Alabama boasts a unique, natural charm. Enjoy numerous outdoor activities, from trekking the Trail of Tears to lounging at Orange Beach. You’ll find this iconic beauty in the American South.
The state is situated in the southeast of the United States. It borders Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida to the south and Mississippi to the west. In the south, it is also washed by the Gulf of Mexico.
Shaped like a pyramid, it has several regions. First, you’ll encounter rolling hills to the north. Metropolitan Alabama makes up the next level. Above the Gulf Coast and also to the south lies River Heritage.
Things to Do in Alabama
Bustling cities include Birmingham, Montogomery, Mobile, Auburn, and Huntsville. There is always something new to discover here. Ivory beaches line the lush Gulf Shores, making this a comfortable spot to vacation. You’ll enjoy your day rolling around in the soft sand. Go fishing at Orange Beach, and also indulge in a round of golf at the Gulf Shores. Dense forests packed with wildlife are also a welcome sight for travelers who enjoy trekking.
Photographers will relish the opportunity to capture nature in its perfection at the Little River Canyon National Preserve. The Little River winds like a serpent through the Lookout Mountains. Explore caves at the Russell Cave National Monument, also home to our ancestors of over 10,000 years.
Historical monuments abound in this scenic landscape. Marvel at the magnificent Fort Payne, where you’ll both encounter caves and fish in pristine waters. Also be sure to explore the historical trail stretching from Selma to Montogomery. Visit the Horseshow Bend National Military Park and encounter the spirits of over 800 martyred Upper Creek warriors.
Traveling around Alabama is a pleasure. Both vibrant and natural delights roll across the land. The roads are smooth in the urban areas of Huntsville, Montgomery, Birmingham, Mobile, Tuscaloosa, and Anniston. Rural regions are also accessible, though the roads are not in peak condition.
WHEN TO GO
Alabama does not have extreme weather conditions. During winter the temperature is comfortably around 10- 15 degree Celsius, and in summer the temperature hardly goes above 32 degree Celsius.
The best time to visit Alabama is during the summers( April- July) when the weather is just enough to warm to enjoy the sunny beaches. But if you prefer a much colder climate to explore the wild outdoors then September to November is the coolest period.
WHAT TO WEAR
What to wear depends on the season. So, there are a variety of things that change your travel capsule according to the change in weather. If you visit Alabama in Winter or Fall then – you need to pack warm slacks, full sleeves t-shirts, lights jackets, and few sweaters. Pack a generous number of socks and have a waterproof jacket with you as it rains during November.
But if you visit in October then you can pack some shorts and summer tops for the beach. Sunscreen is a must apply, because even though it is winter, the sun rays become very intense to harm your skin. If you are doing hiking or some serious outdoor fun, then wear a pair of sturdy boots.
In Summers Alabama is hot, so shorts, tank tops, and t-shirts will be the comfiest outfits for you. But Dodge flip-flops and done a pair of boots because no matter the weather exploring needs a pair of sturdy boots.
English will get you anywhere in Alabama. But most of the visitors might find the southern accent hard to understand. If you pay a closer attention to what the Alabamians say then you can decipher what they mean. 😉
Alabama is a southern state in the United States of America which uses Dollar as currency. Many ATMs work on international standards, and you can simply withdraw money from your account in the desired currency.
But in American ATMs, you have to pay a small fee of $3-$5 for the withdrawal. There are also many money exchange companies in Alabama, other than the money exchange centers at airports. You can exchange your currency there if you are not a native American.
Connecting with a Free Wi-Fi Hotspot is not a chore in Alabama. There are plenty of places to find it like the Airports, Cafes and your Hotel will also provide you with that service. So, you need not worry about connecting to the internet when in Alabama.
If you are an international tourist, then you need to check whether your phone gets locked out. If it does, then you need to buy a new one with a SIM card. US SIM cards work like Pay as you Go.
There are many carriers you can choose from like StraightTalk, T-mobile, etc.. You can buy sim cards from the retail stores or Walmart. There are also many companies that rent phones with sim cards for you short term stay ( STATravel, OneSim, etc..)
The Southern people are warm and welcoming to tourists. They will go out of their way to help you. But keep in mind not to offend their favorite team, if so then you are doomed.
American Football is taken seriously here, and there are serious fans of Crimson Tide and Tigers. If you do not know about it, then it is better to shut your mouth than to call for a fan’s wrath.
When it comes to cuisine, Alabama has knocked out versions of fried seafood and ribs. You can also ask the locals about the specialty, and try a local favorite. And do not forget to try Barbecue in Alabama. There are several joints, ask a local and jump at the first opportunity to taste it.
The important parts of Alabama like Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham are well connected with roads. And a car is seemingly the best way to get around. It is not only scenic but also a fast way of getting around.
If you plan on taking a road trip(which is the best thing we suggest ) to Alabama, then your primary concern will be lodging and food. The rest of the activities includes stopping by at famous sites like Cahawba.
You need to have at least $100 in your hand for a day that is if you plan to survive on only the famous barbecue joints for food. If not then you need $130- $150 / day.
HOW MANY DAYS FOR ALABAMA
Taking a road trip along the scenic route can take as many days as you want. But 4-5 days are enough to drain pockets of a budget traveler. Your trip can also be squeezed into a weekend if you desire and also be extended to a week or two as you want.
The roads in the urban areas like Mobile and Montgomery are up to date, but the ones in rural areas aren’t as well kept. So, traveling through that rural roads might take more time than imagined. But the scenery makes up for the lost time.
RENTING vs. BUS, TRAIN, TAXI
Renting a car is far more comfortable than using the public transport. Alabama’s great outdoors is the thing that attracts travelers. And to experience it driving along its roads is the best idea.
Take a flight to Alabama and book a car before you reach there. Then drive yourself around. The cost may start from $20 a day.
RIGHT or LEFT DRIVING
To drive in Alabama, you need to have all the required documents- A driver’s license from home state or home country, Passport, Visa and Health Insurance. “ Drive to the left of the center” is the law enforced by Alabama. The speed limit is 70 mph on interstate highways.
ELECTRICITY & PLUG TYPES
The standard voltage is 110 V in Alabama as it is in all United States. You need a universal plug adapter if you are a serious traveler. It helps you to connect to electrical outlets no matter the country or state. And if you are from Asia or Europe, then a converter will also come in handy for changing the voltage (unless your appliance works in dual voltage).
HOW TO REACH
There are numerous airports in Alabama, but the most popular one is the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. It deals with direct flights to NYC, New Orleans, Tampa, Atlanta, Chicago, etc. You can take a flight to the BHM Airport and after that drive your way around in a rental car.
Or if you are living in a nearby state then you can drive yourself in through the scenic route of Highway 31.
WHERE TO STAY
There are many stunning places in Alabama to stay. But if you are on a road trip then you can spot hotels and inns as you make your way through the roads. A hotel or cabin can cost you $80 at a minimum. But if you want a bit of swank then be ready to spend $120-$150.
HOW SAFE IS ALABAMA
As we said earlier, Alabama is a nice place to be, and the people here are kind. But we recommend that if you are in any shady neighborhoods after dark, then please seek a safe place to stay ASAP. Anything can go from good to bad, just use your instinct and common sense.
September 24, 2016 1:32 pm