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.