• The Alabama Black Belt Ghost Trail: A self-guided driving tour that spans 18 counties in southwest and central Alabama. Videos of ghost stories are posted on www.alabamafrontporches.com and feature famed storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham. Trail sites include Old Cahawba and the St. James Hotel in Selma, Gaineswood Plantation in Demopolis and Judson College in Marion. Stories on the trail include the St. James Hotel in Selma where outlaw Jesse James is said to haunt room 301.
• Enhanced Tour Experience in Old Decatur Historic District: The Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau has released a podcast featuring the Civil War Walking Tour, a 13-block stroll through the Old Decatur Historic District. The audio tour includes the story of a four-day struggle between Confederate and Union soldiers and the history of many of Decatur’s Civil War sites.
• 2010 The Year of Small Towns & Downtowns: Homecoming celebrations are being held at parks, downtown streets, museums and attractions statewide. Over 1,600 events are lined up, including the unveiling of historic markers, story-telling sessions about growing up in the South and walking tours.
• Birmingham Civil Rights Alabama Tourism DeptInstitute: State-of-the-art museum chronicling the history of the Civil Rights movement.
• Alabama Music Hall of Fame: Hank Williams, Nat King Cole, Tammy Wynette are among those commemorated. Tuscumbia.
• Carnival Museum: Traces the history of Mardi Gras in the home of America’s oldest annual carnival. Mobile.
• Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail: A network of 26 public courses at 11 sites along Alabama’s main thoroughfares, including The Shoals in Muscle Shoals.
• Alabama Shakespeare Festival (year-round), Montgomery.
• Mardi Gras (mid-January to early February), Mobile.
• Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival (March), Fairhope.
• Alabama Chicken and Egg Festival (April), Moulton.
• To Kill A Mockingbird Play (May), Monroeville.
• Helen Keller Festival and Miracle Worker Play (June), Tuscumbia.
• National Shrimp Festival (October), Gulf Shores.
• Heritage Harbor Days (November), Foley.
• Gulf Shores: Sugar-white beaches, fresh seafood, championship golf courses, charter fishing trips, wildlife areas, theme parks.
• Mobile: U.S. birthplace of Mardi Gras; Exploreum science museum; U.S.S. Alabama Battleship and fresh local seafood.
• Montgomery: Downtown museums include Rosa Parks Museum, Dexter King Memorial Baptist Church, The Civil Rights Memorial. Also visit Hank Williams Museum and the Mooseum.
• Huntsville: Constitution Village, Earlyworks children’s museum and shopping at the new Bridgestreet Town Center where gondola rides are also offered.
• Decatur: The Civil War Walking Trail, Point Mallard Water Park, the Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Festival in May; fishing at Ingalls Harbor.
• Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights Trail: Named one of the Top 12 Domestic and International destinations to visit in 2009 by Frommers Travel.
• Mentone: Ideal base for exploring De Soto State Park and Little River Canyon National Preserve. Northeast Alabama.
• Fairhope: Small, quaint artist community. Author Winston Groom (Forrest Gump) and the artist Nall reside here. Mobile Bay.
Did You Know?
State Motto: We Dare Defend Our Rights
State Flower: Camellia
State Bird: Yellowhammer
Region: THE SOUTH
America’s Byways: Natchez Trace Parkway, Selma to Montgomery March Byway, Talladega Scenic Drive.
Connecting Flights Via: Atlanta, Memphis
Info: Alabama Tourism Department