If you’re traveling through Alabama sometime this summer, we have the perfect places for you to visit! We’ve put together a list of little known but must see destinations in the state that everyone is sure to love. From historical destinations to picture perfect spots, your trip through this state will be sure not to disappoint.
For all you nature lovers out there, we have just the places that you will want to stop. From trails to mountains and rivers to waterfalls, Alabama offers some of the most beautiful and breathtakingly natural sights the US has to offer. These destinations are full of fun for the entire family!
Cheaha State Park in Delta, Alabama
Just a short trip outside of Birmingham, this central state park will have you wanting to take a backpacking trip through the Talladega National Forest. Cheaha State Park offers mountaintop views and beautiful trails all a short distance from easily accessible campgrounds. This area offers everything from camping to clamping and from swimming to climbing! This would be a perfect destination for both those looking to get away and those looking to reconnect with nature. Hike through the day up to enjoy the sunset at our favorite lookout point, Cheaha Overlook. Bring the family out for fun activities throughout the week and take a peek at the Gem Mine that is sure to be a fun geology lesson for all! If you fall in love with the park, you can even schedule your “I do’s” here, with a view from Alabama’s highest mountain, through their Wedding Packages. There is no doubt everyone will enjoy their time spent here!
Dismals Canyon in Phil Campbell, Alabama
If you’re looking for an escape from your day to day life, Dismals Canyon is the place for you! The serene setting creates a calming atmosphere that will ignite your adventurous side. Take a walk through the canyons at night and see what this park is known for, the Dismalites. These microscopic bioluminescent beings light up at night in the darkness of the canyons. When they come to life, the ceiling of the canyon appears as an endless night sky scattered with stars. This is an experience like no other. Only visible in a few places on earth, this natural wonder tops our list of must-sees in Alabama!
Chewacla Falls in Auburn, Alabama
If you are looking for a natural water park where you can have some fun in the sun, Chewacla State Park should be your next stop. Complete with a lake and rivers with waterfalls, this area is sure to be a hit with everyone on the trip. You can stay for the night at one of the campsites or explore the acres by finding all the hidden geocaches on the grounds. Relax by the lake, take a swim, go fishing, hike to the falls or even rent canoes, paddle boards and kayaks for an on-the-water excursion. With all the beautiful sights that surround you here and the endless activities, you will never want to leave!
Stephen’s Gap in Huntsville, Alabama
If you are more of a thrill seeker, we know just the thing you need to cross off your list this summer. Try repelling 143 feet down into the caves of Huntsville, Alabama. Stephen’s Gap is one of the most photographed caves in the world due to the picture perfect scene that is painted when the light seeps through the entrance. The hike to the pit is about two miles round trip through a path marked with yellow flags. If you don’t have experience with repelling but still wish to see this wonder, no need to worry! There is also a trailhead that leads into a walkable entrance at the base. But be careful! The water can make this seasonal path slippery. Whichever trail you decide to choose to travel on, be sure to remember your hiking permit and camera, these will be memories you won’t want to forget!
Gulf Coast Beaches in Southern Alabama
Notoriously known as some of the most beautiful beaches in the US, the Gulf Coast offers a relaxing atmosphere that no one can deny. Multiple areas along the beach provide up-close parking and community activities such as volleyball. Once your fun in the sand and sun is over for the day, pack everyone up and head over to The Wharf at Orange Beach for a dining and shopping experience like no other. This coast offers everything from the serenity of state parks and wildlife reserves to the activity of zoos and ziplines. Your time here is guaranteed to be both fun and relaxing!
Every road trip is packed with some picture perfect moments, right? Grab your camera and head towards one of these instagram-worthy destinations that will have all of your friends and followers wishing they were traveling like you!
Desoto Falls in Alpine, Alabama
Who doesn’t love a peaceful waterfall scene? Located on the grounds of DeSoto State park, Desoto Falls is a quiet and quaint destination that will leave you speechless. The falls drop 107 feet off the side of Alabama’s Lookout Mountain. While the lower views of the falls are only accessible by willing hikers, the main platform has been made easily accessible to every visitor, so everyone can enjoy the beauty here. We love these falls because everyone has the ability to take in the surrounding nature without a challenge. However, if you’re up for the challenge, we suggest packing a picnic and toting it down to a lower level. Eat waterside and let the serenity of the water relax you! Pictures here are sure to make everyone wish they tagged along.
