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Need Advice on Planning this Awesome Trip!

Columbus, Ohio
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29 posts
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Need Advice on Planning this Awesome Trip!

So I'm planning a trip to visit each and every state in America. But I want to do it up right. So I've set up a list of things I want to hit and will personalize it for each state. I have separate categories that include: I must see:

A Fun Road to Travel On

One Historical Thing About the State

One Local Thing (like a town that's not touristy, but a good representative of the state)

One Fun Dining Thing

One Outdoor Thing (Could be a park or some type of natural place to visit) (even outdoor adventures)

One Adventure Thing (could include anything but I love animals so I like the wildlife stuff!)

One Miscellaneous Thing

I'll be traveling alone and renting a car to drive to each state. I'm thinking I'll be staying in each state for a range of two to four days and I'm budgeting now for the trip so hopefully I'll have enough to do some fun things regardless of the cost (as long as it's not crazy lol). I'm totally open to what season I will visit.

So does anyone have any suggestions for Alabama??

Gulf Island Charters
Sightseeing Tours, Boat Tours, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Fishing Charters & Tours, Private Tours
Back Bay Sailing Adventures
Boat Tours, Water Sports, Boat Hire, Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours
Birmingham Pedal Tours
Bar, Club & Pub Tours, Beer Tastings & Tours, Sightseeing Tours
Haunted Tuscaloosa Tours
Sightseeing Tours, Bus Tours, Ghost & Vampire Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours
Birmingham, AL
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29 reviews
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1. Re: Need Advice on Planning this Awesome Trip!

How fun!!

Is your road trip to AL part of a longer trip including other states? Have you done any of this yet??

Please remember to share your experiences here on trip advisor! Lots of ppl will love your input for their own bucket list trip.

We have a lot of great contributors, you'll get fun suggestions!

It's so hard to make suggestions...but I'll throw out a few. Weatherwise, the best time to visit AL is April, May, October, or early November. I would choose the Fall because it is warm enough to enjoy outdoors, including beaches, and the atmosphere in AL during college football season is like nowhere else on earth!(that is uniquely AL)

AL is friendly and affordable!

the coastal area can provide a lot of experiences in your list with Mobile's history, and the gulf beaches (gulf shoees and dauphin island) being among the most beautiful in the country. Fairhope is an often photographed town, and Five Rivers a wildlife and outdoor sports paradise.

My personal favorite part of AL, however is the Northeast with lookout mountain, little river canyon, coosa river, Fort Payne, and nearby Jackson county with bluffs, trails, mountain views, opportunities to hike, kayak, horseback, etc.

Birmingham has highly decorated, "famous", and unique dining to rival anywhere in the US. Birmingham 's civil rights institute, IMO, is better presented and more accurate than Memphis, Cincinnati, and many others. Worth t stop.

Maybe that will get you started.

Visit our conservation dept web page, www.outdooralabama.com for more ideas.

Have fun planning!

Miller

Columbus, Ohio
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29 posts
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2. Re: Need Advice on Planning this Awesome Trip!

Thanks so much for your suggestions! I will definitely add them to my list to investigate. I have been planning on visiting the coastal region and Birmingham, but I hadn't really considered the northeast region!

I actually have been working on this trip (actually a series of small trips) for the past ten years. Ever since I was a little kid I have dreamed of seeing all fifty states. I work three jobs and I have a varying budget for each state but I don't want that to stop me from at least seeing a piece of each state! I have received state tourism magazines and guides from all fifty states and I have read through them multiple times--marking my favorites. I have a huge list of options for each state saved in a document and am trying to get some other opinions for each one. So I think I'm going to personalize each post for each state forum so I can get the best possible suggestions. I've already visited seven of the states on my list already and I have plans for the 8th this summer. This is more about a short trip to each state trying to get a sense of it without using too much vacation time on one place or state. In the other seven trips I've taken, it has been a whirlwind of activity, but I loved going around to the different state attractions and just driving through the state and taking in the scenery. I'm not really thinking of it as a vacation to relax, but as a jam packed adventure with a timeline!

That being said, I completely understand that it can be annoying when someone appears to be lazy or simply unrealistic and then expect others to give good advice and it actually is for nothing! I was a bit hasty in my cut and paste (cutting corners!) So I might try to re-post including some of my initial ideas and then ask for some additional ones. Personalizing it a bit to get the best applicable results and taking a little more time. Because yes, it has been years of research and a lot of dreaming! Thanks for taking the time to help me out! And you might be seeing another amended post in the near future!

Gulf Shores, Alabama
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for Gulf Shores
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3. Re: Need Advice on Planning this Awesome Trip!

