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Alabama has a reputation for sports, family, hunting, hospitality, and people who have a southern accent. You can flip to any local broadcast and find talking heads, amazing touchdowns, and no small number of sky cam shots showing traffic, weather and the occasional pigeon selfie. Even our state wildlife shows only seem to talk about hunting and fishing.
But Alabama has a lot of unknown beauty to it. Our landscape changes from sandy, white shores at our state’s southernmost tip to forested mountains and deep caverns at our northern border.
If you’re looking for something you’ve probably never seen before, you can find it in Alabama.
Downtown Montgomery is the epicenter of Alabama state politics. You’ll find the state house nestled on a hill at the end of Dexter Avenue, clearly visible from the Court Square Fountain in the middle of the downtown scene.
With a view from 2,407 feet above sea level, Mt. Cheaha is the highest point in Alabama. It might not be as tall as other mountains through the Appalachian Range, but the views are spectacular nonetheless.
Tuskegee, AL has a rich African American history, with roots in the Civil War, World War II, and the Civil Rights Movement. The town is home to Tuskegee University, the famed Tuskegee Airmen, and scientist George Washington Carver. The city lake sits quietly on the eastern side of town, a short walk away from the downtown hustle and bustle.
If you’re looking for caves, Alabama’s northeast is the place to be. Cathedral Caverns, located in Woodville, AL is one of many winding, expansive cave networks you’ll find in this area.
Located on the Coosa River north of Montgomery, AL, the Jordan Dam is one of many great fishing and birdwatching outlets across the state.
Selma, AL is a landmark city for the Civil Rights Movement. While the Edmund Pettus Bridge and Brown Chapel A.M.E. are big highlights, Old Live Oak Cemetery — the final resting place of several U.S. soldiers and civil servants — sits quietly along Dallas Ave / 22 West.
A stalwart retreat for Alabamians far and wide, Gulf Shores, AL is the state’s little slice of paradise. White, sandy beaches run along the waterline, spurring Alabama tourism in the summer months.
Landscapes and caves aren’t all there is to see in Alabama. Tour any city or town and you’re likely to find new and old architecture. Cities are often intermingled with red brick masonry seated beside new steel and historic churches.
Alabama has no shortage of forests and thickets. Fall in the state can be stunning and Spanish moss, a rare feature outside of the Southeast, is abundant on older trees.
While traveling through this state, you’re sure to find some oddities and rare, scenic gems. This lighthouse replica sits beside an inland lake near the center of the state.
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This route stops at the scariest spots in Alabama—and it only takes a weekend.
We've shown you the most scenic drives in America and the ultimate American road trip, but what if you prefer a trip with a little more trick and little less treat? Well, this one's for you! Only In Your State just mapped out the ultimate haunted road trip through Alabama for those seeking a seriously spooky getaway this fall.
The whole route is 725 miles, an estimated 13.5-hour drive, which means you can do it in a weekend (Halloween plans, anyone?). Of course, the pit stops are the best part of any road trip, and the ones marked on this map are certain to haunt your memories long after you get home.
First up is historic Selma's St. James Hotel, which is said to be haunted by 1800s American outlaw Jesse James (who supposedly stayed there when Benjamin Sterling Turner owned the building), his girlfriend Lucinda, and his dog, among other spirits.
Along the way, perhaps you'll see the Dancing Ghost of Grancer Harrison at the Harrison Cemetery in Kinston, or the spirits of soldiers and prisoners at Fort Morgan in Gulf Shores.
En route to the haunted Gaineswood Plantation in Demopolis, stop for a bite to eat at Gaines Ridge Dinner Club in Camden, where visitors have also reported paranormal sightings. The restaurant's website lists some of these spirits as: "the woman who screams and calls out, and has been seen floating past windows, the incessant crying of a baby, the aroma of pipe smoke in one room, when nobody in the house is smoking, and the reflected image of a tall, gaunt man, dressed in black, with a long beard."
Before ending the frightening adventure right back where you started, visit the National Historic Landmark Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, where many workers fell to fiery deaths during the 19th century. According to the Travel Channel, people continue to report the sounds of screaming and sightings of apparitions.
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
The NCAA Tournament selection committee released its initial rankings today, and Alabama is on the 2-seed line at #7 overall. Michael Casagrande has the projected top quartile of the prospective region.
Alabama would be in the same bracket as Gonzaga, Oklahoma and Iowa if the season ended today. https://t.co/NTgXBPwWAG— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) February 13, 2021
So, if the season ended today and the chalk held, the Tide would rematch with Oklahoma in the round of 16. That would be interesting, as is this nugget from Yahoo college hoops writer Jeff Eisenberg.
Of the 16 teams on the NCAA tournament selection committee's top four seed lines, only four have previously won a national title. Only Villanova has won more than one.— Jeff Eisenberg (@JeffEisenberg) February 13, 2021
It is so odd to see Kentucky, North Carolina, and Duke all struggling mightily at the same time, and while Kansas will almost certainly make the tournament, they have 7 losses and are missing from the top 16 as well. There is a real opportunity for upstarts to make some noise this year.
Pitch your tent along a creek or in a grassy field for a nominal per-person fee. Camping at these primitive sites involves truly roughing it, with no water or electricity near your site. You'll have full access to restrooms and shower houses. Full hookups are available at the main camping area, with 30- and 50-amp service available. In addition to hot showers, you'll have the convenience of Wi-Fi service and a community washer and dryer.
If you prefer a roof over your head and four walls around you, rent one of the gold camp's prospecting shacks. The rustic wooden cabins have a particle board interior with basic furnishings that include two beds and a breakfast bar with two chairs. Conveniences in the cabins include flush toilets, a mini fridge, microwave oven and TV with DVD player. The cabin also includes air conditioning, heat, a coffeepot and all linens. Outside, you can cook over the outdoor grill and eat beneath the trees at a picnic table.
Indulging her passion for vacation vagary through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, travel funster Jodi Thornton-O'Connell guides readers to the unexpected, quirky, and awe-inspiring.