Alabama

Alabama is a history and outdoor lover’s paradise. The Appalachian Mountains start in northern Alabama, forming high mountain ridges and deep valleys. Below the hills are rolling plains that reach the coast’s white sugar sand beaches. The land in between is the Fall Line, where erosion-resistant rocks form a barrier of waterfalls and whitewater. These distinct ecosystems make Alabama the most biologically diverse state east of the Mississippi and are why the Bankhead Wilderness was recognized as the first wilderness in the east. Alabama offers a broad range of outdoor recreation from skiing to scuba diving, although the highlights have to be hiking, biking, and water sports.

Alabama is known as ‘The Heart of Dixie’ with an extensive collection of antebellum homes and the Confederate Whitehouse. Correspondingly, the state was active in the Civil Rights Movement with memorial sights including the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Martin Luther King’s Dexter Parsonage and the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, and the Freedom Riders Museum in Anniston. Huntsville was home to Warner Von Braun and the birthplace of the US space program. And, of course, rock and roll just wouldn’t be the same without the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

Price point levels scaled for a 7-day visit for a couple and anchored on research and personal experiences.

$ - up to $1500
$$ - $1500 - $3000
$$$ - $3000 -$5000
$$$$ - $5000+
Price Point
$-$$$
Language(s)

English

Currency

US Dollar

Reported for the US traveler with foreign countries rankings based on the US State Department's travel advisories.
Safety
Exercise Normal Precautions

Reported for three representative cities within the destination via Weather Spark.

Climate (°F)
Summer Winter
Huntsville 89 33
Birmingham 90 36
Mobile 90 42
Outlets
Type-A
Type-B

Best Time to Visit

Northern Alabama features spring waterfalls and fall colors, along with off-season a-la-carte Space Camp experiences. Central Alabama has Cahaba Lilies blooming from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day and, of course, college football in the fall. Springtime in South Alabama is azalea season and Mardi Gras, and you might find migrating Monarch butterflies gathering in a coastal garden preparing to fly across the Gulf in the fall.

Fun Facts

  • It is a class-B felony in Alabama to wrestle a bear
  • Alabama is the only state in the U.S. to have an alcoholic beverage as its official drink
  • Dotham Alabama is the “Peanut Capital of the World”
  • Alabama was the first state to declare Christmas a legal holiday
  • The first rocket that sent man to the moon was designed in Alabama

Bucket-List Activities

  • Go camping at Noccalula Falls Park and Campground (Gadsden)
  • Venture underground in Cathedral Caverns State Park (Woodville)
  • Attend America’s longest continually running Mardi Gras (Mobile)
  • See a race at Talladega Speedway (Lincoln)
  • Go shopping at the Unclaimed Baggage Center (Scottsboro)
  • Bike the Chief Ladiga Trail (Anniston)

Natural Wonders

  • Mount Cheaha (Delta)
  • Dismals Canyon (Phil Campbell)
  • Little River Canyon (Fort Payne)
  • Cathedral Caverns (Woodville)
  • Mobile-Tensaw Delta (Mobile)
  • Cahaba River (Dallas County)
  • Russell Cave National Monument (Bridgeport)

Major Attractions

  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham)
  • USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park (Mobile)
  • Gulf State Park (Gulf Shores)
  • Civil Rights Memorials (Montgomery)
  • U.S. Space and Rocket Center (Huntsville)

Native Foods

  • Barbecue
  • Banana Pudding
  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Boiled Peanuts
  • Fried Catfish
  • Pecan Pie
  • Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy

General Travel Tips

Common Phrases

  • Y’all – A contraction of you and all
  • Bless your heart – A subtle insult when said with a smile
  • Roll Tide – A generalized term of approval or greeting, unless you’re an Auburn fan

Major Cities / Airports

  • Huntsville / Huntsville International Airport (HSV) – Rocket City USA, home to NASA, Space Camp, and Space Force
  • Birmingham / Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) – Alabama’s largest city and the steel capital of the south
  • Mobile / Mobile Regional Airport (MOB) – Alabama’s port city located on Mobile Bay and the gateway to Gulf Shores.
  • Montgomery / Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) – Alabama’s State Capital
  • Dothan / Dothan Regional Airport (DHN) – Peanut capital of Alabama
  • Florence / Northwest Alabama Regional Airport (MSL) – Birthplace of the famous “Muscle Shoals Sound”
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