Alabama vacation rentals
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Your guide to Alabama
All About Alabama
Known for its beautiful state parks, green rolling hills, and pristine coastline along the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama is a popular southern destination thanks to its diverse geographic features, historically and culturally-rich cities, and warm climate.
Outdoor adventure can be found on Lookout Mountain in the northeast with its adventure parks and zipline courses, in the sprawling Talladega National Forest’s rivers and hiking trails throughout the center of the state, and all around the placid waters of Lake Martin where you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get out on a boat.
These rural pockets of Alabama are iconic and beloved, and the state’s metropolitan centers have plenty to offer too. In many of Alabama’s cities you’ll find thriving blues and rock scenes, and a diverse array of restaurants both redefining Southern cuisine and carrying on with tradition. The capital city of Montgomery has the Civil Rights Memorial Center honoring the birthplace of the civil rights movement. The college towns of Auburn and Tuscaloosa display a strong devotion to football. Music lovers will want to check out the famous recording studios in Muscle Shoals, and the historic port city of Mobile displays French influences.
This largely agricultural state is also an excellent destination for food lovers, offering plenty of barbecue joints, Cajun cafes, farm stalls, boiled peanut stands, and opportunities to settle down at a meat ‘n’ three.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Alabama
The climate in Alabama ranges from temperate in the northern parts of the state to a bit more subtropical in the southern counties closer to the Gulf. You’re likely to encounter warm temperatures from fall to spring and hot days throughout the summer, with sky-high humidity levels. Tornadoes are fairly common throughout the state during the spring, and the severe storm season stretches from March through May, so be sure to heed any tornado warnings or sirens. The summer months are scorching, leading most locals to take refuge in the nearest body of water, and hurricanes can occur between August and November. Winters are mild with a couple of seasonal freezes. Along the Gulf, Mobile’s Mardi Gras celebrations throughout February are filled with parades, live music, and costume balls.
Top things to do in Alabama
Many mid-sized cities in the south have been garnering much-deserved recognition for their passionate locals and welcoming vibes, and the Magic City is no exception. Downtown, you’ll find the impressive Birmingham Museum of Art with more than 27,000 works, the Civil Rights Institute, and upscale clothing boutiques. The city’s thriving food scene is definitely worth exploring: There’s plenty of hearty southern favorites like fried chicken and biscuits being served up, but there are also James Beard award-winning French bistros or Latin American small plates cooked over live fire if you’re partial to fine dining. In the trendy Avondale neighborhood, you’ll find vintage shops, younger crowds sipping craft beers, and plentiful live music.
The sugar sand beaches along Alabama’s Gulf Coast and the neighboring city of Orange Beach are a quieter alternative to the lively destinations in the Florida panhandle. Here you’ll find plenty of seafood restaurants serving up Gulf shrimp and oysters, as well as gift shops, boat rentals, beachside bars, and entertainment options like the annual music festival that happens here in May. A few minutes from the center of town, you’ll find two miles of protected beaches at Gulf State Park along with hiking trails, a huge fishing pier, and picnic areas where you can soak in the scenery.
Man-made lakes are plentiful in southern states, and Alabama’s Lake Martin is one of the largest in the world. More than 150 feet deep in some areas, visitors come for water skiing, swimming, boating, and fishing; to hike the nearby nature trails; or to simply relax in the lakefront cabins. There are almost 900 miles of shoreline here, and you can choose to stay near Alexander City for easy access to shops and restaurants, or head further afield for a secluded natural retreat.