Alabama Guide Outdoor Activities

9 Places You Must Visit While Exploring Alabama

The 22nd state in the United States of America, Alabama has some excellent offerings in entertainment, arts, and culture. It carries a few nicknames as well. Alabama is fondly called the Yellowhammer State, Heart of Dixie, and the Cotton State. History says that the explorers from Spain passed through this state in the 16th century. However, it were the French who settled in this part of the United States.

They were instrumental in the founding of Mobile in the early 18th century. Alabama is a fabulous place to enjoy some water-based activities. This state also has some fantastic places you must never miss during your tour. Here, we’ve listed some of them:

1. Montgomery

Alabama’s capital would be the obvious choice to explore the state’s interesting history. One of the famous names associated with this city is Rosa Parks. She was an African-American lady who played an important role in America’s civil rights history. Montgomery was the place where the Confederacy came into existence in 1861.

In recent times, the city has gained immense popularity for its skyscrapers, arks, and a vibrant arts scene. Among the major events hosted in this city is the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

2. Dauphin Island

Located off the coast of Mobile, this island has many bird sanctuaries. The most prominent among them is Audubon Bird Sanctuary. For the migratory birds, this island is a place to stop and have some rest while journeying from South America. The island has been named after Louis XIV’s great grandson, Francis II, who was the Dauphin of France.

You can witness a spectacular sunset while unwinding on any of the island’s beaches. The island has also witnessed the Battle of Mobile Bay, which took place in 1864. The bay’s entrance was once guarded by the historic Fort Gaines.

3. Cheaha State Park

If you want to have a wonderful hiking experience in Alabama, visit the Cheaha State Park. Located within the Talladega National Forest, this park provides access to the Appalachian Trail and several other trails. The highest point in the state, the Cheaha Mountain, is also located in the park.

Cheaha State Park also has an exciting trail for the ATV riders, who prefer riding a bike than going on a hike. Accommodations are also available in this park, which range from camps to a luxury lodge. The staff of this park also helps couples in arranging their wedding in a beautiful outdoor setting.

4. Noccalula Falls Park

This park has been named after a young Cherokee woman called Noccalula. According to a popular legend, Noccalula jumped over the 90-foot falls on the day of her wedding. Her father wanted her to marry a rich chief. As Noccalula never wanted to marry a man she didn’t love, she took the extreme step. Today, there’s a 9-foot statue of Noccalula at the falls.

Despite this tragic incident, the park’s beauty attracts plenty of tourists every year. You’ll come across 25,000 azalea plants in this part of the state. There’s a paved hiking trail for the visitors to take a pleasant stroll. A visit to the Pioneer Village would give you the opportunity to learn about the park’s history.

5. Orange Beach

A perfect place to chill out, Orange Beach is located on the state’s border with Florida. This city offers plenty of opportunities for a family beach vacation. You can stay in one of the beachfront accommodations and indulge in a range of thrilling outdoor activities. They include taking one of the dolphin cruises and playing golf.

You’ll also find good recreational centers in the city with courts for basketball and tennis. Both locals and tourists visit the Orange Beach Islands for their entertainment. You can get to these islands by taking a ride on a boat, kayak, paddleboard, or jet ski.

6. Mobile

This city can be described as a cultural center on the sea. Located at the head of Mobile Bay, it is the only saltwater port of the state. You’ll find some majestic art galleries and museums in this city. It also gives you the chance to witness the professional ballet, symphony, and opera performances. There’s an abundance of azaleas all around the city in early spring.

In the month of February, Mobile hosts the oldest organized carnival in the country. The French Catholic people who settled in the region in the early 18th century had first organized this carnival. Mobile is also popular for its antebellum architecture. It is a blend of many architectural styles.

7. Huntsville

This city in Alabama is home to the Manned Space Flight Center of NASA. As Huntsville is associated with the space program of the United States, it is also called Rocket City. The chemical munitions facilities were constructed in the city during the Second World War.

They were converted for the space program after the war ended. The city was also the site for launching the first satellite of the United States in 1958. While getting around in the city, you’ll come across many historic homes. Some of them were built during the early 19th century.

8. Birmingham

Yes, you read it right. There’s another Birmingham in this world and it is located in Alabama. It was named after an English city of the same name and was founded during Civil War Reconstruction. Birmingham was once the main industrial area on the southern part of the United States. This gave it the nickname ‘Pittsburgh of the South.

The city is home to Birmingham Museum of Art. It is the largest art museum in the south-eastern part of the country. During your visit to this city, you’ll come across many symphony, ballet, and opera companies. Birmingham also hosts music and film festivals, which attract filmmakers from different corners of the world. One of them is the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

9. Gulf Shores

Located on the Gulf of Mexico, this city is located at a distance of 54 miles from Mobile. It hosts what has been billed as the greatest beach party in the world. You can be a part of this if you visit during late April. Gulf Shores is an ideal place to go on an ocean fishing trip. Besides indulging in the usual beach activities, you can play golf or take a sunset cruise.

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