It’s location in the Southeastern region of the United States lends to the state’s impressive variety of activities; mountains in the north provide outstanding climbing and hiking terrain, white-sand beaches along the Gulf Coast in the south are fantastic places to spot dolphins or simply rest and relax. Alabama is where history, beauty and adventure unite, and where visitors of all ages and abilities collect unforgettable memories.
Places to Visit in Alabama
- Lake Guntersville
- The Gulf Coast
- Chewacla State Park
- Monte Sano State Park
- Fort Conde
- Oak Mountain State Park
Unique Things to See and Do in Alabama
- Visit the hometown of Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird; in ode to her, Monroeville has turned itself into a living museum, basing its looks on her book
- Pop into Old Straight Creek Church in Fyffe, Alabama; here, you’ll experience a unique southern tradition called “snake handling”
- Tour the Battleship USS ALABAMA, Submarine USS DRUM, and over 25 aircrafts at Mobile’s Battleship Memorial Park
- Trace the journey of the civil rights activists from the 1950s and 60s at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; these men and women changed the course of American history by fighting for equality for Black Americans
- Experience local wildlife (‘gators!) at Alligator Alley in Summerdale
What Alabama’s All About
Alabama is known for its cuisine — you can’t beat the state’s authentic soul food comprising the likes of baked grits, banana pudding, and BBQ meats served with secret sauces you’ll want to export by the ship-load — but it is also the birthplace of many great musical pioneers, the “Father of the Blues,” W.C. Handy included. Cavernous concert halls and bustling juke joints aside, Alabama is also a famed theatrical destination; yearly, acting-buffs flock here to partake in the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
What’s There to Do in Alabama?
If music and theater aren’t your jam, there are also beautiful gardens to explore — because of the range of climates, there’s a vast array of flora, including camellias, azaleas, dogwoods, lilies, hydrangeas, and rare native species — rivers to paddle, lakes to boat, cliffs to climb, lush woodlands to bike, and public hunting lands to hunt in.
Alabama boasts thousands of miles of forested trails and rivers, as well as an abundance of steep cliffs and unique rock formations where Native Americans once took shelter, but where climbers worldwide now enthusiastically climb. To name just one noteworthy destination, the Alabama Scenic River Trail is the longest water trail in America; it goes on for a whopping 631 miles, winding its way through some of the land’s most gorgeous scenery.
Getting Around Alabama
Considering the vast amount of unique things to do in Alabama and its size, renting a car is optimal. This way, you can visit as many of the hundred historic antebellum houses as you like, and you can also drive through striking groves of moss-draped trees. For the car-averse, there’s also the option of jumping aboard a Greyhound Bus or Amtrak train.
Best Time of Year to Travel to Alabama
Unlike the northern American states where most recreational activities are limited by season, you can count on playing outdoors at any time of year in Alabama. In winter, it’s still warm enough to swim in lakes, and you can still hike extensively without the worry of snow. Summers can get mighty hot, reaching into the 90′s (Fahrenheit), but it’s still pleasant enough.
If you’re looking to party, travel to Alabama for the Mardi Gras festival right before Easter; if you’re looking to chow down on some of the world’s best seafood, travel here for the National Shrimp Festival in October. If you’re looking to buy an array of unique goodies, go during August when there’s the “World’s Longest Yard Sale.” And if you’re on the market for seeing hundreds of thousands of azaleas burst into bloom, travel to the state mid-March through mid-April. The bottom line: there’s something spectacular going on at any time of year in Alabama.
Ready to plan your visit to Alabama? Check out these popular guides and trips.