Almost synonymous with the American Civil Rights movement, Alabama has a very rich and varied history to delve into while its famous ‘Southern hospitality’ shines through wherever you go. Set in the Southeastern United States, it has everything from pristine beaches and prehistoric sites to lively cities and interesting Civil War battlefields for visitors to check out.
While the north is dominated by the mountainous Tennessee Valley, the southern half of the state is much flatter with Alabama also boasting a small stretch of glittering Gulf of Mexico coastline. Part of the Deep South, it is bordered clockwise by Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi while farms, forests, and waterways coat much of the state.
Also known as the ‘Heart of Dixie’ and the ‘Cotton State’, Alabama widely used African-American slave labor during the antebellum period and even seceded from the States in 1861. At its capital Montgomery you can learn more about the short-lived Confederacy and Rosa Parks who famously refused to give up her seat on the bus in 1955 when protesting Jim Crow racial segregation laws.
Alabama’s largest city and economic and cultural center, Birmingham also has lots of museums and monuments relating to the Civil Rights movement to stop by. Besides this, it has a vibrant arts and culture scene with pretty parks and rusting industrial sites also dotted about.
While many head to Mobile for its amazing antebellum architecture and delightful historic districts, Huntsville also attracts heaps of tourists thanks to its association with the US space program while delicious food can be enjoyed whetever you go.
Away from its cities, Alabama has the gorgeous Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for you to relax on while both Russell Cave and the Trail of Tears highlight the history of the state’s Native Americans.