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Alabama

General   Weather   Airports   Attractions   Activities  

Introduction

Oak Mountain State Park ©Alby Headrick

Alabama lies in the Deep South, as its nickname, the 'Heart of Dixie', proclaims. It is rich in all that the South is known and loved for - natural beauty, down-home food and hospitality - but, unlike much of the South, it also carries the proud legacy of the civil rights struggle. The state was the site of the landmark Montgomery bus boycott and the 'Freedom March' led by Martin Luther King Jr.


Alabama's varying landscape and personality make it a great travel destination for both non-stop activity and laid-back escape. At its southern tip, the sugar-white sand and crystal clear waters of the Gulf Coast beckon; Alabama's beaches, unlike those of neighbouring Florida, are free of amusement parks and large-scale commercialisation. Inland there are the stately antebellum mansions and gardens of Mobile as well as the rolling farmlands and quiet towns of the southeast. Further north, the pace of life picks up in sleek Birmingham, with its great jazz, and the Talladega Superspeedway, which can seem like a small city in itself during NASCAR racing events. Alabama's northernmost region is situated at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, overflowing with stunning views, lakes, waterfalls and caverns. In autumn, when the trees blaze red and gold, it is a paradise for campers, hikers and mountain bikers.


Alabama has a strong, sometimes fanatical, sports culture as well: it's home to the country's most heated rivalry in American college football, between the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide and the Auburn University Tigers. During the Iron Bowl, when the two come together in a season-ending clash, the entire state enters into a frenzy of competitive spirit.


Climate Info

The average annual temperature in Alabama is 64°F (18°C), with the northern counties experiencing cooler temperatures and the southern counties having relatively warmer temperatures, influenced by the Gulf of Mexico. The average summer temperature is 79°F (26°C) and the average winter temperature is 48°F (9°C). Although the state doesn't experience the harsh winters of the northern US, the best time to visit Alabama is in summer or autumn, outside of the tornado season and when visitors can witness the fiery colours of the autumn leaves. Snow occasionally falls in the northern regions and frosts are periodic.


Getting Around

Walking is enjoyable within certain areas of Birmingham, though getting from district to district on foot can be challenging. However, Birmingham has a large transit system, with Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority providing fixed-route buses and vintage trolleys. Bus service ends around 12pm, with more limited services on Sundays. Some trolley routes stop earlier, though others continue to run until midnight. There are several taxi companies offering 24-hour service and this is a reliable way of getting around, but far more expensive than using the bus or trolley.


Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM)

LocationThe airport is conveniently located about five miles (8km) from downtown Birmingham.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts
Getting to city

Several shuttle companies, including Meteors Shuttle and Birmingham Door to Door, operate between the airport and the city, but reservations must be made prior to arrival. Taxi services are available 24 hours a day at ground level outside the baggage claim area.

Car Rental

Rental car counters are located at ground level near the section 1B on the ground level. Vendors include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, National and Hertz.

Airpor Taxis

Taxi services at Birmingham International are available throughout the day and evening on the ground level outside the baggage claim area. Birmingham is serviced by the following taxi-cab companies: American Cab, Award Cab Company, Birmingham Cab Company, Hill Cab Company, Progress House Taxi Cab and Yellow Cab.

Airport Facilities

Facilities at the airport include restaurants, bars, shops, currency exchange, wireless internet and tourist information. ATMs are available throughout the airport.

Car Parking

The airport provides short-term parking at a rate of $1 per hour and $24 per day; medium-stay parking at a rate of $1 per hour and $12 per day; and long-term parking at a rate of $1 per hour and $10 per day.

Websitewww.flybirmingham.com


Mobile Regional Airport (MOB)

LocationMobile Regional Airport is located about 13 miles (21km) west of central Mobile.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

The Airport Boulevard connects the airport to the city of Mobile and taxis and rental cars are readily available. Several door-to-door shuttle services are also available and these can be pre-booked. Some hotels offer airport pick-ups.

Car Rental

Car hire companies include Alamo, Avis, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty. Budget has an office just across the road, connected to the airport by a shuttle.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include ATMs, as well as conference and business facilities (The Executive Club costs $10 for a one-day pass). There are several restaurants and bars but shopping options are limited.

Car Parking

Short-term parking at Mobile Regional Airport costs $1 per hour up to $9 per day, and long-term parking has similar charges with a $7 daily rate. 30 minutes free parking is available in all lots.

