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Alabama Tourism Department Statewide Road Trip
Alabama Tourism Department Statewide Road Trip
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Compelling & Colorful Big Cities

Alabama’s capital Montgomery is one of the most historic cities in the USA. A statue of Rosa Parks marks the beginning of a kilometer-long avenue includes to a former slave auction site, the birthplace of the Confederate States of America, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church, the place where Rosa Parks began her famous ride and the ending point of the Selma-to-Montgomery March. Immerse yourself in this powerful history, then explore Montgomery’s compact downtown featuring hotels, museums, restaurants and attractions.

About an hour and a half north, you’ll find Birmingham, Alabama’s largest metropolitan area. This foodie destination calls itself the “Dinner Table of the South” for its many diverse, chef-driven restaurants. Pay a visit to Vulcan, the world’s largest cast-iron statue at Vulcan Park and Museum. From here, take in views of the whole city including its five entertainment districts in and around downtown and the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument. Birmingham is also home to the world’s largest collection of motorcycles at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum.

 

Cultural Destinations in North Alabama

Nicknamed “Rocket City,” Huntsville is home to the world’s largest space museum, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, and the all-inclusive Space Camp. Visit the largest privately owned arts facility in the southeastern USA at Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment, hear live music at the Orion Amphitheater and take a stroll through Big Spring International Park.

A little over an hour away, discover “The Hit Recording Capital of the World” in the region known as The Shoals. This collection of four small towns – Muscle Shoals, Florence, Sheffield and Tuscumbia – in the northwest corner of Alabama known for its recording studios, where some of the greatest hits of the 1960s and ‘70s were created. Tour legendary FAME Recording Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. Nearby, visit Ivy Green, Helen Keller’s Home & Museum, and tour the W.C. Handy Home & Museum.

 

History & Natural Beauty on the Coast

Home to the USA’s first Mardi Gras celebration, Mobile boasts an exciting blend of flavors, cultures and traditions as rich as the gumbo served in local restaurants. The city was founded by the French as the first capital of the Louisiana-Territory then became a colony of Great Britain and Spain. Long a key port city, this is where the last slave ship, the Clotilda, was known to arrive in the USA and where its occupants formed the historic community of Africatown.

About an hour south of Mobile, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are located at the southern tip of Alabama along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. This area is warmed by sunshine, friendly people and unspoiled natural beauty. These resort towns have 52 kilometers of sugar-soft, white-sand beaches, as well as laid-back cafes and lively beach bars featuring live music. For a particularly pristine beach day, explore Gulf State Park, which separates these two towns with 2,600 hectares of protected ecosystems including 3 kilometers of beachfront.

Alabama Tourism Department Statewide Road Trip
Alabama Tourism Department Statewide Road Trip
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Fun Fact

Checking out the control room at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama
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In the 1960s and ’70s, artists including Aretha Franklin and The Rolling Stones came to record in Muscle Shoals, then called the “Hit Capital of the World.”

Photo: Art Meripol

Kayaking in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta in Alabama
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The Mobile-Tensaw Delta is known as the USA’s Amazon. It’s home to more aquatic biodiversity than any other river system in the country.

Photo: Chris Granger

Starry night skies framing the Saturn V rocket in Huntsville, Alabama
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The Saturn V rocket that landed man on the surface of the moon was built in Huntsville.

Photo: Chris Granger

Must see places

Viewing an exhibit at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama
Chris Granger

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site

Learn about the vital contributions of the first Black U.S. airmen in World War II at their original training site. The site, which is run by the U.S. National Park Service, offers informative exhibits, historic buildings to explore and guided walks that recognize the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

Woman posing with a bronze statue of Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama
Jamie Martin/Alabama Tourism Department

Alabama Civil Rights Trail

Follow the footsteps of legends of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Reflect on the struggles against injustice in Birmingham’s historic landmarks. Follow the voting rights campaign in Selma. And head to Alabama’s capitol, Montgomery, to see Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church, civil rights museums and monuments.

A recording studio in the Muscle Shoals region

Muscle Shoals Region

The roots of American music are embedded deeply in this community. Tour recording studios, visit the home of W.C. Handy, the “Father of the Blues,” and explore the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

A float with costumed revelers during a Mardi Gras parade in Mobile, Alabama
Jamie Martin/Alabama Tourism Department

Mardi Gras Celebrations

Though New Orleans may now be synonymous with Mardi Gras, the celebration actually got its start in the USA in Mobile, when the city served as the French colonial capital. Starting in January, be part of the revelry as the city hosts dozens of Mardi Gras parades. Visit the Mobile Carnival Museum to learn more about the event’s history.

Child participating in Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama
Chris Granger

Space Camp

Train like an astronaut in Huntsville at Space Camp. Since 1982, the unique destination at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center has offered hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education via real-world experiences. Space Camp offers unforgettable programs for ages 7 to adult. Campers will learn about space flight and develop critical-thinking skills while launching rockets or trying the 1/16th Gravity Chair.

Dusk at Gulf State Park Pier in Gulf Shores

Gulf State Park

Stretch out on this park’s 3-kilometer dazzling white-sand beach near the beach communities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, or have some fun elsewhere. The park is bustling with things to do, from golf and tennis to hiking and zip lining.

Antique motorcycles on display at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Park & Museum in Birmingham, Alabama
Art Meripol

Barber Vintage Motorsports Park & Museum

The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum features more than 1,200 vintage and modern motorcycles and racing cars, dating back to 1904. Outside, the impressive 3.7-kilometer road course hosts Indy Grand Prix and motorcycle races.

The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Alabama at sunset
Ted Denson

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park

In Mobile, explore the mighty USS Alabama, winner of nine battle stars in World War II. See a Mach 3 A-12 Blackbird spy plane, the B-52 Stratofortress Calamity Jane, the submarine USS Drum and more.

Taking in views during a hike up Mount Cheaha in Alabama
Chris Granger

Mount Cheaha

Put on your hiking boots and head to Cheaha State Park, the highest point in Alabama in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The native Creek Indians named it “Chaha,” or high place. Operated since 1933, Cheaha is also Alabama’s oldest state park. It’s a popular spot for fishing, hiking, picnics, swimming, camping and more.

The Ross Bridge course in Birmingham, part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is a collection of 468 holes at 11 sites. Stretching from Muscle Shoals to Mobile, these courses are a must-visit for golf fans and professionals alike.

A sailing trip at sunset from Orange Beach, Alabama
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A Route 66 sign in the desert
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