Road Trip in Alabama
Looking for a vacation destination where you can eat great barbecue, go to the beach, and experience America's rich history? Look no further than Alabama.
If you're planning on road tripping through the Yellowhammer State, you'll need to know the general rules of the road, and where exactly the road can take you. There's a lot to experience, so choose your adventure wisely.
Alabama Traffic Laws
Driving in unfamiliar territory can be intimidating and stressful if you don't know the rules of the road.
Before getting behind the wheel on your Alabama road trip, make sure you have a valid driver's license.
In general, here are traffic laws to always keep in mind while traveling through Alabama:
- The maximum speed limit on all interstate highways is 70 MPH.
- When it's raining, you must have your car headlights turned on.
- If you're in an accident, call the police so that they can conduct an investigation.
- Always wear a seat belt.
- You must merge as far right as possible when emergency vehicles (e.g. ambulance, fire truck, police car) are approaching.
- Never text and drive.
- Never drink and drive.
For more information, check out our page on Alabama traffic laws.
Major Alabama Interstates
If your AL road trip has you traveling across multiple states, you'll become familiar with interstate highways. An interstate highway is simply a road that connects numerous states, and usually runs through major cities.
Alabama's main interstates are:
- Connects to Mississippi and Florida.
- Runs through the city of Mobile and down to the Gulf beaches.
- Connects to Mississippi and Georgia.
- Runs through the city of Birmingham.
- Connects to Mississippi and Tennessee.
- Also runs through Birmingham.
- Connects to Tennessee.
- Runs through Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham, Huntsville, and down to the Gulf beaches.
- Connects to Georgia.
- Also runs through the city of Montgomery.
There are, of course, many more routing options, but these main roads provide a basic framework for navigating the Alabama's largest cities and neighboring states.
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Things to Do & See in Alabama
Now that you're familiar with the logistics of traveling through Alabama, it's time to explore what this state has to offer.
It'd take quite a while to visit every landmark, amusement park, restaurant, and museum listed here, so pick and choose according to your personal interests.
NOTE: This section is not comprehensive by any means—there are plenty of other popular Alabama attractions for you to explore and work into your road trip! Check out the state's official travel site for more.
Alabama's Natural World
Alabama state parks and Gulf beaches provide you with a rich variety of outdoor activities. Here are a few of the most popular state parks, along with their notable features:
- Bladon Springs—Silas, AL.
- Great for family outings.
- Picnic tables.
- Blue Springs—Clio, AL.
- Great for camping and family outings.
- Spring-fed swimming pool.
- Picnic tables.
- Tennis courts.
- Lake Lurleen—Coker, AL.
- Great for fishing.
- Boat rentals.
- Biking and hiking trails.
- Fishing and swimming.
- Cathedral Caverns—Woodville, AL.
- Tour one of the largest caves in the U.S.
- Cheaha—Delta, AL.
- Great for a romantic getaway.
- Hotel and cabin lodging.
- Hike Alabama's highest point and Talladega National Forest.
- Biking trails.
- Fishing and swimming.
- Rock climbing.
- On site restaurant.
- Oak Mountain—Pelham, AL.
- Great for outdoor sporting activities.
- Horseback riding.
- Biking and hiking trails.
- Fishing and boat rentals.
- Gulf State Park—Gulf Shores, AL.
- Great beaches.
- Campgrounds and cabin rentals.
- Kids camp.
- Swimming and fishing.
- Hiking and biking trails.
- Restaurant and laundry on site.
Historic Sites & Museums
As one of the central participants in the American Civil War and American Civil Rights Movement, Alabama has a rich past for people today to explore.
A few historic landmarks that might be worth visiting include:
- The First White House of the Confederacy—Montgomery, AL.
- Home to Confederate president Jefferson Davis.
- Served as the Confederacy's capital.
- Fort Gaines—Dauphin Island, AL.
- Served as an important naval base during the Civil War.
- Complete with original cannons, museum, tunnels, and live demonstrations.
- Civil War trails.
- Revisit some of the most pivotal moments in American history by walking the same paths as Civil War soldiers.
- Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church—Montgomery, AL.
- Martin Luther King Jr. led the famous Montgomery bus boycott from this church, sparked by Rosa Parks' brave actions days earlier.
- Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail.
- Walk the same path Civil Rights activists marched on in peaceful protest for the right to vote.
- Civil Rights District—Birmingham, AL.
- Location for a number of key moments during the Civil Rights Movement.
If museums are more up your alley, here are a few to consider:
- Indian Mound and Museum—Florence, AL.
- Displays regional Native American artifacts and provides a history of their culture.
- Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum—Calera, AL.
- See some of the oldest trains in the country and ride one through the surrounding forests.
- Rosa Parks Museum—Montgomery, AL.
- Complete with a children's center, this museum celebrates Rosa Park's famous refusal to give up her bus seat and the ensuing boycotts.
- Mobile Museum of Art—Mobile, AL.
- This sprawling museum displays art spanning thousands of years of world cultures.
- Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum—Birmingham, AL.
- Perfect for any auto enthusiast, with a large collection of vintage motorcycles and race cars from around the world.
For the Kids
Alabama has a number of kid-friendly attractions ranging from hands-on learning experiences to fun filled days at the water park.
Here are just a few of your options when it comes to kids' activities:
- McWane Science Center—Birmingham, AL.
- Includes hands-on science exhibits, a dinosaur display, aquarium, and an IMAX theatre.
- Birmingham Zoo—Birmingham, AL.
- Get up close and personal with lions, elephants, flamingos, tigers, monkeys, and hippos—just to name a few.
- U.S. Space and Rocket Center—Huntsville, AL.
- Space shuttle displays, interactive exhibits, the latest NASA inventions, and much more.
- Adventureland—Dothan, AL.
- Bumper boats, arcade, miniature golf, and batting cages—perfect for a relaxed family day out.
- Alabama Splash Adventure—Bessemer, AL.
- The largest water/theme park in Alabama with rides and shows to keep the whole family entertained.