You’re doing yourself a favor if you create a list of cool places to visit for your future travels. However, don’t overlook a trip to Alabama. Many travelers find themselves surprised at how much the state offers.
There’s so much to see and do that it’ll be hard to cram it all into your schedule.
Today, we’re sharing five cool places we think you should check out when visiting Alabama. Let’s dive in!
Alabama is between Mississippi and Georgia in the southeastern portion of the United States. It was the 22nd state and is home to major cities like Huntsville, Montgomery, and Birmingham. During the 1950s and 1960s, the state played a significant role in the American Civil Rights Movement. High-profile events like the march from Selma to Montgomery occurred in the state and attracted national attention.
The state may be middle of the pack for population (24th), but its 1,500 miles of inland waterways is one of the longest of any state. Alabama goes by the nickname of the “Yellowhammer State,” which references the state bird. Many also refer to the state as the “Heart of Dixie” or the “Cotton State.”
Alabama has a diverse geography, from the hilly and mountainous borders with Tennessee in the north to the beaches of the southern Gulf Coast. The state is very conservative and deeply rooted in southern politics and culture.
When’s the Best Time to Visit Alabama?
If you want to visit Alabama, plan to visit from mid-March to late May. This time of year provides moderate temperatures ranging from 60 to 85 degrees. However, be aware that the spring months are the busiest times for tourists in the area.
This can be good and bad as you can enjoy plenty of activities, but it comes with the crowds.
Pro Tip: Take a ride down The Most Scenic Drive In Alabama. Locals love it and so will you!
What’s Alabama Famous For?
When people think of Alabama, they often think about peanuts, southern hospitality, and some incredibly sandy beaches along the gulf coast. However, the state has a massive reputation for college football. Two powerhouse college football programs, Auburn University and the University of Alabama, lie within the state, separated by a two-and-a-half-hour drive.
The gulf coast also has a reputation for having delicious food. You’ll find seafood, barbecue, ethnic cuisines, and homestyle meals that’ll stick to your ribs. No matter what your taste buds are craving, you can find it in Alabama.
Does Alabama Have Hurricanes?
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and can threaten the state. Despite only having 32 miles of coast, the rest of the state is close enough to experience hurricanes. According to the Alabama News Center, nine major hurricanes have hit Alabama in the last 90 years.
The infamous Hurricane Katrina in 2005 claimed the lives of two Alabamans. However, the 1979 Hurricane Frederic did $2.3 billion worth of damage across the state.
5 Cool Places in Alabama
Alabama offers more than authentic southern hospitality. It also has some cool places that we think you should experience. If you want places to add to your travel bucket list, here are a handful of suggestions for when you visit Alabama.
Neversink Pit sits in the northeast corner of Alabama and is a mix between a sinkhole and a cave. This 40-feet wide pit drops 163 feet straight down and widens to 100 feet at the bottom. Visitors can rappel down into its depths. The experience for rappelers changes based on the time of year. Winter provides massive sheets of ice, spring rains create waterfalls, and the summer heat causes lush ferns to grow on the walls.
While rappelling 160 feet to the bottom sounds exciting, it’s not for beginners. Only experienced rappellers should attempt to reach the cave’s floor. Don’t push your limits or abilities when accessing this cave.
However, reaching the bottom, you’ll experience some of the most incredible views and photography opportunities.
When Owen Foster bought a 6,000-acre plot of land for 25 cents, he used the land for farming and timber. His son, William Owen Foster, needed a hog pen and used the structure that is now the Rattlesnake Saloon. He drilled a 33-foot hole through the solid rock to make feeding his hogs easier. Now that hole runs all the cable, power, and electrical wiring to the Saloon.
Rattlesnake Saloon is a restaurant unlike what you’ve likely ever seen or experienced. Accessing it requires a shuttle from the parking lot to a cave entrance. You can find indoor and outdoor dining options and a menu of salads, sandwiches, and tenders. Everyone can find something they love on the Rattlesnake Saloon’s menu.
If you have a hearty appetite, try the two-pound burger known as the “Gigantor.” It comes with half a pound of fries, half a pound of onion rings, and a pitcher of your favorite beverage.
If you want a unique and interesting place to eat, Rattlesnake Saloon is about as unique as it gets. You don’t have to sacrifice quality for the view or experience.
Pro Tip: While exploring Alabama, make sure to check out these 10 Unusual Things To Do in Alabama.
Cathedral Caverns State Park
Cathedral Caverns State Park, formerly known as “Bat Cave,” opened to the public in the 1950s by Jacob Gurley. However, the state purchased the property in 1987 and opened it as a state park in 2000. When you step inside the cave, you can see why the state wanted to do all it could to protect this unique spot.
The cave’s huge entrance is the first thing many guests notice. The entryway measures 126 feet wide by 25 feet high. However, once you walk through, the views and experience continue.
You’ll see some of the most beautiful natural creations. “Goliath” is a massive 45-foot tall and 243 feet in circumference stalagmite. Bring a jacket as the cave stays a chilly 60 degrees all year.
The Gulf Shores in Alabama have 32 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. These are some of the best beaches along the coast. However, Gulf Shores is more than just sandy beaches.
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Many don’t realize that Alabama is home to an affiliate of the Smithsonian, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. This is a great place for space enthusiasts to explore and learn about the United States rocket history.
You’ll find travel exhibits from all over the world, movies, and educational shows. And you get to see one of three authentic Saturn V rockets in person. Don’t miss an opportunity to experience this incredible and educational place in Alabama.
Visit Sweet Home Alabama
Alabama has a ton of natural beauty and has played a significant role throughout the history of our country. You can find museums for the civil rights movement and the space program for an entertaining way to learn about some significant historical events in our country. Don’t overlook Alabama when planning your travel itinerary. This state has more to offer than many people think.
Which one of these cool places in Alabama will you add to your bucket list? Tell us in the comments!
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