Best Travel Point

Unique places to visit in Alabama

Step 1: Arrival

Fly into Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM)

  • Rent a car at the airport for ease of travel.

Step 2: Birmingham

Day 1: Explore Unique Spots in Birmingham

  • Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark: A historic iron factory that now serves as a museum and event space. Take a guided tour to learn about its history.
  • Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum: Home to the world’s largest motorcycle collection and an adjoining racetrack.
  • Dinner at The Atomic Lounge: Known for its quirky decor and themed drinks.

Step 3: Ave Maria Grotto, Cullman

Day 2: Drive to Cullman (about 1 hour)

  • Ave Maria Grotto: Visit this unique park featuring miniature replicas of famous religious structures, all created by a Benedictine monk.
  • St. Bernard Abbey: Explore the grounds of this historic monastery.
  • Lunch at All Steak: Famous for its orange rolls.

Step 4: Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals

Day 3: Drive to Tuscumbia/Muscle Shoals (about 1.5 hours)

  • Fame Recording Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio: Take a guided tour of these iconic studios where legendary musicians recorded.
  • Ivy Green (Helen Keller Birthplace): Visit the childhood home of Helen Keller.
  • Dinner at Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken: Enjoy delicious Southern fried chicken.

Step 5: Dismals Canyon, Phil Campbell

Day 4: Drive to Dismals Canyon (about 1 hour)

  • Dismals Canyon: Explore this natural conservatory known for its stunning rock formations, waterfalls, and bioluminescent creatures called “dismalites.”
  • Picnic lunch at the Canyon: Enjoy the serene surroundings.
  • Drive to Huntsville for overnight stay (about 2 hours)

Step 6: Huntsville

Day 5: Unique Experiences in Huntsville

  • U.S. Space & Rocket Center: Discover space exploration history and see the Saturn V rocket.
  • Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment: Visit this former textile mill now home to artists’ studios, galleries, and performance venues.
  • Dinner at Cotton Row: Enjoy upscale Southern cuisine.

Step 7: Little River Canyon, Fort Payne

Day 6: Drive to Little River Canyon (about 1.5 hours)

  • Little River Canyon National Preserve: Hike, drive, or picnic in one of the deepest canyons in the eastern U.S. Enjoy the stunning views and waterfalls.
  • Desoto State Park: Explore additional trails and waterfalls nearby.
  • Dinner in Fort Payne: Try local eateries like Vintage 1889.

Step 8: Mobile

Day 7: Drive to Mobile (about 4.5 hours)

  • Mobile Carnival Museum: Learn about the history and traditions of Mardi Gras in Mobile.
  • Oakleigh Historic Complex: Tour this antebellum mansion and learn about Mobile’s history.
  • Dauphin Island: If time allows, drive to this barrier island for a sunset beach visit.
  • Dinner at The Noble South: Enjoy contemporary Southern dishes.

Step 9: Fairhope and Magnolia Springs

Day 8: Drive to Fairhope (about 45 minutes)

  • Fairhope Municipal Pier: Stroll along the pier and enjoy the beautiful views of Mobile Bay.
  • Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve: Visit this unique nature preserve.
  • Lunch at a local café in Fairhope: Enjoy charming downtown eateries.
  • Magnolia Springs: Drive to this small town known for its mail delivery by boat and beautiful oak-lined streets.

Step 10: Departure

Day 9: Drive back to Birmingham (about 4 hours)

  • Final Day in Birmingham: If time permits, visit the Birmingham Museum of Art or enjoy a last meal at one of Birmingham’s top restaurants.
  • Return your rental car and depart from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

This itinerary covers a variety of unique destinations and experiences across Alabama, from natural wonders and historic sites to cultural landmarks and quirky attractions.

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