The southern state is rich in history, natural beauty, music and culture. Take a deep dive into our country’s past by visiting the state capital, Montgomery, which is also the Confederacy’s first capital. Visit the many preserved sites that were significant in the American Civil Rights Movement, like the Rosa Parks Museum and the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. Learn about Native American history at the Indian Mound and Museum in Florence.
The Heart of Dixie was also a musical hub, with roots in country, bluegrass, and gospel to name a few. Tour the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio where pop artists like Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones recorded or FAME Studio where Aretha Franklin performed. Attend a music fest like the annual three-day Hangout Music Festival held on the public beaches of Gulf Shores or the free Ten65 Music Festival held in Mobile, Alabama.
Family-friendly destinations include antebellum home tours throughout the state, whitewater rafting in Phenix City, beaches along Alabama’s gulf coast, and hiking trails that weave through the National Forests and lead to stunning waterfalls, caves, and lakes.
Best Places to Visit in Alabama
The state capital, located alongside the Alabama River, is known for its Civil Rights legacy, kid-friendly activities, live music, and a wide range of museums.
Civil Rights Memorial: Take a guided tour of this memorial, which honors 41 people killed in the fight for civil rights. The memorial itself is open 24/7 and is located in an open plaza in front of the Civil Rights Memorial Center.
Rosa Parks Library and Museum: Learn about Rosa Parks’ life and civil rights legacy through artifacts, texts, and exhibits at the site of her 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Old Alabama Town: A collection of old 19th and 20th-century structures stretching six blocks in historic downtown Montgomery, this living history experience reflects the lives of Alabama’s first settlers.
Cities in Alabama
Birmingham: The most populous city in Alabama, “The Magic City,” has plenty to do and see for adults and children, like the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, or the Birmingham Children’s Theatre.
Orange Beach: This Gulf Coast city is an outdoor recreation hub known for its white-sand beaches and outdoor adventures like ziplining, kayaking, hiking, and golfing.
Huntsville: Visit the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in this northern Alabama city.
Alabama State and National Parks
Little River Canyon National Preserve: Located in the Southern Appalachians, this national preserve is said to be the longest mountain top river in the nation.
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park: This 2,040-acre park is the site of the last battle of the 1814 Creek War.
Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail: Drive the 54-mile long route that commemorates the events and people of the 1965 Voting Rights March led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site: Located on Moton Field, this historic site commemorates the contributions of African-American airmen during World War II.
Cruises and Water Tours
Beaches, cruises, sailing and water tours may not be the first things that come to mind when thinking about Alabama. But the southeast state has 60 miles of tidal shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico.
Dolphin Cruise: Catch glimpses of bottlenose dolphins while enjoying the beautiful views of the Gulf Shore.
Wildlife Kayak Tour: Enjoy a guided kayak tour to learn about the diverse wildlife of the wetlands in the lower Mobile-Tensaw Delta.
Sunset Sailing Cruise: Take in stunning sunsets and marine wildlife while sipping on a cocktail.