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Alabama

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Alabama[1] is a state in the United States of America.

Regions

State of Alabama Regions

Alabama can be characterized as having 4 regions:

Mountains - the north
Metropolitan - central
River Heritage - the south, except Gulf Coast
Gulf Coast - the south west


Cities

  • Montgomery - state capital and former capital of the confederacy

Other destinations

  • Horseshoe Bend National Military Park - In the spring of 1814, General Andrew Jackson and an army of 3,300 men attacked 1,000 Upper Creek warriors on the Tallapoosa River. Over 800 Upper Creeks died defending their homeland.
  • Little River Canyon National Preserve [2] - Little River is unique because it flows for most of its length atop Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama
  • Natchez Trace Parkway - The 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway commemorates an ancient trail that connected southern portions of the Mississippi River, through Alabama, to salt licks in today's central Tennessee
  • Russell Cave National Monument [3] - For more than 10,000 years, Russell Cave was home to prehistoric peoples. Russell Cave provides clues to the daily lifeways of early North American inhabitants dating from 6500 B.C. to 1650 A.D.
  • Selma To Montgomery National Historic Trail - The Selma to Montgomery National Voting Rights Trail was established by Congress in 1996 to commemorate the events, people, and route of the 1965 Voting Rights March in Alabama
  • Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail - Come on a journey to remember and commemorate the survival of the Cherokee people despite their forced removal from their homelands in the Southeastern United States in the 1840s
  • Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site - In the 1940's Tuskegee, Alabama became home to a "military experiment" to train America's first African-American military pilots. In time the "experiment" became known as the Tuskegee Experience and the participants as the Tuskegee Airmen
  • Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site - Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site is nestled on the campus of historic Tuskegee University. The site includes the George W. Carver Museum and The Oaks, home of Booker T. Washington

Understand

Alabama, and the South in general has a reputation for "southern hospitality". The people of this state are generally genial and helpful, and often go out of their way to help a stranger. While racial divisions still exist in the state, they are much more muted than is generally believed. The attitudes and problems of the old south are mostly held today only by the old and the uneducated.

Known primarily for it's unusual status as the original capitol of the Confederacy and the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's, Alabama can be a study in contrasts.

The sport of football is taken seriously in Alabama. In addition to significant regional devotion to high-school football teams, the entire state is divided in a way over Alabama versus Auburn University football rivalry. This can also be a point of concern for tourists, the rivalry is so serious that if you do not know about it, it is better to not say anything. Many marriages and friendships fall apart due to this rivalry.

Talk

Many (though certainly not all) Alabamians speak with thick local accents, so non-native English speakers may have difficulty understanding them.

Get in

By Car

Alabama is accessible by five interstate highways: I-10 crosses the state from east to west near Mobile in the south; I-20 enters Alabama from the east, traverses Birmingham, and joins I-59 as it traverses Tuscaloosa and exits the state in a southwesterly direction; I-59 enters northeastern Alabama, continues southwest through Birmingham, and exits the state toward the southwest; I-22 enters Alabama from the northwest and ends in Birmingham; I-65 enters Alabama from the north, traverses Birmingham, and ends in Mobile; I-85 enters the state in the east and ends in Montgomery.

By Train

There is one daily Amtrak service through the state: trains 19 (southbound) and 20 (northbound) run from New Orleans to Washington DC and New York City. The trains stop in Alabama at Anniston, Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. Coach and sleeper service is available, with checked baggage, a restaurant car, a café and a lounge. See Amtrak for more information.

By Plane

The biggest airport is in Birminghham, and from there or large airports in neighboring states you can get flights to Mobile and Montgomery

Get around

Car is no doubt the best method, and the most scenic. Interstates converge on Montgomery, Birmingham, and Mobile, and make quick transportation between those cities and ones in other states. They also connect to Anniston, Tuscaloosa, & Huntsville. Elsewhere though, travel can be slower in more rural areas

See

Do

Festivals

  • Gulf Shores is home to the National Shrimp Festival. This outdoor event is held annually in October and features over 300 vendors that offer fine art, arts and crafts, an international marketplace and plenty of shrimp. Three stages also carry music continuously throughout the festival. Over 200,000 people attend the festival annually and it has been ranked as one of the top twenty events in the southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, and one of the top five in the state. 2006 will mark the 35th anniversary of this festival.

Sports

Collegiate

Home to what is considered one of the top rivalries in sports, the state of Alabama revolves around college football. Each weekend of the fall, hundreds of thousands of fans around the state pack stadiums to cheer for their respective teams.

Hike

  • Believe it or not, Alabama has some decent hiking options. One of the best areas is the Sipsey Wilderness

Golf

  • Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, 100 Sunbelt Parkway, +1 205-942-1177 or 1-800-949-4444 (, fax: +1 205-290-1230), [4]. Ten public golf courses throughout Alabama. $40-125 per course.

Eat

In Birmingham, try Nikki's West for a good meat and three. Also, check out Full Moon barbeque in downtown Birmingham. Bottega and Highland's are delicious but expensive. In Tuscaloosa, try City Cafe, Dreamland barbeque, Wing's and Cafe Venice. In Jasper, Mr. Subs has the best sandwiches in town.

Drink

Sleep

Get Out

Alabama is sandwiched by two other Deep South states: Mississippi & Georgia, both with similar culture. Mississippi has civil war battlefields, scenic parkways, and more antebellum charm. Georgia has the major metropolis of Atlanta, with many attractions, and the charming cities of Macon & Savannah. To the north is Tennessee, with the cities of Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, & Chattanooga, plus the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains.

Bordering the southern part of the state is Florida, with a lot more gulf coast than Alabama, including fabulous beaches, the big tourist area of Orlando, and the cities of Tampa, Jacksonville, and Miami


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