I’m talking my about my favorite places to visit in Alabama for the Across the USA series over at Elembee today! Head on over there for some travel tips from this Bama girl and photos of my favorite state. Kory from A New Journey is joining me to tell about another southern state that I love, Tennessee!
*EDIT (April 11, 2015)*
Lisa did an overhaul of her website (it looks amazing!) but the Across the USA Series didn’t make the cut. This was my piece about Alabama:
I lived in Alabama for my entire life up to about 3 years ago, when I moved to Ohio. I currently live in Dayton, OH with my husband and little dog. We still visit Alabama often to see family and friends, and we both miss living on campus at the University of Alabama!
Alabama has a lot of rural beauty with scenic farmland, beaches, lakes, rivers, and a few cities in between. It’s so wonderful in the spring when everything is green and there are blooms everywhere! It really is true what they say about Southerners being so nice, you can’t go anywhere without being greeted by friendly locals. Since there aren’t any professional sports teams, everyone has a lot of enthusiasm for their chosen college team. Whether you’re an Auburn or Alabama fan (and you have to pick one!), there’s a lot of camaraderie and it’s great to be a part of.
It’s hard to pick just a few places to visit, since everything is so spread out, so I decided to talk about each of my favorite cities in Alabama and hopefully you will have a chance to visit at least one of them!
- Birmingham: As Alabama’s largest city there are so many options for whatever you may be interested in. For some good southern comfort food check out the Irondale Cafe, which is the original Whistle Stop Cafe from the Fried Green Tomatoes book and movie! I highly recommend visiting Homewood, where you will find many local shops and art galleries. Drive up to Red Mountain to see the statue of Vulcan standing high above the city. The view is incredible, plus Vulcan Park is a great place to picnic or go in the museum to learn about the history of the iron and steel industry in Birmingham. If you want to learn more area history, go Downtown to the Civil Rights District. There you can visit the Civil Rights Institute and see sites of historical events that sparked the Civil Rights Movement, including the 16th Street Baptist Church.
- Mobile: This is the place to be for white sandy beaches and great seafood. It’s also about an hour from Gulf Shores, which is another top vacation spot in Alabama. Try Felix’s Fish Camp for freshly caught fish, oysters and shrimp and an excellent view of the bay. Visit during Mardi Gras if you can – despite popular belief, the original Mardi Gras took place in Mobile and they take a lot of pride in that fact. There are several weeks of parades and they are so much fun!
- Huntsville: If you are into science, visit the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. The museum has many exhibits that are great for families. You can also experience the anti-gravity and simulation of space travel in amusement park rides outside the museum. If you are really adventurous, you can enroll in Space Camp (for kids) or Space Academy (for adults) and train like an astronaut. Travel back in time with a visit to Alabama Constitution Village, a living village depicting Huntsville as it was in 1819 at the time of the state’s founding.
- Tuscaloosa: Visit in the fall to watch University of Alabama football and experience southern tailgating on the quad. It’s not your average tailgate, many people grill out wearing dresses and polos – some people even set up their tent with furniture! We love our football and it doesn’t hurt that Bama is the National Champion for two years running! It’s also worth it to take a tour and see the few buildings that survived the Civil War, plus the campus is beautiful!
Photo by Steve Driskell.