Downtown Decatur, Alabama, is one of those wonderful historic neighborhoods that doesn’t get as much attention as it should. It sort of loses out against such publicity stars as Natchez, Mississippi, for instance. And I’m one of the worst offenders. For folks in northwest Alabama/northeast Mississippi, Decatur is “on the way” when driving east to Huntsville. Usually I’m on a schedule as I roll by the edge of downtown and I glance out the window and think, “That is so pretty. Sometime I really should come here and explore.” Because otherwise I’d miss gems such as this cottage tucked away on a quiet side street. Couldn’t you just open the gate and walk up the steps and go sit a spell on the porch? I really had to restrain myself to keep from trying out that rocking chair. There are two adjacent historic districts in downtown Decatur — Old Decatur and New Albany — where you can park your car and enjoy an afternoon of wandering through neighborhoods of cozy Craftsman cottages and stately Victorian homes. And with spring in glorious bloom right now, it’s the perfect time: Peaceful and quiet and breathtakingly lovely. There are plenty of spots nearby for shopping and eating, too, with no drive-thru lanes or mega-parking lots required. Not that there is anything wrong with drive-thru lanes and mega-parking lots. But sometimes a shady porch and the sweet smell of camellias is all you need. At http://www.decaturcvb.org/, print out self-guided walking tours and get details on the upcoming Mayfest.