Websitewww.mobairport.com


Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM)

LocationMontgomery Airport is located seven miles (11km) southwest of Montgomery.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

The cheapest mode of transport from the airport into the city is the Montgomery Area Transit bus. The station is right outside the terminal and services run hourly during the week between 5.55am and 7.55pm, and roughly every 1 hour and 40 minutes on Saturdays between 7.55am and 5.55pm. Many hotels offer airport shuttles and shuttle bus services and taxis are also available at the airport.

Car Rental

Car hire companies with desks in the terminal include Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, National and Alamo.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis can be found just outside of the baggage claim area.

Airport Facilities

Facilities in the airport include ATMs, restaurants, a gift shop, a lounge and business centre, and very good facilities for those with disabilities.

Car Parking

The airport offers short and long-term parking close to the terminal. Short-term parking lots charge $1 per half hour up to six hours, and $12 daily; and long-term parking lots charge $1 per hour up to eight hours, and $10 daily.

Websitewww.flymgm.com


Dothan Regional Airport (DHN)

LocationDothan Airport is situated seven miles (12km) northwest of Dothan.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

There is no public transport to the airport. However, taxis operate within airport hours and there are rental cars available.

Car Rental

Car rental companies in Dothan Airport include Avis, Hertz and National.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available from the airport, but may need to be booked by phone.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include a restaurant, shoeshine services, business centre, conference room, gift shop and free wifi.

Car Parking

There is a parking lot located close to the terminal.

Websitewww.flydothan.com


Huntsville International Airport (HSV)

LocationHuntsville Airport is located 10 miles (16km) southwest of downtown Huntsville.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

Taxis and airport shuttle buses are parked outside the baggage claim area. Many hotels in Huntsville offer airport shuttle services for their guests. Currently there are no public buses or trains to Huntsville Airport.

Car Rental

Avis, Budget, Dollar/Thrifty, Enterprise, Hertz and National/Alamo are represented at the airport.

Airpor Taxis

A number of taxi companies service the airport within operating hours, and are available outside of baggage claim. All taxis are metered, and reservations are not required.

Airport Facilities

Facilities at the airport include an ATM, restaurants and coffee shops, a smoking lounge, gift shops, a travel agency and a lost and found.

Car Parking

Parking is available at the airport.

Websitewww.flyhuntsville.com


Birmingham Civil Rights Institute


The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a homage to the spirit of both well-known and unsung civil rights heroes. Visitors take a self-guided journey through the permanent exhibitions, which chronicle the history of segregation and the civil rights struggle in America. It is a 'living i
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Milestone exhibition gallery ©Historic American Buildings Survey



Vulcan Park


Located atop Red Mountain, Vulcan Park is home to the world's largest cast-iron statue, and the second-tallest statue in America, behind the Statue of Liberty. The statue of the Roman god, Vulcan, is surrounded by a 10-acre green space offering panoramic views of Birmingham. The park con
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Statue of Vulcan ©Greg Willis



Birmingham Zoo


The Birmingham Zoo, Alabama's most popular non-profit attraction, houses more than 800 wild animals from about 200 species in the centre of Birmingham. Animals include elephants, lions, monkeys, bobcats, otters, zebras, tigers, hippos, giraffe and rhinos, among other things. There is an
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Baby giraffe at Birmingham Zoo ©Ralph Daily



Talladega Superspeedway


The South is the home of NASCAR, and about 30 minutes from Birmingham lies the legendary Talladega Superspeedway, one of the most competitive motorsports facilities in the world. More than 143,000 guests can be accommodated in the stands and thousands more in the 212-acre infield. The sh
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Talladega Superspeedway ©Curtis Palmer



Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens


A visit to this stately plantation house is a great way to get a taste of real Southern heritage. Situated on six acres in the heart of Old Elyton, the house was built by Judge William S Mudd, one of the founders of Birmingham, in the 1840s. The house is in the Greek Revival architectura
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Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens ©Jet Lowe



Russell Cave National Monument


Located in northeastern Alabama, Russell Cave National Monument is one of the longest cave systems in Alabama at about seven miles (11.6km) long. Used as a shelter by prehistoric Native Americans, the cave is about 12,000 years old and contains a natural spring that eventually joins up w
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Russell Cave National Monument ©Chris Light



Oak Mountain State Park


Oak Mountain State Park is a great place for outdoor activities on any holiday in Birmingham. The park is equipped with over 50 miles (80km) of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, and has plenty of picnic facilities for day trips. Two lakes in the north of the park
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Oak Mountain State Park ©Rian Castillo



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