Alabama

United States of America
Mobile showing heritage architecture and a park

In the heartland of the southern U.S. is a state known for its complex, fascinating history, storied cities and legendary musical legacy.

Follow Alabama’s history from early Native American days through Civil War prominence and struggles during the Civil Rights Movement. Enjoy its glorious sand beaches and Southern food and hospitality.

At the center of Alabama, Birmingham provides a variety of attractions. Visit the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Enjoy golf at one of more than a dozen local courses or play all eight along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Pack sweet tea and barbecued pork sandwiches and hike up Ruffner Mountain.

Alabama’s capital, Montgomery, has made a major historical turnabout. Once the capital of the pro-slave Confederacy during the Civil War, it became a focal point for the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Follow markers along the 54-mile (87-kilometer) Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail to imagine the experiences of thousands of Americans pushing forward the cause of racial equality.

Near Huntsville, follow the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, marking the 1830s forced migration of the people of the Cherokee Nation out of Alabama. Every September hundreds of motorcyclists ride from Bridgeport to Waterloo in commemoration. Visit Alabama Constitution Village to interact with villagers in 1819 period dress. Then travel forward in time at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration – U.S. Space and Rocket Center. For diverse cultural interests, visit the Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville Botanical Garden and Sci-Quest Hands-on Science Center.

The city of Mobile stakes a claim as the birthplace of Mardi Gras, the annual early spring carnival. Visit the Mobile Carnival Museum to learn about Alabama’s Mardi Gras history dating back to 1703. Watch or participate in some of the more than 30 parades over the 2-week celebration. Year-round enjoy the Mobile Museum of Art, Museum of Mobile and Mobile’s opera, symphony and ballet.

Along the southern access to Mobile Bay, visit the family-friendly Gulf Shores resort community with beautiful beaches and sunny-day activities. Alabama’s Gulf Coast is short in length, only 53 miles (85 kilometers), but it is long in enjoyment.

Popular cities in Alabama

Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa
Known for Universities, Shopping and Sports
Steeped in a rich local history, this charming city offers art centers, exciting museums and a lively sports scene.

Reasons to visit

  • University of Alabama
  • Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
  • Tuscaloosa River Walk
Gulf Shores showing general coastal views and a sandy beach as well as a small group of people
Gulf Shores
Known for Beach view, Live music and Seafood
Beautiful beaches, championship golf courses, great seafood and unusual nature experiences attract carefree vacationers to this pleasant Alabama resort area.

Reasons to visit

  • Fort Morgan
  • Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
  • Gulf Shores Museum
Vulcan Statue which includes a city
Birmingham
Known for Shopping, Sports and Theaters
Once a center of the civil rights movement, Alabama’s largest city has emerged from its troubled past as an exciting spot full of attractions.

Reasons to visit

  • Sloss Furnaces
  • Alabama Theater
Huntsville featuring a park and a pond
Huntsville
Known for Theaters, Museums and Live music
Lush mountainous landscapes surround this northeastern Alabama city, known for its fun-filled festivals and its role in the Revolutionary War and space age.

Reasons to visit

  • Huntsville Botanical Garden
Montgomery which includes night scenes, a hotel and skyline
Montgomery
Known for Historical, Casinos and Rivers
This city on the Alabama River was a key location in the American civil rights movement during the mid-20th century. Come here to learn about Southern history and culture.

Reasons to visit

  • Alabama State University
Mobile which includes a high rise building and a park
Mobile
Known for Universities, Sports and Museums
As the host of America’s first Mardi Gras, this Southern city has plenty of personality, with charming neighborhoods, historical museums and delicious local food.

Reasons to visit

  • USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park