Sounds like a fun trip. I will be doing something similar next month but all out west and with children. Anyhow good suggestions from Bhlkin. Living on the coast I would say to visit Gulf Shores and Fairhope. They would make a good stop on your way to or from Florida. Again there is lots of history in Mobile and all of the Gulf coast region. A good representative town would be Monroeville, just north of Mobile. Monroeville is famous for Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird". Montgomery and B'ham both have lots of civil rights history and nice museums. The new exhibits at the state archive bldg in Montgomery are phenomenal. For your must do dining experience, Frank Stitt's Highlands Bar and Grill in B'ham. Also in B'ham Sloss Furnace is a unique place. As mentioned the north part of the state is very scenic and is packed with recreational opportunities. Caves, waterfalls, mountains, wilderness, sport rivers and lakes, etc. A weird road idea might be what is known as the Yard Sale Hwy. I'm not sure what the road # is but a google search should find it. Enjoy your trip!

Birmingham, AL
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4. Re: Need Advice on Planning this Awesome Trip!

Oh! So glad you mentioned that! That is the world's longest yard sale, and is the first weekend of August annually. Very very interesting! Id definitely try planning one of your road trips around that. The route only begins in North AL, but goes all the way to I think MI.

Look at www.127sale.com

Miller

Helena, Alabama
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259 posts
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5. Re: Need Advice on Planning this Awesome Trip!

What a great idea! I'm jeallous! :-)

Without looking at the above write-ups (based on the folks writing I'm sure they are great suggestions); here are my thoughts:

A Fun Road to Travel On

AL 176 - Little River Canyon Parkway in northeast Alabama near Mentone; beautiful views of a wild mountaintop river and falls.

One Historical Thing About the State

Sloss Furnaces - the only preserved 20th century iron foundry; located in Birmingham, a fascinating hands-on, full walk through of this intriguing artifact of the late industrial revolution.

One Local Thing (like a town that's not touristy, but a good representative of the state)

Come visit us in Helena! Charming shops in our historic downtown and a large creek with a large park and island in front of a dam constructed in 1907. Located on the southwest edge of the Birmingham metro.

One Fun Dining Thing

Highlands Bar & Grill - consistently rated as one of the top restaurants in the South if not the country. Another option would be Lambert's restaurant in Foley, AL - their claim to fame is they literally throw your rolls to you.

One Outdoor Thing (Could be a park or some type of natural place to visit) (even outdoor adventures)

Hike Little River Canyon; birdwatch along the Coastal birding trail; visit the huge urban Railroad Park in Birmingham (and go to a minor league baseball game right next door).

One Adventure Thing (could include anything but I love animals so I like the wildlife stuff!)

I'm striking out there....sorry. Birmingham Zoo has a zipline now, maybe that would work? :-)

One Miscellaneous Thing

Take the ferry across the mouth of Mobile Bay from Fort Morgan to Dolphin Island. Walk/drive (ferry is passenger and vehicle) to the Estauarium, a small but very interesting marine life facility focusing on coastal waters. The ferry runs between two pre-Civil War forts that are open for tours and sails past numerous oil and natural gas rigs in the Bay.

Have fun!

Auburn, Alabama
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6. Re: Need Advice on Planning this Awesome Trip!

Sounds like a fun idea! Others have already given you a lot of great suggestions, but I'll add a few more to the mix ...

One Historical Thing About the State - What's more historical than football in Alabama? If you visit in the fall and can find a ticket, you definitely need to try to go to an Auburn or Alabama football game (preferably an Auburn one, but whichever one you choose would be fun). Tailgate and do it up right! Of course, if you go to an Auburn game, you have to go to Tiger Walk, drink Toomer's Lemonade, see the eagle, and buy a game-day t-shirt. (The Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham is a great option too!)

One Local Thing - I second the idea of going to Monroeville. If you can go when "To Kill a Mockingbird" is playing, it's an amazing performance by a community theater group!

One Fun Dining Thing - Steel City Pops ... I know popsicles don't seem that special but these are really good! Lots of interesting flavors like avocado, blood orange, hibiscus, and buttermilk in addition to more traditional flavors.

One Outdoor Thing - Oak Mountain State Park in Birmingham is a great place to go for a hike, canoe, or a swim. They are also home to the Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which houses injured animals in an effort to release them back to the wild.

One Miscellaneous Thing - I don't think anyone has mentioned the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, but that's a neat place to go.

Good luck with your planning! I'd love to hear what you decide to do and how your trip goes.

7. Re: Need Advice on Planning this Awesome Trip!

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