Alabama Tourism launches “100 Alabama Road Trips”

Spring is on the horizon—and that means it’s time to take a road trip.

To assist you in getting ready to hit the road, Sweet Home Alabama-style, Alabama Tourism has launched a three-year campaign, “100 Alabama Road Trips” with the release of the first 10 trips.

Itineraries are designed so that travelers can experience the destinations over two or three days.

Road Trip #1 – Tuscaloosa-Auburn: BCS Championship Tour

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers are cross-state rivals in football, but together they have won the last three Bowl Championship Series titles. Players from the schools won back-to-back Heisman Trophies, a first for any state, during the same period.

Road Trip #2 – Guntersville: Where Eagles Fly

Eagle Awareness Program (Source: alabama.travel)

Eagle Awareness is a must-attend event for bird-watchers and outdoor lovers. Covering six weekends from early January through early February, the event has been a tradition at Lake Guntersville for more than 25 years. The program was started as an activity for people of all ages to experience the joy of watching eagles and other birds in their natural habitat and as a way of educating the public about the importance of protecting the area’s wildlife.

Road Trip #3 – Mobile: A Romantic Getaway

If you’re considering a romantic getaway, put Mobile at the top of your list. This beautiful city alongside Mobile Bay is an original French settlement more than 300 years old, with spreading live oaks that create shady canopies over the downtown and the wrought iron balconies on historic mansions.

Road Trip #4 – Selma to Montgomery: Crossing a Bridge into History

The Edmund Pettus Bridge, spanning the Alabama River in Selma, has become one of the most iconic symbols of the modern struggle for civil and voting rights in America. It is also a focal point for the 54-mile route now memorialized as the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail.

Road Trip #5 – Gulf Shores-Orange Beach: Spring Break at the Beach

The beach communities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer visitors a wide variety of fun, and this road trip is sure to be a vacation that will leave you coming back for more.

Road Trip #6 – Birmingham: Taking It to the Streets, Downtown

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Source: alabama.travel)

Get ready to travel to Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city, for a stroll through historic downtown. On this walking tour, you will go to the place where hot peanuts have been sold for more than 100 years and stroll through shops filled with memories.

Road Trip #7 – Huntsville: To the Moon and Back By Dinner

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville is the largest and most comprehensive space flight museum in the world. Located just off I-565, the center is easy to spot from miles away by the 38-story replica of the Saturn V rocket standing in front of it.

Road Trip #8 – Montgomery: A Place Where History Runs Deep

History is woven into the very soul of Montgomery. It spirals down grand staircases, like the one inside the 1847 State Capitol building. It descends from lofty places, such as Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where a humble preacher rose to prominence as the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. And it bubbles up from streets such as historic Dexter Avenue that bustled with merchants in the 1800s, served as an auction block for slaves during the Civil War and was later pounded by the foot soldiers during the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march.

Road Trip #9 – Gulf Coast Birding: Fort Morgan, Dauphin Island, Theodore

Alabama’s Gulf Coast is a stopover point for birds as they return from Central to North America in the spring, so it’s the perfect place to see herons, seagulls, pelicans, and more.

The Alabama Coastal Birding Trail spans Baldwin and Mobile counties and is a bird watcher’s paradise.

Road Trip #10 – Monroeville: The “To Kill a Mockingbird” Experience

As the home of Nelle Harper Lee and her neighbor and childhood friend Truman Capote, Mark Childress—the acclaimed author of the novel Crazy in Alabama—and other distinguished writers, Monroeville is considered the “Literary Capital of Alabama.” To Kill a Mockingbird, has been performed in Monroeville for more than 22 years.

Details

Alabama Tourism

Website: alabama.travel

100 Alabama Road Trips

Website: alabama.travel/road-trips-and-trails

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Worth Pondering…

Where Eagles Fly

Take me away
Come on fly me away
Lift me up so high
Where eagles fly
—lyrics by Sammy Hagar

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Alabama is For the Birds

Alabama is a birding paradise.

Forests, mountains, meadows, swamps, and beaches dot the landscape, creating a vast variety of avian habitats. From the majestic bald eagle to the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, to the crowd-pleasing painted bunting, over 400 species of birds grace the skies above Alabama.

Feathery friends welcome you to many sites. The number and variety of birds you can see at each location will vary by season and weather conditions, making each birding trip a new adventure. So grab your binocular, camera, and field guides, and “Wing It” to Alabama. It’s for the birds!

Alabama Birding Trails

Four regions currently offer a professionally developed birding trail system which includes directional signage, interpretive panels, kiosks, walking trails, observation towers, visitor guides, and maps.

Website: outdooralabama.com

North Alabama Birding Trail

Landscapes in northern Alabama vary from tupelo swamps to fields of wildflowers, towering forests of oak and hickory to vast sheets of open water.

Follow the Kingfisher to 50 sites across North Alabama selected for their bird watching characteristics. The diversity of habitats is as plentiful as the species of birds and other watchable wildlife found on and around the Tennessee River, grasslands, valleys, and forest.

Website: northalabamabirdingtrail.com

Black Belt Nature and Heritage Trail
The name highlights the region of Alabama named for its rich black soil which grew not only superior cotton, but a memorable legacy. The terrain formed by the meanderings of the Black Warrior, Tombigbee, and Alabama rivers is home to numerous species of flora, birds, and other wildlife. Explore the biologically diverse state parks and other natural habitats.

Website: alblackbeltheritage.com

Alabama Coastal Birding Trail

The Alabama Coastal Birding Trail is among the most popular birding trail destinations in the United States. The trail consists of 50 birding stops organized into the following six loops that spans across Mobile and Baldwin counties:

  • Gulf Shores-Orange Beach Loop
  • Fort Morgan Loop
  • South Baldwin County Loop
  • Eastern Shore, Mobile Bay Causeway and Blakeley Island Loop
  • East Mobile River – Tensaw Delta Loop
  • Dauphin Island – Bayou La Batre Loop

Stops highlight a variety of coastal habitats that are noted for a high diversity of bird species. Signs featuring a Reddish Egret mark the location of every stop.

Website: alabamacoastalbirdingtrail.com

Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail

Alabama’s newest birding trail, Piedmont Plateau, which spans nine counties in east-central Alabama officially opened November 2011. The nine counties that make up the trail are Autauga, Chambers, Chilton, Clay, Coosa, Elmore, Lee, Randolph, and Tallapoosa. Three years in development, the Piedmont Plateau trail features 34 approved sites covering an area of 3.5 million acres.

Although described as a plateau, the relatively flat nature of Alabama’s Piedmont Physiographic Region is only obvious in its southern region. The northern part contains many of the highest peaks in the state, including Mt. Cheaha, the state’s highest point at 2,407 feet, and numerous northeast-trending steep-sided ridges.

Website: piedmontplateaubirdingtrail.com

New Trail Developments

With the addition of the following four new trails, a total of eight diverse geographic regions will afford eco-tourists a unified and comprehensive, state-wide birding trail system:

  • West Alabama Birding Trail (9 counties in northwest central Alabama)
  • Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail (10 counties in northeast central Alabama)
  • Pineywoods Birding Trail (5 counties in southwest Alabama)
  • Wiregrass Birding Trail (10 counties in southeastern Alabama)

Worth Pondering…
A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.

—Chinese Proverb

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