It’s time to plan your Alabama vacation and enjoy the beauty, culture, and climate of the Heart of Dixie. To really see Alabama, take a road trip down I-65, take your time, and don’t miss the three key places on our list.
Stop One: Birmingham
If you have any impression of Alabama as unsophisticated, let Birmingham drive this out of your head. The city is experiencing a rebirth driven by creatives, chefs, and musicians who love the culture. Your biggest problem is likely to be stopping yourself from spending your whole vacation fund on delicious food and unique crafts and antiques.
If you’re in need of delicious drinking experiences, don’t miss Carrigan’s Public House, where cocktails are enjoying a renaissance. You can get all the classics, of course; but why would you when you can enjoy locally inspired inventions like the Southern Culture; a heady mix of gin, harvest roots kombucha, Dolin dry, lime, and celery bitters?
Head to the Avondale area to check out Saturn, a bar that offers some of the finest music in the city. You also really need to stop your car long enough to take an unforgettable tour of the Civil Rights District. Finally, no visit would be complete with a stop at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
For any technological mishaps along the way, Visit uBreakiFix to get an iPhone repaired in Birmingham. uBreakiFix is located in South Birmingham, at 3728 Lorna Road, 35216 and its phone number is (205) 402-9592 You’ll want to take all the photos and send all the texts that you can during this unforgettable road trip.
Stop Two: Monroeville
Skip the other big cities of Alabama and check out some of America’s most beautiful towns and hidden gems. Visit Monroeville, AL and see the world that inspired two of America’s greatest modern writers: Truman Capote and Harper Lee.
Don’t miss David’s Catfish House; a favorite with locals and visitors alike. Generous servings of true Southern catfish and perfectly cooked shrimp are sure to please. If Southern BBQ is more your style, then Big D’s Butts and Stuff is the place for you. You are going to wait a very long time for a table: and you are never going to be satisfied with anyone else’s brisket ever again.
Take the Historic Walking Tour in Downtown Square to see where Harper Lee and Truman Capote grew up in the 30s. Learn more at the Monroe County Heritage Museum, where you’ll see the courtroom that Lee modeled hers after in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Last Stops: Bellingrath And Dauphin Island
Florida has nothing on the far southern end of Alabama. End your trip with a getaway on Dauphin Island, and just before you get there, be sure to stop at the clearly marked Bellingrath Gardens and Home. This 65-acre nature preserve is a riot of blooms every day of the year.
Far more affordable than anything else on the Gulf Coast, Dauphin Island truly earns its nickname as the “Sunset Capital of Alabama.” There’s no better place to view one than from Pirates Bar and Grill. You won’t find more delectable crab cakes anywhere in the world, and the blackened shrimp alone are worth the trip.
You can’t visit Dauphin Island and not spend some time in nature. The Sea Lab Estuarium and Audubon Bird Sanctuary are both worth a visit and could each take a whole day to explore. Visit historic Fort Gaines, a beautifully preserved and kid-friendly relic from the Civil War and a key position in the Battle of Mobile Bay.
Dauphin Island can get hot and has a wet season through the winter, so the best months to visit are usually April, May, and October.