Alabama, located on the Gulf Coast, offers tourists flexibility when it comes to alluring attractions; from racing and culture to fine dining and history, Alabama has a little bit of everything—served up with southern hospitality.
Travelers visiting Mobile, the state’s southeastern-most point, might enjoy strolling through Fort Conde, a reconstructed 18th-century fort, on a warm afternoon in mid October, when temperatures hover around 70 degrees and dolphin watching is in full swing.
Looking for something the whole family will enjoy? Take a trip to Mobile’s Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center for a family adventure at Hands On Hall. Designed to engage young visitors, Hands On Hall is true to its name, teaching principles like magnetism and electricity through interactive exhibits.
A trip to the state capital, Montgomery, allows visitors to explore the first White House of the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis and his family lived in the house from February to May, 1861. Travelers seeking a leap further back in time should visit Montgomery’s Alabama Shakespeare Festival. The festival, one of the 10 largest in the world, is held at the Carolyn Blount Theater and puts on roughly eight productions annually.
While the theater buffs enjoy Shakespeare’s best works, music lovers can experience the history of bucket mutes and wah-wahs at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in Birmingham, the state’s largest city. Birmingham is also home to the Civil Rights Institute, which comprises a variety of exhibits related to the influential movement of the 1950s and 60s.
From there, racing fans travel just under an hour east to enjoy a night the world-renowned Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, a 2.66-mile track with a stadium that seats over 140,000. This Alabama institution draws fans from all over the country that come to watch NASCAR or get behind the scenes with a specialized tour.
Alabama’s cuisine is sweet, indeed, with southern staples and down-home dishes. According to the James Beard Foundation, no Alabama trip is complete without a visit to chef Stitt’s Highlands Bar & Grill, where modest southern ingredients (think stone-ground grits and salty country ham) meet French technique and embellishment. Likewise, the Hot & Hot Fish Club gives patrons a taste of innovative southern cooking, with fusion dishes that call on French and California flourishes.