seven of Mark Cline’s dinosaurs as “lawn ornaments.” In the years that followed, the two men became friends and, eventually, George Barber commissioned more pieces from Mark Cline to be installed in his newly-opened Barber Marina.

Unusual Attractions at Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama


Bamahenge installation at Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama

Possibly the most well-known of Barber Marina’s installations is Bamahenge, a fiberglass replica of the famous Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.

Standing 21 feet tall and spanning 104 feet wide, this unusual installation is a partial replica of the original. But it does have the same astrological alignment as the monument that inspired it. That means that on the morning of the summer solstice the sunrise would be visible from the center of the stone circle looking east.

Bamahenge is another impressive creator of Mark Cline’s. But this wasn’t his first foray into replicating this famous landmark. In 2004, Mark Cline created and installed “Foamhenge” (yes, a Stonehenge made of foam) in Virginia’s Natural Bridge State Park. The name “Fiberhenge” didn’t have the same ring to it so he and George Barber decided to instead call the installation Bamahenge.

While George Barber’s original vision was for Bamahenge to be placed outside of the Vintage Motorsports Museum near Birmingham, Alabama, he ultimately decided it should be installed on the grounds of the marina. In late 2012, his vision became a reality and Bamahenge was open to visitors.

Bamahenge installation at Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama

To experience the unusual installation, park in the small inlet off Barber Parkway. Then, you’ll walk about 200 yards along a dirt path into the forest before entering a grassy clearing. Bamahenge sits at its center.

Dinosaurs in the Woods

Dinosaur sculpture at Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama

Today, you can find four of the dinosaurs that George Barber originally purchased from Mark Cline at Barber Marina. The prehistoric creatures were relocated to the property in 2011 and become fun photo ops for visitors.

Keep your eyes peeled for a Brontosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus and Triceratops hidden amongst the trees along Barber Parkway. While there is a dirt trail that seems to connect most of the sculptures, we opted to park nearby and hop out to snap a few quick photos with each.

Dinosaur sculpture at Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama

Neptune’s Fountain

Neptune's Fountain at Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama

As you continue along Barber Parkway, past Bamahenge and the marina’s fiberglass dinosaurs, you’ll encounter a roundabout with Neptune’s Fountain at the center. This elaborate Italian Renaissance fountain feels like it sound be at the center of a piazza in Rome. Featuring Neptune—the Roman god of water—at its peek, seahorses and other mythical creatures make up this impressive water feature.

The Lady in the Lake

Art installation known as the Lady in the Lake at Bamahenge installation at Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama

Known as the Lady in the Lake, this 50-foot-tall fiberglass sculpture of a woman is another popular stop for lovers of roadside attractions. While the official name that Mark Cline gave this sculpture is “Country Girl Skinny Dipping,” it has become widely known as the “Lady in the Lake” or the “Lady in the Bay.”

Originally, the sculpture was installed in a pond at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama in the spring of 2012. Later that year, the Lady in the Lake was moved south to Barber Marina. Initially, the sculpture was a seasonal installation, but later on she became viewable year round.

While the sculpture was first installed in 2012, the original was destroyed by Hurricane Sally in 2020. In late 2022, the beloved lady returned to the marina where you can see her today.

Remember, Barber Marina is a fully functioning marina. Be mindful of boats and their crews when on the walkways near the Lady in the Lake, and never board a boat without express permission.

Fun Fact: Based on her scale, if the Lady in the Lake were to stand, she would be as tall as the Statue of Liberty (minus her upraised arm).

Giant Spider

Giant spider sculpture at Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama

In a grassy area near the marina’s docks, you’ll encounter an oversized arachnid. This giant metal spider is right at home with all of Barber Marina’s other unusual installations and makes for a fun photo op.

While this is a more traditional spider, it’s spindly legs made me think of the Volkswagen Beetle Spider in Avoca, Iowa.


Sculpture of a knight in the woods at Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama

Tucked into the overgrowth just off Harpoon Drive, you’ll discover a pair of metal knights brandishing swords. Depending on the season, these sculptures can be a bit difficult to locate.

From the marina’s main parking lot, head into the trees toward Harpoon Drive and you’ll discover this noble pair along a thin, wooded path.

Sculpture of a knight in the woods at Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama

Getting to Barber Marina

Life preserver that says "Barber Marina" at Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama

Barber Marina is located about 35 minutes away from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in Elberta, Alabama. Located on the peninsula between Wolf Bay and Bay La Launch, the marina is a popular port for boaters traveling the Intracoastal Waterway.

While Barber Marina is just across the bay from many of the Gulf Coast’s other popular attractions, you’ll need to drive around the bay to access the marina by car. Elberta is an easy-to-navigate though less populated area of southern Alabama. Once you turn off of Fish Trap Road to enter Barber Marina, the site’s unique installations are largely located off the main road, Barber Parkway.

Cost: Barber Marina is free to enter and there’s no fee to visit Bamahenge, the Lady in the Lake or any of the other installations.

Pro Tip: If you’re a Google Maps user, many of the attractions in Barber Marina have their own listing that can help you navigate to them more precisely.

Barber Marina, 26986 Fish Trap Road in Elberta, Alabama

Frequently Asked Questions about Bamahenge & Barber Marina

What is the history of Bamahenge?

Bamahenge was created by artist Mark Cline and installed at Barber Marina in 2012. George Barber was inspired by Cline’s original “Foamhenge” and wanted to have something similar for his marina.

Where is the Lady in the Lake in Alabama?

Mark Cline’s sculpture known as the “Lady in the Lake” is located at Barber Marina in Elberta, Alabama.

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