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Which is the best route to take through Alabama

Southport, Australia
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Which is the best route to take through Alabama

We are from Australia and are planning a road trip next year in the US. We did one this year around the North East section of the country.

Part of our next trip we will be driving through Alabama from New Orleans on the way to Atlanta.

We don't know much about Alabama, so I'm just looking for suggestions on a good route to take, and which towns are worth stopping in. Also any attractions worth visiting. We do like quaint or unusual places, something nice other than the usual touristy places to visit.

Thanks guys.

Helena, Alabama
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1. Re: Which is the best route to take through Alabama

Welcome! We're glad you're planning on visiting Alabama. From New Orleans to Atlanta there are two logical routes. You can follow the coast of the Gulf of Mexico on I-10 east to the Mobile, AL area. Mobile is full of interesting sights itself - the preserved World War II battleship USS Alabama and the beautiful Bellingrath Gardens are well worth the visit. Turn northeast from there on I-65 to Montgomery, AL, the state capitol. Old Alabama Town recreates what Alabama was like as a frontier village of the early 1800s. Head northeast on I-85 through Auburn, AL to Atlanta. Stop in Auburn, the home of Auburn University, for a visit to a traditional college town and campus.

The other route is I-59 out of New Orleans through Meridian, MS. I-59 joins I-20 which carries you through Tuscaloosa, the home of the University of Alabama, and Birmingham, Alabama's largest city before continuing on to Atlanta.

I suggest you post a question in the Mobile, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, and Birmingham forums with a little more detail of what you like (outdoors, history, music, art, food, etc.) and folks will be glad to give you more details.

Enjoy your trip!

Gulf Shores, Alabama
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2. Re: Which is the best route to take through Alabama

I would suggest driving I-10 to I-65 to I-85. Definitely stop at Bellingrath Gardens. If you wanted to make a slight detour you could continue on I-10 and see downtown Fairhope. it was created as an artisan utopia and still keeps those roots to this day. It is the most eclectic and art-oriented city in Alabama. You can get get back to I-65 just a few miles up the road at Hwy 59 North and that will bring you to Exit 37 on I-65. I-65 itself is quite boring and it will take you around three hours to get to Montgomery. The downtown area has recently been reinvigorated and there are several sites to see that historical value. In particular is the proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes churches from the civil rights movement. There is also a museum that I have been told is world class that is devoted to the civil rights movement. In addition are the capitol of the Confederate states which has a nice museum. Another stop in Montgomery could be the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. It is a beautiful piece of property. Auburn University is just forty miles from Montgomery and has one of the most scenic college campuses in the nation. Some other stops you could make might be Bayou La Batrie which is a scenic fishing village. It is just a few miles off I-10. In Georgia you would pass Callaway Gardens. If you do take a route that takes you through Birmingham then try to make a stop in Moundsville, Al. It is an ancient site that encompasses Native American mounds and temples. It is really interesting and contains a ton of history prior to America being settled by Europeans. Birmingham itself also has the Sloss Furnaces, a national historic landmark relating to Birmingham's steel industry. It is interesting and something off the beaten path for most tourists.

Southport, Australia
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3. Re: Which is the best route to take through Alabama

Thank you both for your advice, I really appreciate it and look forward to visiting Alabama!

4. Re: Which is the best route to take through Alabama

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