Salty coastlines, dense forests, miles of marshland, and a whole lot of history.
A visit to the American Southeast isn't really complete without a swing through Alabama. With access to the Gulf Coast along its southern border and forests and mountains in its north, the Heart of Dixie features a variety of terrain to explore.
Looking for a place to take in the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico? Try heading down to Gulf State Park in the city of Gulf Shores. You'll find about 2.5 miles of beach among 6,500 acres of land. Fishing enthusiasts will find a lot to like here. The park includes three freshwater lakes featuring redfish, catfish, trout, and bass for the catching.
On the northern side of the state, Desoto State Park offers a different kind of outdoors experience. DSP, located on the 2,388-foot-high Lookout Mountain, brings hiking, camping, and wildlife-watching options. Pack some good binoculars if you're heading here. Depending on where you stand, you can see seven different U.S. states from atop Lookout!
If you're looking for more elevation adventures, you might also be interested in a trip to Cheaha State Park. CSP sits on top of Cheaha Mountain, Alabama's highest natural point at 2,407 feet. A lodge and cabins provide stunning vista views of the surrounding Talladega National Forest. Athletic types can enjoy rappelling and rock climbing in the area as well.
Like the rest of the U.S. Southeast, Alabama's in a humid subtropical climate that can get oppressively hot in late summer. That heat's slightly mitigated by the fact that Alabama gets slightly more rain than its immediate neighbors. Tornados are an uncommon but potentially deadly hazard in the state, with about 20 blowing through Alabama every year.