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The 10 Must See Places in Alabama
Alabama is a state with a deep-rooted history, lush green landscapes, and plenty of attractions to explore. From the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores to the historic sites of Montgomery, there’s much to discover in this beautiful state. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, here’s a list of the 10 must-see places in Alabama.
1. Gulf Shores
Gulf Shores is a beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico. Here you can find some of the state’s best white sand beaches, restaurants, and other attractions. Spend your days soaking up the sun on the beach, fishing, or exploring some of the local shops and restaurants. It’s also a great spot for a weekend getaway or family vacation.
Gulf Shores is home to several state parks, including Gulf State Park, which offers a variety of hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities. You can also find a number of excellent golf courses, such as Kiva Dunes Golf Course and Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club. Plus, the area has a thriving art scene with galleries and studios showcasing local works.
Be sure to check out the annual Hangout Music Festival, which is held on the beach each May. This three-day event features some of the biggest names in music, as well as local favorites. It’s the perfect way to experience the best of Gulf Shores.
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama and is filled with a wide array of attractions. From the Birmingham Museum of Art to the Vulcan Park and Museum, there’s something for everyone. The city is also home to a number of historic sites, including the 16th Street Baptist Church, which is the site of the infamous 1963 bombing.
Birmingham also has a vibrant nightlife. Catch a show at Iron City or The Lyric, or check out one of the many bars and restaurants in the city. For a more laid-back experience, take a stroll through Railroad Park or explore the city’s popular shopping and dining districts.
If you’re in the mood for some outdoor adventure, head to Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, which offers over 1,000 acres of trails and stunning views. Or check out Red Mountain Park, which features over 15 miles of trails, a zip line, and a tree-top adventure course.
Huntsville is a vibrant city situated in northern Alabama. It’s home to a number of attractions, including the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, which is a must-see for any space enthusiast. The center features a variety of interactive exhibits and even a rocket park, where visitors can get up close and personal with some of the world’s most famous spacecraft.
Huntsville also has a thriving arts and culture scene, with plenty of galleries, museums, and theaters to explore. Take a stroll through Big Spring Park and check out the historic sites, or visit the Huntsville Botanical Garden for a peaceful afternoon outdoors.
For a unique experience, visit Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment, the largest privately owned arts facility in the U.S. Here you can find studios, galleries, music venues, and more. Plus, the city is home to several excellent restaurants, breweries, and pubs, so you can make a day of it!
4. Muscle Shoals
Muscle Shoals is a small city located on the Tennessee River in northwest Alabama. It’s known for being the birthplace of some of the greatest music of all time, including hits by Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, and the Rolling Stones. You can find a number of historic music sites throughout the city, including FAME Studios, where many of those iconic songs were recorded.
In addition to its musical history, Muscle Shoals also has plenty of outdoor attractions. Take a walk along the riverfront, explore the city’s parks, or visit the nearby Pickwick Lake for some excellent fishing. You can also find a variety of shops, restaurants, and other attractions in the city.
Be sure to check out the annual W.C. Handy Music Festival, which is held in Muscle Shoals each summer. This celebration of the city’s musical heritage features live performances, art exhibits, and more.
Mobile is the third-largest city in Alabama and is known for its diverse culture and cuisine. Take a stroll through the city’s historic streets and explore the many attractions, including the Mobile Museum of Art and the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. Be sure to check out the local seafood restaurants, which offer up some of the freshest and most delicious seafood in the state.
Mobile is also home to a number of outdoor attractions, including the historic Bellingrath Gardens and Home. Here you can explore 65 acres of breathtaking gardens, complete with azaleas, camellias, magnolias, and other plants. You can also find a variety of trails and parks throughout the city, including the 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center.
Don’t miss the annual Mardi Gras celebration, which is held in Mobile each year. This vibrant event features parades, parties, and plenty of festive fun!
Montgomery is the capital city of Alabama and is filled with plenty of attractions. Start your visit at the Alabama State Capitol, which offers guided tours and is home to the state’s government offices. Or explore the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, which features a wide array of art from around the world.
Visit the Rosa Parks Library and Museum to learn more about the civil rights movement, or take a stroll through Old Alabama Town, a historic village that showcases buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries. You can also find a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options throughout the city.
Be sure to check out the annual Montgomery Jazz Festival, which is held each spring. This event features live music from local and national acts, as well as food trucks, art exhibits, and more.
7. Dauphin Island
Dauphin Island is a barrier island located off the coast of Alabama. Here you can find some of the state’s best beaches, as well as a variety of outdoor activities. Go fishing, kayaking, or take a stroll along the beach. You can also explore the island’s historic sites, including the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, a research facility dedicated to the study of marine life.
For a unique experience, visit Fort Gaines, which is located on the eastern tip of the island. This 19th-century fort was the site of the Battle of Mobile Bay and is now a museum. You can explore the fort’s many rooms and learn about its fascinating history.
Be sure to check out the annual Dauphin Island Festival of Music, which is held each May. This event features live music from local and national acts, as well as food vendors and art exhibits.
8. Lake Martin
Lake Martin is a large reservoir located in east-central Alabama. Here you can find a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, boating, and swimming. The lake is also home to a number of restaurants, resorts, and other attractions. Check out the nearby Russell Crossroads for some excellent shopping and dining opportunities.
For a unique experience, take a boat tour of the lake. These tours offer stunning views of the surrounding area, as well as access to some of the lake’s best spots. You can also find several excellent golf courses in the area, including the Willow Point Golf and Country Club.
Be sure to check out the annual Lake Martin Air Show, which is held each summer. This event features performances by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and other exciting aerial acts.
9. Little River Canyon National Preserve
Little River Canyon National Preserve is a stunning natural area located in northeast Alabama. Here you can find some of the state’s most beautiful scenery, as well as plenty of outdoor activities. Hike or bike along the canyon’s trails, or take a scenic drive along the canyon’s rim. You can also find several waterfalls and other natural attractions in the area.
The preserve is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, black bears, and other animals. For a unique experience, take the Little River Canyon Wildflower Walk, which is offered each spring. This guided tour will take you through the canyon’s most beautiful areas, where you can view a variety of wildflowers and other plants.
Be sure to check out the Little River Canyon Center, which is located in the heart of the preserve. Here you can find exhibits, educational programs, and a gift shop.
10. Cheaha State Park
Cheaha State Park is located in east-central Alabama and is known for its stunning views and outdoor activities. Here you can find miles of hiking trails, as well as a variety of camping, fishing, and other recreational opportunities. Plus, the park is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, wild turkeys, and other animals.
Visit the park’s Bald Rock overlook for stunning views of the surrounding area. Or explore the park’s mountain biking trails, which offer challenging terrain for experienced riders. You can also find a number of waterfalls throughout the park, as well as a restaurant and other amenities.
Be sure to check out the annual Cheaha Challenge, which is held each summer. This event features a variety of mountain biking races, as well as live music, food vendors, and more.
Alabama is a state with plenty of attractions to explore. From the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores to the historic sites of Montgomery, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, here’s a list of the 10 must-see places in Alabama. Visit Gulf Shores for some of the state’s best beaches, explore the attractions in Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile, or take a trip to Muscle Shoals to experience the birthplace of some of the greatest music of all time. Don’t miss the historic sites of Montgomery, the outdoor adventures of Dauphin Island, or the stunning views of Lake Martin. And don’t forget to check out Little River Canyon National Preserve and Cheaha State Park for some of the best scenery in the state.