Alabama’s rich history, lively cultural atmosphere and stunning natural scenery make the state a must-see destination on any all-American road tour.
Whether you’re fan of outdoor adventures or a lover of golf and fine dining, Alabama has plenty to offer for every type of traveler. With attractions that range from pristine beaches to bustling cities to some of the best hiking trails in the country, it’s easy to see why the state, affectionately known as the Heart of Dixie, is one of the highest-rated stops in the storied American South.
To make the most out of your next visit here, be sure to add a few of the highlights below to your itinerary for a once-in-a-lifetime getaway you’ll never forget.
1. Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores
Beautiful sunsets, sugar-white beaches, scenic bike trails and exciting wildlife are all great reasons to spend a few days exploring this 6,150-acre park along Alabama’s picturesque coastline.
What could make this outdoor oasis even better? The grounds are home to a contemporary camping area that features 11 updated bathhouses, paved camping pads for RVs of all sizes and free Wi-Fi. Electricity, sewer and water are available at each site. With access to all the comforts of home and your own picnic table and pedestal grill, the conveniently located campground is the perfect home base for exploring Alabama’s wild side.
Head here for detailed information about rules and reservations.
2. Grand National Golf Course, Opelika
Alabama is a paradise for golfers, and Grand National is one of the state’s most magnificent courses. Don’t let the serene lakeside layout fool you. Grand National is a challenge, but that’s what makes it so special. Warm up your swing in the short game area before taking on the Lakes or Links course to test your skills against the backdrop of trees, water and blue skies.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Opelika, Spring Villa Park has good reviews. Campers have mentioned it’s a bit out of the way, but may afford some peace and quiet in the busy summer months or during football season (Auburn University is just down the road from Opelika).
3. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham
No visit to Alabama is complete without taking a deeper look into the state’s central role in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ‘60s. Spanning the time period between the start of segregation and the passionate protests of the late 1960s, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute paints a complete picture of the key events that changed the course of American history and the people who sacrificed their lives in the name of equality.
Get the latest information on working hours and admission prices at the museum’s homepage.
4. Blue Pants Brewery, Madison
When the weather outside is hot and humid, stop by the Blue Pants Brewery for a refreshing pint or two of locally made craft beer. Open six nights a week and for lunch on weekends, the tap room serves a rotating selection of flavors, which can be sampled at the bar indoors or in the recently renovated outdoor beer garden. If you come hungry, bites from the delicious Blue Pantry food truck can be ordered directly from the bar.
For more information, check out this article on Alabama’s official tourism website.
5. Barber Motorsports Museum & Park, Birmingham
While the Talladega Superspeedway – a household name in the NASCAR universe – gets all the attention, Barber Motorsports Museum & Park is a not-to-be-missed attraction for anyone who enjoys competitive motorsports. In addition to displaying race cars, unique auto exhibits and the largest collection of motorcycles in the world, Barber hosts ongoing live events around the facility’s curvy outdoor race track.
To check the event schedule and plan your trip in advance, visit Barber’s official website.