Known as the "Heart of Dixie," Alabama borders Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi and Florida. Though the capital of Alabama is Montgomery, the most populated city is Birmingham and the oldest city is Mobile, which was founded by French colonists.
For anyone looking to escape cold, wet winters, the climate in Alabama ranges from mild to hot with summer temperatures climbing to 100 degrees - perfect for a warm getaway. Winters are less harsh here, with temperatures ranging from 30 to 60 degrees.
History buffs will enjoy exploring any of the state’s 36 national historic landmarks and more than 1,200 locations that are part of the National Register of Historic Places. All of Alabama is steeped in rich and interesting facts from its beginning up until the present time.
Things to Do in Alabama
U.S. Space & Rocket Center: When visiting Huntsville, be sure to stop by the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, a museum showcasing achievements, rockets and artifacts from the United States’ space program. The museum is home to more than 1,500 permanent pieces relating to space exploration. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center also offers two camp programs where people can stay on-site and learn more about space with the U.S. Space Camp or aviation with the Aviation Challenge. Along with displays, you can also check out the Spacedome Theater, Rocket Park and Education Training Center that houses NASA’s Educator Resource Center.
Birmingham Zoo and Montgomery Zoo: Animal lovers are sure to enjoy a trip to either zoo in Birmingham or Montgomery, or maybe even both! The Birmingham Zoo is home to about 800 different animals of more than 200 species. It’s also a force in elephant conservation, featuring a Trails of Africa exhibit. Along with the elephants, you can visit with rhinos, giraffes, birds and other creatures. The Montgomery Zoo allows visitors to take a trip to South America, Asia and other countries without ever leaving Alabama. With more than 500 animals, there’s plenty to see here, including elephants, penguins, zebras and more.
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park: One of the country’s most unique military attractions, The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park provides an exciting experience for the whole family. Located on the western shore of Mobile Bay, the park features a collection of wartime aircraft and ships. The USS Alabama is a national historic landmark and a great way to pay respects to soldiers who have fallen in the past.
Bryant-Denny Stadium: In Tuscaloosa, you’ll find the home of the University of Alabama and Bryant-Denny Stadium. Originally the football shrine was built to honor the university’s first president, it was amended later to also honor the famous Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Alabama is also home to one of the United States’ oldest college rivalries between Auburn University and the University of Alabama. If you visit during football season, taking in a game between the Crimson Tide and the Tigers is sure to be entertaining both on and off the field.
Huntsville Botanical Garden: While visiting Huntsville, be sure to stop at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. Free and open year-round, it’s home to a butterfly house as well as a variety of gardens, including aquatic, wildflower, fern, rose and others. Spend the day meandering through each space and savor the natural beauty everywhere you look.
Shopping and Dining in Alabama
Bel Air Mall: Located in Mobile, Bel Air Mall is a major attraction for excited shoppers. Featuring more than 130 stores, there no doubt you can find exactly what you’re looking for while visiting Alabama at local shops or bigger name stores. In addition, Bel Air Mall is home to a quaint Venetian carousel and many restaurants when you need to take a break and refuel.
Wintzell’s Oyster House: For a true Southern seafood meal, visit Mobile’s historic landmark, Wintzell’s Oyster House. It’s been open for more than 75 years and has grown and expanded from a six-stool oyster bar to the landmark it is now.
Mike and Ed’s BBQ: For some Southern-style barbecue, visit Auburn’s Mike and Ed’s BBQ which dishes up some of the tastiest pulled pork and home cooking in the state. There's no excuse for leaving hungry here - the portions are big and chances are you will clean your plate.