Whether you winter in the Gulf Shores, go RVing to popular events, or take a road trip to historical markers, Alabama has all sorts of fun and unique locations to explore. The following are just a smidgen of the many areas, celebrations, and landmarks sprinkled throughout the state. Find your sweet spot of adventure in Sweet Home Alabama the next time you RV through the South.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach
Experience endless summers in Southern Alabama. While other folks in other parts of the country are shivering in snowstorms, snowbirds are soaking in the sun and tranquil turquoise waters along Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The 32 miles of pristine beachfront on the Alabama coastline is a haven for water sportsmen. And there are even more land activities on and just minutes away from the beaches. From fishing to boating and hiking to biking, there really is never a dull moment for vacationers or season dwellers.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are two of Alabama’s top winter destinations because of their varied accommodations and, of course, warmer weather. This area has also been referred to as the “New Florida” for snowbirds. While not as long as the Sunshine State’s shoreline, Alabama’s coastline offers two prime assets. It’s not as busy and congested, and it’s more affordable than Florida. Other than that, RVers can still enjoy the same activities, white sands, and salty air!
Although there is an ongoing debate on its origins, Mobile, Alabama, lays claim to the first celebration of Mardi Gras. The first festival was reportedly started by Frenchman Nicholas Langlois in 1703 when Mobile was the capital of French Louisiana. Fast forward to today, and Mardi Gras is a multi-week-long extravaganza. Like downtown New Orleans, downtown Mobile transforms into a wonderland of sorts, filled with the sights and sounds of live music, parades, parties, and other frivolities.
If your RV travels include scoping out local happenings, you won’t want to miss this annual shindig. While in town, make it a point to stop by the Mobile Carnival Museum and get the lowdown on the rich history behind this legendary event and the city’s unique ties to its beginnings.
Museums Dedicated to Black History
From Birmingham to Montgomery and places near and far, Alabama has been the backdrop to decades of monumental events in the black community. An Advance Local Media article from 2020 mentions, “Montgomery alone had more slave depots than churches at the dawn of the Civil War in 1861. Many men and women helped the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as he rose to national prominence on Alabama soil. The Lowndes County Freedom Organization was the precursor of the national Black Panther Party.”
There are a number of museums throughout the state that highlight the triumphs and tribulations of black history through exhibits, artwork, presentations, and educational seminars. For example, the Legacy Museum in Montgomery features a comprehensive history of the nation, focusing on the legacy of slavery. And the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham depicts the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Other moving museums and sites that preserve and interpret black history include:
- National Voting Rights Museum, Selma
- Freedom Rides Museum, Montgomery
- Rosa Parks Library and Museum, Montgomery
- National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Montgomery
- Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail
- Civil Rights Memorial, Montgomery
The amazing sites don’t just stop above the ground. Alabama has some pretty out-of-this-world places right below your feet. Cathedral Caverns State Park is home to the Bat Cave or what is now referred to as Cathedral Caverns because of its cathedral-like appearance.
Visitors to the state park can take a guided tour of the majestic underground, which features one of the largest stalagmites in the world (“Goliath”), measuring 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference. Other fascinating natural cave formations include the “caveman” perched atop a flowstone wall, a “frozen” waterfall, and a large stalagmite forest.
RVers can stay overnight or longer as the park has a camping section. And if anyone gets tired of cave exploration, there are miles of hiking trails throughout the park and even gem mining.
Don’t Forget to Bring Your Most Trusted Passenger on Your RV Trip to Alabama
Of course, this list is only scratching the surface of possible places to experience on your next RV journey into Alabama. There are plenty more cities, big and small, to explore, historical landmarks to learn about, thrilling attractions to get the heart pumping, and natural wonders to build up your sense of wanderlust. Alabama is a state all its own waiting to be discovered.
All you have to do is pack up the RV and point your rig south. And don’t forget to buckle in your Coach-Net roadside assistance. With Coach-Net’s full suite of RV protection products, you can have peace-of-mind protection for a carefree journey. Coach-Net provides unlimited towing, jumpstart, fuel delivery, locksmith, tire assistance, winching, and technical support.
Get even more valuable benefits with the premier plan. Besides 24/7, all-inclusive roadside assistance, it includes concierge services, global emergency travel services, tire discounts, camping discounts, and so much more. Learn more about Coach-Net’s dynamic roadside assistance programs.
About The Author: Natalie Henley
Levi Henley and his wife, Natalie, have been full-time RVers for over 5 years. They have also been Coach-Net customers for the same amount of time. They travel and work camp around the U.S. in their 26-foot Itasca Sunstar motorhome with their two cats. They write for multiple RV-related publications and recently co-wrote “Seasonal Workamping for a Living: How We Did It.” You can follow their adventures on the road at henleyshappytrails.com
Swain W. ~ “Service was excellent and follow up was fantastic. It means a lot to be taken care of when you are down. Very happy with everyone’s performance I would not have known what to do or who to call if I had not had Coach-Net. You all were excellent.”