Botanical Gardens in Huntsville, Alabama
We love this site for pictures because of the huge lily pads and simple background. The Botanical Gardens in Huntsville, Alabama are not only beautiful but enjoyable ad well. These gardens will have you wanting to stay all day! With so many different themed areas throughout the site, the photo opportunities are truly endless. The colors cover the spectrum and the variety is wide. After you get your perfect picture, we suggest joining in one of their daily activities. The events range from learning how to plant seeds to adult oriented classes including “Girls Night Out,” and a “Jack Daniel’s Dinner.” Here, while enjoying the beauty of natural art, you also have the option to view handmade art galleries. Your time here is sure to leave you with great pictures and fun.
The Old Railroad Bridge Tracks to Nowhere in Sheffield, Alabama
If you’re into the rustic pictures vibe, we have just the place for you to snap your next shot! The Railroad Tracks to Nowhere in Sheffield, Alabama are the remnants of what used to be a thriving, double-decker track that carried cargo on one of the most popular routes in the state. While the upper track is been restored and is accessible, the lower pedestrian pathway is old and dilapidated. But sometimes, the most unlikely scene creates the best picture. We suggest driving to the overgrown gate that blocks off the lower portion of the bridge and snapping a photo with the vintage bridge and river behind you. The result will be bright and rustic and the abandoned bridge story will be one that draws people in!
If you are a history buff, we have the perfect unsung places for you to visit! While Alabama is home to many popular historical destinations, we chose some sites that you may not know which still carry valuable and interesting information. Learn as you travel through the state with this quick guide!
Miss Baker’s Grave in Huntsville, Alabama
While everyone knows that Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon, have you ever thought who the first animal on the moon was? Miss Baker, along with Able, were the first monkeys to fly to space and land a successful mission. Today, Miss Baker’s grave stands tall in Huntsville Alabama, but don’t go without a treat. For years, the tradition is instead of flowers, individuals can leave bananas at her grave to cater to what would have pleased her. This quaint location is sure to be a fun stop to learn about the history of the United States in Space!
Fort Payne Depot Museum in Fort Payne, Alabama
We love this destination because it gives you a good taste of the local history of the state. Fort Payne Depot Museum is located at a former railroad stop that was a centralized station at which thousands of passengers would pass through. Now, this location provides a detailed history of the train tracks, to the civil war, to things like old American artifacts. No matter what area of history you enjoy, this museum has a section for you. Enjoy an educational day that is tailored for the entire family.
Quick Roadside Stops
If you’re just making a quick pass through, we have stops for you too! Check out some of our favorite right-off-the-road destinations throughout Alabama.
Museum of Wonder in Seale, Alabama
For the history buffs that are in a rush, we have found your dream destination. Butch Anthony’s Museum of Wonder is unlike most other museums, because at this stop, you don’t have to get out of your car. While this is now known as the drive through museum, it did not begin that way. At the start in the 70’s, it was Butch’s taxidermy shop that slowly grew into showcasing antiques to becoming a museum holding unique articles that belong to Alabama and beyond. The museum is open 7 days a week so no matter what day you travel, you can always have the opportunity to take a stop here!
Rock Zoo on Dawson Farm in Hollywood, Alabama
Normally, zoos are full of life and smells and high prices, but this zoo isn’t like the rest. The Rock Zoo located on Dawson Farm was created by an Alabama farmer who decided to have some fun with the ricks that he found on his property. Each large rock is painted as a different animal. Hop out of the RV and walk around the not-so-lively scene of these creatures. Use your creativity and snap a picture with these odd shaped rocks.
Barber Marina Dinosaurs in Elberta, Alabama
Who didn’t love a good dino story at some point in their life? At Barber Marina these stories come to life. Hidden in the woods on dirt access roads through the property, visitor can find four different dinosaurs taking a stroll. See how fast you can find all the dinos and snap some pictures while you’re there!
Whatever you like, we hope these destinations don’t disappoint! We would love to hear from you if you visited one of these places.