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North Alabama has Huntsville, with its U.S. Space & Rocket Center, exposes visitors to what’s beyond our earthly skies; caves and canyons spanning the foothills of the scenic Appalachia Mountains dip into what’s below. Alabama’s National Wild and Scenic River, the Sipsey, cuts through Bankhead National Forest, adding to the natural beauty. In Muscle Shoals, “The Hit Recording Capital of the World”, the highs and lows take the shape of music notes.

Birmingham dominates the central region with nightlife and urban sophistication as well as the Birmingham Civil Rights District and Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. The Pinhoti Trail and biologically diverse, free-flowing Cahaba River cut across the region, giving hikers and paddlers something to enjoy. The quiet fades during races at Talladega Superspeedway and Barber Motorsports Track. At Ross Bridge, Oxmoor Valley and Silver Lakes, “drivers” take on a different look as golfers play courses on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

The Civil War and Civil Rights Movement are celebrated in the Southern region. Montgomery was voted by readers of USA Today and www.10Best.com as America’s most historic city. The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail crosses the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma and winds its way to the State Capitol. East to Tuskegee, local museums also tell America’s civil and voting rights story. Eufaula’s Southern mansions, Dothan’s peanut past and the Alabama Scenic River Trail, make this region delightful.

Sugar-sand beaches and turquoise saltwater, the Gulf Coast is like an oversized resort where every day is a vacation. Families bond over sand castles in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Dauphin Island. Seeking a day away from the beach? Mobile charms with its antebellum history.

With numerous destinations to discover, from sugar-white beaches to picturesque mountaintops, Alabama presents dozens of reasons to pack up and hit the road.

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