Sweet Home Alabama: Beauty, Beaches and Bar-B-Q
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Alabama Tourism. The opinions and text are all mine and it is my privilege to share them with you.
Sweet Home Alabama….Where I spent the first nine years of my life. Once we moved, I would spend pretty much every summer, Christmas break and any other school holiday back in Alabama with my grandparents. After college I visited as often as I possibly could. Then I got married… to a man whose family was also from Alabama! So, no matter where we’ve lived we always managed to make trips back to Alabama to visit family. In fact, we’re going for a visit in just a few days.
Summers spent with my grandparents we never boring. They loved to travel, sometimes cross-country but many times just around the state. I’m pretty sure they knew every hill and “holler” from Mobile to the Tennessee line. The beauty and diversity are seemingly endless.
An Alabama Road Trip offers something for everyone.
Maybe it’s hiking in one of the many beautiful state parks…
De Soto State Park, in the northern part of the state, offers lush beauty and majestic waterfalls…
Learn Indian lore at Naccalula Falls, where our family enjoyed frequent picnics. These falls cascade 90-feet over Lookout Mountain ledge into a lush ravine. See Gilliland-Reese Covered Bridge, enjoy the botanical garden, explore the pioneer homestead, hike the nature trails, bring a picnic lunch, or make use of the year-round campground.
If you prefer the rolling waves to green rolling hills, they’ve got that, too!
Any of the Gulf Beaches are perfect for spending a relaxing day in the sun. The southern shores offer amazing white sand beaches and pristine water. Once you’ve been to a sugar-white sand beach, nothing else compares.
Dauphin Island is a bird watchers paradise and Deep Sea fishing is available for the more adventurous type.
Looking for a little history?
I remember well our visit and tour of the battleship, U S S Alabama, in Mobile Bay. Going through some long packed boxes recently, I found my model of the battle ship we purchased as my souvenir from our time there.
When my children were studying Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver, we just happened to be in Alabama and visited the Tuskegee Heritage Museum and Airman National Historic Site in Tuskegee. It really made their history lessons come to life! Learn more about Historic Civil Rights destinations.
Interested in science and space?
Huntsville’s U S Space and Rocket Center is a “must see”! Real moon rocks, space ships and shuttles and anti-gravity rides! I was fascinated by it all!
More of a “book-worm”?
Visit Monroeville, home of Harper Lee, famed author of To Kill A Mockingbird. If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend doing so.
Any sports fans in your family?
Alabama’s legendary for their sports! The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, a three-story facility in Birmingham where sports legends Jesse Owens, Hank Aaron, Joe Louis, Carl Lewis and Willie Mays are immortalized. At Tuscaloosa’s Paul W. Bryant Museum, you can hear the philosophy of the University of Alabama coach and view photos, memorabilia and films of major Crimson Tide football victories. Or, if you’re an Auburn fan, watch Bo Jackson going “over the top” against the Crimson Tide in 1982 at the Jonathan B. Lovelace Hall of Honor in Auburn.
And don’t forget Talledge Superspeedway, the world’s fastest and most competitive superspeedway, each spring and fall. Year-round, tour the track and visit the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. If you’re really adventurous, you can take a ride around the track with a professional driver! (For the right price and signed waiver) My parents did the ride a few years ago and said it was a blast!
Just in case you haven’t seen anything that interests you….
Just Come for the FOOD!
Seriously, it’s the BEST! The three best cooks I’ve ever known were all from Alabama….my grandmother, my husband’s grandmother and my mother-in-law. It won’t be hard to find good food anywhere you go.
In Birmingham, visit Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q
A little further north in Decatur, it’s Big Bob Gibsons Bar-B-Q! We plan to go there on our upcoming visit. I can’t wait to get a giant loaded baked potato, stuffed with pulled pork and topped off with BBQ sauce!
And in case your somewhere in between….
There’s an app for that! Really, it’s an Alabama BBQ Trail app.
A food “Bucket List” App…I think I need that!
Find more great food at Alabama BBQ and Alabama Food.
The list of things to do, places to see and BBQ to be eaten goes on and on!
What are you looking for in your next vacation? Friendly, inviting folks? Warm, laid back atmosphere? Great food, Southern hospitality and charm? A road trip to Sweet Home Alabama may be just what you’re looking for.
10 Most Visited Attractions:
- U.S. Space & Rocket Center
- Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail
- Birmingham Zoo
- McWane Science Center
- USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
- Civil Rights Institute
- Huntsville Botanical Garden
- Point Mallard Park
- Montgomery Zoo
- EarlyWorks Museum Complex
Sweet Home Alabama has it all!
More destinations at Alabama Road Trips. Get your FREE Visitors Guide.
All pictures courtesy of alaparks.com and Alabama Travel